‘Stop the Maangamizi We Charge Genocide/Ecocide!’ Campaign & Global Afrikan Peoples Parliament
Statement on the Relevance of Roger Hallam’s Comments Regarding the Shoah to Recognising, Counteracting & Preventing the Recurrence of the Maangamizi
Songs we would never hear! Histories we would never know! Art we would never see! Because the European had the capacity to destroy and didn’t have the moral restraint not to.
Professor Maulana Karenga
As an Afrikan Heritage Community-based formation engaged in building an affinity relationship with Extinction Rebellion (XR), our ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide!’ Campaign (SMWeCGEC) and its sister body the Global Afrikan Peoples Parliament (GAPP) feel compelled to say for history something about the globally significant conflict now brewing in Extinction Rebellion (XR) pertaining to one of its co-founders, Roger Hallam.
In the English-language interview in Die Zeit published on the 20th November 2019 it is reported that Roger Hallam said: “The fact of the matter is, millions of people have been killed in vicious circumstances on a regular basis throughout history.” He listed other mass killings in the past 500 years, including the Belgians’ slaughter in the Congo Free State; which was a corporate state in Central Afrika that King Leopold II of Belgium claimed private ownership of and evolved into evolved into a colony (the Belgian Congo) in the land now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Roger Hallam pointed out: “They went to the Congo in the late 19th century and decimated it.” For the information of those not yet aware of this conflict, it is necessary to note that he was also quoted as having said that, seen in this context, the Jewish Holocaust was “almost a normal event … just another fuckery in human history”.
Nsala, the man in the picture, was photographed by English missionary Alice Seeley Harris after he arrived at her mission in The Congo (1904) clutching a parcel that contained what was left of his five-year-old daughter. She’d been killed and dismembered as a punishment when his village failed to meet the rubber quotas demanded by the imperial regime. The Harris Lantern Slide Show © Anti-Slavery International
For some context about Roger Hallam’s reference to the Congo see:
Children who had been mutilated through amputation under the regime of King Leopold II
It is also important to read King Leopold’s Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror and Heroism in Colonial Africa written by Adam Hochschild, of which a documentary version is available. Just last week it was announced Ben Affleck would be producing and directing a film inspired by this book.
As organisations campaigning on our Afrikan Heritage Community experience of the particular manifestations of a special type of genocide and ecocide that we refer to as the Maangamizi, which is not only in the past but continues into the present, and to which Roger Hallam was making reference to, we cannot keep silent on this matter. For us, the issue that is being missed, if you read Rogers comments in context, and which none of the statements being issued officially by XR have recognised or commented on so far, is the reference to the genocide of Afrikans in the Congo which is only one of the many heinous crimes of what we in the SMWeCGEC and GAPP refer to as the Maangamizi. The Maangamizi has represented an existential threat to the peoplehood, self-determination and agency of Afrikan people for the past 500+ years of world history.
This is not a Genocide Olympics. In the rush to condemn Roger Hallam for his comments there is an equally epistemically and structurally violent denial of the omnicides against Afrikan, Aboriginal and Indigenous Humanity, (non-European humanity in short). In the reactions to Roger Hallam’s quoted comments in newspapers, what is inferred is the view that the Shoah, (Jewish Holocaust) was exceptional above all other Holocausts and genocides. Whilst it is true, as the axiom goes “no one cries more than the bereaved”, from the quoted comments, it is clear that Roger Hallam, like many others especially from the affected communities take the view that other genocides also need recognition prevention and redress. To do so is not to deny, denigrate or reduce the significance of the Shoah.
At the International Conference on Genocide Prevention that took place in Brussels from 31 March – 1 April 2014, Yehuda Bauer stated that “The Holocaust is not unique; it is unprecedented, and that means that it is a precedent that can be repeated (though not in the same way), unless we prevent that ”
A Matter of Comparison, The Holocaust, Genocides and Crimes Against Humanity: An Analysis and Overview of Comparative Literature and Programs by Koen Kluessien & Carse Ramos, International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance
Incidentally, the Committee on the Holocaust, Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) was established to work on how best to support teachers who choose to relate the Holocaust to other genocides and crimes against humanity. According to the above report: A Matter of Comparison, the Holocaust, Genocides and Crimes Against Humanity a central accomplishment of the Committee was the publication of the series of documents including The Holocaust and Other Genocides which offers ideas and recommendations to educators teaching about the Holocaust and its relationship to other genocides and crimes against humanity. In the Why relate the Holocaust to other genocides and crimes against humanity?
section of the aforementioned report, the authors “summarise a number of important reasons why it can be valuable to offer such a comparative approach, points out some challenges, and concludes with some reasons or agendas that should not lie behind a comparative approach.”
So, we in the SMWeCGEC and GAPP are making this statement to highlight the fact that whilst not in favour of the unacceptable type of language that accompanied the main point in Roger’s original statement, we seek to highlight the most important fact is drawing attention to the currently ongoing genocide and ecocide, of which our continuing present-day Maangamizi is part of. This is the first time that someone racialised as white in a prominent campaigning organisation in Europe, a campaign that is currently in the global mainstream media limelight, has dared to lend support to something that our Afrikan Heritage Communities across the world has been drumming up for centuries. Our Maangamizi is one of the most horrendous, traumatizing and long-enduring up until now special types of genocide and ecocide of over 500 years duration. It continues into the present, even though the white supremacy racist establishment of Global Apartheid has terroristically compelled even some among our own Afrikan Heritage Communities and most Peoples of the world to be in denial of it.
The Shoah has quite rightfully been recognised and there are laws that protect against Jewish Holocaust denial. Yet people deny the Maangamizi of the past and present every day with impunity. We in the SMWeCGEC partner with the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee to co-organise the annual 1st August Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March and hand in the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Petition to the Office of the UK Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street simply with a demand supported by thousands that we can have a dialogue with the British state and society via the establishment of the All-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Truth & Reparatory Justice (APPCITARJ).
Yet from 2015 until now, we have been denied a fair hearing and consistently been told “we do not believe that reparations are the answer” by officials of the British State. Speaking about the Afrikan case, we have no recognition and no justice!!!, even in this United Nations declared International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024), in which the United Nations on behalf of the international community recognises that that people of African descent represent a distinct group whose human rights must be promoted and protected. Despite this progressive declaration the British State has said it will not recognise the Decade. Even within XR our demands for recognition of our Afrikan humanity gone unmet, with some pushing unto us the unfairly homogenizing descriptor ‘People of Colour’ as a way of not recognising the specific experiences of People of Afrikan heritage.
So, Afrikan Heritage youths, who have been raised in a society and world order where they are shown every day that their Black humanity and Afrikan lives do not matter have internalised this and are now the agents of what Black Panther Party Co-Founder Dr Huey P. Newton referred to as Reactionary Suicide (the act of Black self-murder) or what Scholar-Activist Psychologist Professor Amos Wilson refers to as Black-On-Black Violence: The Psychodynamics of Black Self-Annihilation in the Service of White Domination as was exemplified in the theme of the 2019 Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March: ‘Continuing Our People’s 500 + Years Reparations Rebellion – Stop Terminating Our People: Rebelling Against and Redressing Youth Mentacide/Ecocide!!!’
We therefore overstand why, to those insisting on this denial of our Maangamizi, particularly in its present phase of neocolonial enslavement, with all of its horrors of Afriphobic and anti-Black racism, Roger Hallam is being lynched for being a ‘white race traitor’.
We dare all those all those who are ganging up to lynch Roger Hallam, beyond assisting him to correct his errors, to act in accordance with the XR demand to ‘tell the truth’. This means to confess truthfully that, actually, the one unspoken thing they are ganging up to mercilessly assassinate the character of Roger Hallam for, without any of the XR compassion for his human errors, is his daring to put the case we are making about our present-day experience of life as Afrikan People across the world as being a Hellacaust of continuing genocide and ecocide; of omnicide crimes continuing for centuries into the present as our Maangamizi!
Yes, this open pointing to the current situation of Afrikans and other still oppressed and super-exploited Peoples of the Global South, who are still being terrorised with genocide and ecocide by those in the Minority World of the Global North holding the reins of so much Global Apartheid racist power as to be perpetuating the vestiges of colonialism and the ravages of neo-colonialism, including forms of eco-fascism, against the will of our Peoples of the Majority World, is his real offence to them and others of their ilk.
We are not deceived by the claims being made by some of these elements condemning Roger Hallam that they are doing so in pursuit of Global Justice. What we really mean in our long-standing, painstaking and experiential learning Pan-Afrikan Freedom Fighting for Global Justice bears no resemblance to what they are claiming. As Activist-Writer Alice Walker says: “No person is your friend who demands your silence or denies your right to grow.” A climate of fear is being created within and around XR to terrorise those who do not share views similar to those now putting out blanket condemnatory statements about Roger Hallam’s comments.
Part of the context in what is being claimed to be hateful anti-Semitism and Jewish Holocaust denial on the part of Roger Hallam by some, is the Maangamizi against the OvaHerero and Nama People (1904–1908) by Germany’s Second Reich, under Kaiser Wilhelm II, which was a precursor to the Jewish Holocaust. True champions of Global Justice would know that the OvaHerero and Nama People have an ongoing movement for genocide recognition and redress.
As the article: In Germany’s Extermination Program for Black Africans, a Template for the Holocaust in the Times of Israel highlights – decades before the Nazis turned to the Jews, German colonialists who seized land and made it into a colony they called German Southwest Africa, (now known as Namibia) dehumanised, built death camps for, and slaughtered tens of thousands of OvaHerero and Nama People in a systematic genocide which was the “odious precursor of the Shoah.” As stated by the Post Conflict Research Center:
“How far back can the roots of the Holocaust be traced? The events that took place from 1941 – 1945 bore a striking resemblance to atrocities carried out years before in German South West Africa. Many of the ideologies that fuelled the Holocaust, as well as the means of systematic confinement and extermination of a people, began at the turn of the 20th century with the Herero and Nama.”
“Key perpetrators of this African genocide became high-ranking Nazis 30 years later. Names are chillingly familiar: Dr. Heinrich Ernst Goering was Namibia’s governor. His son, Hermann Goering, became a top Nazi leader. Eugen Fischer, a physician and professor of medicine, conducted experiments on the Herero that included forced sterilizations and injections of smallpox, typhus and tuberculosis. One of Fischer’s students was Dr. Joseph Mengele, known as the “angel of death” for sending people to the Auschwitz gas chambers and performing cruel medical experiments that he learned from Fischer. Franz Ritter von Epp commanded German troops against the Herero and later was a Nazi leader until he was captured by the U.S. Army in 1945. The list of names linking the Herero genocide to the Holocaust is horrifying.”
See also the following articles available on the worldwide web:
• European Holocaust Had Roots in Africa, Now Namibia is Suing Germany – Without Understanding What Happened to the Herero and Nama people, it is Impossible to Understand What Occurred Right Before and During World War II.
• Article on ‘Black People’ and the Holocaust on the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust website.
• It is also recommended one reads Germany’s Genocide of the Herero: Kaiser Wilhelm II, His General, His Settlers, His Soldiers by Jeremy Sarkin in which he argues that the history of the OvaHerero genocide remains a key issue for many around the world partly because the German policy not to pay compensation for the genocide contrasts with its long-standing Jewish Holocaust reparations policy.
“We Jews champion the phrase “Never Again” in regard to the Final Solution. We also enshrine throughout our religion and culture the principle of remembrance or zachor. We should make every effort to hear the pain, and to validate the suffering, of other ethnic groups who also anguished under the nightmare of genocide. To do so is not to diminish our own tragedy. It is not to make comparisons or parallels. It is not to engage in an absurd exercise in gamesmanship over who suffered more terribly, us or them. It is, instead, to ennoble our own perseverance as a people. For if we fail to remember the genocides of the Armenians and the Herero, then we abdicate our own moral standing to ask the same of ourselves.“
It is clear to see that in the case of the Genocide of Afrikans in the Congo as well as that of the OvaHerero and Nama, Afriphobic racism belittles the memory of its victims and accounts for the differential outcomes of struggles for redress by their descendants.
These are photos from Esther Stanford-Xosei’s 2017 trip to Namibia as a guest of honour of the Ovaherero & Ovambanderu Genocide Foundation (OGF) for the 111th Commemoration of the Extermination Order which ushered in the OvaHerero-Nama Genocide
Our very track-record of activism on counteracting the Maangamizi demands that we do not succumb to this climate of epistemic and structural violence growing in XR at this time around this issue; but must rather truthfully speak in defence of those from amongst our allies who are seeking to do what the likes of: Abolitionists John Brown, Thomas and Lydia Hardy, Thomas Spence, Thomas Clarkson, Mary and John Estlin; Suffragette Sylvia Pankhurst; Scholar-Activist Historians Basil Davidson, Noel Ignatiev and Peter Fryer; as well as Black Liberation Army member, Marilyn Jean Buck have. Despite risking public condemnation we know, as Warrior-Poet Audre Lorde in her ‘Litany for Survival’ says, for those of us who have been “imprinted by fear“… it is better to speak, remembering we were never meant to survive.”
We hope the likes of Roger Hallam will be inspired and strengthened by such gallant predecessors and unswervingly walk their talk with striving even harder in internationalist solidarity with our Afrikan and all other oppressed Peoples, to finally put a full-stop to the Maangamizi and other continuing forms of genocide and ecocide. This is necessary to unify truly progressive forces in addressing the Climate and Ecological Crisis with holistic Planet Repairs in their Reparatory Justice meaningfulness; with a view to delivering the Global Justice for All that will enable us to win our own Maatubuntuman as one of the cornerstones for building Ubuntudunia together with all Humanity.
Stop the Maangamizi!
Build Maatubuntuman for Ubuntudunia!
‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide!’ Campaign (SMWeCGEC)
Global Afrikan People’s Parliament (GAPP)
Leadership Facilitating Team
Kambanda Veii, Jendayi Serwah, Esther Stanford-Xosei & Utjuia Esther Muinjangue Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March (2017)
On Saturday 22nd June 2019 the Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide! Campaign (SMWeCGEC) took an important step towards ONE of its campaign goals to establish an All-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Truth and Reparatory Justice (APPCITARJ).
On this day a film project given the name #IAmWitness by #JoanJoanLondon a film-maker, but conceptually co-produced with the SMWeCGEC commenced. Filming took place at the Kuumba Centre in Bristol. The ‘I AM WITNESS’ project is being developed out of the Ubuntukgotla People’s International Tribunal for Global Justice (U-PITGJ) programme of ISMAR-building, which the SMWeCGEC has been promoting in partnership with the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee (AEDRMC), the Global Afrikan Peoples Parliament (GAPP), PARCOE (Pan-Afrikan Reparations Coalition in Europe), Vazoba Afrika & Friends Networking Open Forum and the Global Afrikan Family Reunion International Council(GAFRIC).
A crew of 1 Director, (Joan Joan), 2 camera men (Sean Cassell #RastaCamp and Khevyn Ibrahim) and 1 photographer (John Matthews/JM Photography) filmed content to be used for an APPCITARJ promotional video consisting of over 25 people from Afrikan Heritage Communities, including children, youth, adults and elders, willing to give their time to support this project.
We really appreciate all those witness who took part in the filming. We are particularly thankful to Brothers Caul Grant and Sibusiso Tshabalala for being the first to be willing to speak to camera and tell their stories of the impact of the Maangamizi on them, their families and their future, unless we #StopTheMaangamizi!
Many thanks also to the John Lynch Afrikan Education Programme for their coordination of the day and sponsorship provided, Ital Garden Caribbean Vegan Café Kuumba Centre for their generous support and hospitality which contributed to making the day possible.
We are truly grateful to Pastor Michael Maddix for his sponsorship also.
Below are some other pics of the filming, pictures are copyright © copyright of John Matthews/JM Photography, sponsored by Joan Joan and must be accredited as such.
#I AM WITNESS
Big-Up! Bristol Massive, you are making us all proud!
We in the ‘Stop The Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide!’ Campaign (SMWeCGEC) would like to extend our deep thanks and appreciation for the coverage Got Kush TV provided in preparation for the 2019 Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March and its all-year round campaigning work conducted through the SMWeCGEC as well as coverage of the March itself.
Although the 2019 Reparations March pre-March interviews below are relevant to the all-year round activism in advancement of the cause of reparations and strengthening the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR).
The following videos are coverage of the actual 2019 Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March including some of the speeches:
The above image is the © copyright of photojournalist Thabo Jaiyesimi and must be accredited as such.
Please note, only copies of the additional 2,828 signatures collected between last year (14,590) and this year (17,418) were handed in with a copy of the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Petition. Every year we tend to copy the same petitions and re-submit them with additional signatures collected. For environmental reasons, it was determined that we would only hand in the additional signatures collected this year until we reach 100,000 signatures that will be handed in all together when that figure is reached. Or in the alternative that the lobbying efforts of MPs and other elected officials via the ‘Stop The Maangamizi!’ Postcard yield the desired results. However, the SMWeCGEC is not relying on securing 100,000 to secure the campaign objectives, as ultimately reparatory justice will be effected, secured and taken by our own People’s Power, supported by other People’s of Conscience as well as our non-Afrikan Allies as part of PRIM-building.
In total 17,418 people have now signed the petition, this includes those who sign the online petition and the paper version.
Although 6 Petitioners were present as identified in the covering letter to the UK pRIME Minister which accompanied the petition, only 4 of the 6-member delegation were able to hand in the petition this year due to 2 members of the delegation unfortunately forgetting their ID.
This is a link to info about the petition hand-ins in the three preceding years:
This is a copy of the letter that accompanied the 2015 petition hand-in:
We in the ‘Stop The Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide!’ Campaign (SMWeCGEC) would like to extend our deep thanks and appreciation for the coverage Got Kush TV provided in preparation for the 2019 Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March and its all-year round campaigning work conducted through the SMWeCGEC.
Although the 2019 Reparations March has now taken place, the interviews below are relevant to the all-year round activism in advancement of the cause of reparations and strengthening the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR).
Report by Esther Stanford-Xosei, 29 June 2019
Co-Vice Chair, Pan-Afrikan Reparations Coalition in Europe (PARCOE
Coordinator-General, ‘Stop The Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide!’ Campaign (SMWeCGEC)
Spokesperson, Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee (AEDRMC)
Since last year, when Brother Steven Golding spoke at the 5th annual Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March, we stayed in contact. He got in touch earlier this year about the possibility of me visiting Jamaica to do a lecture in recognition of the 2015 – 2024 United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent. Such a trip was finally organised to take place at the end of May 2019.
From the 29th May to 5th June 2019, I was invited by Brother Steven to deliver a couple of public lectures on Reparations. This included doing a public lecture on the ‘The Reparations Challenge‘ at the UNIA Jamaica Mass Meeting, which took place at Liberty Hall, as well as being the first international speaker to deliver the annual Tacky Day Lecture in the Parish of St. Mary themed ‘Chief Tacky 1760 – 2060: The Struggle Then, The Struggle Now‘.
When I arrived in Jamaica, I was pleasantly surprised to be met at the airport by Sister Marva Pringle-Ximinnies from the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment & Sports, Brother Steven as well as Brother Derrick Robinson aka ‘Black X’. I did not know at the time but Black X had actually walked 57+ miles from Port Maria in the parish of St. Mary to Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston to officially welcome me to Jamaica as the international speaker for the Tacky Day Lecture.
This is a message that Black X had sent out to various networks before my arrival:
Dear friends, Today Tuesday May 28 at 3pm, I will be embarking on a 24 and a half hours walk from the Tacky Monument in Port Maria St Mary Jamaica to the Norman Manley Airport in Kingston, to be a part of the team that will be welcoming our Guest Speaker for Tacky Day to Jamaica! she is due to arrive in Jamaica from England (UK) at 3.30pm. Her Name is Esther Stanford-Xosei a Pan-African Speaker, a leading voice in the global Struggle in the call for Reparations to be paid for the atrocious and the beyond repair damage that was done to our African fore Fathers and Mothers. So it is with great conviction of duty in honourable memory of the Great Chief Tacky that in our Ancestors Name, I will challenge this 24 and a half hours walk to the Norman Manley Airport in Kingston from Port Maria St Mary. Thank you for your support.
Derrick Black X Robinson, Chairman
Tacky Foundation, Tacky Heritage – Pan-African Garden Of Assembly 1760
The first public lecture I did was on Sunday 2nd June, 2019 at the famous Liberty Hall at 76 King Street, Kingston which was (at one point) the Hon. Marcus Garvey’s headquarters and that of the UNIA-ACL. The U.N.I.A’s constitution required each UNIA to have a Liberty Hall, which was its headquarters. Jamaica’s Liberty Hall was the centre of activities for the Kingston division of The UNIA. The two-storey building was the first meeting hall in Jamaica that was fully owned and operated by people of Afrikan heritage. First opened in 1923, the site has been restored to serve as a museum of the life and work of Marcus Garvey, who was the first man to be declared an official National Hero of Jamaica.
Programme for the Mass Meeting
This is a link to an Instagram post of Emprezz @emprezzgolding with a video clip from my lecture at the UNIA Mass Meeting.
Reception Hosted by St. Mary Chamber of Commerce
On Monday 3rd June 2019, I was hosted at a reception organised by the St Mary Chamber of Commerce, Agriculture & Industry. I spoke at their meeting about the relevance of reparations to addressing local community development issues and challenges spoken about at the meeting.
Tacky Day Commemorations
Before I come unto the commemoration, it is important for me to say a little bit about Chief Tacky. Tacky’s War or the Easter Rebellion of Port Maria, one of the bloodiest revolts that took place in Jamaica, was an uprising of enslaved Afrikans from the central region of Ghana then referred to as Koromantse which started on Easter Sunday 1760 and went on until July 1760. The Rebellion broke out in St. Mary and spread throughout most of the country. The leader of the rebellion, Tacky (Akan spelling: Takyi), was originally from the Fante ethnic group in West Afrika and had been a Paramount Chief in Fante land (in the Central region of present-day Ghana) before being captured and sold into slavery after the Koromantse Wars. Tacky was subsequently enslaved on the Frontier Estate, in Jamaica where he was subsequently made foreman. However, he used this position to plan and influence some fellow enslaved Afrikans on his estate and neighbouring Trinity Estate to revolt. He, along with the Asante Queen Nanny or Nana, both, with the support of fellow rebels, planned to defeat the British and all enslavers and make Jamaica a separate and independent Black country. They began by seizing control of Frontier and the neighbouring Trinity plantation, killing the masters or estate managers and freeing the enslaved before heading to the nearby town of Port Maria.
One of the most-well known people seeking to gain greater recognition of Tacky is Black X, Chairman of the Tacky Heritage Group, who is truly a legend in Jamaica and is doing excellent work to help conscientise the Jamaican public about the importance of Chief Tacky. A waterfall close to the cave where Takyi and his fellow rebels planned the revolt was named Tacky Falls and is currently open to visitors. A school has also been named after Chief Tacky.
At the end of the lecture, I was presented with a picture by Chelsea Chin, administrator for Dr Morais Guy, J.P., Member of Parliament for Central St. Mary.
These are some of the pictures from the Tacky Day Commemorations, it was truly a beautiful day. Local MPs, the Mayor, business leaders, community members as well as children from 8 local schools in St. Mary attended the lecture!
Pics courtesy of Steven Golding.
This is a link to Minister Olivia Grange’s speech that was read out by Dr Norman Dunn, BH, (M), J.P. Member of Parliament, South East, St. Mary:
Make Chief Tacky A National Hero Resolution
Since my return to the UK, I have been forwarded the following text of resolution to be put forward at the local Parish Council in St. Mary on Thursday 11th July 2019:
MAKE CHIEF TACKY A NATIONAL HERO OF JAMAICA
On Easter Sunday, in the year 1760 in Jamaica in the Parish of Saint Mary, the great rebel leader called Chief Tacky led our ancestors in a rebellion against the establishment of chattel slavery in the country. They raided the English garrison at Fort Haldane and attacked the estates at Frontier, Trinity, Ballard’s Valley, Esher, among others. Tacky’s revolt/war spread to several parishes across the country and lasted for over 18 months even when they thought it had ended. The brave Chief Tacky lost his own life but his vision and actions had struck a blow for freedom that helped to hasten the end of the act of inhumanity and the bondage of chattel slavery. Ultimately, history has proven that freedom was irreversible from that point on.
As a result of this trip, PARCOE decided to update our banner/flyer to include Chief Tacky and to also lobby for his inclusion as one of the revered Ancestors commemorated as part of the Ancestors Bloc of the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March.
In addition, Esther was a panellist for the UWI ‘African Liberation Day Lecture’ on 29th May 2019 featuring keynote speaker Dr Julius Garvey who spoke to the theme ‘Moving Towards A United Africa: Fulfilling Marcus Garvey’s Dream‘.
Meeting with Minister Olivia Grange & Representatives of the NCR
Another important aspect of the trip was the meeting I got to have with representatives of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment & Sport, including the Hon. Olivia (Babsy) Grange, MP, CD, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment & Sport and Barbara Blake-Hannah; in addition to meeting with several members of the National Council on Reparations (NCR), in particular, NCR Co-Chair Mrs Laleta Davis-Mattis (who attended the Reparations Challenge Lecture), Mr Frank Phipps, Q.C., Lord Anthony Gifford, Q.C., Attorney Bert Samuels, Dr Jahlani Niaah, Dr Michael Barnett and Ras Ho-Shing. Barbara Blake-Hannah was also in attendance at the meeting with members of the NCR and Minister Grange.
I did not get to meet or speak with NCR Co-Chair Professor Verene Shepherd on my trip.
Pics courtesy of Steven Golding.
During the meeting, Minister Grange updated me on some of the developments taking place pertaining to reparations, including the work being championed under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture in relation to the absolution of the resistance efforts of National Heroes. Minister Grange made a special presentation to me of a copy of The National Heroes and Other Freedom Fighters (Absolution from Criminal Liability in Respect of Specified Events) Acts, 2018 No.2
The following is a copy of the front and back page of the act of the act. A link to the act can be found below:
In the meeting I also shared information about what reparations activism was taking place by the UK contingent of the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR). The main updates I shared pertained to:
- The campaigning efforts of the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Campaign and its partner the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee towards the establishment of the All-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Truth & Reparatory Justice, (APPCITARJ), and responses received so far from the Office of the UK Prime Minister and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office.
- The alliances being forged by elevating a reparatory justice approach to tackling the climate and ecological crisis which will disproportionately impact on our communities in Afrika and the Caribbean; highlighting developments made in this regard by the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Campaign developing an affinity with Extinction Rebellion (XR). As a result of the advocacy and involvement of reparationists in the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Campaign, this has resulted in the subsequent development of the CEE the Truth Campaign by some members of XR and the emerging Climate & Ecological Independents championing Planet Repairs and reparations, as one of their core demands of their political manifesto in the 2019 European Parliamentary Elections.
- The importance of state and non-state actors, recognising their distinct but possibly complementary roles and working together on the common cause of effecting and securing reparatory justice by seeking to join up actions and initiatives where possible. An example being the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March which takes place on 1st August.
- In seeking accountability from European nation states, the importance of factoring engagement strategies with country diasporas living in the UK/Europe as well as the wider Afrikan Diaspora communities in Europe. This being necessary to ensure that there was harmonisation between distinct reparations strategies and tactics by state and non-state actors.
- Likewise, the necessity of also seeking to influence European and other civil society populations in Europe and win support from them in standing in solidarity with the cause of reparatory justice. In this regard, it was pointed out that the notion of Britain and Europe coming to help “clean up the monumental mess of Empire” they left in the Caribbean is not being taken seriously or endearing support from wider constituencies in the UK. This is largely because it is clear, even to many white people, that the British Parliamentary System is in crisis, with Brexit and the emergence of Extinction Rebellion which is challenging the inadequacies of governance and failure of moral leadership of British parliamentarians who have failed to act to avert the climate & ecological crisis etc. The popular overstanding being how can Britain be asked to clean up the mess in the Caribbean when it cannot clean up the mess in its own back-yard?
Meeting with Minister Mike Henry
I also met with the Hon. Minister Mike Henry, MP, CD, Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister of Jamaica who spoke to me about the legal action he was pursuing against Queen Elizabeth II, as part of a reparations strategy, which is further explained in the newspaper articles section below.
I raised similar points made in the meeting with Minister Grange and members of the NCR, in particular, regarding:
- The importance of those in the Caribbean linking with country diasporas and the wider Afrikan Diaspora in UK/Europe as well as paying greater attention to winning over those of European ancestry to be in solidarity with our cause of reparatory justice.
- Us as state and non-state actors recognising differing strategy and tactics even when making legal and political challenges to the British State and seeking to have dialogue with each other and share information other about these different approaches so what we do does not conflict.
On behalf of the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee, I thanked Minister Henry for the solidarity message he gave for the 2018 Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March.
Minister Mike Henry made a special presentation to me of a copy of his book ‘Many Rivers To Cross: A Political Journey of Audacious Hope‘ (2013).
Pics courtesy of Steven Golding & Ras Ho-Shing.
The following are the newspaper articles about my visit:
This article clipping is taken from section C10 of the Gleaner on Monday 3, June, 2019
An online version of the Jamaica Information Service appeared in the Jamaica Observer on Thursday 30 May, 2019
Meeting with Lord Anthony Gifford
Due to the fact that Anthony Gifford could not attend the meeting with Minister Grange and members of the NCR, he invited me to visit with him. I was accompanied by Steven Golding and I discussed the work being done here in the UK, particularly with reference to some of the new developments on the work being done by representatives of the UK ISMAR to broaden constituents of engagement and influence in relation to reparatory justice through working with Extinction Rebellion Internationalist Solidarity Network (XRISN) and The CEE The Truth Campaign Climate & Ecological Emergency Independents.
I explained that The CEE Independents have adopted reparations as part of the core demands and there was much scope for those in the Caribbean also doing more to link the struggle for reparatory justice to the growing consciousness of the necessity of reparations for climate and ecological breakdown. I reiterated the messages given at public lectures on the importance of those in the national councils and committees for reparations in the Caribbean recognising the importance of the country and wider Afrikan Diasporas living in Europe and secondly the importance of messaging which can also win hearts and minds of allies of European and other non-Afrikan ancestries in Europe. This is a Gleaner newspaper article which Lord Gifford wrote aspects of which he has subsequently notified me were influenced by some of our discussions.
Since returning to the UK, I shared info regarding a recent interview with music artist and write Gaika given by Leader of the UK Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn where he speaks about his support for reparations to former colonies to combat climate change with Steven Golding and Lord Gifford which in my view affirms the approach that we in PARCOE and the ‘Stop The Maangamizi!’ Campaign have long been championing in relation to ‘Planet Repairs’ and the importance of including reparations for climate and ecological destruction (ecocide) as part of the advocacy strategies coming out of Afrika and the Caribbean.
Visit to Pre-View Windush Murals
I visited Studio 174, a Kingston based Art Academy in downtown Kingston, to preview a series of murals being finalised as a mobile exhibit featuring a series of murals to honour the Windrush Generation; people from Jamaica and the Caribbean who left the region, beginning in 1948, on The Empire Windrush. This exhibit is part of the Paint Up Ya Creative Space Initiative of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment & Sports in partnership with the British Council. Some of the discussions myself and Steven Golding had with the artistic director and artists was the possibility of such an exhibit of murals to come to the UK and possibly feature as part of the events leading up to the annual Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March.
Pics courtesy of Steven Golding
I did the following interviews:
- ‘Rootsology’ show on Roots 96.1 FM,
- ‘Beyond the Headlines’ show on RJR 94 FM,
- ‘Talk Up Radio’ show on Nation-wide 90 FM
- ‘Sunrise’ show on CVM TV.
Unfortunately, although I contacted Pan-Afrikanist Activist-Journalist and host of the ‘Running African’ show on IRIE FM, Ka’Bu Ma’at Kheru ahead of the trip, with a view to meeting up during her visit, unfortunately I did not get to connect or speak with Ka’Bu on my trip. Ka’Bu was also the initiator of the ‘UofG Consult With Grass – Root Reparation Movements NOT Colonial Institutions!’ Petition on change.org (and also supported by the SMWeCGEC).
On the tentative schedule I received before my trip, it was planned that I was to do an interview on Thursday 30th May 2019 at 3pm on IRIE FM ‘Stepping Razor’ show with Mutabaruka and on Sunday 2nd June on IRIE FM at 7am on the ‘Running Africa Forum’ Radio with Ka’bu Ma’at Kheru. However, this changed with the updated schedule I received when I arrived in Jamaica. I was notified that Ka’bu had to travel urgently so had cancelled her show on 30th May.
Pics courtesy of Steven Golding.
Linking with Empress Esther of the EABIC ‘Bobo Shanti’
Through a link provided by Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee, Co- Vice Chair, Prophet Jah B, I made contact with Empress Esther from the Ethiopia Africa Black International Congress (EABIC) on my visit. Although we did not get to meet in person, we did have discussions about the need for further outreach and connections with Rastafari community members and other Afrikan heritage communities in the Montego Bay Area who often do not get to go to Pan-Afrikan and Reparations focused events and activities in Kingston.
Courtesy Call on Permanent Secretary, Mr Denzil Thorpe
The last stop I made before leaving Jamaica, en route to the airport, was to return to the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment & Sport for a curtesy call on Mr Denzil Thorpe, Permanent Secretary for the Ministry. I was accompanied by my Steven Golding and Black X. Permanent Secretary Denzil Thorpe also made a special presentation to me of NCR memorabilia and we spoke about my visit to Jamaica.
Pics courtesy of Steven Golding & Marva Pringle-Ximminies
Thank you Letter