“Let’s talk about Reparatory Justice with City Institutions”?
About this Event
Many people are joining together to walk the path of racial justice and healing. Whilst it is important to do some deep introspection about how those of us from the Afrikan diaspora relate to each other and seek to heal from the racial wounds of the past and indeed the present. This healing cannot take place until we connect with others on the path towards reparatory justice.
“Lets talk about Reparatory Justice with City Institutions” is the 2nd in a series of 3 discussions on Bristol’s Conversation on Race & Reparations, following on from the 1st meeting held on the 14th January with and between Bristol’s Afrikan Heritage Communities, which started to explore the meaning of Reparations and the specific UK and international demand for An-All Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Truth and Reparatory Justice.
You will also hear from Lambeth Borough Council, the first council in the UK to pass a Reparations Motion. What happens after the motion is passed? Find out how Lambeth are supporting the reparations movement locally and nationally.
This press release contains the full text of the motion as follows:
“This Assembly is committed to eradicating and ending racial injustice and anti-Black racism. In our pursuit of these aims, the London Assembly is passing this motion to recognise formally and mark the United Nations International Decade for peoples of African Descent running from 2015-2024.
This Assembly recognises the work undertaken by the Mayor of London in promoting diversity and inclusion, and celebrating Black Londoners through Black History Month activities, the Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm, and working with the Black Curriculum to provide relevant education resources and to review the London Curriculum.
This Assembly calls on the Mayor of London to recognise formally and mark the UN’s Decade by embedding in policies where possible, the UN’s General Assembly resolution on the International Decade for People of African Descent. The Mayor’s work should reflect the following requests from the Programme of Activities for the Implementation of the International Decade for People of African Descent:
Work with schools and community organisations to ensure that the educational histories and narratives of Black people are properly taught and celebrated in schools across London all year round;
Work on reviewing and reworking policies that continue to have a discriminatory effect on peoples of African descent across London;
Consider establishing policy directives to mainstream equality and non-discrimination considerations in all policy-making, including measures to ensure the equal enjoyment of rights and opportunities for people of African descent; and
Ensure that the end of the decade is marked in 2024, celebrating progress made in moving towards racial justice.”
Assembly member for Ealing and Hillingdon, Dr Sahota seconded the motion.
London Assembly member Caroline Russell, one of two Green Party representatives on the Assembly and a councillor for Highbury East within the Islington North constituency moved an amendment to the above motion which included the following text:
“The Assembly also notes that the UN International Decade for People of African Descent2015-2024 calls on those that have not yet expressed remorse or presented apologies to find some way to contribute to the restoration of the dignity of victims, and therefore asks the Mayor to support calls for the establishment of an All-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Truth and Reparatory Justice.”
The amendment was also seconded by Green Party London Assembly member Sian Berry, the only Green Party councillor on Camden Council, representing Highgate
See below for the recording of the debate about the motion:
The full text of Caroline Russell’s speech is as follows:
Thank you chair.
I am so glad that Assembly Member Arnold has brought this motion – it is something we discussed last summer so I am pleased to hear it today.
However, I am proposing an amendment, not to detract from this motion or water down its aims – but to make it more inclusive of the asks of campaigners – and those are the voices I am bringing to the Assembly today.
This motion recognises the UN’s International Decade for Peoples of African Descent and asks that the Mayor’s work reflects some of the actions listed in the Decade – it rightly highlights celebrating Black history, improving education, and anti-discrimination policies.
However, we on the Green Group believe there is a serious omission in this motion and that is the issue of reparatory justice.
The UN International Decade for People of African Descent also has under the programme of activities for the justice theme the text:
“Inviting the international community and its members to honour the memory of the victims of these tragedies with a view to closing those dark chapters in history and as a means of reconciliation and healing; further noting that some have taken the initiative of regretting or expressing remorse or presenting apologies, and calling on all those that have not yet contributed to restoring the dignity of the victims to find appropriate ways to do so and, to this end, appreciating those countries that have done so.”
In London we owe so much to Africans and People of African descent – and not just here in this city, but in all our connections and communities all over the world.
Let me remind everyone listening here today that it was only in 2015 that our Government stopped paying off the debt they took on to “compensate” businesses and people “forced” to stop trading in human lives.
And over the last 200 years the equivalent of £17 billion pounds in today’s money has been paid out.
This so-called “compensation” went the wrong way.
I spoke with the Stop the Maangamizi campaign just yesterday, a group co-led by the extraordinary legal expert Esther Stanford-Xosei and Kofi Mawuli Klu.
She told me that the first thing her campaign group is asking for is to be heard.
For us to hear about the impact of intergeneration harm, for us to hear about what communities are doing to prevent this harm, and for us to hear about how they are healing from this harm.
She asked me to tell you that real reparations mean not just addressing historical enslavement and the money made in human suffering,
But real reparations means recognizing the critical future role that communities and individuals who continue to suffer have to play.
It is vital that communities from the African diaspora are at the heart of the process of any investigation into reparations. Their voices, their stories, their solutions, should be the driving force.
But even working out how to do that starts with establishing a commission to study the impact and legacy of our country’s involvement in slavery and what reparatory justice means.
This is why the amendment I have brought to you today calls on the Mayor to support the establishment of an All-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Truth & Reparatory Justice.
I hope you will vote for this amendment.
Despite the amendment adding teeth to the motion, it fell because only the two Green Party members voted for it. There was value however in raising the arguments and challenging Assembly members to go further than they were clearly prepared to in responding to a global unifying clarion call of Afrikan Heritage Communities to implement their right to remedies and reparations. Nevertheless, this struggle continues unabated!
The GLA motion, which passed unanimously, did not reference or focus on the following key aspects of the IDPAD Programme of action under the justice theme pertaining to reparatory justice:
Ensuring that people of African descent have full access to effective protection and remedies through the competent national tribunals and other State institutions against any acts of racial discrimination, and the right to seek from such tribunals just and adequate reparation or satisfaction for any damage suffered as a result of such discrimination;
Acknowledging and profoundly regretting the untold suffering and evils inflicted on millions of men, women and children as a result of slavery, the slave trade, the transatlantic slave trade, colonialism, apartheid, genocide and past tragedies, noting that some States have taken the initiative to apologize and have paid reparation, where appropriate, for grave and massive violations committed, and calling on those that have not yet expressed remorse or presented apologies to find some way to contribute to the restoration of the dignity of victims;
Inviting the international community and its members to honour the memory of the victims of these tragedies with a view to closing those dark chapters in history and as a means of reconciliation and healing; further noting that some have taken the initiative of regretting or expressing remorse or presenting apologies, and calling on all those that have not yet contributed to restoring the dignity of the victims to find appropriate ways to do so and, to this end, appreciating those countries that have done so;
Calling upon all States concerned to take appropriate and effective measures to halt and reverse the lasting consequences of those practices, bearing in mind their moral obligations.
First of all, the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations Rebellion Groundings were not organised by Black Lives Matter. They were organised by the Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide Campaign in partnership with the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee who from 2015 have been co-organising the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March on the 1st August.
This year however, we decided to organise the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations Groundings as a form of peaceful non-violent direct action because we are not being heard in our demand contained in the Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide Petition that the UK Government establish the All-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Truth & Reparatory Justice and commit to holistic reparations. according to the Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law.
Our peacefully organised non-violent direct action which took the form of these Reparations Rebellion Groundings, was assisted through the Extinction Rebellion Internationalist Solidarity Network and all other sections of Extinction Rebellion for which we made a prior agreement as to how best they could play the roles assigned to them.
The procession of Forever Family and some of the other supporting organisations, which marched from Clapham to Brixton Windrush Square to join the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations Rebellion Groundings was a significant contribution to our overall very successful event.
This is an edited version of the statement provided to, Beth Ani, a journalist with the Morning Star Newspaper, in response to a request made on Sunday 2nd August 2020
I am a journalist at the Morning Star newspaper – i’m wondering if you could send a comment on yesterday’s march and also respond to Nigel Farage’s comments in which he described scenes at the protest as “terrifying” and accused BLM of “diving society.” Let me know if you’re able to comment, many thanks, Beth.
This is the Morning Star article were some of the above comments were included.
Terrifying scenes in Brixton today.
A paramilitary-style force marching in the streets.
This is what the BLM movement wanted from the start and it will divide our society like never before.https://t.co/7bfaSIelCM
As to Nigel Farage’s completely unjustified comments: “Terrifying scenes in Brixton today. A paramilitary-style force marching in the streets. This is what the BLM movement wanted from the start and it will divide our society like never before”, they should be taken for the racist nonsense and deceitful propaganda that they are. Farage’s comments were an abysmal attempt to frighten away allies from supporting these Reparations Rebellion Groundings of our Afrikan Heritage Communities; and connecting their own actions of rebellion to ours. Far from dividing society, this year’s Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations Rebellion Groundings became a cross-community unifying celebration of the internationalist solidarity, and its best traditions, that have always brought together peoples from diverse communities of resistance, within and outside of the UK, to strengthen their cooperation in fighting to eradicate the divisive weapon of racism.
We deliberately organised this year’s Afrikan Emancipation Day activities in ways to counter the use of racism, by the elitist establishment of Global Apartheid racism, to keep all communities of resistance apart from each other, and therefore make it difficult for us to collectively achieve the desired victory of total emancipation for all Humanity to reclaim the Planet and build a multipolar World of Global Justice for All. The deceptive fear mongering of the white supremacy racist ilk of Nigel Farage is not going to stop us progressing this work of rebuilding principled unity in continuation of similar efforts in the past.
Learning from our predecessors, (whose efforts in this same direction were given recognition in the British champions of internationalist solidarity section of our Sankofasafarinta Exhibition at Max Roach Park), as part of the Reparations Rebellion Groundings, we are better prepared now to defend this work of forging principled unity as a necessity for advancing all of us towards the Rendezvous of Victory that our own Pan-Afrikan freedom-fighters like Aimé Césairelong ago envisioned for us. This is what we mean by our slogan ‘Stop the Maangamizi: Build Maatubuntuman in Ubuntudunia!’
Esther Stanford-Xosei, Coordinator General, Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide Campaign
The 1 August Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations Rebellion Groundings were organised by the Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide Campaign in partnership with the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee. Both formations have, since 2015, been co-organising the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March on the 1st August. This year however, we decided to organise the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations Rebellion Groundings as a form of peaceful non-violent direct action.
The reason being that we are not being heard in our demand contained in the Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide Petition that the UK Government establish an All-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Truth & Reparatory Justice and commit to holistic reparations according to the UN Framework on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law. The theme for the Groundings was ‘Uniting to Stop the Maangamizi: For Our Very Survival – Planet Repairs Now’.
Although our plan could not be fully executed because of unfair UK Government and police impositions, our overall assessment is that of success in the fact that most of what we had planned was carried out.
We did occupy Brixton Road intermittently.
We did disrupt the normal ecocide business as usual that occurs in Brixton.
We did contribute to less air pollution by traffic.
We did challenge environmental racism and other manifestations of Maangamizi crimes of genocide and ecocide in Britain.
We did facilitate the co-organisation of a powerfully unifying commemorative and inspiring protest event, in tribute to our illustrious Revered Ancestors on whose shoulders we stand resolute in our sacred quest to effect and secure holistic Planet Repairs, for all our generations who have resisted the Maangamizi, including guarantees of non-repetition for future generations of ‘Beautyful Ones Not Yet Born’.
We did have a powerful array of Pan-Afrikanist and internationalist contributors to our event, who participated in the Movement of Movements Internationalist Solidarity Groundings with the Pan-Afrikan Liberation Movement, which took place at Max Roach Park, that reflected Pan-Afrikan dimensions of the struggle to effect and secure holistic Reparatory Justice.
We did compel public attention to be paid to our cause of asserting our legitimate intergenerational demand that the UK Government commit to holistic reparations, with the first serious step being that of establishing the UK All-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry For Truth & Reparatory Justice.
We received extensive support from diverse sections of our Afrikan Heritage Communities, including many supporting and contributing community based organisations, who came out in their thousands, (not hundreds as many of the media reports are mis-reporting). We take pride in the fact that despite fearmongering and threats from the police and the entire British State machinery, our people still came out defiantly in support of our call to unity for Reparatory Justice action.
We acknowledge the fact that, because of the government and state anti-terrorism policing impositions imposed within less than 24 hours of our Reparations Rebellion Groundings, a few shortcomings made what we had planned as co-organisers not to be fully realised. Such short-comings, some of which were due to interferences and obstructions from central government were taken advantage of, by the British state machinery, to falsify and create situations of make-believe conflict that resulted in 3 arrests and threatened to provoke our Black communities in attendance, into what could have degenerated into rioting.
We have good cause to say so because on the morning of the 1st of August, a member of the public who was driving in his car in the vicinity of where the Reparations Rebellion Groundings were meant to be taking place, observed police officers piling bricks into a police van. The member of the public described the bricks as being “proper house bricks” so Leo Muhammad, a longstanding member of the Nation of Islam, but who was not working in an official capacity, but rather participated in the Reparations Rebellion Groundings as a longstanding member of the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee, reported this incident to Superintendent Ian Howell (Lambeth Borough), Police Liaison Officer Sergeant Simon Hearn and Community Liaison Officer, Lance Edmondson, based at Brixton Police Station. Leo Muhammad was accompanied by the eye-witness and a security officer supporting our security and stewarding operations for the Reparations Rebellion Groundings, who was wearing a body camera and therefore such reporting of this incident was recorded.
As co-organisers, we in the Stop the Maangamizi Campaign and Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee up till now have not received a satisfactory answer to the request to know why police officers were seen piling bricks into a police van. The explanation provided was that the local authorities, Lambeth Council had been doing some “cleaning up”. Notwithstanding the aforementioned, as co-organisers, we would like to express our appreciation to Extinction Rebellion Police Liaison, Paul Stephens who brilliantly helped us in working reasonably well with the police in general but also particularly with Police Liaison Officer Sergeant Simon Hearn and Community Liaison Officer, Lance Edmondson who genuinely tried to help and facilitate us to ensure that the Reparations Rebellion Groundings ran peacefully according to our purpose.
Through the increasing level of awareness and collective discipline that we are cultivating in our Afrikan Heritage Communities and in the building of cross-community alliances and ‘movement of movements’ cooperative relationships, such provocations, were pre-empted and resisted from our peaceful standpoint of non-violent direct action. We are grateful to our own Afrikan Heritage Communities and all who came in solidarity for enabling us to defeat the shenanigans and machinations of the British state machinery and other white supremacy racist agent provocateurs so that our activities on the day were held successfully in accordance with our ancestral Afrikan visions, values and principles of Ma’at and Ubuntu to ensure a peaceful success in tune with our Reparatory Justice demands for Planet Repairs.
We are appreciative of our youth and student contingents from the Tribe Named Athari (TNA) and Rhodes Must Fall Oxford (RMFO) who contributed immensely to ensuring that the participation of the younger generation manifested the ethos of our Afrikan Emancipation Day commemorations as those of Reparations Rebellion Groundings in their real community educational meaning promoted by Dr Walter Rodney. We express our highest regards to various allies particularly those from Extinction Rebellion (XR) who demonstrated some of the best traditions of internationalist solidarity long displayed by progressive forces in Britain by acting in strict accordance with roles we had agreed that they would play, in contributing to the success of our activities on the day, through the facilitation of the Extinction Rebellion Internationalist Solidarity Network (XRISN).
We also express our gratitude to Councillors like Cllr. Scott Ainslie, and Cllr. Cleo Lake, who have been leading our engagement with the Green Party in getting ‘Atonement and Reparations’ motions passed by Lambeth Council on 15th July 2020 and Islington Council on the 9th July 2020. We particularly commend those in Lambeth Council whose version of the motion passed highlighted our need for the UK Government to establish the All-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Truth & Reparatory Justice (APPCITARJ). The APPCITARJ is what we, as co-organisers from the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations see as the essential starting point for British state action in facilitating the masses of our Afrikan Heritage Communities across the World to access just hearings; which is in itself a reparative measure in accordance with the UN Framework on a Right to a Remedy and Reparations.
We are encouraged by the growing support from our Afrikan Heritage and other Black Communities, as well as wider sections of society in Britain, including diverse communities of the Global South Diasporas. We are glad that many in these communities are increasingly recognising the need for all of us to build the kind of principled unity that will enable the prolonging resistance efforts of our communities in the Global South to merge into the Global Rebellion that will deliver victory to all of us in ways that will not only make us win our specific community Reparations goals but also ensure the achievement of all the necessary Planet Repairs. For it is such holistic repairs to Peoples and Planet that will guarantee a cessation of violations and non-repetition of what we refer to as the Maangamizi (Afrikan Hellacaust), so that we shall have a New World of enduring Global Justice for all.
The Way Forward
We shall continue to work in advancing the momentum reinvigorated by the 1st Mosiah (August ) Afrikan and support the likes of A Tribe Named Athari (TNA) and allies who are working to earn for themselves places of honour in the front-ranks of the International Social Movement Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR) and the Peoples Reparations International Movement (PRIM) respectively.
We encourage community members, supporters and allies to do any of the following 4 things:
Write to elected officials to request their support for the Stop the Maangamizi Campaign demand for the establishment of the All-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Truth & Reparatory Justice at the level of the UK Parliament.This is a link to an article we have on our website, with a template Stop The Maangamizi Postcard and template letter which can be amended from the perspective of allies supporting this demand.
In accordance with the Afrikan visionary ethical framework of MA’AT, we are supporting XR, through XRISN, to work towards the successful holding of its next phase of rebellion ‘We want to live – The Rebellion returns to Parliament on 1 September amidst warnings of a 4°C world‘; doing so in ways that will take shared learning from our 1st August Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations Rebellion Groundings into their own manifestations of non-violent direct action – ‘From Brixton Lockdown to Parliament Lockout’. We are planning to organise an interfaith human chain to surround the British Houses of Parliament with ceremonies to exorcise the criminal demons of genocide and ecocide out of such a Maangamizi crime scene to prepare this institution to host the APPCITARJ. Such spiritual cleansing ceremonies will be conducted by Indigenous spiritual practitioners of liberation theology from Afrika and other regions of the Global South assisted by interested people of all faiths in the Global North. By so doing, we shall be strengthening People-to-Peoples Internationalist Solidarity in order to move all progressive forces of Humanity harmoniously towards our common objective of ‘Planet Repairs!’ as expressed in our Reparatory Justice slogan of ‘Stop The Maangamizi – We have Ubuntudunia to Win’.
We are inviting all from our Afrikan Heritage Communities and allies to join us in responding to the internationalist solidarity gesture of the New Tribe and their supporters from the communities of resistance of the South Abya Yalan (so-called Americas) Diaspora, who participated in the edutainment activities of our Reparations Rebellion Groundings in Brixton to support their own forthcoming commemoration of 12th October, as the International Day of Indigenous Resistance. Together, in such actions of true internationalist solidarity, we all shall win.
For us in the Stop the Maangamizi Campaign and others in our ‘coalition of the willing’, preparation for 1st August 2021 Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations Rebellion Groundings start from today, 3rd August 2020. Such Groundings will take place in the same area we were meant to lock-down in Brixton from Windrush Square to Max Roach Park including Brixton Road.
Coordinator General, Stop The Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide Campaign (SMWeCGEC)
Esther is also the official spokesperson for the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee (AEDRMC) and Co-founder of Extinction Rebellion Internationalist Solidarity Network (XRISN)
See our response to Nigel Farage’s disparaging remarks here.
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.
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.
Greetings Signatories of the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Petition and other Supporters of the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide Campaign (SMWeCGEC)
After sending two letters to the UK Prime Minister Theresa May, requesting a response to the 2018 ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Petition and its accompanying letter (which was handed in to the Office of the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street on 1st August 2018), the letter below is a scanned copy of the response that we received.
The letter from Stephen Townsend in the Multilateral Policy Directorate of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, dated 19th January 2019, was received by post today. You can find a scanned copy below.
Clearly, more needs to be done on our part, as community members, campaign supporters and advocates as well as other interested parties to ‘up the ante’, so that we do not keep getting such unsatisfactory cut and paste responses. We are reminded by the late Frederick Douglass that: “the limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.”
Your constructive suggestions as to what can be done are welcome. Please contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call/message us on 07956431498.
Until next time!
‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide! Campaign International Steering Committee Spearhead Team (ISC-SMWeCGEC)
Please note, Esther Stanford-Xosei’s address has been redacted
I spoke as an activist in the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations, in general and a representative of the ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide!’ Campaign (SMWeCGEC) which takes a special interest in the connections between the Maangamizi (the Afrikan Hellacaust), the global Afrikan reparations claim arising from it, and a host of contemporary injustices that not only we as Afrikans, but also the rest of humanity faces and which endanger our very existence. That is the possibility of human and other species extinction.
Extinction is an expression of structural violence against Indigenous peoples and their relations, and colonial violence in particular; involving systemic forms of harm, exclusion and discrimination, each of which is ecologically devastating. So how does extinction apply to us as Afrikan Heritage Communities?; well, for over 500 years, the entre Maangamizi, in all its phases, rooted in the Transatlantic Traffic in Enslaved Afrikans (TTEA), enslavement and colonialism, has been and still is geared towards the extinction of Afrikan people. These forms of colonial and structural violence not only involved mass killing, but also the invasion, occupation, settlement and despoliation of our Motherland, Afrika; uprooting and disordering Afrikan communities, trafficking millions of Afrikans into Abya Yala (the so-called Americas) which had genocidal and ecocidal outcomes; destroyed millions of lives over generations and changed the socio-economic fabric of existing societies in Afrika, Abya Yala and the Caribbean. For those that remained, this led to enduring injustice with intergenerational and epigenetic effects. For instance, undermining our own Afrikan modes of governance and kinship systems and in the process systematically destroying relationships between life forms in addition to epistemicide/s or the erasure of knowledges. Such forms of violence weakened the co-constitutive relationships between Afrikan Heritage communities, other life forms and ecosystems that have enabled our collective survival in harmony with nature for millennia.
An aspect of genocide is “Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.” Various aspects of these harms are epitomised in the twelve manifestations of ecocide and genocide highlighted in the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Petition, a grassroots tool of the SMWeCGEC, working towards genocide and ecocide prevention by mobilising people as part of the People’s Reparations International Movement (PRIM) and the ISMAR to stop various manifestations of the Maangamizi. The third manifestation of the Maangamizi contained in the petition is: denial of Black and Afrikan ‘Mother Earth’ (Nana Asase Yaa), human and peoples’ rights to national self-determination as an oppressed People. In the petition, various other ‘power disparities’ and inhumane public policies and practices are identified which have genocidal outcomes and continue to cause devastation to Afrikan Heritage Communities within and beyond the UK. Such policies and practices have resulted in the decimation of generation after generation of people of Afrikan heritage due to ecocidally induced physical and cultural genocide, the destruction of ecological and social life-systems as well as natural flora and fauna. Not to mention the perpetration of a myriad of other environmental crimes such as wildlife crimes, illegal logging, illegal fishing, illegal waste disposal and pollution, illegal traffic of ozone-depleting substances and illegal mining.
Some of the genocidal outcomes for Afrikan Heritage Communities include:
• Physical, biological, economic, cultural genocide
• Social and civil death of Afrikan People.
• Ecocide of our environment.
However, the life-destroying pollution of our planet, anti-Black racism, its specific form of Afriphobia and the impoverishment of whom Frantz Fanon referred to as the ‘Wretched of the Earth’, all arguably have their causes in the current unjust world system. Many scholar-activists have helped us to understand that the current world system is rooted in and has been established through the Transatlantic enslavement of Afrikans. We as an Afrikan-led Reparatory Justice campaign are therefore working as an affinity group and campaign which is building solidarities with the Extinction Rebellion Movement on the basis of the commonality of interest we share in rebelling against ecocide and ensuring accountability for environmental crimes. In addition to the fact that our campaign itself is a form of ‘rebellion against extinction.’ – In that it is safeguarding Afrikan people’s role as custodians of humanity’s futures; which focuses on the racialised and other intersectional destruction/s of genocide and ecocide as deliberately inflicted forms of colonial, imperialist violence against Afrikans, indigenous peoples and Mother Earth, in furtherance of advancing holistic reparatory justice. This is something which PARCOE, the reparations coalition I am part, of refers to as Pan-Afrikan Reparations for Global Justice. In this regard, the SMWeCGEC has been heavily influenced by PARCOE’s approach or (‘overstanding’) of the problem of climate change from a Pan-Afrikan internationalist perspective; therefore seeing the climate emergency as the result of the criminal imposition – by the ruling classes of Europe – of a rapacious system expropriating the resources of the globe, not only at the expense of the majority of Humanity, but also to the detriment of our Mother Earth.
Our strapline in the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Campaign is ‘stopping the harm – the first step to repairing the damage’. By repairing the damage we are referring to reparations or as we prefer to say, Reparatory Justice. We see this as the beginning of the solution to reversing centuries of super-exploitation and extractivism and ending the ‘climate emergency’ and its corollary ‘human and peoples rights emergency’. Enforced access to much of the world’s natural capital – oil, gas, timber, minerals which lies on or beneath lands occupied by Afrikan, indigenous and Aboriginal peoples often entails land evictions, displacements, forced relocations, arrests, abuses and killings and other violations. For us as people of Afrikan heritage, reparations cannot simply be limited to financial compensation alone due to the nature of the damage and existential threat that we are facing. Comprehensive and adequate reparations require the removal of structures built on centuries of war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and crimes of aggression, in the forms of enslavement, colonialism and neo-colonialism or what we refer to as the Maangamizi.
Reparations must entail the cessation of current violations, such as environmental crimes in particular, and guarantees of non-repetition including true decolonisation and the restitution of sovereignty for Afrikan, Aboriginal and other indigenous peoples globally. For sovereignty, as conceptualised by Afrikan and indigenous peoples, is indispensable to halting the destruction of Nana Asase Yaa (Mother Earth) as our home; which has been caused by the structurally violent European initiated cultural, political, socio-economic system known as capitalism that is rooted in the genocide of indigenous and Afrikan peoples, chattel enslavement and the dispossession of ancestral lands, territories and natural resources.
Afrikans, Aboriginal and indigenous peoples have always known that the processes of genocide and ecocide are inseparable, for what has happened to our people and the lands on which we live are interconnected. In the Pan-Afrikan perspective of the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Campaign this warrants an ‘overstanding’ that in stopping the harms of ecocide and genocide, we not only have to emancipate and save ourselves, but this process of stopping the harm and repairing the damage must also result in the repair of humanity and the cosmos. Since we as Afrikan people, who in the words of Audre Lorde, “were never meant to survive,” see that we have unique insights into what it means to be in stewardship of this World, Planet and Cosmos.
Accordingly, one of the seven goals of Pan-Afrikan Reparations for Global Justice is to “Enforce environmental elements of global justice full respect for Mother Earth/ Nana Asase Yaa rights.” However, we know that we cannot accomplish even our own self-determined goals for Reparatory Justice fully without working with others who are seeking to achieve similar goals of revolutionary social change and transformation. As the Afrikan freedom fighter Samora Machel said: “International solidarity is not an act of charity: it is an act of unity between allies fighting on different terrains toward the same objectives. The foremost of these objectives is to assist in the development of humanity to the highest level possible.”
But how do we repair the loss of a future?
We have to destroy the peace of those who are too comfortable to change in order to rebuild!
By all means, we must escalate the rebellion by building alternative futures.
I close with some words of wisdom from the Calypsonian Baron’s ‘Mother Earth is Dying’.
Today the things we nurture could determine the future And pray what would the picture be See grandson and granddaughter fighting, chaos and disaster As Mother Earth protest violently Wake up, wake up people and be part of the struggle! The planet earth in serious trouble We got to end this melancholy refrain We cannot afford to lose Paradise again That’s why I’m pleading.
Mother Earth is crying, she say to stop the polluting… Mother Earth is Dying, we got to stop the polluting… Whole attitude got to change, and priorities rearrange We got to become more competent The way we protect the environment And fight, fight for all that it’s worth Fight to save Mother Earth… Mother Earth crying… In case you don’t know, the planet Earth dying slow What a sad way to go.
Esther Stanford-Xosei, Coordinator-General, ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide!’ Campaign (SMWeCGEC)