Now that we are seeing the ‘Atonement & Reparations for the Transatlantic Traffic of Enslaved Africans’ motions passing in different parts of the country, with the latest one being the historic motion passed by Bristol City Council on 2nd March 2021, the question on so many people’s minds is where do we go from here?
The motions build on recognition of the fundamental rights of People of Afrikan descent as advanced by the Durban Declaration and Programmes of Action arising from the 2001 World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance (WCAR), the Programme of Activities of the 2015-2024 United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent (IDPAD) and the 2019 Resolution on the Fundamental Rights of People of African Descent passed by the European Parliament.
It is necessary to recognise what the added significance of the Bristol motion, which includes resolutions committing Bristol City Council:
To call on councillors, the Mayor or other appropriate council agency to:
1. Write to the Speakers of both Houses of the UK Parliament, Chair of the Commons’ Women and Equalities Committee, and Chair of the Commons’ Home Affairs Committee to express Bristol City Council’s view that they should consider establishing, and seeking UK Government support for, an All-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry. The purpose of this unprecedented commission would be to work on the scope of how reparations may be delivered and may also include for example raising concerns about how tax payers were until 2015 paying back compensation paid to enslavers.
2. Support Afrikan Heritage Community (AHC) organisations in Bristol to galvanise support for the emerging Bristol AHC led ‘Reparations Plan’ from, and in collaboration with, wider stakeholders including institutions, city strategic leaders, corporate leaders, key strategic programmes/initiatives and cross-party politicians.
4. Recognise that reparative justice should be driven by Afrikan Heritage Communities experiences, voices and perspectives to ensure that advocacy messages not only reflect but also respond to the real needs of the community in order to recognise inequalities.
The significance of sections two and four are critical to the success of section one regarding the establishment of the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR) demand for the All-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Truth & Reparatory Justice (APPCITARJ), which as we in the Stop The Maangamizi Campaign have always advocated, must be led by our Afrikan Heritage Communities rather than others seeking to define for us what reparations mean and should look like.
As Professor Maulana Karenga has stated long ago,
The struggle for reparations for the Holocaust of Enslavement of African people is clearly one of the most important struggles being waged in the world today. For it is about fundamental issues of human freedom, human justice and the value we place on human life in the past as well as in the present and future. It is a struggle which, of necessity, contributes to our regaining and refreshing our historical memory as a people remembering and raising up the rightful claims of our ancestors to lives of dignity and decency and to our reaffirming and securing the rights and capacity of their descendants to live free,full and meaningful lives in our times. But this struggle, like all our struggles, begins with the need for a clear conception of what we want, how we define the issue and explain it to the world and what is to be done to achieve it.
The key point to note about the Pempamsie glocal reparations action-planning process in Bristol is that it asserts the primacy of Afrikan Heritage Communities driving the process glocally through the development of a Pempamsie Glocal Reparations Action Plan-Bristol (PGRAP-Bristol).
Pempamsie is the Adinkra symbol for sewing together in readiness -preparatory actions for reparatory justice. building our future out of our principled operational unity despite our diversity. Indeed, part of the repair process is about Afrikan heritage communities developing our own community capacity and power-base as well as our own Afrikan Heritage Community Self-Repairs Plans.
Afrikan Heritage Community Self-Repairs are the self-determined efforts that need to be made in building our own power, in such a way, that Afrikan heritage communities are able to identify and enhance ongoing work towards stopping the contemporary manifestations of the Maangamizi, which are putting the individuals, families and other social groups that make up our communities into a state of disrepair; as well as reasoning and consciously carrying out the alternative solutions for glocally rebuilding our power base as Afrikan Heritage Communities for National Self-Determination (AHC-NSDs), in such a way that that they are eventually transformed, in accordance with the principles and programmatic demands of Pan-Afrikan Reparations for Global Justice.
However, such Community Self-Repairs for Afrikan Heritage Communities cannot take place in isolation but must link with Afrikan People’s powerbase our Motherland Afrika irrespective of whether we live on the Continent or in the Diaspora. The process of Pempamsie planning should occur within the context of a glocal framework which is establishing repaired Afrikan Heritage Communities which we refer to as Afrikan Heritage Communities for National Self-Determination (AHCs-NSDs)/ Maatubuntujamaas in the UK and other parts of the Diaspora which organically builds links with such Communities of Resistance and Communities of Reparatory Justice Interest on the Continent of Afrika which are known as Sankofahomes. This simultaneous process of establishing Maatubuntujamaas in the Diaspora and Sankofahomes on the Continent of Afrika is what will help usher in a repaired Afrika known as MAATUBUNTUMAN that will take shape in a repaired multipolar world, i.e. UBUNTUDUNIA.
The planning process of such Pempamsie Glocal Reparations Action Plans (PGRAPs) with glocal community hearings should itself be so participatory democratic that it sets the example for and leads into the establishment of the APPCITARJ.
The first step in the Pempamsie Glocal Reparations Action planning process is establishing working groups of PEMPAMSIESAFO Pan-Afrikan Reparatory Justice Special Task Action Research Forces (PEMPAMSIESAFO-PARJSTARF); the purpose of which is to work on addressing Afrikan Heritage Communities Community-Self Repairs Solutions to the various aspects of the Maangamizi that they and their families and communities are experiencing.
PEMPAMSIEASAFO – Afrikan Heritage Communities Self-Repairs forces that are ‘sewing in freedom-fighting readiness’ for Pan-Afrikan Reparatory Justice victory. Asafos are community militia formations to which everyone belongs for community self-defence in some indigenous communities in West Afrika. There are similar formations within Afrikan Communities throughout the Continent and the Diaspora of Afrika.