This Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) sets out the common understanding between the Co-Claimants: Marina Tricks, Adetola Onamade and Jerry Amokwandoh, Plan B and the Stop The Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide Campaign (SMWeCGEC) (“the parties”) concerning their collaboration, Young People / Global Majority vs UK Gov (a youth-led Global Majority campaign against the UK Government).
In this collaboration, the role of the Stop The Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide Campaign (SMWeCGEC) is to apply indigenous Afrikan knowledge, culture, concepts, symbols, methods and traditions of justice, in harmony with critical legal praxis, to the law as resistance development of the Global Majority V UK Government case. Our modus operandi entails ensuring that the case supports and is supported by the centuries of rebellion against genocide and ecocide by Afrikan and other Global South Communities of Resistance in link with Communities of Resistance throughout the Global North; and also in defence of Human, Peoples and Mother Earth rights.The SMWeCGEC will also ensure that such extra-legal efforts harmoniously complements the convention legal aspects of the case, in terms of work in the courts.
Tag Archives: Communities of Reparatory Justice Interest
6 years into the IDPAD the GLA motion passed yesterday does not go far enough!
Yesterday, 4th February 2021, the Greater London Assembly (GLA) unanimously passed a motion pertaining to the United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent (IDPAD) moved by Assembly member for the North East London constituency of Hackney, Islington and Waltham Forest, Jennette Arnold OBE, a Labour Co-op Politician.
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:
See the full plenary session here: Plenary meeting – YouTube
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.
GHANA Stopping the Harm of Electoral Theivery Violence with the Reparatory Justice Promotion of Planet Repairs!
The video clips below, and other relevant information links, point to what is happening in one of the best known countries of West Afrika, in connection with the fraudulent 7th December 2020 General Elections to the Presidency and Parliament of the Republic of Ghana.
We highlight not only the fact that the current pretender to the still hotly disputed position of President-elect, Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo, has been caught on camera by an investigative journalist, showing he is a corrupt, deceitful and hypocritical taker of bribes, an organiser of violent political gangsterism, but also someone with question marks about complicity in numerous unresolved murders. This concerns mostly gruesome killings that have occurred and still are happening in Ghana over a considerable period of time, particularly as from 2016, within the duration of his first term in the questionably won position of the President of Ghana.
Moreover, contrary to his initial pronouncements against the illegal mining activities popularly known as ‘Galamsey’, Akuffo-Addo has become one of most notorious profiteering facilitators of the mostly foreign extractivist plunder of Ghana’s resources, and the heinous destruction of her environment, including the desecration of sacred bush groves, forest reserves, mountains, water bodies, indigenous community settlements, endangered unique flora and fauna, and other devastating cases of Genocide and Ecocide known to Afrikan Heritage Communities as the Maangamizi.
That is why it is of the greatest importance for Internationalist Solidarity to be urgently mobilised now, from all over the World, to assist the people of Ghana to create an enabling atmosphere for genuine Participatory Democracy to develop, in the wake of properly establishing the Truth around the hotly disputed 7th December 2020 General Elections. Such Truthquest must ascertain, without any obfuscation and obstruction whatsoever, those who actually won and lost both the presidential and parliamentary ballots, and ensure the true victors are allowed to freely occupy their respective positions of government and other state responsibilities they have been popularly mandated, by the expressed sovereign will of the people, to ascend, in due service, as Ghanaians say it, to their Odomankoma MawuLisa Nyungmo God of Creation, to their revered Ancestors and to their own Ghanamanfo citizenry of Afrika and Miano Asase Yaa, their beloved Mother Earth!
With regard to the above noteworthy points, we of the Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/ Ecocide Campaign (SMWeCGEC), propose the following to those Peoples’ of Conscience Representatives in the United Kingdom Houses of Parliament interested in our Operation 2020 Ghana Elections Truthquest (O2020GET):-
(1) Ask the UK Government what it knows, from its own gathered intelligence, and is therefore doing, about the incumbent Government-perpetrated Electoral Violence, which discredits the official Electoral Commission (EC) declared results of, and reports on, the 7th December 2020 General Elections in Ghana.
(2) Call for the setting up of an All-Party Parliamentary Human Rights Monitoring Caucus on Anti-People Violence in Ghana today.
(3) Invite all members of both Houses of the British Parliament to participate in an International Community Right To Truth Assembly (ICORTTA), by way of a Zoom meeting, to be facilitated by the Peoples’ Reparations Internationalist Solidarity Committee for Cognitive Justice in Afrika (PRISCCOJA); that will be addressed by a duly mandated representative each, of the two main contending political parties in Ghana today, that are still heatedly disputing the results of the 7th December 2020 General Elections; that is, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), led by John Dramani Mahama (aka JDM); and the New Patriotic Party (NPP), led by Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo (aka NADAA).
(4) Sponsor, actively support and send a Friends of Ghana International Investigative Team (FOGIIT) to enquire into the various shootings, maiming and claiming human lives, including those of elected Members of Parliament, journalists and ordinary people, young and old, by police and army personnel, as well as other armed state and non-state actors, that have ocurred and still are happening in Ghana today before, during and in the aftermath of the 7th December 2020 General Elections.
(5) Support the Afrikan Heritage Communities-led initiative to hold an inaugural convention to launch their Internationalist Solidarity Forum of People’s Power Accountability on Afrika (ISFOPPAA) in London, United Kingdom, as part of the annual Afrikan Liberation Awareness Month (ALAM) activities in May 2021.
These are some further links:
EC’s computational errors have tainted the credibility of 2020 polls – Research Group (ghanaweb.com)
The NDC Is Right We Have Lost The Elections; Let’s Do Something Now—Peter Mac Manu – GhanaPoliticsOnline
BREAKING NEWS: MP elect, Kwame Dzidzorli Gakpey, attacked, beaten and rushed to the hospital – BLOGPAY (payperlez.com)
Gunmen attack MP elect for Keta at his residence (ghananewspress.com)
Don’t trust the Electoral Commission – IMANI Africa tells Ghanaians (ghanaweb.com)
Ghana election 2020: Women for Accra protest re-election of President Nana Akufo-Addo – BBC News Pidgin
Tell your hoodlums to stop attacking our elected MPs, supporters – NDC to Akufo-Addo (ghanaweb.com)
SMWeCGEC Supports XRAAAN’s OWAHALANUSE Eco-Justice Challenge to the Pan-African Parliament
Backgrounder: About The All-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Truth & Reparatory Justice (APPCITARJ)
This article was updated on 07/08/17, 27/06/18 and 17/10/20 from when it was originally published in 2015
“The damage sustained by the Afrikan peoples is not a thing of the past, but is painfully manifested in the damaged lives of contemporary Afrikans from Harlem to Harare’ in the damaged economies of the Black World from Guinea to Guyana from Somalia to Suriname.”
Abuja Proclamation of the First Conference on Reparations for Enslavement, Colonisation & Neocolonisation, 1993
No exact template or model exists for the All-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Truth & Reparatory Justice (APPCITARJ) in that it will have to be shaped in a way that meets the needs and aspirations of Afrikan Heritage Communities that have been enslaved, colonised or otherwise oppressed by the British Empire and/or the current British State. However, our vision is that the APPCITARJ will consist of British and European Parliamentary Commissions established with representation from the political parties in these parliaments and thy will hear our submissions as Afrikan Heritage Communities who have been impacted by the Maangamizi (Afrikan Hellacaust of chattel, colonial and neocolonial enslavement). This is an example of the revolutionary use of reform in that we are tactically seeking to use establishment institutions and some of their processes to achieve some of our revolutionary objectives for reparatory justice social change and transformation.
For us in the ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide!’ Campaign (SMWeCGEC), this is not about taking our individual and collective cases to parliamentarians for those parliamentarians, on their own, to decide on the merits of our individual/family/people’s case and to make final judgements about what the outcomes should be. In our view, this adjudication function can best be achieved by the establishment of the Ubuntukgotla – Peoples International Tribunal for Global Justice (PITGJ) in which representatives of our people and other peoples who have experienced European colonialism, enslavement and genocide become the judges using law from our various people’s legal traditions. Rather, the establishment of the APPCITARJs, at the levels of the Westminster Houses of Parliament and the European Parliament, are a tactic to facilitate widespread evidence gathering which reveal facts about the magnitude of the Maangamizi and for the public dissemination of that evidence as part of the battle to win hearts of minds and influence public opinion to support our people’s cause.
It is therefore important for the proposed APPCITARJ to seek an appropriately weighted balance between an individualized approach that places victims and perpetrators at the centre of the process and recognising as well as redressing the impact of the Maangamizi on whole collectivities. However, this requires a focus on tackling the systemic aspects of the Maangamizi and examining the role of institutions, structures of legitimisation and governance in its continuance. In this regard, we are keen to ensure that the systemic aspects of the Maangamizi are no longer hidden from scrutiny or public accountability.
“We call upon the British state to honour the need and right of the descendants of the enslaved to speak in a public forum, provide testimony and evidence of how the legacies of enslavement are resulting in continued human and peoples’ rights violations, impaired quality of life and the ensuing destruction of the essential foundations of life for Afrikan people today.”
Dissemination of such evidence in the arena of the British public will compel the majority of the British public to agree with us that there is an overwhelming case for their criminal ruling classes to answer. In effect, we want our people to have a ‘hearing’ and to speak to the public, (court of public opinion) through the British Parliament. This entails exposing the evidence to the glare of the public and utilising various forms of media who will be reporting on the proceedings to influence public support for our cause of Afrikan Reparatory Justice. According to the 2005 United Nations 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, an essential aspect of reparations include, among other measures: investigation of the facts, official acknowledgement and apology, receipt of answers; an opportunity for victims to speak in a public forum about their experiences and to have active involvement in the reparative process. We are therefore seeking to ensure that our people’s testimonies will bring to light all the gory details that the British public has not been allowed to hear; has been denied true education about; and that we too have not been allowed to narrate on platforms with official legitimisation.
This parliamentary and extra-parliamentary process will create the opportunity for a diverse collectivity of Afrikan voices, from all over the world, to speak to the Maangamizi crimes of the British Empire, the British State and its ruling classes, by providing public testimony about our family and people’s case, as we see it. Once these testimonies of ordinary people, as well as the various research and other forms of documentation of the Maangamizi that exists, are being heard over and over again, clarity will dawn on the British public.
Ultimately, we are seeking to ensure that our combined evidence, voiced, recorded and reported from the UK and European Parliaments, paints the horrific truth of the culprits crimes. This is an opportunity we have never been given. Once the British public have heard the whole truth, it will be easier for us to win them over to our side; to publicise who the main culprits are ; and elucidate the harm that their deception over the years has done not only to Afrikan Heritage Communities, but also to the British people as a whole. This spark-rippling process will in itself compel the majority of those conscientious members of the British people to join us all in movement-building to stop the harm and repair the damage being done to themselves, and to others, in their name. So what will be a just retribution in terms of holding such perpetrators to account? One form of retribution is to strip the criminals of their ill-gotten wealth and status (“Expropriate the Expropriators!) and reclaim our wealth for Reparatory Justice Redistribution.
A large part of our people’s case for compensation is that this is unjustly obtained intergenerational wealth includes the wealth that which we as Afrikan Heritage Communities, are historically owed and have been denied, in addition to what is being stolen from and owed to our contemporary generations. We therefore advocate that we must have out of that redistributed wealth, all that we need to repair our own selves i.e. Afrikan Community Self-Repairs*. Although, we concede that the majority of British people deserve some of that wealth from their ruling classes in terms of wealth that has also been stolen from them over the years. Practically, this is how we see that external compensation in the form of the just redistribution of our people’s wealth will be secured.
*Afrikan 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 communities, 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.
“The inheritance of rich people’s wealth by their children should stop. The expropriators should have their wealth expropriated and redistributed“
So for us, the strategic purpose of the APPCITARJ is to divorce the masses of the British public from aligning with their ruling classes in order that they can once again be on the right side of history (as were many of their abolitionists); in collaborating with us to strip their ruling classes of their ill-gotten wealth and other gains and collaborate with us to secure its redistribution.
One of the greatest challenges for transformative reparatory justice change processes and mechanisms is addressing not only the histories of acts of Maangamizi dispossession and violence, but also those of structural violence, where power relations are manifest through the systematic and collective violation/s of economic, social and cultural rights. In many contexts, racialised and otherwise marginalised populations, particularly those of Afrikan heritage, are often systematically excluded from community development initiatives as well as often being denied full participation and substantive Afrikan Heritage Community representation in social, economic and political life. So the way other commissions of inquiry or truth commissions have interacted with ‘victims’ of these harm causing violations; such as receiving testimony, writing histories of victimization in such a way that assists such groups to recover their agency, and recommending reparative approaches – can be replicated with Afrikan Heritage Communities as a collective victim.
The 2014 Instance de la Vérité et Dignité (IVD, Commission for Truth and Dignity) in Tunisia pointed the way, by seeking to address the broad range of demands that the Tunisian Revolution made, including not just for truth, but also threats to dignity including issues such as the lack of graduate jobs and the often extreme geographical inequalities that came to the fore in Tunisia under the Ben Ali regime. To address the issue of the collective and structural violence of social exclusion; and for the first time in the history of truth commissions; the IVD defined and implemented the concept of a collective victim as including: “any person who suffered harm following a violation…, be they individuals, or groups of individuals” (Organic law on Transitional Justice).
To maximize the impact of collective reparations for Afrikan Heritage Communities requires that such reparations not only address harms, but also the structures and institutions underpinning such harms, and ensure that the such reparations transform the circumstances of unjustly impoverished and marginalised victims. Such transformation occurring in such a way as to address contemporary injustice in its multiple dimensions, (i.e. historical, ethnic, social, political, cultural, religious, sexual, epistemic and ecological). Such injustice being underpinned by ‘cognitive injustice’ which is the failure to recognise the plurality of different knowledges by which Afrikan Heritage Communities give meaning to their existence. It is only by pursuing global cognitive justice that holistic and transformative reparatory justice can become a reality. Hence why in our approach to developing the APPCITARJ, we are cognizant of the need to also adopt approaches, processes, mechanisms and initiatives that incorporate the legal cosmovisions (Indigenous worldviews), ideas and claims of Afrikan people. This in itself, requires a more complete set of tools for building alternatives to the present system of legalized injustice.
“Always remember that the people do not fight for ideas, for the things that exist only in the heads of individuals. The people fight and accept the necessary sacrifices. But they do it in order to gain material advantages, to live in peace and to improve their lives, to experience progress, and to be able to guarantee a future for their children. National liberation, the struggle against colonialism, working for peace and progress, independence – all of these will be empty words without significance for the people unless they are translated into real improvements in the conditions of life.”
Amilcar Cabral, Guinea-Bissau: A Study of Political Mobilisation, 1974, p.91
Among the challenges facing reparations for Maangamizi resistors and survivors, is to differentiate between reparations and the requirement that a state deliver basic public services. Reparatory justice measures will not be secured from others outside of a comprehensive and holistic Afrikan Heritage Community Pempamsie (sewing together) Community Self-Repairs Plan and related policies, which must accompany and shape it. This is why we in the SMWeCGEC, in partnership with the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee (AEDRMC), its allied organisations and other formations within and beyond the UK such as the MAATUBUNTUMITAWU-Global Afrikan Family Reunion International Council in West Afrika, are mobilizing and supporting others to self-organise year-round building on the 2017-2018 Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March theme of ‘Promoting the reparatory justice change that we are organising to bring about’ as a key aspect of advancing the 2020 declared Reparations Rebellion which continues into 2021 organising around the theme: Defeating Neocolonialism with Afrikan Autonomy: All Roads Must Lead to Our Sacred Cause of Reparations.
Pempamsie Adinkra symbol
The beginnings of such a Pempamsie Plan were documented in the 2003 Black Quest for Justice Campaign (BQJC) legal & extra-legal Strategy for Pan-Afrikan Reparations for Global Justice; and were included in its legal action supported by the Pan-Afrikan Reparations Coalition in Europe (PARCOE), the Black United Front (BUF), the then newly formed Global Afrikan Congress (GAC) and the International Front for Afrikan Reparations (IFAR).
Characteristics of Commissions of Inquiry with Truth Commission Functions:
In her thesis, ‘Truth Commissions and Public Enquiries: Investigating Historical Injustices in established Democracies’ Kim Stanton asserts that the truth commission is really a specialised form of public inquiry that has developed over the last three decades as a response to historical injustices.
“In recent decades, the truth commission has become a mechanism used by states to
address historical injustices. However, truth commissions are rarely used in established
democracies, where the commission of inquiry model is favoured. I argue that established
democracies may be more amenable to addressing historical injustices that continue to
divide their populations if they see the truth commission mechanism not as a unique
mechanism particular to the transitional justice setting, but as a specialised form of a
familiar mechanism, the commission of inquiry. In this framework, truth commissions are
distinguished from other commissions of inquiry by their symbolic acknowledgement of
historical injustices, and their explicit “social function” to educate the public about those
injustices in order to prevent their recurrence.”
Abstract, Kim Pamela Stanton (2010), pii
To get a sense of what we are envisioning for the APPCITARJ, it is best to understand what a truth commission is.
• Truth commissions are generally understood to be “bodies set up to investigate a past history of violations of human rights in a particular country -which can include violations by the military or other government forces or armed opposition forces.” Priscilla B. Hayner, in ‘Unspeakable Truths’ delineates four main characteristics of truth commissions:
1. First, they focus on the past and its impact. The events may have occurred in the recent past, but a truth commission is not an ongoing body akin to a human rights commission.
2. Second, truth commissions investigate a pattern of abuse over a set period of time rather than a specific event. In its mandate, the truth commission is given the parameters of its investigation both in terms of the time period covered as well as the type of human rights violations to be explored.
3. Third, a truth commission is a temporary body, usually operating over a period of six months to two years and completing its work by submitting a report. These parameters are established at the time of the commission’s formation, but often an extension can be obtained to wrap things up.
4. Fourth, truth commissions are officially sanctioned, authorised, or empowered by the state. This, in principle, allows the commission to have greater access to information, greater security, and increased assurance that its findings will be taken under serious consideration. Official sanction from the government is crucial because it represents an acknowledgment of past wrongs and a commitment to address the issues. Furthermore, governments may be more likely to enact recommended reforms if they have established the commission.
Goals of Truth Commissions Include:
• Making recommendations for redress suffered by victims and survivors
• Recording and educating about the past
• Identifying perpetrators
• Formulating policy proposals and recommendations on rehabilitation and the healing of Maangamizi resistors, survivors, their families and the community at large
• Providing the victims/survivors with different forms of support to ensure that the commission of inquiry/truth commission process restores the victims’ dignity
• Preventing repetition of aspects of the Maangamizi
• Forming the basis for a new pluriversal democratic order
• Promoting reconciliation
• Creating a collective memory.
You can see a list of some previous truth commissions here.
Characteristics of Commissions of Inquiry with Truth Commission Functions:
- They are non-judicial mechanisms but can complement judicial mechanisms;
- They are commissions of inquiry whose primary function is investigation of human and people and Mother Earth rights violations and violations of humanitarian law, unlike courts or tribunals which deal with adjudication;
- They focus on severe acts of violence or repression;
- They are victim-centred bodies focused on victims ideas, views, needs, experiences and preferences as primary focus as opposed to elite witnesses or perpetrators;
- They formulate recommendations to guarantee the non-repetition of past crimes and reform state institutions involved in the commission of human, peoples and Mother Earth rights violations.
Truth Commission Activities
- Investigations/ documentation of violations/ research
- Statement taking
- Interview/ public hearings
- Victim Support
- Events and programmes to promote intra and inter community cohesion, reconciliation and conciliation
- Public awareness.
Advantages of the APPCITARJ:
- It will delegitimize Maangamizi denial;
- It will rebut misrepresentations of the old order through investigations, public hearings and detailed reports;
- It will spur significant national debates on repairs and redress;
- It will help governments to take corrective/reparatory actions and develop reparatory policies;
- It will provide a measure of accountability for the legacies of past and present atrocities and violations/abuses of human, peoples and Mother Earth rights through its findings.
There are many factors that will determine the composition and mandate of the APPCITARJ including how much we are able to bring pressure to bear on relevant decision-makers and institutions. There has already been some thinking, analysis, research and consultation on what the purpose of the APPCITARJ should be, although this is an evolving process.
Elements of a Participatory Reparations Process
- Building direct channels of communication with affected communities, in order to raise awareness of the justice process and promote understanding of the measure. Outreach is therefore central to the mandate of the APPCITARJ, as it is a crucial means for the justice programme to engage with and impact the public.
- Outreach activities should work not only to disseminate information to the public, but also to create forums for two-way communication through dialogues, consultation, and participatory events at all stages of the APPCITARJ process.
- There should be a dedicated budget for outreach, outreach materials should be culturally appropriate.
- Thus far, truth commissions have rarely moved into the more empowerment types of participation (such as decision-making concerning how interviews take place or concrete reparation recommendations), usually remaining more non-dispositive.
- To address this, the APPCITARJ must facilitate meaningful inclusion and participation in the early phases, to give a voice to victim needs and concerns and provide some sort of decision-making, such as determining the best methods for reaching communities, taking statements or understanding the statements in a given situation.
- The APPCITARJ mandate will set out its goals and objectives, designates the violations and time period under investigation, and specifies a timeframe for completion of work. The mandate will also specify the acts that the APPCITARJ will investigate.
- Negotiating an appropriate mandate is key for the APPCITARJ to be able to explore social and environmental justice issues and the broader contours of the legacies of enslavement (The Maangamizi).
The APPCITARJ will Seek to:
- Redress global inequalities caused by the Transoceanic Trafficking of Enslaved Afrikans (TTEA). These include, but are not limited to, social, economic and ecological harms;
- Acknowledge the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality, and inhumanity of the imposition of the Maangamizi, i.e. Afrikan chattel, colonial and neocolonial enslavement within and beyond the British Empire;
- Examine the health, social, environmental and climate impacts of neocolonialism as it impacts on Afrikan Heritage Communities;
- Examine Afriphobia and subsequent de jure and de facto racial and socio-economic discrimination against Afrikans and people of Afrikan descent, including their gendered impacts and consequences;
- Examine how Afrikan enslavement, colonialism and neocolonialism have directly benefited societal institutions, both public and private, including higher education and other public sector organisations, corporations, as well as religious organisations;
- Make recommendations to Parliament and similar bodies at local, national and international levels, including the European Parliament, and;
- Determine appropriate methods of dissemination of findings to the public within and beyond Britain for consultation about proposals for supporting initiatives of Afrikan Heritage Community Self-Repairs, Planet Repairs and designing other forms of redress and repairs.
On the Importance of Speaking our Grassroots Power of Truth to Establishment Power
“The victim who is able to articulate the situation of the victim has ceased to be a victim… he or she has become a threat.”
James Baldwin, ‘The Devil Finds Work’, 1976
In providing testimony, the so-called victim/survivor becomes an agent, and his/her narrative is especially threatening because it dares to expose violations and violence when others declare that such oppressions do not exist.
The APPCITARJ will not substitute a judicial process and is not designed to let perpetrators off the hook. Hence the need for the APPCITARJ to evolve in conjunction with the PITGJ. The organising processes towards establishment of the APPCITARJ, including the mobilisational role of the SMWeCGEC, will also galvanise grassroots work towards establishing glocal sittings of the PITGJ, as part of a series of actions which will put a full stop, by way of holistic and transformative reparations, to all acts of Genocide/Ecocide against Afrikan people.
Begin Preparing Yourself for the APPCITARJ & PITGJ
You can prepare yourself for the APPCITARJ by beginning to do family and community research on how we and our immediate families each have suffered, continue to suffer and have also challenged the various crimes of the Maangamizi. In this regard, see the aims of the SMWeCGEC.
Afrikans in the UK and Europe organising towards establishing commissions of inquiry for truth and reparatory justice and local, national and international people’s tribunals to hold the governments of Britain, and other European countries to account. If you are able to gather such evidence you can assist us to arrive at a comprehensive assessment and a full picture of what our journeys and experiences of the Maangamizi have been across the Diaspora, as well as on the continent of Afrika.
Each person and representative of families and their communities have to become our own advocates and experts on your own situation and then we can bring all these experiences together as part of us becoming ‘reparations enforcers’ who are building the power and capacity to hold to account all those who are continuing to profit from the ill-gotten gains of the Maangamizi and are also complicit in its perpetuation today.
See the video below from the documentary ‘Freedom Summer’ for some APPCITARJ lessons from our Shero Fannie Lou Hamer.
Hamer’s testimony had such a huge impact upon the government and public in and outside the USA, and was so powerful, that President Lyndon B. Johnson called an impromptu press conference to get her off the air. This is a recording of the full testimony and also a transcript of that testimony. Her testimony provides an example of what we envisage could be the impact similar ISMAR-coordinated grassroots testimonies by our Afrikan Survivors, Resistors and Challengers of the Maangamizi, from all over the World to the APPCITARJs in the UK Parliament of Westminster and the European Parliament. We surmise that the ‘holding to account’ referred to above can best be done in a collective way by supporting the establishment of the Ubuntukgotla, court of peoples humanity interconnectedness, otherwise known as the Peoples International Tribunal for Global Justice (U-PITGJ), which we encourage you to support the development of. This can be done through hosting sittings of the tribunal, locally, nationally and internationally.
As part of the rationale for this approach, it is important to have a better sense of the historical antecedents of the SMWeCGEC in the UK, see these historic recordings from 2003 of Esther Stanford-Xosei, former legal advisor to the BQJC speaking about the BQJC legal & extra-legal strategy for reparations; the need for a UK commission of inquiry to address the legacies of the Maangamizi; and the commencement of the UK version of the ‘We Charge Genocide Petition and campaign’ under the auspices of then then Black United Front-Parliament (BUF-P). The second set of videos where Stanford-Xosei is interviewed, precedes in order and time the first video where she speaks to camera.
Set up a Family or Community Group Maatzoedzaduara
You can set up a MAATZOEDZADUARA (i.e. Maat action-learning circles or ‘Maat Training Practice Rings’) which is a reparatory justice circle of Maat practitioners who learn to be the self-repairs change at the levels of their person, home, family, neighbourhood, workplace, school, places of leisure and worship, etc. These Maat Training Practice Rings encompass a number of families and lineages, across geographical boundaries and generations. For example, a home or family based Maat Training Practice Ring will entail getting a selected number of people in your family interested in unravelling family histories and using this knowledge to recognise and gather evidence of the harm that has been done to you as a family.
The Practice Rings will also explore how such harms have been passed down throughout the generations, resulting in increasing levels of disrepair. We are looking for case studies of some of these family stories documenting family member’s lived experiences of the Maangamizi and resistance to it. This unravelling of these stories is part of the process of repairing the harm and continuing damage being done and passed down intergenerationally within our own families.
You can also creatively utilise SMWeCGEC Petition Soulsquestathons (SMWeCGEC-PS), which are literally a collection of souls, for spark-rippling MAATZOEZADUARAs. The aim is to link chains of MAATZOEZADUARAs together encompassing a number of families, across geographical boundaries and generations, all over the place, as Grassroots Afrikan Reparatory Justice Action Learning Praxis Exercising Rings (GARJALPERs) of the PITGJ. This means that they will share their stories and practice not only testifying with these stories but also putting their cases through trial rehearsals. The key point about the Soulsquestathons is that the various participants connect to, compare and contrast their self-repairs reparatory justice work as families within these MAATZOEZADUARAs. Basically, these are intergenerational connections, not only of family members of the present, but also the past. It therefore becomes necessary for us to keep records about and bring the lives and work of our revered Ancestors into our everyday lives of the present.
If you would like to know more about how to get involved with the APPCITARJ/U-PITGJ or you would like support with setting up a Maatzoedzaduara please contact PARCOE on email@example.com or 07751143043.
Share Your Story!
One of the roles of the APPCITARJ will be to gather statements from Maangamizi resistors, survivors and anyone else who feels they have been impacted by the Maangamizi and its legacies.
It is our intention to coordinate the collection of individual statements by written, electronic or other appropriate means such as audio-visual recordings with regard to providing a safe, supportive and sensitive environment for individual/collective/group statement taking/truth sharing.
If you would like to begin with compiling your story as a case study or indeed to make a statement about the impact of the Maangamizi, you are invited to contact us to discuss how best this can be done.
A good starting point is to participate in I AM WITNESS
In partnership with the Afrikan Emancipation Day Afrikan Reparations March Committee and other reparatory justice organising processes, we in the SMWeCGEC will continue to consult and canvass our communities, networks and constituencies of the ISMAR on the following four themes:
1. How best people can be involved and participate in the APPCITARJ?
2. Aims, hopes and fears for the APPCITARJ?
3. Mandate, terms of reference, powers and structure of the APPCITARJ?
4. What are the other ways to deal with the legacies of the Maangamizi and enforce accountability?
The SMWeCGEC will continue to develop alliance-building work; such as has occurred with the Green Party who at their 2020 autumn conference which concluded on the 11th October 2020, passed a motion on ‘Atonement and Reparative Justice for the Transatlantic Traffic in Enslaved Africans‘. The SMWeCGEC worked with members of the Green Party in developing this motion.
What you can do
1.Sign the Stop the Maangamizi Petition https://www.change.org/p/stop-the-maangamizi-we-charge-genocide-ecocide;
2.Lobby your elected officials with the Stop The Maangamizi Postcard;
3.Subscribe to action-learning sessions with the Maangamizi Educational Trust (M.E.T.);
4.Participate in the quarterly Ubuntudunia Reparations Rebellion Action Reasonings (URRARs);
5.Contact the M.E.T. to learn about and participate in the APPCITARJ Matemasie Action Learning Test Hearings (APPCITARJ-MALTHs).
It is important that you let us know how you get on with your local MP or other publicly elected officials so that we can keep a record of progress or where there is a need for more focused lobbying. Here are the contact details for the SMWeCGEC. Please also see this guidance on Guidance on Proposals for Parliamentary Actions.
Volunteer Researchers are Required to Contribute to a People’s History-Making Process of Securing Reparatory Justice!
If you are a law or politics student or have other relevant skills and experience and you are interested in using your knowledge and skills to support Afrikan people’s struggle for holistic redress and secure Afrikan Reparatory Justice, you can become a volunteer researcher. We are looking for volunteer researchers who would like to join the SMWeCGEC research team in preparations for establishing the APPCITARJ and the PITGJ. If you would like to get involved, please contact: Afrikan Reparations Transnational Community of Practice (ARTCoP) on firstname.lastname@example.org or the M.E.T.
Support from Movement Lawyers is Welcome!
If you are a social justice advocate, legal practitioner or cause lawyer and would like to offer pro-bono advice or support to this community-led initiative; are willing to build equitable relationships with people and organisations challenging historical and contemporary injustice; and are prepared to respect the approach of social justice/community lawyering,*please also get in touch as above.
*Community lawyering has many variants: collaborative lawyering, community, lay lawyering, cause lawyering, social justice lawyering, political lawyering, critical lawyering, rebellious lawyering, movement-lawyering etc. The common thread among them is that the clients, not the lawyers, play a central role in resolving the issues that have an impact on their opportunities to succeed. It is: lawyering that is community-located, community-collaborative, community-directed and based on the collaboration of lawyers, clients and communities in which they live; and transforming law and lawyering to address the inequalities experienced by subordinated and underserved groups. The legal system in the UK and other Westernised countries is very individualistic. It tends to atomise and depoliticise disputes, which work against a community organising model. Furthermore, the facilitation of individual rights has not benefited the long-term needs of communities, especially impoverished communities, especially where such impoverishment is as a result of intergenerational injustice. The Sargent Shriver National Centre on Poverty Law (USA) defines “community lawyering” as a “process through which advocates contribute their legal knowledge and skills to support initiatives that are identified by the community and enhance the community’s power.”
Similar to the different schools of thought in community organising, community lawyering has many different strains. However, what sets lawyers who adopt community lawyering apart from each other boils down to their answers to the following three questions: Who do you work with? What do you do for them? And how do you work together? Similar to community organising, the answers to these questions vary depending on the political orientation of the lawyer and the theory of social change they ascribe to. By combining legal recourse and community organising, it is possible to utilise “community lawyering” as a social change strategy.” This approach engages lawyers who are prepared to de-emphasise litigation as the primary tool for advancing social justice. Instead, community lawyering encourages such lawyers, in collaboration with communities, their groups, activists and organisers, to critically and creatively examine non-traditional forms of advocacy such as facilitative leadership, institution-building, community organising, collective action and other grassroots actions including strategic litigation, media events, community education workshops and public demonstrations. This is done as a way of addressing the legal and non-legal problems of their clients. Community lawyering can also be described as a more participatory process that fosters collaboration between lawyers and their community (group) clients, rather than fostering—if not perpetuating—the dependency that most clients have on their lawyers to solve their legal problems in a conventional lawyer-client relationship.
The role of a “community lawyer” entails working in partnership with one’s community clients and utilises multiple forms of advocacy, to address their individual as well as systemic problems. Community lawyering practitioners recognise that their clients are partners—not just in name—but in leadership, control and decision-making. Through collaboration, lawyers can support Afrikan Heritage Community groups in building their own resources and community capacities to advance their own interests in effecting and securing reparatory justice in a self-determined and self-directed manner.
Another critical component of community lawyering is creating race-conscious cultural competence—a set of beliefs, values, and skills built into a structure that enables one to negotiate cross-cultural situations in a manner that does not force one to assimilate to the other. The goal of race-conscious community lawyering is to support lasting structural and systemic changes that will bring about holistic reparatory justice for racialised groups.
Movement-lawyering is a specific form of community lawyering. It is rooted in the truth that legal work or even legal victories alone cannot win meaningful change. Throughout OURSTORY, lasting change has only come when social movements, grounded in grassroots activism community organizing that builds the capacity, power and solidarity of people experiencing injustice, become strong enough to shift power dynamics in our societies.
Movement lawyers work to support communities fighting injustice, enabling those most harmed by intersectional forms of oppression to lead the fight for transformative change. This lawyering recognises that community members and organisers have expertise that should be valued. In fact, movement lawyers should also be engaged in a process of political study and growth collectively with organisers that are aligned with particular community struggles. Here are some tips for lawyers that are aligned with movements and are particularly relevant to how lawyers can best support communities, their activists and organisers who are engaged in reparatory justice struggles as part of the ISMAR.
 Priscilla B. Hayner, Unspeakable Truths. New York: Routledge, 2001, p. 14.
Green Party calls for the All-Party Commission of Inquiry for Truth and Reparatory Justice (APPCITARJ)
This article is based on that of Green Party member Dr Nicola Frith in Green world on 19/10/20 published here.
In a historic move, the Green Party of England and Wales has become the first major national party to commit to seeking reparatory justice for the transatlantic trafficking of enslaved Afrikans (TTEA).
Members overwhelmingly voted in favour of the E3 motion ‘Atonement and Reparative Justice For African Enslavement‘ on the final day of their Autumn Conference on the 11th October 2020. Proposed by Green Councillors Cleo Lake (Bristol) and Scott Ainslie (Lambeth), and supported by the Greens of Colour and the Young Greens, the motion will see the Green Party call on Parliament to establish an All-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Truth and Reparatory Justice.
Azzees Minott, chair of the Greens of Colour and a significant contributor to getting the motion adopted, stated, ‘I am thrilled that Greens have been able to lead a historic movement in Britain by passing this motion. So many people see the Greens as a single-issue party, but achieving true social and racial justice is also at the core of what members care about because it’s all connected.’
Tyrone Scott from the Young Greens added: ‘As a young person of African descent, it has always been a source of shame to me that the UK was so complicit in enslavement. Our school curriculum only offers the most basic teachings of our colonial past, which generally only celebrates the power of the British Empire without detailing how this created deep racial inequalities in this country and across the world, which continue to exist to this day. The Young Greens were proud to work on this groundbreaking motion which sets a precedent to all other UK political parties.’
The All-Party Commission of Inquiry for Truth and Reparatory Justice is a campaigning project founded by the Pan-Afrikan Reparations Coalition in Europe (PARCOE) and now driven by the Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide Campaign (SMWeCGEC).
The need for this Commission has long been supported by the work and activism of other members of the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR), including those of the Pan-Afrikan Liberation Movement, the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee and the International Network of Scholars and Activists for Afrikan Reparations (INOSAAR).
The campaign aims to urge the UK Government to commit to a holistic process of atonement and reparations in accordance with the United Nations Framework on a Right to a Remedy and Reparation. A key part of the process includes recognizing and addressing the longstanding legacies of slavery, colonialism and neo-colonialism, such as the racial discrimination of majority world peoples, socio-economic inequality and environmental injustice.
Cleo Lake said, ‘Getting this motion to conference has been a great example of collaborative working with key reparations campaigners.
‘It represents a significant milestone towards acknowledgement, justice and reconciliation over a painful shared history, the legacy of which still plays out today through rife global inequality, racism, Afriphobia, and a ravaged planet that continues to be pillaged and disrespected.’
The vote at national level follows on from the work of Lambeth Council, led by Green Party Councillor, Scott Ainslie. Earlier this year, Lambeth, which is home to the largest African-Caribbean population in the UK, became the first local authority to pass a successful motion calling for an All-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Truth and Reparatory Justice to address the impact of slavery on current racial inequalities in the UK.
Ainslie, who co-signed the motion to Conference, said: ‘This motion is a step towards “Global Britain” finally facing up to the impact it has on countries throughout the world.
‘If Britain can properly address the legacies of its colonial past and present, then it can truly deal with the root causes of our country’s socio-economic inequality and systemic racism.
‘By engaging in a genuine process of reparative and transitional justice, we can begin to heal holistically and re-balance these injustices inflicted by the few which cause endless suffering to the many.’
At the root of this motion lies the work of some of the UK’s foremost reparations scholar-activists: Esther Stanford-Xosei and Kofi Mawuli Klu, co-vice chairs of the Pan-Afrikan Reparations Coalition in Europe (PARCOE).
Since 2001, PARCOE has been leading different reparative initiatives, including the Stop the Maangamizi Campaign and its petition, which has gained over 20,000 paper and online signatures. PARCOE have long been working to put the voices of grassroots and Afrikan Heritage Communities at the centre of the struggle for reparations.
Klu described the motion as a ‘giant leap’ for Afrikan Heritage Communities of reparations interest as they march towards ‘self-determination to achieve reparations that will meaningfully impact on Planet Repairs.’
He paid tribute to others in the ISMAR and the Peoples Reparations International Movement (PRIM), noting that ‘with this enlarging grassroots force of peoples becoming the change, we can now convincingly express confidence in our ability to win the case for the All-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Truth and Reparatory Justice and make reparations doable as a unifying force of all who desire Planet Repairs.’
He noted that it has taken ‘almost three decades of painstaking campaigning endeavours to raise consciousness enough for such results to be the works of not just a few, but the many, including now the Greens of Colour and Young Greens.’
Esther Stanford-Xosei, Coordinator-General of the Stop the Maangamizi Campaign, said, ‘The passing of this motion by the Green Party is vindication of our efforts. We have believed all along that our community organising efforts will eventually have the ground-up impact of winning more allies who grasp the necessity for an All-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Truth and Reparatory Justice and understand it as a repairing process.’
‘This repair is important, not only for the restoration of the agency of our Afrikan Heritage Communities and stopping the despoliation of the Earth as our human habitat, but also for the rebalancing of society. Afrikan Reparations is a cause that will redress the globalised historical and contemporary injustices of what we call the Maangamizi (Afrikan Holocaust of chattel, colonial and neo-colonial enslavement).’
Emphasising the unifying narrative of reparations and its integral links to environmentalism, she stated that ‘no home in the world has been untouched by such manifestations of the Maangamizi as the climate and ecological crises.
‘That is why the Afrikan reparations we are seeking must have the Planet Repairs impact of restoring the familyhood of humanity which began from our Afrikan peopling of the entire world.’
Passing the motion at national level is, however, only the first step. The next step is to build on existing work that is underway between communities and councillors at local levels.
As Lake states, ‘The aim is that as many local authorities as possible also pass motions calling for the All-Party Commission, as well as other overarching and region specific resolutions.’
Cities with direct links to the transoceanic trafficking in enslaved Afrikans and areas with strong Green support will be selected as priorities.
To improve understanding about reparations as a holistic process and its links to Planet Repairs, Greens of Colour will be working with the Stop the Maangamizi Campaign and the INOSAAR to produce motion templates and guidance, as well as dedicated workshops for councillors, regional parties, activists and citizens. In the meantime, further information and FAQs can be found on the Green Party Living Room.
Esther Stanford-Xosei and Kofi Mawuli Klu participated in a Green Party conference fringe session with Cllrs Scott Ainslie and Cleo Lake organised by Greens of Colour to sensitise Green Party members to the contents of the motion on 3rd October 2020. The recording of the session can be found here.
Esther Stanford-Xosei speech @ Pan-Afrikan Reparations Rebellion 01/08/20
This video is the speech made by Esther Stanford-Xosei at the Movement of Movements Internationalist Solidarity Grounding with the Pan-Afrikan Liberation Movement (MMISOG-PALM) in Max Roach Park which took place as part of the 1st Mosiah (August) Pan-Afrikan Reparations Rebellion Groundings co-organised by the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee (AEDRMC) and the Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide Campaign (SMWeCGEC).
Esther is the Official Spokesperson for the AEDRMC, Coordinator-General of the SMWeCGEC and Media & Communications Coordinator of the Extinction Rebellion Internationalist Solidarity Network (XRISN).
This video is part of the MAATUBUNTUJAMAA -SAAYOOO! (Pan-Afrikan Freedom-Fighting Clarion-Call Series produced by Ubuntudunia TV
SMWeCGEC & GAPP Statement on Roger Hallam’s Shoah Comments & Their Relevance to the Maangamizi
‘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:
• “A Nightmare in Heaven” — Why Nobody is talking about the Holocaust in Congo
• How Belgium cut off hands and arms and killed over 15 million in Africa.
• Belgium begins to face brutal colonial legacy of Leopold II.
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.”
Images of Survivors of the OvaHerero Genocide
Dr Ellen J. Kennedy, Executive Director of World Without Genocide at Mitchell Hamline School of Law also points out:
“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:
• Hitler’s Holocaust Blueprint: A New Book Reveals How the Kaiser’s Germany Used Concentration Camps in Africa to Advance Their Theories of Racial Supremacy.
• From Africa to Auschwitz: How German South West Africa Incubated Ideas and Methods Adopted and Developed by the Nazis in Eastern Europe.
• 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.
• The Holocaust Isn’t The Only Genocide That Germany Needs to be Held Accountable For.
• The Women Made to Boil Heads of Their Own People in Germany’s First Holocaust.
• The Herero-Nama Genocide: The Story of a Recognized Crime, Apologies Issued and Silence Ever Since.
• Namibia’s Long Fight for Justice.
• 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)
GKTV Coverage – 2019 Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March
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:
GKTV Interviews: Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March & Beyond
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).