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:
- Sign the Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide Petition, https://www.change.org/StopTheMaangamizi
- 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.
- Lobby elected officials to initiate council motions on ‘Atonement and Reparations for the Transatlantic Traffic of Enslaved Africans’ utilising the template of the Lambeth Council motion.
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.
Greetings Supporters of the ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide!’ Campaign (SMWeCGEC)
We in the SMWeCGEC wish to notify you of some exciting developments in our ability to build influence for achieving our cause as highlighted in the aims of the campaign.
SMWeCGEC co-initiator, Kofi Mawuli Klu has decided to champion programmatic aspects of the SMWeCGEC as part of standing as an independent candidate in the forthcoming European Parliamentary elections starting on 23rd May 2019. Kofi is one of nine climate and ecological emergency independent candidates who are collectively standing as part of the ‘CEE the Truth’ Campaign, (#CEEtheTruth).
Although we in the SMWeCGEC have advocated multi-layered tactics in achieving our goals, which include lobbying of MPs via the ‘Stop The Maangamizi!’ Postcard Campaign, we cannot wait for people who are in mainstream political parties to act in support of our cause. They are too slow in doing so! Whereas the official British Government position is “we do not believe reparations are the answer”; the opposition Labour Party support reparations, but have their own agenda as to how they feel they can address the matter. Their agenda, which has been highlighted here disregards Afrikan Heritage Community agency in shaping what reparations programmes are in our own self-determined best interests and therefore it is questionable in whose interests such plans really are. In reality, it flies in the face of our often repeated principle, which has been highlighted during the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations Marches: ‘Nothing About Us Without Us!’. So just like the Ruling Party in the British Government, the official opposition and their representatives, are also refusing to have a dialogue with us in terms of taking to address the goals on the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Postcard, hearing the voices of those of us who every year sign the ‘Stop The Maangamizi!’ Petition and mobilise as part of the wider SMWeCGEC, as well as those who participate in the annual Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March.
Rather, we in the SMWeCGEC take the view that we cannot rely on others to plead our cause; we must do that for ourselves! In this regard, the SMWeCGEC and the Global Afrikan People’s Parliament has taken steps to further adavance its policy position on electoral politics via the candidacy of Kofi Mawuli Klu as an Independent Climate & Ecological Emergency/Planet Repairs Candidate.
See here for more info about Kofi and other #CEEindependents.
The three core demands of the climate and ecological independents are:
1. The Council of Ministers and the European Parliament must tell the truth and take action to declare a Climate and Ecological Emergency.
2. The Declaration on a Climate and Ecological Emergency must demand a zero carbon Europe by a date no later than 2030.
3. National Citizens Assemblies on Climate & Ecological Justice must be instituted to oversee policy making, including those of Planet Repairs embracing Reparations, and have a leading role in shaping a zero carbon Europe.
Kofi takes into this #CEEtheTruth Campaign, all that represents the perspectives of the SMWeCGEC with emphasis upon Pan-Afrikan Reparations for Global Justice as advocated by the Pan-Afrikan Reparations Coalition in Europe (PARCOE), in its Planet Repairs meaningfulness. For us this is such an exciting campaign because it links the struggle for effecting and securing Pan-Afrikan Reparations for Global Justice with the struggle to end ecocide, hold accountable those responsible for perpetrating environmental crimes and harms and honour human, peoples and Mother Earth Rights by instituting Planet Repairs. This cosmic and holistic approach to reparatory justice (repairs) as highlighted by the Professor Chinweizu conceptual framework on reparations in addition to those ancient Afrikan approaches to repairing, renewing and transforming our World making it much more beautiful than what we found it, such as the Kemetan (ancient Egyptian) verb seruja ta
“Let me begin by noting that reparation is not just about money: it is not even mostly about money; in fact, money is not even one percent of what reparation is about. Reparation is mostly about making repairs. self-made repairs, on ourselves: mental repairs, psychological repairs, cultural repairs, organisational repairs, social repairs, institutional repairs, technological repairs, economic repairs, political repairs, educational repairs, repairs of every type that we need in order to recreate and sustainable black societies….More important than any monies to be received; more fundamental than any lands to be recovered, is the opportunity the reparations campaign offers us for the rehabilitation of Black people, by Black people, for Black people; opportunities for the rehabilitation of our minds, our material condition, our collective reputation, our cultures, our memories, our self-respect, our religious, our political traditions and our family institutions; but first and foremost for the rehabilitation of our minds”
It is the view of this campaign that in terms of cessation of the current manifestations of the Maangamizi including violations of genocide and ecocide as well as ensuring guarantees of non-repetition. Not only do we have to end genocide against us but we also have to work with other progressive non-Afrikan forces to stop ecocide and also draw them into taking responsibility for repairing Mother Earth, their nations and communities, in order to safeguard the rights of future generations. If not, any gains we make will not be sustainable as they will be undone by disrepaired members of the human family, including those among of us who have been so dehumanised by the Maangamizi that they are incapable of being the reparatory justice change we need to see.
Reparations are the totality of repairs that individuals and groups of people have to do for themselves and for the rest of their communities as well as humanity in order to make amends for the harm that has been done to them by historical and
contemporary wrongs; which have so structurally affected them as to devalue their humanity. In this understanding, reparations are something that individuals and groups of people have to do for themselves, internally and externally and ensure that the wrongs done will not be repeated to themselves, the communities they belong to and the rest of humanity
Kofi Mawuli Klu
Aims three and four of the SMWeCGEC are to:
• Mobilise petition signers/supporters to organise as a community of advocates for ‘Stopping the Maangamizi’ as a force within the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations, (ISMAR);
• Catalyse the development of such a force into an integral part of the Peoples Reparations International Movement (PRIM) to ‘Stop the Maangamizi’, build MAATUBUNTUMAN and establish UBUNTUDUNIA* as the most effective way to prevent its recurrence as well as effect and secure measures of reparatory justice from the ground-up;
Similarly, two of the seven political goals of a Pan-Afrikan reparations strategy that the SMWeCGEC adheres to include measures which:
• Restore Afrikan Sovereignty by redressing with MAATUBUNTUMANDLA (Pan-Afrikan Government of People’s Power) the disrepair in our Power and usher in a fundamental change of the existing world order that would definitively bring about new geopolitical realities such as MAATUBUNTUMAN; the anti-imperialist sovereign Pan-Afrikan Union of Communities/polity of Afrikan People’s Power.
• Institutionalise Maat and ubuntu in People to People internationalist solidarity relationship-building that will advance humanity to a Rendezvous of Victory where UBUNTUDUNIA emerges as a Global Justice ‘World of Many Worlds’ i.e. an equitable multipolar World of Pluriversality.
It is only through effecting and securing Pan-Afrikan Reparations for Global Justice that we will be able to ensure that the Maangamizi will not only be stopped but also not repeated.
This a message from Kofi:
Kofi’s political strategy is to help build the new alliance of progressive forces whose politics are rooted in Environmental Justice and all other related issues which marginalised communities, including his own minoritised Afrikan Heritage Communities in and beyond Europe, deem of importance to themselves; and about which no effective remedies have so far been implemented to their satisfaction.
This is a campaign which our Afrikan Heritage Communities and all other marginalised sections of the population in Europe, including migrants, denied their right to be legally present in this part of the world, where the wealth of their nations have been looted and continue to be plundered to enrich privileged groups, ought to see this as their opportunity to build a unifying power that can be flexed to give themselves Substantive Representation; and thereby enable them to effect their own solutions to the problems they are encountering. That is why Kofi’s campaigning is not about elevating himself as being the one who will provide the solutions, instead, he seeks to amplify the voices and actions of those already making efforts to find effective solutions to the problems they are encountering.
Some of our people talk about not engaging because the ‘reds’ (Labour) and ‘blues’ (Conservatives) are two wings of the same bird. Now, particularly for those living in London, there are alternatives. We now have a candidate standing as part of a collective who is pushing a reparations agenda, as per aim three of the core demands of the climate and ecological Independents. The point here is about amplifying voices and getting Afrikan Heritage Communities issues elevated in these spaces. This has not happened before with a genuine pan-Afrikan orientated candidacy not subservient to existing political party lines. We have several MPs and Councillors that look like us but it’s highly questionable as to their efforts to bat for us. Why? They did not stand on any kind of Black, Afrikan or Pan-Afrikan platform and they are not accountable to our Afrikan Heritage Communities. Some think because we looked alike that they represented US. Not so! And they never said they were standing for US. They are firstly accountable to their party and their constituency. Kofi Mawuli Klu has no such constraints. So, if you are in London check out what he is saying and the refreshing approach to electoral politics he is taking.
Until such time please familiarise yourself with the Global Afrikan People’s Parliament Policy Positions and learn more about the principles Kofi is standing for. It’s a start, not the sum total of our political strategies and quests for National Self-Determination. Seeds are being sown. In other places shoots are being watered. This is a process. Be patient and take action.
If you would like to contact Kofi on 07956431498 or email email@example.com
For further updates see: https://www.facebook.com/stopthemaangamizi/
Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide! Campaign International Steering Committee Spearhead Team (ISC-SMWeCGEC)
The ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide!’ Campaign (SMWeCGEC) was represented as part of a group of global witnesses who took part in the recent #RebellionDay organised by Extinction Rebellion on Saturday 17th November 2018. The Extinction Rebellion is a movement composed of several thousand people across the UK and other parts of the world that is using nonviolent direct action, economic disruption and civil disobedience to demand action on the climate emergency. “Based on the science,” reads Extinction Rebellion’s website, “we have ten years at the most to reduce CO2 emissions to zero, or the human race and most other species are at high risk of extinction within decades.”
At their launch on 31st October 2018, (with more than 1,000 protesters blocking Parliament Square in London), Extinction Rebellion issued a ‘Declaration of Rebellion‘ against the UK Government for its inaction on the climate crisis. Citing inspiration from grassroots movements such as Gandhi’s independence marches, the Suffragettes, the Civil Rights Movement and Occupy, Extinction Rebellion has attracted much support from religious groups. Such groups include Christian Climate Action, which has had several of its members arrested due to taking part in some of Extinction Rebellion protest actions.
So, what happened?
#RebellionDay was the climax of XR’s first week of coordinated actions of civil disobedience against the British Government for its criminal inaction in the face of the climate and ecological emergency which we all face. According to the Extinction Rebellion Press Release:
“More than 6,000 people have occupied five bridges in central London to raise the alarm on the climate and ecological crisis – and to put pressure on the Government to come clean on the fact that there is a climate emergency.
This is the first time in living memory that a protest group has intentionally and deliberately blocked the five iconic bridges of central London – Southwark, Blackfriars, Waterloo, Westminster and Lambeth bridges.”
This action brought huge disruption to central London. According to Extinction Rebellion 85 people were arrested. The Metropolitan Police said most arrests were for breaches of the Highway Act, however all of the 82 conscientious protectors have now been released under investigation.
Extinction Rebellion’s topline demands are:
1. The Government must admit the truth about the ecological emergency, reverse all policies inconsistent with addressing climate change, and work alongside the media to communicate with citizens.
2. The Government must enact legally binding policy measures to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2025 and to reduce consumption levels.
3. A national Citizen’s Assembly must be created, to oversee the changes, as part of creating a democracy fit for purpose.
The following Afrikan Heritage Community groups and organisations were also represented: PARCOE, the Global Afrikan People’s Parliament and INOSAAR-RepAfrika. SMWeCGEC members Esther Stanford-Xosei and Kofi Mawuli Klu spoke at Blackfriars Bridge as well as at the Extinction Assembly, which took part on Westminster Bridge. They are part of a group of Global South ‘witnesses’ who were invited to “bear witness” to the impact of the climate emergency in their countries. The final part of the action involved a Citizens Assembly where attendees formed small groups as part of a sit-in on Westminster Bridge and discussed the question: ‘How do you think societies should be organised to create a world for our children?’ #RebellionDay concluded with an interfaith ceremony in Parliament Square, where the action was taken to plant some trees!
Global South Witnesses speaking about West Papua, Mongolia, Afrika & the Caribbean
Why is the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Campaign linking with Extinction Rebellion?
Actually, we were first contacted by a member of Extinction Rebellion who expressed an interest in becoming a ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ petition-action-learner. After some correspondence, a colleague from the CAFA Archival Resources Team (CARAT) based at May Day Rooms met some of the leaders of Extinction Rebellion who asked to meet some of us, so a PARCOE representative also involved in this campaign, together with the CARAT met and started discussing terms of engagement. After some discussion, the SMWeCGEC decided to fully engage with Extinction Rebellion in their activities and explore how best we could collaborate. Not least because working with Extinction Rebellion is being done in fulfilment of some of our own Pan-Afrikan internationalist campaign aims.
Aims three and four of the SMWeCGEC are to:
- Mobilise petition signers/supporters to organise as a community of advocates for ‘Stopping the Maangamizi’ as a force within the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR).
- Catalyse the development of such a force into an integral part of the Peoples Reparations International Movement (PRIM) to ‘Stop the Maangamizi’ and build MAATUBUNTUMAN as the most effective way to prevent its recurrence as well as effect and secure measures of reparatory justice from the ground-up.
It is therefore the view of the SMWeCGEC that our campaign can be strengthened in the process of building a concrete relationship with concrete allies engage in forms of resistance to aspects of the Maangamizi and who are also in pursuit of similar objectives as us; such as stopping ecocide, taking seriously the threat of human and other species extinction, as well as countering extractivism and reversing the harmful effects of extractive industries etc. It is our belief that this inter-movement dialogue and action has the potential for galvanising and strengthening the Peoples Reparations International Movement (PRIM) and through that also its constituent part, the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR).
We have therefore linked up with Extinction Rebellion because of the common interest we share in exposing, tackling and trying to stop the harms of ecocide as well as seeking to bring about a different World Order in which people relate to each other, to the World, Mother Earth and the Cosmos in accordance with the principles of ubuntu. This is what we refer to as Ubuntudunia, (a Pan-Afrikan conception of a world of global justice for all, consisting of the terms ubuntu + dunia which is Kiswahili term for world); something which is possible that our combined efforts with such movements, who are also organising to bring about global justice can achieve. Whilst one of the specific reparations goals of the ISMAR is to establish MAATUBUNTUMAN Pan-Afrkan Union of Communities, part of the work of the PRIM is to achieve Ubuntudunia.
You see, as activists and campaigners, we often know what we are fighting against but do not always take the time to prefigure the alternative world and realities that we wish to see. As you may be aware, the SMWeCGEC partners with the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March which last year adopted the theme: promoting the reparatory justice change we are organising to bring about.
It is the view of the SMWeCGEC that working with the Extinction Rebellion will catalyse the evolution of the Reparations March by facilitating the participation of those who are interested in the Ubuntu Non-Afrikan Allies Bloc of the Reparations March in Extinction Rebellion activities in such a way that furthers our mutual action-learning.
Whilst many critique marching, we see the Reparations March as a dress rehearsal and part of the preparatory process for the development of other tactics and forms of organisation which will lead to the achievement of our strategic objectives of holistic Reparatory Justice. Hence why the SMWeCGEC initiated the ISMAR Advocates training course in 2016 as a springboard to develop the necessary training that is required to organise mass civil disobedience.
We are working with Extinction Rebellion internationally because it is also important to globalise work on exposing and stopping the Maangamizi to achieve Reparatory Justice all over the world. This work involves our colleagues in Vazoba Afrika & Friends Networking Open Forum and the Global Afrikan Family Reunion International Council (GAFRIC) as well as the West Afrikan Grassroots Preparatory Action Coordinating Committee of the INOSAAR (WAGPACC-INOSAAR).
Where do we go from here?
We will now make use of the opportunity we have to reflect on the lessons rom this first action-learning encounter with Extinction Rebellion in terms of assessing what possibilities exist, preparing for further dialogue with Extinction Rebellion and working out how we take on board lessons from their experiences of non-violent direct action and mass civil disobedience and how we also respond to their interest in learning from us. One of the key points of action-learning is how non-violent direct action relates to implementation of the aims of the annual Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March.
We take on board the above point made by Extinction Rebellion as it is something which we are also familiar hearing from many critics of the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March. Hence why the following theme for the 2018 People’s Open Parliamentary Session on Afrikan Reparations (POPSAR) @Parliament Square as part of the programme of the Reparations March:
Be it resolved, the Reparations March, as a form of reparatory justice street protest, is being made inadequate due to inactivity by the majority of its participants in taking steps to advance the campaign for reparations between the annual marches.
Indeed, many have critiqued the Reparations March but have not presented an evidence base for the alternative strategies of tactics which can bring about reparatory justice social change. We as the SMWeCGEC are now also working with allies that are demonstrating with action what alternative tactics can be, through their own self-disciplined, organisation and sacrifice for a cause which they feel is greater than themselves.
It is true, unless those who are serious about the goals of the ISMAR and effecting and securing holistic Reparatory Justice are willing to take organised forms of resistance in the form of planned mass civil disobedience then not much will change. However, this is not a call to undisciplined rioting, this is a call to work for purposeful rebellion by organising people who are willing to work together, to think together, to learn together, to learn from each other, to learn from others including non-Afrikan allies; to strategise as well as build the necessary infrastructure for making such tactics of rebellion a reality.
Esther Stanford-Xosei & Kofi Mawuli Klu holding placard of Dr. Gail Bradbrook, professor of molecular biophysics & co-founder of Rising Up!, which is now helping to organise the Extinction Rebellion
Kofi Mawuli Klu on Sky TV promoting #RebellionDay
Guidance on how to use your Maangamizi Crime Scene Stickers
We all have Maangamizi crime scenes around us!!
These are some examples:
A school, college or university –Are our boys or girls being excluded at an alarming rate? Is it guilty of perpetuating a Eurocentric and mentacidal curriculum? Are they guilty of epistemicide? Or is it not adequately dealing with incidents of Afriphobic and/or academic racism? Are they engaged in Maangamizi-denial? Something else?
A Bank or other financial institution – Do they have a history of being built through unjust and immoral means involving the labour of enslaved or colonised Afrikan people? Are they providing a safe haven for illicit financial flows, stolen money and other ill-gotten gains? Are they financing Maangamizi crimes? Are they involved in laundering the proceeds of Maangamizi crimes? Something else?
A Museum – Does it contain any spoils of enslavement or colonialism looted from the people without their permission? Does it contain the bodies of our Ancestors on show with no regard for our dignity? Is it misrepresenting our history, deceiving the public with its narratives about our history? Is it engaged in Maangamizi-denial Statues/Relics/Historic Hotspots – Do they contain any artefacts, statues, plaques, pictures that are offensive to us due to their historic or present-day role in the continuing genocide, terrorism and oppression or negative misrepresentation of our people? Are they engaged in Maangamizi-denial?
Stately Homes – What is their history? Were they built, purchased or refurbished from the proceeds of enslavement, or compensation paid to enslavers? Are they any way complicit in Maangamizi crimes past or present? Are they engaged in Maangamizi-denial?
Companies/Major Corporations/Small Businesses – What is their history? Are they any way complicit in Maangamizi crimes past or present? Are they found to be complicit in looting resources and exploiting our motherland Afrika and our people? Have they waged any offensive marketing campaigns or found to have committed acts of Afriphobic racism against people of Afrikan Heritage? Are they engaged in harmful practices and human rights violations that are devastating vulnerable communities. Are they found to have forms of enslavement in their supply chains? Are they polluting or destroying the environment (ecocide)?
Events/ Festivals/Calendar Day Celebrations – Are any such guilty of an anti- Afrikan narrative either in its imagery or focus e.g. Darkie Day in Cornwall, seafaring festivals, Columbus Day, Remembrance Sunday, Zwarte Piet (Black Pete).
Something else!!! Someone else!! Somewhere else!
Be thoughtful, strategic and work with intention. Raising this awareness is a critical piece of work.
What you should do:
• Stick your sticker in a prominent spot. • Take a picture showing the sticker in context and then a close up shot. Take it with or without you in it.
• Post those pictures on social media with the hashtags: #MaangamiziCrimeScene #StopTheMaangamizi.
• Tag the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ campaign and the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March and all your friends and key people who you want to make aware, what you are doing e.g. local councillor, MPs, City Mayor, celebrities and people connected to the crime scene itself, (links below).
• Say a couple of sentences about why the sticker is there. You should not say you put it there!
Let the world recognise that we see them and we are not letting them get away with continuing the Maangamizi towards our demise, destruction and detriment – in all areas of people activity (e.g. economics, education, entertainment, labour, law, politics, religion, sex, war/counter war).
FB Profile: TheMarch August
Keep us posted on how your activism is being received or maybe you’d like to get more stickers – for you or a friend!
To obtain copies of the ‘Maangamizi Crime Scene Sticker Pack’ please email firstname.lastname@example.org or text/call 07956431498.
This article was revised on 29/06/18
“The use of law as one of the most important instruments of our Afrikan struggle for reparations, indeed the need to locate our claim to restitution for the damages caused by gross violations of Afrikan sovereignty must raise immediately for us the essential questions of whose Framework, whose Law and whose Justice
Kofi Mawuli Klu ‘Charting an Afrikan self-Determined Path of Legal Struggle for Reparations’, A draft paper for presentation to the 11th December 1993 Birmingham Working Conference of the Africa Reparations Movement, UK, 1993
In the above paper jurisconsult Kofi Mawuli Klu advocates the need for Afrikan people to chart our own self-determined path of legal struggle to enforce and secure reparations. However, this requires decolonisation and repair of the law, legal system and processes. Ahead of his time, Klu asserted the self-rehabilitation and healing in a Fanonian sense that comes about through Afrikans exercising agency in the shaping, making and implementation of international law. This model has subsequently been referred to as international law from below by various legal scholars. Klu affirms seven principles which should be followed in charting an Afrikan self-determined path of legal struggle for reparations. These include:
- Demystification of the law.
- Developing legal creativity and creativity in applying what has been referred to as the ‘legal imagination‘.
- Afrikan popular democratic involvement in the law-making process.
- Recognition of the criminal injustice of enslavement, colonisation and neo-colonisation from the perspective of the legal consciousness of Afrikan people.*
- Judging the crimes and wrongs of enslavement in accordance with Afrikan law.
- Promoting mass adjudication of the Afrikan and other indigenous peoples cases for reparations through grassroots benches of an International Peoples Tribunal on Crimes Against Humanity.
- Developing international legal strategies on the formulation and prosecution of the Afrikan case for reparations.
*Legal Consciousness is the sum of views and ideas expressing the attitude of a group or people toward law, legality, and justice and their concept of what is lawful and unlawful. Legal Consciousness therefore traces the ways in which law is experienced and interpreted by specific individuals and groups as they engage, avoid, or resist the law and legal meanings. Legal consciousness also entails the process by which a group or people concretize their political goals and demands and the means by which they try to give them universal force in the form of laws and policy. It follows that legal consciousness is a form of social consciousness and closely related to political consciousness.
Building on this unrivaled foresight, the ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide‘ Petition concludes by stating that it “will also galvanise grassroots work towards establishing glocal sittings of the [Ubuntukgotla] Peoples International Tribunal for Global Justice (U-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.”
What is an International Peoples’ Tribunal?
An international peoples tribunal is a process initiated by communities and/or civil society groupings which seeks to establish whether a state, international organisation, corporation, or less frequently specified individuals have committed breaches of international law or of another body of law or norms, (such as national law, Afrikan law, indigenous law of peoples’ law); which involves the presentation of evidence and arguments to a body of people deemed competent to adjudicate on relevant issues in the best interests of the communities themselves, nations or humanity as whole. In light of documentary and other forms of evidence presented to tribunal members in formal proceedings, it presents a reasoned set of findings based on an evaluation of such evidence and they can also pass judgements. There is however considerable variation in in the emphasis and practice of such tribunals which are also described in various terms such as a people’s tribunal, people’s hearing, or tribunal of conscience.
Seizing back Afrikan people’s power to define, make, shape and advocate for legal strategies and processes in our own best interests and in accordance with Afrikan forms of law and jurisprudence, the term Ubuntukgotla has been chosen to give culturally competent expression to the increasingly popular notion of an international people’s tribunal.
The U–PITGJ is a court of peoples humanity interconnectedness. The term is comprised of the Afrikan terms ubuntu and kgotla. A Kgotla is a Tswana traditional institution of participatory democracy, i.e. peoples assembly or court in Botswana which has a number of functions including:
(1) enabling public debate and consultation on policy and legislation;
(2) being a judicial institution in which cases are heard providing access to justice;
(3) soliciting views from the community on government actions and decisions or those of any other interest group; and
(4) facilitating the means to come to an agreement or key issues pertaining to the health and well-being of the community.
The term ubuntu which translates as: “I am because of who we are” is a concept from the Southern Afrikan region which means literally “human-ness”, and is often understood to mean”humanity towards others”. It is also considered, in a more philosophical sense, to mean “the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity. In Southern Afrika, ubuntu has come to be used as a term for a kind of humanist philosophy, ethic or ideology, also known as Ubuntuism or Hunhuism propagated in the re-Afrikanisation process of these countries during the 1980s and 1990s.
The U–PITGJ is being developed as a site of an activist ‘doing of law’ which also includes knowledge-production and praxis on making, enforcing and implementing just law. Although like other peoples tribunals, it may be perceived as a deviant or even illegitimate ‘institution’ within the institutional landscape of dominant forms of law.
Civil society (peoples’) tribunals initiated by citizens of conscience and oppressed groups have emerged to fill the normative vacuum created by the gap between the ideals, of justice and access to justice. In this regard, people’s tribunals are seen as more effectively responding to the failures, exclusions and mendacity of existing domestic and international state and state sponsored institutions apparatuses to provide effective redress for human, peoples and Mother Earth right violations and atrocities committed, despite having formal power and jurisdiction to do so. They do so by: asserting the rights of peoples (and people) to articulate law that is not dependent on endorsements by states for its legitimacy; as well as utilising, interpreting and developing international and other forms of law.
People’s tribunals can critique the content of existing international law where such law perpetuates oppressive power relations. Oftentimes, peoples’ tribunals have resulted in a greater democratisation of international law-making from below and provided additional accountability mechanisms for the exercise of and abuses/misuse of power by states and international organisations. They have been used by many different peoples and special interest groups.
For example, in 1993 the indigenous people of Hawaii developed the Ka Ho‘okolokolonui Kānaka Maoli-Peoples’ International Tribunal Hawai‘i in which the United States and the state of Hawai‘i were put on trial for crimes against the original people of Hawai‘i, the Kānaka Maoli. A video has been made of this tribunal which we recommend you view. It can be found here.
The Ka Ho‘okolokolonui Kānaka Maoli Tribunal features a panel of international judges that was convened to hear the charges, which included genocide, ethnocide, the taking of their sovereign government and the destruction of their environment. The Tribunal judges and prosecutor/advocates came from Japan, Aotearoa (New Zealand), Jordan, Korea, Afrika, the U.S., Puerto Rico and the Cree, Cherokee, Shawnee and Creek nations. It traveled to five islands to see and hear firsthand the words and personal experiences of witnesses, many of whom faced arrest and eviction from native lands. At the end of ten days, the Tribuanal called upon the United States and the world to recognise the fact that Hawaian sovereignty has never been extinguished. It also called for the restoration and return of all lands to which Kānaka Maoli have a claim.
Peoples’ tribunals are formed to take up a variety of cases that may fall under the following, sometimes overlapping, categories:
- Violations by the state of the rights of citizens or residents of that state, including violations of the rights of peoples within that state;
- Claims of the denial of the right to self-determination;
- The treatment by regions or groups of states of particular groups of people;
- Historical injustices such as conquest, enslavement, colonisation and other thematic issues;
- The role of international organisations, especially international financial institutions, in the regulation of the international and national economic and social systems;
- The interaction between state law and the violations of the rights of persons by ‘private’ individuals (including corporations) and the responsibility of business, especially transnational corporations, in the violations of human rights.
In most cases, peoples’ tribunals arraign individual states, international organisations, corporations or combination of these. In some cases peoples’ tribunals ‘put on trial’ named individuals.
See ‘Peoples International Tribunals and International Law‘, edited by Andrew Byrnes, and Gabrielle Simm, Cambridge University Press, (2018) pp. 16-17 for more info.
How will the U-PITGJ operate?
As a people’s tribunal, the U-PITGJ derives its power from the voices of Afrikan heritage community victims and survivors, and also those of national and international civil societies with relevant knowledge and expertise to establishing and providing evidence on the concrete manifestations of the Maangamizi including the genocide of Afrikan heritage communities. The U-PITGJ will have the format of a formal human rights court,however, it is not a criminal court in the sense that individual persons are indicted. In the first instance, the prosecutors will indict the state and institutions of the UK, based on the proofs presented of responsibility for the widespread and systematic crimes against humanity committed in the current phase of the Maangamizi. It is expected that, as support for and the influence of the U-PITGJ grows, it will be also be able to build the capacity to address other instances of genocidal crimes that have been perpetrated on other peoples who have experienced European settler colonialism, conquest and invasion. This is why it is important to recognise the interconnections between the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR) and the Peoples Reparations International Movement (PRIM).
The proof presented will consist of documents, audiovisual materials, statements of witnesses and other recognised legal means. The power of the U-PITGJ will be to examine the evidence, develop an accurate historical and scientific record and apply principles of international law to the facts as found. It is expected that the chosen judges will produce a verdict based on the material presented and call upon the Government of the UK to realise that so far they have failed to take legal and moral responsibility for the victims. This verdict can also be used as a basis for an United Nations resolution and other actions on these crimes.
How can the U-PITGJ contribute to Afrikan people’s empowerment and healing?
- By taking as its primary source the voices, experiences, aspirations, demands and visions for reparatory social change of the peoples’ and communities of the violated themselves, from which all other specialist support groups – lawyers, the media, politicians, institutionalised academics, economists, and others – may build upon by utilising their specialist languages for resistance in diverse sites of public judgement.
- Through establishing informal but public and ‘judicial’ processes to deal with atrocities committed by States resulting in the moral power and authority of informal quasi judicial processes.
- Through giving effect to Afrikan peoples’ voices of judgement, developing and disseminating the often silenced articulations of Afrikan people’s legality as part of a legal strategy of resistance whose contribution is to advance, through the specific language of law, the broader struggles against the violence of the Maangamizi today.
Volunteer researchers 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 U-PITGJ. If you would like to get involved, please contact: Afrikan Reparations Transnational Community of Practice (ARTCoP) on email@example.com or PARCOE on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07751143043.
Support from movement lawyers is also 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 but the lawyers work in collaboration with grassroots movements. 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 movement-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.