First of all, the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations Rebellion Groundings were not organised by Black Lives Matter. They were organised by the Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide Campaign in partnership with the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee who from 2015 have been co-organising the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March on the 1st August.
This year however, we decided to organise the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations Groundings as a form of peaceful non-violent direct action because we are not being heard in our demand contained in the Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide Petition that the UK Government establish the All-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Truth & Reparatory Justice and commit to holistic reparations. according to the Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law.
Our peacefully organised non-violent direct action which took the form of these Reparations Rebellion Groundings, was assisted through the Extinction Rebellion Internationalist Solidarity Network and all other sections of Extinction Rebellion for which we made a prior agreement as to how best they could play the roles assigned to them.
The procession of Forever Family and some of the other supporting organisations, which marched from Clapham to Brixton Windrush Square to join the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations Rebellion Groundings was a significant contribution to our overall very successful event.
This is an edited version of the statement provided to, Beth Ani, a journalist with the Morning Star Newspaper, in response to a request made on Sunday 2nd August 2020
I am a journalist at the Morning Star newspaper – i’m wondering if you could send a comment on yesterday’s march and also respond to Nigel Farage’s comments in which he described scenes at the protest as “terrifying” and accused BLM of “diving society.” Let me know if you’re able to comment, many thanks, Beth.
This is the Morning Star article were some of the above comments were included.
As to Nigel Farage’s completely unjustified comments: “Terrifying scenes in Brixton today. A paramilitary-style force marching in the streets. This is what the BLM movement wanted from the start and it will divide our society like never before”, they should be taken for the racist nonsense and deceitful propaganda that they are. Farage’s comments were an abysmal attempt to frighten away allies from supporting these Reparations Rebellion Groundings of our Afrikan Heritage Communities; and connecting their own actions of rebellion to ours. Far from dividing society, this year’s Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations Rebellion Groundings became a cross-community unifying celebration of the internationalist solidarity, and its best traditions, that have always brought together peoples from diverse communities of resistance, within and outside of the UK, to strengthen their cooperation in fighting to eradicate the divisive weapon of racism.
We deliberately organised this year’s Afrikan Emancipation Day activities in ways to counter the use of racism, by the elitist establishment of Global Apartheid racism, to keep all communities of resistance apart from each other, and therefore make it difficult for us to collectively achieve the desired victory of total emancipation for all Humanity to reclaim the Planet and build a multipolar World of Global Justice for All. The deceptive fear mongering of the white supremacy racist ilk of Nigel Farage is not going to stop us progressing this work of rebuilding principled unity in continuation of similar efforts in the past.
Learning from our predecessors, (whose efforts in this same direction were given recognition in the British champions of internationalist solidarity section of our Sankofasafarinta Exhibition at Max Roach Park), as part of the Reparations Rebellion Groundings, we are better prepared now to defend this work of forging principled unity as a necessity for advancing all of us towards the Rendezvous of Victory that our own Pan-Afrikan freedom-fighters like Aimé Césaire long ago envisioned for us. This is what we mean by our slogan ‘Stop the Maangamizi: Build Maatubuntuman in Ubuntudunia!’
Esther Stanford-Xosei, Coordinator General, Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide Campaign
The 1 August Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations Rebellion Groundings were organised by the Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide Campaign in partnership with the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee. Both formations have, since 2015, been co-organising the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March on the 1st August. This year however, we decided to organise the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations Rebellion Groundings as a form of peaceful non-violent direct action.
The reason being that we are not being heard in our demand contained in the Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide Petition that the UK Government establish an All-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Truth & Reparatory Justice and commit to holistic reparations according to the UN Framework on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law. The theme for the Groundings was ‘Uniting to Stop the Maangamizi: For Our Very Survival – Planet Repairs Now’.
Although our plan could not be fully executed because of unfair UK Government and police impositions, our overall assessment is that of success in the fact that most of what we had planned was carried out.
- We did occupy Brixton Road intermittently.
- We did disrupt the normal ecocide business as usual that occurs in Brixton.
- We did contribute to less air pollution by traffic.
- We did challenge environmental racism and other manifestations of Maangamizi crimes of genocide and ecocide in Britain.
- We did facilitate the co-organisation of a powerfully unifying commemorative and inspiring protest event, in tribute to our illustrious Revered Ancestors on whose shoulders we stand resolute in our sacred quest to effect and secure holistic Planet Repairs, for all our generations who have resisted the Maangamizi, including guarantees of non-repetition for future generations of ‘Beautyful Ones Not Yet Born’.
- We did have a powerful array of Pan-Afrikanist and internationalist contributors to our event, who participated in the Movement of Movements Internationalist Solidarity Groundings with the Pan-Afrikan Liberation Movement, which took place at Max Roach Park, that reflected Pan-Afrikan dimensions of the struggle to effect and secure holistic Reparatory Justice.
- We did compel public attention to be paid to our cause of asserting our legitimate intergenerational demand that the UK Government commit to holistic reparations, with the first serious step being that of establishing the UK All-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry For Truth & Reparatory Justice.
We received extensive support from diverse sections of our Afrikan Heritage Communities, including many supporting and contributing community based organisations, who came out in their thousands, (not hundreds as many of the media reports are mis-reporting). We take pride in the fact that despite fearmongering and threats from the police and the entire British State machinery, our people still came out defiantly in support of our call to unity for Reparatory Justice action.
We acknowledge the fact that, because of the government and state anti-terrorism policing impositions imposed within less than 24 hours of our Reparations Rebellion Groundings, a few shortcomings made what we had planned as co-organisers not to be fully realised. Such short-comings, some of which were due to interferences and obstructions from central government were taken advantage of, by the British state machinery, to falsify and create situations of make-believe conflict that resulted in 3 arrests and threatened to provoke our Black communities in attendance, into what could have degenerated into rioting.
We have good cause to say so because on the morning of the 1st of August, a member of the public who was driving in his car in the vicinity of where the Reparations Rebellion Groundings were meant to be taking place, observed police officers piling bricks into a police van. The member of the public described the bricks as being “proper house bricks” so Leo Muhammad, a longstanding member of the Nation of Islam, but who was not working in an official capacity, but rather participated in the Reparations Rebellion Groundings as a longstanding member of the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee, reported this incident to Superintendent Ian Howell (Lambeth Borough), Police Liaison Officer Sergeant Simon Hearn and Community Liaison Officer, Lance Edmondson, based at Brixton Police Station. Leo Muhammad was accompanied by the eye-witness and a security officer supporting our security and stewarding operations for the Reparations Rebellion Groundings, who was wearing a body camera and therefore such reporting of this incident was recorded.
As co-organisers, we in the Stop the Maangamizi Campaign and Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee up till now have not received a satisfactory answer to the request to know why police officers were seen piling bricks into a police van. The explanation provided was that the local authorities, Lambeth Council had been doing some “cleaning up”. Notwithstanding the aforementioned, as co-organisers, we would like to express our appreciation to Extinction Rebellion Police Liaison, Paul Stephens who brilliantly helped us in working reasonably well with the police in general but also particularly with Police Liaison Officer Sergeant Simon Hearn and Community Liaison Officer, Lance Edmondson who genuinely tried to help and facilitate us to ensure that the Reparations Rebellion Groundings ran peacefully according to our purpose.
Through the increasing level of awareness and collective discipline that we are cultivating in our Afrikan Heritage Communities and in the building of cross-community alliances and ‘movement of movements’ cooperative relationships, such provocations, were pre-empted and resisted from our peaceful standpoint of non-violent direct action. We are grateful to our own Afrikan Heritage Communities and all who came in solidarity for enabling us to defeat the shenanigans and machinations of the British state machinery and other white supremacy racist agent provocateurs so that our activities on the day were held successfully in accordance with our ancestral Afrikan visions, values and principles of Ma’at and Ubuntu to ensure a peaceful success in tune with our Reparatory Justice demands for Planet Repairs.
We are appreciative of our youth and student contingents from the Tribe Named Athari (TNA) and Rhodes Must Fall Oxford (RMFO) who contributed immensely to ensuring that the participation of the younger generation manifested the ethos of our Afrikan Emancipation Day commemorations as those of Reparations Rebellion Groundings in their real community educational meaning promoted by Dr Walter Rodney. We express our highest regards to various allies particularly those from Extinction Rebellion (XR) who demonstrated some of the best traditions of internationalist solidarity long displayed by progressive forces in Britain by acting in strict accordance with roles we had agreed that they would play, in contributing to the success of our activities on the day, through the facilitation of the Extinction Rebellion Internationalist Solidarity Network (XRISN).
We also express our gratitude to Councillors like Cllr. Scott Ainslie, and Cllr. Cleo Lake, who have been leading our engagement with the Green Party in getting ‘Atonement and Reparations’ motions passed by Lambeth Council on 15th July 2020 and Islington Council on the 9th July 2020. We particularly commend those in Lambeth Council whose version of the motion passed highlighted our need for the UK Government to establish the All-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Truth & Reparatory Justice (APPCITARJ). The APPCITARJ is what we, as co-organisers from the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations see as the essential starting point for British state action in facilitating the masses of our Afrikan Heritage Communities across the World to access just hearings; which is in itself a reparative measure in accordance with the UN Framework on a Right to a Remedy and Reparations.
We are encouraged by the growing support from our Afrikan Heritage and other Black Communities, as well as wider sections of society in Britain, including diverse communities of the Global South Diasporas. We are glad that many in these communities are increasingly recognising the need for all of us to build the kind of principled unity that will enable the prolonging resistance efforts of our communities in the Global South to merge into the Global Rebellion that will deliver victory to all of us in ways that will not only make us win our specific community Reparations goals but also ensure the achievement of all the necessary Planet Repairs. For it is such holistic repairs to Peoples and Planet that will guarantee a cessation of violations and non-repetition of what we refer to as the Maangamizi (Afrikan Hellacaust), so that we shall have a New World of enduring Global Justice for all.
The Way Forward
We shall continue to work in advancing the momentum reinvigorated by the 1st Mosiah (August ) Afrikan and support the likes of A Tribe Named Athari (TNA) and allies who are working to earn for themselves places of honour in the front-ranks of the International Social Movement Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR) and the Peoples Reparations International Movement (PRIM) respectively.
We encourage community members, supporters and allies to do any of the following 4 things:
- 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.
Further to our earlier post yesterday (below), it has come to our attention that the Atonement and Reparations for the United Kingdom’s Transatlantic Traffic in Enslaved Africans motion moved by Islington Green Party Cllr Caroline Russell was amended by Labour Party Cllr Gulcin Ozdemir.
One of the significant amendments was removal of the text:
Write to the Speaker of Parliament, Chair of the Women & Equalities Committee and Chair of the Home Office committee to request that they establish, and seek UK Government support for the establishment of an All-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Truth and Reparatory Justice and calling on the Government to commit to holistic reparations taking into consideration various proposals for reparations in accordance with the United Nations Framework on Reparations.
Unfortunately, the Islington motion moved by Cllr Caroline Russell and also retained in the amended motion by Cllr Gulcin Ozdemir also omitted (we were told by accident due to working with an older draft of which there were several) this key text:
- In 2003 the Lambeth based Black Quest for Justice Campaign (BQJC) initiated a class action for Pan-African Reparations for Global Justice against Queen Elizabeth II and agents of the Crown as Head of State and Head of the British Commonwealth calling for the establishment of a Reparations Commission of Inquiry. This action was denied on the grounds that the Crown could not be prosecuted, and these crimes could not be enforced prior to the enactment of the International Criminal Courts Act in 2001.
- In 2004 the Rastafarian movement were denied their appeal for reparation because the UK government felt it could not be held responsible for events of past centuries.
Of course these omissions are unacceptable to us and we await the passing of the Lambeth Council Resolution on 15/07/20.
The full amendments to the Islington text can be found here:
AMENDED ISLINGTON MOTION PAGES 1-6
Please read the following text in light of what we have recently discovered.
Original Post 11/07/20
We are pleased to report to you that the ‘Stop the Maangamzi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide!’ Campaign (SMWeCGEC) has been part of the drafting of a historic motion on reparations passed by Islington Council on 9th July 2020, (see below). The motion was moved by Green Party Cllr Caroline Russell. This motion came about as a result of SMWeCGEC teamwork with Cllr Scott Ainslie from Lambeth Green Party, other colleagues in the Green Party & Greens of Colour, as well as Cllrs in Lambeth & Islington Labour Party. It builds on the demand in the Stop the Maangamizi postcard calling for elected officials to support the demand for the establishment of the All-Party Parliamentary Commission on Inquiry for Truth & Reparatory Justice (APPCITARJ).
This motion is largely an outcome of engagement with Cllr Scott Ainslie in demonstration of his commitment made at the 2019 Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March to follow-up with a motion on reparations. The motion in Islington was able to pass because of Green Party and Labour Party collaboration and consensus-building around key aspects of the text that the SMWeCGEC contributed and which were added to by members of the Green Party and the Labour Party.
From the SMWeCGEC’s perspective, one of the highlights of this Islington Council Reparations Motion is recognition of our campaign demand for the establishment of the APPCITARJ, which is an essential phase in a participatory administrative reparations process. In addition to reference to selected landmarks in the UK chronology of campaigning on reparations. We also contributed significant amounts of text to the original Islington and Lambeth motion.
A similar motion was submitted by Green Party Cllr Cleo Lake in Bristol on 7th July 2020.
The first drafted motion spearheaded by Cllr Ainslie will actually be voted on by Lambeth Council at the forthcoming Council meeting on Wednesday 15th July 2020.
The SMWeCGEC is truly appreciative of Cllr Ainslie and all others that worked with him from the Lambeth Green Party, Greens of Colour, including Cllr Lake and also Cllr Russell, to ensure that such motions could be submitted.
Cllr Scott has truly been exemplary in working in such a way which honours the guidance in the INOSAAR Principles of Participation in recognising the existence of the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR); and the necessary ethics that this entails. This includes respecting the existence of historical and contemporary reparations work, research and other initiatives at regional, national and transnational levels.
We are also pleased that engagement with the Green Party which was commenced years earlier (between 2002 – 4) with other Green Party elected officials under the auspices of the then Rendezvous of Victory, has now borne some outcomes that help take the goals of the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR) Further.
We also take this opportunity for recognising the efforts of Lucie Scott in Hackney who recently got in touch to inform us that she had proposed a motion passed in 2018 which recognised the demand for the APPCITARJ. See here Hackney NSN 2018 IR motionFinal (1) for further info.
The following are a few relevant tweets and other publicity:
Dr #WalterRodney‘s wisdom is relevant to #Afrikan struggle 4 #Reparations “A struggle doesn’t drop from the sky; it has roots, it has been going on for years; people’s energies, their consciousness, their organizations have evolved in response to specific historical conditions.”
The following video featuring Esther Stanford-Xosei, legal advisor to then existing Black Quest For Justice Campaign (BQJC), is one of the earliest video recordings which tracks the demand for what has now become known as the All-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Truth & Reparatory Justice (APPCITARJ). However its modern-day antecedents, as well as that of the Ubuntukgotla People’s International Tribunal For Global Justice (U-PITGJ) can be traced back to the the work of Kofi Mawuli Klu who wrote the following paper Charting an African Self-Determined Path of Legal Struggle for Reparations as a contribution to the 11 December 1993 working conference of the African Reparations Movement (ARM UK), co-founded by the late Bernie Grant MP and others.
The following comments from SMWeCGEC Co-Initiator and Co-Vice Chair, Kofi Mawuli Klu provide another layer of historical context to the significance of this motion for the SMWeCGEC and the wider ISMAR.
Also this comment from Kofi is in response to a dialogue between him and Akyaaba Addai-Sedo based in Ghana about the same motion.
Yes, the awesome beauty of this historic action of the London Borough of Islington, to which the work of yourself, Brother Akyaaba and others of the GLC, contributed upon the foundations laid throughout the ages by Kodwo Enu (Ottobah Cuguano), Olaudah Equiano, Frederick Douglas, Henry Sylvester Williams, John Archer, Marcus and Akosua Boahemaa Amy Garvey, CLR James, Claudia Jones, Paul Robeson, George Padmore, Ras Makonnen, WEB DuBois, Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah and his stalwarts of the Pan-Afrikan Congresses, is the change in Language and concepts insisted upon by our Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide Campaign (SMWECGEC), backed strongly by our colleagues of the INOSAAR based at the University of Edinburgh, and friends of the Green Party! So, for example, instead of the so-called very derogatory insulting ‘Slave Trade’, which the likes of Walter Rodney had very well repudiated as no trade at all, there is now acceptance of our PARCOE formulation that it is the Transatlantic Trafficking of Enslaved Afrikans (TTEA)!
Not yet Uhuru; but there is now being galvanized by new waves of Rebellion at home and abroad our Long March to the victorious Reparatory Justice achievement of the Pan-Afrikan revolutionary winning of Planet Repairs, in order to secure our own MAATUBUNTUMAN Pan-Afrikan Union of our Communities of Resistance, stronger unifying those in our Mothercontinent with those in the diaspora, in a New Global Justice World of UBUNTUDUNIA, not by opportunistically riding upon the topdown ramshackle bandwagons of Neocolonialism like the so-called African Union (AU) of misleaders, but rather by the independently organised grassroots-embedded Worldwide Black Power of our Afrikan People in our own Afrikan Communities of Resistance!
Forward Ever Onward!
There is Victory for Us!
Elsewhere, Kofi says this:
Thanks, Sister Esther, Yes, our Stretch of the Maangamizi Counteraction Intergenerational Long March of our ancestral Freedomfighting Afrikan Sheroes and Heroes has now come to one of its major decisive Reparatory Justice Turning Points towards our long desired total Pan-Afrikan Liberatory Rendezvous of Planet Repairing Global Justice Victory! Now is Our Time to Seize WISER than ever before to ensure our Pan-Afrikan Reparatory Justice Making of, and Black People’s Power contributions to, the Global Justice Writing of true World Ourstory/History is accelerated to its definitive, irreversible and completely victorious destination! Our MawuLisaga, the almighty God of Afrika and the entire World of, and beyond, Miano Nana Asase Yaa Mother Earth be thanked, with all the gratitude due also to our revered Ancestors, for the day we met to begin battling together for the more systematic movement building harmonization of the collective and individual efforts of our Afrikan people glocally towards the better intellectually organic and organisationally disciplined achievement of this sacred purpose! Akpe: Thank you very much!
The rest of us also agree with Kofi who has rightly stated elsewhere:
The biggest gratitude goes to the God of Afrika and the Pluriverse, to our revered Ancestors and also to all of us who have kept faith with them for a true Reparatory Justice that can only be holistic Planet Repairs in its Global Justice for all meaningfulness! Lots more work to do!
Until next time!
‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide! Campaign International Steering Committee Spearhead Team (ISC-SMWeCGEC)
The above image is the © copyright of photojournalist Thabo Jaiyesimi and must be accredited as such.
Please note, only copies of the additional 2,828 signatures collected between last year (14,590) and this year (17,418) were handed in with a copy of the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Petition. Every year we tend to copy the same petitions and re-submit them with additional signatures collected. For environmental reasons, it was determined that we would only hand in the additional signatures collected this year until we reach 100,000 signatures that will be handed in all together when that figure is reached. Or in the alternative that the lobbying efforts of MPs and other elected officials via the ‘Stop The Maangamizi!’ Postcard yield the desired results. However, the SMWeCGEC is not relying on securing 100,000 to secure the campaign objectives, as ultimately reparatory justice will be effected, secured and taken by our own People’s Power, supported by other People’s of Conscience as well as our non-Afrikan Allies as part of PRIM-building.
In total 17,418 people have now signed the petition, this includes those who sign the online petition and the paper version.
Although 6 Petitioners were present as identified in the covering letter to the UK pRIME Minister which accompanied the petition, only 4 of the 6-member delegation were able to hand in the petition this year due to 2 members of the delegation unfortunately forgetting their ID.
This is a link to info about the petition hand-ins in the three preceding years:
This is a copy of the letter that accompanied the 2015 petition hand-in:
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
This is a recording from the Pan-Afrikan Society Community Forum (PASCF) workshop – USAFRICOM: GLOBALISING PAN-AFRIKAN RESISTANCE FROM GHANA TODAY” with Kofi Mawuli Klu, Co-Vice Chairperson of the ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide!’ Campaign (SMWeCGEC) which took place on 13th April in London.
An outcome of this workshop was that a demonstration was organised by Ghana Action for Pan-Afrikan Resistance (GAPAR) to take place today, 21st April at the London School of Economics were President Nana Akufo-Addo of the Republic of Ghana is a keynote speaker at the 5th Annual ‘LSE Africa Summit’.
The synopsis for the workshop is as follows:
Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first president, defined neocolonialism as “the last stage of imperialism” – understanding this as a violation of Afrikan sovereignty as Afrikan states are independent in name only and imperialism/white supremacy manipulates economic and political control, through globalization, capitalism and cultural expansionism. So, in effect foreign interests, are what dictate everything.
In ‘USAFRICOM: GLOBALISING PAN-AFRIKAN RESISTANCE FROM GHANA TODAY’ esteemed scholar-activist Kofi Mawuli Klu looks at the wider historical trajectory of neo-colonial relations between Ghana and the USA/white supremacy in view of their expanding and unrestricted access to a host of Ghanaian facilities, recently agreed by Ghana’s Cabinet.
The emphasis of Bro Kofi’s presentation is to facilitate public discussion on the 5th April 2018 joint statement issued by the Global Afrikan People’s Parliament (GAPP) and the Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide Campaign (SMWeCGEC) entitled “Opposing the USAFRICOM Base of Maangamizi in Ghana: Globalising Pan-Afrikan Resistance for Reparatory Justice is the Way to Victory”. Kofi explains the strategy and tactics being pursued by some of the Freedomfighting forces still upholding the teachings of Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah in trying to steer the growing Resistance to the USA-Ghana Deal on Strengthening the Militarisation of Neocolonialism in West Afrika towards the goals of Pan-Afrikan Reparations for Global Justice.
He highlights the necessity of better meeting the challenge in and beyond Britain today of utilising Internationalist Solidarity mobilisation for such Resistance in Afrika for its best purpose of reclaiming authentic Pan-Afrikanism as an intellectually sharpening practical weapon for globally advancing emancipatory struggle towards what GAPP envisions as the Maatubuntuman achievement of the total liberation, unification and self-determined progress of Afrikan people all over the World.
PRESENTER: Bro Kofi Mawuli Klu is Chief Executive Commissioner of PANAFRIINDABA, a grassroots Pan-Afrikan Community Advocacy, Research and Think Tank based in London, UK and Accra, Ghana. He is also co-Vice Chair, Pan-Afrikan Reparation Coalition in Europe (PARCOE) in London and Joint Co-ordinator of the Global Justice Forum based in London as well as Co-Vice Chair of the ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide’ Campaign (SMWeCGEC). Bro Kofi runs his own Law-Related Educational Services Agency, UEQUIPOISE. His scholarly activism has and continue to make a significant contribution within institutions of education in and outside of the United Kingdom [various courses, seminars, workshops, conferences and Groundings on Afrika and Pan-Afrikanism] and serves Afrikan students/communities as a conscientising tool for grassroots resistance and social change.
Greetings Supporters of the ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide! Campaign (SMWeCGEC)
Following the 13th April 2018 news report on the front page of the Times Newspaper: ‘PM should apologise to ex-colonies says Labour’, it would appear as if the Labour Party is now taking steps towards listening to Afrikan voices for reparatory justice. It is only now since the passing of the late Bernie Grant MP that Labour is thinking of hearing Afrikan voices like his on our intergenerational struggle for reparatory justice.
Within 24 hours of the 11 April 2018 letter from Esther Stanford-Xosei being sent to Heidi Alexander MP and also made available to the office of the Rt Hon Jeremy Corbyn MP, leader of the Labour Party, the Shadow Foreign Secretary, Emily Thornberry, advocates in the House Magazine that Prime Minister Theresa May should use the forthcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting to apologise for the UK’s historic wrongs. Emily Thornberry also states that, if Labour form the next government in Britain, they will ensure that promoting and engaging with the Commonwealth is one of their top foreign policy priorities. In Esther Stanford-Xosei’s letter to Heidi Alexander she states:
“The fact that BREXIT is making it necessary for the UK Government to seek to strengthen its Commonwealth links in the aftermath of the BREXIT vote raises questions pertinent to Afrikan Reparatory Justice. Among such questions, for example, is the one about what type of relationship is Britain seeking to strengthen with Afrikan and Caribbean countries of the Commonwealth when the existing relationship is not only a product of the crimes of the past, but also fortifies present wrongs of the Maangamizi? So much is this the reality, that in the opinion of the constituencies of the ISMAR to which I belong, this relationship can only be transformed to ensure justice for all, by measures of reparations that will enable Afrikans and people of Afrikan heritage to equitably participate in re-ordering the war-begotten, unequal and unfair system of international relations that continues to be imposed, with manly Euro-American imperial might, upon the globe today.”
It would appear that Emily Thornberry is in her article also providing an answer to the above question that has been posed, in various arenas, by SMWeCGEC and some other formations of the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR) when she states:
“…we see our Commonwealth cousins [not] just as potential trading partners, but [because] we see them as full and equal partners in all of the challenges faced by the world and by each of our nations, from climate change and terrorism to the fight for gender equality.”
We in the SMWeCGEC are of the view that the above comment on behalf of the Labour Party demonstrates that they can be influenced to advance steps towards better listening to the case being made for holistic reparations by authentic Afrikan Heritage Community voices in and beyond the UK who are involved in building the ISMAR. However, this realisation should, under no circumstances. make campaigners for Afrikan reparations lower our guard about critically engaging with the Labour Party and the wider Labour Movement on what repairs ought to mean, so as to enable us make gains of true reparatory justice.
That is why we should be mindful and seek to ensure that the Labour Party is not made, by ‘BAME’ gate-keeping apparatchiks and other sections still clinging to its old ways of misusing the bureaucratic party machinery, to distort the legitimate measures of redress that oppressed communities influence it to address by revising them, sometimes even to the point of outright deformation; so that at the stages of policy-formulation and implementation, they become mere white-washing tokenistic gimmicks which tinker Afriphobically with vital concerns of particularly Afrikan Heritage Communities; thereby robbing us of the agency that is vitally necessary for us to do for ourselves the true reparatory justice we are seeking.
So let us keep knocking at the door of publicly elected officials as those seeking such offices will come knocking on our doors in the coming weeks soliciting our votes. We must ensure that we use our votes wisely to make candidates we may be inclined to vote for support our Afrikan Heritage Communities strategic interests and concerns; top-most on the agenda should be their support for Afrikan Reparatory Justice and their concrete action on the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Postcard demands.
‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide!’ Campaign International Steering Committee Spearhead Team (ISC-SMWeCGEC)