GBETOWO IN ‘ABLODENUDZRADONATOTRO’:
TOWARD THE PAN-AFRIKAN REPARATIONS FOR GLOBAL JUSTICE VICTORY OF MAATUBUNTUMAN
By Mawuse Yao Agorkor of the
ABLODENUDZRADOSAFO Global Ewe Community of Practice for Pan-Afrikan Reparatory Justice (ABLODENUDZRADOSAFO-GECOPPARJ)
and the VAZOBA Afrika and Friends Networking Open Forum.
This is a presentation giving a basic outline explanation of the ‘Pempamsie’ planning of, and the groundwork being done to effect, people’s self-empowering Pan-Afrikan Reparations for Global Justice within the Ewe-Fon-Adza kindred communities of the Gbetowo nationality in West Afrika as their own self-determining contributions towards the victorious building of the MAATUBUNTUMAN Pan-Afrikan Union of Communities. There is well emphasized the crucial importance of Cognitive Justice to understanding what Reparations mean as ‘Nudzradonatotro’ to the Gbetowo. Proceeding from this ‘Nudzradonatotro’ conceptualization, the presentation highlights its cardinal exposition of the view that Reparatory Justice will be utterly meaningless to partitioned indigenous Afrikan communities like the kindred Ewe-Fon-Adza communities in present-day Ghana, Togo, Benin and Nigeria, unless the Maangamizi criminality of the European imperialist neocolonially imposed borders of Coloniality, that are a huge part of the still persisting legacies of the infamous 1884-1885 Berlin Conference, are completely dismantled in the total national and social liberation course of effecting true Pan-Afrikan Reparations for Global Justice. Hence the great attention given to explaining the contributions being made by the ABLODENUDZRADOSAFO-GECOPPARJ, under the auspices of its parent formation, the ABLODEDUNOVISIHA Gbetowo Global Union for Pan-Afrikan Community Regeneration (ABLODEDUNOVISIHA-GGUPACOR) to the remarkable works of the Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide Campaign (SMWeCGEC), and the Global Afrikan People’s Parliament (GAPP); that is, Gbetowo contributions to putting a full stop to the Afrikan ‘Hellacaust’; in order to achieve the definitive victorious building of MAATUBUNTUMAN, out of the unification of ‘Sankofahomes’ throughout the continent, together with ‘Maatubuntujamaas’ all over the World, wherever is thriving the diaspora of Afrika.
Honourable Chairperson, Distinguished Guests and Fellow Participants;
With great pride I bear, in the Afrikan Personality dignity required by such a humbling big responsibility, the immense honour of representing not only my own primary organization, the ABLODEDUNOVISIHA Gbetowo Global Union for Pan-Afrikan Community Regeneration (ABLODEDUNOVISIHA-GGUPACOR); but also, and indeed, to be more precise, mine is the honour of representing our ABLODEDUNOVISIHA through one of its Grassroots Academia branches, the ABLODENUDZRADOSAFO Global Ewe Community of Practice for Pan-Afrikan Reparatory Justice (ABLODENUDZRADOSAFO-GECOPPARJ), which is most relevant to this 19th-21st September 2018 Colloquium of the International Network of Scholars and Activists for Afrikan Reparations (INOSAAR). It is noteworthy to register the fact that, among others, I do also represent here the VAZOBA Afrika and Friends Networking Open Forum; as well as the West Afrikan Grassroots Preparatory Action Coordinating Committee of the International Network of Scholars and Activists for Afrikan Reparations (WAGPACC-INOSAAR). When we started being drawn as early as in October 2016, by the Pan-Afrikan Reparations Coalition in Europe (PARCOE), based in London, United Kingdom, into discussions and preparatory work for the building of INOSAAR, we on the ground in West Afrika gave careful thought to a considerable number of bittersweet lessons from our own chequered previous as well as still ongoing current experiences.
WAGPACC-INOSAAR: Our Rationale
We of ABLODEDUNOVISIHA and VAZOBA are among those who proudly regard ourselves as the Scholar-Activists of the Grassroots Academia of our Communities of Resistance for Pan-Afrikan Reparatory Justice throughout the continent and diaspora of Afrika! We take immense pride in the Decolonizational furtherance of Cognitive Justice by doing our Scholar-Activist work mainly in our own indigenous Afrikan languages, utilizing creatively our own indigenous Afrikan knowledges, including spirituality, capacities, skills, cultural processes, tools and various other instruments, infrastructures and mechanisms to carry out appropriate mass conscientizational work by way of Popular Education, giving priority to Action Learning and similar mural and extra-mural endeavours of Lifelong Learning, among the ordinary masses of our Afrikan people at home and abroad. We unapologetically storm into this September 2018 colloquium space of INOSAAR, in the Republic of Benin, as non-state acting grassroots subaltern Scholar-Activists, coming from mainly the so-called hard to reach nooks and crevices of our Afrikan Communities of the Wretched of the Earth, from our own Lifelong Learning spaces of the Poorest of our poor Afrikan Communities of Resistance. For, it is the Reparatory Justice interests of such impoverished Afrikan Communities of Resistance that many in the ivory tower citadels of the Establishment Academia ignore, with some even contemptuously denying the very existence of ourselves and the distinctive interests of Intersectionality we independently represent both on the continent and in the diaspora of Afrika today! So we are coming from having had, since 2016, to do very serious thinking for ourselves about how best to make the INOSAAR endeavor worthwhile to ourselves and, most importantly, fruitfully beneficial to the ordinary masses of Afrikan people in and beyond our own communities all over the World. It is such thinking that has gone into creating the WAGPACC-INOSAAR as our own autonomous space for grassroots thinking and action by non-state actors promoting, from the ground upwards, not topdown but rather from “the bottomless pit”, in our own community interests, what we regard as authentic Pan-Afrikan Reparations for Global Justice in West Afrika.
The WAGPACC-INOSAAR is an autonomous networking Bloc of grassroots formations that are prioritizing the agency of the ordinary masses of Afrikan people by promoting, advocating and safeguarding respect for their own self-determined vital best interests, views and contributions in the groundup participatory democratic building of INOSAAR. This is being done so as to ensure things are scrupulously carried out in ethical accord with the fundamental principles of the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR), so as to enhance its advancement, in organic link with the Peoples’ Reparations International Movement (PRIM), towards the Rendezvous of Victory of holistic Pan-Afrikan Reparations for Global Justice. This is necessary to ensure the vigilant defence within and beyond INOSAAR of the inalienable right of the grassroots of our deprived Communities of Reparations Interest (CORIs) in West Afrika to independently project, articulate and effect their own perspectives and endeavours of Afrikan Reparatory Justice by their own sovereign People’s Power; and to assert the real weighty massive strength of their Civil Society collective intellect and might, against overt and covert attempts to impose the topdown elitist diktat of governments and other state actors upon them to the detriment of their own best interests and also against the principles and ethical norms of the ISMAR and the PRIM. We are seeking to reinforce and consolidate the autonomy of the WAGPACC-INOSAAR and review our own work programme during and in the aftermath of this September 2018 INOSAAR Conference in Benin.
With this very necessary clarification, may we go on to express our profound gratitude to Dr. Nicola Frith, Professor Joyce Hope Scott, Kofi Mawuli Klu, Esther Stanford-Xosei and, of course, also to the energetically dynamic Zeguen Moussa Toure, one of the co-founders and now a Co-Vice-Chairpersons of the WAGPACC-INOSAAR, currently based in Cotonou here in the Republic of Benin, where as a political refugee he is in exile from his country of birth, Cote d’Ivoire; our immeasurable “Akpega” to all such outstanding persons who have kept our hopes in INOSAAR alive and displayed exemplary leadership, together with all others we are unable to mention individually, in bringing us to this impressive event; yes, to this event of what, to us, ought to be a historical landmark celebration of Afrikan Rootsgrounding enstoolment of the special collective chieftaincy of INOSAAR as a potentially formidable iron-component of the Academic Column of both the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR) as well as of its interconnected Peoples’ Reparations International Movement (PRIM).
We are in Xogbonu/Hogbonu/Aja Ile!
Being an Ewe Scholar-Activist Advocate for our Gbetowo indigenous community rights, may I seize this opportunity also to highlight one more very important thing in this introduction to my presentation. It is vital for me to do so as my sacred Scholar-Activist duty of great importance to our ABLODENUDZRADOSAFO, which is a Reparations-focused Lifelong Learning and Action Research agency operating under the auspices of the broader ABLODEDUNOVISIHA Gbetowo Global Union for Pan-Afrikan Community Regeneration (ABLODEDUNOVISIHA-GGUPACOR). With long pent-up emotions of ABLODEDUKO Afrikan Personality pride, I too embrace the “Woezor” in this Xogbonu (or Hogbonu, also known as Aja Ile) city of so-called Porto Novo in the Republic of Benin; yes, to be true to the principles of Pan-Afrikan Reparations for Global Justice, let me uphold one of the Decolonizational Best Practice norms of our ABLODEDUNOVISIHA and VAZOBA by choosing to call this Afrikan place, not by the misnomer of so-called “Porto Novo” which marks it out as one of the most appalling crime scenes of the Maangamizi, that is by its still European imperialist-imposed obnoxious name of Coloniality, but rather by its own indigenous Afrikan original names of Xogbonu, or Hogbonu or Aja Ile, which better dignify it in what ought to be its truly majestic Afrikan sovereignty! Though not surprising that “Porto Novo” is still being officially misused for this place in this supposedly independent modern country of Benin, it is still shocking that little is being made of the fact that it is one of the European imperialist colonially carved out nation-state crime scenes of the Maangamizi which is prolonging the ‘Hellacaust’ criminality of Genocide and Ecocide in its continuing partition and division of our closely related familial Ewe-Fon-Adja kindred communities of the Gbetowo in West Afrika that are also to be found in Togo, Ghana and Nigeria!
To Kalelaklefiaga Agadza and Kalelaklenyonufiaga Hangbe: Our glorifying Salutations!
Without diminishing our boiling Gbetowo Black Rage concerning this continuing Maangamizi criminality, it is to an extent soothingly heart-warming to us that some of us are for the very first time setting our feet upon this holy soil that is part of the sacred homeland of our Gbetowo; a most wonderful homeland to which we proudly trace the glorious footsteps of our revered ancestral Heroes and Sheroes such the legendary Pan-Afrikan Abolitionist giants Kalelaklefiaga Agadza Audati Trudo and Gbetolaklenyonufiaga Na Hangbe of magnificent Dahome!
We do not have enough opportunity right now to properly tackle the lots of nonsensical Afriphobic racist mudslinging seeking to belittle the towering gallant role of Kalelaklefiaga Agadza Audati Trudo not only in our Gbetowo but also Afrikan and World History. Despite indisputable eye-witness testimonies of even critical-minded European travelers, like the British Royal Navy surgeon John Atkins and the British trader Bulfinch Lambe, who both had experienced contemporary life in those times in Dahome, and arguments brilliantly advanced by renowned historians of the illustrious stature of the likes of I.A. Akinjogbin and Basil Davidson, there are those who still keep spinning highly questionable concoctions from the figment of their own prejudiced imaginations in order to speculatively attempt to tarnish the image of Kalelaklefiaga Agadza Trudo. Even though he was hailed as such by Anti-Slavery campaigners in Britain and elsewhere, the image of Kalelaklefiaga Agadza as a self-motivated indigenous Afrikan Abolitionist Freedomfighting Chief appeared to be too damaging to the White Supremacy racist narrative to be allowed to stand without even deceitful vilification. So the Big Lies mudslinging continues against the glaring evidence to the contrary!
The Question of Afrikan Complicity
This is most noteworthy in relation to some of the points being made in this INOSAAR Colloquium here about Afrikan complicity in the Maangamizi, in connection particularly with its phase of Chattel Enslavement. Those con-tricksters who come on get-rich-quick capitalist fortune-hunting trips to West Afrika from the Diaspora to try various dodgy scams, with the sinister purpose of guilt-tripping us here on the continent of Afrika by spinning distorted half-truths about Afrikan complicity in the Chattel Enslavement phase of the Maangamizi, only in order to criminally extort from gullible chiefs and other ignorant traditional leaders and obscurant politicians undeserved goods and services for their own greedy individualistic and narrow cabalistic self-enrichment, ought to be resolutely challenged, mercilessly exposed and severely punished by all true Pan-Afrikan Reparationists at home and abroad! Among the weapons we must sharpen for use against such unscrupulous con-tricksters and their gangsteric cabals is comprehensive knowledge about the whole truth of the global Maangamizi Experiences of our Afrikan people at home and abroad, of all our communities throughout the continent and diaspora of Afrika.
There is a lot of one-sided accusatory finger-pointing at Afrikans born on the continent by some of those born in the diaspora about complicity in the Maangamizi crimes of Chattel Enslavement, with the often repeated chanting of “Dem sell we” and “you also owe and therefore have to pay us reparations”! This is where comes in handy literally the Afrikan Wisdom saying that when you are pointing one accusing finger at somebody else, be mindful that all the rest of your fingers on that same hand are actually pointing at your own self! So, apart from the notorious sambos and other “runaway slave-catching” goon squads even from among renegade Maroons in Jamaica and other Caribbean islands, lots of true stories abound about Afrikan Heritage individuals and their families elsewhere throughout the so-called Americas who got involved in Chattel Enslavement crimes as the so-called ‘owners’ of their fellow enslaved Afrikans in the diaspora! Writing about such “Rogues in the Gallery of Black History”, Professor Henry Louis Gates Jnr, as the Director of the W.E.B. DuBois Institute for African and African-American Research at Harvard University and Editor-in-Chief of “The Root”, drew upon the works of some of the most outstanding Afrikan Heritage historians, including the renowned likes of Joel A. Rogers and Carter G. Woodson, to provide convincing evidence (see the article “Did Black People Own Slaves?” by Henry Louis Gates Jnr); which are buttressed by the writings also of illustrious Jamaican historians like Richard Hart and Arnold Bertram (see the article “Jamaica’s Black And Coloured Slave Owners” by Arnold Bertram at http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/news/20170801/arnold-bertram-jamaicas-black-and-coloured-slave-owners ). As for the present-day examples of the traitorous Black-Skin-White-Masked Elite involved in Afrikan complicity in the Maangamizi crimes of our contemporary era, that is in the criminality of Neocolonialism, we must, with all intellectual honesty, engage in critical examination of the questionable track-records not only of those “Men and Women of the Hegemon” of the ilk of Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo of Ghana and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, but also of the Libyan Carnage-Wreaker Barack Hussein Obama of the USA and the Maangamizi Denier at Durban Baroness Valerie Ann Amos of the United Kingdom! Let therefore all the deceitful one-sided accusatory finger-pointing stop so that we all can rise together throughout the continent and diaspora of Afrika higher above the scams of con-tricksters in sincere promotion of genuine Pan-Afrikan Reparations for Global Justice!
These points are of crucial importance for me to emphatically make at this INOSAAR Colloquium here in Xogbonu/Hogbonu/Aja Ile, in the Republic of Benin. Nevertheless, mindful of the challenges of translation from the English into the French languages that are not our own indigenous Afrikan mother tongues, and since the time given us is grossly inadequate to do real Cognitive Justice to my topic, may I suggest a way out: that is, to advise all those who are genuinely interested in my whole contribution to ask the key organisers of this colloquium for a full written copy of my presentation. I believe Dr. Nicola Frith is the one person to contact in particular in order to obtain such a full written copy of my presentation. May I therefor proceed by selecting a number of cardinal points for highlighting. On the whole, my outline of such cardinal points are as follows.
Bringing into the Global Justice Limelight the Maangamizi Agony of the Gbetowo Nationality
Gbetowo is the collective umbrella name of the Gbe Language-speaking indigenous nationality of all people of the Ewe-Fon-Adza communities now home-based in West Afrika. Among the noteworthy historians from these communities who have been writing about their people from a wide diversity of perspectives are the likes of F. Akoli, D. Amenume, Francis Agbodeka, G.K. Nukunya, Komi C. Kudzodzi, Charles M.K. Mamattah and Kodzo Gavua. The Gbetowo are to be found mostly in the countries of Ghana, Togo, Benin and Nigeria, divided by the artificial borders drawn rather arbitrarily, far away at the 1884-1885 Berlin Conference on the Scramble for and Partition of Afrika by the colonizing powers of Euro-Amerikkkan Imperialism. Minoritised in these imprisoning Bantustan nation-states of Neocolonialism that are part of the geopolitical prison-industrial complex of the Global Apartheid Coloniality of White Supremacy Racism, the Ewe-Fon-Adza communities of the Gbetowo nationality are extremely marginalized, severely discriminated against and brutally suppressed; they are repressed with the structural violence of Euro-Amerikkkan Imperialism which keeps on being dispensed through its African puppet quislings in the governmental organs and other structures of the state machinery in these countries of West Afrika today. Becoming more conscious and therefore increasingly rising up more militantly in defence of their human, peoples’ and Mother Earth rights as indigenous communities of Afrikan people, the Gbetowo are making their presence at home and abroad to be felt and therefore getting more visibly seen in the battles for participatory democratization that are growing in the countries of Ghana, Togo, Benin and Nigeria respectively.
There are diverse politico-ideological and organizational tendencies within the Ewe-Fon-Adza communities at home and abroad; with most at present still merely asking for democratic reforms and improvements in their situation in the countries of Ghana, Togo, Benin and Nigeria; while a vocal minority of others continue agitating for complete secession and some demanding various kinds of autonomy to strengthen the Gbetowo identity and national self-determination. Among all of these groupings, our ABLODEDUNOVISIHA Gbetowo Global Union for Pan-Afrikan Community Regeneration stands out for a unique position creatively advocating defence of the human, peoples’ and Mother Earth rights of the Ewe-Fon-Adza communities in unification as indigenous Afrikan people’s rights by way of championing Pan-Afrikan Reparations for Global Justice! Accordingly, ABLODEDUNOVISIHA is following its own ABLODENUDZRADONATOTRO conceptualised and designed ‘Pempamsie’ Pan-Afrikan Reparatory Justice Plan of Positive Action and therefore working diligently from the grassroots in promotion of the Pan-Afrikan liberatory unification of the Ewe-Fon-Adza communities into an autonomously self-determining national polity of ABLODEDUKO; an autonomous ABLODEDUKO polity that will initially remain inside and grow organically within but also transcendentally across the borders of the countries of Ghana, Togo, Benin and Nigeria; such an ABLODEDUKO will systematically, methodically but gradually be constituted from the organic naturing of ‘Sankofahomes’ from within the Ewe-Fon-Adza Communities of Reparatory Justice Interest (CORJIs); gradually integrating with ‘Maatubuntujamaas’ as Afrikan Heritage Communities for National Self-Determination (Maatubuntujamaa-AHCNSDs) in the diaspora of Afrika, such ‘Sankofahomes’ of the Ewe-Fon-Adza Communities of Reparatory Justice Interest on the continent will become the Gbetowo ABLODEDUKO component building blocks of the future MAATUBUNTUMAN Pan-Afrikan Union of Communities!
ABLODENUDZRADONATOTRO’ as the Gbetowo’s own Cognitive Justice conceptualization and projection of Pan-Afrikan Reparations from their own Nunyansa indigenous knowledge perspective.
Every community’s own understanding of Reparations through its own indigenous knowledge perspectives and the self-determining strategy and tactics shaped accordingly is itself a Cognitive Justice prerequisite to its own definitive achievement of its appropriate holistic Reparatory Justice. This is exactly what our Gbetowo vibrantly display through our own Nunyansa indigenous knowledge conceptualization of Reparations as our own ‘ABLODENUDZRADONATOTRO’ self-determining Community Repairs for Rootsgrounding Change. The scholar N.K. Dzobo emphasizes the great importance the Ewe devote not to the mere acquisition of simply Knowledge as “Nunya”, but more to its Gbetowo own creative advancement through their own practical Lifelong Learning Experiences into the Wisdom of “Nyansa”; hence the concept of “Nunyansa”! We must all be mindful of the fact that Reparations would be incomplete if we failed to grasp the necessity for advancing knowledge in the praxis of unifying theory and practice into Wisdom and take into account the radical Changemaking for the better aspect of such advancement to effect true civilizational Progression. So therefore we must repair with a crystal-clear view to visionary radical Changemaking for the betterment of our whole communities. That is why we enthusiastically embrace the holistic definition and comprehensive exposition of Black self-empowering Reparations for our Afrikan people and all Black Humanity that was brilliantly advanced by Professor Chinweizu at the 27th to 29th April 1993 First Pan-Afrikan Conference on Reparations for African Enslavement, Colonization and Neocolonization held in Abuja, Nigeria.
As ABLODEDUNOVISIHA, we are progressing from the Ewe-Fon-Adza Nunyansa conceptualization and programmatic ‘Pempamsie’ design of true Pan-Afrikan Reparatory Justice as ABLODENUDZRADONATOTRO. We are making such advancement by becoming increasingly highly conscious, in the light of what Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah argued in his “Consciencism”, of the fact that such progression of ours must have as its foundation the ultimate maximum concentration of our own Afrikan people’s indigenous knowledge power in order to best formulate the collective intellectual basis for the creativity of our Gbetowo’s own unique contributions to the successful building of the MAATUBUNTUMAN Pan-Afrikan Union of Communities. That is why we are doing so with our characteristic Gbetowo Reparatory Justice grand vision of ABLODENUDZRADONATOTRO, arising from the Nunyansa fertility creativity of our Ewe-Fon-Adza community radical imaginations; so much so that we are glocally thinking and acting with a clear Wakanda-style futuristic view; that is, the view to taking all Humanity along our adventurous flight upon the Sankofa wings of MAATUBUNTUMAN building, to courageously soar, with the greatest possible pyramid-building audacity learnt from our revered Ancestors, well beyond current horizons upwards to the loftiest glorious heights of our definitive Pan-Afrikan Internationalist Rendezvous of Global Justice Victory.
The Ewe-Fon-Adza Community indigenous Empowerment Mechanisms
Our Ewe-Fon-Adza communities intergenerationally inherit inalienable traditional core value systems of knowledge, culture and spirituality, a wholesome World outlook and ways of life and wellbeing that give us a uniquely distinctive Gbetowo community spiritedness, identity and ethos in contribution to what Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah called the Afrikan Personality. The aforementioned systems contribute immensely, by the Nunyansa ways and means of Sankofa progression, to create, regenerate and advance various indigenous community empowerment mechanisms. Long before the disastrous colonial imposition of the Maangamizi criminality of Eurocentric Miseducation, there has been far more Cognitive Justice appropriate, meaningful and fruitful Education, training and capacity building in various aspects of Community Regeneration, Participatory Democratic Citizenship and Sustainable Development through the enforcement of the cultural values, principles and best Nunyansa practices of indigenous Gbetowo civilizational self-progression. This at large had tremendously improved and at best transformed the political and socio-economic lives of the Gbetowo nationality in the past.
Professor Ansa K. Asamoa is among those outstanding Ewe Scholar-Activists who have given quite interesting radical descriptions and exposition to the political and socio-economic historical journey of the Ewe-Fon-Adza communities of our Gbetowo nationality. Other noteworthy interesting expositions on our Gbetowo cultural practices have been made by the likes of F.K. Fiawoo, S. Mote, G. Nukunya, Kofi Nyidevu Awoonor, N.K. Dzobo, A.K.P. Kludze, E.Y. Egblewogbe, J.G. Kodzo-Vordoagu, Kafui Aku Ofori, Kofi Agawu and Godwin Agbeli. The proper continuity of such works necessitates, as our ABLODENUDZRADOSAFO Scholar-Activists are arguing, with the unanimous support of the entire ABLODEDUNOVISIHA, the systematic innovative development of complexes of mural and extra-mural education, seeking to harmonise the wide diversity of the endeavours of those operating in relevant spaces of the Establishment Academia as well as of the Grassroots Academia; so as to strive better for the glocal unification of all the Cognitive Justice endeavours of the Gbetowo and other Afrikan communities throughout the continent and diaspora of Afrika into a global Pan-Afrikan Reparatory Justice whole of Maangamizi resistant Educational Repairs! This is what shall contribute to advancing the efforts we are glocally making in exercising our own agency of popular democratic educational creativity, with modest but groundbreaking cutting-edge initiatives like the Grassroots InterLinks for Global Citizenship Action Learning (GILOGCAL); in order to galvanize similar Global Academy Commons building efforts of formations like the Afrikan Reparations Transnational Community of Practice (ARTCoP), through its work on developing the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations Academy (ISMARA), in collaboration with the Global Justice Institute of the Global Justice Forum (GJI-GJF), the CAFA Archival Resources Action Team (CARAT), the May Day Rooms (MDR), the Peoples’ Internationalist Fora for Inter-Community Lifelong Learning (PIFICOLL), the Peoples’ Academy of Action Learning (PAAL) and the Global Citizenship Educational Campaign for Curricula of Pluriversality (GCECCOP). We would like to see the INOSAAR as a whole playing a catalyzing role in support of these endeavours by more vigorously promoting and utilizing its remarkable Principles of Participation to harmoniously draw various progressive forces from both the Establishment Academia and the Grassroots Academia all over the World into even critical but yet constructive engagement with such endeavours of ours.
It is through such mainly groundup endeavours that our ABLODENUDZRADOSAFO is, with the support of its mother formation, the ABLODEDUNOVISIHA, making various interesting contributions from here in West Afrika to advancing the cause of Pan-Afrikan Reparations for Global Justice. Basically much attention is being channeled towards grassroots sensitization and mobilization, as for example through open activities of mass conscientization like the annual 1st August SANKOFAAPAE Pan-Afrikan Reparatory Justice International Libation Ceremony that is held in Accra, Ghana, since 2016, in link with the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March on the same date every year in London, United Kingdom.
Another remarkable endeavor of ABLODENUDZRADOSAFO is its contribution to building, through VAZOBA, a strong relationship with a very select grouping of Afrikan Chiefs and other uniquely distinguished traditional leaders who are organizing themselves as the Global Afrikan Family Reunion International Council (GAFRIC). Our ABLODEDUNOVISIHA as a whole is supporting the ABLODENUDZRADOSAFO and VAZOBA in assisting the GAFRIC not only to build capacity but also to advocate for total liberation of Afrikan communities at home and abroad, with a view to having our diasporan brothers and sisters keen on Rematriation/Repatriation to having better opportunities for more knowledgeably and responsibly exercising their right to our Mothercontinent of Afrika, their right of return, in order to reunite with their families at home in the proper ways and means of true Pan-Afrikan Reparations for Global Justice. In very historic statements to the 17th March 2018 INOSAAR Conference in the Birmingham City University, two outstanding paramount chiefs in Ghana who are leading co-founding members of the GAFRIC, Togbe Adza Tekpor VII, the Osie of Avatime, and Nana Kobina Nketsia V, the Omanhen of Essikado, not only hailed the emergence of INOSAAR but also outlined areas of cooperation in working conjointly in better meaningful pursuit of Reparatory Justice for Afrikans and all other peoples of our common Humanity. We of ABLODENUDZRADOSAFO, and of the entire ABLODEDUNOVISIHA as well as the VAZOBA, have the mandate to once again reiterate to this 19th to 21st September 2018 INOSAAR gathering in Xogbonu/Hogbonu/Aja Ile here in the Republic of Benin, everything written in both statements by our two GAFRIC chiefs in furtherance of Positive Action upon them. This also relates to all the other endeavours we have been discussing and promoting through INOSAAR-RepAfrika and INOSAAR as a whole.
Among all the voices sounding calls for Afrikan Reparations, the increasing number and diversity of which are welcome to us for enriching public discourse on this key matter decisive in resolving all other issues in our contemporary World, we of the ABLODENUDZRADOSAFO are in accord with all our colleagues of the ABLODEDUNOVISIHA, the VAZOBA and the WAGPACC-INOSAAR in prioritizing and giving our greatest attention to the subaltern voices of those Frantz Fanon called the Wretched of the Earth throughout and beyond the continent and diaspora of Afrika. We do so because of our immense faith in the ability and capacity of the masses of our Afrikan people outside the corridors of currently existing machinery of state, yes, the ability of the most impoverished of the masses of our Afrikan people, like all other peoples of the World, to make History, even to do what to some may appear the impossible, as James Baldwin pointed out. We are of the strongest conviction that it is the masses of our Wretched of the Earth that shall exercise agency and play the most decisive role in taking our Pan-Afrikan Reparations for Global Justice Struggle to its definitive Rendezvous of Victory.
May we therefore conclude with an appropriately relevant axiom that Kofi Mawuli Klu and our VAZOBA colleagues of the Forum of Nkrumaist Thought and Action (FONTA) keep on reiterating to us in everything to do with all our Pan-Afrikan Reparations for Global Justice endeavours: “Do we mobilise and rely on the People in the Struggle against Imperialism in all its forms, or do we relegate the role of the masses of the People to a secondary place in this Struggle? I say that only the masses of the People can ensure Victory in our Struggle! ” From the 10th May 1965 Speech by Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah at the Fourth Afro-Asian Solidarity Conference in Winneba, Ghana.
Akpega na mi kata!!!
MAWUSE YAO AGORKOR
Email: Mawuse.email@example.com and Vazoba.firstname.lastname@example.org
Mawuse Yao Agorkor is a Social Justice Financial Management Practitioner and Pan-Afrikan Lifelong Learning for Global Citizenship Educationist based in Accra, Ghana, in West Afrika. His rich expertise is being glocally channeled into vibrant Scholar-Activist involvement in and engagement with various organisations, networks and campaigns in and beyond Afrika. Being a vigorous defender of human, peoples’ and Mother Earth rights, and therefore an energetic Eco-Justice promoter of Agriquacultural Lifestyles social enterprising, Mawuse’s main business occupation is working as the Chief Executive Officer of the NUNYANSABOME Pan-Afrikan Green Revolutionary Organic Permacultural Eco-Gardens (NUNYANSABOME-PAGROPEG). Considerable time of his is also devoted to serving as the General Secretary of the VAZOBA Afrika and Friends Networking Open Forum (VAZOBA-AFNOF); as well as the Principal Organising Secretary of the ABLODEDUNOVISIHA Gbetowo Global Union for Pan-Afrikan Community Regeneration(ABLODEDUNOVISIHA-GGUPACOR), under the auspices of which he plays a leading role in coordinating the ABLODENUDZRADOSAFO Global Ewe Community of Practice for Pan-Afrikan Reparatory Justice (ABLODENUDZRADOSAFO-GECOPPARJ). It is from these positions that he contributed to co-founding not only the SANKOFAAPAE Pan-Afrikan Reparatory Justice International Libation Ceremony in Accra, Ghana, but also the West Afrikan Grassroots Preparatory Action Coordinating Committee of the International Network of Scholars and Activists for Afrikan Reparations (WAGPACC-INOSAAR). He assists in glocally facilitating activities of the NKRUMAHDANFO Friends of Kwame Nkrumah International (NKRUMAHDANFO-FOKNI), the Pan-Afrikan Forum of Ghana (PAFOG), the Global Afrikan Family Reunion International Council (GAFRIC), the Global Afrikan People’s Parliament (GAPP), the Peoples’ Internationalist Fora for Inter-Community Lifelong Learning (PIFICOLL) and the Grassroots South-North Internationalist Forum (GRASSNIF). He is currently working together with the All-Afrikan Networking Community Link for International Development (AANCLID) and the Jubilee Debt Campaign (JDC) in the United Kingdom on implementing the Positive Action Programme for Pan-Afrikan Liberatory Tackling of International Debt (PAPPALTID). Among the numerous innovative endeavours of Lifelong Learning Mawuse is co-organising in collaboration with various organisations, universities and other institutions and networks of mural and extra-mural education all over Afrika and the World is the Grassroots InterLinks of Global Citizenship Action Learning (GILOGCAL).
Mawuse Yao Agorkor is a Social Justice Financial Management Practitioner and Pan-Afrikan Lifelong Learning for Global Citizenship Educationist based in Accra, Ghana. He works mainly as the Chief Executive Officer of the NUNYANSABOME Pan-Afrikan Green Revolutionary Organic Permacultural Eco-Gardens (NUNYANSABOME-PAGROPEG). Considerable time of his is also devoted to serving as the General Secretary of the VAZOBA Afrika and Friends Networking Open Forum (VAZOBA-AFNOF); as well as the Principal Organising Secretary of the ABLODEDUNOVISIHA Gbetowo Global Union for Pan-Afrikan Community Regeneration (ABLODEDUNOVISIHA-GGUPACOR), under the auspices of which he plays a leading role in coordinating the ABLODENUDZRADOSAFO Global Ewe Community of Practice for Pan-Afrikan Reparatory Justice (ABLODENUDZRADOSAFO-GECOPPARJ). It is from these positions that he contributed to co-founding not only the SANKOFAAPAE Pan-Afrikan Reparatory Justice International Libation Ceremony in Accra, but also the West Afrikan Grassroots Preparatory Action Coordinating Committee of the International Network of Scholars and Activists for Afrikan Reparations (WAGPACC-INOSAAR). He also plays leading roles in glocally facilitating activities of the Pan-Afrikan Forum of Ghana (PAFOG), the Global Afrikan Family Reunion International Council (GAFRIC), the Global Afrikan People’s Parliament (GAPP), the All-Afrikan Networking Community Link for International Development (AANCLID), the Peoples’ Internationalist Fora for Inter-Community Lifelong Learning (PIFICOLL), the Jubilee Debt Campaign (JDC), the Grassroots South-North Internationalist Forum (GRASSNIF) and various other formations, including the innovative Lifelong Learning creativity groundbreaking Grassroots InterLinks of Global Citizenship Action Learning (GILOGCAL).
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 email@example.com or text/call 07956431498.
All images are the © copyright of Thabo Jaiyesimi and must be accredited as such
14,590 Signatures of the ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide!’ Petition handed-in
The 6-member delegation for the 2018 hand-in of the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Petition were:
From Right to Left
1. Hon. Prophet Kweme Abubaka (Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee, Ethiopia African Black International Congress)
2. Dr Barryl Biekman, (Europe-wide NGO Consultative Council for Afrikan Reparations, Netherlands)
3. Mama Lindiwe Tsele (Pan-African Congress of Azania)
4. Ms Kambanda Veii (Ovaherero Genocide Foundation, Namibia)
5. Cllr Joshua Brown-Smith, age 12 (Office of the Young Mayor, London Borough of Lewisham)
6. Professor Gus John (Gus John Associates, Member of the African Union Technical Union Technical Committee of Experts on the 6th Region).
The delegation which handed-in the 2018 ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide!’ Petition represents a selection of the diversity within our Afrikan Heritage Community. The Young, The Elders, Born on the Continent, Born in the Diaspora, Male and Female, and as in previous members some members flew in from Afrika and Europe!
#Parliament is a Crime Scene!
See the following letter which accompanied the hand-in of the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Petition
Please note, the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Petition has been handed-in since 2015, in 2016 no signatures were handed in just the petition and a cover letter. In 2016, 5811 signatures were handed in, in 2017, 9636 signatures were handed in.
It is important to note that the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Petition is not the only tactic we are adopting, the petition signatures accompany a Maangamizi Crime Scene sticker operation and lobbying of MPs strategy via the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Postcard involving support for developing Afrikan Heritage Community advocacy on the points contained in the petition.
It is also important to note that we in the International Steering Committee Spearhead Team of the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Campaign (ISC-SMWeCGEC) know that reparations will not be achieved simply by submitting this petition, if one reads the petition it is clear that this is not our thinking. In numerous articles and documents we talk about the March and the petition being part of revolutionary strategy and tactics that we are engaged in, which also involve all forms and levels of liberation struggle waged by various contingents of the International Social Movement for Afrikans (ISMAR).
The Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March and the annual hand-in of the petition is about building a broad public support base for consolidating the ISMAR in order to strengthen the harnessing and building of Afrikan people’s power to advance reparations to definitive victory; whiincluding the establishment of MAATUBUNTUMAN Pan-Afrikan Union of Communities.
See the following links for further info about the strategy and tactics of the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Campaign in association with the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee:
As we approach the 3rd year of marching, what has been achieved? (2016)
After 4 years of marching, what has been achieved? (2017)
Rationale for Afrikan Reparations March (2018)
This video is of a workshop which took place on Friday 27th July, 2018 and provides some elaboration on the revolutionary thinking and work into for the long-term results that the March is meant to produce and to which it is already contributing.
This is a link to the initial response that was received from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) in response to the 2017 ‘Stop of the Maangamizi!’ Petition and its covering letter, and also the further response from FCO Minister Lord Ahmad.
“Pan-Afrika, and not Eurafrica, should be our watchword, and the guide to our policies.”
– OSAGYEFO KWAME NKRUMAH, ‘Africa Must Unite’, 1963.
“It will be gross self-delusive wishful thinking to believe that those wielding the reins of White racist supremacy are going to pay any serious heed to the Afrikan demand for Reparations, unless their hold on the machinery of global power is effectively challenged by the well-organised, upsurgent and self-empowering masses of Afrikan people, and their allied progressive forces throughout the World.”
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 African Reparations Movement, UK, 1993.
“At this juncture in our history, there is no way forward in addressing the problems that Afrikans and people of Afrikan descent and all other Black peoples face without seriously grasping the truth of the necessity for holistic reparatory justice. This includes restoring self-determination and sovereignty, implementing measures of cessation of contemporary violations, restitution.”
Esther Stanford-Xosei, 2016
This workshop will explore the meaning of the theme for the 5th annual Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March on 1st August 2018: ‘Nothing About Us Without Us: Actualizing the Reparatory Justice Change We Envisage.’ The main question we will discuss is: What kinds of tackling of problems and injustices that Afrikan people encounter can be deemed as the everyday repairs starting point of reparatory justice work? In this regard, we will highlight the outreach and other mobilizational work of the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee (AEDRMC), in association with the ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide!’ Campaign (SMWeCGEC) with a view to making people see themselves as the actual ‘makers’ and ‘drivers’ of reparatory justice rather than being passive recipients of the benevolence of government and other state actors. This kind of thinking in views expressed by the likes of CARICOM Reparations Commission, Chairperson, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles when he reportedly stated in a recent interview published in the Barbados Advocate (12/07/18):“…reparations is ultimately a government to government conversation. It is about how governments talk to each other. How governments sit down and work out strategies to resolve issues of this nature.”.
In this connection, this workshop will also further explain the revolutionary substance of the rationale for the Reparations March given in the following video.
The difficulty of grasping reparations differently from what the white supremacist racist establishment defines it to be for us as Afrikan people, is largely as a result of miseducation and the coloniality of our mindsets in even how we are made to think about the cause, nature, consequences and solutions to the problems and injustices that we are encountering as a result of the Maangamizi (Afrikan Hellacaust). It is still largely the case that many who claim to be pro-reparations are inadvertently merely ‘supporters’ or reparations; waiting for the day when someone is going to say “here is your reparations,” or when they and/or Afrikan and Caribbean nation states receive some award of compensation from the British and other European Governments. The whole notion of exercising agency in conceptualising, effecting, securing and taking reparatory justice is completely absent for most of our people, across the world, who are sympathisers or adherents of the cause of reparatory justice.
Taking into account the criticism some establishment scholars make of Black reparations activism, in terms of not seeing its revolutionary tendencies, this workshop will therefore highlight those constituencies of the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR), like PARCOE and the Global Afrikan People’s Parliament (GAPP) that advance radical change-making perspectives. Examples of such perspectives are: the concept and methodology of Pan-Afrikan Reparations for Global Justice which embraces the world revolutionary transformational strategy of ‘Maatubuntusa’ (the art of Pan-Afrikan revolutionary freedom- fighting) for achieving MAATUBUNTUMAN. MAATUBUNTUMAN is the name being popularised for the envisaged future Pan-Afrikan Union of Communities, championed by PARCOE and GAPP and the Global Afrikan Family Reunion International Council (GAFRIC) in Ghana. Coined from the conjunction of “Maat” (the holistic Justice concept from Kemet, Ancient Egypt), with “Ubuntu” (the Bantu concept of the Communion of Humanity from Southern Afrika) and “Oman” (the Akan concept of egalitarian Polity from West Afrika). MAATUBUNTUMAN promotes the concept of a global Afrikan polity (“Oman”), which is an organic embodiment of “Maat” and therefore practices “Ubuntu” in relation to her own citizens and the entirety of Humanity, Mother Earth and the Universe.
Esther Stanford-Xosei is a jurisconsult, community advocate specialising in the critical legal praxis of ‘law as resistance’ and internationally acclaimed Reparationist. She is the official spokesperson for the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee (AEDRMC) which organises the annual 1st August Reparations March in London. In addition, Esther is the co-initiator of the ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide!’ Petition and its wider campaign (SMWeCGEC). Esther also serves as the Co-Vice Chair of the Pan-Afrikan Reparations Coalition in Europe (PARCOE), co-founder of the Global Afrikan Peoples Parliament (GAPP), the Afrikan Reparations Transnational Community of Practice (ARTCoP) and the Europe-Wide NGO Consultative Council on Afrikan Reparations (ENGOCCAR). On behalf of PARCOE, Esther and other PARCOE members are involved as an activist partner in the building process of the International Network of Scholars & Activists for Afrikan Reparations (INOSAAR).
Oleye Gege is an emerging grassroots community scholar-activist, community radio broadcaster who promotes participatory approaches to effecting community self-repairs and addressing the intergenerational impacts of the psycho-social manifestations of the Maangamizi. He serves as the head of security and outreach facilitator on the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee and advocate of the ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide Ecocide!’ Campaign (SMWeCGEC). He is also a member of Afrikan Reparations Transnational Community of Practice (ARTCoP) and the International Network of Scholars & Activists for Afrikan Reparations (INOSAAR).
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 and a founding member of the Global Afrikan People’s Parliament. 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 UK [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.
For further info about the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March & the SMWeCGEC visit:
Date: Friday 27th July 2018
Time: Prompt Start @ 7.00pm [Doors Open 6.30PM]
Venue: 336 Brixton Road, London SW9 7DA (over from Max Roach Park) DISABLED ACCESS
Please Spread The Word, Attend And Bring A Friend!
We look forward to welcoming you.
On Behalf of PASCF (Pan Afrikan Society Community Forum
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.
If we do not unite and combine our military resources for common defence, our individual [African] States, out of a sense of insecurity, may be drawn into making defence pacts with foreign powers which may endanger the security of us all”.
Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah, ‘Africa Must Unite’ (1963)
We in the Global Afrikan Peoples Parliament (GAPP), in partnership with the ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/ Ecocide!’ Campaign (SMWeCGEC), join the progressive forces of Freedom, Justice and Peace, in the once proudly inspiring Black Star nation-state founded by Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah, in expressing their outrage and vehement opposition to the shocking endorsement by the Government of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his so-called New Patriotic Party (NPP) majority in Parliament, of the completely unjustifiable Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on defence cooperation between the Republic of Ghana and the United States of America on March 8, 2018. It is unimaginable that, 61 years after the declaration of Ghana’s independence, the very Euro-Amerikkkan imperialist superpower of the West, whose Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) masterminded the violent February 1966 coup d’état which shattered the Pan-Afrikan Liberation dreams and efforts of Ghana’s first visionary head of state, is now supposed to be the country’s key security ally. For the sake of the serious lessons that must be critically learnt by us all, we must not lose sight of the fact that this current Akuffo-Addo-approved MOU is supposed to be the enhancement of two previous agreements that were signed with the USA without public discussion, scrutiny and parliamentary endorsement in Ghana in 1998 and 2015 by the preceding governments of President Jerry John Rawlings and President John Dramani Mahama respectively.
We therefore urge you to keep up your resistance as you did with the 2008 attempts to establish an AFRICOM military base in Ghana until this manifestation of the Maangamizi (Afrikan Hellacaust of chattel colonial and neo-colonial forms of enslavement) is stopped. For, contrary to assertions that the USA Government is not establishing an American military base, the agreement indicates that the USA Armed Forces will have the use of a designated area in Ghana to set up their own camp inaccessible to anyone else, in other words a ‘base’ by another name. The presence of this enduring base will increase the militarisation of the state and society leading to increased hostilities directed against the people of Ghana for being in cohoots with the US Empire in committing crimes against Humanity.
Just like in 1844 when Fante Chiefs were outmanoeuvred into signing an agreement on behalf of the Gold Coast with the British colonisers, similarly today, we have a Government and its majority in parliament surrendering the sovereignty, dignity and territorial integrity of the people of Ghana, undermining their national interests and security. However, as in the past the people of Ghana at no time have ceded their sovereignty, which is what makes this agreement so injurious to the interests of Ghanaians; the implications of such will be felt for generations to come. The agreement had been drafted in a manner which does not state a termination point. Article 6 of the MOU states that: “Buildings constructed by United States forces shall ….be used by United States forces until no longer needed by United States forces”. If read literally, this agreement will in actuality bind all successive governments in Ghana.
Furthermore, regarding the settlement of disputes between the parties, article 18 stipulates that: “Any dispute regarding the application, implementation, or interpretation of this Agreement, or its Implementing Arrangements…shall not be referred to any national or international court, tribunal, or similar body, or to any third party for settlement, unless otherwise mutually agreed”. Rather, the agreement reinforces USA military immunity from international law and imposes Euro-Amerikkkan law on the people and Government of Ghana in the settlement of claims arising out of the operations of the base, including death, destruction of property or injury. It is likely that such arrangements will increase covert military and security operations both in Ghana and across Afrika.
We support you, the progressive forces of Ghana, in seeking to ensure that all your combined efforts to stop this manifestation of the Maangamizi succeed in making such affronts to Ghana’s sovereignty and the Pan-Afrikan dignity of Ghanaians to not occur again. Such resistance must keep us firmly on the path of Pan-Afrikan Reparations for Global Justice through first and foremost arresting these continued violations of Ghanaian sovereignty and self-determined nationhood. Given the increasing expansion of neo-colonial tentacles of revanchist coloniality by Euro-Amerikkkan imperialism throughout the Continent of domestically and externally re-colonised Afrika, it is vital to recognise the need to accelerate the building of Maatubuntujamaas – Afrikan Heritage Communities for National Self-Determination (AHC-NSDs) in the Diaspora to connect with their equivalent Sankofahomes on the Continent to achieve Maatubuntuman (Pan-Afrikan Union of Communities). Clearly, the Afrika that currently exists is being sold out by one neo-colonial government after another. It follows that organising to actualize Maatubuntuman, a globally superpowerful participatory democratic anti-imperialist polity of Maat which practices Ubuntu in relation to her people and all of humanity and the cosmos rooted in the indigenous nation-building practices of Afrika and her people, is the only force which can make the global apartheid racist agenda and structures of recolonization by White Supremacy ungovernable.
Unlike in the past when Founding father of the Republic of Ghana, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, called for unified armed forces (an Afrikan High Command), and a common Afrikan foreign policy, we have a situation where the current Defence Minister Dominic Nitiwul is seeking to hoodwink the people of Ghana into accepting overt military domination; arguing that the USA Government has such defence cooperation agreements “in over 50 countries”. However, what Nitiwul and the misruling so-called New Patriotic Party (NPP) of President Akufo-Addo are refusing to admit to the people of Ghana is that these arrangements are part of what Chalmers Johnson in his 2004 book, ‘The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic’, called an “empire of bases” which advance US geopolitical interests, not those of so-called host countries.
In this regard, we echo the sentiments of the Coalition Against US Foreign Military Bases, which held its inaugural event January 12-14, 2018 at the University of Baltimore in Maryland, in the USA where it operates; we reiterate to you what they expressed in their Unity Statement: “U.S. foreign military bases are the principal instruments of imperial global domination and environmental damage through wars of aggression and occupation, and that the closure of U.S. foreign military bases is one of the first necessary steps toward a just, peaceful and sustainable World.” It is indeed alarming that the United States maintains the highest number of military bases outside its territory, estimated at almost 1000 (95% of all foreign military bases in the World).
The ‘No Foreign Military Bases’ Coalition further asserts that: “These bases are centres of aggressive military actions, threats of political and economic expansion, sabotage and espionage, and crimes against local populations. In addition, these military bases are the largest users of fossil fuel in the world, heavily contributing to environmental degradation”. We concur with the coalition’s assertion that US foreign military bases represent the interests of the “dominant financial, political, and military interests of the ruling elite” and agree with their conclusion that: “Whether invited in or not by domestic interests that have agreed to be junior partners, no country, no peoples, no government, can claim to be able to make decisions totally in the interest of their people, with foreign troops on their soil representing interests antagonistic to the national purpose”.
This is the time for the Pan-Afrikan essence of our Reparatory Justice struggles all over the world to take concrete shape by working in cooperation with all Freedomfighting peoples around the World in order to galvanise the Internationalist Solidarity of allies of Afrikan people at home and abroad, to reinvigorate the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), and to win the hearts, minds and spirits of Peoples of Conscience for a just World of Peace for all. This is one of the surest ways to ensure that Imperialism in all its forms and guises is exposed, effectively counteracted and completely eradicated throughout the World.
Accordingly, we identify with all the modes of legitimate Resistance being adopted in multifarious opposition to this disgraceful deal of treasonable sell-out to the USA not only by various organisations, networks and campaigns in and outside the homeland of founding father Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah, but also by the conscientious chiefs and other true leaders of the indigenous communities that make up the authentic Afrikan polity of Ghana and who are upholding her independent Afrikan Personality in all its sovereignty, dignity and integrity. We support the calls from all the progressive forces of Civil Society, admirably including various youth, student, women and labour groupings, that are being echoed by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) minority in the Ghanaian Parliament, and even some voices of sanity in the NPP, demanding an immediate withdrawal of the agreement, pending the holding of broad consultations and a thorough national discussion involving all relevant stakeholders. May we emphasize the salient point that our GAPP and all others involved in the SMWeCGEC and their affinity organisations, networks and campaigns all over the World see such stakeholders as including those Afrikans abroad who lay claim to Global Pan-Afrikan citizenship and who are, in this United Nations International ‘Decade for People of African Descent’ (UN-IDPAD), asserting their ‘Right to Afrika’.
We are in consultations with Ghanaian progressive forces at home and abroad engaged in planning appropriate Global Actions of Internationalist Solidarity with Ghana Against Foreign Military Occupation. In this connection, we urge all those in Ghana to glocally face up, with enlightening global broad-mindedness, to the seriousness of the very dangerous geopolitical intrigue-weaving, malevolence and War-games which this agreement is drawing them into to descend further into the abyss of the World military-industrial-prison complex of the USA. This MOU will only worsen your Maangamizi plight of Neocolonialism by the Global Apartheid way of White Supremacy racist Recolonization by opening you up to suffer more crimes of Genocide and Ecocide. The narrow-mindedness of parochial obscurantism will not do in successfully rallying to defeat the war-mongering reactionary forces of USAFRICOM that very well master anti-people games of divide and misrule. That is why the necessity cannot be overstated now for United Front-building among all progressive forces unflinchingly committed to defending Sovereignty, eschewing sectarianism, ethnocentrism, egocentrism and similar vices, advancing together in Principled Unity to champion human, peoples’ and Mother Earth rights, while firmly upholding uncompromising Anti-Imperialism, Self-Determination, National Liberation, Social Justice, Participatory Democracy and holistic Pan-Afrikan Reparations for Global Justice. That is why, now more than ever before, is the time to seize in globalising Pan-Afrikan Resistance for Reparatory Justice forward ever onward to total victory!
GAPP Leadership Facilitation Team in association with the ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide!’ Campaign (SMWeCGEC) Spearhead Team of the SMWeCGEC International Steering Committee (ISC-SMWCGEC)
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The following two statements from members of the Global Afrikan Family Reunion International Council (GAFRIC) in Ghana, express the reparatory justice perspectives of the leadership that exists for Afrikan communities of reparations interest battling the Maangamizi on the ground in Afrika. They were presented at the 17th March 2018 International Network of Scholars & Activists for Afrikan Reparations (INOSAAR) Conference in Birmingham. Most importantly, these statements from Paramount Chiefs, Togbe Adzatekpor VII and Nana Kobina Nketsia V highlight their recognition, as leading members of the GAFRIC, of the right of Afrikan people all over the world to the Continent of Afrika!
The ‘right to Afrika‘ incorporates the ‘right to return’ (repatriation) and ‘right to belong’ (rematriation) which is one process. One cannot happen without the other. It encompasses the Akan Sankofa principle of going back to fetch your Afrikan personality in material and spiritual terms all routed in the land of Afrika. The ‘Afrikan personality’, popularised by Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah, refers to manifestations of cultural uniqueness among Afrikans as reflected in our behaviours, social norms, customs, values, beliefs, spiritual zeal, attitudes, explanations of the cosmos and the supernatural, as well as social and political systems. The right to Afrika includes the right to belong to the peoplehood of Afrika and benefit from the shared land, wealth and resources of Afrika, as well as share in her many development challenges. This does not mean that all Afrikans physically has to up and return to Afrika, but that one should be able to exercise the global citizenship rights and responsibilities of being an Afrikan.
Ultimately, it is about feeling the power of Afrika protecting us as Afrikans wherever we are in the world. However, for this to happen it is necessary to rebuild Afrika on the basis of our indigenous polities and delegitimise colonial state formations. This means rebuilding Afrika into a unified whole; integrating communities of Afrikan people from the Continent and Diaspora into a globally superpowerful polity (MAATUBUNTUMAN- Pan-Afrikan Union of Communities) based on the Continent that guarantees the collective strength, dignity and security of Afrikan people worldwide.
The statements from Togbe Adzatekpor VII and Nana Kobina Nketsia V also show the readiness of such community leaders, and their respective communities of reparatory justice interest, to contribute to repairing the disrepair of our Afrikan communities. They are doing what they can to counteract the divisive impact of the Maangamizi with policies, projects, programmes and other measures towards reunifying our Global Afrikan Family, in accordance with the imperatives of holistic Pan-Afrikan Reparations for Global Justice.
“Convinced that the pursuit of reparations by the African peoples in the continent and in the Diaspora will itself be a learning experience in self-discovery and in uniting experience politically and psychologically.”
The Abuja Proclamation: A declaration of the ‘first Abuja Pan-African Conference on Reparations For African Enslavement, Colonisation And Neo-Colonisation’, sponsored by The Organisation Of African Unity and its Reparations Commission April 27-29, 1993, Abuja, Nigeria
Togbe Osie Adza Tekpor VII, Paramount Chief of the Avatime Traditional Area
Nana Kobina Nketsia V, Paramount Chief of the Essikado Traditional Area
“To love Afrika, to seek the cultural freedom of Afrika and to serve the cultural truth of Afrika is to ask for death”
Nana Kobina Nketsia V
Recommended reading, ‘African Culture in Governance and Development: The Ghana Paradigm’ by Nana Kobina Nketsia V, with an introduction by Professor James Small.
“When we look at Afrika and see whose culture we are practising, we realise how vulnerable we are to genocide because we are practising the culture of our enemies and not the culture of our ancestors. Nana Nketsia is making a case that I don’t think any opposing legal framework can defeat; a case for us to return to the ways of our Ancestors and abandon and turn our backs on the ways of the rapists, the plunderers and the murderers who have imposed on us, their culture, their history, their notion of reality and their religion; and we must make this u-turn to continue our journey, we want to go back to the womb of Mother Afrika and compose again, as her child, her dreams, her aspirations, her hopes and her future. This will allow us to have full control of the economics, politics and culture that affects lives on a daily basis. This process must include at its core, the restoration of complete confidence in us and a belief system that is based on the reality of our own experience and that of our Ancestors, which is a challenge that Nana’s work clearly identifies.
Nana is re-membering the Afrikan continent. Its members are scattered and Nana’s book is bringing them back together. That is the essence of the word ‘remember’; reconnecting the scattered members of a once collective whole to make it whole again. Nana is reminding us to bring back our Ancestors’ way of thinking that will allow us to reconstruct a dynamic path for the future.”
Taken from the introduction by Professor James Small
“To be a slave was to be a human being under conditions in which that humanity was denied.
They were not slaves. They were [Afrikan] people.
Their condition was slavery.
They looked upon themselves and their servitude with the eyes and minds of human beings, conscious of all that went on around them”.
“Most human behaviour is controlled by images. Image is a factor in how people look at themselves and what they use to reflect themselves. The control of images is a major factor in world power”
John Henrik Clarke
“Powerful people cannot afford to educate the people that they oppress, because once you are truly educated, you will not ask for power. You will take it.”
John Henrik Clarke
They say silence speaks louder than words; in what has been perceived to be our silence, we have also been speaking volumes. It is not that we have not been responding, it is simply that some are looking for us to respond in typical sorts of ways. We in the ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide!’ Campaign (SMWeCGEC) do not pander to obscurantism, more so with misguiding populist decorations. Our priority focus is on educating, organising and mobilising people to ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ through their own reparatory justice action-learning in order to build their own power to effect holistic reparatory justice. This is why we concur with Dr John Henrik Clarke as quoted above. What is happening in and around Libya is more than enslaved Afrikans being sold on auction blocks. Rather, this is one of the symptoms of an increasingly decadent, rotten and stinking neocolonialism as being perpetuated in Afrika by the Global Apartheid racist forces of Euro-Amerikkkan imperialism which is making our own homeland terribly more impossible to live in. If our own countries have not become hell on earth why wouldn’t Afrikans want to stay in Afrika?
Some people are making lots of noise and taking sporadically reactive actions about Afrikans being sold on auction blocks in Libya. It is not lost upon us that some of these noises and actions are being orchestrated and paid for from dodgy sources inimical to the best interests of Afrika. As justified in their spontaneity as some of such actions may appear, they raise lots more questions than answers. After these sorts of protests that we are seeing being organised in response largely to the imperialist corporate mouthpiece CNN reporting and dissemination of ‘controlling images’ of Afrikans being sold on auction-blocs, what do most of the participants who attend such protests, (including those who simply do so simply because they are paid bogus NGO bureaucrats and poverty-pimps, whose job it is to orchestrate and profit from such wild-goose chases), do as follow-up actions of every-day resistance to effect change in eradicating the root causes of such horrors? How long shall we continue to run helter-skelter in spontaneous protests actions, without taking effectively organised actions to prevent the killing of our freedom-fighting prophets and the violent destruction of the movements of resistance they have been trying to build? It would seem that there are some in our Afrikan Heritage Communities that seek to limit our activism to aimless protests, outside of the context of movement-building, with no clear goals or agreement on who should be the targets of our actions, the change we are seeking to bring about and no plan to build principled organizational unity or the capacity to facilitate such potentially change-making endeavours.
Why are those concerned not crying out and protesting louder about the mess being made of our Afrikan homeland by Euro-Amerikkkan imperialism through its neocolonial Afrikan and Arab elitist puppets; the stinking mess with all the brutalities of white-supremacy racist barbarism that is driving ordinary Afrikans away from their homes? Please be more critically aware, discerning and vigilant. Take the kind of well-planned ‘Stop the Maangamizi’ for Reparatory Justice! action/s that will prevent Afrikans from fleeing our own homeland in the first place and vacating it for more foreign setter-colonialists to move in, racially cleanse and occupy for nefarious geopolitical ends. It is high time that our people once again focused on the kinds of systematic actions that will effect systemic change and not simply respond in knee-jerk fashion to the various symptoms of the same system in such a way that these symptoms become the main focus of our protest actions.
A more useful starting point would be to target Euro-Amerikkkan imperialism and its agencies, institutions and quislings, including their Black puppets of neocolonialism, that are masterminding such horrific crimes of the Maangamizi; particularly with a view to shutting down the Maangamizi Crime Scenes that you can find anywhere near you or close to communities you can be engaged constructively with. For people in Afrika ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ is not just a slogan, it is a life and death matter, hence why we initiated the SMWeCGEC with specific aims and objectives towards stopping the Maangamzi which manifests itself in the current system of neocolonialism with symptoms including variations of ‘modern-day slavery’, such as is becoming more highlighted currently in Libya. In our justified outrage about this form of modern-day enslavement of Afrikans, we must be mindful of who is pushing and profiting from this particular narrative and proliferation of ‘slave-auction controlling images’ and whose agenda is our people’s very predictable-spontaneous reactions to such narratives serving? It is indeed the same forces today as was the case yesteryear. After all, those that are most pushing the ‘modern day-slavery’ agenda and ‘it is Afrikans that are at it again‘ agenda are those actually responsible for creating, fuelling and perpetuating those conditions which continue to make it possible, including violently killing those freedom-fighters of ours who organise and build movements so stop such manifestations of the Maangamizi.
How comes this was not occurring under a Colonel Gaddafi led-Libya? Modern-day enslavement of Afrikans in Libya, in this aggravated form, is happening because NATO forces deliberately have chosen to make it happen in order to lend credence to their governments propaganda about us forgetting our intergenerational reparatory justice demands and rather begging them to clean up the Euro-Amerikkkan ‘mess’ they have created in Libya; and save us from horrors they contrive all the time in different ways and means. After all, isn’t Libya and its current neocolonial puppet-government a territory that is absolutely controlled in military and all other forms by the same forces of Euro-Amerikkkan imperialism and their creation of reactionary counterinsurgency terrorist forces like Al-Qaeda and Islamic State?
We must not allow ourselves to fall into the Hegelian Dialectic i.e. Roman Emperor Diocletian’s age-old problem-reaction-solution method for securing geopolitical interests. This highlighting of the modern-enslavement of Afrikans in Libya, divorced from the context and continuum of the Maangamizi, is an attempt by the Euro-Amerikkkan imperialist Establishment to assert its geopolitical interests in Afrika and to shift and misdirect the masses attention away from the task of every-day resistance movement building for Pan-Afrikan Power through effecting Pan-Afrikan Reparations for Global Justice by our own People’s Power.
Directing our protests at forces which right now have no interests in stopping the trafficking, incarceration and enslavement of Afrikans in Libya is the classic way we give up our own change-making power by thinking that ‘WE THE AFRIKAN PEOPLE’ do not have the power to set our own agenda and organise to achieve it. Our time, and difficult to harness resources, are better utilised in self-determinedly organising according to our own Pan-Afrikan Liberation agenda to put a full-stop to the Maangamizi in the process of effecting holistic reparatory justice by our own people’s power; a global force those of us in the Diaspora have the responsibility first and foremost, to develop through building Afrikan Heritage Communities for National Self-Determination (AHC’s NSDs/Maatubuntujamaas) to organically generate the MAATUBUNTUMANDLA Pan-Afrikan Government of Peoples Power Abroad which in our contemporary times will be the most effective way to uphold, defend and promote the best collective geo-political interests of Afrikan people throughout the World.
What is happening now in Libya and the disgraceful inability of governments and other state officials throughout the Continent and Diaspora of Afrika to do anything effective in addressing the situation makes it more imperative for Afrikans, outside of the Continent of Afrika, to prioritise the building of such MAATUBUNTUMANDLA as a step towards achieving MAATUBUNTUMAN (Pan-Afrikan Union of Communities at Home & Abroad); so that we are able to not only ‘substantively’ represent’ ourselves in positive action to make our Afrikan Lives actually matter in deed; but also amplify the voices of our Communities of Resistance on the Continent and support them in freedom-fighting actions that will enable them to stop such crimes of the Maangamizi upon their own initiatives. This is how best we in our time can fulfil our ‘mission’ and not betray it, as others have and are still doing, so as to win and guarantee our collective security and thereby provide a brighter future for us and our progeny on Planet Earth.
‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide!’ Campaign International Steering Committee (ISC-SMWeCGEC)
04/12/17 revised from original statement of Kofi Mawuli Klu on 28/11/17
“The neo-colonialism of today represents imperialism in its final and perhaps its most dangerous stage. In the past it was possible to convert a country upon which a neo-colonial regime had been imposed — Egypt in the nineteenth century is an example — into a colonial territory. Today this process is no longer feasible. Old-fashioned colonialism is by no means entirely abolished. It still constitutes an African problem, but it is everywhere on the retreat. Once a territory has become nominally independent it is no longer possible, as it was in the last century, to reverse the process. Existing colonies may linger on, but no new colonies will be created. In place of colonialism as the main instrument of imperialism we have today neo-colonialism. The essence of neo-colonialism is that the State which is subject to it is, in theory, independent and has all the outward trappings of international sovereignty. In reality its economic system and thus its political policy is directed from outside.”
Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, ‘Neocolonialism: The Last Stage of Imperialism’
“Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it”
AN ISMAR UK DIALOGUE IN LONDON WITH CARICOM – NATIONAL COUNCIL ON REPARATION IN JAMAICA (JNCR): AN INITIAL REPORT-BACK
DIALOGUE DATE : 14 NOVEMBER 2017
*ISMAR stands for International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations
1. Professor Verene Shepherd: Scholar-Activist Co-Chair of the Jamaica National Council on Reparation (JNCR), Director of the UWI – Centre for Reparation Research, Independent Expert at the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
2. Bert Samuels: Pan-Afrikanist Attorney-at-Law, Head of JNCR Legal Working Group.
3. Lord Anthony Gifford QC: Attorney-At-Law, Member of Queen’s Commission, Member of JNCR, Citizen of Jamaica since 1990’s, involved with reparations since days of mentor Bernie Grant, MP.
“Dialogue is a form of struggle. It is not a chit chat. Create a dialogue that focuses not just on the vulnerability of all groups, but on those larger issues of justice, democracy and the crisis within our own communities then try to hammer out some everyday problems that relate to the everyday lives of those groups”
Professor Cornel West
Purpose of the Meeting
The meeting started with introductions and a reminder of the purpose of the deliberations:
1: The status of the reparatory justice movement in the UK and Jamaica (update on both sides);
2: What strategies have worked and why? What strategies have not worked and why?;
3. The way forward.
It was reiterated that this meeting is a dialogue and, notwithstanding the limits of time, participants should adhere to and help reinforce the principles of dialogue. Communication agreements were highlighted: it was emphasized that people should speak from their own reality, speak in their name, from their own point of view and also realise that we are here to share as well as listen to others; and that in doing, so we do not all have to agree with each other.
From the JNCR
Professor Shepherd made some preliminary comments. She recognised that there were some misgivings and acknowledged that some of the participants had previously sent in their issues of concern in advance of the meeting. She stated that they would not be able address all the points and issues that had been sent in advance from some parties in the dialogue but emphasized that this is not the only trip the delegation will make. She informed the gathering that she is head of the JNCR Diaspora and International Engagement Working Group. There is another JNCR working group which is the Internal Reparations and Internal Engagement Working Group for Postcolonial Wrongs committed by post-colonial regimes like Coral Gardens. So, the JNCR is working externally and internally.
Professor Shepherd acknowledged that there were lots of questions about the CARICOM Reparations Commission (CRC). The Chair of the CRC, she explained that Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, wanted to join on this trip and was not able to but has committed to a separate trip here next year on behalf of the CRC. She reiterated that this engagement is part of the JNCR terms of reference point 6, which is “to engage the international community in Afrika, the Americas and Europe in discussion on reparations and build a global coalition of reparations activists”. It was pointed out that the experience in the UK can guide in what they are doing in Jamaica. After all, many in the United Kingdom are part of Jamaica and have been calling for closer collaboration. She acknowledged that reparations conversations in Jamaica and other parts of the Caribbean cannot continue to exclude us in UK.
Professor Shepherd explained that the JNCR was first established in 2009, but this version of the JNCR is the 3rd version of it. She explained that the JNCR is preparing a report on its activities of the last few years, in order to advise on the way forward, including what forms reparations should take. It is currently consulting on this with a view to better comprehending what reparations would be like internally and externally.
First reason being the need to ally itself with civil society, including Rastafari organisations, as governments should not stand aside from the movement. Secondly, was their own conviction that the Maangamizi (Afrikan holocaust/hellacaust) is a Crime against humanity and that Western European nations have failed to repair damage done by the Afrikan holocaust.
Professor Shepherd commented on the recent visit to Jamaica by Lord Tariq Ahmad, the current UK Government Minister responsible for the Caribbean, Commonwealth and the United Nations Affairs. During his visit, Lord Ahmad insensitively stated that it was better for Jamaica to look ahead and maximise its potential rather than to peer into history at a time when everyone was peering into history at Remembrance Day. She pointed out that similar comments were made by Lord Ahmad’s predecessor, Mark Simmonds, as well as former UK Prime Ministers, David Cameron and Tony Blair. She mentioned the letter of Barbados PM Fruendel Stuart, QC. to Lord Tariq Ahmad proposing a meeting to discuss the evidential basis of Caribbean Reparations Initiative to which there was a response that the British Government “does not believe that reparations are the answer”.
Professor Shepherd referenced the reparations context from a state perspective, within which the movement is growing and why the Jamaican government felt it should establish the JNCR. It was highlighted that Gordon K. Lewis reminded us in ‘The Growth of the Modern West Indies’ that Britain “sought withdrawal from the Caribbean area without providing the sort of economic aid to which, on any showing, the colonies were entitled.” In addition, Sir Ellis Clarke, who was the Trinidadian Government’s United Nations representative to a sub-committee of the Committee on Colonialism in 1964, had made this point in his statement: “An administering power… is not entitled to extract for centuries all that can be got out of a colony and when that has been done to relieve itself of its obligations…. Justice requires that reparation be made to the country that has suffered the ravages of colonialism before that country is expected to face up to the problems and difficulties that will inevitably beset it upon independence.”
Professor Shepherd spoke about challenges that the JNCR has had in implementing its workplan in relation to receiving submissions, undertaking public consultations, conducting hearings and receiving testimonies to guide a national response on reparations and consulting various constituencies. Nevertheless, they have tried to reach people by conducting a media blitz, utilising the ‘Running African’ show of Ka’bu Ma’at Kheru on IRIE FM and big public events where reparations are promoted and discussed such as:
• Establishment of a memorial for the ‘Zong Massacre’ in Black River to commemorate the lives of the 133 enslaved Afrikans who were thrown overboard by the crew of the ‘slave ship’ Zong in 1781 for insurance purposes);
• Play on the ‘Trial of Governor Eyre’ written by Bert Samuels, directed by Michael Holgate; the play addresses what would happen if Edward John Eyre, governor of Jamaica during the Morant Bay Rebellion of 1865, was tried for murder, including the deaths of National Heroes Paul Bogle and George William Gordon;
• It was acknowledged that the Jamaican Government must follow through on obligations to pay compensation to Coral Gardens victims and deal with responsibilities to family members where victims have died;
• Committing to youth engagement as youth are not significantly engaged;
• Highlighted the regional ‘run for reparations’ baton relay, which is going around the country, to end on 27th December in St. James, where war of 1831-2 started. So, the focus is on the youth using media and events;
• Professor Shepherd informed the gathering that she had helped to revise history on the syllabus in schools; over much objection, reparations is now on the syllabus; having to take applied history perspectives i.e. using history to address a modern concern.
She concluded her comments by sharing other challenges that they are working with in the JNCR including:
• 49% in a 2011 poll by the Jamaica Gleaner suggested most Jamaicans believe the country would be better off today if it had remained a British colony;
•”Reparations are another begging bowl”;
• “Governments cannot be trusted and only a grassroots movement will succeed”;
• People don’t trust academics, elite Rastas and lawyers and worse CARICOM;
• People do not agree on forms of reparations and only individual reparations with a personal benefit will appeal to them;
• People are not too happy how £350 million distributed in the region, not part of reparations.
Professor Shepherd closed her comments by asking “So how do we overcome the challenges, how do we go forward, what has worked for you and what lessons can be learned?”
Lord Anthony Gifford QC
Lord Gifford commenced by stating that he sees the delegation and their colleagues in the JNCR as being “independent thinkers” with connections and skills who have been asked to advise the Jamaican government. In this regard, firstly, it must be continually emphasized that reparations is a legally sound just cause for crimes against humanity, and reparations have never been addressed. This case was made in Abuja in 1993 and in Durban at the 2001 World Conference Against Racism (WCAR). He highlighted that there has been at least a verbal acceptance by CARICOM governments that this case is made out. He pointed out that lots of strides have thus far been made in the Caribbean by mobilising people in support of reparations.
Secondly, it is important to work out what reparations mean and if possible agree upon what forms reparations will take. He explained that this point of unity among pro-reparations forces has not as yet been arrived at. Hence why it is important to consult people and friends in other countries as well as consult with the wider Diaspora.
One of most important things on which to give honest and correct advice to the JA government is the necessity to consult the people. Gifford explained that we cannot just have a scheme that just looks good on paper; adding: “you can’t even just have a scheme that is good on paper because government can be destabilised by all kinds of forces, and there are many working against reparations in a vicious way. He pointed out that it is no coincidence that Lord Ahmad was visiting the Caribbean at the same time while their JNCR delegation is in the UK; and also surmised that part of Chief Abiola’s downfall in Nigeria was because he spoke out on reparations on behalf of Afrika and her Diaspora.
Lord Gifford concluded by highlighting that it seems that in the UK we are in a potentially life changing situation, with a possibility of a Corbyn led- government; stating that he was, interested to know how the gathering, in attendance, thought a change in UK government will assist the cause of reparatory justice.
Attorney Bert Samuels
Bert Samuels raised the case of Somerset v Stewart highlighting contradictions within the British legal system, (as well as between Britain and Jamaica), concerning the whole idea of slavery being a crime against humanity. He sees internal reparations as very important, and is proud to be lead adviser to the Coral Gardens group, helping to win $10 million Jamaica Dollars for the Rastafari community. He believes we must “tidy our own houses” before we can approach others to say they should help tidy ours. He also spoke of what happened at the 1865 Morant Bay Rebellion, where 400+ persons were killed by militia and that historical-legal research was being done to include various dimensions to the Jamaican reparations case.
Samuels concluded by highlighting the role of legal actions in ‘demystifying the law’ and also creating avenues for public education and mass mobilisation which are part of the power-building to institute alternative legal and extra-legal measures.
To demystify law is to make people lose their awe before the law as it being something ‘sacrosanct’ by simplifying and summarizing legal principles, concepts and decisions/judgements for those not critically schooled or untrained in the disciplines of law ultimately leading to a democratisation of law-making and legal practice.
UK ISMAR Report Back
It was stressed that we need to recognise the fact that the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR) is the way it is here in the UK because of the radical ground-up anti-imperialist approach, led from the grassroots, by non-state actors that we have inherited in terms of the global legacies of the Pan-Afrikan Congresses, the Garveyite Movement, the Black Power and Rastafari Movements as they have developed in the UK. We endeavour to maintain fidelity to such legacies that have been shaped by the roles of Afrikans from both the continent and diaspora of Afrika such as Attobah Kwodjo Enu (aka Ottobah Cuguano), Olaudah Equiano, Henry Sylvester-Williams, Marcus Garvey, W.E.B. DuBois, John Archer, Paul Robeson, C.L.R. James, Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah, Peter Abrahams, George Padmore, Amy Ashwood Garvey, Ras Makonnen and Jomo Kenyatta in advancing together from Britain the Pan-Afrikan Movement to enhance the global harmonisation within the Pan-Afrikan Congresses of the reparatory justice demands that Afrikan people have been making for centuries from their own homeland and extending throughout the World.
It was further emphasized that it is with their precious blood, sweat and tears from exertions not only of brawn but also of brain power, wherever our Afrikan people were compelled to endure the dispossessions, degradations and dehumanization of various forms of enslavement, that they have bequeathed to us a most treasurable arsenal of intellectual and organisational weapons that we continue to utilise in updating our ISMAR-building and its strategy and tactics here in the UK, with input from all those contingents of the ISMAR and its interconnected Peoples’ Reparations International Movement (PRIM) throughout the World, particularly Afrikan Communities of Reparations Interest and their allies, with which we keep networking. Therefore, most of the leading Afrikan Heritage Community activists who identify with the ISMAR and are conscious of its history and true legacies see ourselves as custodians of a Reparations Movement which is informed by a global and glocal, rather than country national, or even regional perspectives. Most of such leading activists see reparations as inextricably connected to global Afrikan Liberation, recognising that it is through such total liberation in Pan-Afrikan revolutionary perspective that we can glocally effect truly meaningful reparatory justice by our own Black People’s Power.
However, it was also recognised that there was a need for this history to be more accessible and widely known by ordinary members of the public who are largely miseducated about this history due to state schooling; more so since ordinary members of the public are recipients of a state-miseducation system which continues to perpetuate the disconnection of generations of Afrikan Heritage Communities from their history and the neglected social history that Afrikan people have made in the UK, particularly since the so-called World War I and II. In addition to the failure of the education system to equip Afrikan people to see the connections between their current reality, in relation to deaths in custody, school exclusions and colonialism and neocolonialism, i.e. the failure to see the domestic colonised/neocolonised status of people of Afrikan heritage in the UK. In this regard, it was recommended and strongly advocated that we cannot approach Afrikan reparatory justice from the perspective of sentimentality but that there was a need for serious scholarly work to be done which was put in service of building a people-centred mass movement for reparatory justice.
At the same time there was also a need for scholars/intellectuals whether they are establishment scholars or grassroots scholars to become or stay community engaged and accountable. In this regard, the International Network of Scholars and Activists for Afrikan Reparations (INOSAAR) was highlighted as an approach to non-extractivist research and scholarship which is accountable to the ISMAR. Just as is being done by some constituencies of the PRIM in various countries of Abya Yala (the so-called Americas), including Bolivia, Ecuador, Brazil, the USA and Canada, the INOSAAR is supporting the ISMAR-promoted development of endeavours towards building a more egalitarian, equitable and pluriversal Global Academy Commons by giving recognition to scholars not only in Establishment Academia but also those of Grassroots Academia, including those engaged in scholarship utilising Afrikan Indigenous Knowledge Systems that indigenous communities of Afrika are revitalising on the continent as well as other systems of knowledge production developed by Afrikan Heritage Communities of the Diaspora.
ISMAR activists in the meeting articulated their defence of advocating for activists in the UK to work from the non-negotiable standpoint of critical support for some reparations state actors, while maintaining that it is non-state actors of civil society that remain the foremost driving force of the ISMAR. Hence taking the uncompromising standpoint that it is the grassroots of Afrikan Civil Society that leads the ISMAR, with its own independent programme of action arising from its anti-establishment strategy and tactics of total Pan-Afrikan liberation as the process through which we can best take, effect and secure holistic reparatory justice, by our own people’s power, in pursuit of this strategy and tactics.
• It was pointed out that the 1993 Abuja first Pan-Afrikan conference on Reparations for chattel enslavement, colonialism and neocolonialism was appealing to many of us who identify as being part of the ISMAR in the UK, because of its interconnection of the past with present systemic injustices of the Maangamizi, unlike the CARICOM position which emphasizes reparations for the past of chattel enslavement and native genocide only. Accordingly, very good note must be taken of the popularisation of the 1993 Abuja Declaration, and its related documents such as the very enlightening paper of Professor Chinweizu, by the likes of the late Bernie Grant MP in his parliamentary and extra-parliamentary work. Noteworthily, Bernie Grant drew together both state and non-state actors within and beyond the UK, to buttress the African Reparations Movement (ARM) with the active involvement and support of some of the participants in the 14th November 2017 Dialogue in London. The remarks about this made in the meeting by Lord Anthony Gifford are therefore of very important significance. These legacies from before and beyond the Abuja Declaration are what have left deep imprints upon the landscape of reparations movement-building in the UK, which most of us committed to advancing the ISMAR to its definitive victory continue to energetically promote.
It was explained that, notwithstanding this fact, there are some in the movement here in Britain that still do not appear to be taking reparations for neo-colonialism seriously and it was pointed out that some of the pro-reparations forces were reluctant to countenance any critical appraisal of the CARICOM Reparatory Justice Initiative including its 10-Point Plan for this reason. Some groups and individuals appear therefore to be taking neocolonialism off their reparations agenda. It follows that some of the standpoints of uncritical support for the CARICOM position on Reparations were devoid of objectively critical people-centred appraisal of CARICOM because they do not see reparations for neocolonialism and the role of CARICOM states in the still ongoing perpetuation of neocolonialism. Therefore, it was reasoned that such elements do not want to interrogate neocolonialism because of what others see as ‘complicity’ in aiding and abetting it in the desire to be what is perceived to be ‘economically successful’ within the Global Apartheid status quo of the ongoing Maangamizi against Afrikan and all other oppressed “Wretched of the Earth“.
“The neo-colonialism of today represents imperialism in its final and perhaps its most dangerous stage. In the past it was possible to convert a country upon which a neo-colonial regime had been imposed — Egypt in the nineteenth century is an example — into a colonial territory. Today this process is no longer feasible. Old-fashioned colonialism is by no means entirely abolished. It still constitutes an African problem, but it is everywhere on the retreat. Once a territory has become nominally independent it is no longer possible, as it was in the last century, to reverse the process. Existing colonies may linger on, but no new colonies will be created. In place of colonialism as the main instrument of imperialism we have today neo-colonialism. The essence of neo-colonialism is that the State which is subject to it is, in theory, independent and has all the outward trappings of international sovereignty. In reality its economic system and thus its political policy is directed from outside.”
Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, ‘Neocolonialism: The Last Stage of Imperialism’
• Disapproval of ‘Caribbean citizenship by investment programmes’ was expressed. The creation of such Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programmes have mainly driven by the Caribbean governments desire to find new ways to raise revenue and are currently operating in St Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, and St Lucia. In particular, concern was raised by what is currently happening in Barbuda where politicians and investors are taking advantage of the island’s devastation after Hurricanes Irma and Maria to grab land from people displaced by the recent series of hurricanes. It is feared that the government will overturn Barbuda’s communal land system by introducing land privatisation. Prime Minister Gaston Browne recently proposed changing the law to privatise the land by selling it for a dollar a plot to leaseholders. But, local people, activist groups and even some politicians are saying that it is really commercial leaseholders of large plots such as those for hotels, who will benefit from the move. This is even more worrying given that no land has been bought or sold on Barbuda since the abolition of slavery more than 180 years ago, so in this era it was stated that Antigua & Barbuda were going back to the days of English ‘slave trader’ and plantation developer Christopher Codrington! It was asserted that this and other failures to interrogate the operation of neocolonialism leaves doubts about where heads of government are finding the ‘collective consciousness’ through which to authentically champion true reparatory justice on behalf of their Afrikan Caribbean citizenries.
• Concerns were raised about the impact of neocolonialism on Afrikan Heritage Communities in Europe which has the purpose of seeking to assimilate and co-opt Afrikan and other Black peoples into the system of white supremacy within and outside the imperialist metropolis. It was pointed out that this is occurring through the whitening of Black spaces through the spatial racism and Afriphobia of gentrification such as is occurring in Brixton. Initiatives such as those of Brixtonics@Brixton, which are seeking to counter the erasure of Brixton’s association with the legacies of CLR James, Olive Morris and their associated militant traditions of Revolutionary Pan-Afrikanism and Black Power resistance, were highlighted, including the work now happening to bring together Black traders and their allies who are seeking to develop a glocal economic base. It was pointed out that the success building of such a glocal economic base in the Diaspora to impact effectively on reparatory justice transformations on the continent of Afrika will require the development of a global Pan-Afrikan Government in waiting hosted by the Afrikan Diaspora. It is this kind of governance body that some refer to as the MAATUBUNTUMANDLA – Pan-Afrikan Government of People’s Power Abroad.
• Challenging questions were asked about the outcomes of existing CARICOM legal and diplomatic strategies and a discussion ensued about conventional legal strategies and their effectiveness in securing reparatory justice gains to our people. It was highlighted that a key feature of the ISMAR in the UK is that there is not a prioritization of conventional Eurocentric legal strategies, hence the strong critique of Leigh Day & Co which came from many activists in the UK. There was a recognition that the settlement in Mutua & Others V FCO (Mau Mau case) was a not a precedent that could or should be replicated in the global Afrikan reparations case. In this regard, there was a discussion about Lord Gifford’s legal opinion on the Leigh Day advice and some of the ‘legal insurmountables’ that his advice indicated. There was an exploration of the limitations as well some benefits of the uses of conventional legal strategies in terms of public conscientisation and mobilisation. The approach of ‘Law as Resistance’ was highlighted, from the standpoint of which grassroots legal and extra-legal initiatives in Britain, such as the 2003 Black Quest for Justice Campaign case for the Queen Elizabeth II to answer was advocated. From this precedent was identified the need to enhance the international popularisation of ‘Law as Resistance’ and also to support the proposal for partnership with the INOSAAR in training younger legal practitioners and activists to utilise community-engaging forms of lawyering as well as alternative mechanisms to the International Court of Justice such as the Ubuntukgotla-Peoples’ International Tribunal for Global Justice (U-PITGJ), as advocated by the ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide!’ Campaign (SMWeCGEC).
• The question of London-centrism was raised and the need for outreach to and participation of activists, communities and other stakeholders outside of London. It was agreed that greater attention should be paid to broadening engagement within the ISMAR by doing outreach, community education and mobilisation etc. It was also highlighted that due recognition of the reparations movement-building work that is being spearheaded from London, which is also informed by activists from outside London; and also to recognise the rich intellectual sophistication and greater audacity of perspectives and praxis emanating from activists who have taken advantage of the global positioning of London and its Black demographics in order to shape London-based and glocally rippling Pan-Afrikan liberatory activism, rooted in militant intellectual and organisational traditions cultivated from the Global Apartheid anti-racism of anti-imperialist dimensions. It was pointed out that such historically conscious advancements were possible because of the presence and central role in contemporary ISMAR-building of London-based and London influencing activists with specially privileged elevation from gains of ‘Struggle’ made by those from previous generations that provide considerably advantageous ramparts more than is currently possible to have in other places within Britain and even throughout Europe.
It was agreed that there should be regular report-back sessions which included the various regions where people were organising for reparations and jointly collaborating and publicising each other’s initiatives and programmes for reparations. It was highlighted that there needed to be greater information sharing and planning among and between reparations organisations and stakeholder groups in the UK especially when it came to matters such as initiatives being taken at the United Nations, the African Union, and especially in relation to meetings regarding the United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent (IDPAD) and the Committee for the Convention of the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD). GACuk highlighted some of the work they have been doing in relation to the CERD.
• There was a reiteration of the importance of voluntary Repatriation, which some of us prefer to call Rematriation, given the fact that conceptually, we refer to Afrika as our Motherland rather than Fatherland. Rematriation/Repatriation should be central to all we do, in addition to recognition of the need to include renewal of Afrikan material cultural as well as integration and restoration of independent Afrikan community and nationhood. This must be pursued being sensitive to and cognisant of the perspectives of formations like the Global Afrikan Family Reunion International Council: the developing network of Chiefs, other traditional leaders and activists in Ghana/West Afrika who are demanding, in accord with the legitimate reparatory justice interests of indigenous Afrikan Communities on the continent of Afrika, particularly those arising from their still ongoing freedom-fighting against neocolonialism and its related vestiges of colonialism and the devastating impact of chattel enslavement, as manifestations of the continuing Maangamizi; such as land rights and the divisive borders of the 1884-1885 Berlin Conference, among all other concerns of their inalienable human, peoples‘ and Mother Earth rights.
• The question of the inadequacy of existing internal reparations initiatives, including compensation for the Tivoli Gardens Massacre was reiterated. In addition, concerns were expressed about the role of lawyers in what was stated to be the “cover up” process of the ensuing 2016 West Kingston Commission of Enquiry was expressed as a cause of concern.
• There needed to be greater recognition of the importance and role of sites of community organising and activity where masses of our people are engaged to focus on in seeking to advance the cause and build the movement for reparations. Such sites of organising including, trade unions, faith groupings, youth and student groupings as well as women-focused and other sites of social justice activism.
• A point was made about the representativeness of the meeting and other groups that ought to have been represented in the deliberations. Explanations offered highlighted the request of Professor Verene Shepherd and others who had asked for the meeting to be convened to restrict this initial meeting to a selected group of about 10-12 activists capable of engaging in mutually respectful discussions on the agenda proposed by the National Council on Reparations in Jamaica (JNRC) initially; in accordance with which request the Convenor diligently acted as best as she could with the necessary serious consideration in the careful choice of the participants in this meeting. Attendees to the dialogue with reparesentatives of the JNCR were identified on the basis of those who were considered, with appropriate consultations, as not only representative of our Afrikan Heritage Communities and groups of reparations interest in and around London, in addition to having an organisational/ track-record on reparations organising as groups and associated individuals; but also who are most capable at this initial stage of engaging meaningfully with due respect for the required best practice and rules of meaningful dialogue.
This was added to by emphasizing the wider terrain of representation and the need for Afrikan Heritage Community representation outside of narrow activist circles which were not representative of wider Afrikan, Afrikan Caribbean and other Afrikan Diaspora communities, including Afrikan and Caribbean country Diaspora representative groups and organisations who are doing work relevant to reparatory justice. It was emphasised that we all had to do more to broaden our outreach work to much wider embrace our Afrikan Heritage Communities (AHCs) in their rich diversity from all over the World that make up the Diaspora and our mother-continent of Afrika. In doing so, we must always remember that it was on our mother-continent of Afrika that the ISMAR began; when the first captured Afrikans immediately started raising their Reparatory Justice demands, with insistence upon recovering their inalienable freedom and other human, peoples’ and Mother Earth rights according to their own values and worldviewpoints. They did so in full cognisance of their Cognitive Justice right to their own self-determination of whom they regarded themselves and their own communities and systems of being, knowledge and societal organisation and progress to be; with what they regarded as their own civilizational systems of morality, law and Justice, for which reason they, there and then, started their freedomfighting against the Maangamizi crimes of denial of their humanity, enslavement and colonisation in various forms.
• It was advocated that there needed to be a ‘truth’ process among various representatives and groupings of the ISMAR in the UK; because, in spite of our lofty declarations and the grandstanding of some amongst us, there were not only commendable strengths but also some despicable weaknesses among us, including negative tendencies such as unscrupulous pandering to Establishment power no matter how unjust it is, sycophancy, sectarian competitiveness, male-chauvinistic and other egoistic posturings that are at variance with the ethics of the very reparatory justice we claim to be standing up for and demanding of others to honour! It was also pointed out that recognition should be given to initiators of initiatives like what has now developed to become the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March which takes place annually on the 1st August, now has specific aims and objectives and is organised in such a way as to promote and strengthen ISMAR-building. Equally it was stressed that is necessary and truthful to recognise when there are developments and improvements on such initiatives especially when they are abandoned by initiating groups. It was pointed out that history was relevant here, as often the consequences of actions taken historically often have unforeseen consequences which must also be acknowledged and reflected upon when surveying and assessing the current state of the ISMAR in the UK. It was emphasized that in all our endeavours, we must listen to the wishes of our communities to guide our organising actions and that there should be transparency and accountability to the constituencies we represent.
• We as the Civil Society grassroots from diverse Afrikan Heritage Communities of Reparations interest in the UK, shall work with all non-state actors in and beyond Britain on our terms; as such, we shall also work in critical engagement with those state actors that are prepared to engage in honest dialogue with us. We will proactively engage such state actors, with whom, we will identify in such dialogue; and maintain our right to be critical of those positions taken and/or advocated which we find detrimental to the interests of the majority of Afrikan people all over the World and therefore not conducive to the kind of victory for holistic reparatory justice that we are pursuing.
• We ask those who represent or are accountable to CARICOM states (e.g. national commissions and councils for Reparations) to make it clear that, as state actors or organising as state-appointed and accountable actors, they do not control or speak for civil society in and beyond their respective countries. It should be recognised that Afrikan Heritage Community civil society, via their own autonomous organisations, is freely pursuing and should be encouraged and where possible facilitated to carry out its own programmes, strategies and tactics in doing what it has to do independently locally, nationally and internationally, with due respect for human, peoples’ and Mother Earth rights. Further that they, as state actors, should seek to increase overstanding for, and in certain circumstances, even critical support for, what the non-state actors of civil society can do, mindful of the strengths and weaknesses on both sides, and with particular attention in all honesty to the realities of neocolonialism and therefore the limitations it imposes upon all those located within the state machinery, even with the best of their intentions to advance the goals of reparatory justice.
• We will recognise points of convergences and differences between state and non-state actors. Accordingly, we will be mindful of each other’s strengths, weaknesses and resources, as state and non-state actors as well as within and between various groups of non-state actors.
• Our independence is non-negotiable as non-state actors of the ISMAR, located at the grassroots of Afrikan Heritage Civil Society in the UK, and therefore, in thinking globally and acting locally in fidelity to the legacies bequeathed to us by some of the very best of the sons and daughters of Mother Afrika, committed in firm principledness to working glocally for holistic Reparatory Justice from the fundamental global Pan-Afrikan liberatory perspective of our “Wretched of the Earth”.
• There is a need to recognise the importance of such dialogue that we entered into and institutionalise such dialogue between state and non-state actors, as for example with the establishment of the kind of forum mentioned below.
• It is important to promote diligent reparations study and application of knowledge through praxis by way of action-learning conducive to cognitive justice for Afrikan people at home and abroad as integral to true reparatory justice.
• It is necessary to pay greater attention to how we harmonise strategy and tactics; and therefore, recognize that such a process of harmonisation should be in the form of knowing what state actors can do most effectively and equally what non-state actors can do most effectively. For example, non-state actors are best able to build people’s power from the ground upwards through initiatives like the SMWeCGEC in association with mass mobilisation and community unifying processes like the street column of the ISMAR which is being strengthened through organisation and mobilisations towards the annual Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparation March as spearheaded by the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee (AEDRMC). It was therefore important to recognise, support and implement the SMWeCGEC campaigning operations such as advocating and defending human, peoples’ and Mother Earth rights to the point of working towards shutting down Maangamizi crime scenes on the continent and Diaspora of Afrika. It was proposed that this should be done also being cognisant that state actors will feel unable to openly advocate such operations.
• It was advocated that this issue of shutting down Maangamizi crime scenes is key in relation to stopping the ongoing pillage of Afrikan resources and despoliation of lands and destabilisation of Afrikan communities as can be seen to be the manifestations of the ongoing Genocide/Ecocide of the present-day phase of escalating neocolonial enslavement against Afrikan people throughout the World. This point was further elaborated on in the ‘Britain’s New Colonialism’ report by War on Want. If we can stop the Maangamizi, resources can be used for Afrikan people’s self-empowerment, self-emancipation and self-development in Afrika and throughout the Diaspora all over the World. The importance of abandoning dehumanising enslaver-mentality terminology like ‘slave’ and ‘slave trade’ was emphasized. It was proposed that there should be a greater usage of terminology such as Maangamizi and the awareness-raising popularisation of its contemporary manifestations as well as the imperative to stop this phase of the Maangamizi in order to effect genuine reparatory justice, hence the clarion call to ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’
• It was further asserted that unless we have an ‘or else’ dimension to our advocacy and relations when dealing with European powers, they will not respond seriously to our respective campaigning demands; there is ample global historical evidence that the forces of white supremacy never seriously respond to merely gentlemanly and diplomatic approaches because there is no threat factor in that and powerless groups do not subject themselves to less powerful groups. This would also impact on our ability to capture the imaginations of and attract the youth, who often see our people as powerless in relation to other peoples who are able to flex their power on the international stage. ‘Separation’ was advocated in terms of carrying this reparatory justice struggle to its logical conclusion, which entailed separating our Black/Afrikan selves from the stranglehold of white supremacy racism instead of appealing to the absent morality of the European Establishment and pursuing a course of reparations which is palatable to and on the terms of our historical and contemporary oppressors. The self-repair process of reclaiming, recreating and reinforcing our Afrikan Personality and ‘Black selves’, was key to realising the intergenerational goals of the re-establishment of the sovereignty of Afrikan people; given that the question of Afrikan reparatory justice, even for people of Afrikan origin in the Caribbean, is premised upon a global Afrikan solution to the Afrikan National Question at home and abroad.
• Common areas of possible joint work between state and non-state actors identified include education, mass Mobilisation and international community diplomacy. In this regard, it was proposed that a joint Memorandum of Understanding should be developed to include joint working protocols in furtherance of principled operational unity, including adherence to principles of reparaBerlntions ethics.
• Whilst our approach to International Community Diplomacy as non-state actors is “Grassroots People-to-Peoples’ Internationalist Solidarity and Ground-up Diplomacy Action Learning” through the ISMAR as a vital column of (PRIM); that of state and state-aligned actors is working through governmental organisations and other state institutions at local, national and international levels. A relevant action point in this connection is targeting, with our soft as well as hard power, the forthcoming Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) to be held in London and Windsor in April 2018.
• A Forum of State and Non-State Actors for Reparatory Justice (FOSANSARJ) will be established as a UK-wide formation, with local branches as deemed necessary, to keep the dialogue going towards concrete aims and objectives flowing from the above matters as well as other relevant issues to be determined in a ‘summit of solutions’. In light of the concerns about what diplomatic missions of the CARICOM member countries, in London, are failing to do with regard to desirable public engagement with its Reparatory Justice Framework, it is envisaged that such a forum (the FOSANSARJ) shall include duly mandated representatives of high commissions and other embassy officials from member-countries of the CARICOM, the African Union (AU) and other such bodies in the UK representing countries with significant Afrikan Heritage Communities.
• Practical steps can be taken to counter anti-reparations propaganda by reading Caribbean/UK/European newspapers to get a sense of the extent of such anti-reparations propaganda and that activists and other stakeholders should also counter such negative propaganda by writing rebuttals and giving alternative perspectives by way of a corrective to counter media disinformation. One such example that was highlighted was Professor Shepherd’s response to statements made by the UK Minister of state with responsibility for the Caribbean, the Commonwealth and the United Nations, Lord Tariq Ahmad, on his recent trip to the Caribbean, where he denounced the call for reparations.
• In guiding our reparations activism as activists, scholar-activists, civil society groups/organisations and members of communities of reparatory justice interest, we must be mindful of the need to ‘ground’ with the masses as advocated by the late Dr Walter Rodney who explained the relevance of the term “grounding” to the Black Power Movement and his manner of activism in Jamaica. This included the need for the Black/Afrikan intellectual to “attach himself/herself to the activity of the masses”, by facilitating public and open critical dialogue at the level of the society and engaging in free, popular education sessions beyond Establishment Academia with workers, the dispossessed and ostracized groups, where the classroom takes on any form as a site for organising cells of popular resistance in his ‘Groundings with my Brothers’: “I was prepared to go anywhere that any group of Black people were prepared to sit down to talk and listen. Because, that is Black Power, that is one of the elements, a sitting down together to reason, to ‘ground’ as the Brothers say…We have to ground together [Groundings, pg.78]” As well as adhere to the admonition best articulated by Amilcar Cabral that: “we should always bear in mind that the people are not fighting for ideas [about reparatory justice], for the things in anyone’s head. They are fighting to win material benefits, to live better and in peace, to see their lives go forward, to guarantee the future of their children.” In this regard, what should unite us is our focus and prioritisation of efforts to create a better world; and, in doing so, to be conscious of the varying and various strengths that we have; strengths to which we should work, whilst at the same time struggling together, individually, collectively and organisationally, against our own weaknesses.
“We must begin by asking ourselves: What weaknesses on our side made the holocaust possible? Weaknesses of organization? Weakness of solidarity? Weaknesses of identity? Weaknesses of mentality? Weaknesses of behaviour? If we do not correct such weaknesses, even if we got billions of billions of dollars in reparations money, even if we got back all our expropriated land, we would fritter it all away yet again, and recycle it all back into alien hands. We must therefore find out what deficiencies in our sense of identity what quirks in our mentality, what faults in our feelings solidarity made it possible for some of us to sell some of us into bondage; still make it possible for us to succumb to the divide and conquer tactics of our exploiters; make it possible for all too many of us to be afflicted with Negro necrophobia- our counterpart of the self-hating disease of the anti-Semitic Semite. Twenty years ago, when I was writing The West and the Rest of Us , I gave it a subtitle: ‘White Predators, Black Slavers and the African Elite.’ That was to serve notice that we cannot overlook our complicity, as Black Slavers and as the African Elite, in what happened, and is still happening to us. We must, therefore, change ourselves in order to end our criminal complicity in perpetuating our lamentable condition.”
‘Reparations and A New Global Order: A Comparative Overview’ by Professor Chinweizu
Sis Esther Stanford-Xosei
Convenor of the Dialogue
23 November 2017
Meeting Venue: May Day Rooms @Fleet Street
1. Abu Akil, Global Afrikan Congress, uk (GACuk)
2. Judy Richards, GACuk
3. Sorena Francis, GACuk
4. Jendayi Serwah, Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee (AEDRMC)
5. Dulani Masibuwa Dumisai, (AEDRMC)
6. Chief Gege, Stop the Maangamizi’: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide Campaign (SMWeCGEC)
7. Kwame Adofo Sampong, Pan-Afrikan Fora International Support Coordinating Council (PAFISCC)
8. Leo Muhammad, Nation of Islam, London Study Group (NOI)
9. Althea Gordon Davidson, Pan-Afrikan Community Educational Service (PACES)
10. Daniel Solomon, Brixtonics@Brixton
11. Simeon Stanford, Global Afrikan People’s Parliament (GAPP)
12. Ras Shango Baku (Contributed in absentia), Nyabinghi National Council (NNC), IDPAD UK
13. Sugar Dredd, Rastafari Movement UK (RMUK)
14. Prophet Kweme Abubaka, Ethiopian Afrika Black International Congress (EABIC)
15. Cecil Gutzmore, Pan-Afrikan Society Community Forum, (PASCF)
16. Professor Gus John, Gus John Associates, Member of the African Union Technical Union Technical Committee of Experts on the 6th Region
17. Esther Stanford-Xosei, Pan-Afrikan Reparations Coalition in Europe (PARCOE)
18. Kofi Mawuli Klu, (PARCOE)
19. Rosemarie Davidson-Gotobed, Founding-Member of Sam Sharpe Project, Jamaica Baptist Union, Founder and Direct of Sam Sharpe Lectures