‘Sankofaagro: Edutainmanent in our Reparatory Justice Preparations for Planet Repairs‘
In the spirit of cognitive justice and restoring to ourselves the use of Afrikan languages in a our Pan-Afrikan Liberation Truthquest, the 2022 theme for the Pan-Afrikan Reparations Rebellion Groundings is a compound of 2 words in Twi languages of West Afrika: Sankofa – Go back and fetch it (Twi) and Agro – meaning Play/Entertain (Twi). So the combination of Sankofa and agro means ‘go back and fetch the wisdom of our entertainment’, which is really to go back and fetch our people’s edutainment. Literally, go back to fetch the best of what is there from the past and work with it to guide you in building a better future.
That better future for us is to return to the Motherist Revolutionary Path of Pan-Afrikan Rematriationin our Sankofa Return Journey to our Mawufe-Amedzofe Source (i.e.return to the source of our origin, the essence of ubuntu i.e. to rediscover our humanity in Ewe), in the sacred womb of Miano Asase Yaa (Sweet Mother Earth), for Mianogbenono (i.e. living Mother Earth’s life in Ewe) Regeneration in moving successfully Forward ever in our Freedommarch to our Maatubuntuman in Ubuntudunia Rendezvous of Victory. The road to Maatubuntuman in Ubuntudunia is a Motherist Revolutionary path.
This year’s theme is designed to amplify the voices of reparatory justice resistance and change-making within Afrikan Heritage Communities of Resistance worldwide through using the medium of edutainment.
We also aim to showcase Afrikan people’s grassroots initiatives to effect and secure ‘Planet Repairs’ (the nexus of reparatory, environmental and cognitive justice) as an approach to Holistic Reparations as well as achievements made towards this objective.
Sankofaagro is not a call to be merely entertained, but is a way of making an intergenerational call to action to continue this work of ISMAR-building (building the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations, known as the ISMAR) by way of succession-planning in our endeavours to be the reparatory justice change that we are seeking to achieve.
1st Mosiah 2022 – Programme
Since 2020, we have attempted to liberate 2 spaces in Brixton (Max Roach Park and Windrush Square), in order to ground with our people and facilitate a space for allies that the Stop the Maangamizi! We Charge Genocide/Ecocide Campaign (SMWeCGEC) have been working with to advance interventions to increase public overstanding of reparations and facilitate critical engagement with the British State and public over the years.
Max Roach Park also provides space for showcasing internationalist solidarity networks that structures aligned with SMWECGEC, such as the Extinction Rebellion Internationalist Solidarity Network (XRISN) have been working with across 4 continents: Abya Yala (the Americas, Asia, Europe and Afrika).
Please see the programme below for both locations (subject to change and all times approximate).
Max Roach Park (Outdoor Session) 10am-3pm
10am – Libation
Internationalist Solidarity Showcase – Elevating the voices of those involved in the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR) across the world and the Peoples Reparations International Movement (PRIM) that is involved in co-liberation to effect and secure Planet Repairs.
Sankofaagro – Youth showcase of music and word sounds of resistance
3pm – 3 minutes silence in reverence to our Indomitable Ancestors of great courage, intellect and tenacity.
3.15pm – March to Windrush Square
Black Cultural Archives (Indoor Session)1.15-2.45pm
Pempamsie is the Adinkra symbol for sewing together in readiness -preparatory actions for reparatory justice. building our future out of our principled operational unity despite our diversity. Indeed, part of the repair process is about Afrikan heritage communities developing our own community capacity and power-base as well as our own Afrikan Heritage Community Self-Repairs Plans. Mpango is the Kiswahili word for plan.
Maatubuntuman is the name of a self-repaired Afrika and means a global Afrikan polity which consists of a Pan-Afrikan Union of Communities. 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). Upon the initiative of the Pan-Afrikan Forum of Ghana (PAFOG) in conjunction with the Pan-Afrikan Reparations Coalition in Europe (PARCOE) and adopted by the Global Afrikan People’s Parliament (GAPP) and the Maatubuntumitawo-Global Afrikan Family Reunion International Council, it has been adopted as one of the key rallying objectives of Pan-Afrikan Reparations for Global Justice.
The process of Pempamsiempango (reparations planning) should occur within the context of a glocal framework which is establishing repaired Afrikan Heritage Communities which are referred to as Afrikan Heritage Communities for National Self-Determination (AHCs-NSDs)/ Maatubuntujamaas in the UK and other parts of the Diaspora which organically builds links with such Communities of Resistance and Communities of Reparatory Justice Interest on the Continent of Afrika which are known as Sankofahomes.
Maatubuntujamaas are Afrikan Heritage Communities for National Self-Determination that are regenerating themselves to become autonomous polities of national self-determination in the Afrikan Diaspora integrated into Sankofahomes. Sankofahomes (literally meaning a return to one’s Motherland) are indigenous communities in Afrika that are regenerating themselves purposefully to facilitate the integration of Maatubuntujamaas in the Diaspora. These Maatubuntujamaas are a form of non-territorial autonomy whereby we as a people build autonomous institutions of self-governance focusing on areas of Afrikan Heritage Community Self-Repairs such as education, healthcare, and community cooperative enterprise, for example.
Establishing Maatubuntujamaas is a Afrikan Heritage Community self-repairs effectuating work-in-progress for the holistic regeneration of Afrikan communities; mindful of the fact that such Afrikan communities at present exist in the UK as a multiplicity of different and sometimes even conflicting nation-state, ethnic, racial, class, gender, age and other socio-cultural configurations brought from all over the World; therefore, this Maatubuntujamaa regeneration of Afrikan communities is being done in such a radical changemaking way and manner of Intersectionality so as to enable the Pan-Afrikan Reparatory Justice development, out of their multifariousness, of a one distinct new type of Afrikan communion of people to serve as a living prototype of the component bodies of the future Maatubuntuman Pan-Afrikan Union of Communities throughout the continent and Diaspora of Afrika.
A version of this article was published on Self-Help News on the 30th November 2021. Uhuru means freedom in Kiswahili.
On 30th November 2021, Barbados transitioned from a parliamentary constitutional monarchy under the hereditary monarch of Barbados (formerly Queen Elizabeth II) to a parliamentary republic with a ceremonial non-executive President as Head of State elected by members of parliament and not the people. The Prime Minister, Mia Mottley EGH, OR, QC, MP remains Head of Government.
However, the question that I and many other citizens of Barbados have been discussing is whether this transition to a republic is more symbolic rather than substantive. Whilst much of the corporate whitestream media is hailing this move as some huge achievement, questions remain about whether selecting the existing Governor-General, Dame Sandra Mason GCMG, DA, QC, who had been Queen Elizabeth’s II’s representative in Barbados since 2018, to serve as Barbados’s first President and Head of State is really the kind of substantive change one would expect when a country transitions to a republic. Queen Elizabeth II bestowed on Mason the Dame Grand Cross in the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George when Mason was appointed Governor-General.
Lest we not forget, the hitherto Governor-Generals of Barbados are appointed by Queen Elizabeth II supposedly on the advice of the Prime Minister of Barbados. Nevertheless, the fact that two thirds of the Barbados Parliament selected the (former) Governor-General to become the first President of the Republic of Barbados could be seen as an attempt to hoodwink the people into believing that there has been a changing of the power structure, when that is clearly not the case. Indeed, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Significantly, Following the end of the Dame Sandra Mason’s term as president, future presidents will be elected by either a joint nomination of the Prime Minister and leader of the opposition or if there is no joint nomination, a vote of both houses of the Parliament of Barbados where a two-thirds majority is required. The electorate will therefore have no meaningful say. As Opposition Senator, Caswell Franklyn has also argued, there are flaws in the republic process. To raise legitimate concerns about the manner in which Barbados is transitioning to a republic does not mean that one is against republicanism, this is indeed long overdue. Nevertheless, it is prudent to raise the fact that the process we are embarking on in Barbados appears to be more symbolic rather than substantive. It reminds me of when President Obama became President of the United States and people got caught up with him being reported to have been the so-called first Black President of America (which was not true), rather than looking at how his presidency impacted on people of Afrikan ancestry and heritage.
Many are also getting caught up with the symbol of a first President of Barbados who also is a woman rather than critically examining the substance of how meaningful these changes will be. Whenever it comes to women in power and the tendency to see women in positions of (neocolonial) state power as emancipatory, I always question to what degree such women are or act, in ways that is described by Dr June Terpstra, as Women of the Hegemon. To find out more about what this means see here and here. In a global system of imperialism and neocolonialism, the Hegemon is ever-present even when it may be difficult to see because of the tendency to use a single lens of analysis when assessing reality rather than embracing an analysis of power on intersectional grounds.
I like many other agree that we should have a new constitution fit for purpose of what it means to be a republic drafted with input from our people who have up until now not really been given a say about what type of republic they want Barbados to be. Only then could it be said that there is a fair and equitable process which reflects a real intention to break with the coloniality of power of ‘Global Britain‘. Instead, Barbados’ republic status is premised on retaining links with European coloniality by simply making amendments to a constitution that came out of the Barbados Independence Act of 1966 passed by the UK Parliament, which gave Barbados “fully responsible status” (independence) within the Commonwealth. This Act has not been repealed.
In a recent article Dr Yearood & Professor Cynthia Barrow-Giles opined:
“….Barbados will move inexorably to republican status but with the status quo remaining, and with the symbolic change associated with the national head of state both practically and theoretically representing the citizens and not theoretically a foreign head of state. The real issue is therefore not about whether Barbados becomes a republic, or whether the Constitution is patriated, but about the relationship between the people and the Government as articulated in the Constitution. Is Barbados going to change its Constitution or be content with tinkering around the edges, masquerading as change?“
It would be far more transformatory, if an entirely new constitution was drafted instead of trying to seemingly ‘repair’ this colonial Westminster instrument. There is a long-standing need for constitutional review and reform which enables the electorate to have a greater degree of participation in accountable governance of the country. In order to become a republic, the Barbados Parliament had to revoke the Barbados Independence Order 1966 as an Order in Queen Elizabeth II’s Council via the Constitution (Amendment Bill) 2021, while keeping intact the existing Barbados Constitution. The amendment transfers the functions and powers of the Barbados Governor-General (Queen Elizabeth II’s representative) to the new President of the republic, amending the official oaths of Barbados to remove references to the Queen Elizabath II, as well as ensures continuity in all of the other aspects of the functioning of the state of Barbados.
The UK Parliament will have to pass consequential legislation “to avoid any confusion in its domestic law” as has been the case on previous occasions when Commonwealth Realms have become republics. The last time ithe UK Parliament passed a similar bill was the Mauritius Republic Act 1992. It is this aspect of the process thus far to republicanism that is most indicative that for now, Barbados will become a republic in name only. When a nation is seeking to establish true independence on the road to sovereignty, it cannot do so by maintaining relics of the colonial power that has ruled and influenced its institutions of governance for centuries. No wonder Prince Charles was invited as a guest of honour to make an address at the ceremony marking Barbados’ transition to a republic.
The cockily confident, Prince Charles felt it necessary in his public messaging on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II to emphasize those things “which will not change” such as the: “close and trusted partnership between Barbados and the United Kingdom”, the “common determination to defend the values we both cherish and to pursue the goals we share; and the myriad connections between the people of our countries.” He was even awarded the Order of Freedom of Barbados, which is now the country’s highest distinction. Quite rightly, the contradictions inherent in this decision has been condemned. In a recent facebook post Dr Tyehimba Salandy, a sociologist and scholar-activist based in Trinidad & Tobago says: “There is something very problematic about proclaiming Republic status and at the same time instead of pressing home the case for reparations awarding the creators of some of the worst crimes ever in human history with the Order of Freedom.”
Not surprisingly, Prince Charles’ visit has generated condemnation from across civil society, campaigners from the Caribbean Movement for Peace and Integration and the 13th June 1980 Movement had planned to stage a protest in Bridgetown, the capital of Barbados yesterday. However, the government refused to grant permission for the protest. Clearly, such campaigners in Barbados, need support in amplifying their voices especially in the UK to present a counter narrative to this celebratory tone which is smothering those voices who are challenging the dominant state approaches to republicanism which are obfuscating the most fundamental issues of Global Europe and the continuance of Afrikan powerlessness in the Caribbean and elsewhere around the world. That is why the UK contingent of the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations campaign, driven by the Stop The Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide Campaign, to establish a UK All-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Truth & Reparatory Justice which prompted the establishment of the UK All-Parliamentary Group on Afrikan Reparations (APPGAR), will become of increasing importance in this regard.
The Secretary General of the Caribbean Movement for Peace and Integration, David Denny is right to say that Prince Charles’ visit is an insult! According to a recent report in the Daily Mirror: David Denny who felt the opportunity should be used to call for an apology and reparations, said:
“Barbados should not honour a family who murdered and tortured our people during slavery. The profits created the financial conditions for the Royal Family to increase their power.”
Kevin Cahill provides good justification of this last point when he uncovers in his 2007 book: ‘Who Owns the World’, the world’s primary feudal landowner remains Queen Elizabeth II. She is monarch of 15 countries in addition to the United Kingdom, head of a Commonwealth of 54 countries in which a quarter of the world’s population lives and holds legalised title to about 6.6 billion acres of land, one-sixth of the earth’s land surface.
Wherever one stands on this issue, deeper questions remain; like how will the centuries old accumulated benefits acquired by the British Monarchy be dismantled in Barbados? What will the rulership do to free the country of imperial influences, the Maangamizi of neocolonialism and its attendant neoliberal economic reforms?, which are not only raising the cost of living for ordinary people and exacerbating income inequality; but also furthering the dominant model of maldevelopment worldwide which has implications for effectively tackling the genocidal and ecocidal glocal impacts of the worldwide Climate and Ecological Crises and the necessity for charting alternative paths of progression in Barbados premised on transformtaive adapatation as an aspect of Planet Repairs. Will there be widespread land, wealth and resource redistribution?, especially since (prior to becoming a republic) the British Monarch owned all state lands and state-owned companies etc. I really doubt it!
Despite becoming a Republic, Barbados remains one of the most important offshore financial centres in the Caribbean and one of the world’s top 15 according to Oxfam. Accordingly, there is a link between financialisation and the growth of top incomes. In an article written whilst he was a PhD researcher at the London School of Economics, Scholar Dr Collin Constantine argues that: “Barbados’ status as an offshore financial centre also contributes to rising inequality in Western Europe and the USA by allowing wealthy foreigners to shift income and wealth into a low-tax jurisdiction. Yet while OECD countries are attempting to reclaim their “hidden wealth”, Bajans face growing inequality alongside austerity measures and weak tourism.” Constantine provides an important perspective on how the ‘idea’ of Barbados as a beacon of democracy in the Caribbean persists. He argues that this is in part the same issue studied in other contexts by Thomas Piketty: “When you have large wealth, you cannot just consume like other people. You start to consume influence, consume politicians, consume academics, you consume power; this is what high wealth is here for.”
Constantine goes on to state: The enormous concentration of income in Barbados historically meant that the most powerful and prestigious positions were reserved for colonial elites. In present-day Barbados, economic elites use grants, media ownership, campaign contributions, and so on to influence public policy, public opinion, and key actors to forge societal buy-in on policies that protect and reinforce elites’ economic interests.Even more than in OECD countries, part of the problem is a lack of transparency about top incomes in Barbados, with a severe lack of studies on wealth and income distribution. But this is compounded by deliberate attempts to shift the blame onto the most visible participants in the local economy, namely migrants.
The above arguments put forward by various commentators demonstrate that there is still a long way to go before we can say that we have overcome the tyranny of gradualism and effected as well as secured Uhuru in Barbados and across the Caribbean region. The struggle to transform our material, spiritual and cultural realities naturally leads to the path less travelled; i.e. that of continuing to build and strengthen movement-building for Pan-Afrikan Liberation at home in our Motherland Afrika, as well as across the Diaspora. This is concretised by the Stop The Maangamizi Campaign’s advocacy of the necessity to prefigure decolonial post-Afrikan Reparations futures epitomised by the establishment of Maatubuntuman in Ubuntudunia built from the emerging Community Resistance Zones such as Maatubuntujamaas (Afrikan Heritage Communities for National Self-Determination) in the Diaspora, organically and indivisibly linked to Sankofahomes premised on our indigenous Afrikan Communities of Resistance throughout the Continent of Afrika.
“Unless our struggle for Reparations leads to the Pan-Afrikanist revolutionary consientization, organization and mobilization of the broad masses of Afrikan People throughout the Continent and the Diaspora to achieve first and foremost, their definitive emancipation from the impeding vestiges of colonialism and the still enslaving bonds of present-day Neocolonialism, to smash the yoke of white racist supremacy and utterly destroy the mental and physical stranglehold of Eurocentrism upon Afrikans at home and abroad, delinking Afrika completely from imperialism of any sort whatsoever, we shall have no POWER to back our claim for restitution and to give us the necessary force of coercion to make the perpetrators of the heinous crimes against us to honour the obligations of even the best fashioned letter and spirit of International Law.”
*Esther Stanford-Xosei is a Motherist and Pan-Afrikanist Jurisconsult, Community Advocate and Reparationist. As a ‘new abolitionist’ emphasizing the need to ‘stop the harm’ and effect Planet Repairs, Esther serves as the Coordinator-General of the Stop The Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide Campaign, among other responsibilities.
Please note where you see different spellings of Afrikan this is because we in the SMWeCGEC use the spelling of Afrikan with a K but have preserved the spelling of African with a C when that is used by others.
Today we in the Stop The Maangamizi Campaign and our educational arm the Maangamizi Educational Trust were participating stakeholders to the historic establishment of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on African Reparations (APPGAR) which was launched in the British Houses of Parliament (via an online AGM) at 10.30am this morning, Wednesday 20th October 2021. The APPGAR is chaired by Bell Ribeiro-AddyMP, the Vice Chairs are Marsha De Cordova MP and Caroline Lucus MP, the Assistant Secretary is Sir Peter Bottomley.
On behalf of the Stop the Maangamizi Campaign, the Maangamizi Educational Educational Trust will be sharing the running of the Secretariat for the APPGAR. Other organisations who will also be part of running the secretariat are the Glocal Afrikan Reparations Forum of London, (GARFOL) and The African Foundation for Development, (AFFORD).
The APPGAR will be officially launched on 27th October 2021.
Esther Stanford-Xosei, Chair of the Maangamizi Educational Trust and Coordinator General of the Stop The Maangamizi Campaign who was honoured to speak at the AGM made the following speech:
My name is Esther Stanford-Xosei and I speak as the Chair of the Maangamizi Educational Trust (MET) which is the charitable arm of the Stop The Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide Campaign (SMWeCGEC). Because of the historic importance of the AGM of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on African Reparations (APPGAR) today, the MET/SMWeCGEC has agreed a written speech from which I shall read.
First of all, we would like to acknowledge countless generations of Afrikans in the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR) on whose shoulders, struggles and sacrifices we stand, whom since the mid-1700s in the UK specifically, have advocated for holistic reparations. In this regard, we particularly highlight the role of people like Ottobah Cugoano and other members of the Sons of Africa.
This idea for the APPGAR comes out of the campaigning efforts of the Stop The Maangamizi Campaign and our charitable educational arm, the Maangamizi Educational Trust. Maangamizi is the Kiswahili term for the continuum of chattel enslavement, colonialism and neocolonilaism.
We see the establishment of the APPGAR as a continuation of the world of the late Bernie Grant MPwho was the first member of the British Houses of Parliament to take up the issue of Afrikan Reparations following on from the ‘First Pan-African Conference on Reparations for Chattel Enslavement, Colonisation & Neocolonisation’ which took place in Abuja, Nigeria in 1993 and resulted in the establishment of the organisation known as the African Reparations Movement UK as well as the Abuja ProclamationEarly Day Motion 1987. It is in continuity of this work that we in the Maangamizi Educational Trust and the Stop the Maangamizi Campaign take our duties within the secretariat of the APPGAR very seriously. For this parliament has played a major role in legalizing, historical and contemporary injustices against Afrikan people worldwide including the passing of the Slave Compensation Act of 1837, which compensated our enslavers rather than Afrikan people. It has been very instrumental in legalizing our dehumanization, and continues with justifications being provided by this government for the discriminatory impacts of its extractivist policies in the Global South to supposedly avert the climate and ecological crises.
In terms of our MET/SMWeCGEC vision of the APPGAR, we see its purpose as: “bringing together parliamentarians, campaigners, communities and other stakeholders to examine issues of African Reparations; explore policy proposals on reparations and make recommendations to Parliament on how to redress the legacies of African enslavement, colonialism and neocolonialism today“. In this regard, a key objective of the APPGAR being to facilitate, work towards establishing the UKAll-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Truth & Reparatory Justice (APPCITARJ) which is a key demand contained in the Stop The Maangamizi Petition and forms one of the main purposes of the ‘Atonement and Reparations for the United Kingdom’s Transatlantic Traffic in Enslaved Africans’ motions being passed by local and city councils.
People of Afrikan Heritage have been denied their right to be heard on what we mean by reparations, and what solutions we are already working on as part of Community Self-Repairs so that is what we are calling for a mechanism which can facilitate the dialogue between Afrikan Heritage Communities and the British State and society; which for us is the APPCITARJ. We therefore see this APPGAR as an important step in the process towards establishing such a mechanism of such vitally necessary dialogue. For it is only then that we can truly make appropriate policy and other programmatic types of redress by way of remedies to repair ourselves here in the UK and extending into the Afrikan Heritage Communities globally; and in the process also catalyze the repair of the entire British society and of course, of all peoples and societies, within and beyond in the UK.
It is necessary for the APPGAR to invite people to honest dialogue on this issue of Afrikan Reparations, because this struggle to effect and secure holistic reparatory justice, like all our struggles, begins with the need for, as advocated by Professor Karenga, a clear conception of what we want, how we define the issue and explain it to the world and what is to be done to achieve it. However, on this we should be guided by Afrikan Heritage Communities and the movements they have created to effect and secure holistic reparatory justice which have been operational over centuries.
We in the MET/SMWeCGEC want to emphasize that the grassroots of our Afrikan Heritage Communities across the world should be driving this work. It is up to this APPGAR to demonstrate that there is a leadership that will be of service to our communities at this time when there are big questions about what kind of leadership we have and even some of the state and non-state actors active on issues of reparations, being heavily scrutinised in terms of their credibility and commitment to our people in what some see as a tendency to want to make elitist deals under the guise of reparations which do not benefit the masses of the people. We should all be clear that Afrikan Heritage Communities have a right to participate in reparations programme and policy development and must be in the driving seat of such processes best summed up in the mantra: Nothing About Us Without Us for Anything About Us Without Us is Against Us. Furthermore, participation rights are individual and collective human rights under customary international law. They are enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and further established in states’ legal obligations as spelled out in the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination(ICERD) and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples(UNDRIP).
That is why for us in the MET/SMWeCGEC, the emphasis should be on Afrikan Heritage Communities Self-Repairs as was recognised in the Bristol ‘Atonement and Reparations’ motion which states: reparative justice should be driven by Afrikan Heritage Communities experiences, voices and perspectives to ensure that advocacy messages not only reflect but also respond to the real needs of the community in order to recognise inequalities. Also, that Afrikan Heritage Communities in collaboration with wider stakeholders, should be supported to develop their own glocal ‘reparations plans‘ to tackle issues of community disrepair as a result of the Maangamizi, locally, nationally and internationally. These issues of disrepair rooted in conquest, dispossession, structural racism as well as intergenerational oppression and trauma include in the UK: gun and knife crime among young people, kidnapped and missing children, the discriminatory impacts of the criminal justice system, the education system and the issue of Afrikan heritage maternal death-rates and inequalities of primal health of people of Afrikan heritage and ancestry etc as a result of the continuing impacts of the Maangamizi.
Research of people like Professor Carlton Waterhouseshows that much of the reparations policy-making, scholarship and public discourse pays little attention to the quality of past reparations programmes implemented around the world and whilst the emphasis is placed on former and contemporary wrongdoers to make apology, recompense, or other types of restitution, very little attention is paid to results, the end result of any reparations process should be the restoration and recovery of those that have experienced enduring injustice and harm, as well as the critical role that communities and individuals suffering from past abuses should play in establishing those programmes in order to re-establish their personal well-being and societal standing. Similarly, a lot of attention gets placed on state initiated reparations programmes; but this is based on a false and outmoded notion of international law as just being about the law of nation-states or governments rather than peoples and/or affected communities.
As much as this APPGAR has been centuries in the making, we must also recognise the context within which this struggle to effect and secure holistic reparatory justice is unfolding as historian Professor John Henrik Clarke advocated, we must be conscious of what political and cultural time of day it is given our locations as Afrikan people on the map of human geography. At a time when the extent of the Maangamizi is now imperilling all life on Planet Earth and some of us are threatened with literal extinction; an approach to effecting and securing holistic reparatory justice is required which brings about Planet Repairs which means: when safeguarding the rights of past, present and future generations; the need to proceed from a standpoint of Pluriversality that highlights the nexus of reparatory, environmental and cognitive justice in articulating the impetus to repair holistically our relationship with, and inseparability from, the Earth, Environment and the Pluriverse. Such an approach recognises there is urgent need for us all to compel the stopping of the Maangamizi of Neocolonialism and its inbuilt manifestations of genocide and ecocide and for Afrikan Heritage Communities to engage in deep and transformative adaptation given the certainty of intensifying climate and ecological crisis which is already impacting all life support systems as we know it rapidly-changing Planet Earth; doing so in ways and means that repair and transform our existing failed institutions in all spheres of people activity, locally, nationally and internationally. Such repair and transformation being anchored in the ancient Afrikan ethical imperative of Serudj ta, i.e., healing, repairing and remaking the World, making it more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
For these reasons, an essential part of our communities self-defence is transformative adaptation which is also about us beginning to make Pempamsiempangos, an Adinkra symbol, which encapsulates the necessity to knit and sew together in readiness for our community self-repairs; these are Glocal Afrikan Reparations Plan for Planet Repairs Alternative Progression being drawn up locally, nationally, internationally as well as globally. Alternative Progression plans become necessary given the contested nature of currently dominant processes of globalized development as highligted in Pluriverse: A Post Development Dictionary, given its structural roots in the Maangamizi, modernity, capitalism, state domination, and exclusively masculinist values which have often ended up being instead maldevelopment.
Finally, it is important to note that we who have been struggling to effect community self-repairs over centuries have built up an extensive knowledge base about the kind of system-change reparatory justice policy and programmatic measures are required. It follows that reparations education and conscientisation is part of the preparation for effecting and securing reparatory justice and this requires the APPGAR to also facilitate intense study about this issue as well as recognising that there is such a thing as reparations ethics. In this regard to acknowledge the INOSAAR Principles of Participationwhich promote equity between the knowledges produced by Afrikan Heritage Communities on Reparations and all other stakeholders.
We in the MET and the SMWeCGEC commit to disciplined, proactive work in the APPGAR secretariat and in fulfilment of this vision and we are keen to work equitably with partners who recognise the principles of Afrikan agency in determining what is best for our people.
We thank Bell Ribeiro-Addy for taking up this challenge by taking this historic step in initiating this APPGAR and agreeing to chair it and of course also to all of you who have agree to be the other executive officers.
We look forward to supporting and working with you all in the APPGAR.
The orginal proposal for the APPGAR as proposed by the MET can be found here.
“Accepting our responsibility and obligation to our Ancestors for ensuring that the African identity is proclaimed, maintained and developed; and that Africa is restored to its rightful place at the centre of world politics; call upon all people of African origin in the Caribbean, Africa, Europe, the Americas and elsewhere to support the movement for reparations and join forces with a view to forming a strong united front capable of exposing, confronting and overcoming the psychological, economic and cultural harm inflicted upon us by peoples of European origin.”
Birmingham Declaration, Africa Reparations Movement (UK), 01/01/94
“Reparations is a process of the repairing and remaking of a people who are in the process and practice of repairing, renewing and remaking the world”
Professor Maulana Karenga, Black Power Encyclopaedia: From “Black is Beautiful” to Urban Uprisings, 2018
The Stop The Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide Campaign (SMWeCGEC) has, since its inception, been campaigning for the setting up of an All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) to address the legacies of Afrikan Enslavement as highlighted in the Stop The Maangamizi Postcard (below). The Maangamizi is the Kiswahili term for the African Holocaust of chattel, colonial and neocolonial forms of enslavement. The call to set up an APPG on Afrikan Heritage Communities Legacies of Enslavement has now developed into a concrete proposal driven by the Maangamizi Educational Trustfor the estabishment of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on African Reparations (APPGAR).
We in the SMWeCGEC have had promising discussions with various members of the British Houses of Parliament, including MPs and peers, who have agreed to set up and be part of the APPGAR. Discussions and negotiations are still taking place on a number of key issues concerninG the scope, remit and timeframe for establishing the APPGAR; nevertheless, we felt it was important to share the proposals that we have made for such an APPGAR. These proposals also include aspects of the text within the the Lambeth, Islington and Bristol ‘Atonement and Reparations‘ motions as well as text contributed by the International Network of Scholars & Activists for Afrikan Reparations(INOSAAR).
Please note in this proposal African is spelled with a C. We in the Stop The Maangamizi Campaign recognise that the consciousness raising journey of self-defining as Afrikan with a K has not begun for all people of Afrikan ancestry and heritage. Hence this starting point with a view to seeking to raise conciousness of the need for People of Afrikan heritage and ancestry to self-define as Afrikans.
DRAFT TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR THE ALL-PARTY PARLIAMENTARY GROUP ON AFRICAN REPARATIONS (APPGAR)
All-Party Parliamentary Groups (APPGs) are informal, cross-party, interest groups of MPs and Peers which meet to discuss, campaign on and promote a certain issue. Many APPGs choose to involve individuals, campaign groups, charities, and other non-governmental organisations from outside Parliament, but who are active in the field of interest, to become involved in their administration and activities. They have no official status within Parliament but can, however, be very influential in bringing matters to the attention of Parliament and ministers as well as also encouraging action by other bodies.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on African Reparations (hereafter referred to as ‘APPGAR’) is to be established in [October] 2021 by a cross-party group of parliamentarians.
The APPGAR is to be chaired by (MP’s name withheld until agreements reached).
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on African Reparations (APPGAR) brings together parliamentarians, campaigners, communities and other stakeholders to examine issues of African Reparations; explore policy proposals on reparations and make recommendations to Parliament on how to redress the legacies of African enslavement, colonialism and neocolonialism today.
1. The APPGAR exists to:
(a) raise parliamentary awareness and public understanding about the meaning of, rationale, and proposals for African Reparations to address the legacies of African enslavement, colonisation and neocolonialism within and beyond the UK.
(b) study, review research and share knowledge about the effects of African enslavement, colonisation and neocolonialism within the British Empire from 1662 to the present.
(c) provide a springboard for parliamentary action on African Reparations such as debates, questions for oral and written answers and legislative reform.
(e) seek evidence on what measures and reforms are needed to address African Reparations at the level of policy.
(f) advise and make recommendations to the UK Government on African Reparations.
(g) stimulate cross-community dialogue on African Reparations and explore interconnections with reparations campaigns and movements of other Majority World Peoples.
To further the above aims the APPGAR and its members and its members will:
· Maintain an important forum for discussion of issues relevant to African Reparations, including measures to implement proposals for African Reparations such as:
(a) the establishment of the APPCITARJ;
(b) debt cancellation and repudiation;
(c) restitution of African cultural property and human remains;
(d) public disclosure about which financial institutions were involved in the enslaver compensation loan taken out by the UK Government in 1835, and restitution of the value of taxes paid by African Heritage taxpayers in Britain until 2015 to service this loan;
· Produce high quality reports, publications and calls for action;
· Facilitate events that further the objectives of the APPGAR;
· Attend other events, meetings where influence can be brought to bear.
2. The roots of this APPGAR lie in the longstanding socio-political struggle of the International Social Movement for African Reparations (ISMAR) to have their voices heard. For centuries, African people and their descendants who were colonised and enslaved have been calling for reparatory justice to address the long-standing and harmful legacies of enslavement, colonial oppression, genocide and ecocide.
The United Kingdom establishment played a major role in the Transoceanic Traffic in Enslaved Africans (TTEA) which saw at least 15 million Africans forcibly trafficked to the Western Hemisphere with many thousands losing their lives during the crossing from Africa to the Americas on British Ships. A great deal of the wealth of the UK was founded on this vile Crime Against Humanity(CAH), and the legacies of chattel, colonial and neocolonial forms of enslavement are still prevalent in society today.
One of the most visible and enduring legacies of African enslavement, colonisation and neocolonialism is systematic Anti-Black and other forms of Afriphobic racism that exists within Western societies. The systematic racism that is ingrained in our society manifests itself in inequality in education, housing, health, employment and the criminal justice system. The legacy of African enslavement is responsible for ingraining racial inequality within Western society, that manifests itself both in overt acts of violent racism, deaths in police, prison, psychiatric custody and immigration detention in the UK, or in institutional failings to provide sufficient support and care for African Heritage Communities, such as the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on people of African descent in the UK.
For too long, the UK Government has ignored the repercussions of Britain’s involvement in the enslavement and colonisation of African People, preferring to emphasise its role in the abolition of slavery, which led to the 1833 Slavery Abolition Act. While it is true that certain sectors and individuals within British society actively participated in, and helped to bring about, abolition of slavery in 1833, it did so only after 200 years of profiting from it. The prevalence of this historical narrative overlooks the fact that many within the British political establishment actively resisted the abolition of slavery, not least of which was Britain’s former Prime Minister William Gladstone. It was men like Gladstone who argued for the need for the enslavers to be financially compensated, resulting in the passing of the Slave Compensation Act in1837. This allowed the enslavers (rather than the enslaved) to receive a total of £20 million in compensation, amounting to 40% of the Treasury’s annual income at the time.
That debt was not fully repaid by British taxpayers until 2015, allowing the bulk of the wealth of the European-led TTEA to remain in the hands of powerful elites and their institutions in both the former colonies and in the UK.
The APPGAR will also seek to build on the work done by campaigners in the UK to advance the cause of reparations.
In 2003 the Lambeth based Black Quest for Justice Campaign (BQJC) supported by the Pan-Afrikan Reparations Coalition in Europe(PARCOE) initiated a class action for Pan-African Reparations for Global Justice against Queen Elizabeth II and agents of the Crown as Head of State and Head of the British Commonwealth; calling for the establishment of a Reparations Commission of Inquiry. This action was denied on the grounds that the Crown could not be prosecuted, and these crimes could not be enforced prior to the enactment of the International Criminal Courts Act in 2001.
In 2004 the Rastafarian Movement were denied their appeal for reparation because the UK government felt it could not be held responsible for events of past centuries.
In 2013 Caribbean Heads of Governments established the CARICOM Reparations Commission (CRC) with a mandate to prepare the case for reparatory justice for the region’s indigenous and African descendant communities who are the victims of Crimes against Humanityin the forms of genocide, slavery, slave trading, and racial apartheid.
In July 2020 Lambeth Council, home to the largest African Caribbean population in the UK, became the first local authority in the UK to pass a successful Atonement and Reparations for the Transoceanic Trafficking of Enslaved Africansmotion followed byBristol City Council in March 2021 calling for the establishment of the APPCITARJ to address the impact of African enslavement, colonisation and neocolonialism on present generations of People of African descent and their environments.
The APPCITARJ is a campaigning initiative founded by the Pan-Afrikan Reparations Coalition in Europe (PARCOE) and now driven by theStop the Maangamizi Campaign. The need for this Commission has long been supported by the work and activism of other members of the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR), including those of the Pan-Afrikan Liberation Movement and theINOSAAR. The campaign aims to urge the UK Government to commit to a holistic process of atonement and reparations in accordance with the United Nations Framework on a Right to A Remedy and Reparations. A key part of the process includes recognizing and addressing the longstanding legacies of African enslavement, colonialism and neo-colonialism, such as Afriphobic Racism and the racial discrimination of People of African descent and other Majority World Peoples, socio-economic inequality and environmental injustice.
The APPCITARJ’s main purpose is to inform the public of the nature of African enslavement and colonialism, as well as its long-term consequences, including present-day impacts of neocolonialism upon both individuals and communities. It will kick start a political process where the space to fully bring people together and listen to the voices of those who are normally excluded would be given the opportunity to be heard. It is intended to be participatory in nature, meaning that it will call for submissions from all those with knowledge of the nature and impacts of enslavement and colonialism to provide testimony. These include, but are not limited to: individuals, organisations, academics, communities and nations.
This process cannot be bypassed because there are so many different constituencies and Communities of African Reparations Interest that need to be heard. The APPCITARJ will provide the basis for affected communities and individuals to voice their own self-determined solutions in effecting reparatory justice, and will identify the steps needed to facilitate their participation in any reparatory process in which the UK is engaged going forwards.
The MET works in servicing the SMWeCGEC and its partners with highly qualitative community-based research, mindful of UNESCO guidelines, as well as with action learning, public conscientization, mainly through cross-community dialogue, and other lifelong learning ways and means of mural and extra-mural education; doing so in order to ensure Cognitive Justicebecomes the key driving impetus in the promotion of broad societal awareness about the full meaning, creative application and practical realisation of African Reparations as a matter of total Pan-African Liberation and the ‘Maatubuntu’ emancipation of all Humanity, in furtherance of holistically transformative African Heritage Community Self-Repairs as an integral part of Planet Repairs in Global Justice meaningfulness.
The MET guides the SMWeCGEC in its public intellectual work for the organic development of unifying Peoples’ Power to support not only grassroots Community Activist campaigners engaged in Pan-African Reparatory Justice Advocacy Action Learning, but also all interested public officials, including members of Parliament, local and central government officials, teachers and students and youths at all levels, including complimentary and supplementary education in their variations. The MET seeks, by so doing, to encourage, guide and provide all other forms of support, to enable such entities to organically learn to grasp the full meaning and practical know how in all ramifications of effecting holistic African Reparations in such ways of ‘Maatubuntu’ creativity as to embrace Planet Repairs in Global Justice meaningfulness.
In this regard, the MET works in guiding the SMWeCGEC and its partners with public intellectual support for its efforts towards establishing the APPCITARJ.
In this regard, the MET provides technical and administrative support to the APPGAR, upholds the rules of APPGs, and acts as a key contact/coordinator for meetings and members.
The role of the Secretariat is to act as a designated secondary enquiry point alongside the Chair, who is the main registered contact. The Secretariat supports the Chair to ensure records are maintained according to APPG rules. The Secretariat maintains a list of active members – both parliamentary and external; dates of meeting – both past and future; minutes of past formal meetings (which will record both attendance and decisions); any reports or other publications issued; and income and expenditure statements as required. The Secretariat also acts as the conduit for contact with sponsors, supporters, any external advisory functions and individual experts who may interact with the APPGAR.
The interaction between the Secretariat and outside bodies is determined and subject to approval by the elected APPGAR officers.
Where bespoke and original research is to be carried out to uncover new insights and support the APPGAR’s decision-making, the MET will lead on carrying out this work. The MET will also manage any sponsorship monies, events and expenses, keeping full accounts records and making any necessary declarations of interest within the rules of the APPGAR.
The APPGAR’s Privacy Statement can be downloaded here….[to be added]
Further support provided to the APPGAR secretariat will be declared when confirmed.
The Secretariat will be supported by a Parliamentary Coordinator on administrative matters, such as registration, parliamentary event organisation, meeting scheduling, minute taking, communications, but with a particular focus on supporting the Chair.
5. MPs and members of the House of Lords from all parties are invited to join the APPGAR – if you are interested in exploring issues concerning African Reparations and other forms of transitional justice, we very much encourage you to join.
Officers of the group include: [Names withheld]
Other members of the group include: [Names witheld]
Members of the general public are encouraged to contact their local MP to encourage them to show interest in joining the APPGAR – either as a permanent member or for specific discussions – to play an active part in furthering African Reparatory Justice in the UK.
6. External organisations and individuals are permitted to offer advice and contribute to the strategy of the APPGAR if the relationship is properly defined and declared and a register of interests is maintained by the group Secretariat.
An Advisory Panel will consist of independent specialists with specific expertise including policy or research expertise in all areas related to African Reparations who work in association with INOSAAR and adhere to its ‘Principles of Participation’ as a benchmark for good practice. The Advisory Panel will provide expert knowledge and guidance to the APPGAR.
The Advisory Panel of the APPGAR cannot have a formal relationship with the APPGAR – it is merely an informal function that can offer support on matters undertaken to further the objectives of the APPGAR. The officers of the APPGAR have the final say over all workstreams and strategic decisions taken by the group.
7. Alongside its parliamentary members, the APPGAR invites Supporting Organisations with a campaigning track record or who undertake research and advocacy on African Reparations to contribute valuable opinions and expertise to work of the APPGAR.
Being a Supporting Organisation of the APPGAR does not necessarily signify support for or opposition to any particular reparations focused policy or initiative, but rather a desire to facilitate and informed, evidence-based dialogue and debate on African Reparations.
The APPGAR does not grant voting rights to Supporting Organisations. A full list of Supporting Organisations will be published in due course on the APPGAR page on the APPGAR Website.
PROGRAMME OF WORK
8. The APPGAR members will work together to build its annual programme of work. As part of its programme, the APPGAR will:
(a) hold an inquiry into the Legacies of African Enslavement on African Heritage Communities and;
(b) regularly review:
· new and emerging research on Reparations, working closely with civil society, academic as well as local, regional, national and international policy;
· Local, regional and international innovation, comparisons and best practice and the APPGAR may look to produce reports/documents following its own inquiries into specific areas. It will also signpost to and reference any external reports and information that it feels are appropriate to the topic and work of the APPGAR.
The APPGAR will ensure involvement of a broad diversity of African Heritage Communities within and beyond the UK, including people of African descent from all backgrounds in the work of the APPGAR, paying particular attention to the involvement of women and young people.
PURPOSE AND STRUCTURE OF THE INQUIRY
9. The purpose of this inquiry is, on a global level, to:
Redress global inequalities caused by the Transoceanic Trafficking of Enslaved Africans (TTEA). These include, but are not limited to, social, economic and ecological harms;
Acknowledge the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality, and inhumanity of the imposition of the Maangamizi, i.e. African chattel, colonial and neocolonial enslavement within and beyond the British Empire;
Examine the health, social, environmental and climate impacts of neocolonialism as it impacts on African Heritage Communities;
Examine Afriphobia and subsequent de jure and de facto racial and socio-economic discrimination against Africans and people of African descent, including their gendered impacts and consequences;
Examine how African enslavement, colonialism and neocolonialism have directly benefited societal institutions, both public and private, including higher education and other public sector organisations, corporations, as well as religious organisations;
Make recommendations to Parliament and similar bodies at local, national and international levels, including the European Parliament, and;
Determine appropriate methods of dissemination of findings to the public within and beyond Britain for consultation about proposals for supporting initiatives of African Heritage Community Self-Repairs, Planet Repairs and designing other forms of redress and repairs.
The APPGAR is calling for evidence from organisations and individuals to be submitted to inform its recommendations to the UK Government on African Reparations proposals. All evidence received will be reviewed and submissions of particular interest may be followed up with an invitation to submit oral evidence.
This call for evidence is to get a better understanding of what reparations focused proposals and solutions are already taking place, and what needs to happen to address the legacies of African enslavement, colonisation and neocolonialism within and beyond the UK.
The inquiry would particularly welcome written evidence on the following key questions:
(a) What evidence is there to help understand the impact that enslavement, colonialism and neocolonialism have had on people of African descent and African Heritage Communities?
(b) What challenges/barriers are faced by people of African descent and African Heritage Communities in overcoming the legacies of enslavement, colonialism and neocolonialism?
(c) Are there examples of best practice in implementing reparations proposals and what lessons can be learned from other Majority World Communities experiences of implementing reparations proposals?
(d) What are the most effective measures the UK Government and other bodies could take to ensure that the crimes and violations of enslavement, colonialism and neocolonialism are repaired and redressed?
All written evidence should be emailed to:…., Coordinator of APPGAR. Any queries to that email: or telephone ….
The APPGAR will use responses to the call for evidence phase of the inquiry to inform and legislative proposals on African Reparations.
The APPGAR is planning to hold a number of oral evidence sessions in February 2022 with a variety of people being invited to give their testimonies. Hearing African Heritage Communities’ stories and acknowledging the truth about their experiences is essential for healing and justice for people of African descent.
A report, based on the written and oral evidence, will be produced which will make clear recommendations for the government and public policy decision makers.
MEETINGS AND EVENTS
10. The APPGAR will hold a minimum of two meetings per year, in the accordance with the rules on APPGs. Details of these meetings will be announced in due course. The APPGAR may also host a number of events throughout the year.
11. The APPGAR receives no taxpayer funding. However, funding is required to run a professional and effective group. There are costs associated with administration, event management, running a webpage and more. The APPGAR is currently seeking funding to support both its secretarial work for members, and for specific projects. External organisations and individuals are invited to sponsor the APPGAR to help pay for secretariat services to manage trips, events, research, the websites and reports produced by the APPGAR.
For example, if a report or other publication has been compiled or funded by any external organisation or individual, this will be made clear on the front cover of the report using the wording provided by the APPG Registrar’s office. The APPGAR is also required to identify sources of external funding on its headed paper. If the APPGAR receives over £12,500 from outside Parliament, in money or in kind, in its reporting year, it will undertake the reporting and declarations set out in the official rule book. All funds received (no matter how great or small the amount) are declared; and all monies go directly to funding salaries and reasonable expenses of the APPGAR Secretariat; nothing goes, or will ever go, to any officer or Parliamentarian.
A List of Supporters is maintained by the Secretariat and published externally along with the names of sponsors. Supporters are invited to attend all public meetings and may be invited to give evidence as or when appropriate.
Any monies received relating to the APPGAR will be declared on the UK Parliament website within 28 days of receipt. All funds received (no matter how great or small the amount) are declared in the Register of All-Party Groups, which is compiled and published by the Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.
Sponsors have no say over the running of the APPGAR, and sponsorship confers no special access or privileges.
It is the role of the Officers of the APPGAR to ensure transparency and independence within the group.
Full year accounts will be prepared by the MET and made available upon request
Please reach out to ……..if you would like to discuss options for providing funding, large or small.
GUIDELINES FOR COMMUNICATION
12. Sponsors and partners can communicate their association with the APPGAR. Once the reporting rules for declaring a financial or professional contribution are complied with, sponsors and partners are free to communicate their association with the group and the APPGAR can do the same. That includes sponsors and partners being able to take pictures and promote their involvement with the APPGAR on social media.
The following provides high-level principles for sponsors, supporting organisations and partners to follow when communicating their involvement externally:
• Press releases or statements announcing sponsorship/partnership should be signed off by the APPGAR Secretariat.
• Sponsors can acknowledge their affiliation with the APPGAR as a sponsor, but cannot use the APPGAR logo for their own PR and marketing purposes.
The APPGAR logo is only for use on the APPGAR’s letterhead, reports, website, and social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
• Tweets and other social media posts confirming an organisation is a sponsor, supporting organisation or partner and proud to support the aims of the group are appropriate but committing the APPGAR to policy positions outside the scope of the group’s aims and objectives are not appropriate unless the Secretariat has approved it
• Announcing support or funding for publications or events should be approved by the APPGAR Secretariat.
• APPGAR policy positions are agreed by the officers and Parliamentarians of the group. Sponsors, supporting organisations and partners should consider posting social media comments that complement the work and views of the APPGAR.
• APPGAR Advisory Panel meetings are internal meetings so discretion is needed on what constitutes appropriate promotion by sponsors and partners and should be approved by the APPGAR Secretariat.
 ‘H.R. 3745 Commission to Study Reparation Proposal for African Americans Act,’ 101st Congress (1989–1990), 20 November 1989, https://www.congress.gov/bill/101st-congress/house-bill/3745. Having been submitted by congressman John Conyers Jr every year since 1989, the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing to consider reparations for the descendants of African Americans who had been enslaved on 19 June 2019.
“You must not abandon discussion out of tact . . . There should be no concession where there is a question of establishing a scientific truth . . . Remember we are focused on a quest for truth and not on a sacrosanct idol we must avoid debasing”
Cheikh Anta Diop quoted in ‘Great African Thinkers: Cheik Anta Diop’ by Ivan Van Sertima, (1968) p.13
“If you do not understand white supremacy (racism) what it is and how it works everything else you know will only confuse you.”
Neely Fuller, Jr. in The United Independent Compensatory Code/System/Concept (1984)
“If you are silent about your pain, they’ll kill you and say you enjoyed it” Zora Neale Hurston
The battles of the future, whether they be physical or mental, will be fought on scientific lines, and the race that is able to produce the highest scientific development, is the race that will ultimately rule Hon. Marcus Mosiah Garvey
In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act!
As a campaign tackling issues of genocide and ecocide, we in the Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide Campaign (SMWeCGEC) cannot fail to recognise the importance of the debate raging on vaccines for COVID-19 in particular, and vaccines in general, for Afrikan Heritage Communities across the world. We need to make our position clear, more so in the light of two prominent figures, whom we consider friends, in the United Kingdom (UK); Dr Patrick Vernon OBE and Professor Kehinde Andrews openly advertising and encouraging our people to take the COVID-19 vaccine; and also recognising what is driving some vaccine hesitancy initiatives in response to the weaponisation of COVID-19 and other pandemics. Clarification of our SMWeCGEC position may also help to ascertain what our standpoint is for engagement with emergent coalitions, such as the International Coalition Against the Coronavirus and other Pandemics for African Development based in Lomé, Togo on the Continent of Afrika and the recently announced proposal for an Afrikan Coalition Against Genocide in the UK.
We of the SMWeCGEC consider ourselves as critical friends of both Patrick and Kehinde together with whom we hope we share in common a desire to see the best interests of our Afrikan Heritage Communities advanced everywhere, and therefore choose to make this response and publicly communicate it to all in order to contribute, at this dangerous time, to raising critical consciousness within and beyond our Global Afrikan Family; for the purpose of better comprehending the fact that this emergency period of the escalating climate and ecological crises demands of us all the very urgent need to be far more careful than ever before about our thoughts and actions particularly those that are shared on social media.
Indeed, we of SMWeCGEC are striving to ensure in everything that we do that not only do we raise critical consciousness, but work our hardest to advance its progression into critical legal consciousness. We do so to enable us to learn together, to better express, enlighten, and more boldly act out the will of our Afrikan People glocally to become the power of law everywhere; so that we can compel all of humanity to respect, abide by and enforce our Global Afrikan collective will to safeguard legitimate Human, Peoples and Mother Earth rights. Accordingly, we hope Patrick and Kehinde will take our constructively critical observations for what they are meant to promote: iron sharpening iron in the critical engagement best Black Radical intellectual traditions of our Afrikan Heritage Communities throughout the world.
In these times when some Afriphobic racists are louder demanding depopulation, targeting Afrikans, as a means to redressing the climate and ecological crises, Black intellectuals have a duty to stand with their community, to identify with their fears and concerns and support them to test the genuineness of this case for a vaccine and to then use their academic, and in the case of Patrick, health care knowledge to clarify matters in this case. The examples of Kehinde and Patrick as leading public figures taking the Covid-19 vaccine will be cited across Commonwealth countries; so they themselves must become more conscious of the global role they are playing in advocating for these vaccines in what has been referred to (in January 2021) as a “great experiment” by US based Dr Don J. Tynes who works at the Benton Harbor Health Center in Michigan, see news report below.
Although Dr Tynes speaks as a Black medical professional, he is also very clear on the fact that this experiment is one more example of the series of attempts to misuse Afrikan people for experiments that result in genocide and he particularly highlights the role of Black professionals who act as ‘sell-outs’ in seducing, enticing and coercing their own people into such murderous processes of science and technology, (e.g.“…and not trust a Black face, Black faces [also] harm the Black Race”). This is the kind of exemplary truth-telling standpoint in the best interest of our Afrikan Heritage Communities that we wished the likes of Kehinde and Patrick were taking here in the UK.
If Kehinde is serious in his assertion of being concerned about the racism of the Covid-19 pandemic, then the vaccine hesitancy of Afrikan Heritage Communities locally, nationally and internationally must be evaluated from an glocal anti-racist, anti-imperialist, and as someone who constantly advocates revolutionary change, one would have thought also a ‘revolutionary medical’ standpoint.
The motives of anyone who, contrary to the historical and contemporary experiences of their people, advocates that their people should just cast aside their fears and concerns and #TakeTheVaccine, should definitely be questioned. For what is the evidence base and factual knowledge to say it is safe for your people to take a Covid-19 vaccine?; especially when there has been no ‘repair’ of the healthy mistrust that Afrikan Heritage Communities across the world have of establishment medicine which has in many instances been used against them for nefarious purposes. If Afrikan Heritage Communities are to trust any vaccine, we ourselves must be able to prove that it is good for our people by doing our own independent investigations into the efficacy and safety of vaccines and establishing an Afrikan Heritage Communities led independent peer-review mechanism. This is even more urgent given the fact that the speed of the development of these vaccines means that the long-term consequences on those that take the vaccine from Afrikan Heritage Communities are not known. Of equal concern and alarm is the fact that in the UK, and around the world, vaccine producers have been given immunity from civil liability and so individuals are in effect taking full unmitigated responsibility for the potentially serious effects of a vaccine because there is currently is no adequate recourse to remedy in the event of any complications developing.
Whilst we accept, there maybe a case that can be made for some type of vaccine, it is fool hardy to uncritically advocate the use of vaccines produced by a historically anti-Afrikan system, more so by its notorious capitalist pharma-medical industrial complex known for seeking profit at all cost over and above decent values and principles. So where such vaccines become necessary, Afrikan Heritage Communities and our tested and trusted allies should be able to supervise the process of vaccine development, manufacture, culturally safe clinical trials and administration from start to finish; as has also been advocated by Dr Nevers Mumba, a politician in Zambia. Outside such a process controlled by duly representative, trustworthy and accountable organs of the masses of Afrikan People, then it is sheer agent-provocateurism to insist that Afrikans accept and take vaccines made for them by others.
Cultural Safety: An approach that considers how social and historical contexts, as well as structural and interpersonal power imbalances, shape health and health care experiences.“Safety” is defined by those who receive health services, not those who provide them.
By agent-provocateurism we mean, consciously or unconsciously provoking our people into taking courses of action, seemingly radical but actually premature and/or erroneous and therefore not well prepared to succeed, and so more likely to be to the counterinsurgency benefit of our enemies rather than the masses of our Afrikan People in the long-term; therefore bringing overwhelming backlash in the more likely event of failure, to cause huge losses even deaths and more atrocious persecution, demoralisation and reversals of previously won gains, so setting back our clock of advancement to victorious total liberation. Furthermore, those genuinely interested in our Afrikan People’s healthcare and wellbeing should be willing from a Reparatory Justice perspective, to release resources from the accumulated wealth of our past and present generations that they have in their possession so we, as part of our Afrikan Heritage Community Self-Repairs, can utilise them for our needs; as for example to fund proper research that will enable us to design, produce, freely distribute, monitor, evaluate and constantly improve such vaccines of our own making; combining our own indigenous medical knowledge and expertise with modern technological processes.
We can draw inspiration from the attempts by scientists and health professionals in Madagascar who prompted their government to support their initiative in creating their own home based organic remedies and other Afrikan medical solutions from what they have in their own environment to address Covid-19 and the threat of pandemics. This is a good example of how Afrikan professionals can take the initiative in ensuring governments support their own Afrikan solutions to problems affecting our Afrikan Heritage Communities within and outside Afrika. We note the good leadership example, in this particular matter, of President John Magufuli of Tanzania who on the 27th January 2021, speaking at a ceremony on the opening of a public forest in Chato in the Geita Region in Tanzania echoed the sentiments of many Afrikan Heritage Communities when he said: “The ministry of health should be careful, they should not hurry to try these vaccines without doing research, not every vaccine is important to us, we should be careful. We should not be used as ‘guinea pigs“. There is also exemplary leadership in the Afrikan Diaspora on this vaccine question from Minster Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam.
This issue of our people being targeted as guinea pigs for experimental vaccines and the heightened need for biosafety is a globally shared Afrikan Heritage Communities concern since Covid-19 vaccines has been produced in a system which continues to perpetrate acts of genocide and ecocide against Afrikan people and our environments. It is also the case that the history of disease and warfare are interwoven and not only does the potential exist, but contemporary facts demonstrate, as is currently happening in the foreign orchestrated wars being imposed upon Iraq, Syria and Yemen, that genetic engineering can be applied for biological warfare or bioterrorism purposes, which in itself is the weaponisation of biochemistry for war crimes of genocide.We cannot critically examine and analyze Covid-19 vaccines or indeed vaccine hesitancy without a knowledge of the historical and geopolitical climate in which they are being produced.
Accordingly, we recommend the following points of action:
1. Noting that right now in the current situation of a climate and ecological crisis where depopulation is the eco-fascist solution being popularised for execution against Afrikans and other undesirable colonised peoples of the world, we must recognise that the question of taking or not taking any kind of vaccine is a life and death matter for our peoples across the world. Rather than just focus on the disproportionate impacts of symptoms, we should be courageous at tackling the root causes of such zoonotic viruses and diseases as Covid-19 and other pandemics, as well as building peoples power and community self-defence capabilities to resist and avert the proliferation of genetic engineering and synthetic biology technologies, especially given the lack of legal protection that people have against the iatrogenic harms of vaccine companies.
2. We invite all those interested to join us of the SMWeCGEC in setting up an international working group of the PEMPAMSIESAFO Pan-Afrikan Reparatory Justice Special Task Action Research Forces (PEMPAMSIESAFO-PARJSTARF) to work on addressing Afrikan Heritage Communities concerns about vaccines and pandemics.
PEMPAMSIEASAFO – Afrikan Heritage Communities Self-Repairs forces that are ‘sewing in freedom-fighting readiness’ for Pan-Afrikan Reparatory Justice victory. Asafos are community militia formation to which everybody belongs for community self-defence in some indigenous communities in West Afrika.There are similar formations within Afrikan communities throughout the Continent and the Diaspora of Afrika.
3. We invite all those who are interested to join us in critically exploring, debating and counteracting the role of agent-provocateurism in our Pan-Afrikan Liberation endeavours particularly highlighting its counterinsurgency role for seeking to derail the rising wave of our Afrikan Heritage Community organisation, particularly disciplined glocal movement-building and its necessarily diligent scholar-activist spearheading towards strengthening the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR) and the Peoples Reparations International Movement (PRIM).
5. Contact us to learn more, including how best you can participate from a Pan-Afrikan Liberatory Perspective highlighting holistic Reparatory Justice, in the ‘Battle of Ideas’ raging on issues such as pandemics, vaccines and depopulation. Under the international law reparations remedy of rehabilitation, collective reparations for the long-term consequences of the Maangamizi, both past and present, can be expressed through public health objectives that aim to stop medical/pharmaceutical wrongs and eliminate lingering racialised health disparities. The ‘Battle of Ideas’ is an important ideological tool in the struggle to transform minds and hearts in support of or against a cause. Within a space where a number of ideological positions struggle for supremacy – reflective of national, ethnic, class and gendered tensions within society – the ISMAR as a revolutionary international social movement should not neglect the importance of winning hearts and minds and mobilising society around a common Reparatory Justice vision that presents a credible political, social and economic narrative around which the movement seeks to transform minds and hearts to support, with all credibility, an alternative to that of the dominant white supremacy racist, capitalist, imperialist, sexist class.
Project Coast: Apartheid’s Chemical and Biological Warfare Programme, Chandré Gould and Peter Folb, edited by Robert Berold (2002)
“Let’s talk about Reparatory Justice with City Institutions”?
About this Event
Many people are joining together to walk the path of racial justice and healing. Whilst it is important to do some deep introspection about how those of us from the Afrikan diaspora relate to each other and seek to heal from the racial wounds of the past and indeed the present. This healing cannot take place until we connect with others on the path towards reparatory justice.
“Lets talk about Reparatory Justice with City Institutions” is the 2nd in a series of 3 discussions on Bristol’s Conversation on Race & Reparations, following on from the 1st meeting held on the 14th January with and between Bristol’s Afrikan Heritage Communities, which started to explore the meaning of Reparations and the specific UK and international demand for An-All Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Truth and Reparatory Justice.
You will also hear from Lambeth Borough Council, the first council in the UK to pass a Reparations Motion. What happens after the motion is passed? Find out how Lambeth are supporting the reparations movement locally and nationally.
This press release contains the full text of the motion as follows:
“This Assembly is committed to eradicating and ending racial injustice and anti-Black racism. In our pursuit of these aims, the London Assembly is passing this motion to recognise formally and mark the United Nations International Decade for peoples of African Descent running from 2015-2024.
This Assembly recognises the work undertaken by the Mayor of London in promoting diversity and inclusion, and celebrating Black Londoners through Black History Month activities, the Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm, and working with the Black Curriculum to provide relevant education resources and to review the London Curriculum.
This Assembly calls on the Mayor of London to recognise formally and mark the UN’s Decade by embedding in policies where possible, the UN’s General Assembly resolution on the International Decade for People of African Descent. The Mayor’s work should reflect the following requests from the Programme of Activities for the Implementation of the International Decade for People of African Descent:
Work with schools and community organisations to ensure that the educational histories and narratives of Black people are properly taught and celebrated in schools across London all year round;
Work on reviewing and reworking policies that continue to have a discriminatory effect on peoples of African descent across London;
Consider establishing policy directives to mainstream equality and non-discrimination considerations in all policy-making, including measures to ensure the equal enjoyment of rights and opportunities for people of African descent; and
Ensure that the end of the decade is marked in 2024, celebrating progress made in moving towards racial justice.”
Assembly member for Ealing and Hillingdon, Dr Sahota seconded the motion.
London Assembly member Caroline Russell, one of two Green Party representatives on the Assembly and a councillor for Highbury East within the Islington North constituency moved an amendment to the above motion which included the following text:
“The Assembly also notes that the UN International Decade for People of African Descent2015-2024 calls on those that have not yet expressed remorse or presented apologies to find some way to contribute to the restoration of the dignity of victims, and therefore asks the Mayor to support calls for the establishment of an All-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Truth and Reparatory Justice.”
The amendment was also seconded by Green Party London Assembly member Sian Berry, the only Green Party councillor on Camden Council, representing Highgate
See below for the recording of the debate about the motion:
The full text of Caroline Russell’s speech is as follows:
Thank you chair.
I am so glad that Assembly Member Arnold has brought this motion – it is something we discussed last summer so I am pleased to hear it today.
However, I am proposing an amendment, not to detract from this motion or water down its aims – but to make it more inclusive of the asks of campaigners – and those are the voices I am bringing to the Assembly today.
This motion recognises the UN’s International Decade for Peoples of African Descent and asks that the Mayor’s work reflects some of the actions listed in the Decade – it rightly highlights celebrating Black history, improving education, and anti-discrimination policies.
However, we on the Green Group believe there is a serious omission in this motion and that is the issue of reparatory justice.
The UN International Decade for People of African Descent also has under the programme of activities for the justice theme the text:
“Inviting the international community and its members to honour the memory of the victims of these tragedies with a view to closing those dark chapters in history and as a means of reconciliation and healing; further noting that some have taken the initiative of regretting or expressing remorse or presenting apologies, and calling on all those that have not yet contributed to restoring the dignity of the victims to find appropriate ways to do so and, to this end, appreciating those countries that have done so.”
In London we owe so much to Africans and People of African descent – and not just here in this city, but in all our connections and communities all over the world.
Let me remind everyone listening here today that it was only in 2015 that our Government stopped paying off the debt they took on to “compensate” businesses and people “forced” to stop trading in human lives.
And over the last 200 years the equivalent of £17 billion pounds in today’s money has been paid out.
This so-called “compensation” went the wrong way.
I spoke with the Stop the Maangamizi campaign just yesterday, a group co-led by the extraordinary legal expert Esther Stanford-Xosei and Kofi Mawuli Klu.
She told me that the first thing her campaign group is asking for is to be heard.
For us to hear about the impact of intergeneration harm, for us to hear about what communities are doing to prevent this harm, and for us to hear about how they are healing from this harm.
She asked me to tell you that real reparations mean not just addressing historical enslavement and the money made in human suffering,
But real reparations means recognizing the critical future role that communities and individuals who continue to suffer have to play.
It is vital that communities from the African diaspora are at the heart of the process of any investigation into reparations. Their voices, their stories, their solutions, should be the driving force.
But even working out how to do that starts with establishing a commission to study the impact and legacy of our country’s involvement in slavery and what reparatory justice means.
This is why the amendment I have brought to you today calls on the Mayor to support the establishment of an All-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Truth & Reparatory Justice.
I hope you will vote for this amendment.
Despite the amendment adding teeth to the motion, it fell because only the two Green Party members voted for it. There was value however in raising the arguments and challenging Assembly members to go further than they were clearly prepared to in responding to a global unifying clarion call of Afrikan Heritage Communities to implement their right to remedies and reparations. Nevertheless, this struggle continues unabated!
The GLA motion, which passed unanimously, did not reference or focus on the following key aspects of the IDPAD Programme of action under the justice theme pertaining to reparatory justice:
Ensuring that people of African descent have full access to effective protection and remedies through the competent national tribunals and other State institutions against any acts of racial discrimination, and the right to seek from such tribunals just and adequate reparation or satisfaction for any damage suffered as a result of such discrimination;
Acknowledging and profoundly regretting the untold suffering and evils inflicted on millions of men, women and children as a result of slavery, the slave trade, the transatlantic slave trade, colonialism, apartheid, genocide and past tragedies, noting that some States have taken the initiative to apologize and have paid reparation, where appropriate, for grave and massive violations committed, and calling on those that have not yet expressed remorse or presented apologies to find some way to contribute to the restoration of the dignity of victims;
Inviting the international community and its members to honour the memory of the victims of these tragedies with a view to closing those dark chapters in history and as a means of reconciliation and healing; further noting that some have taken the initiative of regretting or expressing remorse or presenting apologies, and calling on all those that have not yet contributed to restoring the dignity of the victims to find appropriate ways to do so and, to this end, appreciating those countries that have done so;
Calling upon all States concerned to take appropriate and effective measures to halt and reverse the lasting consequences of those practices, bearing in mind their moral obligations.
The video clips below, and other relevant information links, point to what is happening in one of the best known countries of West Afrika, in connection with the fraudulent 7th December 2020 General Elections to the Presidency and Parliament of the Republic of Ghana.
We highlight not only the fact that the current pretender to the still hotly disputed position of President-elect, Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo, has been caught on camera by an investigative journalist, showing he is a corrupt, deceitful and hypocritical taker of bribes, an organiser of violent political gangsterism, but also someone with question marks about complicity in numerous unresolved murders. This concerns mostly gruesome killings that have occurred and still are happening in Ghana over a considerable period of time, particularly as from 2016, within the duration of his first term in the questionably won position of the President of Ghana.
Moreover, contrary to his initial pronouncements against the illegal mining activities popularly known as ‘Galamsey’, Akuffo-Addo has become one of most notorious profiteering facilitators of the mostly foreign extractivist plunder of Ghana’s resources, and the heinous destruction of her environment, including the desecration of sacred bush groves, forest reserves, mountains, water bodies, indigenous community settlements, endangered unique flora and fauna, and other devastating cases of Genocide and Ecocide known to Afrikan Heritage Communities as the Maangamizi.
That is why it is of the greatest importance for Internationalist Solidarity to be urgently mobilised now, from all over the World, to assist the people of Ghana to create an enabling atmosphere for genuine Participatory Democracy to develop, in the wake of properly establishing the Truth around the hotly disputed 7th December 2020 General Elections. Such Truthquest must ascertain, without any obfuscation and obstruction whatsoever, those who actually won and lost both the presidential and parliamentary ballots, and ensure the true victors are allowed to freely occupy their respective positions of government and other state responsibilities they have been popularly mandated, by the expressed sovereign will of the people, to ascend, in due service, as Ghanaians say it, to their Odomankoma MawuLisa Nyungmo God of Creation, to their revered Ancestors and to their own Ghanamanfo citizenry of Afrika and Miano Asase Yaa, their beloved Mother Earth!
With regard to the above noteworthy points, we of the Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/ Ecocide Campaign (SMWeCGEC), propose the following to those Peoples’ of Conscience Representatives in the United Kingdom Houses of Parliament interested in our Operation 2020 Ghana Elections Truthquest (O2020GET):-
(1) Ask the UK Government what it knows, from its own gathered intelligence, and is therefore doing, about the incumbent Government-perpetrated Electoral Violence, which discredits the official Electoral Commission (EC) declared results of, and reports on, the 7th December 2020 General Elections in Ghana.
(2) Call for the setting up of an All-Party Parliamentary Human Rights Monitoring Caucus on Anti-People Violence in Ghana today.
(3) Invite all members of both Houses of the British Parliament to participate in an International Community Right To Truth Assembly (ICORTTA), by way of a Zoom meeting, to be facilitated by the Peoples’ Reparations Internationalist Solidarity Committee for Cognitive Justice in Afrika (PRISCCOJA); that will be addressed by a duly mandated representative each, of the two main contending political parties in Ghana today, that are still heatedly disputing the results of the 7th December 2020 General Elections; that is, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), led by John Dramani Mahama (aka JDM); and the New Patriotic Party (NPP), led by Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo (aka NADAA).
(4) Sponsor, actively support and send a Friends of Ghana International Investigative Team (FOGIIT) to enquire into the various shootings, maiming and claiming human lives, including those of elected Members of Parliament, journalists and ordinary people, young and old, by police and army personnel, as well as other armed state and non-state actors, that have ocurred and still are happening in Ghana today before, during and in the aftermath of the 7th December 2020 General Elections.
(5) Support the Afrikan Heritage Communities-led initiative to hold an inaugural convention to launch their Internationalist Solidarity Forum of People’s Power Accountability on Afrika (ISFOPPAA) in London, United Kingdom, as part of the annual Afrikan Liberation Awareness Month (ALAM) activities in May 2021.