“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
“The great tide of history flows and as it flows it carries to the shores of reality the stubborn facts of life and [hu]man’s relations one with another. One cardinal fact of our time is the momentous impact of Afrika’s awakening upon the modern world. The flowing tide of Afrikan nationalism sweeps everything before it and constitutes a challenge to the colonial powers to make a just Restitution for the years of injustice and crimes committed against our continent.“
Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah, from his Friday 23rd September 1960 address to the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York, USA.
We in the ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide!’ Campaign (SMWeCGEC), in association with the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee (AEDRMC) are working in partnership with VAZOBA Afrika & Friends Networking Open Forum who organise the annual SANKOFAAPAE Pan-Afrikan Reparatory Justice International Libation Ceremony (SANKOFAAPAE-PARJILC), every year in solidarity with the annual Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March which takes place on the 1st August.
VAZOBA are calling Afrikans throughout the Continent and Diaspora of Afrika, and good Friends of Afrika from all over the world to join them on Wednesday, 1st August 2018. The 3rd SANKOFAAPAE-PARJILC will take place in Accra, Ghana as part of the International Reparations for Emancipation Season in glocal link with the Reparations March in London, UK.
Venue: Osekan Rock Oceanic Retreat, Accra, Ghana
Contact Details: +233 (0) 574619258 or +233 (0) 203790105
Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We must have every inch of our lands, every one of our mines and industries…”
Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah
The SANKOFAAPAE-PARJILC is a strictly non-party political activity of various grassroots progressive forces of Pan-Afrikan civil society which are independently mobilizing for the ground-up popular education, reparatory justice civic conscientization and its relevant human, peoples’ and Mother Earth rights awareness raising among ordinary masses of peoples throughout the World to achieve our interconnected vision of Pan-Afrikan Reparations for Global Justice.
We in the SMWeCGEC and the AEDRMC highly appreciate what is being done in Ghana and encourage all those interested in the Reparations March living in Ghana or West Afrika to help build and strengthen this satellite process in Ghana and extend it into the countries in which you live, even if you are not resident in Ghana. We recognise the SANKOFAAPAE as a unity promotional endeavour, of global dimensions, for connecting into the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR). In addition to the efforts being made by various indigenous Afrikan communities in Afrika to assert their rights to self-determination and reconstruction of nationhood including overcoming the divisions imposed by the artificially created European borders and other manifestations of the Maangamizi which continue into the present to the detriment of their Afrikan personality, humanity and sovereignty.
Examples of such national self-determinist endeavours with reparatory justice bearings which seek to overcome the divisive colonial 1884-1885 boundaries of the Congress of Berlin and counter the ensuing Euro-centric economic and geopolitical interests which have been inimical to the aspirations of Afrikans include, but are not restricted to:
• Ablodeduko Movement for Gbetowo Pan-Afrikan Reparatory Justice Self
• Determination, Unification and Sovereignty
• Edo People’s Movement for the Restoration of Benin
• Igbo National Self-Determination Movement
• Movement For the Survival of the Ogoni People
• Niger Delta Sovereignty Movement
• O’odua Liberation Movement/Yoruba Self-Determination Movement
• Bunyoro-Kitara Kingdom Movement
• Global Afrikan Family Reunion International Council
• Sahrawi National Liberation Movement
• Kgeikani Kweni Movement (First People of the Kalahari)
• Nubian Katala Movement
• OvaHerero & Nama Genocide Redress Movement
• Marikana Massacre Redress Movement
• Nyasaland Massacre Redress Movement
• Ethiopian Genocide Redress Movement
• Bamileke Genocide Redress Movement
• Oromo Liberation Movement
• Tigrayan Liberation Movement
• Muhimu Kenya, Land & Freedom Army Movement
• Maasai Autonomy Movement
• Landless Peoples Movement of Azania/Namibia
• Abahlali base Mjondolo Shackdwellers Movement
• Affirmative Repositioning Movement
• Naija Resitance Movement
• People’s Union of Cameroon
• Economic Freedom Fighters of Azania
• Peoples Land Organisation
• Pan-Afrikan Congress of Azania
• Togo Resistance Movement
The SANKOFAAPAE is also relevant to providing global visibility for such self-determination battles and the communities waging them in order to facilitate Pan-Afrikan internationalist solidarity. In addition to reinvigorating our Pan-Afrikan Liberation Struggle for the Reparatory Justice regeneration of our Communities of Resistance to the MAANGAMIZI everywhere; in order not only to stop its devastating crimes of Genocide/Ecocide but also to speed up our walking the talk of principled unity in rebuilding our interconnecting Afrikan Communities of Reparations Interest at home and abroad as the cornerstones of our future MAATUBUNTUMAN Pan-Afrikan Union of Communities. MAATUBUNTUMAN is an organic integration of our autonomous Afrikan Heritage Communities for National Self-Determination (AHC-NSDs) in the Diaspora into the Sankofahomes Liberated and Contested Zones on our Mothercontinent of Afrika! All this being done in accordance with the ‘Right to Afrika’ being championed by ENGOCCAR as the most vital aspect of the UN ‘International Decade for People of African Descent’.
See this link for videos of activities which took place in Namibia and Ghana last year in solidarity with the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March.
*The Indigenous concept of Rematriation refers to restoring a living material culture to its rightful place on Mother Earth; restoring a people to a spiritual way of life, in sacred relationship with their ancestral lands; and reclaiming ancestral remains, spirituality, culture, knowledge and resources.
“Convinced that the pursuit of reparations by the Afrikan peoples in the continent and in the Diaspora will itself be a learning experience in self-discovery and in uniting experience politically and psychologically.”
A Declaration of the first Abuja Pan-Afrikan Conference on Reparations for Afrikan Enslavement, Colonisation and Neo-Colonisation, sponsored by the Organisation of African Unity and its Reparations Commission April 27-29, 1993, Abuja, Nigeria
“Afrika is a paradox which illustrates and highlights neo-colonialism. Her earth is rich, yet the products that come from above and below the soil continue to enrich, not Afrikans predominantly, but groups and individuals who operate to Afrika’s impoverishment.”
Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah, ‘Neo-colonialism: The Last Stage of Imperialism’ (1965).
You Can Still Participate If You are in Another Country Outside of the UK
We invite you to also organise a solidarity march or event in your locality or country on the 1st August 2018.
If you are not able to organise a march, we encourage you to organise some other type of solidarity reparations action, activity or event such as: a libation ceremony (as occurs annually in Accra, (Ghana), rally, reparations radiothon e.g. #Conversation Reparations (as occurs in the USA) or reparatory justice ‘occupations’ of specific places with connections to the Maangamizi, in the past or the present. For example, companies, university campuses or historic building sites.
Even if your community were not enslaved or colonised by the British Empire, you can still connect with what we are doing in the UK by highlighting and educating people about the British Establishment’s complicity in the Maangamizi as it affects and impacts on your personhood, family and/or community.
Examples of such impacts may include, land grabs, extractive industries, environmental degradation, GMOs, tax-dodging and other forms of corporate looting, debt-bondage, various forms of externally reinforced reactionary violence such as USA-AFRICOM presence and proxy wars in addition to fratricidal inter and intra-community violence in self-destructive subservience to the global system of white supremacist racism, including its gendered forms.
At a minimum, please consider sending a solidarity statement to email@example.com. or firstname.lastname@example.org.
2018 PROMOTIONAL FLYER
2018 PROMOTIONAL VIDEOS
Call to action video:
Rationale for why we march video
Link to jingles for radio
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
Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March 2017
“To those caught up in only slogan-mongering about the Afrikan Revolution who self-derisively dismiss mass campaigns such as this one of Reparations, refusing to unfold their own blinds to its crucial significance in our Liberation Struggle; we address our paraphrasing of the remark of Amilcar Cabral that, by taking to the revolutionary path of self-determined Struggle for Afrikan Liberation, the masses of our people are not fighting for ideas in anyone’s head; they are fighting for a true National and Social Emancipation that will guarantee them such concrete benefits as will ensure their material and spiritual prosperity! That is why the AASU-E [All-Afrikan Student’s Union in Europe] sees Reparations from the perspective of Afrikan youth as the actual conscientization of the objectives of our whole people’s Liberation Struggle under the banner of revolutionary Pan-Afrikanism. Therefore the Reparations we the youth of Afrika are demanding must restore to all people of Afrikan origin throughout the World full sovereignty, the absolute ownership of the whole of our Homeland, including all its resources, and the Renaissance of Maat and other value of our classical civilisation, in order to give us the concrete basis for independently achieving our own material and spiritual prosperity.“
Antonieta Carla Santana, ‘Our Struggle for Reparations in Afrikan Youth Perspective’: A Draft Paper for Presentation to the 11th December 1993 Birmingham Working Conference of the African Reparations Movement (ARM-UK)
“Too often our standards for evaluating social movements pivot around whether or not they ‘succeeded’ in realizing their visions rather than on the merits or power of the visions themselves. By such a measure, virtually every radical movement failed because the basic power relations it sought to change remain pretty much intact. And yet it is precisely those alternative visions and dreams that inspire new generations to continue to struggle for change.”
— Robin D.G. Kelley —
The March as the street column of the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR) is going through a period of change; which involves reflecting on what has been done so far, what have been the gains so far and what more is to be done? including how best to ‘repair’ the movement itself to make it better fit for purpose. So unlike in the past, when the perception of many adherents of reparations was just let’s all go and demand compensation for the wrongs that were done to our Ancestors, it is dawning on the leading activists and increasing members of the Afrikan Heritage Community, that it will take far more programmatic work to win hearts and minds and achieve the true purpose of holistic Afrikan Reparatory Justice, which is much more than money! The messaging of the March, via the chants, images and text displayed on banners and other ephemera has grown to include the context of ‘Stopping the Maangamizi’ in terms of a cessation of violations which is an essential prequisite of effecting and securing reparatory justice as a result of the continuum of enslavement from chattel enslavement through to colonialism and now into this neocolonial phase. So now it is not as easy to dismiss the public and grassroots advocacy of Marchers as being stuck in the past with very little recognition of the continuation of the systems, structures and manifestations of oppression and injustice today. Furthermore, taking into account, that we live in a Britain of state and non-state orchestrated terrorism; care is being taken as to how the form and content of the March should be. So, the March is at a crossroads and this has also impacted the amount of people who came out to support it this year.
However, success of the March should not just be judged in terms of how many people attend each year which seems to be many people’s perception of what constitutes success. But who decides what constitutes success? Success can only be determined by those people in struggle; those who are fighting or organizing for something. If we compare year one of the March with year four you will see that the March has better organisation, clear- consensus-building and decision-making structures, such as the 9 organising Blocs to recognise the diverse constituencies who are pulling together to help strengthen and build the movement as well as several task-action groups which deal with operational tasks throughout the year.
The March also has clear aims and objectives and clear goals which was not the case for the first March of 2014, as significant as it was. The programme for the March itself has also improved with the introduction in 2016 of the People’s Open Parliamentary Session on Afrikan Reparations (POPSAR). The POPSAR at Parliament Square is a mass consciousness-raising forum for public debate and discourse on manifestations of the Maangamizi necessitating Afrikan Reparations. It is a public forum where Afrikan people rehearse our arguments in pursuit of the ‘battle of Ideas’ on obstacles to the realisation of holistic reparatory justice. The purpose of the POPSAR is to engage audiences in action-learning on participatory democratic parliamentary debate and the ‘Battle of Ideas’ on critical issues such as how to stop various manifestations of the Maangamizi as part of the process of effecting and securing Afrikan Reparatory Justice.
The Battle of Ideas is an important ideological tool. 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 cannot 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 that is in itself an alternative to that of the dominant white supremacy racist, capitalist class. This is the Battle of Ideas.
The theme for the 2017-2018 March year, which we encourage our Afrikan Heritage Communities to continue to discuss and take action on between the 2017 and 2018 Marches is:
‘Black on Black Violence’: Why are we not doing enough to stop this manifestation of the Maangamizi? Debating the motion: This gathering believes that we as Afrikan Heritage Communities are not doing what is necessary to stop this manifestation of the MaangamiziIn addition, the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee (AEDRMC) and its campaign partner, the ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide!’ Campaign (SMWeCGEC) now have websites which regularly put out reparations focused information and educational content as part of public reparations education which are not being put out elsewhere. Whether people want to recognise it or not, the March has now become a recognised institution and is the most visible and largest activity of the UK contingent of the ISMAR in the yearly calendar of Afrikan organising activities to further the cause of Afrikan reparatory justice.
“The March visually displays a freedom-fighting unity of Afrikan people from all over the world, on the streets of London, rallying together as one defiant family, inside the belly of the beast; that is no longer happening in Afrikan protests, in any other parts of the world, including those on the Continent of Afrika. I am an Afrikan born and bred in Ghana and I know what the power of this image meaningfully conveys to Afrikans at home and all other peoples across the world“.
Kofi Mawuli Klu, Co-Vice Chairperson SMWeCGEC
It also needs to be recognised that, unlike in CARICOM countries, Emancipation Day is not a public holiday in the UK and the 2017 March occurred on a Tuesday, when many people are normally at work. We have also had many reports that people were denied the day off who wanted to take it off and in an economic climate of austerity people want to hold unto their jobs. Regardless of numbers, the focused and sterling organisation of the March is attracting recognition and attention worldwide. It may not also be widely known that the March costs £8000 plus to organise and this is paid for by ordinary people, often the most marginalised in society. So, the fact that the March has been able to establish itself and become institutionalised as a key feature of the street column of the ISMAR is in itself an achievement. It is important to note that the March is a totally Afrikan and totally independent, grassroots funded march; no state resources, no funding or resourcing from Black professional classes and elites enables this March to happen! This is important so that the agenda of making a direct challenge to the British state, which the March represents, does not become co-opted or diluted.
Delegation which handed in the 2017 SMWeCGEC Petition
Anyhow, what is clear is that each year there is a constituency that support the SMWeCGEC. According to the count on 31st July 2017, 9636 people have been courageous enough to sign the petition and advocate its perspectives so far and that figures continues to rise each day. This is no mean feat given the fact that so many who have a lot to say about what should be done, are not prepared to sign it, and often come up with quite porous reasons as to why they will not attach their name and contact details to the petition.
You can read the letter that accompanied the petition hand-in on 1st August 2017 here. This 9636 + people are a clear constituency and shows progress from the 5811 who signed the petition last year! You can also see the response to the petition here. This article provides some responses to those who say “what is the point of petitioning?”
On ISMAR strategy & tactics…
Tactics are forms of collective action publicly deployed, whether in-person or via audio, visual, or written media, in service of a sustained campaign of claims making.
What is the strategy?
We are not just marching for the sake of marching, the 1st August Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March is just one of a number of tactics, in an overall multi-layered strategy to ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ (Afrikan Hellacaust of chattel, colonial and neocolonial enslavement), in order to bring about systemic change and revolutionary social transformation of our condition as Afrikan people, as part of building our people’s power to effect, secure and take reparatory justice on our own terms.
The Maangamizi will only be stopped by the collective power and might of our people on the continent and the Diaspora of Afrika, by way of completing the Pan-Afrikan Revolution, (with complete steps, too numerous and unnecessary to fully spell out here), which include the realisation of social change reparatory justice goals of the ISMAR and the People’s Reparations International Movement (PRIM).
Clearly the March, cannot be reduced to be an event that occurs on one day; rather it is organised in such a way as to help advance reparations social movement-building of various constituencies within our Afrikan Heritage Communities locally, nationally and internationally. In this regard, priority is given to mobilising our own individual and people’s collective ‘power to’ effect and secure reparatory justice through community organising, reparations social movement-building and institution-building. Social movement-building is the long-term, coordinated effort of individuals and organised groups of people to intentionally spark and sustain a (reparations) social movement. It entails: “the creation of movement infrastructures required for sustained organising and mobilisation, including social relationships, organisational networks and capacity, affective solidarity, as well as movement-related identities, frames, strategies, skills, and leadership.”
No one organisation or institution can supplant the power of a vibrant ISMAR. Successful social change efforts have been led not by individual organisations, but by movements. See here for the difference between organisations and movements.
The Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March, as the street column of the ISMAR is therefore a vehicle for mass mobilisation and education as part of our self-repair and people’s power-building process. It is also a conduit as part of an on-going parliamentary and extra-parliamentary strategy, hence the delivery of the SMWeCGEC Petition charging the British State with the crimes of Genocide and Ecocide and demanding an end to their role in the continuing Maangamizi. So we can say that despite much activity and mobilisation occurring in the UK towards reparatory justice, there has in recent times, been very little focus on the British State. We can now say that since the 1990s there has not been an Afrikan Heritage Community dialogue with the British state on our global justice case for total Pan-Afrikan liberation, including issues of Pan-Afrikan Reparations for Global Justice. This is now occurring as a result the SMWeCGEC and the promotion of its campaign goals by the March. We know that the radical content of this dialogue, pertaining to Afrikan genocide, the need to ‘Stop the Maangamizi! of the present, as well as shut down Maangamizi crimes scenes as a form of civil disobedience, is not being raised before the British Government and any other state body in Europe by any other reparations process, campaign, organisation or even any Afrikan or Caribbean state entity.
The AEDRMC, in partnership with the SMWeCGEC, will continue the year long process of march planning, mobilisation and organisation alongside its ‘Education is Part of the Preparation for Reparations’. Similarly, to compliment these initiatives, the SMWeCGEC is carrying out ISMAR Advocacy Training programmes and the promotion of reparatory justice action-learning programmes and initiatives in preparedness for educating people about how to effect and secure reparatory justice including the methodology for effectively establishing the All-Party Parliamentary (People’s) Commissions of Inquiry for Truth and Reparatory Justice (APPCITARJs) and local benches of the Ubuntukgotla People’s International Tribunal For Global Justice (U-PITGJ), also contained within the SMWeCGEC Petition.
“The issue at stake is whether we want to formulate reparations as a reformist, and even potentially reactionary demand, or as a radical demand for social transformation. A variety of platforms have been developed under the rubric of reparations, and many of these demands can actually serve to strengthen the demands of white supremacy.”
Andrea Smith, ‘Conquest’, p53
The AEDRMC, as facilitators of the annual 1st August Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March organising process in partnership with the SMWeCGEC are in pursuit of comprehensive holistic land-based reparations. This means our reparations as Afrikans in the Diaspora is umbilically connected to the liberation of our Motherland, Afrika; including restoration of her sovereignty and the self-determination of Afrikan people worldwide and the establishment of structures of non-territorial autonomy in the Diaspora. Hence support for the notion of us being an Afrikan Heritage Community for National Self-Determination. As representatives of a diverse array of campaigns, organisations and interests groups, we are collectively working for the achievement of the kind of reparations that we can ALL be truly proud of and benefit from. This is necessary to ensure that all of our people, (not just a few) get ‘satisfaction’ out of the results (that also includes our predecessors, our contemporaries and our posterity, i.e. those yet to be born).
However, YOU are encouraged to continue to mobilising and self-organising. The March is NOT the entire Reparations Movement so YOU need to develop complimentary reparatory justice strategies in your own groups, organisations and networks.
There is much dichotomous thinking and many misconceptions among the general public about what tactics movement’s should utilise to best meet their objectives. Movements often select from a repertoire of possibilities available to them at any given time and place. Nevertheless, it is often assumed that adopting one tactic, at a particular point, in time precludes a movement from adopting other tactics at a different time or even simultaneously. Multiple tactics must be undertaken by movements in order to reach and build support among their intended audiences, the multiple publics they are seeking to influence as well as achieve their desired objectives. Nevertheless, there are different tactics that self-reflective movements will use depending on the campaign objectives and goals that different forces within such a movement set out to achieve.
Despite its growing visibility, it is important to emphasize that the March is not the whole ISMAR, it is simply an aspect of it, otherwise known as a column within it, i.e. the street column. However, it is also the case that many movements have characteristically relied on demonstrative or even ‘confrontational’ tactics to advance their cause, and this is still the method of choice for street protest actions. Although movement activists expend a great deal of energy, time, and resources choosing tactics, all tactics are not designed to have the same outcomes or impact, for the tactical choices of a movement often embody the movement’s key demands.
There is a difference for example, between political persuasion (lobbying, voting, petitioning), demonstrative (marches, rallies, vigils, acts of civil disobedience) and economic (boycotts and selective buying) tactics. Boycotts, selective buying, buying-Black, setting up ‘Black’ businesses, group economics, or even cooperative group economics, (which do not take into consideration the reparatory justice political economy of glocal Pan-Afrikan community regeneration and development) alone, will not be sufficient to stop the various manifestations of the Maangamizi that people of Afrikan heritage are being subjected to today. In fact, in some instances our people can get inadvertently caught up in the pursuit of ‘big’ anti-people private business models that promote mal-development, genocidal, ecocidal and slavery-like working practices which contribute to prolonging the Maangamizi. Neither is it the case that ‘political persuasion’ or demonstrative tactics such as lobbying, marching and petitioning alone are enough to stop the various manifestation of the Maangamizi. However, each of the aforementioned combination of tactics can contribute to this overall objective of the ISMAR in different ways and all together unify the diversity of forces necessary for ultimate victory!!!
We are approaching what is often referred to as a ‘revolutionary situation’, the crisis of the European Global Order is worsening more than ever before, their state machineries, political parties and other institutions are crumbling from within, their societies are broken, in some cases beyond repair, and the social forces they command are in disarray. This situation presents us as Afrikan people with great opportunity. There is however, a missing link which is the organised, disciplined political might of the Afrikan masses in concert with the masses of Global Black Humanity, which includes the linking up with and sharing of strategy and tactics among Afrikan Heritage communities of reparatory justice interest and resistance in Europe, Abya Yala, (the so-called Americas), Melanasia, Australasia, Oceania and those on the continent of Afrika.
Accordingly, the AEDRMC in partnership with the SMWeCGEC are engaging in mass mobilisational and popular educational work, action-learning, knowledge-building, mobilisation and organising towards that purpose.
Whilst the March first took place in 2014 under the leadership of the Rastafari Movement UK (RMUK) with a number of supporting organisations, since the introduction of specific March aims and march being facilitated by the AEDRMC, this is a further summary of what has been achieved thus far:
• There is now (since 2015), a consolidated stewardship and facilitation of the organising processes for the annual Afrikan Emancipation Day (People’s) Reparations March with the formalisation of the AEDRMC, consisting of a diverse array of Afrikan heritage groups, organisatons, movements and individuals. Most of the committee members, both individual and organisational, have been involved with the March from its inception.
• The AEDRMC and its subsequent partnership with the SMWeCGEC has helped to consolidate the emergence of an independent ground-up Pan-Afrikan inspired, and initiated, transnational process of leading, mobilising and organising Afrikan people other than the anti-Pan-Afrikan Liberation statist CARICOM Reparatory Justice Programme and their Ten-Point Plan. Despite the fact that reparatory justice organising goes back centuries, there has been little recognition of this by Afrikan heritage social, political and economic elites who, for many decades, have chosen, contrary to our indigenous Afrikan traditions of exercising people’s power, not to identify with the ground-up initiated and led ISMAR. For instance, in 2003 the UK based Black Quest for Justice Campaign supported by PARCOE (Pan-Afrikan Reparations Coalition in Europe), the then Black United Front (UK), the then Global Afrikan Congress (UK) and the then International Front for Afrikan Reparations (IFAR) developed a Ten-Point Plan (below), as part of a legal and extra-legal strategy to effect and secure Pan-Afrikan Reparations, which continues to be championed by PARCOE. Despite this being one of several reparations focused initiatives emanating from Afrikans in the UK ISMAR, the mass media and some newer reparations focused organisations and activists have tended to defer to the CARICOM Ten-Point Plan, or initiatives taking place in so-called North America, as though there has been no history-making on the part of the prior-existing ISMAR in the UK.
Afrikans in the UK developed a ten-point plan in 2003!
According to Professors Adjoa Aiyetoro and Adrienne Davis in their 2010 article ‘Historic and Modern Movements for Reparations: The National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America ...”part of the largely untold history of reparations is the struggle not only for reparations itself, but also the struggle between distinct Black classes over strategies for citizenship and the right to envision the racial future”. The ISMAR, just like any other social movement has its contestations, national, classed, gendered and other internal struggles.
Representative Sample of ISMAR Collective Leadership, Past & Present
• There is increased engagement with and implementation of the March aims. We are not just marching aimlessly but with a strategy which is in operation at various levels. This means that March facilitators, in partnership with the SMWeCGEC, support the mobilisation and organisation of a core section of the Afrikan Heritage Community of Reparatory Justice Interest who seek to engage in strategic reparations activism and direct their energies to the attainment of specific reparations social-movement-building goals, which are measurable and through which progress can be evaluated. In the process of mobilising and organising together all year-round, the March organising process significantly contributes to transforming activism from being an individualistic approach to a Ujima (collective work and responsibility) approach. Our revolutionary Afrikan ideology will ensure that we can consciously construct the society that we want to build. Although the March aims were in place and operation for the 2015 March, there was not as much take up with implementing the aims as is occurring now.
• Since 2015, a partnership, operational unity and working relationship between the AEDRMC and the SMWeCGEC has been established. In recognition of the fact that the March is not the whole Reparations Movement, the AEDRMC has also embraced the complimentary SMWCGEC goals contained in the SMWeCGEC Petition, both the 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 versions. So, whilst the AEDRMC, the March Aims and the SMWeCGEC campaigning aims and goals remain distinct, the fulfilment of both the aims of the March and the SMWeCGEC campaigning aims and goals are mutually constitutive.
The complimentary aims of the SMWeCGEC as a positive action step of reparatory justice campaigning are to:
The above aims and objectives are implemented and worked on all year-round by various organisational members and individuals involved in the AEDRMC and the SMWeCGEC, the Local and Regional March Outreach Teams, Task Actions Groups, in addition to the various Blocs of the March. The key point to highlight here is that the aims of the March and the SMWeCGEC promote social movement-building, which is part of a people power-building process to be able to effect our people’s reparatory justice will.
Social movements are a type of group action. They are large, sometimes informal, groupings of individuals, organisations and other relevant interest groups which focus on specific political or social issues; and who are organised and organising to promote, carry out, resist or undo social, cultural or political change.
Social movement-building is the long-term, coordinated effort of individuals and organized groups of people to intentionally spark and sustain a social movement.
Social movement forces constantly engage with multiple publics, core constituencies in addition to allies and seek to harness people’s collective power to address systemic problems, redress enduring injustice and promote alternative visions or solutions. It follows that reparations which will meaningfully work for ALL of US as Afrikan People, will only be effected and secured as a result of a MASS MOVEMENT that we continue to build. Our people’s process of history-making thus far teaches us that this is the only way that sustainable and transformative change occurs, despite the reversion to Messianic approaches to reparatory justice change which are being promoted by some sections of the Afrikan Heritage Community; which assume that all we need to do is follow a particular leader who is divinely anointed to lead us to the promised land of reparatory justice, and none can truly get to this post-Afrikan Reparations World Order but through following such a divinely sent leader!
Whilst it is recognised that movements always use a mixture of tactics, generally have multiple leaders, groups and agendas, ultimately, such reparatory justice will only be effected and secured when we have built and harnessed the POWER to effect our National will and strategic geopolitical interests as people of Afrikan ancestry and heritage.
“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.
@ ISMAR Advocates Training Course 13/11/16
Afrikan Reparationists are playing a leading role in building the Academic column of the ISMAR through which the March and the SMWeCGEC are being critically studied
The SMWeCGEC in partnership with the March are also being promoted within the emerging International Network of Scholars & Activists on Afrikan Reparations (INOSAAR) which will be launched in London on 21st October 2017 in association with academic researchers at the University of Edinburgh and Wheelock College (Boston, USA). The INOSAAR will bring together activists and scholars to explore the development of academic spaces for institutionalising work on Afrikan reparations. This launch of the INOSAAR in London will be the first of four events being organised by the INOSAAR; the first series of events continues from London through Birmingham, Paris and Porto Novo (Benin). The London launch is being coordinated in collaboration with PARCOE, through which engagement is being developed with the ARTCoP, as a special grassroots academic interest network of the ISMAR.
How the SMWCGEC enhances the purposefulness of the March
The March is a mass mobilisational and organisational vehicle for delivery of the SMWeCGEC Petition. Some have likened the petition and its campaign goals of establishing All-Party Parliamentary Commissions of Inquiry for Truth & Reparatory Justice (APPCITARJs) at the levels of the Westminster and European Parliaments, to ‘begging’ those most responsible for causing our Maangamizi, to repair us or that it is futile because the British Establishment will never meet this demand. This is simply not the case. In the SMWeCGEC Petition, we say :“We affirm” that WE, as members of the Afrikan Heritage Community are charging the British state with acts of Genocide/Ecocide against people of Afrikan heritage, within and beyond the UK. In reality we are affirming this rather than begging the State.
It is our firm view that the demand for such a APPCITARJ is very possible to be realised if we mount people’s political pressure at every level. The process of establishing such an APPCITARJ will itself raise awareness on the part of Afrikan people, of our right to holistic reparations and is part of a legal, extra-legal, parliamentary and extra-parliamentary strategy, which enables and supports the development of mass popular legal consciousness-raising about the legitimacy of our reparations case and the necessity to stop current manifestations of the Maangamizi harms that we continue to suffer. Given that the established legal disorder of unjust law , which has violated Afrikan people’s legal rights for 500+ years, has worked hard to deny the legitimacy of our people’s reparations claims, under the guise that slavery was legalised by Europeans, the assertion by Afrikan people of our right to reparations is fundamental to reparatory justice social change-making. Such social change being necessary to transform the old global order, which denies responsibility for the Maangamizi, as well as the legitimacy of our people’s global case for reparatory justice, and the Post-Reparations World Order, where such Maangamizi denial is criminalised and the consequences of the Maangamizi are redressed and holistically repaired.
This is an aspect of charting an Afrikan self-determined path of legal struggle for reparations (i.e. struggle by use of the law as a form of resistance) which is advocated by Kofi Mawuli Klu, co-founder member of the ‘Stop the Maangamizi’ campaign in his 1993 Paper ‘Charting an Afrikan Self-Determined Path of Legal Struggle for Reparations’. The key components to such a self-determined legal path of struggle include:
In light of the history of Afrikan people’s experience of violence from systems of hegemony imposed by European elites, for the purposes of defending an imperialistic White supremacy racist system of wealth, privilege and power, we are not advocating the unnecessary spilling of our blood and loss of life of our people by taking actions which we are not yet adequately prepared for, as a group within the UK and Europe, i.e. politically, organisationally, militarily or otherwise. Rather, we see the SMWeCGEC advocating a process of non-violent direct action, in the first instance, which calls upon the UK Government and the European Parliament to:
“…live up to its declarations of commitment to global respect for universal human rights, good governance and democracy in acknowledging and addressing the social and economic legacies of enslavement on contemporary generations of Afrikans and people of Afrikan heritage. We believe that establishing the All-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Truth & Reparatory Justice will go a long way towards institutionalising a reparative truth-seeking process that will contribute to healing and restoring the descendants of the enslaved and facilitating racial justice and equity between the descendants of the enslaved and the enslavers as well as in the wider society. However, such “repair” of the relationship between people of Afrikan heritage and the rest of society cannot take place without public acknowledgement of the crimes against Afrikan people and their descendants over five centuries and counting, and without UK governmental action to enable redress and reparation for the brutal injustices committed in the past which still continues into the present. We call upon the British state to honour the need and right of the descendants of the enslaved to speak in a public forum, provide testimony and evidence of how the legacies of enslavement are resulting in continued human and peoples’ rights violations, impaired quality of life and the ensuing destruction of the essential foundations of life for Afrikan people today.”
The SMWeCGEC is also galvanising grassroots work towards establishing glocal sittings of the Ubuntukgotla Peoples International Tribunal for Global Justice (U-PITGJ) as part of a series of actions which will put a full stop, by way of holistic and transformative reparations, to all acts of Genocide/Ecocide against Afrikan people.
It is important to note that the APPCITARJs, combined with the establishment of glocal sittings of the U-PITGJ are essential to legitimize other forms of direct action, which are increasingly being resorted to by communities of Afrikan Reparatory Justice Interest especially in Afrika, more so given the fact that the demands contained within the SMWeCGEC are not as yet being met by non-violent means. The SMWeCGEC therefore acts as an important catalyser to continue the process of Afrikan People’s self-liberation to victory and in the process to effect and take reparations by our own efforts.
First Nation Brother & Sister from Australia and Fiji – Ghillar Michael Anderson, Convenor of the Sovereign Union of Aboriginal Nations and Peoples in Australia and Head of State of Euahlayi Peoples Republic & Fijian Lawyer, Oni Kirwin representing the Fiji Native Government in Exile, domiciled in Australia
Notably, the SMWeCGEC has been helping to consolidate the PRIM of which the ISMAR is part, through participating and helping to shape the Spearhead Pacific Alliance and BOOMERANGCIRCUIT Preparatory Conference for the 2017 Pacific Alliance Gathering of Colonised Peoples & Sovereign Peoples Union for Global Justice through Decolonisation and Reparations (11-14/10/16). This prep conference produced the ‘London Statement of Common Purpose’ arising from this momentous event, which continues in the best Black radical traditions in our Peoples making of world history. The International Consultative Preparatory Forum (ICPF) was initiated by, members of the SMWeCGEC and the AEDRMC working through the Popular Educational Complex of Black Empowerment Action Learning (PECOBEAL) and the Global Afrikan People’s Parliament (GAPP) in partnership with the First Nations ‘Spearhead Pacific Alliance’ on Decolonisation and Reparations in alliance of Tribal Chiefs, Rulers, Lawmen and Law women and includes the Sovereign Union of First Nations and Peoples of Australia ; the Union of British Columbian Chiefs who are non-Treaty Nations; and colonized Pacific Nations, including the Fiji Native Government-in-Exile.
Reparations by our own people’s power
Adapted version of Jean-Jacques Dessalines Original Haitian Flag
Our history shows us that the greatest examples of us effecting and securing reparatory justice is by our own people’s efforts, such as in the case of the Haitian Revolution.
Drawing from and reformulating the notion of reparations enforcement, the SMWeCGEC also advocates a form of reparations enforcement. Reparations enforcement is the 21st century reparations activism paradigm. Armed with the various programmes and declarations that have sought to address our people’s condition, wedded to our definition of reparations, we have moved from the position of simply advocating for reparations to that of enforcing our human, people’s and Mother Earth rights to be repaired.
A reparations enforcer is a person, organisation, or state who has an understanding, and acts upon that understanding, that reparations for people of Afrikan heritage is a vital matter of asserting human, peoples and Mother Earth rights.
The reparations enforcer effectively identifies and uses their internal resources to move the injuring parties – governments, corporations, institutions, or individuals – to stop manifestations of the Maangamizi, first and foremost; contribute to building healthy alternatives to the harmful manifestations of the Maangamizi, including such alternatives that will ensure the healing, repair, restoration, nation-building and sovereignty of Afrikan heritage communities.
“Reparations is like freedom, nobody gives you reparations, reparations is something you have to take”
Prophet Kwaku 2014, Co-Chair, Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee
“I believe that there are now two reasons why people have not embraced this cause as their own. One is skepticism, and the other is racism, one doubts whether we can succeed, the other hopes that we do not. I do not have much to say to the racist, the one who wishes to deny us our rights only because of our colour. But I do have a few words for the [person] who though [he/she] wished us well, believes that we have taken on more than we can accomplish. I remind him that Samuel Johnson said that ‘nothing will be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome.’ And finally, I refer him to James Baldwin, who said, I know that what I am asking is impossible. But in our time, as in every time, the impossible is the least that one can demand. And one is after all emboldened by the spectacle of human history in general, and [Afrikan Diaspora] history in particular, for it testifies to nothing less than the perpetual achievement of the impossible“
(bracketed text changes to reflect contemporary usage of terms).
Bashorun M.K.O Abiola, extracts from an address on ‘Reparation: Progress Report and Future Prospects’ – delivered in London on 3 May, 1992
Please note, this update has been written by the SMWeCGEC Team although some of the members of the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee are also members of this team. That being said, the SMWeCGEC Team takes full responsibility for the views and information presented expressed above.