I spoke as an activist in the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations, in general and a representative of the ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide!’ Campaign (SMWeCGEC) which takes a special interest in the connections between the Maangamizi (the Afrikan Hellacaust), the global Afrikan reparations claim arising from it, and a host of contemporary injustices that not only we as Afrikans, but also the rest of humanity faces and which endanger our very existence. That is the possibility of human and other species extinction.
Extinction is an expression of structural violence against Indigenous peoples and their relations, and colonial violence in particular; involving systemic forms of harm, exclusion and discrimination, each of which is ecologically devastating. So how does extinction apply to us as Afrikan Heritage Communities?; well, for over 500 years, the entre Maangamizi, in all its phases, rooted in the Transatlantic Traffic in Enslaved Afrikans (TTEA), enslavement and colonialism, has been and still is geared towards the extinction of Afrikan people. These forms of colonial and structural violence not only involved mass killing, but also the invasion, occupation, settlement and despoliation of our Motherland, Afrika; uprooting and disordering Afrikan communities, trafficking millions of Afrikans into Abya Yala (the so-called Americas) which had genocidal and ecocidal outcomes; destroyed millions of lives over generations and changed the socio-economic fabric of existing societies in Afrika, Abya Yala and the Caribbean. For those that remained, this led to enduring injustice with intergenerational and epigenetic effects. For instance, undermining our own Afrikan modes of governance and kinship systems and in the process systematically destroying relationships between life forms in addition to epistemicide/s or the erasure of knowledges. Such forms of violence weakened the co-constitutive relationships between Afrikan Heritage communities, other life forms and ecosystems that have enabled our collective survival in harmony with nature for millennia.
An aspect of genocide is “Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.” Various aspects of these harms are epitomised in the twelve manifestations of ecocide and genocide highlighted in the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Petition, a grassroots tool of the SMWeCGEC, working towards genocide and ecocide prevention by mobilising people as part of the People’s Reparations International Movement (PRIM) and the ISMAR to stop various manifestations of the Maangamizi. The third manifestation of the Maangamizi contained in the petition is: denial of Black and Afrikan ‘Mother Earth’ (Nana Asase Yaa), human and peoples’ rights to national self-determination as an oppressed People. In the petition, various other ‘power disparities’ and inhumane public policies and practices are identified which have genocidal outcomes and continue to cause devastation to Afrikan Heritage Communities within and beyond the UK. Such policies and practices have resulted in the decimation of generation after generation of people of Afrikan heritage due to ecocidally induced physical and cultural genocide, the destruction of ecological and social life-systems as well as natural flora and fauna. Not to mention the perpetration of a myriad of other environmental crimes such as wildlife crimes, illegal logging, illegal fishing, illegal waste disposal and pollution, illegal traffic of ozone-depleting substances and illegal mining.
Some of the genocidal outcomes for Afrikan Heritage Communities include:
• Physical, biological, economic, cultural genocide
• Social and civil death of Afrikan People.
• Ecocide of our environment.
However, the life-destroying pollution of our planet, anti-Black racism, its specific form of Afriphobia and the impoverishment of whom Frantz Fanon referred to as the ‘Wretched of the Earth’, all arguably have their causes in the current unjust world system. Many scholar-activists have helped us to understand that the current world system is rooted in and has been established through the Transatlantic enslavement of Afrikans. We as an Afrikan-led Reparatory Justice campaign are therefore working as an affinity group and campaign which is building solidarities with the Extinction Rebellion Movement on the basis of the commonality of interest we share in rebelling against ecocide and ensuring accountability for environmental crimes. In addition to the fact that our campaign itself is a form of ‘rebellion against extinction.’ – In that it is safeguarding Afrikan people’s role as custodians of humanity’s futures; which focuses on the racialised and other intersectional destruction/s of genocide and ecocide as deliberately inflicted forms of colonial, imperialist violence against Afrikans, indigenous peoples and Mother Earth, in furtherance of advancing holistic reparatory justice. This is something which PARCOE, the reparations coalition I am part, of refers to as Pan-Afrikan Reparations for Global Justice. In this regard, the SMWeCGEC has been heavily influenced by PARCOE’s approach or (‘overstanding’) of the problem of climate change from a Pan-Afrikan internationalist perspective; therefore seeing the climate emergency as the result of the criminal imposition – by the ruling classes of Europe – of a rapacious system expropriating the resources of the globe, not only at the expense of the majority of Humanity, but also to the detriment of our Mother Earth.
Our strapline in the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Campaign is ‘stopping the harm – the first step to repairing the damage’. By repairing the damage we are referring to reparations or as we prefer to say, Reparatory Justice. We see this as the beginning of the solution to reversing centuries of super-exploitation and extractivism and ending the ‘climate emergency’ and its corollary ‘human and peoples rights emergency’. Enforced access to much of the world’s natural capital – oil, gas, timber, minerals which lies on or beneath lands occupied by Afrikan, indigenous and Aboriginal peoples often entails land evictions, displacements, forced relocations, arrests, abuses and killings and other violations. For us as people of Afrikan heritage, reparations cannot simply be limited to financial compensation alone due to the nature of the damage and existential threat that we are facing. Comprehensive and adequate reparations require the removal of structures built on centuries of war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and crimes of aggression, in the forms of enslavement, colonialism and neo-colonialism or what we refer to as the Maangamizi.
Reparations must entail the cessation of current violations, such as environmental crimes in particular, and guarantees of non-repetition including true decolonisation and the restitution of sovereignty for Afrikan, Aboriginal and other indigenous peoples globally. For sovereignty, as conceptualised by Afrikan and indigenous peoples, is indispensable to halting the destruction of Nana Asase Yaa (Mother Earth) as our home; which has been caused by the structurally violent European initiated cultural, political, socio-economic system known as capitalism that is rooted in the genocide of indigenous and Afrikan peoples, chattel enslavement and the dispossession of ancestral lands, territories and natural resources.
Afrikans, Aboriginal and indigenous peoples have always known that the processes of genocide and ecocide are inseparable, for what has happened to our people and the lands on which we live are interconnected. In the Pan-Afrikan perspective of the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Campaign this warrants an ‘overstanding’ that in stopping the harms of ecocide and genocide, we not only have to emancipate and save ourselves, but this process of stopping the harm and repairing the damage must also result in the repair of humanity and the cosmos. Since we as Afrikan people, who in the words of Audre Lorde, “were never meant to survive,” see that we have unique insights into what it means to be in stewardship of this World, Planet and Cosmos.
Accordingly, one of the seven goals of Pan-Afrikan Reparations for Global Justice is to “Enforce environmental elements of global justice full respect for Mother Earth/ Nana Asase Yaa rights.” However, we know that we cannot accomplish even our own self-determined goals for Reparatory Justice fully without working with others who are seeking to achieve similar goals of revolutionary social change and transformation. As the Afrikan freedom fighter Samora Machel said: “International solidarity is not an act of charity: it is an act of unity between allies fighting on different terrains toward the same objectives. The foremost of these objectives is to assist in the development of humanity to the highest level possible.”
But how do we repair the loss of a future?
We have to destroy the peace of those who are too comfortable to change in order to rebuild!
By all means, we must escalate the rebellion by building alternative futures.
I close with some words of wisdom from the Calypsonian Baron’s ‘Mother Earth is Dying’.
Today the things we nurture could determine the future
And pray what would the picture be
See grandson and granddaughter fighting, chaos and disaster
As Mother Earth protest violently
Wake up, wake up people and be part of the struggle!
The planet earth in serious trouble
We got to end this melancholy refrain
We cannot afford to lose Paradise again
That’s why I’m pleading.
Mother Earth is crying, she say to stop the polluting…
Mother Earth is Dying, we got to stop the polluting…
Whole attitude got to change, and priorities rearrange
We got to become more competent
The way we protect the environment
And fight, fight for all that it’s worth
Fight to save Mother Earth…
Mother Earth crying…
In case you don’t know, the planet Earth dying slow
What a sad way to go.
Esther Stanford-Xosei, Coordinator-General, ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide!’ Campaign (SMWeCGEC)
All images are the © copyright of Thabo Jaiyesimi and must be accredited as such
14,590 Signatures of the ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide!’ Petition handed-in
The 6-member delegation for the 2018 hand-in of the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Petition were:
From Right to Left
1. Hon. Prophet Kweme Abubaka (Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee, Ethiopia African Black International Congress)
2. Dr Barryl Biekman, (Europe-wide NGO Consultative Council for Afrikan Reparations, Netherlands)
3. Mama Lindiwe Tsele (Pan-African Congress of Azania)
4. Ms Kambanda Veii (Ovaherero Genocide Foundation, Namibia)
5. Cllr Joshua Brown-Smith, age 12 (Office of the Young Mayor, London Borough of Lewisham)
6. Professor Gus John (Gus John Associates, Member of the African Union Technical Union Technical Committee of Experts on the 6th Region).
The delegation which handed-in the 2018 ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide!’ Petition represents a selection of the diversity within our Afrikan Heritage Community. The Young, The Elders, Born on the Continent, Born in the Diaspora, Male and Female, and as in previous members some members flew in from Afrika and Europe!
#Parliament is a Crime Scene!
See the following letter which accompanied the hand-in of the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Petition
Please note, the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Petition has been handed-in since 2015, in 2016 no signatures were handed in just the petition and a cover letter. In 2016, 5811 signatures were handed in, in 2017, 9636 signatures were handed in.
It is important to note that the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Petition is not the only tactic we are adopting, the petition signatures accompany a Maangamizi Crime Scene sticker operation and lobbying of MPs strategy via the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Postcard involving support for developing Afrikan Heritage Community advocacy on the points contained in the petition.
It is also important to note that we in the International Steering Committee Spearhead Team of the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Campaign (ISC-SMWeCGEC) know that reparations will not be achieved simply by submitting this petition, if one reads the petition it is clear that this is not our thinking. In numerous articles and documents we talk about the March and the petition being part of revolutionary strategy and tactics that we are engaged in, which also involve all forms and levels of liberation struggle waged by various contingents of the International Social Movement for Afrikans (ISMAR).
The Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March and the annual hand-in of the petition is about building a broad public support base for consolidating the ISMAR in order to strengthen the harnessing and building of Afrikan people’s power to advance reparations to definitive victory; whiincluding the establishment of MAATUBUNTUMAN Pan-Afrikan Union of Communities.
See the following links for further info about the strategy and tactics of the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Campaign in association with the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee:
As we approach the 3rd year of marching, what has been achieved? (2016)
After 4 years of marching, what has been achieved? (2017)
Rationale for Afrikan Reparations March (2018)
This video is of a workshop which took place on Friday 27th July, 2018 and provides some elaboration on the revolutionary thinking and work into for the long-term results that the March is meant to produce and to which it is already contributing.
This is a link to the initial response that was received from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) in response to the 2017 ‘Stop of the Maangamizi!’ Petition and its covering letter, and also the further response from FCO Minister Lord Ahmad.
“Pan-Afrika, and not Eurafrica, should be our watchword, and the guide to our policies.”
– OSAGYEFO KWAME NKRUMAH, ‘Africa Must Unite’, 1963.
“It will be gross self-delusive wishful thinking to believe that those wielding the reins of White racist supremacy are going to pay any serious heed to the Afrikan demand for Reparations, unless their hold on the machinery of global power is effectively challenged by the well-organised, upsurgent and self-empowering masses of Afrikan people, and their allied progressive forces throughout the World.”
Kofi Mawuli Klu ‘Charting an Afrikan Self-Determined Path of Legal Struggle for Reparations’: A Draft Paper for Presentation to the 11th December 1993 Birmingham Working Conference of the African Reparations Movement, UK, 1993.
“At this juncture in our history, there is no way forward in addressing the problems that Afrikans and people of Afrikan descent and all other Black peoples face without seriously grasping the truth of the necessity for holistic reparatory justice. This includes restoring self-determination and sovereignty, implementing measures of cessation of contemporary violations, restitution.”
Esther Stanford-Xosei, 2016
This workshop will explore the meaning of the theme for the 5th annual Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March on 1st August 2018: ‘Nothing About Us Without Us: Actualizing the Reparatory Justice Change We Envisage.’ The main question we will discuss is: What kinds of tackling of problems and injustices that Afrikan people encounter can be deemed as the everyday repairs starting point of reparatory justice work? In this regard, we will highlight the outreach and other mobilizational work of the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee (AEDRMC), in association with the ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide!’ Campaign (SMWeCGEC) with a view to making people see themselves as the actual ‘makers’ and ‘drivers’ of reparatory justice rather than being passive recipients of the benevolence of government and other state actors. This kind of thinking in views expressed by the likes of CARICOM Reparations Commission, Chairperson, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles when he reportedly stated in a recent interview published in the Barbados Advocate (12/07/18):“…reparations is ultimately a government to government conversation. It is about how governments talk to each other. How governments sit down and work out strategies to resolve issues of this nature.”.
In this connection, this workshop will also further explain the revolutionary substance of the rationale for the Reparations March given in the following video.
The difficulty of grasping reparations differently from what the white supremacist racist establishment defines it to be for us as Afrikan people, is largely as a result of miseducation and the coloniality of our mindsets in even how we are made to think about the cause, nature, consequences and solutions to the problems and injustices that we are encountering as a result of the Maangamizi (Afrikan Hellacaust). It is still largely the case that many who claim to be pro-reparations are inadvertently merely ‘supporters’ or reparations; waiting for the day when someone is going to say “here is your reparations,” or when they and/or Afrikan and Caribbean nation states receive some award of compensation from the British and other European Governments. The whole notion of exercising agency in conceptualising, effecting, securing and taking reparatory justice is completely absent for most of our people, across the world, who are sympathisers or adherents of the cause of reparatory justice.
Taking into account the criticism some establishment scholars make of Black reparations activism, in terms of not seeing its revolutionary tendencies, this workshop will therefore highlight those constituencies of the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR), like PARCOE and the Global Afrikan People’s Parliament (GAPP) that advance radical change-making perspectives. Examples of such perspectives are: the concept and methodology of Pan-Afrikan Reparations for Global Justice which embraces the world revolutionary transformational strategy of ‘Maatubuntusa’ (the art of Pan-Afrikan revolutionary freedom- fighting) for achieving MAATUBUNTUMAN. MAATUBUNTUMAN is the name being popularised for the envisaged future Pan-Afrikan Union of Communities, championed by PARCOE and GAPP and the Global Afrikan Family Reunion International Council (GAFRIC) in Ghana. Coined from the conjunction of “Maat” (the holistic Justice concept from Kemet, Ancient Egypt), with “Ubuntu” (the Bantu concept of the Communion of Humanity from Southern Afrika) and “Oman” (the Akan concept of egalitarian Polity from West Afrika). MAATUBUNTUMAN promotes the concept of a global Afrikan polity (“Oman”), which is an organic embodiment of “Maat” and therefore practices “Ubuntu” in relation to her own citizens and the entirety of Humanity, Mother Earth and the Universe.
Esther Stanford-Xosei is a jurisconsult, community advocate specialising in the critical legal praxis of ‘law as resistance’ and internationally acclaimed Reparationist. She is the official spokesperson for the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee (AEDRMC) which organises the annual 1st August Reparations March in London. In addition, Esther is the co-initiator of the ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide!’ Petition and its wider campaign (SMWeCGEC). Esther also serves as the Co-Vice Chair of the Pan-Afrikan Reparations Coalition in Europe (PARCOE), co-founder of the Global Afrikan Peoples Parliament (GAPP), the Afrikan Reparations Transnational Community of Practice (ARTCoP) and the Europe-Wide NGO Consultative Council on Afrikan Reparations (ENGOCCAR). On behalf of PARCOE, Esther and other PARCOE members are involved as an activist partner in the building process of the International Network of Scholars & Activists for Afrikan Reparations (INOSAAR).
Oleye Gege is an emerging grassroots community scholar-activist, community radio broadcaster who promotes participatory approaches to effecting community self-repairs and addressing the intergenerational impacts of the psycho-social manifestations of the Maangamizi. He serves as the head of security and outreach facilitator on the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee and advocate of the ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide Ecocide!’ Campaign (SMWeCGEC). He is also a member of Afrikan Reparations Transnational Community of Practice (ARTCoP) and the International Network of Scholars & Activists for Afrikan Reparations (INOSAAR).
Kofi Mawuli Klu is Chief Executive Commissioner of PANAFRIINDABA, a grassroots Pan-Afrikan Community Advocacy, Research and Think Tank based in London, UK and Accra, Ghana. He is also co-Vice Chair, Pan-Afrikan Reparation Coalition in Europe (PARCOE) in London and Joint Co-ordinator of the Global Justice Forum based in London and a founding member of the Global Afrikan People’s Parliament. Bro Kofi runs his own Law-Related Educational Services Agency, UEQUIPOISE. His scholarly activism has and continue to make a significant contribution within institutions of education in and outside of the UK [various courses, seminars, workshops, conferences and Groundings on Afrika and Pan-Afrikanism] and serves Afrikan students/communities as a conscientising tool for grassroots resistance and social change.
For further info about the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March & the SMWeCGEC visit:
Date: Friday 27th July 2018
Time: Prompt Start @ 7.00pm [Doors Open 6.30PM]
Venue: 336 Brixton Road, London SW9 7DA (over from Max Roach Park) DISABLED ACCESS
Please Spread The Word, Attend And Bring A Friend!
We look forward to welcoming you.
On Behalf of PASCF (Pan Afrikan Society Community Forum
This is a special call-out for you to get more involved in the preparations for the 1st August Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March which partners with the ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide!’ Campaign (SMWeCGEC).
In particular, we draw your attention to the Stewards & Security Recruitment Day taking place on Wednesday 11th July 2018.
There are other ways you can get involved such as, first aiders, site-management support and petition promoters:
This is a video recording filmed by ‘joanjoan.london’ who attended the 2017 Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March on the 1st August. She recently released this edited version of the closing speech made at Parliament Square which is still relevant to the various aspects of the year-round mobilising and organising that the ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide!’ Campaign (SMWeCGEC) engages in and advocates in association with the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee.