Please note where you see different spellings of Afrikan this is because we in the SMWeCGEC use the spelling of Afrikan with a K but have preserved the spelling of African with a C when that is used by others.
Today we in the Stop The Maangamizi Campaign and our educational arm the Maangamizi Educational Trustwere participating stakeholders to the historic establishment of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on African Reparations (APPGAR) which was launched in the British Houses of Parliament (via an online AGM) at 10.30am this morning, Wednesday 20th October 2021. The APPGAR is chaired by Bell Ribeiro-AddyMP, the Vice Chairs are Marsha De Cordova MP and Caroline Lucus MP, the Assistant Secretary is Sir Peter Bottomley.
On behalf of the Stop the Maangamizi Campaign, the Maangamizi Educational Educational Trust will be sharing the running of the Secretariat for the APPGAR. Other organisations who will also be part of running the secretariat are the Glocal Afrikan Reparations Forum of London, (GARFOL) and The African Foundation for Development, (AFFORD).
The APPGAR will be officially launched on 27th October 2021.
Esther Stanford-Xosei, Chair of the Maangamizi Educational Trust and Coordinator General of the Stop The Maangamizi Campaign who was honoured to speak at the AGM made the following speech:
My name is Esther Stanford-Xosei and I speak as the Chair of the Maangamizi Educational Trust (MET) which is the educational arm of the Stop The Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide Campaign (SMWeCGEC). Because of the historic importance of the AGM of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on African Reparations (APPGAR) today, the MET/SMWeCGEC has agreed a written speech from which I shall read.
First of all, we would like to acknowledge countless generations of Afrikans in the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR) on whose shoulders, struggles and sacrifices we stand, whom since the mid-1700s in the UK specifically, have advocated for holistic reparations. In this regard, we particularly highlight the role of people like Ottobah Cugoano and other members of the Sons of Africa.
This idea for the APPGAR comes out of the campaigning efforts of the Stop The Maangamizi Campaign and our charitable educational arm, the Maangamizi Educational Trust. Maangamizi is the Kiswahili term for the continuum of chattel enslavement, colonialism and neocolonilaism.
We see the establishment of the APPGAR as a continuation of the work of the late Bernie Grant MPwho was the first member of the British Houses of Parliament to take up the issue of Afrikan Reparations following on from the ‘First Pan-African Conference on Reparations for Chattel Enslavement, Colonisation & Neocolonisation’ which took place in Abuja, Nigeria in 1993 and resulted in the establishment of the organisation known as the African Reparations Movement UK as well as the Abuja ProclamationEarly Day Motion 1987. It is in continuity of this work that we in the Maangamizi Educational Trust and the Stop the Maangamizi Campaign take our duties within the secretariat of the APPGAR very seriously. For this parliament has played a major role in legalizing, historical and contemporary injustices against Afrikan people worldwide including the passing of the Slave Compensation Act of 1837, which compensated our enslavers rather than Afrikan people. It has been very instrumental in legalizing our dehumanization, and continues with justifications being provided by this government for the discriminatory impacts of its extractivist policies in the Global South to supposedly avert the climate and ecological crises.
In terms of our MET/SMWeCGEC vision of the APPGAR, we see its purpose as: “bringing together parliamentarians, campaigners, communities and other stakeholders to examine issues of African Reparations; explore policy proposals on reparations and make recommendations to Parliament on how to redress the legacies of African enslavement, colonialism and neocolonialism today“. In this regard, a key objective of the APPGAR being to facilitate, work towards establishing the UKAll-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Truth & Reparatory Justice (APPCITARJ) which is a key demand contained in the Stop The Maangamizi Petition and forms one of the main purposes of the ‘Atonement and Reparations for the United Kingdom’s Transatlantic Traffic in Enslaved Africans’ motions being passed by local and city councils.
People of Afrikan Heritage have been denied their right to be heard on what we mean by reparations, and what solutions we are already working on as part of Community Self-Repairs so that is what we are calling for a mechanism which can facilitate the dialogue between Afrikan Heritage Communities and the British State and society; which for us is the APPCITARJ. We therefore see this APPGAR as an important step in the process towards establishing such a mechanism of such vitally necessary dialogue. For it is only then that we can truly make appropriate policy and other programmatic types of redress by way of remedies to repair ourselves here in the UK and extending into the Afrikan Heritage Communities globally; and in the process also catalyze the repair of the entire British society and of course, of all peoples and societies, within and beyond in the UK.
It is necessary for the APPGAR to invite people to honest dialogue on this issue of Afrikan Reparations, because this struggle to effect and secure holistic reparatory justice, like all our struggles, begins with the need for, as advocated by Professor Karenga, a clear conception of what we want, how we define the issue and explain it to the world and what is to be done to achieve it. However, on this we should be guided by Afrikan Heritage Communities and the movements they have created to effect and secure holistic reparatory justice which have been operational over centuries.
We in the MET/SMWeCGEC want to emphasize that the grassroots of our Afrikan Heritage Communities across the world should be driving this work. It is up to this APPGAR to demonstrate that there is a leadership that will be of service to our communities at this time when there are big questions about what kind of leadership we have and even some of the state and non-state actors active on issues of reparations, being heavily scrutinised in terms of their credibility and commitment to our people in what some see as a tendency to want to make elitist deals under the guise of reparations which do not benefit the masses of the people. We should all be clear that Afrikan Heritage Communities have a right to participate in reparations programme and policy development and must be in the driving seat of such processes best summed up in the mantra: Nothing About Us Without Us for Anything About Us Without Us is Against Us. Furthermore, participation rights are individual and collective human rights under customary international law. They are enshrined in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and further established in states’ legal obligations as spelled out in the International Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination(ICERD) and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples(UNDRIP).
That is why for us in the MET/SMWeCGEC, the emphasis should be on Afrikan Heritage Communities Self-Repairs as was recognised in the Bristol ‘Atonement and Reparations’ motion which states: reparative justice should be driven by Afrikan Heritage Communities experiences, voices and perspectives to ensure that advocacy messages not only reflect but also respond to the real needs of the community in order to recognise inequalities. Also, that Afrikan Heritage Communities in collaboration with wider stakeholders, should be supported to develop their own glocal ‘reparations plans‘ to tackle issues of community disrepair as a result of the Maangamizi, locally, nationally and internationally. These issues of disrepair rooted in conquest, dispossession, structural racism as well as intergenerational oppression and trauma include in the UK: gun and knife crime among young people, kidnapped and missing children, the discriminatory impacts of the criminal justice system, the education system and the issue of Afrikan heritage maternal death-rates and inequalities of primal health of people of Afrikan heritage and ancestry etc as a result of the continuing impacts of the Maangamizi.
Research of people like Professor Carlton Waterhouseshows that much of the reparations policy-making, scholarship and public discourse pays little attention to the quality of past reparations programmes implemented around the world and whilst the emphasis is placed on former and contemporary wrongdoers to make apology, recompense, or other types of restitution, very little attention is paid to results, the end result of any reparations process should be the restoration and recovery of those that have experienced enduring injustice and harm, as well as the critical role that communities and individuals suffering from past abuses should play in establishing those programmes in order to re-establish their personal well-being and societal standing. Similarly, a lot of attention gets placed on state initiated reparations programmes; but this is based on a false and outmoded notion of international law as just being about the law of nation-states or governments rather than peoples and/or affected communities.
As much as this APPGAR has been centuries in the making, we must also recognise the context within which this struggle to effect and secure holistic reparatory justice is unfolding as historian Professor John Henrik Clarke advocated, we must be conscious of what political and cultural time of day it is given our locations as Afrikan people on the map of human geography. At a time when the extent of the Maangamizi is now imperilling all life on Planet Earth and some of us are threatened with literal extinction; an approach to effecting and securing holistic reparatory justice is required which brings about Planet Repairs which means: when safeguarding the rights of past, present and future generations; the need to proceed from a standpoint of Pluriversality that highlights the nexus of reparatory, environmental and cognitive justice in articulating the impetus to repair holistically our relationship with, and inseparability from, the Earth, Environment and the Pluriverse. Such an approach recognises there is urgent need for us all to compel the stopping of the Maangamizi of Neocolonialism and its inbuilt manifestations of genocide and ecocide and for Afrikan Heritage Communities to engage in deep and transformative adaptation given the certainty of intensifying climate and ecological crisis which is already impacting all life support systems as we know it rapidly-changing Planet Earth; doing so in ways and means that repair and transform our existing failed institutions in all spheres of people activity, locally, nationally and internationally. Such repair and transformation being anchored in the ancient Afrikan ethical imperative of Serudj ta, i.e., healing, repairing and remaking the World, making it more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
For these reasons, an essential part of our communities self-defence is transformative adaptation which is also about us beginning to make Pempamsiempangos, an Adinkra symbol, which encapsulates the necessity to knit and sew together in readiness for our community self-repairs; these are Glocal Afrikan Reparations Plan for Planet Repairs Alternative Progression being drawn up locally, nationally, internationally as well as globally. Alternative Progression plans become necessary given the contested nature of currently dominant processes of globalized development as highligted in Pluriverse: A Post Development Dictionary, given its structural roots in the Maangamizi, modernity, capitalism, state domination, and exclusively masculinist values which have often ended up being instead maldevelopment.
Finally, it is important to note that we who have been struggling to effect community self-repairs over centuries have built up an extensive knowledge base about the kind of system-change reparatory justice policy and programmatic measures are required. It follows that reparations education and conscientisation is part of the preparation for effecting and securing reparatory justice and this requires the APPGAR to also facilitate intense study about this issue as well as recognising that there is such a thing as reparations ethics. In this regard to acknowledge the INOSAAR Principles of Participationwhich promote equity between the knowledges produced by Afrikan Heritage Communities on Reparations and all other stakeholders.
We in the MET and the SMWeCGEC commit to disciplined, proactive work in the APPGAR secretariat and in fulfilment of this vision and we are keen to work equitably with partners who recognise the principles of Afrikan agency in determining what is best for our people.
We thank Bell Ribeiro-Addy for taking up this challenge by taking this historic step in initiating this APPGAR and agreeing to chair it and of course also to all of you who have agree to be the other executive officers.
We look forward to supporting and working with you all in the APPGAR.
The orginal proposal for the APPGAR as proposed by the MET can be found here.
“Accepting our responsibility and obligation to our Ancestors for ensuring that the African identity is proclaimed, maintained and developed; and that Africa is restored to its rightful place at the centre of world politics; call upon all people of African origin in the Caribbean, Africa, Europe, the Americas and elsewhere to support the movement for reparations and join forces with a view to forming a strong united front capable of exposing, confronting and overcoming the psychological, economic and cultural harm inflicted upon us by peoples of European origin.”
Birmingham Declaration, Africa Reparations Movement (UK), 01/01/94
“Reparations is a process of the repairing and remaking of a people who are in the process and practice of repairing, renewing and remaking the world”
Professor Maulana Karenga, Black Power Encyclopaedia: From “Black is Beautiful” to Urban Uprisings, 2018
By now hopefully you have heard about the recent ‘Reparations and Atonement’ motionpassed by Bristol City Council on 2nd March 2021, the role of the Stop The Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide Campaign (SMWeCGEC) working with local partner, the Afrikan ConneXions Consortium as well as Afrikan Heritage publicly elected officials in this.
So now that we as the Stop The Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide Campaign (SMWeCGEC) are catalysing advancement of the ‘Afrikan Radical Imagination’ (i.e. the ability to envision and work toward bringing about better and repaired futures) in galvanising processes with a variety of Afrikan Heritage Community stakeholders as well as the support of allies; many of whom are publicly elected officials who we work with to ensure that variations of the ‘Atonement & Reparations for the Transatlantic Traffic of Enslaved Africans’ motions get passed by local and city councils in different parts of the country, the question on so many people’s minds is: where do we go from here?
It is necessary to recognise what the added significance of the Bristol motion, which includes resolutions committing Bristol City Council:
To call on councillors, the Mayor or other appropriate council agency to:
1. Write to the Speakers of both Houses of the UK Parliament, Chair of the Commons’ Women and Equalities Committee, and Chair of the Commons’ Home Affairs Committee to express Bristol City Council’s view that they should consider establishing, and seeking UK Government support for, an All-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry. The purpose of this unprecedented commission would be to work on the scope of how reparations may be delivered and may also include for example raising concerns about how tax payers were until 2015 paying back compensation paid to enslavers.
2. Support Afrikan Heritage Community (AHC) organisations in Bristol to galvanise support for the emerging Bristol AHC led ‘Reparations Plan’ from, and in collaboration with, wider stakeholders including institutions, city strategic leaders, corporate leaders, key strategic programmes/initiatives and cross-party politicians.
4. Recognise that reparative justice should be driven by Afrikan Heritage Communities experiences, voices and perspectives to ensure that advocacy messages not only reflect but also respond to the real needs of the community in order to recognise inequalities.
The significance of sections two and four are critical to the success of section one regarding the establishment of the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR) demand for the All-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Truth & Reparatory Justice (APPCITARJ), which as we in the Stop The Maangamizi Campaign have always advocated, must be led by our Afrikan Heritage Communities rather than others seeking to define for us what reparations mean and should look like.
The struggle for reparations for the Holocaust of Enslavement of African people is clearly oneof the most important struggles being waged in the world today. For it is about fundamental issues ofhuman freedom, human justice and the value we place on human life in the past as well as in the presentand future. It is a struggle which, of necessity, contributes to our regaining and refreshing our historicalmemory as a people remembering and raising up the rightful claims of our ancestors to lives of dignityand decency and to our reaffirming and securing the rights and capacity of their descendants to live free,full and meaningful lives in our times. But this struggle, like all our struggles, begins with the need for a clear conception of what we want, how we define the issue and explain it to the world and what is to be done to achieve it.
The key point to note about the PEMPAMSIEMPANGO glocal reparations action-planning process in Bristol is that it asserts the primacy of Afrikan Heritage Communities driving the process glocally through the development of a PEMPAMSIEMPANGO Glocal Reparations Action Plan for Planet Repairs Alternative Progression (PEMPAMSIEMPANGO-GRAPPRAP)
PEMPAMSIE is the Adinkra symbol for sewing together in readiness -preparatory actions for reparatory justice. building our future out of our principled operational unity despite our diversity. Indeed, part of the repair process is about Afrikan heritage communities developing our own community capacity and power-base as well as our own Afrikan Heritage Community Self-Repairs Plans. MPANGO is the swahili word for plan.
Afrikan Heritage Community Self-Repairs are the self-determined efforts that need to be made in building our own power, in such a way, that Afrikan heritage communities are able to identify and enhance ongoing work towards stopping the contemporary manifestations of the Maangamizi, which are putting the individuals, families and other social groups that make up our communities into a state of disrepair; as well as reasoning and consciously carrying out the alternative solutions for glocally rebuilding our power base as Afrikan Heritage Communities for National Self-Determination (AHC-NSDs), in such a way that that they are eventually transformed, in accordance with the principles and programmatic demands of Pan-Afrikan Reparations for Global Justice.
However, such Community Self-Repairs for Afrikan Heritage Communities cannot take place in isolation but must link with Afrikan People’s powerbase our Motherland Afrika irrespective of whether we live on the Continent or in the Diaspora. The process of Pempamsie planning should occur within the context of a glocal framework which is establishing repaired Afrikan Heritage Communities which we refer to as Afrikan Heritage Communities for National Self-Determination (AHCs-NSDs)/ Maatubuntujamaas in the UK and other parts of the Diaspora which organically builds links with such Communities of Resistance and Communities of Reparatory Justice Interest on the Continent of Afrika which are known as Sankofahomes. This simultaneous process of establishing Maatubuntujamaas in the Diaspora and Sankofahomes on the Continent of Afrika is what will help usher in a repaired Afrika known as MAATUBUNTUMAN that will take shape in a repaired multipolar world, i.e. UBUNTUDUNIA.
The planning process of developing such a PEMPAMSIEMPANGO, including the facilitation of glocal community hearings should itself be so participatory democratic that it sets the example for and leads into the establishment of the APPCITARJ from the ground-up.
The first step in the PEMPAMSIEMPANGO planning process is establishing working groups of PEMPAMSIESAFO Pan-Afrikan Reparatory Justice Special Task Action Research Forces (PEMPAMSIESAFO-PARJSTARF); the purpose of which is to work on addressing Afrikan Heritage Communities Community-Self Repairs Solutions to the various aspects of the Maangamizi that they and their families and communities are experiencing.
PEMPAMSIEASAFO – Afrikan Heritage Communities Self-Repairs forces that are ‘sewing in freedom-fighting readiness’ for Pan-Afrikan Reparatory Justice victory. Asafos are community militia formations to which everyone belongs for community self-defence in some indigenous communities in West Afrika.There are similar formations within Afrikan Communities throughout the Continent and the Diaspora of Afrika.
It goes without saying that our work continues in fulfilling the other SMWeCGEC aims and objectives as found here.
This article was updated on 07/08/17, 27/06/18 and 17/10/20 from when it was originally published in 2015
“The damage sustained by the Afrikan peoples is not a thing of the past, but is painfully manifested in the damaged lives of contemporary Afrikans from Harlem to Harare’ in the damaged economies of the Black World from Guinea to Guyana from Somalia to Suriname.”
Abuja Proclamation of the First Conference on Reparations for Enslavement, Colonisation & Neocolonisation, 1993
No exact template or model exists for the All-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Truth & Reparatory Justice (APPCITARJ) in that it will have to be shaped in a way that meets the needs and aspirations of Afrikan Heritage Communities that have been enslaved, colonised or otherwise oppressed by the British Empire and/or the current British State. However, our vision is that the APPCITARJ will consist of British and European Parliamentary Commissions established with representation from the political parties in these parliaments and thy will hear our submissions as Afrikan Heritage Communities who have been impacted by the Maangamizi (Afrikan Hellacaust of chattel, colonial and neocolonial enslavement). This is an example of the revolutionary use of reform in that we are tactically seeking to use establishment institutions and some of their processes to achieve some of our revolutionary objectives for reparatory justice social change and transformation.
For us in the ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide!’ Campaign (SMWeCGEC), this is not about taking our individual and collective cases to parliamentarians for those parliamentarians, on their own, to decide on the merits of our individual/family/people’s case and to make final judgements about what the outcomes should be. In our view, this adjudication function can best be achieved by the establishment of the Ubuntukgotla – Peoples International Tribunal for Global Justice (PITGJ) in which representatives of our people and other peoples who have experienced European colonialism, enslavement and genocide become the judges using law from our various people’s legal traditions. Rather, the establishment of the APPCITARJs, at the levels of the Westminster Houses of Parliament and the European Parliament, are a tactic to facilitate widespread evidence gathering which reveal facts about the magnitude of the Maangamizi and for the public dissemination of that evidence as part of the battle to win hearts of minds and influence public opinion to support our people’s cause.
It is therefore important for the proposed APPCITARJ to seek an appropriately weighted balance between an individualized approach that places victims and perpetrators at the centre of the process and recognising as well as redressing the impact of the Maangamizi on whole collectivities. However, this requires a focus on tackling the systemic aspects of the Maangamizi and examining the role of institutions, structures of legitimisation and governance in its continuance. In this regard, we are keen to ensure that the systemic aspects of the Maangamizi are no longer hidden from scrutiny or public accountability.
Dissemination of such evidence in the arena of the British public will compel the majority of the British public to agree with us that there is an overwhelming case for their criminal ruling classes to answer. In effect, we want our people to have a ‘hearing’ and to speak to the public, (court of public opinion) through the British Parliament. This entails exposing the evidence to the glare of the public and utilising various forms of media who will be reporting on the proceedings to influence public support for our cause of Afrikan Reparatory Justice. According to the 2005 United Nations Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to A Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law, an essential aspect of reparations include, among other measures: investigation of the facts, official acknowledgement and apology, receipt of answers; an opportunity for victims to speak in a public forum about their experiences and to have active involvement in the reparative process. We are therefore seeking to ensure that our people’s testimonies will bring to light all the gory details that the British public has not been allowed to hear; has been denied true education about; and that we too have not been allowed to narrate on platforms with official legitimisation.
This parliamentary and extra-parliamentary process will create the opportunity for a diverse collectivity of Afrikan voices, from all over the world, to speak to the Maangamizi crimes of the British Empire, the British State and its ruling classes, by providing public testimony about our family and people’s case, as we see it. Once these testimonies of ordinary people, as well as the various research and other forms of documentation of the Maangamizi that exists, are being heard over and over again, clarity will dawn on the British public.
Ultimately, we are seeking to ensure that our combined evidence, voiced, recorded and reported from the UK and European Parliaments, paints the horrific truth of the culprits crimes. This is an opportunity we have never been given. Once the British public have heard the whole truth, it will be easier for us to win them over to our side; to publicise who the main culprits are ; and elucidate the harm that their deception over the years has done not only to Afrikan Heritage Communities, but also to the British people as a whole. This spark-rippling process will in itself compel the majority of those conscientious members of the British people to join us all in movement-building to stop the harm and repair the damage being done to themselves, and to others, in their name. So what will be a just retribution in terms of holding such perpetrators to account? One form of retribution is to strip the criminals of their ill-gotten wealth and status (“Expropriate the Expropriators!) and reclaim our wealth for Reparatory Justice Redistribution.
A large part of our people’s case for compensation is that this is unjustly obtained intergenerational wealth includes the wealth that which we as Afrikan Heritage Communities, are historically owed and have been denied, in addition to what is being stolen from and owed to our contemporary generations. We therefore advocate that we must have out of that redistributed wealth, all that we need to repair our own selves i.e. Afrikan Community Self-Repairs*. Although, we concede that the majority of British people deserve some of that wealth from their ruling classes in terms of wealth that has also been stolen from them over the years. Practically, this is how we see that external compensation in the form of the just redistribution of our people’s wealth will be secured.
*Afrikan Community Self-Repairs are the self-determined efforts that need to be made in building our own power, in such a way, that Afrikan heritage communities are able to identify and enhance ongoing work towards stopping the contemporary manifestations of the Maangamizi, which are putting the individuals, families and other social groups that make up our communities into a state of disrepair; as well as reasoning and consciously carrying out the alternative solutions for glocally rebuilding our power base as communities, in such a way that that they are eventually transformed, in accordance with the principles and programmatic demands of Pan-Afrikan Reparations for Global Justice.
“The inheritance of rich people’s wealth by their children should stop. The expropriators should have their wealth expropriated and redistributed“
So for us, the strategic purpose of the APPCITARJ is to divorce the masses of the British public from aligning with their ruling classes in order that they can once again be on the right side of history (as were many of their abolitionists); in collaborating with us to strip their ruling classes of their ill-gotten wealth and other gains and collaborate with us to secure its redistribution.
One of the greatest challenges for transformative reparatory justice change processes and mechanisms is addressing not only the histories of acts of Maangamizi dispossession and violence, but also those of structural violence, where power relations are manifest through the systematic and collective violation/s of economic, social and cultural rights. In many contexts, racialised and otherwise marginalised populations, particularly those of Afrikan heritage, are often systematically excluded from community development initiatives as well as often being denied full participation and substantive Afrikan Heritage Community representation in social, economic and political life. So the way other commissions of inquiry or truth commissions have interacted with ‘victims’ of these harm causing violations; such as receiving testimony, writing histories of victimization in such a way that assists such groups to recover their agency, and recommending reparative approaches – can be replicated with Afrikan Heritage Communities as a collective victim.
The 2014 Instance de la Vérité et Dignité (IVD, Commission for Truth and Dignity) in Tunisia pointed the way, by seeking to address the broad range of demands that the Tunisian Revolution made, including not just for truth, but also threats to dignity including issues such as the lack of graduate jobs and the often extreme geographical inequalities that came to the fore in Tunisia under the Ben Ali regime. To address the issue of the collective and structural violence of social exclusion; and for the first time in the history of truth commissions; the IVD defined and implemented the concept of a collective victim as including: “any person who suffered harm following a violation…, be they individuals, or groups of individuals” (Organic law on Transitional Justice).
To maximize the impact of collective reparations for Afrikan Heritage Communities requires that such reparations not only address harms, but also the structures and institutions underpinning such harms, and ensure that the such reparations transform the circumstances of unjustly impoverished and marginalised victims. Such transformation occurring in such a way as to address contemporary injustice in its multiple dimensions, (i.e. historical, ethnic, social, political, cultural, religious, sexual, epistemic and ecological). Such injustice being underpinned by ‘cognitive injustice’ which is the failure to recognise the plurality of different knowledges by which Afrikan Heritage Communities give meaning to their existence. It is only by pursuing global cognitive justice that holistic and transformative reparatory justice can become a reality. Hence why in our approach to developing the APPCITARJ, we are cognizant of the need to also adopt approaches, processes, mechanisms and initiatives that incorporate the legal cosmovisions (Indigenous worldviews), ideas and claims of Afrikan people. This in itself, requires a more complete set of tools for building alternatives to the present system of legalized injustice.
“Always remember that the people do not fight for ideas, for the things that exist only in the heads of individuals. The people fight and accept the necessary sacrifices. But they do it in order to gain material advantages, to live in peace and to improve their lives, to experience progress, and to be able to guarantee a future for their children. National liberation, the struggle against colonialism, working for peace and progress, independence – all of these will be empty words without significance for the people unless they are translated into real improvements in the conditions of life.”
Amilcar Cabral, Guinea-Bissau: A Study of Political Mobilisation, 1974, p.91
Among the challenges facing reparations for Maangamizi resistors and survivors, is to differentiate between reparations and the requirement that a state deliver basic public services. Reparatory justice measures will not be secured from others outside of a comprehensive and holistic Afrikan Heritage Community Pempamsie (sewing together) Community Self-Repairs Plan and related policies, which must accompany and shape it. This is why we in the SMWeCGEC, in partnership with the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee (AEDRMC), its allied organisations and other formations within and beyond the UK such as the MAATUBUNTUMITAWU-Global Afrikan Family Reunion International Council in West Afrika, are mobilizing and supporting others to self-organise year-round building on the 2017-2018 Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March theme of ‘Promoting the reparatory justice change that we are organising to bring about’ as a key aspect of advancing the 2020 declared Reparations Rebellion which continues into 2021 organising around the theme: Defeating Neocolonialism with Afrikan Autonomy: All Roads Must Lead to Our Sacred Cause of Reparations.
Pempamsie Adinkra symbol
The beginnings of such a Pempamsie Plan were documented in the 2003 Black Quest for Justice Campaign (BQJC) legal & extra-legal Strategy for Pan-Afrikan Reparations for Global Justice; and were included in its legal action supported by the Pan-Afrikan Reparations Coalition in Europe (PARCOE), the Black United Front (BUF), the then newly formed Global Afrikan Congress (GAC) and the International Front for Afrikan Reparations (IFAR).
Characteristics of Commissions of Inquiry with Truth Commission Functions:
“In recent decades, the truth commission has become a mechanism used by states to address historical injustices. However, truth commissions are rarely used in established democracies, where the commission of inquiry model is favoured. I argue that established democracies may be more amenable to addressing historical injustices that continue to divide their populations if they see the truth commission mechanism not as a unique mechanism particular to the transitional justice setting, but as a specialised form of a familiar mechanism, the commission of inquiry. In this framework, truth commissions are distinguished from other commissions of inquiry by their symbolic acknowledgement of historical injustices, and their explicit “social function” to educate the public about those injustices in order to prevent their recurrence.”
Abstract, Kim Pamela Stanton (2010), pii
To get a sense of what we are envisioning for the APPCITARJ, it is best to understand what a truth commission is.
• Truth commissions are generally understood to be “bodies set up to investigate a past history of violations of human rights in a particular country -which can include violations by the military or other government forces or armed opposition forces.” Priscilla B. Hayner, in ‘Unspeakable Truths’ delineates four main characteristics of truth commissions:
1. First, they focus on the past and its impact. The events may have occurred in the recent past, but a truth commission is not an ongoing body akin to a human rights commission.
2. Second, truth commissions investigate a pattern of abuse over a set period of time rather than a specific event. In its mandate, the truth commission is given the parameters of its investigation both in terms of the time period covered as well as the type of human rights violations to be explored.
3. Third, a truth commission is a temporary body, usually operating over a period of six months to two years and completing its work by submitting a report. These parameters are established at the time of the commission’s formation, but often an extension can be obtained to wrap things up.
4. Fourth, truth commissions are officially sanctioned, authorised, or empowered by the state. This, in principle, allows the commission to have greater access to information, greater security, and increased assurance that its findings will be taken under serious consideration. Official sanction from the government is crucial because it represents an acknowledgment of past wrongs and a commitment to address the issues. Furthermore, governments may be more likely to enact recommended reforms if they have established the commission.
Goals of Truth Commissions Include:
• Making recommendations for redress suffered by victims and survivors • Recording and educating about the past • Identifying perpetrators • Formulating policy proposals and recommendations on rehabilitation and the healing of Maangamizi resistors, survivors, their families and the community at large • Providing the victims/survivors with different forms of support to ensure that the commission of inquiry/truth commission process restores the victims’ dignity • Preventing repetition of aspects of the Maangamizi • Forming the basis for a new pluriversal democratic order • Promoting reconciliation • Creating a collective memory.
You can see a list of some previous truth commissions here.
Characteristics of Commissions of Inquiry with Truth Commission Functions:
They are non-judicial mechanisms but can complement judicial mechanisms;
They are commissions of inquiry whose primary function is investigation of human and people and Mother Earth rights violations and violations of humanitarian law, unlike courts or tribunals which deal with adjudication;
They focus on severe acts of violence or repression;
They are victim-centred bodies focused on victims ideas, views, needs, experiences and preferences as primary focus as opposed to elite witnesses or perpetrators;
They formulate recommendations to guarantee the non-repetition of past crimes and reform state institutions involved in the commission of human, peoples and Mother Earth rights violations.
Truth Commission Activities
Investigations/ documentation of violations/ research
Interview/ public hearings
Events and programmes to promote intra and inter community cohesion, reconciliation and conciliation
Advantages of the APPCITARJ:
It will delegitimize Maangamizi denial;
It will rebut misrepresentations of the old order through investigations, public hearings and detailed reports;
It will spur significant national debates on repairs and redress;
It will help governments to take corrective/reparatory actions and develop reparatory policies;
It will provide a measure of accountability for the legacies of past and present atrocities and violations/abuses of human, peoples and Mother Earth rights through its findings.
There are many factors that will determine the composition and mandate of the APPCITARJ including how much we are able to bring pressure to bear on relevant decision-makers and institutions. There has already been some thinking, analysis, research and consultation on what the purpose of the APPCITARJ should be, although this is an evolving process.
Elements of a Participatory Reparations Process
Building direct channels of communication with affected communities, in order to raise awareness of the justice process and promote understanding of the measure. Outreach is therefore central to the mandate of the APPCITARJ, as it is a crucial means for the justice programme to engage with and impact the public.
Outreach activities should work not only to disseminate information to the public, but also to create forums for two-way communication through dialogues, consultation, and participatory events at all stages of the APPCITARJ process.
There should be a dedicated budget for outreach, outreach materials should be culturally appropriate.
Thus far, truth commissions have rarely moved into the more empowerment types of participation (such as decision-making concerning how interviews take place or concrete reparation recommendations), usually remaining more non-dispositive.
To address this, the APPCITARJ must facilitate meaningful inclusion and participation in the early phases, to give a voice to victim needs and concerns and provide some sort of decision-making, such as determining the best methods for reaching communities, taking statements or understanding the statements in a given situation.
The APPCITARJ mandate will set out its goals and objectives, designates the violations and time period under investigation, and specifies a timeframe for completion of work. The mandate will also specify the acts that the APPCITARJ will investigate.
Negotiating an appropriate mandate is key for the APPCITARJ to be able to explore social and environmental justice issues and the broader contours of the legacies of enslavement (The Maangamizi).
The APPCITARJ will Seek to:
Redress global inequalities caused by the Transoceanic Trafficking of Enslaved Afrikans (TTEA). These include, but are not limited to, social, economic and ecological harms;
Acknowledge the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality, and inhumanity of the imposition of the Maangamizi, i.e. Afrikan chattel, colonial and neocolonial enslavement within and beyond the British Empire;
Examine the health, social, environmental and climate impacts of neocolonialism as it impacts on Afrikan Heritage Communities;
Examine Afriphobia and subsequent de jure and de facto racial and socio-economic discrimination against Afrikans and people of Afrikan descent, including their gendered impacts and consequences;
Examine how Afrikan enslavement, colonialism and neocolonialism have directly benefited societal institutions, both public and private, including higher education and other public sector organisations, corporations, as well as religious organisations;
Make recommendations to Parliament and similar bodies at local, national and international levels, including the European Parliament, and;
Determine appropriate methods of dissemination of findings to the public within and beyond Britain for consultation about proposals for supporting initiatives of Afrikan Heritage Community Self-Repairs, Planet Repairs and designing other forms of redress and repairs.
On the Importance of Speaking our Grassroots Power of Truth to Establishment Power
“The victim who is able to articulate the situation of the victim has ceased to be a victim… he or she has become a threat.”
James Baldwin, ‘The Devil Finds Work’, 1976
In providing testimony, the so-called victim/survivor becomes an agent, and his/her narrative is especially threatening because it dares to expose violations and violence when others declare that such oppressions do not exist.
The APPCITARJ will not substitute a judicial process and is not designed to let perpetrators off the hook. Hence the need for the APPCITARJ to evolve in conjunction with the PITGJ. The organising processes towards establishment of the APPCITARJ, including the mobilisational role of the SMWeCGEC, will also galvanise grassroots work towards establishing glocal sittings of the 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.
Begin Preparing Yourself for the APPCITARJ & PITGJ
You can prepare yourself for the APPCITARJ by beginning to do family and community research on how we and our immediate families each have suffered, continue to suffer and have also challenged the various crimes of the Maangamizi. In this regard, see the aims of the SMWeCGEC.
Afrikans in the UK and Europe organising towards establishing commissions of inquiry for truth and reparatory justice and local, national and international people’s tribunals to hold the governments of Britain, and other European countries to account. If you are able to gather such evidence you can assist us to arrive at a comprehensive assessment and a full picture of what our journeys and experiences of the Maangamizi have been across the Diaspora, as well as on the continent of Afrika.
Each person and representative of families and their communities have to become our own advocates and experts on your own situation and then we can bring all these experiences together as part of us becoming ‘reparations enforcers’ who are building the power and capacity to hold to account all those who are continuing to profit from the ill-gotten gains of the Maangamizi and are also complicit in its perpetuation today.
See the video below from the documentary ‘Freedom Summer’ for some APPCITARJ lessons from our Shero Fannie Lou Hamer.
Hamer’s testimony had such a huge impact upon the government and public in and outside the USA, and was so powerful, that President Lyndon B. Johnson called an impromptu press conference to get her off the air. This is a recording of the full testimony and also a transcript of that testimony. Her testimony provides an example of what we envisage could be the impact similar ISMAR-coordinated grassroots testimonies by our Afrikan Survivors, Resistors and Challengers of the Maangamizi, from all over the World to the APPCITARJs in the UK Parliament of Westminster and the European Parliament. We surmise that the ‘holding to account’ referred to above can best be done in a collective way by supporting the establishment of the Ubuntukgotla, court of peoples humanity interconnectedness, otherwise known as the Peoples International Tribunal for Global Justice (U-PITGJ), which we encourage you to support the development of. This can be done through hosting sittings of the tribunal, locally, nationally and internationally.
As part of the rationale for this approach, it is important to have a better sense of the historical antecedents of the SMWeCGEC in the UK, see these historic recordings from 2003 of Esther Stanford-Xosei, former legal advisor to the BQJC speaking about the BQJC legal & extra-legal strategy for reparations; the need for a UK commission of inquiry to address the legacies of the Maangamizi; and the commencement of the UK version of the ‘We Charge Genocide Petition and campaign’ under the auspices of then then Black United Front-Parliament (BUF-P). The second set of videos where Stanford-Xosei is interviewed, precedes in order and time the first video where she speaks to camera.
Set up a Family or Community Group Maatzoedzaduara
You can set up a MAATZOEDZADUARA (i.e. Maat action-learning circles or ‘Maat Training Practice Rings’) which is a reparatory justice circle of Maat practitioners who learn to be the self-repairs change at the levels of their person, home, family, neighbourhood, workplace, school, places of leisure and worship, etc. These Maat Training Practice Rings encompass a number of families and lineages, across geographical boundaries and generations. For example, a home or family based Maat Training Practice Ring will entail getting a selected number of people in your family interested in unravelling family histories and using this knowledge to recognise and gather evidence of the harm that has been done to you as a family.
The Practice Rings will also explore how such harms have been passed down throughout the generations, resulting in increasing levels of disrepair. We are looking for case studies of some of these family stories documenting family member’s lived experiences of the Maangamizi and resistance to it. This unravelling of these stories is part of the process of repairing the harm and continuing damage being done and passed down intergenerationally within our own families.
You can also creatively utilise SMWeCGEC Petition Soulsquestathons (SMWeCGEC-PS), which are literally a collection of souls, for spark-rippling MAATZOEZADUARAs. The aim is to link chains of MAATZOEZADUARAs together encompassing a number of families, across geographical boundaries and generations, all over the place, as Grassroots Afrikan Reparatory Justice Action Learning Praxis Exercising Rings (GARJALPERs) of the PITGJ. This means that they will share their stories and practice not only testifying with these stories but also putting their cases through trial rehearsals. The key point about the Soulsquestathons is that the various participants connect to, compare and contrast their self-repairs reparatory justice work as families within these MAATZOEZADUARAs. Basically, these are intergenerational connections, not only of family members of the present, but also the past. It therefore becomes necessary for us to keep records about and bring the lives and work of our revered Ancestors into our everyday lives of the present.
If you would like to know more about how to get involved with the APPCITARJ/U-PITGJ or you would like support with setting up a Maatzoedzaduara please contact PARCOE on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07751143043.
Share Your Story!
One of the roles of the APPCITARJ will be to gather statements from Maangamizi resistors, survivors and anyone else who feels they have been impacted by the Maangamizi and its legacies.
It is our intention to coordinate the collection of individual statements by written, electronic or other appropriate means such as audio-visual recordings with regard to providing a safe, supportive and sensitive environment for individual/collective/group statement taking/truth sharing.
If you would like to begin with compiling your story as a case study or indeed to make a statement about the impact of the Maangamizi, you are invited to contact us to discuss how best this can be done.
1. How best people can be involved and participate in the APPCITARJ? 2. Aims, hopes and fears for the APPCITARJ? 3. Mandate, terms of reference, powers and structure of the APPCITARJ? 4. What are the other ways to deal with the legacies of the Maangamizi and enforce accountability?
4.Participate in the quarterly Ubuntudunia Reparations Rebellion Action Reasonings (URRARs);
5.Contact the M.E.T. to learn about and participate in the APPCITARJ Matemasie Action Learning Test Hearings (APPCITARJ-MALTHs).
It is important that you let us know how you get on with your local MP or other publicly elected officials so that we can keep a record of progress or where there is a need for more focused lobbying. Here are the contact details for the SMWeCGEC. Please also see this guidance on Guidance on Proposals for Parliamentary Actions.
Volunteer Researchers are Required to Contribute to a People’s History-Making Process of Securing Reparatory Justice!
If you are a law or politics student or have other relevant skills and experience and you are interested in using your knowledge and skills to support Afrikan people’s struggle for holistic redress and secure Afrikan Reparatory Justice, you can become a volunteer researcher. We are looking for volunteer researchers who would like to join the SMWeCGEC research team in preparations for establishing the APPCITARJ and the PITGJ. If you would like to get involved, please contact: Afrikan Reparations Transnational Community of Practice (ARTCoP) on email@example.com or the M.E.T.
Support from Movement Lawyers is Welcome!
If you are a social justice advocate, legal practitioner or cause lawyer and would like to offer pro-bono advice or support to this community-led initiative; are willing to build equitable relationships with people and organisations challenging historical and contemporary injustice; and are prepared to respect the approach of social justice/community lawyering,*please also get in touch as above.
*Community lawyering has many variants: collaborative lawyering, community, lay lawyering, cause lawyering, social justice lawyering, political lawyering, critical lawyering, rebellious lawyering, movement-lawyering etc. The common thread among them is that the clients, not the lawyers, play a central role in resolving the issues that have an impact on their opportunities to succeed. It is: lawyering that is community-located, community-collaborative, community-directed and based on the collaboration of lawyers, clients and communities in which they live; and transforming law and lawyering to address the inequalities experienced by subordinated and underserved groups. The legal system in the UK and other Westernised countries is very individualistic. It tends to atomise and depoliticise disputes, which work against a community organising model. Furthermore, the facilitation of individual rights has not benefited the long-term needs of communities, especially impoverished communities, especially where such impoverishment is as a result of intergenerational injustice. The Sargent Shriver National Centre on Poverty Law (USA) defines “community lawyering” as a “process through which advocates contribute their legal knowledge and skills to support initiatives that are identified by the community and enhance the community’s power.”
Similar to the different schools of thought in community organising, community lawyering has many different strains. However, what sets lawyers who adopt community lawyering apart from each other boils down to their answers to the following three questions: Who do you work with? What do you do for them? And how do you work together? Similar to community organising, the answers to these questions vary depending on the political orientation of the lawyer and the theory of social change they ascribe to. By combining legal recourse and community organising, it is possible to utilise “community lawyering” as a social change strategy.” This approach engages lawyers who are prepared to de-emphasise litigation as the primary tool for advancing social justice. Instead, community lawyering encourages such lawyers, in collaboration with communities, their groups, activists and organisers, to critically and creatively examine non-traditional forms of advocacy such as facilitative leadership, institution-building, community organising, collective action and other grassroots actions including strategic litigation, media events, community education workshops and public demonstrations. This is done as a way of addressing the legal and non-legal problems of their clients. Community lawyering can also be described as a more participatory process that fosters collaboration between lawyers and their community (group) clients, rather than fostering—if not perpetuating—the dependency that most clients have on their lawyers to solve their legal problems in a conventional lawyer-client relationship.
The role of a “community lawyer” entails working in partnership with one’s community clients and utilises multiple forms of advocacy, to address their individual as well as systemic problems. Community lawyering practitioners recognise that their clients are partners—not just in name—but in leadership, control and decision-making. Through collaboration, lawyers can support Afrikan Heritage Community groups in building their own resources and community capacities to advance their own interests in effecting and securing reparatory justice in a self-determined and self-directed manner.
Another critical component of community lawyering is creating race-conscious cultural competence—a set of beliefs, values, and skills built into a structure that enables one to negotiate cross-cultural situations in a manner that does not force one to assimilate to the other. The goal of race-conscious community lawyering is to support lasting structural and systemic changes that will bring about holistic reparatory justice for racialised groups.
Movement-lawyering is a specific form of community lawyering. It is rooted in the truth that legal work or even legal victories alone cannot win meaningful change. Throughout OURSTORY, lasting change has only come when social movements, grounded in grassroots activism community organizing that builds the capacity, power and solidarity of people experiencing injustice, become strong enough to shift power dynamics in our societies.
Movement lawyers work to support communities fighting injustice, enabling those most harmed by intersectional forms of oppression to lead the fight for transformative change. This lawyering recognises that community members and organisers have expertise that should be valued. In fact, movement lawyers should also be engaged in a process of political study and growth collectively with organisers that are aligned with particular community struggles. Here are some tips for lawyers that are aligned with movements and are particularly relevant to how lawyers can best support communities, their activists and organisers who are engaged in reparatory justice struggles as part of the ISMAR.
 Priscilla B. Hayner, Unspeakable Truths. New York: Routledge, 2001, p. 14.
Further to our earlier post yesterday (below), it has come to our attention that the Atonement and Reparations for the United Kingdom’s Transatlantic Traffic in Enslaved Africans motion moved by Islington Green Party Cllr Caroline Russell was amended by Labour Party Cllr Gulcin Ozdemir.
Full Council has passed the amended motion “Atonement and Reparations for the United Kingdom’s Transatlantic Traffic in Enslaved Africans”. Click here for more information: https://t.co/BcATxea4NV#IslingtonFC
One of the significant amendments was removal of the text:
Write to the Speaker of Parliament, Chair of the Women & Equalities Committee and Chair of the Home Office committee to request that they establish, and seek UK Government support for the establishment of an All-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Truth and Reparatory Justice and calling on the Government to commit to holistic reparations taking into consideration various proposals for reparations in accordance with the United Nations Framework on Reparations.
Unfortunately, the Islington motion moved by Cllr Caroline Russell and also retained in the amended motion by Cllr Gulcin Ozdemir also omitted (we were told by accident due to working with an older draft of which there were several) this key text:
In 2003 the Lambeth based Black Quest for Justice Campaign (BQJC) initiated a class action for Pan-African Reparations for Global Justice against Queen Elizabeth II and agents of the Crown as Head of State and Head of the British Commonwealth calling for the establishment of a Reparations Commission of Inquiry. This action was denied on the grounds that the Crown could not be prosecuted, and these crimes could not be enforced prior to the enactment of the International Criminal Courts Act in 2001.
In 2004 the Rastafarian movement were denied their appeal for reparation because the UK government felt it could not be held responsible for events of past centuries.
Of course these omissions are unacceptable to us and we await the passing of the Lambeth Council Resolution on 15/07/20.
This motion is largely an outcome of engagement with Cllr Scott Ainslie in demonstration of his commitment made at the 2019 Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March to follow-up with a motion on reparations. The motion in Islington was able to pass because of Green Party and Labour Party collaboration and consensus-building around key aspects of the text that the SMWeCGEC contributed and which were added to by members of the Green Party and the Labour Party.
Hearing from #Cofi about how we need to lead humanity back to honouring Mother Earth. @uk_march “we are returning to the wisdom of our ancestors who warned of the dangers of exploiting the earth’s resources” pic.twitter.com/euaiBZ1baK
From the SMWeCGEC’s perspective, one of the highlights of this Islington Council Reparations Motion is recognition of our campaign demand for the establishment of the APPCITARJ, which is an essential phase in a participatory administrative reparations process. In addition to reference to selected landmarks in the UK chronology of campaigning on reparations. We also contributed significant amounts of text to the original Islington and Lambeth motion.
A similar motion was submitted by Green Party Cllr Cleo Lake in Bristol on 7th July 2020.
The first draftedmotionspearheaded by Cllr Ainslie will actually be voted on by Lambeth Council at the forthcoming Council meeting on Wednesday 15th July 2020.
The SMWeCGEC is truly appreciative of Cllr Ainslie and all others that worked with him from the Lambeth Green Party, Greens of Colour, including Cllr Lake and also Cllr Russell, to ensure that such motions could be submitted.
Cllr Scott has truly been exemplary in working in such a way which honours the guidance in the INOSAAR Principles of Participation in recognising the existence of the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR); and the necessary ethics that this entails. This includes respecting the existence of historical and contemporary reparations work, research and other initiatives at regional, national and transnational levels.
We are also pleased that engagement with the Green Party which was commenced years earlier (between 2002 – 4) with other Green Party elected officials under the auspices of the then Rendezvous of Victory, has now borne some outcomes that help take the goals of the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR) Further.
We also take this opportunity for recognising the efforts of Lucie Scott in Hackney who recently got in touch to inform us that she had proposed a motion passed in 2018 which recognised the demand for the APPCITARJ. See here Hackney NSN 2018 IR motionFinal (1) for further info.
The following are a few relevant tweets and other publicity:
Last night Islington Council passed our Green Party motions on reparations and glyphosates 💚
— Cleo4DeputySocialRacialEcoJustice💚🖤⚖️ (@CleoDanceBaton) July 7, 2020
Dr #WalterRodney‘s wisdom is relevant to #Afrikan struggle 4 #Reparations “A struggle doesn’t drop from the sky; it has roots, it has been going on for years; people’s energies, their consciousness, their organizations have evolved in response to specific historical conditions.”
The following video featuring Esther Stanford-Xosei, legal advisor to then existing Black Quest For Justice Campaign (BQJC), is one of the earliest video recordings which tracks the demand for what has now become known as the All-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Truth & Reparatory Justice (APPCITARJ). However its modern-day antecedents, as well as that of the Ubuntukgotla People’s International Tribunal For Global Justice (U-PITGJ) can be traced back to the the work of Kofi Mawuli Klu who wrote the following paper Charting an African Self-Determined Path of Legal Struggle for Reparations as a contribution to the 11 December 1993 working conference of the African Reparations Movement (ARM UK), co-founded by the late Bernie Grant MP and others.
The following comments from SMWeCGEC Co-Initiator and Co-Vice Chair, Kofi Mawuli Klu provide another layer of historical context to the significance of this motion for the SMWeCGEC and the wider ISMAR.
Also this comment from Kofi is in response to a dialogue between him and Akyaaba Addai-Sedo based in Ghana about the same motion.
Yes, the awesome beauty of this historic action of the London Borough of Islington, to which the work of yourself, Brother Akyaaba and others of the GLC, contributed upon the foundations laid throughout the ages by Kodwo Enu (Ottobah Cuguano), Olaudah Equiano, Frederick Douglas, Henry Sylvester Williams, John Archer, Marcus and Akosua Boahemaa Amy Garvey, CLR James, Claudia Jones, Paul Robeson, George Padmore, Ras Makonnen, WEB DuBois, Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah and his stalwarts of the Pan-Afrikan Congresses, is the change in Language and concepts insisted upon by our Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide Campaign (SMWECGEC), backed strongly by our colleagues of the INOSAAR based at the University of Edinburgh, and friends of the Green Party! So, for example, instead of the so-called very derogatory insulting ‘Slave Trade’, which the likes of Walter Rodney had very well repudiated as no trade at all, there is now acceptance of our PARCOE formulation that it is the Transatlantic Trafficking of Enslaved Afrikans (TTEA)!
Not yet Uhuru; but there is now being galvanized by new waves of Rebellion at home and abroad our Long March to the victorious Reparatory Justice achievement of the Pan-Afrikan revolutionary winning of Planet Repairs, in order to secure our own MAATUBUNTUMAN Pan-Afrikan Union of our Communities of Resistance, stronger unifying those in our Mothercontinent with those in the diaspora, in a New Global Justice World of UBUNTUDUNIA, not by opportunistically riding upon the topdown ramshackle bandwagons of Neocolonialism like the so-called African Union (AU) of misleaders, but rather by the independently organised grassroots-embedded Worldwide Black Power of our Afrikan People in our own Afrikan Communities of Resistance!
Forward Ever Onward! There is Victory for Us! Amanda Ngawethu!
Elsewhere, Kofi says this:
Thanks, Sister Esther, Yes, our Stretch of the Maangamizi Counteraction Intergenerational Long March of our ancestral Freedomfighting Afrikan Sheroes and Heroes has now come to one of its major decisive Reparatory Justice Turning Points towards our long desired total Pan-Afrikan Liberatory Rendezvous of Planet Repairing Global Justice Victory! Now is Our Time to Seize WISER than ever before to ensure our Pan-Afrikan Reparatory Justice Making of, and Black People’s Power contributions to, the Global Justice Writing of true World Ourstory/History is accelerated to its definitive, irreversible and completely victorious destination! Our MawuLisaga, the almighty God of Afrika and the entire World of, and beyond, Miano Nana Asase Yaa Mother Earth be thanked, with all the gratitude due also to our revered Ancestors, for the day we met to begin battling together for the more systematic movement building harmonization of the collective and individual efforts of our Afrikan people glocally towards the better intellectually organic and organisationally disciplined achievement of this sacred purpose! Akpe: Thank you very much!
The rest of us also agree with Kofi who has rightly stated elsewhere:
The biggest gratitude goes to the God of Afrika and the Pluriverse, to our revered Ancestors and also to all of us who have kept faith with them for a true Reparatory Justice that can only be holistic Planet Repairs in its Global Justice for all meaningfulness! Lots more work to do!
Until next time!
‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide! Campaign International Steering Committee Spearhead Team (ISC-SMWeCGEC)
We in the ‘Stop The Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide!’ Campaign (SMWeCGEC) would like to extend our deep thanks and appreciation for the coverage Got Kush TV provided in preparation for the 2019 Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March and its all-year round campaigning work conducted through the SMWeCGEC as well as coverage of the March itself.
London UK 1st August 2019 (L to R) Cleo Alberta Lake, Lazarus Tamana , Hon. Kweme Abubaka and Dr Barryl Biekman present the ‘Stop The Maangamizi!’ Petition calling for the establishment of the All-Party Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry for Truth & Reparatory Justice for the Afrikan Hellacaust at 10 Downing Street as part of the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March on Emancipation Day, . Emancipation Day marks the anniversary of the 1833 Slavery Abolition Act.
Please note, only copies of the additional 2,828 signatures collected between last year (14,590) and this year (17,418) were handed in with a copy of the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Petition. Every year we tend to copy the same petitions and re-submit them with additional signatures collected. For environmental reasons, it was determined that we would only hand in the additional signatures collected this year until we reach 100,000 signatures that will be handed in all together when that figure is reached. Or in the alternative that the lobbying efforts of MPs and other elected officials via the ‘Stop The Maangamizi!’ Postcard yield the desired results. However, the SMWeCGEC is not relying on securing 100,000 to secure the campaign objectives, as ultimately reparatory justice will be effected, secured and taken by our own People’s Power, supported by other People’s of Conscience as well as our non-Afrikan Allies as part of PRIM-building.
In total 17,418 people have now signed the petition, this includes those who sign the online petition and the paper version.
Although 6 Petitioners were present as identified in the covering letter to the UK pRIME Minister which accompanied the petition, only 4 of the 6-member delegation were able to hand in the petition this year due to 2 members of the delegation unfortunately forgetting their ID.
This is a link to info about the petition hand-ins in the three preceding years:
We in the ‘Stop The Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide!’ Campaign (SMWeCGEC) would like to extend our deep thanks and appreciation for the coverage Got Kush TV provided in preparation for the 2019 Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March and its all-year round campaigning work conducted through the SMWeCGEC.
Co-Vice Chair, Pan-Afrikan Reparations Coalition in Europe (PARCOE
Coordinator-General, ‘Stop The Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide!’ Campaign (SMWeCGEC)
Spokesperson, Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee (AEDRMC)
Since last year, when Brother Steven Golding spoke at the 5th annual Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March, we stayed in contact. He got in touch earlier this year about the possibility of me visiting Jamaica to do a lecture in recognition of the 2015 – 2024 United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent. Such a trip was finally organised to take place at the end of May 2019.
From the 29th May to 5th June 2019, I was invited by Brother Steven to deliver a couple of public lectures on Reparations. This included doing a public lecture on the ‘The Reparations Challenge‘ at the UNIA Jamaica Mass Meeting, which took place at Liberty Hall, as well as being the first international speaker to deliver the annual Tacky Day Lecture in the Parish of St. Mary themed ‘Chief Tacky 1760 – 2060: The Struggle Then, The Struggle Now‘.
When I arrived in Jamaica, I was pleasantly surprised to be met at the airport by Sister Marva Pringle-Ximinnies from the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment & Sports, Brother Steven as well as Brother Derrick Robinson aka ‘Black X’. I did not know at the time but Black X had actually walked 57+ miles from Port Maria in the parish of St. Mary to Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston to officially welcome me to Jamaica as the international speaker for the Tacky Day Lecture.
This is a message that Black X had sent out to various networks before my arrival:
Dear friends, Today Tuesday May 28 at 3pm, I will be embarking on a 24 and a half hours walk from the Tacky Monument in Port Maria St Mary Jamaica to the Norman Manley Airport in Kingston, to be a part of the team that will be welcoming our Guest Speaker for Tacky Day to Jamaica! she is due to arrive in Jamaica from England (UK) at 3.30pm. Her Name is Esther Stanford-Xosei a Pan-African Speaker, a leading voice in the global Struggle in the call for Reparations to be paid for the atrocious and the beyond repair damage that was done to our African fore Fathers and Mothers. So it is with great conviction of duty in honourable memory of the Great Chief Tacky that in our Ancestors Name, I will challenge this 24 and a half hours walk to the Norman Manley Airport in Kingston from Port Maria St Mary. Thank you for your support.
Derrick Black X Robinson, Chairman Tacky Foundation, Tacky Heritage – Pan-African Garden Of Assembly 1760
The first public lecture I did was on Sunday 2nd June, 2019 at the famous Liberty Hall at 76 King Street, Kingston which was (at one point) the Hon. Marcus Garvey’s headquarters and that of the UNIA-ACL. The U.N.I.A’s constitution required each UNIA to have a Liberty Hall, which was its headquarters. Jamaica’s Liberty Hall was the centre of activities for the Kingston division of The UNIA. The two-storey building was the first meeting hall in Jamaica that was fully owned and operated by people of Afrikan heritage. First opened in 1923, the site has been restored to serve as a museum of the life and work of Marcus Garvey, who was the first man to be declared an official National Hero of Jamaica.
Programme for the Mass Meeting
This is a link to an Instagram post of Emprezz @emprezzgolding with a video clip from my lecture at the UNIA Mass Meeting.
On Monday 3rd June 2019, I was hosted at a reception organised by the St Mary Chamber of Commerce, Agriculture & Industry. I spoke at their meeting about the relevance of reparations to addressing local community development issues and challenges spoken about at the meeting.
I was a guest at the St. Mary Chamber of Commerce Meeting & Reception
Tacky Day Commemorations
Before I come unto the commemoration, it is important for me to say a little bit about Chief Tacky. Tacky’s War or the Easter Rebellion of Port Maria, one of the bloodiest revolts that took place in Jamaica, was an uprising of enslaved Afrikans from the central region of Ghana then referred to as Koromantse which started on Easter Sunday 1760 and went on until July 1760. The Rebellion broke out in St. Mary and spread throughout most of the country. The leader of the rebellion, Tacky (Akan spelling: Takyi), was originally from the Fante ethnic group in West Afrika and had been a Paramount Chief in Fante land (in the Central region of present-day Ghana) before being captured and sold into slavery after the Koromantse Wars. Tacky was subsequently enslaved on the Frontier Estate, in Jamaica where he was subsequently made foreman. However, he used this position to plan and influence some fellow enslaved Afrikans on his estate and neighbouring Trinity Estate to revolt. He, along with the Asante Queen Nanny or Nana, both, with the support of fellow rebels, planned to defeat the British and all enslavers and make Jamaica a separate and independent Black country. They began by seizing control of Frontier and the neighbouring Trinity plantation, killing the masters or estate managers and freeing the enslaved before heading to the nearby town of Port Maria.
One of the most-well known people seeking to gain greater recognition of Tacky is Black X, Chairman of the Tacky Heritage Group, who is truly a legend in Jamaica and is doing excellent work to help conscientise the Jamaican public about the importance of Chief Tacky. A waterfall close to the cave where Takyi and his fellow rebels planned the revolt was named Tacky Falls and is currently open to visitors. A school has also been named after Chief Tacky.
At the end of the lecture, I was presented with a picture by Chelsea Chin, administrator for Dr Morais Guy, J.P., Member of Parliament for Central St. Mary.
These are some of the pictures from the Tacky Day Commemorations, it was truly a beautiful day. Local MPs, the Mayor, business leaders, community members as well as children from 8 local schools in St. Mary attended the lecture!
Pics courtesy of Steven Golding.
Left to Right: Steven Golding, Dr Morais Guy, J.P., MP, Central St. Mary, Dr Norman Dunn, BH, J.P., MP South East, St. Mary, Derrick Robinson aka ‘Black X’
This is a link to Minister Olivia Grange’s speech that was read out by Dr Norman Dunn, BH, (M), J.P. Member of Parliament, South East, St. Mary:
Esther Stanford-Xosei with Derrick Robinson aka ‘Black X’ at Tacky Day Lecture
Make Chief Tacky A National Hero Resolution
Since my return to the UK, I have been forwarded the following text of resolution to be put forward at the local Parish Council in St. Mary on Thursday 11th July 2019:
MAKE CHIEF TACKY A NATIONAL HERO OF JAMAICA
On Easter Sunday, in the year 1760 in Jamaica in the Parish of Saint Mary, the great rebel leader called Chief Tacky led our ancestors in a rebellion against the establishment of chattel slavery in the country. They raided the English garrison at Fort Haldane and attacked the estates at Frontier, Trinity, Ballard’s Valley, Esher, among others. Tacky’s revolt/war spread to several parishes across the country and lasted for over 18 months even when they thought it had ended. The brave Chief Tacky lost his own life but his vision and actions had struck a blow for freedom that helped to hasten the end of the act of inhumanity and the bondage of chattel slavery. Ultimately, history has proven that freedom was irreversible from that point on.
As a result of this trip, PARCOE decided to update our banner/flyer to include Chief Tacky and to also lobby for his inclusion as one of the revered Ancestors commemorated as part of the Ancestors Bloc of the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March.
In addition, Esther was a panellist for the UWI ‘African Liberation Day Lecture’ on 29th May 2019 featuring keynote speaker Dr Julius Garvey who spoke to the theme ‘Moving Towards A United Africa: Fulfilling Marcus Garvey’s Dream‘.
Meeting with Minister Olivia Grange & Representatives of the NCR
Another important aspect of the trip was the meeting I got to have with representatives of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment & Sport, including the Hon. Olivia (Babsy) Grange, MP, CD, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment & Sport and Barbara Blake-Hannah; in addition to meeting with several members of the National Council on Reparations (NCR), in particular, NCR Co-Chair Mrs Laleta Davis-Mattis (who attended the Reparations Challenge Lecture), Mr Frank Phipps, Q.C., Lord Anthony Gifford, Q.C., Attorney Bert Samuels, Dr Jahlani Niaah, Dr Michael Barnett and Ras Ho-Shing. Barbara Blake-Hannah was also in attendance at the meeting with members of the NCR and Minister Grange.
I did not get to meet or speak with NCR Co-Chair Professor Verene Shepherd on my trip.
Pics courtesy of Steven Golding.
During the meeting, Minister Grange updated me on some of the developments taking place pertaining to reparations, including the work being championed under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture in relation to the absolution of the resistance efforts of National Heroes. Minister Grange made a special presentation to me of a copy of The National Heroes and Other Freedom Fighters (Absolution from Criminal Liability in Respect of Specified Events) Acts, 2018 No.2
The following is a copy of the front and back page of the act of the act. A link to the act can be found below:
In the meeting I also shared information about what reparations activism was taking place by the UK contingent of the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR). The main updates I shared pertained to:
The alliances being forged by elevating a reparatory justice approach to tackling the climate and ecological crisis which will disproportionately impact on our communities in Afrika and the Caribbean; highlighting developments made in this regard by the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Campaign developing an affinity with Extinction Rebellion (XR). As a result of the advocacy and involvement of reparationists in the ‘Stop the Maangamizi!’ Campaign, this has resulted in the subsequent development of the CEE the Truth Campaign by some members of XR and the emerging Climate & Ecological Independents championing Planet Repairs and reparations, as one of their core demands of their political manifesto in the 2019 European Parliamentary Elections.
The importance of state and non-state actors, recognising their distinct but possibly complementary roles and working together on the common cause of effecting and securing reparatory justice by seeking to join up actions and initiatives where possible. An example being the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March which takes place on 1st August.
In seeking accountability from European nation states, the importance of factoring engagement strategies with country diasporas living in the UK/Europe as well as the wider Afrikan Diaspora communities in Europe. This being necessary to ensure that there was harmonisation between distinct reparations strategies and tactics by state and non-state actors.
Likewise, the necessity of also seeking to influence European and other civil society populations in Europe and win support from them in standing in solidarity with the cause of reparatory justice. In this regard, it was pointed out that the notion of Britain and Europe coming to help “clean up the monumental mess of Empire” they left in the Caribbean is not being taken seriously or endearing support from wider constituencies in the UK. This is largely because it is clear, even to many white people, that the British Parliamentary System is in crisis, with Brexit and the emergence of Extinction Rebellion which is challenging the inadequacies of governance and failure of moral leadership of British parliamentarians who have failed to act to avert the climate & ecological crisis etc. The popular overstanding being how can Britain be asked to clean up the mess in the Caribbean when it cannot clean up the mess in its own back-yard?
Meeting with Minister Mike Henry
I also met with the Hon. Minister Mike Henry, MP, CD, Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister of Jamaica who spoke to me about the legal action he was pursuing against Queen Elizabeth II, as part of a reparations strategy, which is further explained in the newspaper articles section below.
I raised similar points made in the meeting with Minister Grange and members of the NCR, in particular, regarding:
The importance of those in the Caribbean linking with country diasporas and the wider Afrikan Diaspora in UK/Europe as well as paying greater attention to winning over those of European ancestry to be in solidarity with our cause of reparatory justice.
Us as state and non-state actors recognising differing strategy and tactics even when making legal and political challenges to the British State and seeking to have dialogue with each other and share information other about these different approaches so what we do does not conflict.
On behalf of the Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee, I thanked Minister Henry for the solidarity message he gave for the 2018 Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March.
Minister Mike Henry made a special presentation to me of a copy of his book ‘Many Rivers To Cross: A Political Journey of Audacious Hope‘ (2013).
Pics courtesy of Steven Golding & Ras Ho-Shing.
The following are the newspaper articles about my visit:
This article clipping is taken from section C10 of the Gleaner on Monday 3, June, 2019
Anonlineversion of the Jamaica Information Service appeared in the Jamaica Observer on Thursday 30 May, 2019
I explained that The CEE Independents have adopted reparations as part of the core demands and there was much scope for those in the Caribbean also doing more to link the struggle for reparatory justice to the growing consciousness of the necessity of reparations for climate and ecological breakdown. I reiterated the messages given at public lectures on the importance of those in the national councils and committees for reparations in the Caribbean recognising the importance of the country and wider Afrikan Diasporas living in Europe and secondly the importance of messaging which can also win hearts and minds of allies of European and other non-Afrikan ancestries in Europe. This is a Gleaner newspaper article which Lord Gifford wrote aspects of which he has subsequently notified me were influenced by some of our discussions.
Since returning to the UK, I shared info regarding a recent interview with music artist and write Gaika given by Leader of the UK Opposition, Jeremy Corbyn where he speaks about his support for reparations to former colonies to combat climate change with Steven Golding and Lord Gifford which in my view affirms the approach that we in PARCOE and the ‘Stop The Maangamizi!’ Campaign have long been championing in relation to ‘Planet Repairs’ and the importance of including reparations for climate and ecological destruction (ecocide) as part of the advocacy strategies coming out of Afrika and the Caribbean.
Visit to Pre-View Windush Murals
I visited Studio 174, a Kingston based Art Academy in downtown Kingston, to preview a series of murals being finalised as a mobile exhibit featuring a series of murals to honour the Windrush Generation; people from Jamaica and the Caribbean who left the region, beginning in 1948, on The Empire Windrush. This exhibit is part of the Paint Up Ya Creative Space Initiative of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment & Sports in partnership with the British Council. Some of the discussions myself and Steven Golding had with the artistic director and artists was the possibility of such an exhibit of murals to come to the UK and possibly feature as part of the events leading up to the annual Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March.
Pics courtesy of Steven Golding
I did the following interviews:
‘Rootsology’ show on Roots 96.1 FM,
‘Beyond the Headlines’ show on RJR 94 FM,
‘Talk Up Radio’ show on Nation-wide 90 FM
‘Sunrise’ show on CVM TV.
Unfortunately, although I contacted Pan-Afrikanist Activist-Journalist and host of the ‘Running African’ show on IRIE FM, Ka’Bu Ma’at Kheru ahead of the trip, with a view to meeting up during her visit, unfortunately I did not get to connect or speak with Ka’Bu on my trip. Ka’Bu was also the initiator of the ‘UofG Consult With Grass – Root Reparation Movements NOT Colonial Institutions!’ Petition on change.org (and also supported by the SMWeCGEC).
On the tentative schedule I received before my trip, it was planned that I was to do an interview on Thursday 30th May 2019 at 3pm on IRIE FM ‘Stepping Razor’ show with Mutabaruka and on Sunday 2nd June on IRIE FM at 7am on the ‘Running Africa Forum’ Radio with Ka’bu Ma’at Kheru. However, this changed with the updated schedule I received when I arrived in Jamaica. I was notified that Ka’bu had to travel urgently so had cancelled her show on 30th May.
Pics courtesy of Steven Golding.
Linking with Empress Esther of the EABIC ‘Bobo Shanti’
Through a link provided by Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee, Co- Vice Chair, Prophet Jah B, I made contact with Empress Esther from the Ethiopia Africa Black International Congress (EABIC) on my visit. Although we did not get to meet in person, we did have discussions about the need for further outreach and connections with Rastafari community members and other Afrikan heritage communities in the Montego Bay Area who often do not get to go to Pan-Afrikan and Reparations focused events and activities in Kingston.
Courtesy Call on Permanent Secretary, Mr Denzil Thorpe
The last stop I made before leaving Jamaica, en route to the airport, was to return to the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment & Sport for a curtesy call on Mr Denzil Thorpe, Permanent Secretary for the Ministry. I was accompanied by my Steven Golding and Black X. Permanent Secretary Denzil Thorpe also made a special presentation to me of NCR memorabilia and we spoke about my visit to Jamaica.
Pics courtesy of Steven Golding & Marva Pringle-Ximminies
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)