March for Afrikan People's Rights - Emancipation Day Reparations March (01 August 2015)

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Reparations Now

March Theme - Education is Part of the Preparation For Reparations

“… the Black Holocaust is far and away the most heinous human rights crime visited upon any group of people in the world over the last five hundred years”
(Randall Robinson in book “The Debt, What America Owes Blacks”)

Over the past two hundred or so years, many different voices have been heard calling out for reparations for slavery and, lately, including colonialism and neo-colonialism as well. Despite the legitimacy of the calls for reparations and the unitary nature of the cause, members of the Global Afrikan Nation have, in the main, been working in isolation of each other in regions of our displacement, instead of unifying the struggle for reparations with Afrikan reparations constituencies on the continent of Afrika. Despite state interventions arising from the pressure coming from the reparations movement ‘from below’, there has been very little co-ordinated grassroots action around the call for reparations, now it is happening.

After a resoundingly successful Reparations March on the 1st of August 2014 in London, England, the Global Afrikan Nation has seen it fit to have a solid co-ordinated march this year, where there will be marches in Afrika, the Americas, the Caribbean and Europe. The 1st of August has been chosen as the day of the march because it is the officially recognised “Emancipation Day”, marking the passing of The Slavery Abolition Act in the British Empire, on 1 August 1833. Further, the significance of 1st August 1833 is that it is the date that after all the years of resistance by chattelised Afrikans, torn away from the Motherland Britain and its fellow European enslavers of Afrikan people were compelled to recognise that they could no longer continue to enslave us without severe consequences. It therefore represents a symbolic day recognising our refusal to accept enslavement, in every manner, including its present day manifestation.

The conceptual definition of reparations that we utilise is that advanced by Professor Chinweizu at the First Conference on Reparations for Slavery, Colonisation and Neo-colonisation held in Abuja in 1993 when he states:

“Let me begin by noting that reparation is not just about money: it is not even mostly about money; in fact, money is not even one percent of what reparation is about. Reparation is mostly about making repairs. self-made repairs, on ourselves: mental repairs, psychological repairs, cultural repairs, organisational repairs, social repairs, institutional repairs, technological repairs, economic repairs, political repairs, educational repairs, repairs of every type that we need in order to recreate sustainable black societies….More important than any monies to be received; more fundamental than any lands to be recovered, is the opportunity the reparations campaign offers us for the rehabilitation of Black people, by Black people, for Black people; opportunities for the rehabilitation of our minds, our material condition, our collective reputation, our cultures, our memories, our self-respect, our religious, our political traditions and our family institutions; but first and foremost for the rehabilitation of our minds”.

We also recognise that under international law:

“reparation must, as far as possible, wipe out all the consequences of the illegal act and re-establish the situation which would, in all probability, have existed if that act had not been committed.”

So we also utilise the operational reparations framework contained in the 2005, ‘Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Violations of International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law’ adopted by the UN General Assembly. These principles go some way towards codifying norms relating to the right to reparation and also dispel one of the most common misconceptions, i.e. that reparation is synonymous with compensation. Other forms of reparation, in addition to compensation, contained in these norms include: restitution, rehabilitation, satisfaction and guarantees of non-repetition.

Reparations, in essence, are about correcting the wrongs of the past, which, where Afrika and Afrikans are concerned, means wrongs which are continuing even to this day, regardless of where we are in this world. In as much compensation is one of the aspects related to reparations it also addresses itself to things such as:

• Healing and self-repair
• Right to our culture and identity.
• Right to tell Our Story, in our own way according to our own experiences.
• Right to adequate and meaningful socio-economic opportunities without being reduced to beggars through aid.
• Right to descent health.
• Repatriation/rematriation of Afrikans in the Diaspora.
• Reclamation of stolen Afrikan artefacts.
• Reclamation of the right to the land of our Ancestors and to mineral wealth.
• Redress, as a result of ecocide perpetrated by the West and the East.

The March has been identified as just but one of the tools by which to let the world know that Afrikans are speaking in one voice harmonising our voices on the issue of reparations and that Afrikans are aware of their right to reparations. Further, it is to educate ourselves on what is rightfully ours and learn, more fully, about what has and continues to be taken from us;

“Afrikan people are not thieves, and are not unreasonable in their demands for reparations - We ask of no one what does not belong to us and we demand no more than what is due to us”.
Sabelo Sibanda

The two fronts of the reparations drive are Afrika and the Diaspora (both East and West).

Continental Afrikan Perspectives:

• The enslavement of Afrikans on the Continent, through colonialism.
• The continued domination, exploitation and oppression of Afrikans through Neo-colonialism.
• The theft of some of Afrika’s greatest minds through the brain drain, which is benefitting other countries and not Afrika.
• The sponsoring of proxy wars and coups.
• Land grabs and denial of right to resources.
• Internal displacement due to border conflicts and civil conflicts as a result of the continued impositions of European borders.
• State sponsored brutality through the operations of police, army and private security forces.
• The theft of our right to tell Our Story, Western historians have abrogated to themselves the right to tell Our Story for us. The latest manifestation in Azania (South Africa) of such a heinous deed being the ongoing theft of the Apartheid Museum from our people.
• Killing of leaders who had a great vision for Afrika, the likes of Steve Bantu Biko, Patrice Lumumba, Thomas Sankara and Amilcar Cabral, to mention a few.
• Effects of Arabisation, discrimination and exploitation of Afrikans by Arabs.
• The right to reclaim our culture and therefore our cultural identity.
• Correcting the wrongs of ecocide and the plundering and looting of Afrikan resources.
• The theft of Afrikan knowledge and knowledge systems.
• The introduction of bioweapons, diseases and preventable pandemics to Afrika.
• Maldevelopment and the proliferation of extractive industries.
• Forced sterilisations and nefarious population control measures designed to prevent and impair Afrikan reproduction.
• The continued white-washing of educational curricula and the misrepresentation of Our Story within the educational sector

Afrikan Diasporan Perspectives

• The kidnapping and enslavement of our Ancestors.
• The genocide perpetrated against our Ancestors.
• Denationalisation and Deracination resulting in social death as Afrikan people
• The unfair exploitation of their labour, building other people’s empires whilst the Afrikan Empires were destroyed.
• Domestic colonisation.
• The taking away of the knowledge and their right to their Afrikan languages, which is an issue to this day.
• The taking away and distortion of Afrikan culture and mores and all that makes a people a people.
• The unfair and illegal incarceration of Afrikans, especially Black males
• Continued killings of people of Afrikan descent, by the police, prison, psychiatric and other state institutions.
• The taking away of the right to Our Story
• Structural, institutionalised and systemic Afriphobic racism.
• State sponsored miseducation through the imposition of a ‘White curriculum’ in mural educational institutions.

The above issues are not exhaustive, this is just a brief summary of what reparations entails and is about, the reasons for it and the necessity for the march. Marching on the same day will demonstrate our global unity of purpose in this historic mission and cause to effect and secure reparatory justice. The forms of reparations effected and secured should improve the lives of Afrikan people today and for future generations to come; foster economic, social, cultural and political parity; and allow for full rights of self-determination.

We Charge Genocide/Ecocide Petition and Campaign.
https://www.change.org/p/stop-the-maangamizi-we-charge-genocide-ecocide

This petition is being used as a political tool to accompany reparations and conscientisation mobilisation towards and beyond the March. The petition is relevant to Afrikans on the continent in that it puts the historical and contemporary injustices against Afrikan people within the context of the Maangamizi, (Kiswahili for Afrikan Hellacaust of Chattel, Colonial & Neo-colonial Enslavement). It demonstrates that:
“the damage suffered by the Afrikan people caused by chattel enslavement, colonialism and neo-colonisation is not "thing of the past' but is painfully manifest 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 Surinam”. [1]

And that this damage amounts to genocide according to the norms of international law. According to Raphael Lemkin, the Polish-Jewish lawyer who coined the term genocide, genocide has two phases: one, the destruction of the national pattern of the oppressed group; the other, the imposition of the national pattern of the oppressor. In the 1948 Genocide Convention, genocide is therefore defined as follows:
“Genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

a) Killing members of the group;
b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”

It is therefore important that each person, in family and community, begins doing family and community research on how we each have suffered and continued to suffer the crimes of the Maangamizi.

Afrikans in the UK and Europe are organising towards establishing commissions of inquiry and local, national and international people’s tribunals to hold the governments of Britain, Europe and North America to account. Such evidence that we are able to gather in Afrikan countries will also be included as testimony so that we, as Afrikans on the Continent and in the Diaspora, can arrive at a comprehensive assessment and a full picture of what our journeys and experiences of the Maangamizi have been. Each person and representative of families and communities have to become our own advocates and experts in our own situation and then we can bring all these experiences together as part of us becoming reparations enforcers to hold to account all those who are continuing to profit from ill-gotten gains and are complicit in the perpetuation of the Maangamizi today.

Reparations enforcement is the 21st Century reparations activism paradigm. Armed with the wealth of knowledge and programmes of action that we have developed as a result of our struggle for liberation, and wedded to our holistic definition of reparations, we have moved from the position of advocating for reparations to that of enforcing our human and people’s right to be repaired.

We stand resolute knowing that:

“the pursuit of reparations by the Afrikan peoples in the continent and in the diaspora will itself be a learning experience in self-discovery and in uniting experience politically and psychologically.” [2]

The Global Afrikan Nation, acknowledges that we have a common enemy, a common struggle and therefore our success is directly premised upon our ability to work together as one Nation and not work in isolated spaces or in competition. In this the International Decade for People of Afrikan Descent, we also recognise the rights of Afrikan people to Afrika and the role of the Diaspora in working with Afrikans on the Continent to complete the unfinished liberation struggle in Afrika in order to secure and enforce the right of Afrikans to Afrika, both those at home and abroad.

Indeed, there are two dimensions to reparations, the external and the internal. The external is what we say others owe us but the internal self-repairs are what we must engage in by way of restoring our agency, and asserting our right to self-determination and dignity as Afrikans. Many of us as Afrikans in Afrika and other parts of the Afrikan Diaspora are asserting that the highest form of reparations or repairing the damage is that of restoring our sovereignty and the need to forge Pan-Afrikan Sovereignty and form ourselves into a global power so that we can stop the Maangamizi for all time and ensure that it never happens again.

Rise m-Afrika, your people need you, your continent needs you
Tell Our Story m-Afrika, leave the lies of His Story
Help write the new lines of Our Story
Let your voice be heard
Be There
March
Reparations March 01 August 2015

For more information on the Afrikan part of the March or if you want to be an organiser in your Country or area or want to volunteer:

Phone: +27 73 084 5415
Email: info@uphondo.com
Website: www.uphondo.com

Notes
[1] Taken from the 1993 Abuja Proclamation http://www.africanconstitution.org/home/abuja-proclamation
[2] Taken from the 1993 Abuja Proclamation http://www.africanconstitution.org/home/abuja-proclamation

Comments

  • The march will not happen, but an IMBIZO or gathering will take place at INKANYEZI HALL (cnr Tsoehle & Mphahlele Streets) Moroka North in Soweto.
    Time is 11h00 for a 11h30 program.
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