Caribbean Scholars Renew Reparations Call

 

Submitted by Don Rojas

Scholars from the Caribbean recently renewed their call for reparations in recompense for hundreds of years of native genocide and enslavement in the region. The calls were made during a recent virtual symposium to honour the life and work of St. Lucian Nobel Laureate Sir William Arthur Lewis…

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Emancipation Day, a Good Reason to Give Pause

Barbadians join former colonies to celebrate Emancipation Day on August 1.

There can be no disagreement the Black race had to endure a form of slavery that to this day weighs heavy on the conscience of world citizens. Some will engage in a spurious rebuttal that the immoral act of chattel slavery practiced on Black people should be distilled using a logic that it was the legitimate activity of the day. What cannot be refuted is that until the Slavery Act 1833 Blacks resident in the Mother Country (England) and its colonies were regarded as chattel. Then there was the apprenticeship period where the former slave masters exploited Blacks because it was determined that it was cheaper to pay a rock bottom wage or provide room and board to the former slave in exchange for labour.  A capitalist thinking?

The benefit of slavery is that the White race was able to accrue great wealth to build an establishment that to this day supports how the so called developed world does business to the marginalizing of minority populations. More fundamentally the period of Black slavery practiced by the British empire created a White supremacy mindset the legacy of which is with us today.  Dismantling the legacy thinking to promote an equal global community continues to be a work in progress. The establishment will not yield to demands from former colonies for reparations. It is not in the nature of man to surrender riches even if ill gotten. The blogmaster’s perspective is that demand for reparation by Barbados and other former colonies is not just about compensation in the form of a money transfer – it represents the opportunity for the former colonist to record on history’s page the egregious business of slavery.

We fast forward to 1 August 2018 and so the struggle continues as we celebrate Emancipation Day. Many Black Barbadians – especially the young – will remember today as a day to recover from attending RISE. How many will participate on the Emancipation walk to Bussa statue?  How many Blacks are aware there is a walk?

To Barbadians every where, the struggle continues to nurture a just society for all. One that we can make proud for our children and future generations to cohabitate on the planet. We must never forget what our Black forefathers had to endure to support what we have been able to achieve to date.

The following is the Emancipation Day message from Sir Hilary Beckles, the Chair of the Caricom Reparations Committee:-

Emancipation Day message from Chair, CARICOM Reparations Committee

Press Release

(PRESS RELEASE VIA SNO) – We join annually with communities across the world in marking the moment in which the crime of chattel enslavement was confronted and uprooted from our existential realities. For us, the moment is August 1st; other dates are determined elsewhere and officially recognized.

Marking the moment in a celebratory fashion remains necessary despite the despicable nature of the gesture of Emancipation, legislated by Britain in 1838. It was an act in which black peoples were finally defined by Parliament as property, and their enslavers deemed entitled to compensation for property loss.

Today is an opportunity for descendants of the enslaved, and enslavers, to reflect upon the causes and consequences of these crimes against humanity, and in particular their significance on how we live today, and will in the future.

Rising up from the barbarity of bondage, we have dedicated our development energies to the advancement of democratizing social values, with a primary emphasis on building societies that are free and fair; upon platforms of multiracialism and multiculturalism.

As descendants, we celebrate the values of human decency left as an additional burden for our ancestors to carry. Every day they imagined would be an Emancipation day. They protected and projected the best tried and tested human values – joys of family life, fine spirit of community living, vitality of food security and material production, moral commitment to equity and justice, and critically the overarching, indispensable importance of freedom as the source of all happiness.

Effectively transcending and conquering the legacies of enchainment, impoverishment and racial denigration continue to elude us. Residual elements of the plantation-based past continue to shape our societies and determine their trajectories.

This year, we find it necessary to litigate the restoration of democratic rights and citizenship, illegally stripped away by the British government from thousands of Caribbean descendants rightfully living in that country since the immigration door was opened to passengers aboard Empire Windrush in 1948.

Last year, evidence of hostility against the Caribbean community by the British state erupted against the background of data, unearthed by historians, showing that the finance bond, by which the British government raised £20 million in 1834 to pay reparations to slave owners, remained active until 2015.

This fact powerfully shows that, for the British state, the slavery world persisted well into the 21st century, putting to rest its argument that “slavery was a long time ago”. These contemporary examples show how the effects of historic crimes still surround our societies. ‘Emancipation’ for us remains a work in progress and in no way can be considered a distant event that is settled and closed.

It is specifically for these reasons that we celebrate Emancipation day as a moment in which we demand reparatory justice. The Caribbean calls upon the enslaving governments of Europe, and their national institutions, all enriched and empowered by their crimes against humanity, to return to the region in order to participate in cleaning up their colonial mess. The advancement of economic growth is dependent upon it; social justice is dependent upon it; and a 21st century humanity is dependent upon it.

As we confront the future, let us be guided by Sir Arthur Lewis, who stated in 1939 that the 200 years of unpaid labour extracted by the British from the enslaved people of the Caribbean is a debt that must be repaid to their descendants. This is important, he asserted, if we are to have a fair shot at sustainable development. Pushing ahead with a self-emancipatory agenda is critical, but we must do so fully conscious of this broader context of our development efforts.

Blessings to all on Emancipation day.

DECLARATION of REPARATIONS CONFERENCE held in Caracas

Submitted by DAVID  COMISSIONG, Chairman, Caribbean Pan-African Network (CPAN)

Dear Colleagues,

Please see the attached Declaration of the International Conference on Reparations that was held in Caracas, Venezuela between the 8th and 10th of May 2018. The background to the Conference was the historic March  2018 announcement of the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela that it was officially committing Venezuela to the pursuit of Reparations for the damage caused to the Afro-Venezuelan people as a result of the centuries of European orchestrated slavery and slave trade.

In so doing, the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela became the first Government to officially launch a campaign for Reparations since the historic Reparations claim launched by the fourteen independent nation states of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in August 2013.

The Conference was attended by scores of delegates from the Caribbean , Africa, Latin America, the United States of America, and Europe, all of whom adopted the attached Declaration.

Attendees from the Caribbean included Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Mr Jomo Thomas, Deputy Chairman of the CARICOM Reparations Commission, Dr Pedro Welch, Chairman of the Barbados government’s National Task Force on Reparations, Ms Mireille Fanon, daughter of legendary Pan Africanist freedom fighter Franz Fanon and a leading Reparations scholar and activist in her own right, and Mr Bobby Clarke veteran Pan-Africanist lawyer .

The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela– the host of the Conference– provided a solid foundation for the event with participation and inputs from the leadership of the newly established Afro-Venezuelan Commission on Reparations, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jorge Arreaza, and President Nicholas Maduro.

INTERNATIONAL MEETING ON REPARATIONS

Caracas, May 8th – 10th, 2018

DECLARATION

We, activists, scholars, government representatives and social movements, gathered in the city of Caracas, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela from 8th to 10th May, 2018, on the anniversary of the anti-slavery and humanitarian rebellion of the Maroon Jose Leonardo Chirino, which occurred in Las Macanillas, Falcon State, on May 10th, 1795, declared as the Afro-Venezuelan National Day.

Delegates from different parts of the world gathered with the aim of discussing the topic of Reparations and finding a common strategy that enables us to translate what was discussed into concrete actions and results in the short, medium and long term.

We welcome the calling of this Meeting by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, and recognize the encouragement given by President Nicolas Maduro Moros and the Bolivarian government to the topic of Reparations, placing it as a line of political action that shall generate a wide support from social movements, political organizations and national governments litigating reparation cases.

WHEREAS

Racism, discrimination, xenophobia and their related forms have intensified in recent times as a result of the continuity of the consequences of slavery and its many contemporary effects and impacts.

The trafficking of enslaved persons and slavery were recognized as crimes against humanity at the 3rd United Nations World Conference against Racism and its related forms, held in Durban, South Africa, in 2001.

After developing the discussion points related to legal-juridical, multilateral, political, historical, economic, social and philosophical aspects of Reparations within the framework of this meeting, we hereby declare, and commit to:

1. Joint and collective legal efforts to demand and ensure that those States that were and are legally and morally responsible for the trade in enslaved Africans (including the transatlantic slave trade) and for slavery shall make compensation for the damages and traumas caused to the African people and their descendants.

2. Form a multidisciplinary work team to channel the legal and economic / historical process of reparations as one of the priority tasks of the United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent. Such work team must include Governments of progressive countries, the CARICOM Reparations Commission, research centers specializing in the topic of reparations, universities, the United Nations (UN), as well as social and community-based organizations committed to achieving reparations.

3. Create a Venezuelan Research Center specialized in Reparation Processes in relation to Slavery and to Contemporary Struggles in Africa, Our America and Europe against the dispossession of lands, rivers, religious spaces and new forms of neocolonization, articulated to others parts of the world with similar characteristics.

4. Establish alliances based on the topic of reparations with the Thabo Mbeki Foundation of South Africa and others, as a strategic mechanism for the exchange of experiences, training and promotion of the reparation topic on the African continent, in Our America and in the Caribbean.

5. Establish a “modus operandi” as a result of which our reparations movements and campaigns will ensure that the roles and positions that are undertaken will be shared equally between women and men.

6. Promote a United Nations (UN) high level meeting on Reparations and develop a continuing strategy which allows us to make the issue a priority in different multilateral forums.

7. Make the topic of Reparations a priority in multilateral spaces such as CARICOM, ALBA, the African Union, the Non-Aligned Movement, GRULAC, the United Nations, and BRICS, among others; and emphasize the need to consolidate strategies and tools for the effective negotiation and the pursuit and achievement of Reparations in such spaces.

8. Include indigenous populations in this struggle. To this end, the ALBA Executive Secretariat has hereby presented a proposal allowing such articulation.

9. Implement an international campaign addressed to the peoples of the world in general and to policy makers in particular, with the aim of making the topic of Reparations a priority.

10. Promote the understanding that the entitlement to Reparations is a human, ethical and political right in order that the crimes committed in the times of the transatlantic slave trade, conquest and colonization of indigenous peoples, and slavery  be definitively punished as crimes against humanity that caused social and economic inequality among our peoples.

11. Pursue the topic of reparations as a fair demand based on justice, respect and dignity, and not on confrontation.

12. Encourage social movements, and relevant civil society organizations such as the trade unions, to ally themselves with States and other institutions and organizations with the aim of fostering the historical claim processes of Afro-descendants in pursuit of their legitimate rights.

13. Recommend that the States of Our America and of the Caribbean extend official recognition to Afro-descendants and to their entitlement to their legitimate rights in the Constitutions of our States, and also give legislative commitments to  implement the International Decade for the People of African Descent as decreed by the United Nations.

14. Recognize and acknowledge the strong and firm support given by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the establishment of the Legal Multidisciplinary Team which shall be responsible for addressing the reparation cases.

We, the participants of the International Meeting on Reparations, approve this Declaration on May 10th, 2018, in the city of Caracas, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

223 years after the pro-independence movement by Jose Leonardo Chirino, the Afro-Venezuelan Day!

Caracas, May 2018

Repeal ALL Slavery Legislation and for Reparations

Submitted by nineofnine

Photo Credit: Ras Jahaziel

Inherently, the LAWS of the Slave Trade and the Slave code conceived by the Europeans did capitalized on the exploitation of Africans making Barbados the first Slave Society and by extension built the North American Society on the said slave code LONG AFTER. Much damage has been done to the psyche of the descendants inclusive of inferiority complexes as well as economic destitution at the whims of controls and servitude. Be that as it may, the onus for any revival of character, formidable self worth, lost self esteem and degeneration, lies in acceptance of the experience, forgiveness of the perpetrators which clears all mental blockages that prevent human development and advancement and by resisting and refuting the bombardment of subliminal suggestions from enslaving negative thought forms and visuals via movies, advertisements, games, some historical records ..et al designed to keep the mental experiment and experience alive.

HOW CAN THE DAMAGE BE RECTIFIED?

FIRSTLY
Its root is embedded in the Colonial Legislature of ENGLAND under the guise of the Slave codes (1661),The Antimiscegenation Law (1664), Naturalization laws, Immigration Laws along with other laws that exploit and subdue Blacks physically, mentally and economically, failing to recognize blacks as human beings, only as property, denying interracial marriages, disallowing the right to protect their families and what little property they held …further subtly enacting Supremacist laws that did not held those captors accountable for their hostile actions against those of African decent and other non-white ethnicities …et al.

BARBADOS like other Territories have a REPRESENTATIVE of that Domain known as the GOVERNOR GENERAL.

For all intent and purposes, should not the GOVERNOR GENERAL (as PROTOCOL representative dictate) move/petition to have the LEGISLATION that “enacted/legalize” slavery across the British Commonwealth, be stricken / repeal and removed from the Books of Legislature, along with pardons and reparations made to those territories due to their NOW Independent Status and Sovereignty?

Surely any success will see Her Excellency the Governor General as the legal LIBERATOR of the remnants of the Slave Trade exploitation agenda. What an admirable legacy that would be as well as for all other GGs who collectively renders solidarity.

FOR THE CLAIM OF LEGAL REDRESS
The Entity that can, must and will facilitate ANY REPEALS OF LAW or issue directives to recompense those who have suffered from the slave trade is the UNIVERSAL POSTAL UNION …controller of edits of all global money and governments … headquartered in Bern, SWITZERLAND.

All communications toward this cause MUST BE SIMULTANEOUSLY BE ADDRESS TO ALL ENTITIES AT THE SAME TIME by all GGs if necessary, firstly to The UNIVERSAL POSTAL UNION and copied to the British Monarchy, the British Legislature using the CODES of MARITIME LAW and Quantum Parse Syntax Grammar….as well as notifying and gaining the support of all affected territories of slavery throught the British Commonwealth BY its Colonial Masters.

Other bodies can render support as aided petitions.

For the lack of the correct Parse Syntax Grammar of those enslaving laws/documents of slavery will render them illegal, of no fact, fictitious by nature and of no contract. Only thus SHALL it BE RESOLVED and so be it.

SECONDLY
Reinforce upon yourselves that you are not your ancestors, you are their offspring, BUT ALSO an individuality of a soul incarnate existing on a different timeline WITHOUT SHACKLES.

OF NOTE..
Descendants of slavery must look at the slave trade as a learning experience. These experiences were registered in the quantum field of the DNA structures of those who suffered and endured slavery passing on those experiences genetically to their offspring, which will appear today that descendants of those who suffered, displays traits of inferiority, docility, submissiveness or some other form of “mental illness”.

By targeting “thoughts of redress” directly at the quantum field of the DNA, CHANGES the “code” that passes this information (experiences) unto their offspring….finding redress, change and healing and cure.

THIRDLY
What’s left is to deal with the economic disenfranchisement which today is being engage by those who control economic wealth.

HOW CAN ECONOMIC WEALTH BE GRASPED?
Education?

Take a serious look at it and you will see that its being imploded here and around the world….why? and does it guarantee economic stability or growth? How many of sound educational background fear in todays society, highly paid but living from paycheck to paycheck.

Look around and see how many are they of economic wealth that has no serious educational background yet their world is a stage while the sky is the limit.

The onus then, if by education, most relay on it to gain meaningful employment being subservient to employer and business, is this not the another form of slavery subtly cloaked and exploited via “sound education and corporate placement?

The empowerment of education must be fringe on the precept of KNOWING ONESELF ABILITIES and to engage CREATING creative BUSINESSES, CREATING YOUR OWN JOB, start business with what you have or do best at… a hobby, skill, knowledge gained of a profession or of family tradition… that’s where the tables begin to turn, and yes… as a people, one can boycott the enslavers or by Governance create a just balance in economic activity, BUT the one who CONTROLS his OWN JOB and economic destiny is the one without shackles and has gain real liberation from the “bonds of ECONOMIC Slavery”

WE SMARTER THAN THAT, MORE THAN THAT AND SERIOUS ABOUT THAT!

REPARATIONS MADE SIMPLE or almost everybody’s guide to reparations

DAVID COMISSIONG, Chairman, Caribbean Pan-African Network (CPAN)

The campaign to secure “Reparations” for the multiplicity of genocides and crimes that have been committed against the sons and daughters of Africa during the centuries of Slavery and Colonization consists of  an “outwardly directed” process in which we level demands at the liable European and North American Governments and institutions for a comprehensive package of compensatory money payments, developmental programmes, transfers of resources, and national and international institutional reforms , as well as of an “inwardly directed” process that we African or African-descended people must engage in ourselves to repair those aspects of the damage that pertain most directly to our minds and psyches.

And deeply embedded in the concept of and campaign for Reparations are the following twelve fundamental principles :-

1. NO  IMPUNITY!

The campaign for Reparations sends a message to all and sundry that there will be no impunity for those who commit “crimes against humanity”. Who so ever  commits a “crime against humanity” must know and expect that justice will be demanded of them– even if it takes two hundred years, and even if it is their successors and beneficiaries who are ultimately required to make recompense !

2. VALIDATION OF OUR HUMANITY

If we Africans or African-descendants fail to demand that the present-day representatives and beneficiaries of those  institutions and nations that committed the most horrible crimes imaginable against our ancestors be held accountable and made to pay restitution, we would be implicitly sending a message to ourselves and to the world at large that we do not consider our ancestors (or ourselves) to be sacred beings invested with inalienable rights and deserving of respect and justice! And so, the very act of demanding Reparations constitutes a validation by us of our own precious humanity, and is a critical component of the process that we must engage in as individuals and as a collective of repairing ourselves!

3. KNOWLEDGE  OF  OUR  HISTORY

The Reparations Campaign must be built upon a foundation of knowledge about who we African or African-descended people were before the criminal European impositions of slavery and colonialism — knowledge of the achievements and glories of our pre-slavery, pre-colonial African civilization; knowledge of the history of European orchestrated enslavement and its destructive effects on the civilization of Africa; and knowledge of the extent to which the present-day materially imposing Western industrial societies constitute agglomerations of wealth stolen from the sons and daughters of Africa over the centuries.

4. COMPLETION OF THE EMANCIPATION PROCESS

Of course, the point must also be made that the racist oppression of black or African people did not end with the formal abolition of slavery! Indeed, after the abolition of slavery in the 19th century our historical oppressors deliberately entrapped our ancestors in economic, political and social arrangements that were designed to handicap them and to serve the interests of the former enslavers– arrangements that have persisted (in modified form) down to the present day. The struggle for Reparations must therefore be– among other things– a struggle to expose and put an end to such arrangements and to complete the Emancipation process!

5. COMPENSATION MUST BE PROPORTIONATE TO THE CRIME

The demand for compensation from the present-day representatives of those who inflicted horrendous crimes on our ancestors and who damaged and disabled succeeding generations must consist of a demand for the transfer of material resources in an amount proportionate to the enormity of the crimes and their deleterious effects—resources to enable present-day African and African-descendant populations to counter the economic and social imbalances derived from those centuries of criminality.

6. REPARATIONS MUST PRODUCE THE JUST SOCIETY

The campaign for Reparations or for Reparative Justice must be designed to produce the “just society”, in that the demand for Reparations must be formulated as a demand for a fundamental transformation of the currently existing inequitable and exploitative economic and power relations that exist in the international arena and in many of our domestic societies. This principle has implications not only for the restructuring of such international entities and phenomena as the United Nations Security Council, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the terms of international trade and finance, but also for the manner in which our domestic African and Caribbean societies and Governments function. Implicit in the demand of our Caribbean and African Governments for Reparations must be a commitment to themselves deliver justice to their own people! And this is a commitment that the masses of African and Caribbean people must be prepared – through dynamic activism and advocacy– to hold our Governments to!

7. WE AFRICANS MUST EXERCISE AUTONOMY THROUGHOUT THE PROCESS

An integral strategy of the contemporary Reparations Movement is to present the demand for the payment of compensation (in financial and material resources as well as in developmental programmes) to the present-day representatives and beneficiaries of the evil system of slave trade and slavery and to invite their collaboration in addressing the tragic effects of this monumental historical crime. But even while adopting this approach, we Africans and African-descendants make it absolutely clear to all and sundry that even though we value the concept of collaboration, that the strategies and tasks to be implemented for our psychological repair and for our economic and social empowerment are our own responsibility and will be conceptualized, directed and controlled by us!

8. WE MUST REPAIR OURSELVES

A critical component of the campaign for Reparations is the African’s and African-descendant’s own inwardly directed struggle for psychological, cultural and spiritual self-repair. Thus, African or Afro-descendant members of the Reparations Movement and their governments must be committed – as individuals and as collectives – to seek to identify all of the ways in which we have been and continue to be negatively affected by false notions of white supremacy and black inferiority, and to rigorously attack them and eradicate the negative effects that impact on our individual and collective psyches!

9. SELF-REPAIR WILL GENERATE MASS SUPPORT FOR REPARATIONS

The effort to “prosecute” and hold accountable the present-day representatives and beneficiaries of the historical oppressors of the African and African-descendant people will require the widespread participation of Africans and African-descendants: and the attainment of such widespread popular participation will, in turn, be dependent on the inwardly directed struggle for self-repair and its capacity to persuade a critical mass of the African population to re-evaluate themselves and their history; to perceive the gravity of the injustice; to feel the tragic historical loss they have suffered; and to be sufficiently motivated to get involved or otherwise support the campaign for Reparations. The Reparations Movement and the African and Caribbean governments that lead it must therefore engage in a comprehensive mass education outreach programme to the community that is designed not only to educate about the relevant history, but to also help as many of our people as possible to emotionally connect with that history and the tragic loss and injustice suffered.

10. REPARATIONS MUST BE A BROAD MOVEMENT

The campaign for Reparations must be designed, on the one hand, to bring on board with us all of our natural allies in Africa and the Diaspora, Latin America and Asia and to enlist the tremendous weight of world opinion on our side, and, on the other hand, to isolate and publicly hold up to international embarrassment and critique all those entities that perversely and unreasonably seek to deny and resist the manifest justice and righteousness of our claim to Reparations. This will call for a concerted effort in the field of international diplomacy by the Ambassadors, Embassies and foreign Missions of the nations of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the African Union (AU). It will also require consistent effort at the General Assembly of the United Nations, the Organization of American States, the Commonwealth and in other relevant international organizations.

11.  THE  MASS OF  OUR  PEOPLE  MUST BE INTIMATELY INVOLVED

The masses of our African and African-descendant populations must be intimately involved in the campaign for Reparations: they must be permitted enough time and opportunity to thoroughly discuss and understand the issue; their right to have the final and decisive say on the concrete details of the Reparations claim must be respected; and they must have a say – through representatives specifically selected by them – as to how the compensatory resources are utilized. Furthermore, at a national level– within our many nation states–the Reparations Movement should systematically appeal to and challenge all of the relevant local and national organizations to put support for Reparations on their agenda and to include it in their programmes and Manifestos – political parties, trade unions, youth organizations, churches, women’s organizations, educational institutions, local government administrations, and the list goes on.

12. NETWORK AND ESTABLISH A NEW INTERNATIONAL LEGAL STRUCTURE

The successful pursuit of Reparations will require the establishment of a world-wide network of community, regional, national and international organizations. Indeed, at the grassroots level, the community based Reparations organization must be linked into a national network, while at the level of our African and Caribbean governments we should establish a trans-Atlantic international network that is preparing and engaging in legal, diplomatic and political strategies at the international level to achieve Reparations. The African and African-descendants Reparations Claim (s) will either be consensually negotiated between mutually respectful State parties gathered around an international negotiating table, or it will have to be litigated in a series of international law cases brought against the Governments of the liable nations.

CONCLUSION :

The time has come for the African and African descendant people of the world and their Governments to finally present their Reparations Bill to the current day successor Governments of those national Governments of Europe and North America that organized, facilitated, legitimized, financed, and benefited from the trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and the associated system of racialized Chattel Slavery — the governments of Britain, Spain, France, Portugal, Holland, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Norway, and the United States of America (a former colony that perpetuated the enslavement of African people for nearly one hundred years after attaining its independence).

Onwards to the achievement of Reparations in this United Nations International Decade For People of African Descent!

Dancin Africa: Black Lives Matter

“View a video of the award winning dance entitled BLACK LIVES MATTER, choreographed by Aisha Comissiong and performed by Dancin Africa. This was one of the stand out dances at the recently concluded CARIFESTA arts festival in Barbados. It is the ultimate REPARATIONS DANCE!”

Ten Fundamental Principles of Reparations

Submitted by DAVID  COMISSIONG, Chairman,Caribbean Pan-African Network (CPAN)

Marcus Garvey

“I, and I know you, too, believe in time, and we shall wait patiently for two hundred years if need be, to face our enemies through our posterity……When I am dead wrap the mantle of the Red, Black and Green around me, for in the new life I shall rise with God’s grace and blessing……. Look for me in the whirlwind or the storm, look for me all around you…… I shall come and bring with me countless millions of black slaves who have died in America and the West Indies and the millions in Africa to aid you in the fight for Liberty, Freedom and Life….. I shall write the history that will inspire the millions that are coming and leave the posterity of our enemies to reckon with the hosts for the deeds of their fathers.”

The Hon. Marcus Garvey, February 10, 1925

The fundamental point that the Honourable Marcus Garvey was making in the passage quoted above is the fundamental message that is encased in the demand for Reparations, and it is that there is and will be no impunity for the commission of any crime against humanity. In other words, whosoever commits a crime against humanity must expect that justice will be demanded of them or their posterity—even if it takes two hundred years! And so it is with the demand for Reparations for the multiplicity of genocides and crimes that have been committed against the sons and daughters of Africa by the nations, governments, and institutions of Europe and North America.

The good news is that the campaign to achieve the payment of Reparations to the nations and people of Africa and the African Diaspora for the atrocities committed against their ancestors and the damage inflicted on their civilization during the centuries of European-imposed slave trade, slavery and colonial domination is well and truly underway!

At an historic 2013 Summit meeting of the Heads of Government of the nations of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) — Jamaica, Antigua & Barbuda, the Bahamas St. Kitts & Nevis, Barbados, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Haiti, Dominica, Belize, Montserrat, Suriname and Grenada — a decision was taken to collectively pursue a Reparations claim against the national governments of those European nations that actively participated in the genocide that was inflicted on the native or indigenous people of the Caribbean, and in the centuries-long imposition of slavery on the African-descended population of the Caribbean, and to establish a regional governmental “Reparations Commission” to pursue the Claim.

And so, not only do we now have a Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Reparations Commission representing 14 independent national governments and nation-states of the Caribbean, but we have also witnessed the recent establishment of such important Black civil-society institutions as the National African-American Reparations Commission of the United States of America (USA) and the European Commission For Reparations, and we are aware that similar Brazilian and Canadian initiatives are currently in various stages of preparation.

In addition, the government-owned university of the Caribbean– the University of the West Indies (UWI) — has announced that its newly established Reparations Research Institute will be situated at the Mona , Jamaica campus of the University, and will be officially launched in October of this year.

It is anticipated that this new scholarly institution will help us to structure an “outwardly directed” process in which we level demands at the liable Governments and institutions for the compensatory money payments, developmental programmes, transfers of resources, and international and national institutional reforms that all go to make up a package of Reparations “payments”, as well as to pursue an “inwardly directed” struggle that we must engage in ourselves to repair those aspects of the damage that pertain most directly to our minds and psyches.

Furthermore, these important developments are taking place against the background of the commencement, on 1st January 2015, of the United Nations International Decade For People of African Descent– a specially designated ten year period during which the critical issues facing people of African descent are to take centre-stage and to engage the full attention of the international community.

In light of these historic happenings, there can be no better time than now for a concerted effort to be made to construct a truly global Reparations Lobby centred primarily around the African or predominantly African nations, governments and population groups of the continent of Africa, the Caribbean and other regions of the African diaspora, but also extending to important governmental and civil society allies in Latin America, Asia, and Europe .

But, it must be acknowledged that if such a development is to be actualized it will be essential that the African Union (AU) commit itself to partnering with its kith and kin governments in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in pursuit of this sacred cause.

And there is a clear historical basis for such a partnership, in that the continent of Africa suffered just as much — if not more– from the ravages of the European-imposed and orchestrated “Slave Trade” than  did the slavery-based, plantation societies of the so-called New World.

Indeed, the famous international multi-disciplinary Pan-African scholar, Dr. Ivan Van Sertima (author of the ground-breaking “They Came Before Columbus”) succinctly described the impact of the European-orchestrated Slave Trade on the African continent as follows:-

No human disaster, with the exception of the Flood (if that biblical legend is true) can equal in dimension of destructiveness the cataclysm that shook Africa. We are all familiar with the slave trade and the traumatic effect of this on the transplanted Black, but few of us realize what horrors were wrought on Africa itself. Vast populations were uprooted and displaced; whole generations disappeared; European diseases descended like the plague, decimating both cattle and people; cities and towns were abandoned; family networks disintegrated; kingdoms crumbled; the threads of cultural and historical continuity were so savagely torn asunder that henceforth one would have to think of two Africas: the one before and the one after the Holocaust.”

(Extract from “Blacks In Science”)

But in addition to the continent’s historical grievance and cause of action, it should be noted that it was actually the continent of Africa that– through the work of the now defunct Organization of African Unity (OAU) — provided the Caribbean region with much of the initial inspiration and impetus on the issue of Reparations.

You see, the people and organizations of the Caribbean really began to reconnect with their historic claim for Reparations when, in the year 1990, word reached the Caribbean about the First International Conference on Reparations that was held in Lagos, Nigeria. This effort was pioneered by the late Chief Moshood Abiola of Nigeria and his Caribbean collaborator, the late Ambassador Dudley Thompson of Jamaica.

This International Reparations conference led to the OAU establishing a Group of Eminent Persons as well as a Commission on Reparations in 1992. And those developments led, in turn, to the staging of the OAU’s First Pan-African Conference On Reparations in Abuja, Nigeria in the year 1993, and to the issuing of the historic “Abuja Declaration” with its demand that the international community recognize that “there is a unique and unprecedented moral debt owed to the African peoples which has yet to be paid”, as well as its clarion CALL to the Heads of States and Governments in Africa and the Diaspora to establish National Reparations Committees to pursue the claim for Reparations in tandem with the OAU.

As we are all aware, in or about the year 1999 the OAU was succeeded by the African Union (AU), and as a result both the Group of Eminent Persons and the Commission on Reparations became defunct.

Fortunately however, the historic developments of 1992 had laid a groundwork that made it possible for the Governments of Africa and the Caribbean to collaborate (even if informally) during the preparatory stages of the 2001 United Nations World Conference Against Racism (UNWCAR) , and to ensure that resolutions acknowledging that the European-orchestrated trans-Atlantic slave trade and chattel slavery were “crimes against humanity”; that Africans and African descendants continued to suffer from the consequences of these crimes up to the present day; and that reparative measures to repair the still existing damage are necessary and justified, were placed on the Agenda of the Conference and ultimately adopted.

What made this successful African/Caribbean collaboration all the more impressive is that it was engaged in against the background of strident demands by the governments of the USA, Canada, and Western Europe that the UNWCAR was not to be concerned at all with issues related to the trans-Atlantic slave trade; to the centuries of European-orchestrated slavery; or to any notion of reparative justice for these historical crimes.https://ci6.googleusercontent.com/proxy/RnNZfQn2o2xpggJQqefCOervMbPIci5mujDPJnvl43kv6Rtxjyh5gHN_JKVzeU-aaGz3pePFgxfoAAtZJZNx8mveVTc-11j98EfuAJVcumUenA=s0-d-e1-ft#https://ssl.gstatic.com/ui/v1/icons/mail/images/cleardot.gif

However, these arrogant Western “stipulations” all came to naught as a result of the African and Caribbean delegations at the various World Conference preparatory meetings engaging with Latin American and Asian allies to defy the Western powers and to force resolutions pertaining to slavery, trans-Atlantic slave trade and Reparations unto the agenda– resolutions that the Western powers (with the sole exception of the USA, which petulantly walked out of the Conference when it became clear that it would not be getting its way) actually acceded to during the deliberations in Durban , South Africa.

This experience demonstrated conclusively that where nations — even relatively small and supposedly “powerless” nations– pursue a manifestly just and righteous cause with passion and commitment, that they will not only win over the majority opinion of the World community but will also generate a moral force that is irresistible, even for the most intransigent and powerful Governments and nations !

And then, some ten years later, in August 2012, at the AU’s “Global African Summit” in Johannesburg, South Africa, it was resolved by the governmental representatives of Africa and the Caribbean that the AU would seek to collaborate with the governments of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in pursuing the quest for Reparations.

It is against this background that we would now like to present a brief but important outline of the Reparations concept in its holistic comprehensiveness by exploring what we have termed the ten fundamental principles of Reparations.

These ten principles are as follows:–

1. VALIDATION OF OUR HUMANITY

The first and most basic principle of the Reparations Movement is that the very demand for Reparations constitutes– in itself– an indispensable validation by African and African-descended people of our own precious humanity!

You see, if we Africans or Afro-descendants fail to demand that the present-day representatives and beneficiaries of those persons, institutions and nations that committed the most horrible crimes imaginable against our ancestors be held accountable and made to pay restitution, we would be implicitly sending a message to ourselves and to the world at large that we do not consider our ancestors (or ourselves) to be sacred beings imbued with inalienable rights and deserving of respect and justice!

And so, the mere act of demanding Reparations is important, and is a critical component of the process, that we must engage in as individuals and as a collective, of repairing ourselves and of reaffirming the value of our civilization and heritage!

But clearly, any such validation of our humanity will have to begin with a knowledge of who we Africans or Afro-descendants were as a people before the criminal European impositions of slavery and colonialism. Thus, the Reparations Movement and the African and Caribbean governments that lead it must make it a priority to promote the study and the dissemination of information about our pre-slavery, pre-colonial African civilization, as well as of the history of European orchestrated enslavement and its effects on the civilization of Africa and on the development of the modern world.

2. COMPLETION OF THE EMANCIPATION PROCESS

Of course, the point must also be made that the racist oppression of black or African people did not end with the formal abolition of slavery! Indeed, after the abolition of slavery in the 19th century our historical oppressors deliberately entrapped our ancestors in economic, political and social arrangements that were designed to handicap them and to serve the interests of the former enslavers– arrangements that have persisted (in modified form) down to the present day.

The struggle for Reparations must therefore be– among other things– a struggle to expose and put an end to such arrangements and to complete the Emancipation process! This is the second fundamental principle of the Reparations Movement.

It goes without saying therefore that the Reparations Movement (and our Governments in particular) must engage in an examination of our post-slavery history (with a view to identifying the many ways in which our historical oppressors unlawfully enmeshed and entrapped post-slavery generations down to the present era) , as well as in an examination of the many examples of resistance to these oppressive stratagems that were engaged in by our fore-fathers and mothers, inclusive of  their many decisive contributions to anti-colonial victories against European colonialism and to the founding of independent African and Caribbean nations .

And having properly informed ourselves we must be prepared to undertake efforts to expose and deprecate such racist present-day arrangements; to advance demands that they be terminated; and to undertake relevant protests and boycotts as well as forms of individual and collective State action to bring about the termination of all such still existing racist arrangements.

3. COMPENSATION MUST BE PROPORTIONATE TO THE CRIME

The demand for compensation from the present-day representatives of those who inflicted horrendous crimes on our ancestors and who damaged and disabled succeeding generations must consist of a demand for the transfer of material resources in an amount proportionate to the enormity of the crimes and their deleterious effects—resources to enable present-day African and African-descendant populations to counter the economic and social imbalances derived from those centuries of criminality.

The Reparations Movement and the African and Caribbean governments that lead the Movement are therefore expected to collectively discuss and work out with civil society and other popular organizations, ideas for appropriate Reparations initiatives, payments and programmes that are capable of achieving such an objective.

4. REPARATIONS MUST PRODUCE THE JUST SOCIETY

The fourth fundamental principle of the Reparations Movement is that the campaign for Reparations or for Reparative Justice must be designed to produce the “just society”, in that the demand for Reparations must be formulated as a demand for a fundamental transformation of the currently existing inequitable and exploitative economic and power relations that exist in the international arena and in many of our domestic societies.

It should be noted that this principle has implications not only for the restructuring of such international entities and phenomena as the United Nations Security Council, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the terms of international trade and finance, but also for the manner in which our domestic African and Caribbean societies and Governments function. Implicit in the demand of our Caribbean and African Governments for Reparations must be a commitment to themselves deliver justice to their own people! And this is a commitment that the masses of African and Caribbean people must be prepared – through dynamic activism and advocacy– to hold our Governments to!

And here again, it will be incumbent on the international Reparations Movement and the African and Caribbean governments that lead the Movement to collectively discuss, work out and document ideas for appropriate initiatives, programmes and payments that are imbued with the potential to achieve this very ambitious (but critical) goal of producing the just society—internationally and domestically.

5. AFRICANS MUST EXERCISE AUTONOMY THROUGHOUT THE PROCESS

An integral strategy of the Reparations Movement is to present the   demand for the payment of compensation (in financial and material resources as well as in developmental programmes) to the present-day representatives and beneficiaries of the evil system of slave trade and slavery and to invite their collaboration in addressing the tragic effects of this monumental historical crime. This, indeed, has been the approach of the CARICOM governments to date — they have collectively written to the relevant Governments of Western Europe calling upon them to acknowledge the crimes that were committed and the damage that was caused, and requesting them to agree to a collaborative approach to engaging in developmental programmes and transfers of resources designed to repair the still existing damage.

But even while adopting this approach, we Africans and Afro-descendants make it absolutely clear to all and sundry that even though we value the concept of collaboration, that the strategies and tasks to be implemented for our psychological repair and for our economic and social empowerment are our own responsibility and will be conceptualized, directed and controlled by us!

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6. WE MUST REPAIR OURSELVES

A critical component of the campaign for Reparations is the African’s and Afro-descendant’s own inwardly directed struggle for psychological, cultural and spiritual self-repair. Thus, African or Afro-descendant members of the Reparations Movement and their governments must be committed – as individuals and as collectives – to seek to identify all of the ways in which we have been and continue to be negatively affected by false notions of white supremacy and black inferiority, and to rigorously attack them and eradicate the negative effects that impact on our individual and collective psyches!

7. SELF-REPAIR WILL GENERATE MASS SUPPORT FOR REPARATIONS

The effort to “prosecute” and hold accountable the present-day representatives and beneficiaries of the historical oppressors of the African and Afro-descendant people will require the widespread participation of Africans and Afro-descendants: and the attainment of such widespread popular participation will, in turn, be dependent on the inwardly directed struggle for self-repair and its capacity to persuade a critical mass of the African population to re-evaluate themselves and their history; to perceive the gravity of the injustice; to feel the tragic historical loss they have suffered; and to be sufficiently motivated to get involved or otherwise support the campaign for Reparations.

The Reparations Movement and the African and Caribbean governments that lead it must therefore engage in a comprehensive mass education outreach programme to the community that is designed not only to educate about the relevant history, but to also help as many of our people as possible to emotionally connect with that history and the tragic loss and injustice suffered.

8. REPARATIONS MUST BE A BROAD MOVEMENT

The campaign for Reparations must be designed, on the one hand, to bring on board with us all of our natural allies in Africa and the Diaspora, Latin America and Asia and to enlist the tremendous weight of world opinion on our side, and, on the other hand, to isolate and publicly hold up to international embarrassment and critique all those entities that perversely and unreasonably seek to deny and resist the manifest justice and righteousness of our claim to Reparations.

This will call for a concerted effort in the field of international diplomacy by the Ambassadors, Embassies and foreign Missions of the nations of CARICOM and the AU. It will also require consistent effort at the General Assembly of the United Nations, the Organization of American States, the Commonwealth and in other relevant international organizations.

The Reparations Movement should therefore set about to bring allies (in the form of Governments and important civil society organizations) on board by reaching out and educating such entities about the African Reparations cause.

We will surely win the Reparations struggle when, wherever in the world representatives of the legally responsible governments go, other governments and people of goodwill are constantly asking them about their long outstanding moral and legal debt to the people and nations of Africa and the African Diaspora !

Just as virtually the whole world has come to know about the horrors of the Jewish holocaust and to acknowledge and respect the legitimacy and moral rightness of the Jewish demand for Reparations, we too must bring about a similar state of affairs in world public opinion in relation to the African Reparations cause.

9.  THE  MASS OF  OUR  PEOPLE  MUST BE INTIMATELY INVOLVED

The masses of our African and Afro-descendant populations must be intimately involved in the campaign for Reparations: they must be permitted enough time and opportunity to thoroughly discuss and understand the issue; their right to have the final and decisive say on the concrete details of the Reparations claim must be respected; and they must have a say – through representatives specifically selected by them – as to how the compensatory resources are utilized.

Furthermore, at a national level– within our many nation states–the Reparations Movement should systematically appeal to and challenge all of the relevant local and national organizations to put support for Reparations on their agenda and to include it in their programmes and Manifestos – political parties, trade unions, youth organizations, churches, women’s organizations, educational institutions, local government administrations, and the list goes on.

There must also be no compromise on the requirement that the “trustees” of any Reparations Fund that emerges out of the Reparations Campaign must include- along with the elected Governmental leadership– trusted representatives of the people directly selected by the people themselves for the special purpose of overseeing the expenditure of Reparations resources.

10. NETWORK AND ESTABLISH A NEW INTERNATIONAL LEGAL STRUCTURE

The successful pursuit of Reparations will require the establishment of a world-wide network of community, regional, national and international organizations. Indeed, at the grassroots level, the community based Reparations organization must be linked into a national network, while at the level of our African and Caribbean governments we should establish a trans-Atlantic international network that is preparing and engaging in legal, diplomatic and political strategies at the international level to achieve Reparations.

The African and African-descendants Reparations Claim (s) will either be consensually negotiated between mutually respectful State parties gathered around an international negotiating table, or it will have to be litigated in a series of international law cases brought against the Governments of the liable nations.

And since the Reparations claim that is being advanced on behalf of the sons and daughters of Africa and the Diaspora is of a magnitude and complexity hitherto unknown to the currently existing international court system, it may in all likelihood require the setting up of a special new International Tribunal specifically designed by the member states of the General Assembly of the United Nations to deal with and do justice to a claim of this historical importance and magnitude.

The time has come for the African and African descendant people of the world and their Governments to finally present their Reparations Bill to the current day successor Governments of those national Governments of Europe and North America that organized, facilitated, legitimized, financed, and benefited from the trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and the associated system of racialized Chattel Slavery — the governments of Britain, Spain, France, Portugal, Holland, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, Norway, and the United States of America (a former colony that perpetuated the enslavement of African people for nearly one hundred years after attaining its independence).

Onwards to the achievement of Reparations in this United Nations International Decade For People of African Descent!

Reparation Talk With Dr.Pedro Welch and David Comissiong

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Please see the attached video taped conversation on REPARATIONS between Dr. PEDRO  WELCH, the chairman of the Barbados National Task Force on Reparations, and DAVID  COMISSIONG in his role as host of the University of the West Indies REGION  TALK television programme.

Of Apologies and Compensation

An interesting and provocative editorial found in The BarbadosAdvocate 29.04.2016.

black-and-white“If you open that Pandora’s box, you never know what Trojan ‘orses will jump out…” –Ernest Bevin (1949)

While Barbados does not proclaim it as poetically as Trinidad & Tobago’s national anthem does, our constitutional ethos implies that here also “every creed and race finds an equal place”. However, there are many Barbadians who, for one reason or another, will justifiably question whether this tenet obtains in practice as opposed to subsisting merely in theory.

As witness recently when there were objections to the description of Barbados as the freest black nation on earth: where the voiced disagreement, surprisingly, was not over the comparative degree of freedom enjoyed locally, but rather over the shade ascribed to the nation. It has ever been thus. Local discussions pertaining to race and colour have always been fraught with tension; a reality owed as much to the sensitive nature of the issue as to the difficulty of determining, among our blackish and whitish citizens, who fits (or should fit) precisely where.

The Ambassador to CARICOM, His Excellency Robert “Bobby” Morris may therefore inadvertently have opened a hornet’s nest with his recent call for an apology by the “descendants of white Barbadian slave owners” to the local “descendants of slaves”’; a vicarious mea culpa that, he counsels, should be accepted by the offerees.

First, Mr Morris, who we have no doubt is well meaning and conciliatory in his call, may have miscalculated the degree of miscegenation that would have occurred in a small concentrated slave society, so that neither his categorization of blackish Barbadians as the descendants of slaves, nor, indeed that of whitish Barbadians as the descendants of white Barbadian slave owners is entirely accurate even at a superficial level.

And it would not be incorrect to assert that the blackish Barbadian, more so than his or her white counterpart, tends to regards this racial mixing as a badge of pride. One expects therefore that some of these individuals would take umbrage at being categorized simply as a member of one category merely by virtue of their current outward appearance. More over, there are many Barbadians, both blackish and whitish, who appear to be frankly bored with any discussion about slavery and who consider that it is high time that we move on with the current global arrangements.

This is not to say that the whitish individuals among us might not have benefited from being thus complected, although we also consider that this phenomenon might have been owed rather to overarching societal norms that place a higher value on the degree of absence of melanin and proceed to confer commercial and social benefits accordingly.

It may be for these reasons that Mr Morris’s call has failed to attract much popular support. Indeed, one prominent local blackish businessman in a letter to the Barbados Advocate earlier this week reminded, “nobody owes us a living. It’s a brave new world…”

They may also account for the similarly lukewarm reception that has greeted the call for reparations for slavery to be paid by European nations to regional countries and their inhabitants. It has always puzzled us how the individual beneficiaries of these reparations should be identified. Will there be a requirement to trace one’s lineage back to an identifiable slave? Or will entitlement be based simply on current phenotype, disregarding the happenstance of any historical irregularity in the bloodline?

The truth is that while there may be a substantial degree of moral justification for an apology and reparations, the years since the dark night of slavery have fundamentally altered the stark racial divisions that then prevailed. To base current events on this same division seems to us unjustified.

The Devil’s Images

Submitted by Ras Jahaziel (www.rastafarivisions.com)
(Time to critique and examine everything that has hitherto been accepted as “normal’.)

And so from the very beginning of what would eventually become The White World Order, […] Continue reading

Reparations for DUMMIES

Submitted by Ras Jahaziel

For_DummiesA CONCISE SCHOOLING ON BLACK REPARATIONS FOR DUMMIES and the Negroes that are too blind to see that they are betraying their ancestors and generations yet unborn, by shirking their responsibility to keep the issue of Black slavery constantly before the world’s conscience.[…] Continue reading

The Jeff Cumberbatch Column – Strange Interpretations

Jeff Cumberbatch - New Chairman of the FTC

Jeff Cumberbatch – New Chairman of the FTC

BU shares the Jeff Cumberbatch Barbados Advocate column – Senior Lecturer in law at the University of the West Indies since 1983, a Columnist with the Barbados Advocate

Musings:Strange interpretations
10/4/2015
By Jeff Cumberbatch

We are living in interesting times.

[…]
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Putting David Cameron in His Place!

Submitted by David Comissiong, Clement Payne Movement
David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

The members of the Caribbean Pan-African Network (CPAN) – a Pan- Caribbean organization with Chapters and members in some seventeen Caribbean territories– would like to inform United Kingdom Prime Minister

[…]
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Historical Reparations: The Compounded Moral Debt Owed – How Despotic Euro-AmeriKKKan Slavers Gulaged the Black Race Inflicting Intergenerational ‘Post Traumatic Slavery Disorder’

Submitted by Terence Blackett
David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

“Skin is a wrapper for the soul’s Earth experience. […] Continue reading