Call It By Its Name: Afriphobia Is Racism Against African People
26th May 2016
Call It By Its Name: Afriphobia Is Racism Against African People
An Open Letter To Labour Party’s Chakrabarti Inquiry From A Group Of Africans Concerned About The Inquiry’s Focus & Language
We the undersigned note that the Labour Party has set up the Chakrabarti Inquiry (Inquiry) to investigate “Anti-Semitism and other forms of racism”.
We are of the view that the terms of reference: ‘Anti-Semitism and other forms of Racism’ are unwittingly discriminatory, as racism against Jewish people is set apart from racism and prejudice against other peoples, particularly Africans (Afriphobia) and Muslims (Islamophobia).
Even though there is only one race, the human race, a more appropriate title could be on the lines of ‘Investigation into Racism, which includes Afriphobia, Anti-Semitism, and Islamophobia’.
We note that over the years there have been allegations of racism towards Africans (Africans from the continent of Africa and Africans from the Diaspora) and Asians within and outside the Labour Party, but no independent public inquiry has been set up to investigate these allegations.
Undoubtedly the Jewish holocaust (properly known among the Jewish people as Shoah) is a terrible blight on human history, but we must remember that there were holocausts before and after. The Congolese holocaust in the name of King Leopold II, is said to have claimed 10 million lives.
The holocaust perpetrated on Africans, also properly known by African people by the Kiswahili words Maafa or Maangamizi, led to the deaths of tens of millions of Africans in holding cells on the continent of Africa, in the process of capture and kidnappings, in the Middle Passage, in enslavement and plantation systems in the Americas, Caribbean, and in the German-governed death camps in Namibia.
The survivors of the Middle Passage suffered unimaginable torture and hardships at the hands of enslavers and plantation owners, and their descendants continue to suffer acute deprivation and are the object of discrimination and racism in America and in the UK, where they are under- represented at every level of public life, including in the Labour Party, and over-represented on all indices of social deprivation and criminalisation.
It is for this reason that pan-African Reparation organisations continue to work on repairing the damage to Africans and Africa caused by the trafficking of enslaved Africans, colonialism and neo colonialism. This damage is still being experienced by people of African heritage today.
How is it that commentators can freely blame Africans for the atrocities they suffered with little understanding of the context of the Maangamizi or Maafa without any public uproar? In addition, the school curriculum does not currently teach sufficiently about non-European civilisations, the contributions of non-Europeans to world civilisation or the uncomfortable truths about the British Empire. This in itself contributes to the structural racism which is in society in general, including the Labour Party, where ignorance of the history of the peoples of Africa pervades.
Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia are recognised as challenges that need to be addressed, but Afriphobia is so ingrained in our society that it is not acknowledged as an issue that needs to be challenged, or called by its specific name.
People of African heritage can be vilified and even blamed for the genocide they suffered without any public inquiry or calls for a public inquiry. However when comments perceived to be negative are made about Zionism or the state of Israel, this is perceived at times to be anti-Semitic by those who do not like the comments, whether or not these claims are supported by evidence. This often results in suspensions from the Party and other unfair censures.
We reject the idea that opposition to Zionism or the Israeli government is necessarily anti-Semitism.
The United Nations has declared 2015-2024 as the International Decade for People of African Descent, and has recognised that Africans represent a distinct group whose human rights must be promoted and protected.
We therefore call upon the Inquiry to investigate and accord equal importance to Afriphobia and its manifestations within and outside the Labour Party.
We also ask the Inquiry not to unwittingly promote discrimination by the exclusion of the Afriphobia* terminology, and advocate the use of the AAEM (African, Asian, Ethnic Minority) terminology instead of BAME (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic) which excludes the African identity.
* We define Afriphobia as: The prejudice or discrimination against; fear, hatred, or bigotry towards people of African heritage and things African.
Awula Serwah, Africans For JC Values
Kwaku, RE:IMI (Race Equality: In Music industry)
Dr KB Asante
Adekayode Oke (AFRIKAATUUU Convention for Afrikan Networking (AFRIKAATUUU-CAFRINET), Nigeria)
Adwoa Oforiwaa Adu (All-Afrikan Students Union Link in Europe (AASULE))
Althea Gordon-Davidson (Pan-Afrikan Community Educational Services (PACES))
Beverley Wong (Momentum Black ConneXions)
Boucka Stephane Koffi (Pan-Afrikan Fora International Support Coordinating Council (PAFISCC))
Chris Jones (Africans For JC Values)
Esther Stanford-Xosei (Global Afrikan Peoples Parliament)
Darla Migan (Vanderbilt University)
Delia Mattis (Momentum member)
Dr Barryl Biekman (Europe-Wide NGO Consultative Council on Afrikan Reparations (ENGOCCAR), Holland)
Enigye Adjoa Ayebea, Grassroots All-Afrikan Women’s Internationalist Solidarity Sisterhood (GAAWISS), Ghana)
Explo Nani-Kofi (Kilombo Centre for Citizens’ Rights and African Self-Determination, Ghana)
Glenroy watson (RMT London Transport Regional Council, Global Afrikan Congressuk)
Jackie Walker (Momentum, South Thanet Labour Party (suspended), LRC Executive and Labour Briefing Editorial Board)
Kofi Mawuli Klu (Pan-Afrikan Reparations Coalition in Europe)
Kwame Adofo Sampong (Trade Unions and the Pan-Afrikan Community Link (TUPACOL))
Kwame Dede Akuamoah (NKRUMAHBUSUAFO Kwame Nkrumah Convention Family Movement, Ghana)
Linda Bellos (Linda Bellos Associates)
Maatyo Dede Azu (ADZEWAGBETO Pan-Afrikan Women’s Liberation Union (ADZEWAGBETO-PAWLU), Ghana)
Mawuse Yao Agorkor (VAZOBA Afrika and Friends Networking Open Forum (VAZOBA-AFNOF), Ghana)
Nana Asante (Momentum)
Omowale Ru-Pert-em-Hru (Pan-Afrikan Society Community Forum)
Nehemie Zeguen Toure (Mouvement Social Panafricain pour le Development Integral (MSPDI), Cote d’Ivoire)
Ngoma ‘Silver’ Bishop (Bema Arts)
Opeyemi Araromi (Pan-African Congresses-United Kingdom Organising Committee (PACs-UKOC))
Professor Lewis Gordon (University of Connecticut, Rhodes University, Birkbeck School of Law, Université Toulouse Jean Jaurès)
Professor Paget Henry (Brown University)
Prophet Kweku & Jendayi Serwah (Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee (AEDRMC))
Samantha Asumadu (Media Diversified)
Shemi Leira (Momentum Black ConneXions)
Simeon Stanford (Afrikan Reparations Transnational Community of Practice (ARTCoP))
Sumana Nandi (Grassroots Women’s Internationalist Solidarity Action Network (GWISAN), India)
Toyin Agbetu (Ligali Organisation)
Marlene Ellis (Momentum Black ConneXions)
Wedam Abassey (Forum of Nkrumaist Thought and Action (FONTA), Ghana)
Xolanyo Yawa Gbafa (EDIKANFO Pan-Afrikan Youth and Students Internationalist Link (EDIKANFO-PAYSIL), Ghana)
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By Kofi Mawuli Klu,
Member, Leadership Facilitation Team, Global Afrikan People’s Parliament (GAPP);
Co-Vice-Chair, Pan-Afrikan Reparations Coalition in Europe (PARCOE); and
Chief Executive Commissioner,
Grassroots Pan-Afrikan Community Advocacy, Research and Think Tank
England and Wales have voted in a historic referendum on Thursday, 23rd June 2016, for Brexit and are scheming to undemocratically impose their questionable decision to leave the European Union (EU) for dubious reasons upon the English colonial holdings of Scotland and Northern Ireland. Voices for Scotland and Northern Ireland doing their own exit out of the United Kingdom are rising higher with greater strength, persuasiveness and militancy. Momentum Black ConneXions (MBC) did put forward a statement prior to the date of the referendum to stimulate discussions on the relevance of Brexit to Black peoples in and beyond the United Kingdom, with Anti-Racist recommendations from progressive Black Anti-Imperialist, Decolonizational and Reparatory Justice perspectives for voting Black to remain.
GAPP in Spearheading Afrikan Responsibility for Meeting Brexit Challenge
Now that the majority vote has been cast in favour of Britain leaving the EU, we of the Global Afrikan People’s Parliament (GAPP), based here in the United Kingdom, have to be clearly seen and heard as spearheading responsive work towards providing the necessary visionary strategic leadership to our Afrikan and other Black Communities and progressive forces all over the World. Indeed, we of the GAPP must become more than ever before proactively dynamic in providing vibrant glocal responses to the Brexit Crisis of Europe in such a Pan-Afrikan Revolutionary Intercommunalist and Global Justice Internationalist way and manner as will effectively defend, promote and advance our Afrikan and all other human, peoples’ and Mother Earth rights to safeguard our own best interests in and beyond the United Kingdom, with the biggest possible impact upon all kith and kin of our Global Afrikan Family throughout the continent and diaspora of Afrika.
That is why our GAPP response should also creatively help our MBC sister-organization to work collaboratively with us in better conscientizingly orientating Black peoples living in and beyond the United Kingdom to act glocally in answering the Challenge of Brexit as best suits our collective Black Power Internationalist interests; such actions which, in my opinion, must necessarily include pursuing appropriate electoral political strategies and tactics and parliamentary and extra-parliamentary courses of Positive Action in and outside Britain, as well as strengthening both the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR) and our common Peoples’ Reparations International Movement (PRIM), in order to advance GAPP into the frontranks of progressive forces most powerfully arrayed locally, nationally and internationally for glocalising Struggle towards winning Global Justice for all.
What Can Best Be Done
Our most important response to the Brexit Challenge ought therefore to be a more robust creative implementation of our agreed policy directions of GAPP Strategy and Tactics, particularly in order to better practically follow the Positive Action Line drawn for our GAPP Approach to Electoral Politics in the United Kingdom today (Nota Bene: https://globalafrikanpeoplesparliament.org/policy-positions/). This also demands progressing work more energetically on the glocal MAATUBUNTUMAN building of our Afrikan Heritage Community for National Self-Determination (AHC-NSD) in and beyond Britain; more so in closer organic link with other supporting organisations, networks and campaigns of Afrikan people, alongside those involved in the Black Power Regeneration of our Communities of Resistance (CORs) and in the revival of our Black Freedomfighters-led Movement of Internationalist Solidarity Resistance to Global Apartheid Racism (MISORGAR) throughout Europe and all over the World.
Accordingly, therefore, we must expedite our GAPP actions in strengthening fraternal link-networking through Decolonizing the United Kingdom Consultative Engagements (DUKCE) with the Scottish National Party (SNP), Sinn Fein (SF) of Ireland and Plaid Cymru (PC) of Wales in pursuit of building the Decoloniality Electoral Alliance for Liberation (DEAL). For this purpose, we should be utilising the Voter Action Learning and Registration Activism Programme (VALARAP) of our GAPP and other endeavours of the DUKCE to explore, at all grassroots and mainstream levels, DEAL Building Link-Networking with the Mutual Respect for Sovereignty and Internationalist Solidarity Contingents of the Self-Determination movements of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, Gibraltar, the Malvinas/Falklands, etc. This DEAL Link-Network Building must be extended to embrace all formally and informally constituted groupings, networks and campaigns in all former colonies of Britain, including indigenous peoples’ movements of Resistance throughout Abya Yala (the so-called Americas) and the countries of the so-called Commonwealth in the Caribbean Islands, Afrika, Asia and Australasia/Oceania.
It is upon this Anti-Imperialist basis of Global Justice principledness that our GAPP must seek to strengthen Black Power Internationalist working relations with the MBC as its sister independently self-organising Black Power affinity organisation autonomously connected to Momentum, Africans for Jeremy Corbyn Values (AJCV) and other formations of the Jeremy Corbyn Support Campaign allied to the British Labour Party. The MBC must be supported by our GAPP to engage in bridge-building between organisations, networks and campaigns involved in AHC-NSD development and those of the Broad Left and the wider Labour movement in Europe and all over the World which, lest we forget, have always included a good number of many generations of Afrikan Freedomfighters of the International Communist, Socialist and Working Peoples’ movements for national and social liberation throughout the continent and diaspora of Afrika. Useful to these efforts of the GAPP and the MBC are the initiatives that have long been carried out by the Pan-Afrikan Reparations Coalition in Europe (PARCOE) to draw Afrikan Left Activists and their organisations, networks and campaigns all over the World into active participation not only in the ISMAR; but also into bringing along their allied progressive forces into exploring the building of neighbourhood renewal Communities of Anti-Racist Resistance that share joint combativeness against Afriphobia and all other forms of racial discrimination as well as commonalities of Reparatory Justice interests strongly enough to forge mutually self-repairing bonds of Decolonizational Restitution under the banner of the PRIM.
All these things and more needs to be done with the view to galvanizing the independent self-organization of Activists from Afrikan, other Black and oppressed Communities of Resistance in and beyond Europe; to galvanize them in order to more vigorously build from the grassroots, beyond the statist confines of organs, institutions and bureaucratic top-down processes of the European Union (EU) and other agencies of the machinery of State in and beyond the United Kingdom, a radical participatory democratic alliance for making possible another better Europe of true Peoples’ Power; yes, a Peoples’ Power generated new Europe, inclusive of our authentic Black Power, shining the radiance also of the Black Star-powerfulness of our Afrikan Personality, as being projected by GAPP in togetherness with the MBC. Such a new Europe, proactively shaped, among others by our GAPP in conjunction with the MBC, with the support of the PARCOE, the Europewide NGO Consultative Council for Afrikan Reparations (ENGOCCAR) and other contingents of the ISMAR and the PRIM; a new Europe shaped with the grassroots revolutionary creativity of Afrikan, Black and all other Communities of Resistance in such way and manner as to substantively include our autonomous AHC-NSD, shall be a very rich pluriversality marvel of a Decolonizational World in many Worlds!
This is the new kind of Europe for which Frantz Fanon long ago urged us to leave the old murderous Europe of our Maangamizi in order to start building, in link with our homelands of Afrika and other parts of the so-called Third World, from our own initiatives of Community Self-Empowerment for Reparatory Justice, with the self-repairing Decoloniality genius of our self-emancipating Peoples’ Power; a new Europe we must start building from our grassroots below upwards, veritably groundup, as a Peoples’ Europe of Self-Determining Autonomous Communities of Resistance (PESDACOR)!
Afrika: The Most Decisive Battleground for our GAPP Response to Brexit
For us in GAPP, our original Motherland of Afrika is the most important battleground where our greatest efforts in the United Kingdom and everywhere else must be channelized with Black Power Internationalism to strengthen our Communities of Resistance (CORs); by CORs we mean our Afrikan progressive forces organised within their own self-determination-seeking indigenous ethno-national communities and/or other kinds of community-based Freedomfighting organisations, networks and campaigns that are striving to effect Positive Action at the grassroots in order to better counteract the crimes of Genocide and Ecocide of the still ongoing Maangamizi that is the continuum of Chattel, Colonial and Neocolonial Enslavement. For, it is this Maangamizi which the architects and protagonists of Brexit have plotted in their Recolonization schemes to worsen, for their diabolical purpose of bloodily extorting more wealth to replenish the fortunes of their revanchist British Coloniality of Power. The architects of Brexit desired to bolster their revanchist Coloniality of British Power not only for capitalist rivalry in Europe but also for more voracious predatory exploits in Afrika and other Global Apartheid domains of their White Supremacist Racism, with their minds set upon aggravating the blood-spilling crimes they are continuing to perpetrate with impunity, using as their cover-up quislings their eurocentrically miseducated, stupefied and petrified Black-Skin-White-Masked Elite of Neocolonialism on the puppet leash of external and internal reactionary forces teleguided by Euro-Amerikkan Imperialism.
That is why we must be mindful of what Boris Johnson said in his Brexit victory speech about Britain leaving the EU but not Europe, that is, the murderous old Europe Frantz Fanon warned us about! Indeed, the Brexit archconspirators are not about Britain quitting the matrix of governmental and non-governmental organisations, quangos, institutions, networks and agencies with which European Imperialism continues to mostly terroristically perpetrate its heinous crimes of Genocide and Ecocide against Black peoples and the overwhelming oppressed majority of Humanity, particularly the subjugated indigenous peoples of Afrika, Abya Yala (the so-called Americas), Asia and Australasia/Oceania. This is one of the key noteworthy points in our GAPP and MBC rationale and arguments for urging Black voters to recognise the actuality of European unity in and outside the EU for the geopolitical defence of European imperialist globalizational hegemony; and not to be deceived that Brexit will split the ruling classes of Europe so much so that they will no longer be able to come together to defend, strengthen and seek to bloodily perpetuate their murderously exploitative stranglehold of the White Supremacy racist exercise of the Coloniality of Power upon most other parts of the World!
For, as our Afrikan Experience teaches us, since 1884, the European Powers have always found it necessary, despite the many problematic and sometimes even antagonistic differences amongst them, to unite for the barbaric conquest, division and misruling of the World; they have continued and will continue to do so even after the Brexit victory, with the British Elite as always, albeit hypocritically, playing a major role in the xenophobically jingoistic rallying of White Supremacy forces for Recolonization schemes to perpetuate the Eurocentric reign of Global Apartheid Racism as it has become so structurally institutionalised in the present World Order as to become the contemporary norm even in the so-called United Nations and other so-called institutions of the World political, economic, financial and cultural architecture!
Thus, there is no question of Britain leaving membership of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the most terrible Reactionary Violence organ of the globalising military-industrial complex of Euro-Amerikkkan Imperialism. It is from the arsenals of NATO that AFRICOM is being armed, trained and deployed throughout Afrika to secure the plundering of resources to fuel and strengthen the terroristic Global Apartheid racist might of White Supremacy domination throughout the World. Brexit is also not going to make Britain abandon the rapacious Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) they are imposing on countries of Afrika, the Caribbean and the Pacific to tighten the 2000 Cotonou Agreement neocolonialist stranglehold of European Imperialism upon the peoples of those parts of the World. So Brexit will only make Britain to still benefit from the exploitative Global Apartheid racist terrorism of the Coloniality of Power which Europe as a whole exercises with White Supremacist arrogance over Afrika and most other parts of the World; noteworthily, it is this very same Brexit that will from now onwards enable Britain to do so without even the fake responsibility the European Union at least pretends hypocritically to be taking for human rights, good governance and democracy; and, therefore, making it somehow possible for us to try holding governments and member-countries of the EU to account before the International Community for participatory democratic scrutiny of its behaviour and/or misbehaviour in relation to our own grassroots defence of all our human, peoples’ and Mother Earth rights!
That is why our GAPP-promoted Afrikan response in and beyond the United Kingdom to Brexit ought to be taking its cue from what Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah wrote in his still valid 1968 “Message to the Black People of Britain” which, among other things, exhorted: “You who are in Britain have a significant role to play in the International Black Revolutionary Movement. You live in the centre of the very citadel of British Imperialism and Neocolonialism … Your homes are under puppet regimes teleguided by Neocolonialism. Real Black Freedom will only come when Africa is politically united. It is only then that the Black Man will be free to breathe the air of Freedom, which is his to breathe, in any part of the World.”
This is a very clear prioritization of the task of subordinating everything to addressing matters of Political Power, that is, of Political Black Power, as the basis for tackling economic, cultural and other indispensably important issues of our situation as Afrikans and Black peoples in the United Kingdom and other parts of the Diaspora. It exposes the intellectual bankruptcy of the age-old deceptive arguments for the myopic absolutization of vulgar Economism, that are still being peddled from certain narrow-minded quarters of Africentrism, and its perversions smacking of Black national-chauvinism, with the view to diverting our people’s attention away from political Freedomfighting for Black Power as a matter of our topmost priority now above everything else; and rather disorientate those gullible enough to become obsessed with a get-rich-quick disposition towards the illusions of “Wannabe Big Black Capitalist Money-Maker to Buy Freedom”!
To those unfortunately lacking, or choosing to lazily deny themselves, profundity of thought and critical intellectual examination of World affairs, and are therefore stupidly mesmerized, dazzled and bamboozled by the glittering phantasmagoria of the West, I would like to say: what is being made to look, with deceptively stupefying propaganda, like the glossy enduring successes of globalising European hegemonistic Capitalism, is resulting more from the obscenely barbaric criminal display of blood-spilling Reactionary Violence by the kakistocratic vampires of Euro-Amerikkkan Imperialism, in their monstrous predatory readiness to mercilessly crush every challenge, particularly the revolutionary socialist alternative, to its hoodwinking myth of White Supremacist Excellence, rather than to its higher economic or other qualitative pedigree!
Strangely, nothing so far in the horrific experiences of our Afrikan and other Black peoples, as well as of the entire Humanity, nothing like the 1st June 1921 barbaric White Supremacy racist arsonist destruction of “Black Wall Street” in the USA (see the video-documentary “Black Wallstreet: A Black Holocaust in America!”), and nothing like the savagely violent Euro-Amerikkkan neocolonialist teleguided terroristic obliteration of the impressive gains of the Libyan Jamahiriya since 2011, to mention only a couple of the countless many similar Afriphobic genocidal carnages of over 500 years of the Global Apartheid Racism of European Imperialism towards our people throughout the continent and diaspora of Afrika, has yet convinced the demagogic peddlers of the falsehoods of vulgar Economism about the dangerous erroneousness of their Big Lies!
Not surprising at all, they refuse to learn from the Pan-Afrikan revolutionary articulation by the likes of Frantz Fanon, Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah and Walter Rodney of the still valid arguments of those who put forward the viewpoint, correct in my own opinion, that no Black person or isolated group, and for that matter Afrikan anywhere in the World, is ever going to be allowed by Euro-Amerikkkan Imperialism to genuinely independently make it successfully, neither by way of Socialism nor even Capitalism; never will they be allowed by the monopoly capitalist guardian vampires of supremacy racist White Power to become successful, without insisting upon the topmost prioritization of our collective, transnationally unifying and superpowerful politico-military defence, consolidation and advancement of Black Power as an invincible force for the Global Justice good of all Afrikans, other Black peoples and the entirety of all Humankind!
This is the Wisdom from our ancestral Heroes and Sheroes of the Pan-Afrikan Revolution for Global Justice which informs our GAPP policies on everything. It is such Wisdom of our Sages of the past and the present that teaches us in GAPP to prioritize our matters of Afrikan People’s Power, our Political Power, our Black Power, in the glocal planning of the Strategy and Tactics of our Global Pan-Afrikan Liberation Struggle and Sovereign Nation-Building, including the financial and other economic aspects of building the Glocal Political Economy of our Afrikan Heritage Community for National Self-Determination in and beyond the United Kingdom.
Accordingly, we have to prioritise our political work of mass education, organisation and mobilization of Afrikans, other Black peoples and all others who can be conscientised into becoming our progressive allies, in order for them to actively contribute, under the high-flying banners of the MISORGA and the PRIM in and beyond Europe, in conveying political support to bolster the grassroots efforts of our Communities of Resistance to stop the Maangamizi on the continent of Afrika. We must help by assisting in strengthening their own self-empowering capacity to better channelize even droplets of fragmented but legitimately progressive ethno-national community, youth, student, women’s as well as working people’s actions of Resistance against various manifestations of the Maangamizi into unifying torrential rivers and oceans of glocal Reparatory Justice Freedomfighting; thereby, we shall be pooling together all our best of Freedomfighting human and material resources to glocally advance contingents of the ISMAR, in link with those of the PRIM, more speedily, concertedly and systematically toward our Pan-Afrikan Rendezvous of Global Justice Victory for all. It is such a glocal unification of the efforts of our Communities of Resistance throughout the continent and diaspora of Afrika that will not only bring into fruition our MAATUBUNTUMAN Pan-Afrikan Union in our original Motherland as the very much necessary indispensable territorial homebase for anchoring our AHC-NSD in Britain and other parts of the diaspora onto the continent but also strengthening its invincible autonomous role in formations such as the PESDACOR in and beyond a transforming Europe.
GAPP Groundings with the EFF & Allies
That is why GAPP is expanding its working relations through the Economic Freedom Fighters Internationalist Solidarity Action Command (EFFISAC) with the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) of South Africa to enhance collaboration with a wider array of Afrikan progressive forces at home and abroad. Accordingly, GAPP is supporting the utilisation of its Global Afrikan People’s Parliament – Glocal Affinity Action Learning Links (GAPP-GAALLs) in various countries to work together with its Activists and others involved in the All-Afrikan People’s Global Lobby for Unity Solutions (AAPGLUS) to explore the development of working relations with all interested groups of Afrikans at home and abroad. GAPP is also involved in consultations with a wide range of Pan-Afrikanist, anti-imperialist and popular democratic forces throughout the continent and diaspora of Afrika, with a view to helping to add a number of concentric circles around the EFFISAC in order to build a Pan-Afrikan Freedomfighters Internationalist Solidarity Action Command (PAFISAC). Encouraging responses to this endeavour of the PAFISAC have already come from a number of like- minded, grassroots-based and creatively working progressive formations such as the NKRUMAHBUSUAFO Kwame Nkrumah Convention Family Movement (NKRUMAHBUSUAFO-KNCFM) of Ghana, the Mouvement Social Panafricain pour le Development Integral (MSPDI) of Cote d’Ivoire and the United Front for Progress (UFP) of Yurumein/St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG).
Our GAPP is also helping the Global Justice Forum (GJF) in facilitating the development of relations between the MBC and the Sovereign Union of First Nations and Peoples in Australia, under the banner of the Black Power Internationalist Solidarity Boomerangcircuit (BPISOB). Discussions now progressing with representatives of Dalit, Papuan and Maori Communities of Resistance, and also with formations like the Fiji Native Government in Exile (FNGE), operating from Sydney, Australia, augur well for the vibrant expansion and dynamic glocal proactivity of the BPISOB. Linking the PAFISC and the AAPGLUS up with the BPISOB, and connecting them all together with their interested groupings, will raise higher the prospects of a formidable glocal alliance of Pan-Afrikan and Black Power grassroots Changemaking forces; a now very much needed ground-up Freedomfighting Internationalist Solidarity alliance that will not only enhance the transnational strength of both the ISMAR and the PRIM and of their Communities of Reparatory Justice interest all over the World, but which shall also give credence to the growing potency of the vibrant resurgence of what Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah called “The Spectre of Black Power”, heralding our “long-awaited Day of Liberation from the shadows of obscurity” and taking shape and form to actively, uncompromisingly and fearlessly engage in “fights to end … exploitation” in all its manifestations throughout Afrika and the World!
Pic: Left to Right, Kofi Mawuli Klu, Esther Stanford-Xosei, Oni Kirwin – Fiji Native Government in Exile, Ghillar Michael Anderson – Sovereign Union of Australia
For all these reasons argued above, those of us who voted remain in the 23rd June 2016 Referendum on the European Union, with a view to building a progressive Global Justice alliance to contribute to decolonially changing Europe from inside the belly of the imperialist Beast; those of us who did so in order to facilitate the anti-imperialist Freedomfighting outside the monster’s entrails by our Afrikan kith and kin and other Black and Wretched of the Earth Communities of Resistance all over the World; those of us who lost the EU Referendum vote, on that memorable day in the United Kingdom, need not mourn! Rather, if we were to better act upon the golden axiom of Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah, that it is organization that decides everything, and accordingly rise to strive at achieving progressive Changemaking organizational excellence with our GAPP, in close link-networking with the MBC and their allied organisations, networks and campaigns in and beyond the United Kingdom, particularly in Afrika; if we ably, conscientiously and painstakingly did so, instead of agonizing over the recent EU Referendum loss, then we can be sure that the pyrrhic victory of the Brexit Desk Killing archconspirators of Global Apartheid Racism, and their very much duped fellow-travelling Black and White protagonist stormtrooping Gestapo footsoldiers of revanchist British Imperialism, could eventually very well become their seismic ground-cutting Waterloo!
GAPP SPEAKS AT AFRICANS FOR JEREMY CORBYN VALUES CONFERENCE (AFJCV)
Solidarity Message from Esther Stanford-Xosei, Member of the Global Afrikan Peoples Parliament (GAPP) Leadership Facilitation Team.
An abbreviated version of this message was read out at the AFJCV Conference
Picture courtesy of Kwaku @BBM/BMC
Greetings Brothers, Sisters, Comrades & Allies
First of all, let me extend my thanks to Africans for Momentum for Momentum/ Africans for Jeremy Corbyn Values for inviting me to give this solidarity message on behalf of the Global Afrikan Peoples Parliament (GAPP)
I preface my comments with reiteration of the right to express freedom of political opinion and will.
GAPP is an emerging representative body of the Afrikan Heritage Community for National Self- Determination (AHC-NSD). We harmonise the voices of various Afrikan heritage communities towards reasserting nationhood and self-determination. We do not represent ALL Afrikan people. We represent those who are committed to our GAPP agenda of developing their national consciousness as a distinct Afrikan Heritage Community for National Self-Determination AHC-NSD. So in effect, GAPP exists as a form of substantive representation of the AHC-NSD and advocates for recognition of the fact that Afrikans are a distinct group who have a right to be regarded as a national minority, (rather than an ethnic minority), in the UK but is part of the global majority of Afrikan people, all over the world, exercising our rights of belonging to the continent of Afrika. At present there is no representation of Afrikan Heritage Community for National Self-Determination in all organs and institutions of the state machinery in the UK and all over Europe.
So our starting point for engaging in this conversation around the values we as members of the AHD-NSD share with Jeremy Corbyn and those in the leadership of the Jeremy Corbyn for Prime Minister Campaign is what and where are our own Afrikan values in relation to those of Jeremy Corbyn? We can only relate to Jeremy Corbyn’s values from a position of self- awareness, self-empowerment and self-assertion of our own Afrikan values. That is why in this respect, it is necessary do Sankofa in a journey of return to the source, so as to rediscover and bring into the present to light up the road to our future, our historical Afrikan values systems such as Maat and Ubuntu. For this reason, GAPP supports the standpoint and is working through Momentum Black ConneXions to find common grounds between our Afrikan values, the best values of Black humanity who happen to be the majority of the peoples of the world, and the values declared by Jeremy Corbyn. We are just at the initial stage of this ongoing work within and outside the Momentum Black ConneXions. We hope Africans for Jeremy Corbyn Values will take an active part in working out what are the common grounds that we can share in terms of values between Afrikan people and the Jeremy Corbyn support campaign. For example, a key question we have to address in terms of elaborating on the actual meaning of these values is that of What does equality, justice, freedom and solidarity mean for people of Afrikan ancestry and heritage in political terms?
Under International Law we, as a people, have an equal right to political representation. This consists of the right to be present (descriptive representation) and the right to representation of interests and perspectives (substantive representation). Descriptive representation relates to the presence of members of Afrikan heritage and other Black minoritised communities in parliaments (MPs). However, a descriptive representative does not need to act for his/her constituents and mere resemblance by gender, ethnicity, religion or other important group attribute is often deemed to be sufficient to make him/her a group representative. It follows that political representation for people of Afrikan heritage and other Black Majority World communities cannot be reduced to the descriptive. This is because a focus on descriptive attributes of representatives, distracts us from their actions and prevents us from holding such representatives to account. Such elected representatives, even Afrikan heritage MPs within the Labour Party do not have to account to Afrikan heritage communities for his/her actions or speeches nor are they compelled to include any action in the interests of Afrikan heritage communities.
On the contrary, true political representation requires substantive representation which means real or full equality (as opposed to mere formal equality) and recognition of the right to identify for Afrikan heritage communities. The right to identity refers to the various possible distinctive Afrikan community characteristics, like language, culture, religion and belief. It also incorporates obligations to differentiate between and among us as minoritised peoples. Accordingly, the right not to be discriminated against in the enjoyment of the rights guaranteed under Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights is also violated “when States without an objective and reasonable justification fail to treat differently persons whose situations are significantly different.” In effect, substantive equality requires having representatives that speak for, act for, and look after the interests of Afrikan heritage communities and do so in accordance with varying measures of accountability to us as Afrikan heritage communities. Although mere presence of Afrikan heritage and other Black Majority World MPs might have some symbolic benefits, members of Afrikan heritage communities, in general, and the more specific AHC-NSD primarily need representatives to act in our interests, and attempt to influence public policies from Afrikan perspectives and in Afrikan people’s self-determined interests. Let us not think that this is a pipedream for it happens with various national minority groups in Europe such as Jewish communities, some Roma communities, the Sami national minority in Switzerland, and the Cornish national minority in the UK.
Why is there a need for Substantive Afrikan Representation?
To redress and counter the civil and social death of Afrikans as a National Minority for Self-Determination. Civil death is a UN term used internationally; it can be interpreted to mean that one does not exist with political recognition as belonging to a people. Furthermore, that unless there is recognition of Afrikan group status and peoplehood, we are not able to access or secure collective human rights, except those rights that are given or granted us. This means that we are in existence, but we are not recognised politically as national minority groupings in the States in which we reside (e.g. in the use of conflating terms such as ‘BAME people or communities’). As we have no recognised geo-political identity in the world, we are in effect rendered a stateless people. This has been recognised by the UN Working Group of Experts of People of African Descent and in the proclamations of the UN International Decade for People of African Descent (DPAD); which has the themes, recognition, justice and development. At the launching of the DPAD, Deputy High Commissioner for Human, Rights Flavia Pansieri stated: “In proclaiming this Decade, the international community is recognising that people of African descent represent a distinct group whose human rights must be promoted and protected.”
Nevertheless, this substantive representation can never happen within the existing party political system and certainly not within the Labour Party as it currently is. The Labour Party remains a party that is Institutionally Racist like most of the European political organisations in this country. For this reason, we cannot support the Labour Party in an unqualified way! Granted, we have allies in the Labour Party. We will critically support those people politically, Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and others. However, we should never make the mistake of thinking that the strategic interests of Afrikan heritage communities, such as the overthrow of White supremacy in all areas of people activity (economics, education, entertainment, labour, law, politics, religion, sex and war as theorised By Dr Frances Cress Welsing); the reestablishment of Sovereignty; and recognition of Afrikan people’s Self-Determination in and outside of Britain, can or will ever be realised within the Labour Party, today, tomorrow or even in the future. We should also take as a cautionary note, the current situation we see unfolding with the suspension of Ken Livingstone as it is indicative of what may very well happen to those of us seeking to uncritically support the Labour Party, seemingly closing our eyes to its White supremacy racist, very right wing and imperialist sections.
So as we in GAPP see it, part of the responsibility of groups such as Africans for Jeremy Corbyn Values is to defend the right to represent the authentic autonomous Afrikan heritage community interests and perspectives within Momentum and the wider campaign to support Jeremy Corbyn.
Our struggle at this time demands that we do not compromise with neocolonialism and that we as Afrikan progressive forces draw lines of demarcation between the masses of our people on the one hand and Afrikan elites and their paymasters who are enforcing neocolonialism at the expense of the masses of our people. As in Afrika, here in the Diaspora we also have people who support and work for neocolonialism. It is our duty as Afrikans to expose these Afrikan elitist quislings of neocolonialism wherever they exist. We should have representatives of our communities who express this wherever they are representing us. That is what the likes of of Olaudah Equiano, Ottobah Cugoano, Mary Prince, Robert Wedderburn, William Davidson, William Cuffay, Henry Sylvester Williams, Dadabhai Naoroji, Bhikhaji Rustom Cama, Kaka Joseph Baptista, John Archer, Shapurji Saklat Valla, Krishna Menon, Marcus Garvey, George Padmore, CLR James, Ras Makonnen, Amy Ashwood Garvey, Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah, Claudia Jones Walter Rodney, Yusef Dadoo, Bernie Grant and Lester Lewis did when they represented Black peoples.
There is a lot of educational work to be done to explain these matters and make them part of the conscientisation of our peoples to be able to properly use their vote in a meaningfully powerful way. This is what GAPP would like to see Africans For Jeremy Corbyn Values working together with Momentum Black ConneXions to do leading up to the 2020 General Elections.
That is why none of our Afrikan and Black structures, to be true to our community interests, can be subordinated to any White structures. This is a non- negotiable principle as far as we in GAPP are concerned. From this perspective GAPP contributed to the formulation of Momentum Black ConneXion’s self-description as the “independently self-organising, autonomous and self-determining Black Power constituency within the network of people and organisations to continue the energy and enthusiasm of Jeremy Corbyn’s campaign, committed to advancing Black Power perspectives on the 10 priorities that Jeremy Corbyn has identified as his own standpoint.”
So Momentum Black ConneXions, to us, is not a branch of Momentum and cannot be run according to the diktats of the overwhelmingly White structure that Momentum is. We in GAPP are requesting our Brothers and Sisters in Africans for Jeremy Corbyn Values to think carefully about these matters so as to clarify your own definition and positioning of your organisation in relation to Momentum, the Labour Party and the wider Labour Movement vis-a-vis the legitimate inalienable interests of Afrikan people within and beyond the UK. It has been a well-established maxim in Afrikan organising for centuries now that WE ARE OUR OWN LIBERATORS!!! The challenge of completing our liberation struggle against European imperialism; stopping the Maangamizi (Afrikan Hellacaust of chattel, colonial and neocolonial enslavement); and totally emancipating ourselves at home and abroad demands more than ever in this neocolonial phase of the Maangamizi, an amplification of this maxim that we are own liberators. No individual Messiahs from within and outside our own communities can set us free. Only the truth of our people’s power, manifesting itself in our own concerted glocal Afrikan peoples power at home and abroad, can set us globally free.
Asante Sana/ Thank you
Member of the GAPP Leadership Facilitation Team