ARTCoP Solidarity Statement in Support of the Rhodes Must Fall Oxford March (RMFO) March on 09/03/16
We of the ARTCoP send you greetings in salutation of your initiative in organising the Rhodes Must Fall March in Oxford. The ARTCoP deems it imperative to express critical support for your laudable initiative, more so since we see ourselves as developing grassroots community academic spaces into glocal sites of the unity of theory and practice to serve the liberation pedagogical purposes of the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR). As scholar-activists engaged in the battles of ideas about what kind of post-decolonisational reparations world order the ISMAR is trying to usher in, we have taken a keen interest in the work of the campaign to see Rhodes and his legacy fall at Oxford University in addition to your list of 7 demands.
We wholeheartedly support and commend those of you who have had the courage to question the status quo in these elite institutions of White Privilege. We are encouraged and hopeful given that you have taken the call for decolonisation from our Afrikan heritage communities and other Majority World peoples, and are now echoing them in these establishment miseducational spaces. However, in order to strengthen your efforts we invite you to consider how you can best connect your efforts to the wider decolonial movement beyond the campuses to effect and secure reparatory justice. We therefore urge that you seriously reflect on what you are trying to achieve and how you are trying to achieve it. In order to maximise impact, success and ultimately to embed your commendable efforts in the heart of those forces within and beyond the UK who can ensure that the critical mass is built it is important to sustain the campaign beyond reforms in the university establishment and on the campuses.
We invite you to consider what can be learned also from the efforts of the RMF Movement in Azania/South Afrika. For Azania/South Afrika is a place where student campaigners and organisers have extended their movement-building from the campuses to organically connect with communities of resistance that are the bedrock of the movement to ‘Stop the Maangamizi’ by accelerating the challenge to global apartheid and rectifying the harms of colonial and neocolonial forms of enslavement. In addition to effect and secure the redistribution of wealth and power within and beyond the broader Azanian/South Afrikan society. We would similarly urge that RMFO extend its demands and operations beyond securing educational reform in universities divorced from the wider context within and beyond the UK of ISMAR and its allied internationalist solidarity efforts of constituencies within the broader Peoples Reparations International Movement (PRIM).
Since history is best qualified to reward our research, we do not believe that that the Oxford University establishment will be compelled to make any significant changes and the demands you have made can be achieved by only organising on university campuses within Britain or across the world. In order to force the British/European establishment to concede significant measures of democratisation of education and more importantly to challenge Oxford for its maintenance of forms of structural and epistemic violence against the Majority Peoples of the world, much more linking needs to happen with the many and varied complimentary forces within and beyond the UK who must be mobilised to support your efforts.
The fight for decolonisation is going on in our communities across the world, and so to increase impact and the likelihood of success, it is important for you as mainly students activists and organisers to connect the fight you have taken up back into the glocal communities of decolonisational and reparations interest also located and represented here at the grassroots of Afrikan heritage communities of resistance in the UK. We urge you to more systematically undertake forms of community engaged activism and movement-relevant research by qualitatively strengthening outreach from the campuses into communities. By doing so, you will be able to tap into the yet untapped mass potential of decolonial communities of reparations interest from below organising as part of the ISMAR and the PRIM, which is where the potential for securing your goals of decolonisation actually lie. By making these connections you will be able to maximise your impact by harnessing the power to effect decolonisation on our people’s terms rather than just what the Oxford University establishment is prepared to accommodate.
We humbly suggest that if this is not done your laudable efforts may become reduced to simplistic tokenistic gestures of diversifying the coloniality of White Power with cosmetic reforms, that leaves its genocidal substance intact. Ultimately, decolonisation is a matter of power and the coloniality of power will concede nothing unless it is counteracted with the overwhelming counter power of the masses of the colonised that you can be part of marshalling within and beyond the UK. For us it is a matter of counteracting the colonising White power with the liberating Black Power of the Wretched of the Earth. Ultimately, the fight you are waging is a political struggle which has to be waged by highly politicised and for that matter well-conscientised and dynamically mobilised social forces in order to help destabilise the status quo of structural and epistemic violence and compel progressive change in meeting the demands you have set.
We invite you once again to see yourselves as part of the building the ISMAR and the PRIM and for this movement-building to be victoriously consolidated in deploying the totality of our progressive forces against the bastions of the coloniality of power in and beyond the University of Oxford. We must never lose sight of the fact that decisions about Oxford University are not just made in Oxford or just by their so-called donors. These elitist universities are established in hegemonic forms of British law; by charters of parliament and run as state institutions. Accordingly, you should consider extending your campaigning efforts by linking up with others reparatory justice forces also seeking to challenge the British State who ultimately own and govern Oxford University as one of its most vital weapons for perpetrating not only mentacide but genocide and ecocide across the world. We invite you meet with us as the ARTCoP to deepen discussion around the issues we are raising in this statement so as to harmonise our efforts for more effective glocal impact.
We would also like to facilitate linking up your efforts with those formations that we think can be most helpful to achieving your purpose. We would like to highlight for your attention some of the formations that we think will be most helpful to you in this direction. They include, PARCOE, (Pan-Afrikan Reparations Coalition in Europe), GAPP (Global Afrikan Peoples Parliament), the PASCF (Pan-Afrikan Society Community Forum), ENGOCCAR (Europe-Wide Consultative Council for Afrikan Reparations) and the 1st August Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee (AEDRMC). This year there will be, among others, a students and allies bloc on the 1st August Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March. We expect to see Rhodes Must Fall Oxforders and organisers join the various blocs that are most appropriate to you and also embed yourself in these wider struggles within and beyond Britain that are challenging state power. It is our view that only by doing so will victory be assured to us all.
In Solidarity: Ubuntumandla!
Jackie Lewis (Chair)
Esther Stanford-Xosei & Kofi Mawuli Klu, Co-Vice Chairs
On Behalf of the Afrikan Reparations Transnational Community of Practice
GAPP welcomes the forthcoming launch of Momentum Black Connexions and supports its wholeheartedly. We look forward to actively collaborating with the MBC particularly with regard to carrying out the electoral politics of our overall strategy for Afrikan people’s power in and beyond Britain. See GAPP’s Position Statement on Electoral Politics in Britain here:https://globalafrikanpeoplesparliament.org/policy-positions/
We encourage all Afrikans who are looking for a way to play their part in the International social movement for reparations (ISMAR) to attend this workshop as part of their preparation towards the Reparations march on 1st August 2016. If you would like a workshop in your city on online, please contact the organisers. Outside the UK? Contact them and ask for the ‘International Call to Action’ information.
The Malcolm X Centre in Bristol UK, built in response to the 1980 uprisings in the then predominantly Afrikan Heritage (Black/Afrikan-Caribbean) Community, is under threat with Bristol City Council serving notice to end the tenancy on 28th Feb 2016. Based in the St Paul’s area of the City, some 30 plus years later, it remains a vibrant area where the Afrikan Caribbean and smaller white British community have been joined by other communities such as Somali, Eastern European and from various parts of the continent of Afrika. The current Board are challenging the Bristol City Council’s decision and dispute a list of conditions the city council claims have not been complied with, leading to this notice of termination. Bristol City Council has since indicated that the centre is not closing but they seek a different management team to run it. This situation is not be be seen in isolation to the fate of other community spaces left to flounder in that area of Bristol such as the Kuumba Arts Centre and the Learning Centre built on the open space used by St Pauls Carnival, which incidentally is another institution at risk with funding being withdrawn. Neither must we view the situation of this centre in isolation to the loss of community spaces and buildings right across the country with places like the Chestnuts Community Centre in London and the Carmoor Centre in Manchester to name just a couple who are not just fighting to survive but for the right to be self determined in their existence.
The Malcolm X Centre has and continues to serve a diverse range of communities and has international recognition as a venue for many high profile people from a range of industries be they arts, music or politics related , not to mention being a hub for local activism and events on a range of issues and occasions. The Anti Apartheid and Ethiopian Famine campaigns for example were at the heart of the centre. The name of the centre, chosen in the mid 1980’s was a reflection of the passion and drive of the community not just to honour an Ancestor of wide appeal being both Afrikan, American and Muslim, but to embrace a philosophy and practice that spoke to Malcolm X’s ideology and serve as an inspiration to the community who literally had fought for the centre. That fight, which was a continued expression of resistance to the injustice meted out to the Black community by the state, through its agents such as the police, SUS laws and many occurrences of direct discrimination and oppression was led by very frustrated, angry, passionate youth still experiencing overt racism, despite the passing of the 1976 Race Relations Act. In the 1980’s and sadly even now, Black people were constantly reminded that you cannot legislate against attitudes, ignorance and legislation would never concede to alleviate state sanctioned oppression but only finds new ways to implement it. The decision to name it the Malcolm X Centre was therefore also a statement from a community needing to assert itself, its identity and intention to bring people together to enable their communities to thrive and rally against injustice. Nana Kwaku Agyemang a former Chairperson of the Malcolm X Centre in the 80’s, then known by his former name Kuomba Balogun , said:
‘We looked at a number of international black activists a the time, we talked a lot about Marcus Garvey, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and other “soft” options before we settled on Malcolm X. Malcolm was agreed upon because to me (and) Jagun (former Centre Manager) ……he represented the struggle of black people more. He was a so called radical. His views were unambiguous. He was talking about black first but going the extra mile he recognised the need to defend one self by taking up an offensive posture, hence his by any means necessary stance. We had to take a similar stance in securing the money for the old building and educating people.’
So as we are reminded of the Genesis of the centre, we perhaps need to remind the current generation of young people of the struggles of their parents and the consequences of losing something so valuable to a barely discreet gentrification agenda. The Malcolm X Centre now needs to live up to the legacy of its name.
You can help:
Sign the petition https://www.change.org/p/bristol-city-council-save-the-malcolm-x-community-centre-ltd?recruiter=460178230&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink
Like their Facebook page to stay in touch and lodge your support for the campaign to keep the centre in community hands and serving community interests. www.facebook.com/Malcolm-X-Community-Centre-1708280942741870/?fref=ts
GAPP Strengthens Role in Internationalist Soldarity Networking with the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) of AZANIA/SOUTH AFRICA
The Global Afrikan People’s Parliament in United Kingdom (GAPP-UK) was strongly represented at an Internationalist Solidarity networking meeting with a visiting Leadership Delegation of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) of South Africa at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, on Saturday, 28th November 2015. The meeting, which resulted from discussions and planning going on for some considerable time between interested parties, was presided over by Brother-Fighter Dali Mpofu, the EFF Chair, Brother-Fighter Floyd Nyiko Shivambu, the EFF Vice-President and Member of both the South African Parliament and the Pan-African Parliament (PAP), as well as Sister-Fighter Nkagisang Poppy Mokgosi, an EFF Member of the South African Parliament. It was facilitated by Kofi Mawuli Klu, a Co-Vice-Chair of the Pan-Afrikan Reparations Coalition in Europe (PARCOE) and a member of the Leadership Facilitation Team (LFT) of GAPP-UK. After kick-starting propositions by Dali, Floyd, Nkagisang, Brian Kwoba, Esther Stanford-Xosei and Kofi, followed by discussions involving a good number of participants, the meeting endorsed the establishment of an Economic Freedom Fighters Internationalist Solidarity Action Command (EFFISAC), to be organised and coordinated from London, United Kingdom. It was agreed that a South African-led EFF Support Group that is organising itself in Britain into a local party branch of the EFF Abroad will also be an autonomous integral part of the EFFISAC.
As members of the Wretched of the Earth Global Frontline Bloc, the Global Afrikan People’s Parliament delivered a strong message of ‘We Charge Genocide and Ecocide’ to the British State and the Internationally state sanctioned/state led criminality that continues to rape and plunder planet earth.
The International #ClimateMarch held on 29th November 2015 in London and over 170 countries worldwide, spoke in one voice against the many faces of corporate and state abetted evils that continue to risk the future of flora, fauna and humanity. The Wretched of the Earth Frontline Bloc took pole position on the march given the impact of climate change impacting most critically on the Black and Brown people of the Global South. Pictured here also is the banner of the Emancipation Day Afrikan Reparation March Committee which demands a stop to our Maangamizi – the Afrikan hellacaust and its current manifestations. Please join them on August 1st for the Annual march for Reparatory Justice from Windrush Sq to Parliament where the Stop the Maangamizi petition will be delivered to Downing St.
Of the #ClimateMarch one participant reflected:
Tillah Willah said: “I went to the Climate March in London -a 50,000 strong triumph – so the organisers say.
It was cold literally and otherwise and I walked through the march and I walked through the march feeling like an outsider until I got to the front where the Wretched of the Earth bloc were marching.
It was good to walk with the Global Pan Afrikan Peoples Parliament, it was good to hear Ken Saro Wiwa‘s name being called, it was good to meet with the young members of Black Dissidents it was good to meet Indigenous people from the South Pacific, Peru, Northern Scandinavia…. she also went on to say….”We are watching you, governments of the Caribbean, Africa and Asia who are still convinced that industrialisation is the only way forward, yes you bauxite mining in Jamaica, yes you T&T with your obscene levels of CO2 production per capita, yes you Nigeria with your unchecked oil pollution, yes you India trying to steal land from the Adivasis.To the governments of the Caribbean, Africa and Asia who are aiding and abetting corporate colonialism, we are watching you and promise that our communities are finding each other, we are linking our struggles and we are joining voices and forces for justice.” Well said! Tillah Willah! #ClimateMarch
Together, we will march for climate, justice & jobs – Sunday 29 Nov in central London.
Scotland/Wales march 28 Nov.
Join the London train to Paris 12 Dec.
Long DescriptionNational demonstration for climate, justice and jobs!
November 29 – London march
November 28 – Scotland and Wales march
December 12 – Join us in Paris!
■ Download your leaflets here: http://bit.ly/1K14SPf
● No to dirty energy!
● Yes to renewables!
● Climate jobs now!
● Justice for people!
Floods, typhoons and droughts are already impacting many millions of people, both here and abroad. This humanitarian crisis affects those who have done least to create the problem the most, and left unchecked would affect us all.
All over the world people are already putting into practice real solutions: public renewable energy, green infrastructure, millions of new, unionised clean jobs. But it needs to happen faster, at scale and with people at its centre.
With such solutions already in flow, we can leave the age of fossil fuels behind. Some choices we can each make on our own. But some, we as a society must make together.
Hope is with people who are already way ahead of those governments who lack the political will to act, and ahead of those corporate interests who are blocking the changes we need.
Together, we are more powerful than they could possibly imagine.
Whatever happens in Paris, we can, and we will, build the future from here.
A more just, more equitable and better world for us all.
■ Many more details to come over the coming weeks.
■ We’ll be organising to take people to the Paris demonstrations too: come back soon for more details!
■ Coaches – let us know details of your local coach and we’ll let others know!
■ Route to be confirmed.
Organisations supporting the demonstration include:
350.org, 38 Degrees, Action Aid, Avaaz, Bond, Campaign Against Climate Change, Centre for Sustainable Fashion, Climate Change Centre Reading, Climate Revolution, Friends of the Earth, Global Justice Now, Greenpeace, Left Unity, The Global Afrikan People’s Parliament, MADE, National Union of Students, Oil Vay, PCS, People’s Assembly Against Austerity, People and Planet, Reclaim The Power, Stop the War Coalition, Student Assembly Against Austerity, This Changes Everything, Time to Act, Trades Union Congress (TUC), UNISON, UK Youth Climate Coalition
“You have been in the township. You have seen how bleak it still is. Well, it was here where we flung the first stone. It was here where we shed so much blood. Nothing could have been achieved without the sacrifice of the people. Black people.”
A Revolutionary Theory is a Necessity
“It is with the intention of making a contribution, however modest, to this debate that we present here our opinion of the foundations and objectives of national liberation in relation to the social structure. This opinion is the result of our own experiences of the struggle and of a critical appreciation of the experiences of others. To those who see in it a theoretical character, we would recall that every practice produces a theory, and that if it is true that a revolution can fail even though it be based on perfectly conceived theories, nobody has yet made a successful revolution without a revolutionary theory.”
– Amilcar Cabral, The Weapon of Theory