Opposing the USAFRICOM base of Maangamizi in Ghana: Globalising Pan-Afrikan Resistance for Reparatory Justice is the way to victory!
“if we do not unite and combine our military resources for common defence, our individual [African] States, out of a sense of insecurity, may be drawn into making defence pacts with foreign powers which may endanger the security of us all”.
Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah, ‘Africa Must Unite’ (1963)
We in the Global Afrikan Peoples Parliament (GAPP), in partnership with the ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/ Ecocide!’ Campaign (SMWeCGEC), join the progressive forces of Freedom, Justice and Peace, in the once proudly inspiring Black Star nation-state founded by Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah, in expressing their outrage and vehement opposition to the shocking endorsement by the Government of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and his so-called New Patriotic Party (NPP) majority in Parliament, of the completely unjustifiable Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on defence cooperation between the Republic of Ghana and the United States of America on March 8, 2018. It is unimaginable that, 61 years after the declaration of Ghana’s independence, the very Euro-Amerikkkan imperialist superpower of the West, whose Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) masterminded the violent February 1966 coup d’état which shattered the Pan-Afrikan Liberation dreams and efforts of Ghana’s first visionary head of state, is now supposed to be the country’s key security ally. For the sake of the serious lessons that must be critically learnt by us all, we must not lose sight of the fact that this current Akuffo-Addo-approved MOU is supposed to be the enhancement of two previous agreements that were signed with the USA without public discussion, scrutiny and parliamentary endorsement in Ghana in 1998 and 2015 by the preceding governments of President Jerry John Rawlings and President John Dramani Mahama respectively.
We therefore urge you to keep up your resistance as you did with the 2008 attempts to establish an AFRICOM military base in Ghana until this manifestation of the Maangamizi (Afrikan Hellacaust of chattel colonial and neo-colonial forms of enslavement) is stopped. For, contrary to assertions that the USA Government is not establishing an American military base, the agreement indicates that the USA Armed Forces will have the use of a designated area in Ghana to set up their own camp inaccessible to anyone else, in other words a ‘base’ by another name. The presence of this enduring base will increase the militarisation of the state and society leading to increased hostilities directed against the people of Ghana for being in cohoots with the US Empire in committing crimes against Humanity.
Just like in 1844 when Fante Chiefs were outmanoeuvred into signing an agreement on behalf of the Gold Coast with the British colonisers, similarly today, we have a Government and its majority in parliament surrendering the sovereignty, dignity and territorial integrity of the people of Ghana, undermining their national interests and security. However, as in the past the people of Ghana at no time have ceded their sovereignty, which is what makes this agreement so injurious to the interests of Ghanaians; the implications of such will be felt for generations to come. The agreement had been drafted in a manner which does not state a termination point. Article 6 of the MOU states that: “Buildings constructed by United States forces shall ….be used by United States forces until no longer needed by United States forces”. If read literally, this agreement will in actuality bind all successive governments in Ghana.
Furthermore, regarding the settlement of disputes between the parties, article 18 stipulates that: “Any dispute regarding the application, implementation, or interpretation of this Agreement, or its Implementing Arrangements…shall not be referred to any national or international court, tribunal, or similar body, or to any third party for settlement, unless otherwise mutually agreed”. Rather, the agreement reinforces USA military immunity from international law and imposes Euro-Amerikkkan law on the people and Government of Ghana in the settlement of claims arising out of the operations of the base, including death, destruction of property or injury. It is likely that such arrangements will increase covert military and security operations both in Ghana and across Afrika.
We support you, the progressive forces of Ghana, in seeking to ensure that all your combined efforts to stop this manifestation of the Maangamizi succeed in making such affronts to Ghana’s sovereignty and the Pan-Afrikan dignity of Ghanaians to not occur again. Such resistance must keep us firmly on the path of Pan-Afrikan Reparations for Global Justice through first and foremost arresting these continued violations of Ghanaian sovereignty and self-determined nationhood. Given the increasing expansion of neo-colonial tentacles of revanchist coloniality by Euro-Amerikkkan imperialism throughout the Continent of domestically and externally re-colonised Afrika, it is vital to recognise the need to accelerate the building of Maatubuntujamaas – Afrikan Heritage Communities for National Self-Determination (AHC-NSDs) in the Diaspora to connect with their equivalent Sankofahomes on the Continent to achieve Maatubuntuman (Pan-Afrikan Union of Communities). Clearly, the Afrika that currently exists is being sold out by one neo-colonial government after another. It follows that organising to actualize Maatubuntuman, a globally superpowerful participatory democratic anti-imperialist polity of Maat which practices Ubuntu in relation to her people and all of humanity and the cosmos rooted in the indigenous nation-building practices of Afrika and her people, is the only force which can make the global apartheid racist agenda and structures of recolonization by White Supremacy ungovernable.
Unlike in the past when Founding father of the Republic of Ghana, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, called for unified armed forces (an Afrikan High Command), and a common Afrikan foreign policy, we have a situation where the current Defence Minister Dominic Nitiwul is seeking to hoodwink the people of Ghana into accepting overt military domination; arguing that the USA Government has such defence cooperation agreements “in over 50 countries”. However, what Nitiwul and the misruling so-called New Patriotic Party (NPP) of President Akufo-Addo are refusing to admit to the people of Ghana is that these arrangements are part of what Chalmers Johnson in his 2004 book, ‘The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic’, called an “empire of bases” which advance US geopolitical interests, not those of so-called host countries.
In this regard, we echo the sentiments of the Coalition Against US Foreign Military Bases, which held its inaugural event January 12-14, 2018 at the University of Baltimore in Maryland, in the USA where it operates; we reiterate to you what they expressed in their Unity Statement: “U.S. foreign military bases are the principal instruments of imperial global domination and environmental damage through wars of aggression and occupation, and that the closure of U.S. foreign military bases is one of the first necessary steps toward a just, peaceful and sustainable World.” It is indeed alarming that the United States maintains the highest number of military bases outside its territory, estimated at almost 1000 (95% of all foreign military bases in the World).
The ‘No Foreign Military Bases’ Coalition further asserts that: “These bases are centres of aggressive military actions, threats of political and economic expansion, sabotage and espionage, and crimes against local populations. In addition, these military bases are the largest users of fossil fuel in the world, heavily contributing to environmental degradation”. We concur with the coalition’s assertion that US foreign military bases represent the interests of the “dominant financial, political, and military interests of the ruling elite” and agree with their conclusion that: “Whether invited in or not by domestic interests that have agreed to be junior partners, no country, no peoples, no government, can claim to be able to make decisions totally in the interest of their people, with foreign troops on their soil representing interests antagonistic to the national purpose”.
This is the time for the Pan-Afrikan essence of our Reparatory Justice struggles all over the world to take concrete shape by working in cooperation with all Freedomfighting peoples around the World in order to galvanise the Internationalist Solidarity of allies of Afrikan people at home and abroad, to reinvigorate the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), and to win the hearts, minds and spirits of Peoples of Conscience for a just World of Peace for all. This is one of the surest ways to ensure that Imperialism in all its forms and guises is exposed, effectively counteracted and completely eradicated throughout the World.
Accordingly, we identify with all the modes of legitimate Resistance being adopted in multifarious opposition to this disgraceful deal of treasonable sell-out to the USA not only by various organisations, networks and campaigns in and outside the homeland of founding father Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah, but also by the conscientious chiefs and other true leaders of the indigenous communities that make up the authentic Afrikan polity of Ghana and who are upholding her independent Afrikan Personality in all its sovereignty, dignity and integrity. We support the calls from all the progressive forces of Civil Society, admirably including various youth, student, women and labour groupings, that are being echoed by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) minority in the Ghanaian Parliament, and even some voices of sanity in the NPP, demanding an immediate withdrawal of the agreement, pending the holding of broad consultations and a thorough national discussion involving all relevant stakeholders. May we emphasize the salient point that our GAPP and all others involved in the SMWeCGEC and their affinity organisations, networks and campaigns all over the World see such stakeholders as including those Afrikans abroad who lay claim to Global Pan-Afrikan citizenship and who are, in this United Nations International ‘Decade for People of African Descent’ (UN-IDPAD), asserting their ‘Right to Afrika’.
We are in consultations with Ghanaian progressive forces at home and abroad engaged in planning appropriate Global Actions of Internationalist Solidarity with Ghana Against Foreign Military Occupation. In this connection, we urge all those in Ghana to glocally face up, with enlightening global broad-mindedness, to the seriousness of the very dangerous geopolitical intrigue-weaving, malevolence and War-games which this agreement is drawing them into to descend further into the abyss of the World military-industrial-prison complex of the USA. This MOU will only worsen your Maangamizi plight of Neocolonialism by the Global Apartheid way of White Supremacy racist Recolonization by opening you up to suffer more crimes of Genocide and Ecocide. The narrow-mindedness of parochial obscurantism will not do in successfully rallying to defeat the war-mongering reactionary forces of USAFRICOM that very well master anti-people games of divide and misrule. That is why the necessity cannot be overstated now for United Front-building among all progressive forces unflinchingly committed to defending Sovereignty, eschewing sectarianism, ethnocentrism, egocentrism and similar vices, advancing together in Principled Unity to champion human, peoples’ and Mother Earth rights, while firmly upholding uncompromising Anti-Imperialism, Self-Determination, National Liberation, Social Justice, Participatory Democracy and holistic Pan-Afrikan Reparations for Global Justice. That is why, now more than ever before, is the time to seize in globalising Pan-Afrikan Resistance for Reparatory Justice forward ever onward to total victory!
GAPP Leadership Facilitation Team in association with the ‘Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide!’ Campaign (SMWeCGEC) Spearhead Team of the SMWeCGEC International Steering Committee (ISC-SMWCGEC)
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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
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.