Uju Anya Wishes Queen of England Excruciating Painful Death

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Uju Anya Wishes Queen of England Excruciating Painful Death

Postby admin » Sun Sep 11, 2022 10:07 pm

CMU professor explains tweet wishing the Queen of England excruciating pain, before her death
Marcie Cipriani
Pittsburgh's Action News
Updated: 6:56 PM EDT Sep 9, 2022

Uju Anya@
@UjuAnya . 9 Sep 2022
If anyone expects me to express anything but disdain for the monarch who supervised a government that sponsored the genocide that massacred and displaced half my family and the consequences of which those alive today are still trying to overcome, you can keep wishing upon a star.


Uju Anya, an associate professor at Carnegie Mellon University, told Pittsburgh's Action News 4 that when she tweeted wishing Queen Elizabeth II's pain was "excruciating," she was posting through her own personal pain.

CMU professor's statement: Watch the report in the video above.

"I am a child and sibling of survivors of genocide," Anya wrote. "I was born in the immediate aftermath of this genocide, which was directly supported and facilitated by the British government then headed by the monarch Queen Elizabeth II."

Anya, an associate professor in the Department of Modern Languages at CMU, was born in Nigeria, and wrote in her original tweet,

"I heard the chief monarch of a thieving raping genocidal empire is finally dying. may her pain be excruciating."


Her sentiment came from what her family lived though, but it quickly created controversy online and many called for CMU to fire Anya.

"We wrote them a letter saying we know that you're getting a lot of pressure from a lot of people, including really heavy hitters like Jeff Bezos, to punish this professor," said Alex Morey, an attorney with The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression who contacted CMU.

Morey said their letter encouraged CMU to allow free expression.

"We want to remind you that you have excellent, strong promises of free expression for their faculty so that they can express their opinions, including dissenting opinions, and so you can't punish her," Morey said they wrote in the letter.

Morey said CMU has not responded to their letter, but the university did post online the following statement: "We do not condone the offensive and objectionable message posted by Uju Anya today on her personal social media account. Free expression is core to the mission of higher education, however, the views she shared absolutely do not represent the values of the institution, nor the standards of discourse we seek to foster."


Dr. Uju Anya's full explanation of her tweet:

"I am the child and sibling of survivors of genocide. From 1967-1970, more than 3 million civilians were massacred when the Igbo people of Nigeria tried to form the independent nation of Biafra. Those slaughtered included members of my family. I was born in the immediate aftermath of this genocide, which was directly supported and facilitated by the British government then headed by the monarch Queen Elizabeth II. This support came through political cover, weapons, bombs, planes, military vehicles, and supplies the British government sent to kill us and protect their interests in the oil reserves on our land. My people endured a holocaust, which has shadowed our entire lives and continues to affect it, because we're still mourning incalculable losses and still rebuilding everything that was destroyed. Conversations among us today still include who was lost, who was displaced, where people ran, where bodies are buried. They do not include kind, respectful, or temperate sentiments about the people who murdered our relatives and destroyed our lives.

"Some may not approve of how a survivor of state violence expresses their opinion of those who harmed them, but all should know that 'colonizer' is not an abstract word to me, nor is the blood drenched legacy of Queen Elizabeth II and the British monarchy something I've only read about in history books."
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Re: Uju Anya Wishes Queen of England Excruciating Painful De

Postby admin » Sun Sep 11, 2022 10:11 pm



Her Majesty
by Chumbawamba

Her majesty's a pretty nice girl
But she doesn't have a lot to say
Her majesty's a pretty nice girl
But she changes from day to day
I wanna tell her that I love her a lot
But I gotta get a belly full of wine
Her majesty's a pretty nice girl
Someday I'm gonna make her mine
Oh yeah, someday I'm gonna make her mine

Her majesty's a pretty nice girl
But she never does a thing for me
Her majesty's a pretty nice girl
But she keeps the worst company
All her lords and her ladies in waiting
All crawling in the dirt like swine
Her majesty's a pretty nice girl
But I hope she's the end of the line
Oh yeah, I hope she's the end of the line
Her majesty's living in a land of curtsies
A world of bluish blood and Nazis, yeah

Her majesty's a pretty nice girl
But I think she ought to call it a day
Her majesty's a pretty nice girl
Without one good reason to stay
I'd like to take her for a whiskey or two
But I've got a lot of things to do
Her majesty's a throwaway song
Just short of a chorus or two
Oh yeah, short of a chorus or two

A world of corgies and inbreeding
The royal corpse is barely breathing, yeah

Her majesty's a pretty nice girl
With a circus for a family
Her majesty's a pretty nice girl
But she's stuck with the royal We
I'd like to show her around the center of town
But I haven't got a carpet for her feet
Her majesty's a pretty nice girl
But she's pretty much obsolete
Oh yeah, she's pretty much obsolete
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Re: Uju Anya Wishes Queen of England Excruciating Painful De

Postby admin » Sun Sep 11, 2022 10:21 pm

Amid Tributes to Queen Elizabeth, Deadly Legacy of British Colonialism Cannot Be Ignored
by Amy Goodman
Democracy Now
SEPTEMBER 09, 2022

GUESTS
Priya Gopal, English professor at the University of Cambridge.
Ash Sarkar, contributing editor at Novara Media.
Maya Jasanoff, author and history professor at Harvard University.
Pedro Welch, former chair of the Barbados Reparations Task Force.
LINKS
Priya Gopal on Twitter
Ash Sarkar on Twitter
"Mourn the Queen, Not Her Empire"
"Insurgent Empire: Anticolonial Resistance and British Dissent"

We host a roundtable on the life and legacy of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, who died Thursday at the age of 96. She was the country’s longest-reigning monarch, serving for 70 years and presiding over the end of the British Empire. Her death set off a period of national mourning in the U.K. and has thrown the future of the monarchy into doubt. “The monarchy really has come to represent deep and profound and grave inequality,” says Cambridge scholar Priya Gopal, author of “Insurgent Empire: Anticolonial Resistance and British Dissent.” We also speak with Harvard historian Maya Jasanoff, Novara Media editor Ash Sarkar and Pedro Welch, former chair of the Barbados Reparations Task Force, who says the British monarchy’s brutal record in the Caribbean and other parts of the world must be addressed. “The enslavement of our ancestors has led to a legacy of deprivation, a legacy that still has to be sorted out,” says Welch.

Transcript
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.
AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman.

We begin today’s show looking at the life and legacy of Queen Elizabeth II. She died Thursday at the age of 96. She spent 70 years on the throne, longer than any other British monarch. Her son Charles has now become Britain’s new king, taking the name King Charles III. In a statement Thursday, King Charles said, quote, “We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved mother. I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world,” unquote.

Queen Elizabeth was coronated in 1953, less than a decade after the end of World War II. Her last public appearance was on Tuesday, when she formally appointed Liz Truss to be Britain’s new prime minister. Truss was the 15th prime minister to serve under the queen. Truss spoke Thursday after Buckingham Palace announced the queen’s death.

PRIME MINISTER LIZ TRUSS: It is a day of great loss, but Queen Elizabeth II leaves a great legacy. Today the crown passes, as it has done for more than a thousand years, to our new monarch, our new head of state, His Majesty King Charles III. With the king’s family, we mourn the loss of his mother. And as we mourn, we must come together as a people to support him, to help him bear the awesome responsibility that he now carries for us all. We offer him our loyalty and devotion, just as his mother devoted so much to so many for so long.

AMY GOODMAN: Across the world, nations paid tribute to the queen. In a statement, President Biden described the queen as, quote, “a stateswoman of unmatched dignity and constancy who deepened the bedrock alliance between the United Kingdom and the United States,” unquote. On Thursday, he signed a condolence book at the British Embassy in Washington, D.C., and spoke briefly about the queen.

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: I had the opportunity to meet her before she passed, and she was an incredibly gracious and decent woman. And the thoughts and prayers of the American people are with the people of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth in their grief.

AMY GOODMAN: The death of Queen Elizabeth has also led to new calls for Britain to make amends for colonial-era crimes. Carnegie Mellon professor Uju Anya made headlines Thursday for her sharp criticism of the queen. The Nigerian-born professor wrote, quote, “If anyone expects me to express anything but disdain for the monarch who supervised a government that sponsored the genocide that massacred and displaced half my family and the consequences of which those alive today are still trying to overcome, you can keep wishing upon a star.” In a separate tweet, professor Uju Anya wrote, quote, “I heard the chief monarch of a thieving raping genocidal empire is finally dying. May her pain be excruciating.” Twitter removed her tweet. Birmingham City University professor Kehinde Andrews, who is of British African Caribbean heritage, also reflected Thursday on the queen’s legacy.

KEHINDE ANDREWS: I guess it depends what you think a good job of being queen is. So, if a good job of being queen is to represent white supremacy and to represent that link to colonialism, then, yeah, I think she’s done a very good job. And I think if you look at the royal family as an institution, I mean, it’s still very, very strong. It’s weathered some heavy storms, including Prince Andrew, Meghan Markle and all this, and still going strong. And she’s still very, very popular. So, I guess, on a — has she kept the image of the royal family mafia very, very established? Then, yes, I think she’s done a good job.

AMY GOODMAN: To talk more about the death of Queen Elizabeth II and the future of the British monarchy, we’re joined by British journalist Ash Sarkar, Harvard professor Maya Jasanoff, whose New York Times guest essay is headlined “Mourn the Queen, Not Her Empire,” and University of Cambridge professor Priya Gopal, author of Insurgent Empire: Anticolonial Resistance and British Dissent.

We welcome you all to Democracy Now! Professor Gopal, let’s begin with you. Your thoughts on the death of the longest-reigning British monarch, Queen Elizabeth II?

PRIYA GOPAL: Well, it is the end of a long, eventful, rich life of the person who was — who had a ringside seat at many important global events, and indeed a role in those events.

I find myself appreciating the circumstances in which she passed. She had good care. She had good medical supervision. She was in secure shelter in a place that she loved. And I am glad for that. I do wonder whether, given the state that Britain is in today, which is in a state of crisis preceding her passing, whether many British pensioners will have the same easeful passing this winter. I fear not. I think many people will be in insecure housing, without heat, potentially without food, and certainly without access — without immediate access to good medical care.

So I’m really struck by the distinction or the difference between the circumstances of Queen Elizabeth’s passing and what many of her subjects may have to endure this coming winter in a country where the monarchy really has come to represent the deep and profound and grave inequality and gap that, you know, is going to be a problem in the months to come.


AMY GOODMAN: Ash Sarkar, you’re on the ground there in London. You’re a journalist, a contributing editor at Novara Media. What is your response to the death and the legacy of Queen Elizabeth?

ASH SARKAR: Well, I suppose my personal response is one of curiosity, interest. There are very few moments that could be described as truly historic, but the death of Britain’s longest-reigning monarch is, of course, definitely historic. We tend to measure our periods of historical time here in the U.K. by kings and queens rather than other things that might be going on politically. So it is, I think, pretty central to our national self-image.

I think one thing to perhaps explain for American viewers is just how top-down and choreographed the national mourning is. When Princess Diana died in 1997, it was very much a bottom-up outpouring of grief. We had people spontaneously laying flowers outside Buckingham Palace. And, in fact, the palace was very surprised by the emotional response which was offered up by the country. When the queen dies, it is a different thing. The BBC immediately changes its programming, so there will be no comedies being scheduled between now and the funeral. Even the music on the radio changes to more somber playlists. Television presenters are all dressed in black. And even though this isn’t something which is directed by either the government or royal protocol, public events, like football matches, are being suspended.

Now, one of the really critical things is that parliamentary business is also suspended. One of the things that Priya mentioned is that we are, of course, in the middle of this dreadful cost-of-living crisis. One of the main causes behind that is that energy bills are out of control. Now Parliament will be suspended, perhaps for seven days, perhaps for 10. And depending on how those days are calculated, whether it’s like business days or whether it’s like calendar days, that could mean that the opportunity to pass the legislation needed to control energy prices, that window of opportunity closes. Now, the government will be negotiating with the palace in order to try and make the time to pass that legislation, but I think very few people would consider it an ideal political system where an elective government effectively has to haggle with the institution of the royal family, the institution of the palaces, in order to get vital governmental business done.


AMY GOODMAN: And, Professor Maya Jasanoff, you wrote this piece in The New York Times, the headline being “Mourn the Queen, Not Her Empire.” Talk about the queen and the empire.

MAYA JASANOFF: The queen was born into a world that looked radically different in certain ways from the one that she departed yesterday. She was born in 1926 at a time when something on the order of one in five or one in six people in the world was a subject of her family. And it’s an astonishing extent of global power. When she became queen in 1952, the prime minister was Winston Churchill. The leaders of the USSR, China and the U.S. were, respectively, Stalin, Mao and Truman. These were figures who were, of course, you know, associated now in our minds with a vanished era, and the queen herself long, long outlived them. And I think one of the consequences of that is that the empire, which largely disintegrated under her — the course of her tenure on the throne, had this kind of public face, in the form of the queen, that actually survived well into the 21st century.

So, you know, I find myself reflecting on this occasion at, you know, of course, some of the things that Priya pointed out, the longevity of a person who, by virtue of a uniquely privileged birth, had a ringside seat to all of these amazing events and also had a remarkable passage into her later life. But, you know, normally the death of a 96-year-old woman wouldn’t account for any headlines whatsoever. And the fact that she was still sort of with us into this radically new world, I find really a sort of moment for reflection on what kind of visions people have for a global order. And I think this is a really important moment for trying to think through what new visions might look like in a period, obviously, of both national crisis for the U.K. and, in many ways, global crisis, with, of course, climate change and the rise of authoritarianism.

AMY GOODMAN: And on that issue of, well, many commentators — and it’s not only British media that is only covering this. The U.S. media, especially the cable channels, are almost exclusively covering just the queen’s death. But if you can talk about Queen Elizabeth, when it comes to — one of their comments of the commentators, she was deeply knowledgeable about foreign policy, which goes to the issue of the British Empire and what we can — should understand about the 20th century. We’ll start with Professor Jasanoff, then to Priya Gopal.

MAYA JASANOFF: Sure. So, the queen, in her role as monarch, she was never an empress in name. That title had been stripped from the British monarchy with the independence of India and Pakistan in 1947. But she did preside over the consolidation and massive expansion of the Commonwealth, into which most of the former British colonies were assimilated, became members. And her role as head of the Commonwealth was manifestly something that she took incredibly seriously. Now, she, presumably, undertook this, at least in part, out of the idea that she was sustaining certain sorts of values that members of her class had long associated with their imperial rule — for example, defense of constitutionalism and the rule of law and human rights and so on. She also personally, clearly, was involved in agitating, to the extent that any monarch does in the extremely limited span that they allow themselves, against apartheid and so on. But, you know, it’s also really important to note that the Commonwealth was a vehicle, designed to be a vehicle for the perpetuation of British global influence, even when the colonies chose to break away from that. So, you know, to the extent that the queen kind of leaned into that role, she was part and parcel of a perpetuation of myths of imperial benevolence that carried on deep into the 20th century.

Another quick point I would make is that the queen has these — had these weekly meetings, more or less, with all of her prime ministers. And many, many of the prime ministers have commented on, as you say, how knowledgeable she was and what good advice she gave and so on. But it’s interesting that this is a part of the government business of the U.K., that is not on the record at all. And although the power of the monarchy, in all sorts of ways, is really rather negligible in terms of their explicit ability to dictate policy and so on, the fact that every single week the prime minister has an audience with the queen that is not monitored or documented or anything of the kind is quite a remarkable black box, I think, at the center of the British state.

AMY GOODMAN: Professor Priya Gopal, you wrote the book Insurgent Empire: Anticolonial Resistance and British Dissent. We usually speak to you at the University of Cambridge. Can you elaborate more on the British Empire, looking at Africa, looking at India, looking at — and in moment we’re going to go directly to — the Caribbean, to Barbados?

PRIYA GOPAL: Yeah. I mean, I slightly wonder if we in fact live in a deeply different world from the one that she came into in 1952. Let us remember that when she became queen at Treetops in Kenya, Britain had just commenced a brutal, vicious insurgency that carried on for several years. In recent years, we have had Kenyans who were tortured by the British raise lawsuits, successfully in some cases, around the vicious violence of the British state at that point. On the matter of whether, you know — and I do wonder whether we actually live in a deeply different world. We live in a world where formally the British crown is no longer an imperial crown, but let us remember that Elizabeth II was, in a sense, obsessed with the Commonwealth, made sure that Charles III would also be head of the Commonwealth. And we have to probe this cozy notion that somehow empire ended beautifully, and then there was this happy nation of families that was the Commonwealth, and she sat at the top of the table, and now Charles III will sit at the top of that table. I think, as Maya just suggested, much of that order has not changed.

But the other thing I want to say is that we often talk about monarchy as an anachronism. So, you know, she came into a world where monarchy was normal, and now it’s an anachronism. Actually, we still have a world order in which, both in Britain and in the colonies, there is enormous concentration of wealth and power in the hands of a few. And monarchy really, in a sense, is not anachronistic. It represents exactly what we are ruled by across the world, in the U.S. as much as anywhere else: power and privilege and wealth in the hands of a few, which the rest of us are then invited to worship and think of as perfectly normal. The monarchy is really one aspect of plutocracy, rule by the wealthy. And that is something that hasn’t essentially changed from 1952 to 2022. If anything, here we are again, ruled by a handful of oligarchs across the world, as ordinary people in Britain and beyond suffer deprivation. So, I slightly wonder if we do in fact live in a very different world from the one that she inherited.

And, you know, in terms of the knowledge of foreign policy, I think what it is is that she was very faithful and dutiful, as the word is often used in the British press, about representing the British state’s understanding of its own foreign policy. I have no evidence that she was knowledgeable about what was happening in the colonies, that she was knowledgeable about the enormous violence with which empire ended in many places. When she came to power, there were brutal counterinsurgencies not just in Kenya, but in Malaya and Cyprus. Many of the records of the crimes of the British state at that point have been destroyed willfully by the British state. So, you know, how much did she know? We won’t know that. But did she speak on these matters? Could she speak on these matters? Was she knowledgeable about what took place? I’m afraid I have no evidence of anything other than that she, and the institution of the monarchy, perpetuates the British state’s and the British elites’ narrative of itself and of Britain.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, in November, Barbados officially removed Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state, freeing itself from the British monarchy after nearly 400 years of colonization. Prince Charles joined the ceremony, where he formally acknowledged Britain’s, quote, “appalling atrocity of slavery” in the Caribbean. Joining us now from Christ Church, Barbados, is Pedro Welch. He is a historian, a former chair of the Barbados Reparations Task Force. Professor Welch, you were in Britain when the queen’s death was announced. You just flew back to Barbados. Thank you so much for joining us on the phone. Can you respond to the queen’s death and what the monarchy has meant for Barbados?

PEDRO WELCH: Thank you very much. Most certainly, the passing of the queen has some importance with respect to the very, very fragmented relationship between the various colonies in the Caribbean, and including Barbados, and Britain. I’m saying this because I’m [inaudible] for the history of the monarchy and the history of the slave trade. The British monarchy was embedded in the institutions that financed the beginning of the slave trade from Britain. And through the centuries, the British monarchy continued to benefit from the colonial exploitation of the plantation colonies in the Caribbean.

But having said that, we are into a very interesting period in which there are a number of things that tend to coincide. The first one is that monarchy is really not an anachronism when it comes to people of African descent, because there were monarchies in Africa. And, in fact, the very first slave rebellion that was planned, that we know of, in Barbados, in that first slave rebellion, the enslaved people in fact planned to install a monarch in Barbados as king of Barbados. So the notion of a monarchy is not necessarily foreign to African sensibilities. And it is in that context that there’s a tremendous level of respect — it’s not necessarily agreement, but level of respect — for an institution of monarchy, an institution that speaks of power. When one looks at the whole question of the persistence of a parliamentary system in the Caribbean and in Barbados, in which the monarch was the head of — the queen was the head of state, that reflects empire, the very successful acculturation of the subject populations into aspects of a British culture, so that I think most Barbadians, most Caribbean people will view her passing certainly with the respect that one will give to any person of authority.

But at the same time, there are some of us who understand the history of our people, who understand that the enslavement of our ancestors has led to a legacy of deprivation, a legacy that still has to be sorted out. That is one of the reasons why we have the CARICOM Reparations Commission, which is seeking to get Britain and other former colonial powers to acknowledge the tremendous harm that has been done.


So, back again [inaudible] to the question, there will be respect, the respect that all the Africans generally give to a patriarch or a matriarch on their passing. But that respect does not necessarily mean that we have forgotten what that monarchy did in its institutional phase, what it did to our people in the past.

AMY GOODMAN: Ash Sarkar, I know you have to leave. We go back from Barbados to London. You’re a journalist there. If you can talk about what’s acceptable to talk about in this time of mourning? And I think the mourning, the new king, Charles III, has announced, will go something like seven days beyond the funeral, not clear when that will be. What is acceptable? And also, if you can talk about now King Charles III, Prince Charles?

ASH SARKAR: In terms of what’s considered acceptable by the media, it is very, very little. So, in some ways, this is an opportunity to redraw the boundaries of legitimate opinion ever tighter. It’s still technically against the law to call for the abolition of the monarchy on British media. It’s not a law that’s enforced, but I think that tells you something about the framing of these issues. I think that one of the problems that we found consistently in this country is that the monarchy has managed to adapt itself to a totally revolutionized media environment in a way which has consolidated a lot of their cultural power. Now, this wasn’t always going to be a certain thing. During the 1990s, tabloid press intrusion, in terms of the status of the marriages of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, of Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, and Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, really threatened to demystify and to kill the deference which the press had traditionally shown the royal family forever. Now, the queen, as an individual, managed to largely float above that kind of fray, but it did threaten the monarchy in terms of their public image for quite some time. That era, I think, has drawn to a close. And, in fact, what we’ve seen is a renewed insistence on deference. One way in which you can see that really clearly is the suspension of the football matches this weekend. Now, as anyone knows about, England, we are a football-mad nation. This wasn’t something which even happened after the death of George VI, the queen’s father. So this is something which is relatively new. And I think that tells you something about that top-down mood of national mourning that I was just describing earlier.

When it comes to Prince Charles, he is the oldest monarch we’ve had at the time of the ascension to the throne. I think that does pose some difficulties for the nation’s self-image. The queen coming to the throne as a young woman, the mother of a growing family, was something which was really integral to her public image. She was seen as a maternal and grandmotherly figure. And that was an image which was very carefully cultivated by her press advisers. Priya has been talking a lot about the nature of the Commonwealth and the way in which it reembodies many of the imperialist dynamics. I think that this is in anecdote which kind of spells out the uneven distribution of power within the Commonwealth. The queen’s former private secretary, Martin Charteris, described the queen descending upon the Commonwealth as being like nanny or mother, and that she could discipline her unruly children with a single look — “No more of your bloody nonsense.” And that maternal image was really central, I think, to the queen steering the monarchy through a time of profound change, the end of formal empire, at least, and also the media revolution. Prince Charles coming to the throne as already an old man, as somebody whose private life has been splashed all over the front pages of British tabloids, it’s a very different thing. It’s, I think, in some ways, been tarnished by some of these more intrusive press practices. And I wonder if what we’ll see is a redoubling on monarchical fervor on the part of the press in order to make up for their former bad behavior.

AMY GOODMAN: Now, Democracy Now! isn’t British media. Would you call, Ash, for the abolition of the monarchy?

ASH SARKAR: I’m a republican. I think that a modern democracy —

AMY GOODMAN: That has a different meaning in the United States.

ASH SARKAR: — should be democratic accountability. Pardon? Oh yeah, I understand that. So, right, by a Republican, I mean that a monarch, constitutional or not, should not be the head of state. I think that we should have an elected president, because one of the problems with having the kind of uncodified constitution that we have here in the U.K., whilst also having a so-called constitutional monarch, is that the exercise of power, in some ways, is very, very opaque.


I can give you another example of this. The Privy Council, which is made up of British lords and MPs, ministers and former ministers, is still the highest court of appeal for many countries in the Commonwealth, countries which include British overseas territories of, shall we say, ambiguous status, like the British Virgin Islands, which are a notorious international tax haven. And that ambiguous legal status, and the fact that the Privy Council is still the highest court of appeal, means that, in some ways, the British Virgin Islands can operate as this kind of, you know, dark twin sibling of the city of London. So, if the city of London isn’t good enough for you to hide your wealth from public authorities, then you can just stash it in the British Virgin Islands, and legal proceedings will hardly ever see the light of day, because the government of the British Virgin Islands and the Privy Council in the British government are always arguing about whose responsibility it actually is.

So, constitutional monarchy allows for that very opaque exercise of power, which I think is, in itself, politically toxic. But even if that wasn’t the case, I think, as a modern state, we should be looking towards an elected head of state rather than one who is placed there by this narrative of bloodline superiority.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, I want to thank you all for being with us. And an interesting fact: Even as Harry and Meghan Markle left the royal family and charged the royal family with racism, their children will now become prince and princess, Archie and Lilibet Diana, who live in the United States, because Harry’s father, Prince Charles, has now ascended to the throne, and they are his grandchildren. That’s King Charles III. Ash Sarkar, thanks so much for being with us, contributing editor at Novara Media in London; Pedro Welch, historian and former chair of the Barbados Reparations Task Force, joining us from Barbados, just back from London; Harvard University professor Maya Jasanoff, we’ll link to your New York Times op-ed, “Mourn the Queen, Not Her Empire”; and University of Cambridge professor Priya Gopal, author of Insurgent Empire: Anticolonial Resistance and British Dissent.
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Re: Uju Anya Wishes Queen of England Excruciating Painful De

Postby admin » Thu Sep 15, 2022 12:07 am

Dismantle the Commonwealth: Queen Elizabeth’s Death Prompts Reckoning with Colonial Past in Africa
by Amy Goodman
DemocracyNow
SEPTEMBER 12, 2022
https://www.democracynow.org/2022/9/12/ ... transcript



GUESTS
Mukoma Wa Ngugi, associate professor of literatures in English at Cornell University and co-founder of the Safal-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Writing.
Caroline Elkins, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and professor of African and African American history at Harvard University.
LINKS
"Unbury Our Dead with Song"
"Legacy of Violence: A History of the British Empire"
"Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain's Gulag in Kenya"
Mukoma Wa Ngugi on Twitter

The death of Queen Elizabeth II has focused global attention on the British royal family and renewed criticism of the monarchy both inside the U.K. and abroad, especially among peoples colonized by Britain. “There’s a degree of psychosis that you can go to another people’s land, colonize them, and then expect them to honor you at the same time,” says Kenyan American author Mukoma Wa Ngugi, who teaches literature at Cornell University and whose own family was deeply impacted by the bloody British suppression of the Mau Mau revolution. He says that with Queen Elizabeth’s death, there needs to be a “dismantling” of the Commonwealth and a real reckoning with colonial abuses. We also speak with Harvard historian Caroline Elkins, a leading scholar of British colonialism, who says that while it’s unclear how much Queen Elizabeth personally knew about concentration camps, torture and other abuses in Kenya during her early reign, the monarchy must reckon with that legacy. “Serious crimes happened on the queen’s imperial watch. In fact, her picture hung in every detention camp in Kenya as detainees were beaten in order to exact their loyalty to the British crown,” says Elkins.

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: As the world marks the death of Queen Elizabeth II, we begin today’s show looking at how she had many subjects throughout the former British Empire, and not all are mourning her death equally. Buckingham Palace has announced the state funeral for Queen Elizabeth II will take place at Westminster Abbey on September 19th. The queen’s body will lie in state at the Houses of Parliament beginning on Wednesday. On Friday, King Charles III gave his first public remarks since assuming the throne following the death of his mother.

KING CHARLES III: In taking up these responsibilities, I shall strive to follow the inspiring example I have been set in upholding constitutional government and to seek the peace, harmony and prosperity of the peoples of these islands and of the Commonwealth realms and territories throughout the world.

AMY GOODMAN: Over the weekend, at least two people were arrested in Britain for publicly criticizing the monarchy. The activist Symon Hill said he was arrested in Oxford after yelling out, quote, “Who elected him?” during a ceremony honoring King Charles III.

For more on British colonial violence and its legacy, we’re joined by two guests.

Caroline Elkins is professor of African and African American history at Harvard University. Her most recent book is titled Legacy of Violence: A History of the British Empire. She was awarded the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction for her first book, Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain’s Gulag in Kenya. Her research into Britain’s brutal suppression of the Mau Mau movement in Kenya in the ’50s resulted in a court case and helped lead to awarding of reparations to more than 5,200 surviving Kenyans who were subjected to systematic torture and abuse under British rule.

Also with us, Mukoma Wa Ngugi, associate professor of literatures in English at Cornell University. His most recent book is titled Unbury Our Dead with Song. He’s the co-founder of the Safal-Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Writing. In 2020, he was part of the initiative at Cornell to change the department’s name from Department of English to Literatures in English. He’s the son of the world-renowned Kenyan author Ngugi wa Thiong’o. After Queen Elizabeth died, our guest wrote, “My uncle was deaf. He was asked by British soldiers to stop. Of course he did not hear them. They shot him dead. My other uncle was in the Mau Mau. My grandmother hid bullets for him. Colonialism happened to real people. It is absolute madness to expect us to mourn the queen.”

Professor Mukoma Wa Ngugi and Caroline Elkins, we welcome you both to Democracy Now! Professor Ngugi, let’s begin with you. Your response to the death of the queen, the monarch who reigned for 70 years, and what she meant for Africa, and specifically your country, Kenya?

MUKOMA WA NGUGI: Yeah. So, what I’ve been thinking about over the last few days is how my family got affected — right? — got affected by British colonialism. Right? And so, yeah, in my tweet, I mentioned about my uncle, who was deaf. He couldn’t hear the soldiers, you know, the British soldiers, so they shot him. And also, my other uncle, who was in the Mau Mau, you know, in the Kenya Land and Freedom Army.

But what’s become interesting to me now is the intimacy of colonialism, right? Because I was talking with my father the other day, and he told me the story about how we also had a home guard, a loyalist, in our family, his brother — one of his brothers was a loyalist, the other one was in the Mau Mau — and how at some point they went to my grandmother’s place at the same time, you know, and they both ran away. Right? In my own case, my name, Mukoma, I’m named after a chief, who was called Mukoma, of course, yeah, who was forced off land in this really beautiful placed called Tigoni, and him and his people then were forced off the land and taken to a very, very arid area. Right? So, I think what I want people to think about is that these questions of colonialism, they happened to real people. Right? Like, there is no — it happened to real people.

AMY GOODMAN: If you could share for our audience, our audience in the United States and around the world, who are not familiar with Kenya’s history, going back in time and back to the British colonial time, when it became a colony, Kenya’s independence, and who the Mau Mau were?

MUKOMA WA NGUGI: Yes. So, the Mau Mau were — people call it a rebellion, but really we should really call it a revolution, right? You know, so we should say they were revolutionaries. But, OK, British colonialism was brutal. There is no other way of putting it. Right? And then, when the Kenyans started resisting, the British government declared a state of emergency, in which case then a lot of Kenyans were taken into detention camps. In fact, the school I went to, called Genya [phon.], we also called it Manyani because it was a former concentration camp. Right? So, it was very, very brutal. The resistance itself, we don’t give it enough historical breath. Right? Because a lot of people talk about it as a queer affair or, you know, like a very narrow movement, but it actually involved the whole Kenyan society, so you have Kenyan Indians who are supporting the Mau Mau, different ethnicities and so on and so forth.

For the audience in the United States, I would say, quoting a writer who wrote So Many Hungers!, “Oppression breeds resistance.” Right? You can’t have oppression without resistance. So, yeah, we had the resistance. Come independence, the betrayal happened, right? So, OK, there were factions within the independence movement. So the betrayal happened, where you ended up with a president who actually at some point — this is Jomo Kenyatta, who at some point called the Mau Mau “terrorists.” Right?


But I want to mention a bit of irony here, that in Kenya now we are mourning. There is a four-day — the current president declared a four-day mourning period for the queen. But his father, Jomo Kenyatta, he himself was actually jailed and detained by the British. Right? So, I think there are two levels here. One is governmental responses or the larger structural political issues, but then the other level is what people are saying themselves. Right? So, yes, so we have neocolonial government, just to put it bluntly — right? — that’s not respecting the wishes of the majority of Kenyans, you know, who were affected by British colonialism.

AMY GOODMAN: I mean, the queen had a special relationship with Kenya, not only, though it is interesting, that she learned of her own father’s death, which led to her ascension as queen, when she was visiting Kenya. The significance of this, Professor Ngugi?

MUKOMA WA NGUGI: Yeah. So, it’s one of the ironies, historical ironies — right? — that she became queen of Kenya, but at the same time, when the repression against Kenyans was actually becoming not just visible but also vicious — you know, detention camps, murders, wanton shootings and so on and so forth. There is an obsession, I think, within the monarchy — right? — of having these territories. In the headlines, King Charles — you quoted King Charles — right? — where he was saying, you know, that we have realms, territories and so on and so forth. But that is — I don’t know. For me, I think it’s a degree of psychosis — right? — that you can go to another people’s land, colonize them, you know, and then expect them to honor you at the same time, right? The fact that Kenya has entered four days of mourning for the queen actually captures that whole absurdity, right? Yeah, I don’t know. Like, there’s a part of me that finds all this so — like so, I don’t know, silly, to put it that way. Like, so, yeah, the queen became the queen in Kenya at the same time there were murders, assassinations, you know, and just good old-fashioned corruption and so on and so forth. Right? And then, at the same time, we are expected to mourn, you know, to mourn the queen. Yeah.

AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to bring Professor Caroline Elkins into this conversation, your colleague at Harvard, with the African and African-American history department, author of Legacy of Violence: A History of the British Empire. You won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for your book Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain’s Gulag in Kenya. Tell us that story and how — I mean, most of, of course, the reason that the reparations went to so many Kenyans, thousands of them, was because of their activism, but because of your book, as well.

CAROLINE ELKINS: Well, thank you so much for having me today.

You know, I think a few things here. First of all, the book itself, Imperial Reckoning, really picked up on where — what the literature — and I mean literature — told us. Mukoma’s father, Nguigi wa Thiong’o, had written about this in literary form. Humanists are often one or two steps at least ahead of historians. But I was determined to tell the full story of these detention camps, that were set up on a massive scale. Nearly 1.5 million Kikuyu, or Africans, were detained in detention camps, or emergency villages, barbed-wire villages, as a way of suppressing Mau Mau. These documents were then — they denied at the time, first under Churchill and then his successors and finally Macmillan. They denied any wrongdoing. And when allegations did surface that had some credibility, they explained it as the fault of a one-off, so-called bad apples. Instead what we find is that when we piece this story back together again, that this was a story about systematic violence, torture, murder and massive cover-up. And the bottom line is that serious crimes happened on the queen’s imperial watch. In fact, her picture hung in every detention camp in Kenya as detainees were beaten in order to exact their loyalty to the British crown.

And the question that remains now, that I think we’re debating, in some ways, is: How much did she know, and what did knowing mean? Number one. And how do we reconcile this moment in time, particularly in Kenya, around her death? And I think it’s here where, one, I think, first of all, we should honor those individuals, those whose families experienced this, Mukoma’s and others’, to choose not to mourn. And certainly, based on the history we know, it is their decision to do so and absolutely within their right to do so and quite justifiable.

At the same time, what I find very interesting is, getting back to Mukoma’s point about current President Kenyatta, in fact, with many others, when this case happened at the High Court of London, five claimants, initially test claimants, sued the British government for systematic torture and violence in the detention camps in Kenya in the 1950s, and four years later, the British government settled the case, as you noted in your remarks. But for each of those five claimants that came to London, they each believed that they were appealing not to the British government, but to the queen. The person they wanted to see most was the queen. And one of them, Wambugu Wa Nyingi, said in his statement, and I quote in my recent book, “If I could speak to the queen, this is what I would tell her.” And he says that under her watch, British government tortured [him], but that he did not hold her personally responsible. And so, when I step back and look at this, what I see as some of her power is not only that these — the extraction of wealth and land and the rest, but the fact that she herself, as her predecessors did, wrapped herself in empire, deflected from what was being carried out in her name, and beckoned colonial subjects, like Wambugu, to revere her. And to this day, many still do. And in some ways — in some ways, that’s how we can explain how governments, like the current one in Kenya, are calling for four days of national mourning.

AMY GOODMAN: Can you talk more extensively about the Mau Mau rebellion, what professor Ngugi called really a revolution, and what the British did to them in Kenya?

CAROLINE ELKINS: Absolutely, a hugely important question, right? Because I think the Mau Mau, in a nutshell, was an anti-colonial and a civil war. It was anti-colonial in that it was those who joined the movement, and they took an oath of allegiance, and nearly 1.5 million Kikuyu, the British government estimated, about 90% took what was considered the first oath of allegiance to the movement. So this was a massive movement, and they were demanding ithaka na wiathi, or land and freedom, from the British government. And as a way to suppress that, the British government rounded up and detained nearly all of them, nearly 1.5 million. It was also a guerrilla war, about 20,000 or 30,000 fled to the forests, and there was a classic, if you will, sort of military action within this. But the British government gained the initiative over the forest war, as it’s called, within two years of the war — right? — so from 1952 to 1954.

But the state of emergency that had been declared extends from 1954 to 1960. And it’s during that period of time — that’s the period of time that I largely focused on in Imperial Reckoning. It’s during that period of time where they exacted extraordinary torture, forced labor, punishment, starvation, in order to get the detainees and those who were detained in emergency villages to renounce their allegiance to Mau Mau, to adopt their allegiance back to the British and to the crown and to Her Majesty, in order to be released from the camps and to become, as they considered themselves to be, quote-unquote, the “British civilized subjects.” And so, that’s at the heart of both Mau Mau, what they are demanding, and the British government.

Ultimately, the British government — it becomes a war of attrition. The British government ultimately decides to decolonize or leave Kenya in 1963, after it is caught red-handed in 1959 with the — what’s called the Hola massacre, where 11 detainees were beaten to death in Hola detention camp. And what’s different about this — it wasn’t an exceptional moment, but what’s difference about this is they get caught red-handed, and they can’t explain it away. There’s a huge uproar in Parliament about this. It is explained to the queen by then-Prime Minister Harold Macmillan that this was an unfortunate incident based upon the actions of quite minor officials, when, in fact, of course, we know now as historians, which I sort of exposed within Imperial Reckoning, that this was the long — the end of a long pattern, six years of brutal torture, murder and starvation tactics, along with forced labor, in these camps of Kenya.


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The 1959 Hola massacre was during the Mau Mau Uprising against British colonial rule at a colonial detention camp in Hola, Kenya.

Event

Hola camp was established to house detainees classified as "hard-core." By January 1959 the camp had a population of 506 detainees of whom 127 were held in a secluded "closed camp." This more remote camp was reserved for the most uncooperative of the detainees. They often refused, even when threats of force were made, to join in the colonial "rehabilitation process" or perform manual labour or obey colonial orders. The camp commandant outlined a plan that would force 88 of the detainees to bend to work. On 3 March 1959, the camp commandant put this plan into action – as a result of which 11 of the detainees were clubbed to death by guards. All the 77 surviving detainees sustained serious permanent injuries.

Attempted cover-up by colonial officials

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The first report to surface about this incident was in the East African Standard. The front-page article reported that ten died at the Hola detention camp. The paper quoted the "official statement" from the colonial authorities: "The men were in a group of about 100 who were working on digging furrows. The deaths occurred after they had drunk water from a water cart which was used by all members of the working party and the guards."

More information about the incident emerged in the weeks that followed the initial reports. An investigation into the deaths ensued and it was discovered that the 11 detainees did not die of drinking foul water, but as a result of violence. The medical examiner said, "They had died from either lung congestion or shock and hemorrhage following multiple bruises and other injuries." The coroner reported, "The injuries of a number of Mau Maus apparently were consistent with their allegations that uncooperative prisoners had been beaten by guards, apparently with the consent of the commandant." A report in the June 1959 edition of Time magazine entitled "The Hola Scandal" described the events. The report stated that, on 3 March 1959, 85 prisoners were marched outside and ordered to work but "dozens of the prisoners fell to the ground, refusing to work" and were beaten by the guards. When the assault had concluded, according to the magazine, 11 prisoners lay dying and another 23 needed hospital treatment.

American historian Caroline Elkins' tells the story of the 'Hola Massacre' in her Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain's Gulag in Kenya, (2005), pages 344–353. According to Elkins, much of the story of the British and Colonial administration was covered-up during the transition to independence in Kenya, and many official documents had been intentionally destroyed during the transition. Elkins, by carefully tracing available original documents and interviews with surviving Kenyans and colonial staff, indicates that part of Hola Prison was used as a remote punishment camp for 'hard core' Mau Mau insurgents who refused to recant their oaths or affiliation to the movement. Physical and psychological abuse were used to 'break' detainees, so they could be 'rehabilitated' and moved out of the concentration camp pipeline and back to Kikuyu reservations.

Once the inquiry findings were made public, the opposition members in the House of Commons called for a debate. Increasing adverse publicity and calls for further investigations of human rights abuses in the camps lead to a reduction in UK governmental support for the Kenya Colony's administration, and resulted in accelerated moves towards Kenyan independence. As recently as 2016, Kenyans were seeking restitution from the British government for torture during the Mau Mau Uprising.

After the Hola massacre the name of Hola was changed to Galole by the Colonial Government in order to coverup the massacre. In 1971, in a bid to revive memory of the massacre, President Kenyatta ordered that Galole revert to its original name. Kenyatta gave this order after he met with a large delegation from Tana River. Since then it is again known as Hola.

Some of the early accounts do not even mention this incident, partly because many of the early accounts are either British government- or colonial-supported publications or secondary texts. Most of the secondary texts published during first decade or so after the Emergency were sympathetic to the British/Colonist/Loyalist point of view.


Reactions and aftermath

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The negative publicity put pressure on the British parliament to take action to salvage Britain's deteriorating image. Colonial detention camps were closed throughout Kenya, and the prisoners were freed soon after. Attempts were then made to find a solution to maintaining British interests in Africa without the use of force, indirectly leading to a hastening of independence across British colonies in Africa.

-- Hola massacre, by Wikipedia


AMY GOODMAN: So, when we look at the cost of the funeral alone, India’s Economic Times says the funeral is expected to cost 6 billion pounds [$6,918.420,000.00 ], not to mention the expenditures of the royal family over these decades. How much of that money comes from the pain and suffering of the people of Kenya? What were the resources in Kenya? Of course, most importantly, human resources. But what was Britain extracting from Kenya?

CAROLINE ELKINS: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm. Yeah, I think, look, this is an enormous question you touched on, Amy, and one that we’re not going to settle in the context of our few minutes here. But I can tell you this. The British government — the moment the queen ascended, in February of 1952, the British government was reeling from the postwar effects, and its economy was in tatters. It decides that it is going to rebuild its economy and its position as part of the big three on the international global stage on the backs of its colonized people through a policy called imperial resurgence. And Kenya becomes an incredibly important part of this, with its tea and coffee export economy, because Britain needed this money within its monetary policy — we don’t need to get into the details about it — they needed this in order to bolster the pound sterling, pay back loans from the war and rebuild its economy.

So there’s no question whatsoever — I think I’m answering your question in a slightly different way, but there’s no question that during Queen Victoria’s reign — Kenya would be one example, Malaya, with its rubber exports, Ghana, with its cocoa — that her government, her economy, her nation rebuilt itself on the backs of empire. And that, I think, we’re fairly unequivocal about. So, the question becomes today, in getting back to some of Mukoma’s points, it’s not just the mourning, but it’s thinking about who is — you know, and this, you’d be guaranteed this [inaudible], like, every single royal occasion, frankly, since Queen Victoria in the 19th century, and certainly under Queen Elizabeth, every royal occasion is an imperial one. So, not only will they be spending money, in some ways, in sort of an elliptical manner, that comes from empire over the years, but they will also be holding out the symbols, the signs, the images of empire through medals and statues and the like, reinforcing imperial greatness. And that imperial greatness is inextricably linked to Britain’s monarchy.

AMY GOODMAN: Do you see reparations being a very real now and prominent issue as the queen dies and Charles becomes king?

CAROLINE ELKINS: Unquestionably. Look, I think that — you know, a few things. I think these have — there was the case that you gestured to, the Mau Mau case, which I was involved in as an expert witness. But particularly in recent years, the King Charles III and the royal family have become well aware of global demands for a kind of global British imperial reckoning, if you will, based upon the protests, based upon the petitions from formerly colonized people and those still living in Commonwealth realms. It is unquestionable, as well — we can debate all we want how much the queen knew at the time about what was going on. There is no debate whatsoever that this current king has the knowledge that serious crimes happened on his mother’s imperial watch.

And it’s up to him at this point to jettison, in some ways, the tradition that his mother held so dear
, revise — and going back to the speech that you played early in our program, where he also speaks to Britain’s unique history of — and, quote-unquote, “unique history,” and I would add “of imperial benevolence,” that she cultivated and affirmed for 70 years. And he has to reconcile with that. He has to speak to these questions of reparations. The alternative is to simply carry on. And that’s only going to hasten the monarchy’s demise. And that, I feel fairly confident in saying.

AMY GOODMAN: Professor Mukoma Wa Ngugi, we give you the final word. What do you demand, now that Prince Charles has become King Charles III?

MUKOMA WA NGUGI: So, what I would like to see is the dismantling of this notion of the Commonwealth. Right? You know, I was thinking about the name earlier, from a writerly perspective, “Commonwealth.” Whose wealth? But the way I’ve been thinking about all these issues is actually through slavery, right? So, the book I’m working on now on Africans and African Americans took me to Keta in Ghana. Right? Keta is where slaves were being taken from, and it’s a very depressed — you know, the aftershocks, if you want to call it that, or the trauma of slavery, still it’s evident. Right? It’s poor, depressed and so on and so forth. Maya Angelou called it melancholic, actually.

Then, from there, I left Keta, then I went to Bristol in England. Right? Bristol was a slave-trading port, where, you know, yeah — and it’s thriving. It looks like a good old-fashioned Bohemian town. Most people know it now because of the dismantling of the statue of Colston, who was one of the slave traders. But at any rate, we can see the effects of slavery. Right? We can see the effects of colonialism. And we can see how the wealth of England was built. Eric Williams, you know, called it — talking about Liverpool, said that there’s no brick in Liverpool that doesn’t have slave blood on it. Right?

But I have no faith in King Charles. I mean, I have no faith in him at all. But what’s interesting to me now is the groundswell, you know, the groundswell of Africans who are affected by colonialism. And, OK, maybe I should just call it the Global South, right? I think now there’s a consciousness that we don’t need England — right? — either materially or psychologically. Right? So, yeah, I would say my faith is with the people in the Global South, not the monarchy.


AMY GOODMAN: Professor Mukoma Wa Ngugi, we thank you so much for being with us, associate professor of literatures in English at Cornell University, and Caroline Elkins, professor of African and African American history at Harvard University. Legacy of Violence: A History of the British Empire is her book, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain’s Gulag in Kenya.
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Re: Uju Anya Wishes Queen of England Excruciating Painful De

Postby admin » Thu Sep 15, 2022 12:12 am

I was arrested after asking “who elected him?” at the proclamation of King Charles
by Symon Hill
11 September 2022

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I had not planned to protest today. To be honest, I’m tired and lacking in energy after not being well lately. And I am not some sort of heroic campaigner who rushes round resisting without rest. I am a lot less energetic and dedicated than some people seem to imagine!

I knew that Charles Windsor would be declared “King Charles III” in official ceremonies around the UK today. I had assumed they would be fairly small-scale. Yesterday, a good friend discouraged me from protesting because she was concerned about my health. I reluctantly agreed that she had a point.

It was only when I went to church this morning that I learnt that there was not only a proclamation in Oxford but a procession that would start just outside our church. I was feeling sad and angry as I left church and walked past the cordoned off streets and saw the dignitaries and military leaders standing on the steps of Carfax Tower in clothing more suited to the sixteenth century. This, apparently, is how we proclaim a new head of state in twenty-first century Britain.

After making slow progress along the pavement, I asked the police how I could get across to the other side as the road was closed off. When I expressed a mild criticism of the royal procession during my question about the road closures, they became defensive and refused to talk with me further. Someone who had heard me came over and challenged my views, but the police told us not to talk to each other. I have no idea on what basis the police stop people with different views having a discussion.


I paused briefly to look at a couple of things on my phone, before realising they were about to read out the proclamation. I had previously doubted whether I wanted to stay and hear it, but I was there now. I remained quiet in the first part of the proclamation, concerning the death of Elizabeth. Any death is sad and I would not object to people mourning.

It was only when they declared Charles to be “King Charles III” that I called out “Who elected him?” I doubt most of the people in the crowd even heard me. Two or three people near me told me to shut up. I didn’t insult them or attack them personally, but responded by saying that a head of state was being imposed on us without our consent.

A security guard appeared, stood right in front of me and told me to be quiet. Two more security guards came along and they tried to push me backwards. As I asked them to give the legal basis for what they were doing, the police came over, more or less moved the security guards out of the way and took hold of me. I was outraged that they were leading me away, but was taken aback when they told me they were arresting me. I have no illusions about the police’s questionable relationship with the law, but I seemed to have been arrested for nothing more than expressing an opinion in public. They gave me confused answers when I asked on what grounds I had been arrested.

As the police led me away, I heard people asking them why I was being arrested. Eventually I realised that two men were walking along beside them demanding answers about it. I heard one of them say, “I don’t agree with him but surely he’s got a right to his views? Isn’t this a free country?” (or similar words). These two people – not activists, not anti-monarchy – were giving a fine example of excellent citizenship by speaking up when they saw the police abusing their powers. I have no idea who they were, but their actions really cheered me.

Eventually I was handcuffed – I don’t know what sort of threat they thought I posed – and put in the back of a police van. A police officer got in the van and took my details. After lots of conversations on his radio he said I would be de-arrested but that they would want to interview me. I said I would do so only with a lawyer present. After some more radio conversations he told me I would be de-arrested and then contacted to be interviewed at a later date, and possibly charged.

I was then driven home in the police van. At this point, I had still not been given a clear answer as to why I had been arrested.

At first I was told that the sergeant who had arrested me would know the reason. This was an appalling answer. Eventually, on the way home, I was told that I had been arrested under the Police, Crime, Sentencing & Courts Act 2022 (the outrageous act passed earlier this year) for actions likely to lead to “harassment or distress”.

I would be surprised if anyone among the few people who had heard me felt harassed or distressed by encountering an opinion that they may have disagreed with.

It took me a while – and a cup of tea, and conversations with people I live with – before I posted on Twitter about what had happened. Most responses were sympathetic and outraged. Some of the more hostile ones accused me of doing all this for the sake of self-promotion. This is impossible: the actions I had taken were unlikely to lead to my arrest and I was very surprised to be arrested.

While I am determined to speak out about this unjust arrest, and about the unfairness of monarchy, I would much rather be doing other things today. I would rather not have spent much of the afternoon trying to calm down and stop shaking as I answered media calls, supportive messages and abusive tweets. I would rather not spend tomorrow morning phoning a lawyer. I would much rather get on with all the things I needed to do anyway. This did not happen because of some cunning plan on my part, but because the police abused their powers to arrest someone who voiced some mild opposition to a head of state being appointed undemocratically.

What other freedoms can be suppressed in the name of monarchy? Who else will be arrested under the vile Police, Crime, Sentencing & Courts Act? I am relatively lucky: I will not be sacked from my job as a result of being arrested, or experience some of the consequences that others may face. If fear of arrest deters people from expressing their views, then these vile laws and draconian atmosphere will have significantly reduced free expression and harmed democracy, whether or not people are charged.

This isn’t about me. It’s about our freedom to choose our own system of government, to elect our own leaders and to express our own views. I’m not asking you to support me. I’m asking you to support democracy.


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Re: Uju Anya Wishes Queen of England Excruciating Painful De

Postby admin » Thu Sep 15, 2022 1:16 am

Jamaica, Antigua & Barbuda May Cut Ties to British Monarch; Renew Call for Reparations for Slavery
by Amy Goodman
DemocracyNow
SEPTEMBER 13, 2022
https://www.democracynow.org/2022/9/13/ ... da_jamaica

GUESTS
Dorbrene O'Marde, chairperson of the Antigua and Barbuda Reparations Commission and an ambassador-at-large of Antigua.
Mutabaruka, renowned Jamaican dub poet, musician and radio show host.
LINKS
Mutabaruka on Twitter

We look at how the death of Queen Elizabeth II is prompting former British colonies in the Caribbean to replace the British monarch as their head of state. Antigua and Barbuda’s prime minister has vowed to hold a referendum soon on whether to become a republic, and Jamaica’s ruling Labour Party also plans a vote. The Caribbean at one point formed the heart of England’s first colonial empire in North America, with millions of enslaved Africans taken to the islands, where many were worked to death. Dorbrene O’Marde, chair of the Antigua and Barbuda Reparations Commission, says he is not personally mourning Queen Elizabeth’s death because her reign helped to “cloak the historical brutality of empire in this veneer of grandeur and pomp and pageantry.” We also speak with renowned Jamaican poet and musician Mutabaruka, who says the British monarchy “represents criminal activity” and that the British state needs to make reparations to former colonies like Jamaica to redress the history of abuses. “Actions speak louder than words,” he says.

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: As King Charles III addresses the British Parliament for the first time as monarch, we begin today’s show looking at the legacy of British colonialism in the Caribbean, where there are growing calls for reparations. The Caribbean at one point formed the heart of England’s first colonial empire in North America. Many of the more than two-and-a-half million enslaved Africans taken to the British Caribbean were worked to death. The string of island nations includes Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Antigua and Barbuda, and Trinidad and Tobago, among many others now in the British Commonwealth.

Following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the prime minister of the twin island nation Antigua and Barbuda said voters may soon decide whether to leave the Commonwealth and become a republic. Prime Minister Gaston Browne spoke to ITV News after he confirmed Charles III as king and head of state.


PRIME MINISTER GASTON BROWNE: This is not an act of hostility and any difference between Antigua and Barbuda and the monarchy, but it is the final step, as I said before, to complete that circle of independence and ensure that we are truly a sovereign nation.

IAN WOODS: What sort of time frame would you think on a referendum then?

PRIME MINISTER GASTON BROWNE: So, I’d say within the next, probably, three years.

AMY GOODMAN: This comes after Barbados voted last year to break from its colonial past and become a republic. Meanwhile, in Jamaica, the ruling Labour Party says it also plans to hold a referendum on becoming a republic.

For more, we’re joined in Kingston, Jamaica, by the renowned Jamaican dub poet Mutabaruka, who’s also a musician, radio show host, as well. And in St. John’s, Antigua, Dorbrene O’Marde is with us, the chairperson of the Antigua and Barbuda Reparations Commission, also an ambassador-at-large of Antigua.

We welcome you both to Democracy Now! Dorbrene O’Marde, let’s begin with you. With the death of the queen, first your response, and then what you’re calling for for your country?

DORBRENE O’MARDE: Well, it’s good to be here. Let me say thanks for having me.

In terms of my response, I will be — I will be very measured here. I will recognize that we are talking about death. We are talking about the loss of human life and that the queen would have had family, etc. But I’m under no obligation, I think, to be mourning her death. And that is simply because of, I think, my understanding of history, my understanding of the relationships of the British monarchy to African people and Asian people, but to African people certainly, on the continent and here in the Caribbean. And so that my response is perhaps to recognize the role that the queen, Queen Elizabeth II, has played, how she has managed to cloak the historical brutality of empire in this veneer of grandeur and pomp and pageantry, I guess, and graciousness. But I think that at this point in time we need to examine that history a lot more closely.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And speaking of that history, could you — for those people who are not aware especially of the roles of King Charles I and King Charles II in the Caribbean, and especially toward your country, could you talk about that?

DORBRENE O’MARDE: Well, if we look at the role of monarchy, so we are going back now mid-17th century, the 1600s. King Charles I was perhaps the monarch, I think, that opened the trade between Britain and Africa. That was originally gold, minerals, etc. That opened that trade up to human trafficking, to the enslavement, to the movement of enslaved Africans.

King Charles II, who followed him, actually was responsible, along with his then-cousin who later became James I, totally responsible for — and responsible and ownership of the Royal African Company, that moved more Africans off of the continent into the Americas than any other company in history. So, what we’re talking about here is the involvement, the involvement of British monarchy in the ownership and the operation of the transatlantic — I prefer to call it of the European slave trade, the movement of Africans into the Caribbean. And so, we now see this movement.

And even before Charles I, we can be addressing Elizabeth I. And we see this recurrence, of course, in the names that we’re talking about. And so, we now, supposedly, should be mourning the death of Elizabeth II and welcoming a Charles III. But we know them. We know these Charleses, and we know these Elizabeths. So there’s virtually no mourning for me at this moment.


JUAN GONZÁLEZ: I’d also like to bring in Mutabaruka, the renowned Jamaican poet, musician. Your response to the death of Queen Elizabeth and also of the British Empire’s relationship to Jamaica?

MUTABARUKA: Good morning. I am totally in agreement with the first speaker, and I don’t even want to go back into slavery, because a lot of people claim that Queen Elizabeth was not responsible for what her ancestors did. She herself said that slavery was legal at the time, so she don’t really recognize what we in the Caribbean is talking about.

So, we have to realize, in 1952, that was when she ascended the throne of England. And if you check the history between 1952 and now, you will see that even though slavery was abolished, but they, what we call it, redefined slavery and called it colonialism. And colonialism in this part of the world was represented by the throne of England. So, we’re not really talking about the individual person; we’re talking about a corporation, an institution, which is called the monarchy of England, that has totally devastated a lot of the progress we could have made if it wasn’t for this, what we call, colonialism, interpreted to us as slavery still.


Now, we have to remember, in her time, there was the Mau Mau uprising, which is a very interesting case, because she was actually named queen of England when she was in Kenya. And the cruel and wicked things that the British Army did to the African people there cannot be seen as just, “OK, that is just something.” And she had never, never granted any sympathy or said anything that would say, well, you know, of a kind of [inaudible] to what was taking place.

We look in South Africa during the apartheid system. The British is part of that wicked apartheid regime that demonstrated and killed thousands of Africans who were fighting for right to be a person in South Africa. And it was not ’til just recently and during the time of Mandela and Winnie Mandela that we was told that they were still on the list of terrorist groups. And even though England and this queen was ruling at that time, there was no effort to find out what is it they can do to help to alleviate the problems that confront African people in this part of the world.

Now we come to the Caribbean in this time. The Caribbean has been devastated, we know, in history. One of the richest plantation owners, cane owners, was a man by the name of William Beckford. William Beckford got his riches and became one of the richest men in England by that time. And up to this day, when we recognize how much people died because of the institutionalized slavery that they call colonialism, up ’til this day, that the movement of a people, especially in Jamaica now, where our constitution was given to us by England through the hands of the so-called Bustamante and Norman Manley, who was recognized during that time in 1962, when Jamaica was supposed to be getting independence. They went to England, and they got a constitution that is now part and parcel of what Jamaicans are supposed to live by.

And when we look at that constitution, it does not include ownership of land in Jamaica by the people. If you go into the courts of Jamaica, it says “The Crown versus [inaudible]” or “The Crown versus John Tom.” That is what we have to face right now.
Now, when you recognize that, Jamaica is supposed to be an independent city — country. Most Jamaicans in Jamaica now are independent. And even though people say it’s like a — it’s not reaching, not really governing the country. But the head of state is a governor-general representing the queen of England in an independent country. How the hell that can be possible, that you have an independent country that is — that the first lady is the governor-general’s wife, not the prime minister’s wife? And they designed the constitution that way. And this so-called — we call them boss slave, jack-a-dandy slave, that they continue to uphold and maintain that regime that has committed so much atrocities and crimes in this century, in this time, that have been committed and that are still committing it.

I would also why we should now sit down and say, 12 days of mourning, that is sure all backward and all what we call the Stockholm syndrome, has grabbed our leaders in the Caribbean, that here’s a family that represent criminal activities, as far as your ancestors, and now you start to love them. How is that possible? How is that possible that we who know the history is keep repeating the history? We know what has taken place in this democratic — so-called democratic country, that it’s still honoring the most gruesome and cruel monarchy that ever exists, and we know of it. How can we know it and say we’re going to have 12 days of mourning? Twelve days of mourning for what? What we mourning that for? Why are we not mourning for the thousands and millions of people that died across the Atlantic Ocean? We’re not mourning for all the warriors of our time. There’s no day for Tacky, there’s no day for Nanny, all of these people who died because they stand up and struggle to get over the claws of British colonialism.

AMY GOODMAN: Mutabaruka —

MUTABARUKA: We don’t sit and say we must mourn. I am not one of them who’s mourning, and I can’t [inaudible], who don’t see it as a mourning time.

AMY GOODMAN: Mutabaruka, I wanted to ask your response to Charles, at the time Prince Charles, just a few weeks ago praising the contribution of Jamaicans to British life as immeasurable in a message commemorating Jamaica’s 60 years of independence from the U.K. Now you have Jamaica also talking, like Antigua and Barbuda, of a referendum on complete independence, on becoming a republic. What would — what do you think the outcome of that will be? And what would reparations and an apology look like to you, be adequate for you? By the way, it’s an honor to speak with you again after so many years, having talked to you in Brooklyn.

MUTABARUKA: Those years and years, yes. All right. What he is saying is what we expect him to say. Now, actions speak louder than words. And if he is here now to do certain things, he must understand how we feel as African people in this part of the world and what his family and ancestors did. So, to address the situation is not just to say why he’ll feel bad about what is happening. That is not apologizing. He did that already. He came to the Caribbean and said, “Well, I feel bad about what was happening.” We need somebody saying, “Look at, we see what happened, and we was responsible for it, and we’re sorry, and we’re going to make amends.”

And the amends come with what we call, what them call, getting something going between the different countries then to facilitate reparations and repatriation, because we’re not taken back home, for those who desire to go back to Africa, because we came to Jamaica not by free will but by force. Nobody asked to come to the Caribbean, not these Africans. At least my ancestors never asked to come here. So, the Rastafari community is crying out, saying, “Reparation! Repatriation!” meaning that those who is desirous of going back to Africa must be able to do this without the argument about Commonwealth of Nations. And that is really ignorance. There is no moving away from the queen and the monarchy if the countries that claim getting rid the monarchy is won, but if you still in the Commonwealth of Nations, that’s still binding up you to the same colonial system that you are trying to break free from. There is no getting rid of the queen or getting rid of the king, and you’re still into the Commonwealth.


We, as Jamaicans, there’s a lot of grandfathers who’s living today who fought in the Royal Air Force during the World War II and who went to England to help build up England. And what we are now? First of all, Jamaicans have to have a visa to go to the so-called motherland. Jamaicans is not allowed to stay there at a certain length of time. And now we have the Windrush people who just recently was still out there trying to send back people who was in England for 60 years and have children at them house and everything. They’re sending them back to Jamaica. That is one of the most racist things that I have ever seen in my lifetime. We have got to build a country. Yes.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Mutabaruka, I’d like to bring in, on this issue of reparations, Dorbrene O’Marde also. If you could tell us, in the letter that your commission submitted to the royal family, what were some of the demands? And how do you see reparations?

DORBRENE O’MARDE: Certainly. The letter that we wrote, well, it would have been our second letter addressed to British monarchs. Earlier, I think maybe about a year or two before, Prince Harry was here. And certainly this year — this year or last year, I mean, I’m getting lost within this COVID mess — the other brother was also here, who is now — I guess there’s time — to be the next king of England.

And our letter simply said to them that we were very tired and rather insulted by their approach of telling us things that we already knew. That we knew that slavery was horrible, they didn’t have to tell us that. That we knew that genocide was committed, they didn’t have to tell us that. And our letter simply said to them, “Well, please, do not come here and insult us further by saying things that the Tony Blairs have already said, that your minister of foreign affairs had come and addressed the Parliament in Jamaica, and looked at us, as Caribbean people, as descendants of enslaved people, to tell us that we should forget it and just move on, that just let’s forget this, move on. And that is essentially what we said in our letter.

Now, in response to the other part of your question, of what does this — what does reparations look like for us, what does this moment mean to us in the reparations struggle, I think, certainly, that we’re asking Britain to reassess its role in the intentional underdevelopment of Africa and this Caribbean, asking Britain to reassess its role in the genocide, in the plunder, in the violence that it exerted on African people on the continent and here in the Caribbean, and that in reassessing this role, that it must understand clearly that the morality of the situation, the ethics of the situation, calls for repair. And in that repair, we essentially are talking reparations, that you have committed crimes against humanity and that there is a moral and an ethical demand that you acknowledge these crimes and you do your best, in the best way you can, to make whole the holes that you have really left in the history and in the lives of African people.

I’m a member of the CARICOM Reparations Commission as chairperson of the Antigua and Barbuda Reparations Commission, and that commission has issued a 10-point plan that defines for the international community, defines for us here in the Caribbean, how we see reparations. The plan that we have issued is a development plan. It’s in contrast, let’s say, to the legacy reparation plans that are being developed as we are in the diaspora, where individuals are identified as the recipient of reparations. The CARICOM reparations plan talks of development, in the first instance. It identifies those areas in our development across this region where the hurt of enslavement and genocide continues to exist and continues to impact on the lives of Caribbean people today. And we are saying that in that development plan, that we are inviting — “inviting” is the word that I think we have to use at this point in time — Europe to sit at the table with us and to discuss this development plan, addressing areas in education, in healthcare. As Mutabaruka has just said, we include in that this whole question of repatriation of those persons who want to go back to the continent. We are talking psychological —


AMY GOODMAN: Dorbrene —

DORBRENE O’MARDE: Yes?

AMY GOODMAN: We have 15 seconds.

DORBRENE O’MARDE: Yeah. We are talking psychological. We are talking debt. We are talking debt relief. A number of issues within that 10-point plan.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, we will link to that 10-point plan at democracynow.org. Dorbrene O’Marde, chair of the Antigua and Barbuda Reparations Commission and ambassador-at-large of Antigua. And Mutabaruka, renowned Jamaican dub poet, he was speaking to us from Kingston. Dorbrene O’Marde was speaking to us from St. John’s.

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In 2013 Caribbean Heads of Governments established the Caricom Reparations Commission (CRC) with a mandate to prepare the case for reparatory justice for the region’s indigenous and African descendant communities who are the victims of Crimes against Humanity (CAH) in the forms of genocide, slavery, slave trading, and racial apartheid.

This document, prepared by the CRC, proposes the delivery of this mandate within the formulation of the Caricom Reparations Justice Program (CRJP). The CRC asserts that victims and descendants of these CAH [Crimes against Humanity] have a legal right to reparatory justice, and that those who committed these crimes, and who have been enriched by the proceeds of these crimes, have a reparatory case to answer.

The CRJP recognizes the special role and status of European governments in this regard, being the legal bodies that instituted the framework for developing and sustaining these crimes. These governments, furthermore, served as the primary agencies through which slave-based enrichment took place, and as national custodians of criminally accumulated wealth.


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THE CRC ASSERTS THAT EUROPEAN GOVERNMENTS:

 Were owners and traders of enslaved Africans instructed genocidal actions upon indigenous communities
 Created the legal, financial and fiscal policies necessary for the enslavement of Africans
 Defined and enforced African enslavement and native genocide as in their ‘national interests’
 Refused compensation to the enslaved with the ending of their enslavement
 Compensated slave owners at emancipation for the loss of legal property rights in enslaved Africans
 Imposed a further one hundred years of racial apartheid upon the emancipated
 Imposed for another one hundred years policies designed to perpetuate suffering upon the emancipated and survivors of genocide
 And have refused to acknowledge such crimes or to compensate victims and their descendants


Context

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The CRC is committed to the process of national international reconciliation. Victims and their descendants have a duty to call for reparatory justice. Their call for justice is the basis of the closure they seek to the terrible tragedies that engulfed humanity during modernity. The CRC comes into being some two generations after the national independence process, and finds European colonial rule as a persistent part of Caribbean life.

The CRC operates within the context of persistent objection from European governments to its mandate. The CRC, nonetheless, is optimistic that the CRJP will gain acceptance as a necessary path to progress.

The CRC sees the persistent racial victimization of the descendants of slavery and genocide as the root cause of their suffering today. The CRC recognizes that the persistent harm and suffering experienced today by these victims as the primary cause of development failure in the Caribbean.

It calls upon European governments to participate in the CRJP with a view to prepare these victims and sufferers for full admission with dignity into the citizenry of the global community. The CRC here outlines the path to reconciliation, truth, and justice for VICTIMS AND THEIR DESCENDANTS.

TEN POINT ACTION PLAN

1. FULL FORMAL APOLOGY


The healing process for victims and the descendants of the enslaved and enslavers requires as a precondition the offer of a sincere formal apology by the governments of Europe. Some governments in refusing to offer an apology have issued in place Statements of Regrets.

Such statements do not acknowledge that crimes have been committed and represent a refusal to take responsibility for such crimes. Statements of regrets represent, furthermore, a reprehensible response to the call for apology in that they suggest that victims and their descendants are not worthy of an apology. Only an explicit formal apology will suffice within the context of the CRJP.

2. REPATRIATION

Over 10 million Africans were stolen from their homes and forcefully transported to the Caribbean as the enslaved chattel and property of Europeans. The transatlantic slave trade is the largest forced migration in human history and has no parallel in terms of man’s inhumanity to man.

This trade in enchained bodies was a highly successful commercial business for the nations of Europe. The lives of millions of men, women and children were destroyed in search of profit. The descendants of these stolen people have a legal right to return to their homeland.

A Repatriation program must be established and all available channels of international law and diplomacy used to resettle those persons who wish to return. A resettlement program should address such matters as citizenship and deploy available best practices in respect of community re­integration.


3. INDIGENOUS PEOPLES DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

The governments of Europe committed genocide upon the native Caribbean population. Military commanders were given official instructions by their governments to eliminate these communities and to remove those who survive pogroms from the region.

Genocide and land appropriation went hand in hand. A community of over 3,000,000 in 1700 has been reduced to less than 30,000 in 2000. Survivors remain traumatized, landless, and are the most marginalized social group within the region.


The University of the West Indies offers an Indigenous Peoples Scholarship in a desperate effort at rehabilitation. It is woefully insufficient. A Development Plan is required to rehabilitate this community.

4. CULTURAL INSTITUTIONS

European nations have invested in the development of community institutions such as museums and research centers in order to prepare their citizens for an understanding of these CAH [Crimes against Humanity].

These facilities serve to reinforce within the consciousness of their citizens an understanding of their role in history as rulers and change agents. There are no such institutions in the Caribbean where the CAH [Crimes against Humanity] were committed.


Caribbean schoolteachers and researchers do not have the same opportunity. Descendants of these CAH [Crimes against Humanity] continue to suffer the disdain of having no relevant institutional systems through which their experience can be scientifically told. This crisis must be remedies within the CJRP.

5. PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS

The African descended population in the Caribbean has the highest incidence in the world of chronic diseases in the forms of hypertension and type two diabetes. This pandemic is the direct result of the nutritional experience, physical and emotional brutality, and overall stress profiles associated with slavery, genocide, and apartheid.

Over 10 million Africans were imported into the Caribbean during the 400 years of slavery. At the end of slavery in the late 19th century less than 2 million remained. The chronic health condition of Caribbean blacks now constitutes the greatest financial risk to sustainability in the region. Arresting this pandemic requires the injection of science, technology, and capital beyond the capacity of the region.

Europe has a responsibility to participate in the alleviation of this heath disaster. The CRJP addresses this issue and calls upon the governments of Europe to take responsibility for this tragic human legacy of slavery and colonisation.


6. ILLITERACY ERADICATION

At the end of the European colonial period in most parts of the Caribbean, the British in particular left the black and indigenous communities in a general state of illiteracy. Some 70 percent of blacks in British colonies were functionally illiterate in the 1960s when nation states began to appear. Jamaica, the largest such community, was home to the largest number of such citizens.

Widespread illiteracy has subverted the development efforts of these nation states and represents a drag upon social and economic advancement. Caribbean governments allocate more than 70 percent of public expenditure to health and education in an effort to uproot the legacies of slavery and colonization. European governments have a responsibility to participate in this effort within the context of the CRJP.


7. AFRICAN KNOWLEDGE PROGRAM

The forced separation of Africans from their homeland has resulted in cultural and social alienation from identity and existential belonging. Denied the right in law to life, and divorced by space from the source of historic self, Africans have craved the right to return and knowledge of the route to roots.

A program of action is required to build ‘bridges of belonging’. Such projects as school exchanges and culture tours, community artistic and performance programs, entrepreneurial and religious engagements, as well as political interaction, are required in order to neutralize the void created by slave voyages.

Such actions will serve to build knowledge networks that are necessary for community rehabilitation.


8. PSYCHOLOGICAL REHABILITATION

For over 400 years Africans and their descendants were classified in law as non-human, chattel, property, and real estate. They were denied recognition as members of the human family by laws derived from the parliaments and palaces of Europe. This history has inflicted massive psychological trauma upon African descendant populations.

This much is evident daily in the Caribbean. Only a reparatory justice approach to truth and educational exposure can begin the process of healing and repair.
Such an engagement will call into being, for example, the need for greater Caribbean integration designed to enable the coming together of the fragmented community.

9. TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER

For 400 years the trade and production policies of Europe could be summed up in the British slogan: “not a nail is to be made in the colonies”. The Caribbean was denied participation in Europe’s industrialization process, and was confined to the role of producer and exporter of raw materials. This system was designed to extract maximum value from the region and to enable maximum wealth accumulation in Europe.

The effectiveness of this policy meant that the Caribbean entered its nation building phase as a technologically and scientifically ill-­equipped­ backward space within the postmodern world economy. Generations of Caribbean youth, as a consequence, have been denied membership and access to the science and technology culture that is the world’s youth patrimony.

Technology transfer and science sharing for development must be a part of the CRJP.


10. DEBT CANCELLATION

Caribbean governments that emerged from slavery and colonialism have inherited the massive crisis of community poverty and institutional unpreparedness for development. These governments still daily engage in the business of cleaning up the colonial mess in order to prepare for development.

The pressure of development has driven governments to carry the burden of public employment and social policies designed to confront colonial legacies. This process has resulted in states accumulating unsustainable levels of public debt that now constitute their fiscal entrapment.

This debt cycle properly belongs to the imperial governments who have made no sustained attempt to deal with debilitating colonial legacies. Support for the payment of domestic debt and cancellation of international debt are necessary reparatory actions.


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"PEOPLE SAY that slaves were taken from Africa. This is not true! People were taken from Africa, among them healers and priests, and were made into slaves.”

-- Abdullah Ibrahim


-- 10-POINT REPARATION PLAN, by Caricom Reparations Commission
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Re: Uju Anya Wishes Queen of England Excruciating Painful De

Postby admin » Sun Sep 18, 2022 3:08 am

“Major Step Towards a United Ireland”: As Britain Mourns Queen, Northern Ireland Considers Its Future
by Amy Goodman
DemocracyNow
SEPTEMBER 14, 2022
https://www.democracynow.org/2022/9/14/ ... d_northern

GUESTS
Eamonn McCann, journalist, writer, and activist based in Derry, Northern Ireland, and former member of the Northern Ireland Assembly.
LINKS
"War and an Irish Town"
Eamonn McCann on Twitter

We speak with journalist and activist Eamonn McCann about Queen Elizabeth II’s legacy in Ireland and the impact of her recent death on the prospects of Irish unification. This comes as King Charles III visited Northern Ireland Tuesday on his national tour commemorating his mother, whose reign oversaw more than 3,600 deaths over three decades in Northern Ireland in fighting between the Irish Republican Army and forces backed by Britain. “There is a great confidence among nationalist and republican leaders in Northern Ireland that we are now moving inexorably towards a united Ireland,” says McCann, a former member of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.
AMY GOODMAN: As thousands of people line the streets of London to watch the procession carrying the casket of Queen Elizabeth II from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall, where her body will lie in state until her state funeral Monday, we begin today’s show looking at the monarch’s legacy in Ireland. King Charles III was just in Northern Ireland Tuesday as part of his tour of sorrow after the death of his mother. He spoke in Hillsborough, Northern Ireland.

KING CHARLES III: My mother felt deeply, I know, the significance of the role she herself played in bringing together those whom history had separated, and in extending a hand to make possible the healing of long-held hurts. At the very beginning of her life of service, the queen made a pledge to dedicate herself to her country and her people and to maintain the principles of constitutional government. This promise she kept with steadfast faith. Now, with that shining example before me, and with God’s help, I take up my new duties resolved to seek the welfare of all the inhabitants of Northern Ireland.

AMY GOODMAN: During the queen’s reign, more than 3,600 people died over three decades in Northern Ireland in fighting between the Irish Republican Army and forces backed by Britain. In 1979, an IRA bombing killed Lord Louis Mountbatten, the queen’s second cousin. In 2012, the queen famously shook hands with former IRA leader and Sinn Féin politician Martin McGuinness in Belfast. Last week Sinn Féin leader Michelle O’Neill paid tribute to the queen.

MICHELLE O’NEILL: There’s no doubt that she leaves a legacy of someone who reached out the hand of friendship, someone who advanced peace and reconciliation, someone who sought to build relations between those of an Irish and those of a British identity. And I think that was sterling work and something that I think she’ll be very much remembered for here on this island.

AMY GOODMAN: This comes as King Charles III visited Belfast Tuesday and met with members of Sinn Féin, which is now the largest party in Ireland after elections in May, where response to the queen’s death has been mixed.

For more, we’re joined by Eamonn McCann, journalist, writer, activist, in Derry, Northern Ireland. Eamonn is a former member of the Northern Ireland Assembly. He also took part in the march on Bloody Sunday in 1972 and helped form the Bloody Sunday Trust. His 1974 book, War and an Irish Town, was recently republished.

Eamonn McCann, welcome back to Democracy Now! For people who aren’t familiar with the struggle, if you can lay out the history of the monarchy and Northern Ireland?

EAMONN McCANN: Well, the history of the monarchy and Northern Ireland is a somewhat ambivalent one. I mean, of course, the vast majority of unionist people are overwhelmingly Protestant. The Protestant unionist community has traditionally worshiped the royal family, that’s been a symbol of their desire to be part of the United Kingdom rather than move into a united Ireland. So the queen has been a figurehead for them, sort of an icon, if you like, of Britishness. So, their fervor for the queen, fervor of Northern Ireland Protestant unionists, has, if anything, been much more intense sort of than the fervor of the majority of the British citizens across the water.

And after the formation — after partition in Ireland in 1922, almost exactly 100 years ago, the royal family rehinted, or shared outright on some occasions, that they didn’t reciprocate the loyalty which Protestant unionists in Northern Ireland showed towards them. When the Northern Ireland Parliament, at the Stormont in Belfast — when the Stormont Parliament was opened in 1922, it was opened by George V. The monarch came across and spoke. And during that speech, he expressed a hope that there would be reconciliation between all factions in Ireland and that the disputes over sovereignty and the antagonism between Catholics and Protestants in the North — he expressed a hope, way back in 1922, that this could be erased.

And then, there’s many perspectives in which you can see the events of the last couple of days, but it is, I think, politically meaningful to look at it and say, “Well, there is that royal family project brought to fruition by — not by Queen Elizabeth, but by the death of Queen Elizabeth,” when, once again, the royal family is associating itself, to some extent — I wouldn’t exaggerate this, but is certainly associating itself with advocates for a united Ireland. And this is bound to cause, over the coming weeks and months, considerable confusion and dismay among the unionist population of the North and a certain, if there’s such a thing, ambivalent euphoria among Catholic nationalists, who will see, in effect, what they see as the endorsement of the campaign for a united Ireland by the British royal family as a major step towards a united Ireland and a way, sort of, of leaving the unionist population sort of in the past, in history.

Now, that’s a very initial judgment. Obviously, these gestures by Prince Charles — or, King Charles, sorry, I mean, have only come sort of in the last week, since the death of his mother, and we have to see how they play out. But certainly, I would say that at this point, sort of in less than a week after the death of the queen, Irish nationalists are much more content with what has been happening than the traditionally loyal royalists, that is, of the unionist population. So, that’s a turnout for the books, if you like. Certainly, it’s a significant turning point sort of in attitudes in Northern Ireland and in both communities in Northern Ireland towards the monarchy. This could turn out to be very significant, or it could turn out to be a brief moment, sort of, which passes when it’s undermined by events over the — in the next near future.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And, Eamonn McCann, following —

EAMONN McCANN: [inaudible] — yeah, yeah.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Eamonn McCann, following that up, the change in perspective and attitude of Sinn Féin toward the monarchy? I mean, clearly, from the bombing that killed Lord Mountbatten in 1979 to the handshake of Martin McGuinness in 2012 with the queen, and now with Michelle O’Neill, the current Sinn Féin leader, paying tribute to the queen, does this view of how the monarchy may be taking a position quite distinct from the elected leaders of the United Kingdom, part of the reason why Sinn Féin has taken such a much more open view toward the monarchy?

EAMONN McCANN: Yes, I think that’s true. And I think it’s — let me set the context for that. It’s important to understand that the majority people in Britain sort of have never actually felt a sense of kith and kin with the Northern unionists here. I worked for seven years in London. And in all that time, I worked as a laborer, so I was not living in elite circles. But I don’t think I ever met a single person who thought that a Northern Ireland was part of their country. They have no sense of kith and kin with the unionists of Northern Ireland. I recall one of my workmates sort of turning to me and saying, “Look, just explain to me: Which part of Ireland do we own?” And for a London laborer to ask you that tells you a great deal about the perception of English people towards the Protestant people of Northern Ireland. The loyalty of loyalists in Northern Ireland has never been reciprocated by the British people. And indeed, there is good evidence to believe, in the historical records, you know, that British politicians never really were concerned about bringing Northern Ireland with them.

So, you know, the unionists who believe in themselves being part of the United Kingdom and who have ferocious loyalty to the British monarchy, they must be in a state of confusion, sort of. And “fear” would be putting it too strongly, but certainly they are anxious about their future as British unionists in the future as we move to constitutional talks.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And I wanted to ask you about — James Connolly was an Irish republican socialist and trade union leader. Over a hundred years ago, back in 1911, he wrote a piece titled “The British Monarchy Is an Affront to Democracy.” What is your view in terms of the monarchy itself and the possibilities being raised now for the first time to consider ending the monarchy?

EAMONN McCANN: Well, I think that the argument about the monarchy and the viability and acceptability of the monarchy is beginning to be discussed right across Britain. And, of course, it’s very early days yet, but, of course, Queen Elizabeth for 70 years, I mean, was the only queen, the only head of the monarchy, that anybody in these islands had ever known. So her position wasn’t really an occasion for controversy. It became like the wallpaper. It was just there, and events happened in front of it.

But it’s very doubtful, very doubtful indeed, whether King Charles, as you know, yes, King Charles III, will ever sort of attain that sort of more or less automatic loyalty of the population of Britain. Forget about Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland. In Britain, I think it’s going to be more easy — more easy for anti-monarchists to make their case, because they won’t be dealing sort of with that uncritical reverence which was directed towards Queen Elizabeth.

And we’ve also got, at the moment, a sort of little hint of what might happen, even today. I mean, we’ve learned sort of that at the laying in state, or whatever the phrase is, of the queen’s body at Westminster Hall, we’re going to see Prince Harry — of course, who made the big mistake, as far as the royals are concerned, of marrying sort of an American divorcée of color, and she’s been frozen out, sort of, in general terms. But Prince Harry is not going to be wearing his military uniform as he stands at his grandmother’s casket, whereas Prince Andrew, a good friend of Jeffrey Epstein, and a man who in the eyes of the British people, as with most people around the world, is entirely discredited, you know, he’s going to be there, playing a prominent role. And it’s already been announced that he will fill in for King Charles III on some ceremonial occasions in the future. So he hasn’t gone away, you know, Prince Andrew. And it will be interesting to see what the attitude of people is to the growing debate about the royal family when they factor in the presence and gaudy array, sort of, of Prince Andrew. He’s a big embarrassment to the royal family, although he hasn’t been frozen out in the way that Meghan Markle has and in the way that Prince Harry is beginning to be frozen out sort of by the British establishment. So, interesting times to come. We’ll have to see how all that works out.


AMY GOODMAN: Just to be clear, Meghan Markle, who leveled charges of racism against the royal family, and —

EAMONN McCANN: Yes.

AMY GOODMAN: — Prince Andrew, who paid out a multimillion-dollar settlement in a sexual assault case involving himself —

EAMONN McCANN: Yes, 12, 12 —

AMY GOODMAN: — related to Jeffrey Epstein.

EAMONN McCANN: Yes, and it should be remembered that, you know, Prince Andrew, like the rest of the royals, doesn’t really have money of his own. That was paid by the royal estate, by his mother. And the total sum that — given to Andrew to pay off his accusers and get him off the hook for being an associate and a co-participant with Jeffrey Epstein in various sort of sordid and discreditable episodes — 12 million pounds of British taxpayers’ money was paid to get Prince Andrew off the hook for all that.

Now, we’ll see, when Prince Andrew appears sort of in his royal regalia and his military uniform, dripping with medals and regimental colors — when he appears at Westminster Abbey with that, I think it will tinge sort of the majesty of the event, the majesty of the royal funeral. Already we’ve heard sort of people shouting sort of from crowds, in Britain, at Prince Andrew as the royal procession has — sort of pays from one place to another sort of over the last few days, and people shouting “nonce” at him, and “Get out of it!” So, that’s going to be interesting. But, of course, the queen stood by Andrew — she never publicly endorsed what he had done, but stood by him and had him to Buckingham Palace and all that. But it’s a bit early to write the history, sort of, of how that will affect the standing of the monarchy generally in Britain. But it’s going to be one to watch.

AMY GOODMAN: And speaking of money, the future king, Prince William, if there is one, has just inherited a billion-dollar estate, the Duchy of Cornwall. The duchy owns a sprawling portfolio of land and property covering 140,000 acres, most of it in southwest England. But I wanted to ask you, Eamonn, about 1972, about Bloody Sunday, for people to understand the relationship between Britain and Northern Ireland. You were there.

EAMONN McCANN: I was there. And, I mean, briefly, at the end —

AMY GOODMAN: Explain what happened.

EAMONN McCANN: Well, there was a civil rights march in Derry, January the 30th, 1972, in which about 10,000 people marched. They were marching against the military presence in Northern Ireland, and specifically for the rights of people. It was a civil rights march. It wasn’t a republican march. It had a broad support.

And at the end of that march, it came into the area of the Bogside, where I am now, which is a Catholic working-class nationalist area, overwhelmingly. And as the march came in and prepared for a meeting, Bernadette Devlin, whose name might ring a bell with some people who are watching, she was about to speak to the people, when we heard the crack crack of rifles coming from about 150 yards away at the bottom of Russell Street. And I remember well that happening and myself and thousands of others taking a few seconds, I mean, to realize that what was happening was that British soldiers were shooting at us. The Parachute Regiment of members of the 2nd — sorry, 1st Battalion of the Parachute Regiment had come in behind the march as they came into the Bogside, and people stopped and assembled to hear a public meeting to be addressed by Bernadette Devlin and others. And, of course, 13 people were killed. Another 13 were wounded.


That was carried out — that massacre was carried out, as I say, by members of the Parachute Regiment, of which, as he then was the Prince of Wales, i.e. King Charles III — he was the commander-in-chief of that regiment. So, when republicans now move to make peace, and they met with King Charles yesterday on very friendly terms and so forth, that’s in sort of savage contradiction to the role, sort of, of the monarchy, or the troops operating under the monarch’s name, the role that they had played back then. So, there has been a seismic and very dramatic change sort of in the way republicans, for example, in the Sinn Féin party are willing to see the British monarchy and relations with Britain generally.

Just 10 years ago — stop me if I’m going on too long, sort of, in these answers, Amy. It’s just 10 [ sic] years ago that the queen mother died, i.e. the mother of Queen Elizabeth II. When she died, the leader of the moderate nationalist party, Sinn Féin’s moderate rivals, the Social Democratic and Labour Party, they expressed condolences. And the denunciation of them by Sinn Féin was ferocious to listen to it, and made many members of the SDLP to wilt. Its name, the Social Democratic and Labour Party, SDLP, was on placards and sort of in slogans on gable walls. Sinn Féin turned it into SDLP, the “Stoop Down Low Party” — for doing what Sinn Féin has done over this last few days.

So, you know, that’s for complicated and subtle reasons, you know, if you want me to go into. It’s sort of historical reasons. I’ll just put this in. At no time in the history, indeed, of Northern Ireland, and not just of the Troubles, at no time has the majority of the Catholic nationalist people in Northern Ireland ever supported republican armed struggle. I know the armed struggle, because it is dramatic, and people are killed, and there’s lots of coverage and all the rest of it, you know, is sort of much more newsworthy than the dull, plodding business of ordinary, bourgeois politics. The armed struggle was very dramatic, and a lot of people stood by members of the IRA, Sinn Féin’s military wing at that time. A lot of people stood by them because they were nationalists. Many people supported the armed struggle through gritted teeth. But certainly there never was solid majority support among the Catholic nationalists of Northern Ireland for a strategy of violence to bring about a united Ireland or anything else.

So, in a way, when we talk about the adaptations that Sinn Féin has made, the contribution to the peace process, and the adaptations that they have made in that context, I mean, to that issue, to the British royal family, you see, keep in mind that this isn’t such a — in terms of abandoning the armed struggle and so forth, to an objective observer, this is something which has been sort of in the making, beginning to happen, sort of, over a long number of years. This has been the culmination of it. This has been the ceremonial confirmation of that relationship between the leadership of Sinn Féin and the British establishment generally.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And, Eamonn, in terms of the evolution of the movement to free Northern Ireland, to reunite with Ireland, what do you see are the prospects now, especially now with the changes in the monarchy, with the Brexit — with the Brexit vote, that has made more difficulties with the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland being within the United Kingdom — what are the prospects that you see for the North reuniting with the Irish Republic?

EAMONN McCANN: Well, the honest answer is that I don’t know. And what’s more, neither does anybody else. I mean, there is a great confidence among nationalist and republic leaders in Northern Ireland that we are now moving inexorably towards a united Ireland and redrawing of all the constitutional boundaries sort of on the island of Ireland. If you’re asking me personally, I dissent from that. I don’t believe that it’s going to be that smooth at all. I don’t think, if you look.

You know, Irish people tend to look on history, sort of look on their own situation, sort of in terms of a very long history, going back hundreds of years. I heard a nationalist politician talking a few months ago, when somebody said about the Troubles starting, and he responded from the platform, “The Troubles started when Cromwell landed.” You know, a lot of people see it like that, you know? And whether a united Ireland comes about will depend an awful lot on relations between Catholics and Protestants, nationalists and unionists here in Northern Ireland, to the extent at which they are ameliorated.

One thing we can say, that the idea of using armed struggle, using violence, or to coerce the Protestant in the North into a united Ireland, that’s gone. That’s not going to happen anymore. The people who were advocating that and carrying that out have realized that it was never possible, and have abandoned it for constitutional politics. And what’s happened in the last couple of days is confirmation of the strategy, a formalization, sort of, of that attitude. And we’ll have to see what happens.

There’s a number of things to keep in mind, but one of them is, that I just mentioned, this one, as I may have said at the beginning, that people in England, Scotland and Wales, including the political leaders of Britain, including the Conservative Party, whether very right-wing and patriotic and the rest of it, they do not regard any part or any section of the Northern Irish people as an integral element, sort of, in British citizenship. And that’s going to be very difficult as that becomes — it has already, over the last couple of days, become more clear, been spelt out for people, how the unionist population, a unionist state — there are sort of intransigent unionists, as there are intransigent everything. Whether they are going to weaken or soften their attitudes remains to be seen. I doubt it. I doubt it. But let’s wait and see.
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Re: Uju Anya Wishes Queen of England Excruciating Painful De

Postby admin » Sun Sep 18, 2022 3:10 am

The British Monarchy Is an Affront to Democracy
by James Connolly
jacobin.com
1911

[The British monarchy is a vestige of tyranny, a grand monument to hierarchy and plunder. As Irish socialist James Connolly wrote in 1911, the royals are for the other despots of society, the capitalists and landlords — not for the working class.]

Fellow-Workers,

As you are aware from reading the daily and weekly newspapers, we are about to be blessed with a visit from King George V.

Knowing from previous experience of Royal Visits, as well as from the Coronation orgies of the past few weeks, that the occasion will be utilised to make propaganda on behalf of royalty and aristocracy against the oncoming forces of democracy and National freedom, we desire to place before you some few reasons why you should unanimously refuse to countenance this visit, or to recognise it by your presence at its attendant processions or demonstrations. We appeal to you as workers, speaking to workers, whether your work be that of the brain or of the hand — manual or mental toil — it is of you and your children we are thinking; it is your cause we wish to safeguard and foster.

The future of the working class requires that all political and social positions should be open to all men and women; that all privileges of birth or wealth be abolished, and that every man or woman born into this land should have an equal opportunity to attain to the proudest position in the land. The Socialist demands that the only birthright necessary to qualify for public office should be the birthright of our common humanity.

Believing as we do that there is nothing on earth more sacred than humanity, we deny all allegiance to this institution of royalty, and hence we can only regard the visit of the King as adding fresh fuel to the fire of hatred with which we regard the plundering institutions of which he is the representative. Let the capitalist and landlord class flock to exalt him; he is theirs; in him they see embodied the idea of caste and class; they glorify him and exalt his importance that they might familiarise the public mind with the conception of political inequality, knowing well that a people mentally poisoned by the adulation of royalty can never attain to that spirit of self-reliant democracy necessary for the attainment of social freedom. The mind accustomed to political kings can easily be reconciled to social kings — capitalist kings of the workshop, the mill, the railway, the ships and the docks. Thus coronation and king’s visits are by our astute neversleeping masters made into huge Imperialist propagandist campaigns in favour of political and social schemes against democracy.
But if our masters and rulers are sleepless in their schemes against us, so we, rebels against their rule, must never sleep in our appeal to our fellows to maintain as publicly our belief in the dignity of our class — in the ultimate sovereignty of those who labour.

What is monarchy? From whence does it derive its sanction? What has been its gift to humanity? Monarchy is a survival of the tyranny imposed by the hand of greed and treachery upon the human race in the darkest and most ignorant days of our history. It derives its only sanction from the sword of the marauder, and the helplessness of the producer, and its gifts to humanity are unknown, save as they can be measured in the pernicious examples of triumphant and shameless iniquities.

Every class in society save royalty, and especially British royalty, has through some of its members contributed something to the elevation of the race. But neither in science, nor in art, nor in literature, nor in exploration, nor in mechanical invention, nor in humanising of laws, nor in any sphere of human activity has a representative of British royalty helped forward the moral, intellectual or material improvement of mankind. But that royal family has opposed every forward move, fought every reform, persecuted every patriot, and intrigued against every good cause. Slandering every friend of the people, it has befriended every oppressor. Eulogised today by misguided clerics, it has been notorious in history for the revolting nature of its crimes. Murder, treachery, adultery, incest, theft, perjury — every crime known to man has been committed by some one or other of the race of monarchs from whom King George is proud to trace his descent.


His blood
Has crept through scoundrels since the flood.


We will not blame him for the crimes of his ancestors if he relinquishes the royal rights of his ancestors; but as long as he claims their rights, by virtue of descent, then, by virtue of descent, he must shoulder the responsibility for their crimes.

Fellow-workers, stand by the dignity of your class. All these parading royalties, all this insolent aristocracy, all these grovelling, dirt-eating capitalist traitors, all these are but signs of disease in any social state — diseases which a royal visit brings to a head and spews in all its nastiness before our horrified eyes. But as the recognition of the disease is the first stage towards its cure, so that we may rid our social state of its political and social diseases, we must recognise the elements of corruption. Hence, in bringing them all together and exposing their unity, even a royal visit may help us to understand and understanding, help us to know how to destroy the royal, aristocratic and capitalistic classes who live upon our labour. Their workshops, their lands, their mills, their factories, their ships, their railways must be voted into our hands who alone use them, public ownership must take the place of capitalist ownership, social democracy replace political and social inequality, the sovereignty of labour must supersede and destroy the sovereignty of birth and the monarchy of capitalism.

Ours be the task to enlighten the ignorant among our class, to dissipate and destroy the political and social superstitions of the enslaved masses and to hasten the coming day when, in the words of Joseph Brenan, the fearless patriot of ’48, all the world will maintain.


The Right Divine of Labour
To be first of earthly things;
That the Thinker and the Worker
Are Manhood’s only Kings.


James Connolly was an Irish republican, socialist, and trade union leader.
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Re: Uju Anya Wishes Queen of England Excruciating Painful De

Postby admin » Tue Sep 20, 2022 1:16 am

“Racism Is as British as a Cup of Tea”: Kehinde Andrews Says Many Black Britons Don’t Mourn the Queen
by Amy Goodman
Democracy Now
SEPTEMBER 19, 2022
https://www.democracynow.org/2022/9/19/ ... transcript

GUESTS
Kehinde Andrews, author and professor of Black studies in the School of Social Sciences at Birmingham City University.
LINKS
Kehinde Andrews on Twitter
"I Don't Mourn the Queen"
"Why Should Chris Kaba's Death Matter Less Than the Queen's?"
"The New Age of Empire: How Racism and Colonialism Still Rule the World"

As Monday’s state funeral for Queen Elizabeth II marks the end of a national period of mourning in Britain, we speak with the U.K.'s first professor of Black studies, Kehinde Andrews, about the generational difference in perceptions of the queen within his Jamaican family, which he lays out in his recent essay, “I Don't Mourn the Queen.” He also describes the brutal legacy of the British slave trade and the British Empire, which makes the monarchy a symbol of white supremacy that should not be mourned, but rather abolished. “This is an old institution — deeply racist, deeply classist, deeply patriarchal. It just needs to go. And this is the perfect time to discuss when it should end,” says Andrews.

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: We end today’s show in London, where the coffin carrying Queen Elizabeth II has just been placed in a hearse bound for Windsor Castle following the state funeral at Westminster Abbey. More than 500 foreign dignitaries attended the queen’s funeral, including President Biden, leaders from Commonwealth nations, many members of other royal families, including the emperor and empress of Japan. The funeral was the largest police operation in U.K. history. Police reported placing sharpshooters on the roofs of every building within a mile of Westminster Abbey. The funeral conducted by dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr. David Hoyle.

REV. DAVID HOYLE: We come to this house of God to a place of prayer, to a church where remembrance and hope are sacred duties. Here, where Queen Elizabeth was married and crowned, we gather from across the nation, from the Commonwealth and from the nations of the world to mourn our loss, to remember her long life of selfless service.

AMY GOODMAN: In related news, King Charles III was confronted directly by a protester over the weekend during a stop in Cardiff, who shouted at him, “Not my king!”

PROTESTER: Charles, while we struggle to heat our homes, we have to pay for your parade. The taxpayer pays £100 million for you, and what for? [inaudible] Not my king!

AMY GOODMAN: For more, we go to Birmingham, England, where we’re joined by Kehinde Andrews, professor of Black studies in the School of Social Sciences at Birmingham City University. He’s actually the U.K.'s first professor of Black studies, author of The New Age of Empire: How Racism and Colonialism Still Rule the World, his recent piece for Politico headlined “I Don't Mourn the Queen.”

In it, he writes, “My paternal grandmother was born in colonial Jamaica in 1914 and was raised on the fairy tales of the Mother Country and nobility of British royalty. She migrated to Britain in search of better opportunities in the mid 50s as part of the so called Windrush generation, who helped to rebuild the nation after the Second World War. A picture of the Queen had pride of place in her front room and were she alive today, she would have wholeheartedly joined in the collective grief. But my father grew up in the 1960s, facing the cold realities of British racism and could never feel any warmth to either the nation or its figure head.”

Professor Kehinde Andrews, welcome to Democracy Now! Instead of me reading your words, why don’t you tell us that story and talk about the coverage of the queen and what the queen’s passing means, not only for Britain but for the Commonwealth and the realms? Do you think this could mean the end of empire? Can you hear me, Professor Andrews?

KEHINDE ANDREWS: Yes, I can hear you. Sorry. So, yeah, no, I mean, I think you’ve captured a lot of that with the Politico piece. And what is happening today is this collective grief of the country. And as a Black British person, it brings to mind W. E. B. Du Bois’s idea of double consciousness, when he said that being Black and being American, sometimes they just clash so much that you feel alienated from the society. And seeing all this collective grief and this mourning and people queuing 24 hours with little kids so they can stare at what was likely an empty box, it just seems like the country has gone kind of collectively mad around this. It’s something that we just don’t have a connection to, for millions of us in this country, those of us who never saw the queen as somebody representing us, and actually saw the queen as somebody who represented the very racism that we face on a daily basis.

AMY GOODMAN: You know, I talked about the Windrush generation. That’s what you write about. Your paternal grandmother came to Britain as a part of that, from Jamaica. Can you explain that more to people who are not familiar with what happened?

KEHINDE ANDREWS: Yeah. So, my family was part of the British Empire. We have to remember that Britain isn’t just these little islands. What made Britain “great” was this massive empire, that included Jamaica, where my family were from. And in Jamaica, it was slavery. We were taken there similarly to African Americans taken to America. I always say the Caribbean is like the American South.

But one of the things that happened with my grandmother’s generation is they were born in Britain. They had British schooling, British education. They were taught that Britain is the mother country, and the queen is great, and it’s all wonderful. So my grandmother grew up loving the queen, loving Britain, had lots of hope when she came and migrated here. And she had a picture of the queen on her wall ’til she died, and would have been in one of those queues to go see the coffin.

But the realities of racism were very different when she got here, when my dad got here as a young man and grew up and saw all the same racism that African Americans experience — police brutality, problems at schools, segregated housing. So we grew up not feeling any connection to Britain, and obviously not feeling any connection to the figurehead of the nation-state.

AMY GOODMAN: Your father chose to leave Britain and go back to Jamaica?

KEHINDE ANDREWS: He retired a few years ago. Yeah, to be fair, he had always kind of been going back to Jamaica for weeks. He’s never really — the weather never really took it — never really took to the weather here. My father was part of the Black power movement in Britain, very much saying, “Look, this state, it doesn’t represent us. We can’t get progress here. We have to have our own education system, our own schools.” I mean, this is how Black studies eventually came about, in [inaudible] we said, “Actually, the curriculum isn’t for us. The university is not for us. Can we do something different?” And the queen is the head of the nation — though the king now is the head of the nation. They do represent what the nation is. And racism is as British as a cup of tea, which is why so many of us reject both the nation and the monarchy.

AMY GOODMAN: I thought it was very interesting how you talked about Black Brits and Black Americans, how here in the United States you’re talking about seeing racism every day, on a daily basis, and in Britain, it’s not only in Britain, but it is the empire, it is the Commonwealth, that’s not so often seen. It was exported to the colonies.

KEHINDE ANDREWS: Yeah, I mean, the big difference between America and Britain is that Britain essentially did its racial violence off campus, if you like, so in the Caribbean, in India. There’s been very few of us actually in the United Kingdom on the island, only 'til what we call the Windrush generation post-1948. So, whereas in America you have — you know, there's Black people in America before there was America. Racism is coded into all the laws. It’s so obviously in the Constitution. In Britain, it’s different, because we really have only been here in large numbers relatively recently. But the problems are exactly the same. I mean, British racism and American racism are the same, right? Britain founded America. It was Britain that first took enslaved Africans to America. So it can seem like racism is different here, but it’s actually not. It’s exactly the same.

AMY GOODMAN: Gold, tobacco, sugar, cotton. Queen Elizabeth I, you say, launched Britain’s slave trade. Talk about these commodities and what they meant for the people where they were grown, those that brought that wealth to Britain that we’re seeing transferred from one generation to the next in the royal family.

KEHINDE ANDREWS: Yeah. So, if we think what made Britain Britain, prior to the 16th century, before the British Empire and before Britain got involved in slavery, Britain was a small country in the North Atlantic, doesn’t have many resources and wasn’t really going anywhere. What made Britain take off was its involvement in the slave trade. And the Royal African Company, which is the company founded to initially start enslaving Africans for the British Empire, was the company that enslaved more Africans than any company in the world. Britain was the premier slave-trading nation. And in all the things if you think about what made Britain Britain, first it is gold, then it is silver, and it’s then financialization and the stock market, etc. Then it’s tobacco. And those were the things which powered Britain’s development.

So, on one hand, you had Britain making massive strides, the Industrial Revolution, becoming this great nation at the top of the world. But then look at what happens to the people who had to do that. The Caribbean, for example, is a perfect example, where my family is from, were taken there in chains, made to produce all this wealth. Sugar was the first one that really pushed Britain forward. And then you look 200 years later. How is somebody like Jamaica doing? It’s one of the poorest economies in the world. And that’s not an accident. That’s because the whole country and the economy were designed to drain money out and give it to Britain. And the best example of this is, when they ended slavery in 1838, eventually, the British government paid the largest payment ever, equivalent to about 100 billion pounds, if you look at GDP, to the slave owners, and the enslaved got nothing and, in fact, had to work off their — had to work for four years 75% of the time as slaves to prove they were fit to be free. And we still see the legacy of that today.

AMY GOODMAN: If you can talk about expressing dissent today in Britain, the whole issue of whether you can say you are against the monarchy, that you want it to end?

KEHINDE ANDREWS: Well, it’s interesting. I’d say that I’ve spoken to probably about 20 journalists. I’ve done interviews like this all week. Not one of them has been with the British press. There has been wall-to-wall coverage of the funeral. I turn any TV channel on, it’s just queen, queen, queen, queen, queen, and no dissent, no questioning the role, no questioning the future of the monarchy, none of this. It really has been a week of propaganda, which has come to a crescendo today, where absolutely everything is closed.

And you did report on some of the — you know, the way that protests are being dealt with. I mean, honestly, if you just looked, stepped back from this and said, “Well, actually, how has this been treated?” it’s not too far from fascism, actually. And it is — and people say it’s not the right time now. When else would be the best time to question the role of the monarchy? When there is 70-year reign, a very [inaudible] ended, surely now is the perfect time to wonder why on Earth we would have this monarchy, why on Earth we would represent 14 other countries in the world where the monarchy is the head of state. And even in Britain, this is an old institution — deeply racist, deeply classist, deeply patriarchal. It just needs to go. And this is the perfect time to discuss when it should end.

AMY GOODMAN: If you could also address the issue of those who talk about the queen, like the conservative commentator Candace Owens speaking about British colonization of Africa on her show, The Daily Wire, earlier this month?

CANDACE OWENS: The real truth of the reason why people hate the queen has nothing to do with the colonization, has nothing to do — which, by the way, just to be clear, the Brits invading Africa actually represents — and this is going to get me in trouble — but it was, if you look at how forward it brought the African colonies, it ended up being a net positive. Now, this is, of course, people — it’s going to get me in trouble, because people somehow think that Africans were living happily ever after, and things were great, and then the horrible English, British descended upon and murdered everybody, and the French suddenly murdered everybody. And that just isn’t the truth. Obviously, the African nations had slavery, just like the European nations had slavery.

AMY GOODMAN: Professor Kehinde Andrews, if you could respond?

KEHINDE ANDREWS: Well, unfortunately, some people like to make money from being the Black face of white racism, and Candace Owens has a very good history of this. I mean, that is perfectly nonsensical view of the past.

Actually, when Britain came into — when Europe, in general, and Britain, in particular, came into Africa to enslave people, Europe was behind, was far behind. In the 15th century, Europe was probably the only place in the world in the Dark Age and came into Africa. And one of the ways — indeed, the main way that Europe takes over is the slave trade. It is draining out Africans to get the commodities — gold, silver, tobacco, etc., etc. And then it enriches Europe so that Europe can colonize. I mean, colonization in Africa was actually [inaudible] for a reason. Most countries on the African continent were not directly colonized by European powers for more than 100 years, because it took centuries of draining out African people, a barbaric system of slavery, which never existed on the African continent, which totally and utterly destabilized Africa so that Europe could take over.

The idea that slavery and colonialism were somehow positive for Africa is, frankly, insane. I mean, just look at global [inaudible]. The poorest part of the world is the place — is the so-called sub-Saharan Africa. The place with the lowest life expectancy is so-called sub-Saharan Africa. Anybody with their eyes open, looking at this honestly, could not possibly think that Africa has benefited from anything that Europe has done.

AMY GOODMAN: As we wrap up this show — we have 30 seconds — Kehinde Andrews, what would you like to see now? I mean, you have the song “God Save the Queen” is now changing to “God Save the King” with now King Charles III. Your thoughts?

KEHINDE ANDREWS: I think it is time now to end the anachronism of what is the British monarchy. Seventy years, certainly, I think [inaudible] — and when we say the Commonwealth, that’s just a form of British empire [inaudible]. I think many countries are going to think about removing the queen as head of state, including my own country of Jamaica. But I think also in Britain, like, this monarchy is a terrible symbol. If we want to have an antiracist Britain, if we want to learn the lessons from the Black Lives Matter summer, if you want a public space which includes the millions of children of empire in it, we have to get rid of the monarchy.

AMY GOODMAN: Kehinde Andrews, I want to thank you for being with us, professor of Black studies in the School of Social Sciences at Birmingham City University. He’s the author of The New Age of Empire: How Racism and Colonialism Still Rule the World. We’ll link to your piece in Politico, “I Don’t Mourn the Queen.” That does it for our show. I’m Amy Goodman. Thanks so much for joining us.
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Re: Uju Anya Wishes Queen of England Excruciating Painful De

Postby admin » Wed Sep 21, 2022 10:17 pm

The Impacts of Colonialism Outlive the British Queen
By Amy Goodman & Denis Moynihan
Democracy Now
SEPTEMBER 15, 2022

It has long been said that “the sun never sets on the British Empire,” referring to the United Kingdom’s colonies around the globe. Will the death of Queen Elizabeth II trigger further shrinking of the empire, as former colonies now in the British Commonwealth debate whether to permanently sever ties? With its history of slavery, concentration camps, executions and torture, what would reparations and accountability look like?

On her 21st birthday in 1947, Elizabeth, five years before her coronation as Queen, said, “I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.”

Elizabeth was in South Africa, a British Commonwealth nation, one year before its white minority imposed the racist policies of apartheid over the majority Black and other non-white populations. Over the next half-century, South Africa’s apartheid regime, shored up by the United Kingdom and the United States, demonstrated that not all in the Queen’s “imperial family” fared well.

“I would like to see the dismantling of this notion of the Commonwealth,” Cornell University Professor Mukoma Wa Ngugi said on the Democracy Now! news hour. Mukoma was born in the U.S. but raised in Kenya, the son of renowned Kenyan writer Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o.

“‘Commonwealth?’ Whose wealth?” Professor Mukoma wa Ngugi asked. “The book I’m working on now on Africans and African Americans took me to Keta in Ghana, where slaves were taken from. It’s very depressed [by] the aftershocks…or the trauma of slavery. Maya Angelou called it melancholic.”

“I left Keta. Then I went to Bristol in England. Bristol was a slave-trading port. It’s thriving…Most people know it now because of the dismantling of the statue of [Edward] Colston [during the George Floyd protests in 2020], who was one of the slave traders. We can see the effects of slavery, of colonialism. We can see how the wealth of England was built.”

In 1952, Elizabeth was in Kenya when she learned of the death of her father, King George VI, and became Queen. Kenya suffered for decades under British colonial rule. An organized armed resistance rose up in the 1950s, called the Mau Mau. Harvard historian Caroline Elkins documented Britain’s violence against Kenyans in her Pulitzer Prize-winning book “Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain’s Gulag in Kenya.”

“Nearly 1.5 million Kikuyu, or Africans, were detained in detention camps, or emergency villages, barbed-wire villages, as a way of suppressing Mau Mau,” Elkins explained on Democracy Now! “This was a story about systematic violence, torture, murder and massive cover-up…serious crimes happened on the queen’s imperial watch. Her picture hung in every detention camp in Kenya as detainees were beaten in order to exact their loyalty to the British crown.”

Many nations still struggle with the impacts of British colonialism. “Formerly enslaved and colonized nations and people, like those of the Caribbean, including Barbados, have been inserted in that international order in a structurally subordinate and exploitative manner,” David Comissiong, Barbados’s ambassador to the Caribbean Community, said on Democracy Now! last December, just after Barbados severed its Commonwealth relationship with the UK, removing Queen Elizabeth II as head of state and declaring itself sovereign. “Barbados was the first society in human history that was built totally on the basis of slavery — its economy, its social system, its ideology. That’s our history. The royal family was deeply involved in the British slave trade and the system of African enslavement,” Comissiong said.

The Prime Minister of the Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne, announced this week that the country will hold a referendum within three years to decide on complete separation from the UK.

Dorbrene O’Marde, the chairperson of the Antigua and Barbuda Reparations Commission and an ambassador-at-large of Antigua, said this week on Democracy Now! that Queen Elizabeth II “managed to cloak the historical brutality of empire in this veneer of grandeur and pomp and pageantry and graciousness…We need to examine that history a lot more closely.”

Queen Elizabeth’s eldest son has succeeded her, and is now King Charles III. He will be confronted with rising demands for accountability and reparations for the generations of colonial exploitation that enriched the United Kingdom and the royal family, himself included. The Windsor family’s estimated wealth is in the billions of dollars.

“The CARICOM reparations plan talks of development,” Dorbrene O’Marde said. “where the hurt of enslavement and genocide continues to exist and continues to impact the lives of Caribbean people today…You have committed crimes against humanity and there is a moral and an ethical demand that you acknowledge these crimes.”

King Charles III should heed the call of these former colonial subjects, and answer for the innumerable harms inflicted worldwide in the name of the British monarchy.
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