Over two thousand Africans from across Britain came together to march in support of reparations during the first day of African Remembrance Month.
The assembly which was led by the Rastafarian Movement in Britain was organised with support from various organisations including EABIC (Bobo Shanti), Ethiopian World Federation (EWF), Twelve Tribes of Israel, Nation of Islam (UK), Galaxy Radio, Global African Congress (UK) and the National Afrikan Peoples Parliament.
Delegations came from all over the UK with buses organised to bring people from regions such as Bristol. Despite its serious political message the event was a joyous non-violent event involving families and elders united in mission.
The day started with a rally at Brixton in Windrush Square that then made the trek over London Bridge towards 10 Downing Street where a petition was delivered at the gates. Several roads where shut down to accommodate the peaceful marchers who through drumming, songs and chanting invoked the spirit of their Ancestors in calling for justice.
By the end of the day the initial gathering swelled in numbers as some bystanders left their cars and workplaces to join the procession. Police presence was surprisingly low as it is suspected few expected the march would attract the huge following that it did.
After the petition was taken to the gates of 10 Downing Street the procession headed towards parliament pausing at Parliament Square whilst Rastafari leaders sought to communicate with ministers.
The march then returned back to Brixton ending with a meeting at Lambeth Town Hall where bonafide community leaders such as Interim National Afrikan Peoples Parliament co vice chairs Sis Jendayi Serwah and Sis Dr Asher Sefanit-Wudasee addressed the rally sharing the key message that “reparations is not about money/compensation. The bulk of our work should be concerned with self repair leading us to a position of power to demand of the state what we are entitled to in order to fully restore self, land and sovereignty. This is not a begging bowl exercise!”
Reparations March 2014: Thousands walk united in peace for reparative justice
Advocates for Justice
Community educator and Ligali founder Toyin Agbetu said; ”I was proud to be part of this historic march with my family, it is also a powerful reminder of what the Notting Hill Carnival is supposed to be - a cultural movement that unites us on an intergenerational level to challenge current and historic injustices.”
The Ligali organisation is currently engaged in tracking down and prosecuting British War Criminals who committed crimes against African people during colonial enslavement. So far of the five suspects identified and given to the police for investigation only one is still alive.
Toyin continues; “I think in organising this event, the Rastafari community has shown itself to be one of the most effective Pan African movements in this country. I’m also a huge advocate for justice as an act of reparation so I love the fact that the media messages promoting this as ‘slavery compensation’ has been thoroughly debunked. Just as there are only a few people left who believe the lie that African enslavement only took place because ‘we were selling our own people’, the model of reparations that African people worldwide deserve begins with looking at self-reparations alongside the actions of Europe in setting up the Marshall Plan.”
Ligali has also written to public service broadcasters, the BBC and Channel 4 making a formal complaint asking why there was no media coverage of the historic march on the day.
External LinksBBC World: Africa Trillions demanded in slavery reparationsINAPP addresses rally at Lambeth town Hall after Reparations marchEmancipation Day - Footage of Reparation March 2014The Marshall PlanBritains colonial shame: Slave-owners given huge payouts after abolition
Reparations Dream Team: Sis Jendayi Serwah, Sis Esther Stanford-Xosei and Sis Dr Asher Sefanit-Wudasee
Jesus Says Sorry: The Anatomy of a Political Apology for SlaveryAddressing Maafa denial and slavery apologists
Ligali is not responsible for the content of third party sites
Click here to speak out
or read (4) comments about this article