British must make reparations for slave trade – President Jagdeo

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British must make reparations for slave trade – President Jagdeo

Post by jafrikayiti » Sat Mar 31, 2007 4:43 pm

British must make reparations for slave trade – President Jagdeo
200th Anniversary of the abolition of the Trans-Atlantic Trade commemorated -

Posted: Mar 27, 2007 13:29 UTC

GEORGETOWN (GINA) - Reparations must be made by those who subjected millions of Africans in one of the most dastardly acts of history, the Trans-Atlantic Trade in captive Africans. March 25 marked 200 years since legislation was passed to outlaw the trade.

Head of State President Bharrat Jagdeo at the commemoration ceremony of the bicentenary of the abolition of the Trans-Atlantic Trade in captive Africans at the National Cultural Centre, said that ending the slave trade was not an act of benevolence but due to the trade's declining viability.
Addressing a large gathering the President said, “We must keep in mind that the end of the slave trade was a product of the fact that slavery became less viable as an economic system coupled with the contribution of others in the struggle. But there were others in this struggle; there were slaves and former slaves as Olaudah Equiano, Damon, Accabre, Toussant L' Ouverture and others, who struggled to bring the curtains down on this human tyranny and evil.”

As time progressed the industrial and agricultural revolution made sugar production in the colonies less vital to the British economy which led to a decline in the demand for slaves.

[quote]“Now that the British have recognised its active role in this despicable system, they need to go one step further and support reparation. The British Government was quick to recognise the Jewish Holocaust; they must also now recognise that there was an African holocaust. Otherwise, their remarks about the horrors of the Slave Trade and Slavery become meaningless and platitudinous, and such remarks may be expressed merely to absolve guilt.

The perpetrators of this horrendous act have shown not only little inclination to offer reparations, but continue to subjugate us in an unfair world trading system that hurts small, poor, and vulnerable economies,” the Head of State said.[/quote]

The President said it was one of the most brutal and violent episode in human history and the horrors of the Middle Passage and plantation slavery are well known. He noted that the illegal trade in persons has not ended, with many being caught up in human trafficking which pervades many nations.

He said there must be a moral imperative to bring an end to humans being bought and sold as a commodity.

President Jagdeo noted that Africans have made an indelible impact on the social and economic fabric of Guyana. Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport Dr. Frank Anthony in his welcome to the gathering, said it was requested that two activities be held concurrently with other countries of the world to mark the 200th anniversary since the abolition of the Trans Atlantic Slave trade: a minute of silence which was held on March 25 in the forecourt of Parliament Building and the activity held today at the National Cultural Centre.

He said the atrocities perpetuated on Africans must never be forgotten and strength should be drawn from the lessons of the past.
Vice-Chancellor of the University of Guyana, Dr. James Rose gave an overview of the Act passed that gave millions of Africans their freedom.
He said, “Even by our current standards the legislation was a significant breakthrough and coming as it did in the first quarter of the nineteenth century, the implications for stable international intercourse with uncommitted slave trading nations were considerable.”

Dr. Rose said the Act by itself is an omnibus instrument which in its introductory clause delineates the termination of the Atlantic trade.
[quote]“Whereas the Two Houses of Parliament did, by their Resolutions of the Tenth and Twenty-fourth days of June One Thousand Eight Hundred and Six, [1806} severally resolve... that they would, with all practicable Expedition, take effectual Measures for the Abolition of the African Slave Trade in such Manner, and at such Period as might be deemed advisable…{Determined} That from and after the First Day of May, One Thousand Eight hundred and Seven, [May1, 1807] the African Slave Trade, and all manner of dealing and trading in the Purchase, Sale, Barter, or Transfer of Slaves, or of Persons intended to be sold, transferred, used, or dealt with: as Slaves, practiced or carried on, in, at, to or from any Part of the Coast or Countries of Africa, shall be, and the same is hereby utterly abolished.”[/quote]

The Act consisted of 18 clauses which sought to address every aspect of the outlawed trade and catered for enforcement in the possible eventuality of various forms of breaches.

Secretary General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Dr. Edwin Carrington said the Community's theme for the bi-centennial anniversary is CARICOM reflects, never forget. He said it is vital that the lessons of the past be forever etched in the minds of the younger generation, those who have forgotten and those from whom the truth was hidden.

The Secretary General said, “words can never adequately describe human slavery as a concept, or slave trade as a practice. The Trans-Atlantic slave trade in Africans…was a human atrocity of global proportion organised to satisfy an economic need (mainly of European society). In that process it relegated human beings to property- chattel.”
Dr. Carrington said foremost, it must be ensured that a repetition of such crimes against humanity never be repeated. He said the anniversary provides and opportunity for reflection, teaching, healing and for building a better world.

British Ambassador to Guyana Fraser Wheeler in his message to the gathering said, whilst acknowledging the progress made in the liberation of African slaves from bondage the challenges that remain should be focused on to ensure the liberation of all people subjected to forced labour and enslavement.

He was tasked with reciting Prime Minister Tony Blair's address on the occasion of the abolition of the heinous trade in African slaves.
Alejandro Marchante Castellanos, Brazilian Ambassador to Guyana in his address paid homage to those African men and women who perished during the trade.

He noted that a large population of African descendants reside in his homeland, Brazil.

The United States of America Ambassador to Guyana David Robinson, reflected on those in his country who gave their lives in the fight against slavery. He recalled a charge given by Late President of the US Abraham Lincoln when he said “it is for us the living to ensure their noble sacrifices do not go to waste.”

Robinson said it would be a comforting thought that slavery has been totally abolished but sadly, reality adds the dimension of Trafficking In Persons.

He noted that the weight of resolving this modern day slavery will continue to be a focus of his Government.

European Union Representative Helen Jenkinson said the trade in slaves from its inception should have been deemed a crime against humanity and called for greater international cooperation to tackle problems that affect countries plagued by trafficking in persons.

Messages were also given by representatives of the Commemoration Committee, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Guyana Council of Churches, the Pan-African Movement, National Emancipation Trust, the Indigenous First Peoples Association, Indian Commemoration Trust and the Portuguese community.
The forced transportation of at least 10 million enslaved Africans from their homelands in Africa to destinations in Europe and the Americas during the 15th through the 19th centuries has altered history and is recorded as one of the most atrocious acts perpetrated on humans, an African Holocaust as labelled by President Jagdeo.

European and North American slave traders transported most of these slaves to areas in tropical and subtropical America, where the vast majority worked as labourers on large agricultural plantations.
As the Head of State maintained, the end of the Atlantic slave trade proved to be a lengthy process that involved changing economic circumstances and rising humanitarian concerns. In the late 18th century, European economies began to shift from agriculture to industry. Plantations remained profitable, but Europeans had promising new areas for investment. Also, the need for the slave trade lessened as American slave societies approached the point where they could reproduce enough offspring to meet labour needs.

The consequences of the slave trade for African societies is still being debated. The removal of millions of young men and women led to depopulation that stifled African creativity and production. Hence, the Head of State's call for reparations to be made by those who crafted the trade of humans beings, for their own economic and other gains.

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Reparations Tribunal in Berlin June 2007

Post by jafrikayiti » Thu Apr 05, 2007 9:55 pm

Please Support The International Tribunal on Reparations for Afrikan People (ITRAP)

June 7-10 2007, Africans from throughout the world are converging on Berlin, Germany 'the scene of the crime' where, in 1884-5, the colonial countries of Europe drew the illegitimate borders that continue to separate Africans and facilitate the theft of African wealth.

The International Tribunal on Reparations for Afrikan People (ITRAP) is an African people's court aimed at putting the U.S.A and European imperialism on trial for their crimes against African people during the slave trade, colonialism and neocolonialism, including:


"Imagine being forced out of your homeland and cornered into the desert where you were left to die of thirst, or drink poisoned water. Imagine being told that you could never go home, if you attempted you would be shot... We have the right to bring the Germans to court."
- Paramount chief Kauima Riruaku of the Herero people, Namibia

Theft of Resources

Africa's vast wealth of natural resources, including diamonds, gold, oil, timber and other minerals have been unjustly and heartlessly stolen from Africa to develop Europe. As a result, most Africans live on pennies a day and millions die of starvation.


Despite nominal independence granted to Africa in the 1960s, white power, terror, exploitation, and violence have continued through western backed neocolonial leaders.

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