17 April 2015

Fifo hors les murs : Début des projections dans les archipels

TAHITI INFOS, les informations de Tahiti

E, le 14 avril 2015. (COMMUNIQUE) Le Festival International du Film documentaire Océanien se déroule à Papeete en février chaque année. C'est un moment fort en découverte, rencontres et échanges qui se prolonge, depuis maintenant 8 ans, par 6 mois de projections et de partage avec la population de Polynésie. 
FIFO outside the walls: Start projections in the islands
L’équipe du festival a ainsi le plaisir d’organiser une tournée de projections de films issus de la sélection du FIFO, dans les îles et au delà de nos frontières. Ces projections rassemblent en moyenne chaque année entre 6000 et 8000 spectateurs. Le début de cette grande aventure du FIFO Hors les murs commence dans nos archipels et permet au public polynésien de découvrir, au travers de ces nombreux documentaires, la richesse et la diversité des cultures océaniennes.

Cette année encore, la caravane du FIFO va parcourir de nombreux kilomètres. Au programme au delà de nos îles : la Nouvelle-Zélande, la Nouvelle-Calédonie, Wallis et Futuna et la métropole.

FIFO DANS LES ÎLES

Le FIFO dans les îles c’est avant tout la volonté de partager le festival avec la population des îles, malheureusement, trop souvent oubliée. C’est permettre à notre jeunesse de Polynésie de découvrir les cultures des frères et cousins océaniens. C’est offrir à la population des moments de découverte et d’échanges. Et c’est enfin, faire de la Polynésie ce carrefour d’images océaniennes, où les cultures se découvrent.

Le public scolaire est une priorité pour l’organisation. Pendant le festival, nous avons eu le plaisir d’accueillir 3663 scolaires et pendant cette tournée du FIFO dans les îles, pas loin de 6000 scolaires profiteront des projections.

Ces événements sont aujourd’hui attendus tant par le corps enseignant, par les élèves que par la population.

Le choix de la programmation des films projetés dans les établissements scolaires est laissé à l’appréciation des équipes enseignantes.

La mission du FIFO de faire voyager et de partager les films de la sélection s’étendra cette année sur 6 mois.

Ces événements sont mis en oeuvre grâce au soutien du groupe EDT-GDF Suez, Air Tahiti, des Ministères de la culture et de l’éducation, des établissements scolaires et communes de Polynésie. C’est bien grâce à leur confiance et à leur engagement que les films du FIFO voyagent et se partagent.

DU 14 AVRIL AU 31 MAI, 10 îles et communes et Tahiti accueilleront l’équipe du FIFO pour des projections à destination des scolaires et du grand public :
Îles sous le vent : Raiatea / Tahaa / Huahine / Bora Bora /
Îles du vent : Moorea/ Taravao/
Tuamotu - Gambier : Rangiroa / Hao /Makemo /
Australes : Rurutu

DU 1ER SEPTEMBRE AU 1ER DÉCEMBRE, l’organisation prolongera son opération Hors les murs en Polynésie en se déplaçant aux îles Marquises (Ua Pou, Nuku Hiva et Hiva Oa) et en organisant cette année une tournée dans les collèges et lycées de Tahiti. Une soirée de projection publique sera également proposée à l’ensemble des communes de Tahiti. Les dates de ces événements sont encore à définir.

Notre travail en étroite collaboration avec les différents chefs d’établissements, professeurs, maires des communes et associations va permettre d’offrir plus de 250 séances de projections pour les scolaires et plus de 40 projections gratuites pour le grand public.

Fifo hors les murs : Début des projections dans les archipels
Et la caravane du FIFO continuera sa route au delà des frontières de la Polynésie.

LES CARTES BLANCHES DANS LES FESTIVALS OCÉANIENS

Depuis maintenant 2 ans, le FIFO accueille des représentants de festivals de la région et de métropole à l’occasion de la Rencontres des festivals océaniens. L’objectif étant de faciliter, créer et consolider les liens entre festivals, mais également de mettre en commun des réseaux, créer des synergies et initier des projets communs. A l’issue de cette 2nde rencontre des Festivals océaniens, il a été convenu qu’un projet d’Association des festivals océaniens pourrait être mis en place pour l’année 2016.
Les liens tissés entre les festivals de la région permettent d’ores et déjà à chacun d’offrir une fenêtre de programmation aux autres festivals.

Fifo hors les murs : Début des projections dans les archipels
NOUVELLE-ZÉLANDE :

Après avoir accueilli le festival du Doc Edge pour un après midi « carte blanche » dédié à leur programmation pendant le FIFO 2015, c’est maintenant à leur tour de nous accueillir au sein de leur festival pour deux soirées « carte Blanche au FIFO », qui se dérouleront à Auckland et à Wellington. Y seront projetés 2 films du palmarès du FIFO 2015, Kumu Hina (2ème prix du jury et prix du public) et Tender (grand prix FIFO France Télévisions)
Auckland : mardi 26 mai 2015
Wellington : mardi 9 juin 2015

D’autres « Carte blanche » avec des festivals de la région sont en cours d’élaboration.

Fifo hors les murs : Début des projections dans les archipels
AUTRES ÉVÉNEMENTS HORS LES MURS

FRANCE :

Pour la 6ème édition de la course de pirogue : Vendée Va’a, la commune des Sables d’Olonne organise 4 jours d’animations culturelles autour de la Polynésie. A cette occasion le FIFO proposera 4 projections de films : Tatau, la culture d’un art / Va’a Tahoe / La compagnie des Archipels / Kaimiloa, l’énigme de l’Odyssée Polynésienne

Jeudi 14 mai :
Sables d’Olonne, les Atlantes, Salle Vendée Globe à 16h : Tatau, la culture d’un art
Sables d’Olonne, les Atlantes, Salle Vendée Globe à 20h : Va’a Tahoe

Vendredi 15 mai :
Sable d’Olonne, les Atlantes, Salle Vendée Globe à 16h : La Compagnie des Archipels
Sable d’Olonne, les Atlantes, Salle Vendée Globe à 20h : Kaimiloa, l’énigme de l’Odyssée polynésienne
http://www.vendeevaa.com

WALLIS ET FUTUNA :

En juillet 2015, Wallis et Futuna accueillera pour la deuxième année, le FIFO Hors les Murs à Wallis, organisé en partenariat avec Wallis 1ère et l’Association Café Fale.

Pendant une semaine de nombreuses projections seront proposées aux scolaires et au grand public des différentes îles de Wallis et Futuna. Nous avons eu le plaisir d’accueillir pour le FIFO 2015, Patrick Bonfils, le responsable du FIFO Hors les murs de Wallis, ainsi que trois jeunes de l’association, qui ont pu profiter des projections et des nombreux ateliers pendant le festival. Ils sont ainsi rentrés à Wallis, la tête remplie
d’idées et de projets et avec la programmation pour le Hors les murs qu’ils vont organiser dans leurs îles.

D’autres événements Hors les murs (Paris et Nouvelle-Calédonie) sont en cours d’élaboration.

16 April 2015

Okinawa Governor Onaga compares the Japanese government to the island’s former “autocratic” US High Commissioner

Okinawa Governor Onaga compares the Japanese government to the island’s former
Okinawa Governor Takashi Onaga (right) and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga (left) talking together for the first time at the ANA Crowne Plaza Okinawa Harborview Hotel in Naha at around 9:35 a.m. on April 5.

The Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga and Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga have held a stormy meeting at a Naha hotel. Suga said, “Giving up Henoko relocation could lead to Futenma Air Station becoming a permanent fixture. Based on applicable laws and regulations approved by the former Governor Hirokazu Nakaima, we are carrying out the landfill without making a fuss.” Onaga responded, “Although the chief cabinet secretary repeatedly used the word ‘without making a fuss,’ it reminds me of the third High Commissioner of the U.S. Civil Administration of the Ryukyu Islands, General Paul Caraway who refused to allow Okinawans any increase in self-rule or autonomy.” Onaga strongly criticized Suga, saying, “That attitude fuels the anger of the Okinawan people and makes it impossible to build a new U.S. military base in Henoko.”
The April 5 talks, part of which were open to the public, is the first time that Suga and Onaga have met face-to-face since Onaga won the gubernatorial election in December 2014. A major platform of his campaign was a pledge to stop the relocation of U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma to the Henoko district of Nago.
At the beginning of the meeting, Suga talked about how the Japanese government had been working to reduce Okinawa’s burden, (in terms of the island hosting so many US bases.) He also spoke about plans to promote the island. He said, “We would like to work together with the Okinawan people and we would like the people to trust us once again.”
Onaga said, “The difference between me and the former governor comes down to the approval of the Henoko landfill. The decision to approve the reclamation was a major issue in the last gubernatorial election. My victory in that election by a margin of 100,000 votes shows the overwhelming opposition felt by the Okinawan people to the Henoko relocation plan.”
Onaga told Suga that he understood the importance of the Japan-U.S. security arrangements. However, he added, “The U.S. military forcibly took over Okinawan land to build bases, which continues to bring huge sufferings to the people today. The Japanese government claims that Okinawa should bear the burden of hosting a new base because Futenma Air Station is the world’s most dangerous base. If Okinawan people oppose it, the Japanese government blames Okinawans for not thinking about the importance of Japan’s security.” Onaga continued, “The fact the Japanese government is making such an unreasonable demand clearly shows how low Japanese politics has sunk.”
Onaga went on to say that if the Henoko relocation was cancelled, the Japanese government would be responsible for what happened next, “You and the former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said that Futenma Air Station is the most dangerous base in the world. I would like to know whether the base will become a permanent fixture if the Henoko relocation does not work.”
Onaga intends to keep the conversation going with the central government while at the same time considering how best to exercise his powers as governor. This may result in him cancelling his predecessor’s order to approve construction work on the Henoko seabed.
The Naha meeting lasted an hour. During the 30 minute closed-door portion, Onaga and Suga exchanged opinions without the presence of their administrative officers.
(English translation by T&CT)

15 April 2015

United Nations publishes 2015 reports on U.S. Dependencies


Image result for decolonizationThe United Nations (U.N.) has begun to release its informational Working Papers for 2015 on the 17 non self-governing territories. Below are links to the three dependencies administered by the United States in the Caribbean formally designated by the U.N. The reports are prepared annually by the Decolonisation Unit of the Department of Political Affairs, and are used by the member States of the U.N. Decolonisation Committee as they review the political, constitutional, and socio-economic developments in each territory and make recommendations to the General Assembly on measures to advance the decolonisation process. To view the U.N. reports on the United Kingdom-administered dependencies click 
on:   United Nations publishes 2015 reports on British dependencies.


Image result for decolonization
www.buddhistpeacefellowship.org
According to the latest Report of the U.N. Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) on the U.N. system support to the decolonisation process (2007), the production of the annual Working Papers on the 17 non self-governing territories are the "primary way" the Decolonisation Unit supports the Special Committee (on Decolonisation). The OIOS Report indicated that the research, analysis and drafting of the Working Papers constitute the Unit’s main output" utilising "some 73 per cent of the total Unit work months." 

These Papers also constitute the main substantive documents for the annual regional seminars originally designed in 1990 to alternate between the Caribbean and Pacific, and to focus on the small island territories which constitute most of the remaining dependencies.

United Nations Working Papers 2015
U.S. - administered dependencies






______________________________


For analysis of the U.N. role in the decolonisation process see the following:











14 April 2015

Northern Marianas Mayor: "No Military Activity On Pagan"

Government should focus on homestead program: Aldan

By Cherrie Anne E. Villahermosa 
Marianas Variety

Northern Islands Mayor Jerome Aldan’s message to the military is to "pack up and leave Pagan alone." Aldan was among the public officials who were in the House chamber yesterday to hear what the representatives of the Marine Corps Forces Pacific had to say during a meeting that lasted for more than three hours.

Aldan in an interview said he has not changed his position and is still opposed to the proposed use of Pagan for any military activities in the Northern Islands.

"Pagan is an island that people of Northern Marians descent should use to the full extent. There are a lot of resources there that we can tap. When you’re talking about bombs and live ammunition, that’s destruction to me. No matter how you call it…I still find it hard to believe because when you’re dropping bombs of course they will have a a significant impact once they hit the ground."

Instead of considering the military proposal, the CNMI government should help implement the homestead program for the Northern Islands.

He did not say how the financially strapped CNMI government can finance the resettlement of Pagan, which has an active volcano.

"We need the government to help us expedite the homestead program so we can go back to the Northern Islands. It’s not true that the place is uninhabited. There are still families living there and the numbers have tripled. So instead of prolonging the issue, let’s implement the homestead program. We can start it in Pagan. There’s a lot of flat land in Pagan and it’s a lot easier to maneuver there — there’s a road and there’s an existing landing area there already and all we have to do is renovate and upgrade them."

The mayor said the airport master plan was done by Efrain Camacho & Associates and it cost $500,000.

"All we need is to get the money," he added.

"We are losing a lot of lands already. There are over 4,000 pending applications for homestead lots so my take is let’s do it. Let’s start improving Pagan. We don’t need the military’s money. In fact I even asked the Marianas Visitors Authority to include Pagan to the list of the CNMI’s tourist attractions. It’s beautiful and there are a lot of attractions there."

[PIR editor’s note: Marianas Variety also reported that ‘There is a gradual loss of access to the islands. ... This was a perspective that Sen. Arnold I. Palacios, chairman of the Senate Committee on Federal Relations and Independent Agencies conveyed to the visiting Marine Corps Forces Pacific representatives yesterday in a meeting on Capital Hill. ... "We are starting to lose our islands," said Senator Palacios noting that it was not just to the U.S. military, but to other federal agencies as well. ... The islands are being federalized. ... "I am just looking at it from a different perspective. Out of the 14 islands, we have lost eight of our islands — eight to the federal government; one to nature—Anatahan."’]

Aldan said he is not against the military.

"Our CNMI leaders are also leaning toward no to bombs, no to live fire exercises at all. Even on Tinian, there are a lot of concerns…. I’m just surprised that nobody has asked yet about the possible contamination."

He is urging members of the public to get involved in the upcoming meetings.

"It’s important to participate. We want the people to come out and voice their concerns and be active and be involved because these are their islands.

"Again, I am not against the military. It’s their proposal that I’m against with. It’s not the plan that we see for our kids and the future. I just hope the Legislature and the governor will do the right thing and decide what is best for the people."

For his part, Lt. Gov. Ralph Torres is also requesting community members to participate in the hearings and public meetings regarding the draft of the Environmental Impact Statement.

Torres in a statement yesterday said: "We are in a crucial stage of the long-discussed military activities on Tinian and Pagan. In the hearings and public meetings of the coming weeks, we are provided an opportunity to participate in this important process.

"I strongly encourage the members of the public and community organizations to take the time to contribute your thoughts and comments both in writing and during the scheduled public meetings."

*****

CNMI Mayor: Strong Opposition To Pagan Militarization


Militarization and resettlement incompatible


A Northern Marianas mayor says most of the people in his region opposes the United States military's plans for a live fire range on Pagan island.

The military wants to lease the uninhabited island in its entirety so the Navy, Air Force, Army and Marines can practice live fire training as part of plans for a greater presence in the Asia-Pacific region.

But the mayor of the CNMI's northern Islands, which include Pagan, Jerome Aldan, says the island's original inhabitants were hoping to re-settle, but those plans will be scuttled if it is turned into a firing range.

"What do you think about live-fire and live-bombing? For me, it's destruction, contamination and basically after they're done the island is going to turn into a wasteland. I can say about 100 percent are against this, more particularly the folks from the northern islands who are waiting to make good use of the island, go back home."

Jerome Aldan says there are also plans to site a fishing community on Pagan in coming months, but this could now be halted.



09 April 2015

Hawaiians seek to protect mountain from construction of telescope

Mauna Kea, Kaʻohe, Hāmākua, Hawaiʻi
For Immediate Release
April 7, 2015

TMT SHUTDOWN

Protectors of Mauna Kea update the status of their encampment on the mountain

The protectors of Maunakea continue to camp out across the Maunakea Visitors Center at approximately 9,200 feet elevation night in and night out and will soon reach the two week mark of their encampment. Although over 30 arrests were made on Thursday, April 2 by the Hawaii County Police Department and the DOCARE officers of the DLNR, the protectors atop the mountain of Wākea, continue their stance against the construction of the Thirty Meter Telescope and continue to build momentum and gain support. 
One reason for the building of momentum and support, they say, is what they are calling the Kapu Aloha. “Abiding by this is what has fueled and protected us in this movement,” says Lanakila Mangauil. Mangauil says the Kapu Aloha is about conducting oneself with respect towards others, under any and all circumstances. Over the weekend, hundreds of supporters ascended the mountain to join in the protection efforts, with many flying in from Maui, Molokaʻi, Oʻahu and Kauaʻi. Although no construction has taken place since the day arrests were made, the protectors have kept a constant presence and plan to continue to do so while attempting to garner more support.
Protectors of the mountain have many reasons why they oppose the proposed construction of the TMT, one being that the mountain is considered sacred and perhaps the most sacred lands in all of Hawaiʻi. The mountain is named after Wākea who mated with Papahānaumoku to birth Hawaiʻi Island. The peak of the mountain is considered to be wao akua, or the realm of the gods, as it is the dwelling place of gods and goddesses such as Poliahu, Waiau, Lilinoe, Lihau, Kukahauula, Kahoupokane and Mooinanea. 


Another reason for the opposition to the TMT is the fact that protectors feel that the TMT does not adhere to the developmental laws of conservation lands as determined by the State of Hawaiʻi and the mountain also contains many religious shrines as well as burial sites and sits on top of the largest aquifer on the island of Hawaiʻi and therefore they consider it to be desecration. 
Lastly, the protectors realize and understand that even if the TMT was in compliance with the laws of developing on conservation lands, the State of Hawaiʻi is illegal and the Hawaiian Kingdom was never lawfully annexed by the United States of America and therefore continues to exits today according to International Law. This stems from the fact that Americaʻs only claim to annexing Hawaiʻi is by Joint Resolution on July 7, 1898, which is really just a domestic law having no authority outside the boundaries of its territory, and Hawaiʻi clearly was not a part of the U.S in 1898 since it required annexation. 
Because the State of Hawaiʻi is illegal, the protectors argue that every extension and branch of the State is therefore also illegal and due to this, all contracts between the contractors and the State of Hawaiʻi are void and illegal. Protectors of the mountain call upon all countries involved to honor the continued independence of Hawaiʻi that America has refused to acknowledge for the last 122 years while illegally occupying Hawaiʻi in violation of the laws of occupation.
The protectors of the mountain know that there are many out there who have and continue to offer their support through donations of food, water, money and other necessities, and while appreciated, those atop the mountain humbly and respectfully ask that any attempts of raising funds and collecting and delivering donations be communicated first with the protectors so as not to mismanage resources and cause confusion amongst the people in regards to what certain funds and donations could be used for. 
Kahoʻokahi Kanuha, one of the protectors and one who was arrested in the first group last Thursday, says “We canʻt thank everyone enough. The amount of support we have received over the past week is absolutely unbelievable and simply amazing. I am not quite sure our people have seen a movement like this in their lifetime and I think itʻs a testament to the fact that our people have been ignited and are ready to move forward and solidify ourselves once again throughout the world as a people and a country.”


###

For more information, contact:
1-808-494-0626 or 1-808-936-4249
tmtshutdown@gmail.com
Twitter: @tmtshutdown
#TMTshudown on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter
http://www.gofundme.com/maunakeaohana
See also:  
Hawaii Governor Calls ‘Timeout’ on Mauna Kea Telescope Construction


08 April 2015

University of Hawai'i Summit to address Militarisation of the Pacific



Civil Beat



The symposium will feature panels focused on the Marshall Islands, Mariana Islands, French Polynesia and Hawaii.


The University of Hawaii Asian-Pacific Law & Policy Journal is hosting a symposium this month exploring the impact of militarization on Micronesian and Polynesian islands.
The event, entitled “Bombs in Paradise: A Legal, Social, and Political Discussion of Militarization in the Pacific”, will take place on April 17 at the University of Hawaii law school campus.
Sailor's Hat on Kahoolawe where the Navy dropped a 500lb TNT bomb to simulate the effects of an atomic blast.9.30.14
Sailor’s Hat on Kahoolawe where the Navy dropped a 500lb TNT bomb to simulate the effects of an atomic blast.
The symposium will feature panels focused on the Marshall Islands, Mariana Islands, French Polynesia and Hawaii. Julian Aguon, a Guam native who is an attorney, author and activist, will give the keynote speech.
In Hawaii, state lawmakers are figuring out how much money to set aside this year to support the restoration of the former bombing range Kahoolawe, once known as “Target Island.”
For more background on Kahoolawe, read Civil Beat’s series Promised Land.



Chagos islanders ‘betrayed’ by UK failure to decide on their return


The Guardian

Supporters of Chagossians’ return to the Indian Ocean atolls condemn the government’s postponement and ‘lack of political courage’


Supporters of the inhabitants of a British overseas territory deported from their homeland are furious that the government has reneged on a promise that it would decide before the election on whether they could return.


Shortly before parliament disbanded, the government said it would delay confirming whether the Chagossian people could go back to the Chagos Islands, a series of atolls in the Indian Ocean. The main island, Diego Garcia, has been leased to the US military since 1966. That agreement expires next year. 

Novelist Philippa Gregory, secretary of the UK Chagos Support Association, branded the delay “another serious betrayal of the Chagossian community”. She added: “Chagossians have suffered in exile for years, and it is disgraceful the government has failed to deliver a small measure of justice by supporting return.” Television presenter and author Ben Fogle will hand a petition to Downing Street after the election urging the next government to let the Chagossians go back.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE GUARDIAN .


United Nations publishes 2015 reports on British dependencies


Image result for decolonization

The United Nations has begun to release its informational Working Papers for 2015 on the 17 non self-governing territories. Below are links to the six dependencies administered by the United Kingdom in the Caribbean. The reports are prepared annually by the Decolonisation Unit of the Department of Political Affairs, and are used by the member States of the U.N. Decolonisation Committee as they review the political, constitutional, and socio-economic developments in each territory and make recommendations to the General Assembly on measures to advance the decolonisation process.   

Image result for decolonization
www.buddhistpeacefellowship.org
According to the latest Report of the U.N. Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) on the U.N. system support to the decolonisation process (2007), the production of the annual Working Papers on the 17 non self-governing territories are the "primary way" the Decolonisation Unit supports the Special Committee (on Decolonisation). The OIOS Report indicated that the research, analysis and drafting of the Working Papers constitute the Unit’s main output" utilising "some 73 per cent of the total Unit work months." 

These Papers also constitute the main substantive documents for the annual regional seminars originally designed in 1990 to alternate between the Caribbean and Pacific, and to focus on the small island territories which constitute most of the remaining dependencies.
________________________


United Nations Working Papers 2015
British-administered dependencies








_________________________________

International Reparations Summit to Convene in New York

ibw-logo-header
31-35 95th  Street, East Elmhurst, NY 11369 ♦ 718.429.1415 ♦ info@ibw21.org  ♦ www.ibw21.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:Don Rojas
Tel: 410-844-1031
Email: donjbrojas@gmail.comWeb: www.ibw21.org

International Black Reparations Summit to Meet in New York


Organized by The Institute of the Black World (IBW)


New York, March 26—The Institute of the Black World 21st Century IBW), a leading research, policy and advocacy group with offices in New York and Baltimore, announced today that it is holding an International Reparations Summit at various sites across New York City, from April 9 to 12, 2015.
Speakers at the conference include Prof. Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice-Chancellor of the University of the West Indies and chair of the Caribbean Community’s (CARICOM) Reparations Commission; civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson, Prof. Charles Ogeltree of Harvard University and Mireille Fanon Mendes France, President of the Frantz Fanon Foundation and Chair of the UN Working Group of Experts on People of African descent and daughter of Frantz Fanon, the Black liberation theoretician and psychiatrist from Martinique.
During the Summit, U.S. Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), the most senior member of Congress and the dean of the Congressional Black Caucus, will be honored for authoring HR 40, the “Commission to Study Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act” and for his 50 years of service on Capitol Hill.
“We are delighted that the Institute of the Black World can be a clearinghouse for ideas and strategies on how to pursue reparations for historical crimes and injustices against people of African descent in the US and across the Americas,” said Dr. Ron Daniels, the Institute’s President. “The courageous decision by nations in the Caribbean to demand reparations from the former European colonialists for Native Genocide and African enslavement and the formation of a CARICOM Reparations Commission is re-energizing the Reparations Movement in the U.S. and throughout the Pan African world.”
Scores of reparations advocates, Pan-Africanists and social justice activists from across the USA, Canada, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean will take part in the New York summit. Leaders of national reparations commissions, committees and task forces from 11 CARICOM nations will interface with leaders of the recently formed European Reparations Commission and with members of the National African-American Reparations Commission (NAARC) which will be formally launched during the conference.
The NAARC will comprise of some of the leading scholars, activists, attorneys, economists and historians in Black America. In the months ahead, the NAARC will hold a series of town hall meetings across the country designed to solicit ideas from African-American communities on what should constitute a comprehensive program that advocates for reparations for the historical crimes of slavery and segregation.
“The main purpose of the International Summit is to advance the public discussion and debate around reparations issues and to provide a platform for advocates from around the world to dialogue, learn from each other, strategize collectively, support and reinforce each other’s campaigns, build bridges across geographical and linguistic barriers and co-ordinate action plans,” said Don Rojas, IBW’s director of communications. “The international nature of this summit is unprecedented in the long (and all too often ignored and marginalized) history of the reparations movement in the Americas.”
The conference, whose opening and closing public sessions are to be Webcast and audiocast live by WBAI-Pacifica Radio and Sirius XM Satellite Radio, will be held in three of New York City’s five boroughs—Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens.
The conference begins at the historic Mother AME Zion Church in Harlem, the oldest black church in New York State and a center for the Underground Railroad back in the 19th Century. The business sessions will be held at York College in Queens and the summit will conclude with a public rally at the First AME Zion Church in Central Brooklyn, home to the largest Caribbean community in the United States.
One of the highlights at the closing rally will be inspirational music sung by a newly formed ‘Reparations Choir’, composed of members from several black churches in Brooklyn.
The three-day meeting will honor pioneers in the fight for reparations for Black Americans, including Callie House (1861-1928), a former slave who demanded that $68 million in taxes on Confederate cotton seized by the North be given to Blacks as reparations, and Queen Mother Moore (1898-1997), a longtime Harlem activist who popularized the reparations idea in the middle 20th century. It will also pay tribute to the tireless work over many years of The National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRA).
“Reparations is not an issue of the distant past,” said Dr. Daniels. “The Japanese-American community demanded—and got—reparations in the late 1980s for how they were treated by the American government—their own government—during World War II,” he said, referring to the internment of those Japanese by the United States.
“And in 2015, the parliaments of Russia and Greece are voting to demand Germany pay them for the damage inflicted on them by the Nazis,” he added. “So this issue is not, and should not, go away, particularly when African-descended people are concerned.”
Reparations is an issue that has occasionally flared up in Black political circles since the end of slavery in the mid-19th Century. It has been publicly opposed by several U.S. Presidents and dismissed by most white Americans but it has always found a place on the Black political agenda.
At the UN’s Conference on Racism in Durban, South Africa in 2001, the Atlantic slave trade and chattel slavery was declared a “crime against humanity” and was described as the greatest holocaust in human history. Hundreds of reparations activists from the USA and the Caribbean participated actively in the Durban conference, which helped to infuse the reparations movements with new energy at the beginning of the 21st Century. But that energy petered out in the first decade of the new century.
IBW, however, believes that today this pattern is changing. A June 2014 cover story in The Atlantic magazine, “The Case for Reparations,” by prominent journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates, generated much discussion in African-American communities as well as within elite white American intellectual and political circles.
IBW maintains that the work of the National African-American Reparations Commission will have to be resourced by black communities across the country. “Black people and those sympathetic to the cause will have to finance this initiative,” Dr. Daniels explained. “We can’t expect corporations or foundations to underwrite a campaign for Reparations for Black people. In the spirit of the Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey, IBW is counting on contributions from the people to finance the work of the commission.”
The IBW International Reparations Summit comes two years after the 15-nation CARICOM group decided unanimously to form a reparations commission and to demand that the former European colonial and slave-trading powers pay the debt owed to African people in the Caribbean region for the enormous wealth made off of their forced and uncompensated labor during the centuries of African enslavement.
And in January 2014 CARICOM issued a 10-point program for “Reparitory Justice” that frames their reparations demands as a “development strategy”. The program’s stated goal is “to use reparations payments to deal collectively with pressing economic and educational problems facing the citizens of the Caribbean that trace their origins to the underdevelopment imposed by slavery, slave trading, native genocide, and economic exploitation by the European nations”.
CARICOM’s 10-Point Program enjoys the unanimous support of all the member countries in the Community of Caribbean and Latin American States  (CELAC) and the Bolivarian alliance for the Peoples of the Americas  (ALBA).
For more information on IBW’s International Reparations Summit, please visit www.ibw21.org.
About The Institute of the Black World
The Institute of the Black World 21st Century (IBW) is committed to enhancing the capacity of Black communities in the U.S. and globally to achieve cultural, social, economic and political equality and an enhanced quality of life for all marginalized people. The Institute was conceived as a resource center and engine for capacity-building and empowerment of Black organizations and communities, utilizing cooperative and collaborative methods and strategies.
The group emerged as an outgrowth of the State of the Black World Conference which attracted some 2,500 African American scholars, activists, organizers and concerned individuals to Atlanta in 2001. Convened by a core group of veteran social and political activists led by Dr. Ron Daniels (former Executive Director, National Rainbow Coalition; Deputy Campaign Manager, Jesse Jackson for President, 1988 and Executive Director, Center for Constitutional Rights), the birth of IBW was more than a decade in the making.
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