RESTATING THE CALL: MILLIONS FOR REPARATIONS MASS RALLY

By Dr. Conrad W. Worrill (June 4, 2002)

 

 

            In November of 2001, the Durban 400 made “The Call” for the Millions For Reparations Mass Rally that will be held August 17, 2002 in Washington, D.C. Since “The Call” was made thousands of African people in America have pledged their support to participate in this historic Mass Reparations Rally. It is in this spirit that we restate “The Call!”

It is without question that millions of African people in America support the Reparations Movement’s demand for reparations from the United States Government and a variety of private institutions and corporations who all benefited from the more than four hundred years of free slave labor from African people in this country.

            The growing support of the Reparations Movement by millions of African people in America manifested itself through the hundreds of African people from this country, who joined forces with African people around the world, in demanding that the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade and Slavery be declared a Crime Against Humanity and that reparations were owed African people at the recently held United Nations World Conference Against Racism (WCAR) in Durban, South Africa.

            The Reparations Movement forces were victorious at the WCAR by impacting on parts of its outcome in the Durban Declaration. The WCAR government delegates passed that “We acknowledge that slavery and the slave trade, including the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade, were appalling tragedies in the history of humanity not only because of their abhorrent barbarism but also in terms of their magnitude, organized nature and especially their negation of the essence of the victims and further acknowledge that slavery and the slave trade are a crime against humanity.”      

As Ambassador Amina Muhammad from Kenya pointed out in paragraph 119 of the Durban Declaration Plan of Action, “calls on these states to take appropriate and effective measures to halt and reverse the lasting consequences of those practices” was in fact, a call for reparations.

The spirit, energy and momentum galvanized by the participation of the Durban 400, through the leadership of the December 12th Movement International Secretariat and the National Black United Front (NBUF), has inspired a call by the Durban 400 for a Millions For Reparations Mass Rally demanding reparations from the United States Government in its Capital City, Washington, D.C. on August 17, 2002.

It is only fitting that the mass rally be held on the 115th anniversary of the birth of the Honorable Marcus Garvey, who through his organization, the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) and African Communities League, led one of the greatest mass movements for African redemption and liberation in this country during the 1920’s.

We must build upon the momentum of our organizing work that led to our successful participation in the WCAR. Therefore, the Durban 400 is calling on African people in America to get prepared over the coming months to participate in the Millions For Reparations Mass Rally on August 17, 2002. Now more than ever African people must stand United in our demands for reparations in America.

In the Durban 400 Call for this Millions For Reparations Mass Rally we say, “The Trans Atlantic Slave Trade and Jim Crow set the stage for the 21st Century. The policy of entrenched racism has emanated from all branches of the United States government, from the days of the auction block and the recent United States walk out of the United Nations World Conference Against Racism held in Durban, South Africa. The United States government has relentlessly held on to its white supremacist ideology.

The exploitation of African people in this country has taken many forms through the years. The centuries of chattel slavery laid the foundation of our relationship to America. From the sharecropping fields to the factories, African labor built the ‘super power’ that is the United States. In return, we have endured the terrorism of the Ku Klux Klan, systematic lynchings, chain gangs, plantation prisons, police torture and murder, poverty, miseducation, inadequate housing, unemployment, welfare WEP programs, ACS child kidnappings, voter discrimination, crack, heroin, Rockefeller drug laws, Political Prisoners, and the assassination of our leaders. However, we’re still here!

The demand for reparations for African people is just and simple. It is simply an attempt to ‘repair,’ to ‘make whole’ the descendants of the victims of the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade, which was a CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY! Crimes against humanity have no statute of limitations. And our people still suffer from the vestiges of their enslavement and colonization.

We are going to the Capitol of the nation, built on slave labor, the rightful and only place to declare our human and legal right to Reparations…THEY OWE US!!!”

It is time to invoke the spirit of our ancestors, many of who sacrificed so much for the liberation of African people. We must work harder to build the Reparations Movement in America. We must not let the events of September 11th take our agenda off the table.

We must begin to spread the word through every venue available that the Millions For Reparations Mass Rally is ON!!!

 
National Chairman
National Black United Front (NBUF)


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