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Source: Green Party of England and Wales

11 October 2020

  • Members back motion at online Autumn Conference
  • Motion will see party call on Parliament to establish an All-Party Commission of Inquiry for Truth and Reparatory Justice
  • Councillor Cleo Lake: “While we cannot change the past, we can go some way to heal and repair from it.”

The Green Party has become the first major national party to commit to seeking reparations for the transatlantic trafficking of enslaved Afrikans.

Members backed the motion on the final day of their Autumn Conference [1] [Sunday 11 October] which commits the Green Party to call on Parliament to establish an All-Party Commission of Inquiry for Truth and Reparatory Justice. 

The party also supports calls from campaigners within the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations, such as Stop the Maangamizi Campaign and the International Network of Scholars and Activists for Afrikan Reparations [2], for the Government to commit to a holistic process of atonement and reparations in accordance with the United Nations Framework on Reparations.[3] 

In July this year, Lambeth Council became the first local authority to pass a successful motion [4], led by Green Party councillor Scott Ainslie, calling for a parliamentary reparations commission to address the impact of slavery on current racial inequalities in the UK. 

Ainslie, who has co-signed the motion to conference, said: 

“This motion is a step towards Britain finally facing up to the historical impact it has had on countries throughout the world. I am proud that the Green Party is showing true leadership on this issue.

“If Britain can properly address the legacies of its colonial past, then it can truly deal with the root causes of our country’s socio-economic inequality rooted in systemic racism.  

“By engaging in a genuine process of reparative and transitional justice, we can begin to heal holistically and re-balance the past and present injustices inflicted by the few which cause endless suffering to the many.” 

The motion was proposed by Bristol Green Party Councillor Cleo Lake. 

Lake said: 

“Getting this motion to conference has been a great example of collaborative working with key reparations campaigners.  

“The fact it has been backed by Green Party members represents a significant and historic milestone towards acknowledgement, justice and reconciliation over a painful shared history.  The legacy of this history still plays out today through rife global inequality, racism, Afriphobia, and a ravaged planet that continues to be pillaged and disrespected. 

“I am pleased that the Green Party, through its membership, is the political party leading the way in its support for this movement towards holistic reparations by voting for this motion. 

“While we cannot change the past, we can go some way to heal and repair from it. And by taking decisive action, we can direct the future course of our shared humanity and planet.” 

Esther Stanford-Xosei, one of the UK’s foremost reparations scholar-activists, and co-founder of the Pan-Afrikan Reparations Coalition in Europe, is among those representatives of the ISMAR who have supported the party’s work on the motion.

Stanford-Xosei said:  

“This is a holistic way to begin a dialogue on Afrikan Reparations with British society and the state which tells the truth centred upon planet repairs in order not to pull communities apart.

“It begins with first educating ourselves. Reparations means to repair. You can only effectively repair when you are stopping the harm.”

 ENDS

 Notes

             1

The Green Party Autumn Conference 2020 is taking place online from Friday 2 October to Sunday 11 October.

https://www.greenparty.org.uk/conference 

            2

The International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations includes groups such as Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide Campaign and the International Network of Scholars and Activists for Afrikan Reparations (INOSAAR). 

          3 

https://www.ohchr.org/en/professionalinterest/pages/remedyandreparation.aspx 

          4 

Lambeth Council passed the motion on 15 July 2020.

https://www.greenparty.org.uk/news/2020/07/15/greens-lead-on-first-successful-motion-to-demand-government-reparations-for-slavery/

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MIL OSI United Kingdom