14 November 2013 — Pambazuka News
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Pambazuka News (English edition): ISSN 1753-6839
CONTENTS: 1. Features, 2. Announcements, 3. Comment & analysis, 4. Advocacy & campaigns, 5. Obituaries, 6. Books & arts
//////////////////////////////////// 1 Features ERITREA: A PEOPLE UNDER SIEGE Adane Ghebremeskel
The brutality of the repressive Eritrean government coupled with deep seated economic problems in the tiny country provide deep-seated reasons why Eritreans are a people under siege seeking escape and fundamental change in their country http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/89620 ******
SPECTACULAR TURN OF EVENTS AS DRC FORCES CRUSH FOREIGN-BACKED M23 REBELS Antoine Roger Lokongo
The recent defeat of the M23 rebels by government forces in eastern DR Congo inspires hope that lasting peace can now be achieved in the region – although there are other rebel groups active there. Still, the expansionist ambitions of Rwanda and Uganda remain a big challenge to DRC http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/89562 ******
UPRISING IN SUDAN: ECONOMIC REALITIES THE ENGINE OF DISCONTENT Eric Reeves
Underneath widespread state-sponsored violence in Sudan is an imploding economy, thanks to 24 years of gross mismanagement of a nation rich in natural resources by the al Bashir regime. When will the desperate realities re-ignite the recently repressed uprising? http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/89566 ******
LIBERATION DELAYED: NIGERIAN LABOR CONGRESS CO-HOSTS SOLIDARITY CONFERENCE WITH THE SAHARAWI PEOPLE Abayomi Azikiwe
Africa trade unions, led by the Nigerian Labor Congress demanded in solidarity with the Saharawi people that Morocco, a close ally of the United States and France, withdraw its military and security forces from the Western Sahara and hold a referendum on the future of the territory http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/89619 ******
NIGERIAN ARCHAEOLOGISTS PROTEST GERMAN EXHIBITION OF LOOTED ART Zacharys Anger Gundu
The Archaeological Association of Nigeria (Aan) presents a statement on the recent German Nok exhibition in Frankfurt. They accuse the German curators of academic colonization of archaeology for failing to agree to the exhibition first being hosted on Nigerian soil and for several other breaches concerning the heritage of Nigeria http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/89621 ******
COUNTER-TERRORISM AND IMPERIAL HYPOCRISY Lessons from the kidnapping of Abu Anas al-Liby in Tripoli Horace G. Campbell
The brazen capture of Abu Anas al-Liby in Tripoli by the US conceals the selective use of counter-terror activities used by western military forces to maintain the War on Terror. Peace activists must intensify their efforts to expose the forces in the West, Qatar and Saudi Arabia who are financing extremists in Africa http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/features/89630 ******
//////////////////////////////////// 2 Announcements CALL FOR ARTICLES: AMILCAR CABRAL
Pambazuka News seeks to commemorate 41 years since the death of this important African political thinker. The Editors invite articles for a special issue on his life and work http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/Announce/89544 ******
//////////////////////////////////// 3 Comment & analysis BLACK DIVERSITY: IS RACE STILL RELEVANT IN SOUTH AFRICA? Sandile Memela
The definition of black today is from what the founder of Black Consciousness, Steve Bantu Biko, said it was: ‘a reflection of a mental attitude.’ It is different, diversified, multiple and more complicated than what was the case in the 1960s http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/comment/89624 ******
BLACK FACES FOR WHITE PEOPLE Margaret Kimberley
Halloween brings out the worst, in the worst white folks. What was an enjoyable time to dress up in costume has become the white racist moment to act out sick fantasy http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/comment/89597 ******
HOW SERIOUS IS THE CARIBBEAN REPARATIONS SUIT? Glen Ford
Fourteen Caribbean countries are suing to compel Britain, France and The Netherlands to pay reparations for centuries of slavery. However, the plaintiffs may have more modest goals in mind http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/comment/89622 ******
MYSTERY OF GHANA’S WAR AGAINST CORRUPTION Kofi Ali Abdul-Yekin
Capitalism is at the root of corruption in Ghana. The desperation to make money at all costs is now the way of life. Everything thing depends on how much one can afford, as the state does not take its own social responsibility to its citizens seriously http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/comment/89623 ******
NGOS IN UGANDA A THREAT TO DEMOCRACY Vincent Nuwagaba
NGOs need urgent soul-searching. They have hogged public space that they have deprived ordinary citizens of the right to speak for themselves. The Ugandan NGOs have stifled the citizens’ voices. http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/comment/89626 ******
THESE BRICS FALL IN ONE HEAVY THUD Sam Schramski
The BRICS coalition is investment-driven and has no real interest in the assertion of powers of the formerly oppressed. The alliance is about firms engaging in advantageous trade deals that further the exploits of corporate shareholders and the possibilities of tapping promising markets http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/comment/89586 ******
//////////////////////////////////// 4 Advocacy & campaigns AU HUMAN RIGHTS MEMORIAL DIALOGUE FOCUSES ON SLAVERY Justice Africa
African Union Human Rights Memorial Network dialogue in Dakar, Senegal, 11-12 November, examines the role of slavery memorialisation in promoting human rights on the continent http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/advocacy/89565 ******
KENYA: NEW LAWS WOULD UNDERMINE BASIC RIGHTS Reject restrictions on media, independent groups Human Rights Watch
(Nairobi, November 12, 2013) – Kenya’s leaders and lawmakers should reject proposed laws regulating the media and nongovernmental activity that would severely undermine fundamental rights and freedoms, Human Rights Watch said today. http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/advocacy/89564 ******
KENYAN NGOS OPPOSE PROPOSED RESTRICTIVE LAW Ken Wafula
Non-governmental organizations and civil society groups read a sinister motive in the government Bill that seeks to restrict funding http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/advocacy/89563 ******
MEDIA BILL CONTRAVENES THE CONSTITUTION
The Rights Promotion and Protection Centre would like to stand behind the Media Council of Kenya, the Communications Commission of Kenya and the entire media fraternity to express our disappointment in the National Assembly for the passing of this very draconian bill. http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/advocacy/89627 ******
//////////////////////////////////// 5 Obituaries LIONEL CLIFFE: AN AFRICANIST SCHOLAR AND GLOBAL CITIZEN Karim F Hirji
Prof Cliffe, first chair of the Department of Development Studies at the University of Dar es Salaam and founder-editor of the Review of African Political Economy, was a socialist, sympathetic to Mwalimu Nyerere’s policies, and a supporter of the total liberation of Africa from external domination http://www.pambazuka.org/en/category/obituary/89629 ******
//////////////////////////////////// 6 Books & arts SONG FOR CELESTINE Natty Mark Samuels
placeholder To Celestine Edwards
and to Tower Hamlets Council, for their Black History Walks.
He looked like dignity, The day I saw him speak in Victoria Park. I was sinking in drink, Approaching the brink; The day I stepped out of the dark.
Spoke against human trafficking, And enslavement by booze. Made me think again, Regenerating my brain; Like a prophet bringing good news.
Woke up that day in a Methodist Mission, Just another impatient sailor. Heard he’d been a seaman too, Sailing out from Dominica.
I’d been drinking excessively again, While waiting for another ship out. Fighting with the feared killer – A yellow fever bout.
Walking down Whitechapel Road, Memories of Ira Aldridge. He performed at the Pavilion, Black butterfly on thespian ridge.
From whatever part of the Black world, We all had crosses to bear. Ira bore his on the world stage, In Othello, Macbeth and King Lear.
So I wandered around, What else is there to do? When not destination-bound.
Past Wiltons the old music hall, Where the actors blacked up; I never sat in a Wilton stall.
I meandered amongst the drifters, Africans, Jews, Russians; Chinese, Irish and Lascars.
Tramped the many alleys, By West India Docks; Trodding with the ghosts of slavery.
Through the streets of migrants and refugees, Choked with frustration; Constructed by poverty.
I had too much time to spare, Lashed by loneliness; Trapped in alcohols’ snare.
Waking that day, Seemed like any other. A day to wait, To dissipate, Twenty fours of slow replay. Between the horse and the ass, No one hears the mule bray.
We woke, ate and left. Exodus of the ex-men. En route to vomit, Some to pickpocket, Hands swift and deft. Those sagas of survival; Who will talk of the men bereft?
Passed by St. Botolphs, Aldgate. Popular amongst us blacks. I should have gone in, Joined in the singing – But I was in a state. Head down I plodded on, Hoping that God would wait.
Must have gone east of there – Outside the Ragged School. First schooling for many of us. Children given care, Who’d known wear and tear. God bless you Dr Barnado; Wish I had a penny to spare.
Then I found myself before him, Overcome with awe. Never sobered up so quick! Life lost it’s whim, Potential slim. I stepped out of the park, A new stride in my limb.
I researched the man, Eager to know of him. Of how he retained dignity, Went onward with his plan.
So I asked the temperance people, The abolitionists too. Asked a priest from Cheltenham, A sailor from Newcastle.
Spoke with anti-lynching activists, Bought papers he edited. Heard him speak when I could; I knew his itinerary lists.
So what follows is what I learnt, Snapshots of a savant. It’s good to have a saviour, When you’re about to get burnt.
One of nine children Born in Dominica School days in Antigua
After Methodist School Stowed away at twelve Time to search and delve
As well as Europe To North America Onto it’s Southern neighbour
And he read and read Role model par excellence For a life not making sense
Spoke in Edinburgh In Sunderland as well Chimes of Celestine’s bell
Then south to London To reside in Bethnal Green Speaking in Glasgow and Aberdeen
He continued to lecture Survived as a labourer And a penny pamphleteer
Co-wrote a life story – From Slavery to Bishopric; Life of Walter Hawkins. Evidence of his brilliance, His talents polymathic.
Edited two newspapers – Lux and Fraternity. Fought lynching, Alcohol abuse, And state brutality.
Preached in Plymouth and Bristol, The ‘Negro Lecturer’. One summer in Liverpool, Spoke about the lives, Of Black and White America.
In his early thirties, He studied for a degree. Went to Kings College, Of London University; Majoring in Theology.
In his mid-thirties, He dreamed of being a doctor: But his body said no. Conquered by exhaustion, Returned home to his brother.
Constant lecturing, Teaching of the Bible. The body can only take so much. His dream collapsed; The hope of London Hospital.
He passed away in Dominica, Cared for by his brother. As far as I know, He left no child; Neither wife, partner or lover.
I remember him as strong in body – That legendary laugh. I eulogise Celestine. Seems everyone wanted him, As a member of their staff.
Self-educated man, Who loved to read and read. Man on a mission, Spreading knowledge, The scattering of seed.
I put away the bottle, And took up books. I observed the great eagle, Helping others; The starlings and the rooks.
Never meant to go there that day, Into Victoria Park. He held his head high, Gently reasoning; Devoid of rant and bark.
Celestine, Celestine, I say your name with pride. My great conductor, Who took me on a journey; Who gave me a ticket to ride.
(c) Natty Mark Samuels, 2013. African School. ******
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End of Pambazuka-news Digest, Vol 288, Issue 1