Stop the violation, killing and systematic destruction of people of African Descent
Stop the violation, killing and systematic destruction of people of African Descent
This petition identifies the disparity between the principles that British politicians proclaim to the world of freedom, equality and justice and the way that people of African descent and others from BME communities are treated in Britain.
This petition calls upon Britain to live up to the long held values enshrined in national laws and international agreements, and stop the violation, killing and systematic destruction of people of African descent.
This petition acknowledges that human beings share indivisible characteristics in common and that failure to provide rights and protection for any section of society is a derogation of a nation's responsibilities in international law. We acknowledge that social assimilation in Britain has promulgated an idea that racism no longer exists.
We also acknowledge that many people in Britain are afraid of recession, poverty, debt, war, terrorism and social change, etc., but it is morally indefensible, socially divisive, politically dangerous and factually incorrect to blame people of African descent for these problems.
Britain is responsible for fundamental human rights breaches in regard to people of African descent. In the same way as other people, Africans in Britain have the right to be recognised and protected as citizens.
The word African is used here to describe people often referred to as ‘Black’ who are:
· born in any of the countries including: England, Scotland, Wales and N. Ireland.
· born or who have a Caribbean origin or heritage.
· born or are directly from the continent of Africa.
· of African descent with a mother or father who is white, Asian or a member of any other ethnic or racial group sometimes referred to as ‘dual heritage.’
· African-Americans present in Britain
· of any other African/Black descent
Evidence collected since 1945, suggests that all of these people despite diversity and differences in religion, culture, class, language, etc. have been subject to systematic policies resulting in the violation of their fundamental human rights.
Africans as a visible minority group in Britain
People of African descent are approximately 3% of the population of Britain. As such, they are a minority and this makes them vulnerable. Moreover, as with people who belong to other British Minority Ethnic (BME) groups, such as people of Asian descent including those of Indian and Pakistani origin, skin colour makes Africans visible. Furthermore, phenotypical features such as hair texture and physical features make Africans distinct. These distinct characteristics should not be seen as negative, even though now and in the past negative connotations have been attached to the skin colour, hair texture and physical features of Africans. Moreover, these negative connotations continue to affect the status of Africans in modern Britain and the way these people see and relate to themselves and others. To surmise, many Africans feel that no matter how much they contribute to British society they will always be regarded as outsiders because of their distinct characteristics.
International law and discrimination
The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights states that ‘all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights'. However it has been a constant struggle for the UN to ensure state members protect fundamental rights. The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination expresses grave concerns that some countries through ‘reservations’ limit the effect of international law. And this is despite commitments, as yet unimplemented, under the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (2001).
Britain presents itself to the international community as a ‘tolerant’ and ‘fair’ society, whilst still refusing to recognise the presence of, and protect visible British Minority Ethnic (BME) people including those of African descent.
Statistics reveal that people of African descent have been and are subject to violations of their rights, and suffer abuse not only from groups and political parties on the fringe of British society, but from the state itself. Evidence from the figures on stop and search, the prison population, etc. all show people of African descent are overrepresented:
Stop and search
As suspects in 2011/12, people of African descent were six times more likely than white people to be stopped and searched under s. 1(1) of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984.The draconian and excessive use of stop and search powers on people of African descent is internationally recognised as a nationwide problem.
The prison population
As of July 2013, BME groups accounted for over 25% of the prison population, grossly disproportionate to their total presence.
Mental health institutions
People of African descent have a significantly higher than average referral rate to mental health institutions, ranging between 30–83%. Racism seems to be affecting the mental health of people of African descent, but also these people are being unfairly targeted.
People of African descent are subject to greater levels of detention than any other group under section 37/41 of the Mental Health Act. Once detained they can be subject to years of medical treatment, resulting in long term drug dependencies and a reduction in life expectancy, they are four times more likely to die prematurely.
Living below the poverty line
In Britain an overwhelmingly large number of people of African descent are living below the poverty line. A strong relationship exists between poverty and unemployment, and Africans in Britain have higher than average rates of unemployment. People of African descent have an unemployment rate of 18% in comparison to their white counterparts of 7%. As a result, many people of African descent live in low-income households.
Detention under immigration and nationality law
In 2013, those entering immigration detention centres numbered 30,423. Of this total, one fifth were of African descent. Many people imprisoned in such centres are held indefinitely and provided with inadequate legal services. They also may be subject to physical and sexual abuse and in some cases develop mental illnesses.
Deaths in police custody
Those of African descent account for 6% of the deaths in police custody between April 2004-March 2014, and for 22% of victims of fatal shootings by the police in the same time period.
Boys of African descent are more likely to be excluded from schools. The curricula as taught in schools, colleges and universities are skewed to omit the role played by people of African and Asian descent and others, in the shaping of Britain, and the development of world culture.
People of African descent are also disproportionately absent as policy makers, directors of curriculum or senior academic staff. In universities and schools, out of the 18,000 professors in British universities only 85 are of BME origin.
Why post-war British Governments’ policies can be seen as an attempt at systematic destruction of African people
Successive post-war British governments, through:
· other means
Created a situation, or allowed a situation to exist (a condition precedent) where people of African descent have been and are subject to violations amounting to systematic destruction. These violations have taken the form of killings scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages and are totally unworthy of a modern nation:
Kelso Cochrane (London) 1959; Cynthia Jarrett (London) 1985; Dorothy (Cherry) Groce (London) 1985; Roland Adams (London) 1991; Orville Blair (London) 1991; Orville Blackwood (London) 1991; Donald Palmer (London) 1992; Stephen Lawrence (London) 1993; Joy Gardner (London) 1993; Oluwashijibomi ‘Shiji’ Lapite (London) 1994; Donna O Dwyer (London) 1994; Wayne Douglas (London) 1995; Brian Douglas (London) 1995; Daniel Blake (London) 1996; Michael Menson (London) 1997; Roger Sylvester (London) 1999; Joseph Alcendor (London) 1999; Azelle Rodney (London) 2005; Sean Rigg (London) 2008; Jimmy Mubenga (London) 2010; Mark Duggan (London) 2011; Alton Manning (Birmingham) 1998; Jermaine Lee (Birmingham) 1999; Osman Cameron (Birmingham) 2005; Demetre Fraser (Birmingham) 2011; Kingsley Burrell (Birmingham) 2011; Lloyd Butler (Birmingham) 2011; Christopher Alder (Kingston upon Hull) 1998; David Oluwale (Leeds) 1969; Anthony Walker (Huyton, Liverpool) 2005 ‘this was racist thuggery of a type that is poisonous to any civilised society;’ Papa Mbaye Mody (aka Alioune Cisse) (Newcastle) 2010; David Rocky Bennett (Norwich) 1998; Harold Errol McGowan (Telford) 1999; and Jason McGowan (Telford) 2000; Paul Rosenberg (2003) Isle of Wight ‘I think I have killed the bloke. I only did it because he is Black. He looked dead. I think he’s dead. I kicked him;’ Deraye Lewis (3 years old) (Bletchley, Buckinghamshire) 2005; Lee Phipps (South Shields, Tyneside) 2006; Christopher Alaneme (Sheerness, Kent) 2006; and many, many more including acts of serious bodily harm inflicted by the nail bomber David Copeland in Brixton, 1997.
Routine harassment by law enforcement officials, using the SUS laws, Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1981, Public Order Act 1986, Various Immigration and Nationality Laws including that of 1948, 1971, 1981, 1987 and 2002, Prevention of Terrorism and Terrorism Acts.
This harassment has seen the suspension of long held British values and principles contained in: The Magna Carta, Habeas Corpus and the common law: such as the freedom from arbitrary arrest, the right to silence, etc., and the restriction of access to the protection of natural justice through limiting the right to trial by jury and legal aid, etc.
The harm committed against Africans has been carried out by members of national and local government bodies including the:
· immigration officers
· the courts of law, etc.
· the education system where most teachers are still ignorant of the true history of an African presence in the British isles and are incapable of teaching it.
Many local authoritiescontinue this violation by adopting policies which cause harm to families of African descent. These policies include prejudice in the allocation of housing, compulsory purchase orders which destroy the heart of communities, town and country planning which fails to address the needs of local people, boundary changes which divide communities and regeneration schemes which lead to what some call ‘gentrification.’ This gentrification means the systematic closure of cultural community centres, community bookshops and other places which are the life-blood of their communities.
The policies mentioned above in addition to harassment by law enforcement officers creates a notion in the minds of people of African descent that in Britain, they do not have jus soli(rights by birth), when in fact many do.
The worst ravages of economic decline affects the communities of Africans present in Britain far more than other populations. The state and local authorities’ answer is to accelerate the policies listed above which has seen/and sees the:
· and in some cases disappearance of:
Historic African-Caribbean communities in: Bute town (Cardiff), Highfields (Leicester), Liverpool 8 (Toxteth), Notting Hill (London), Camden Town (London), Stoke Newington (London), etc.
Similar methods are being used against African-Caribbean communities in: Chapeltown and Harehills (Leeds), Aston, Handsworth and Lozells (Birmingham), Peckham (London), Brixton (London), Tottenham (London), Harlesden (London), Hackney (London), etc.
The media through sensationalism and misinformation whip up hysteria and bigotry, and fail to give the British people the right kind of information to understand the country that they live in. This is especially the case regarding Britain’s rich multiracial past.
The artswhich continue to either ignore African people’s existence, or refuse to properly promote an accurate picture of Britain that the general population can accept and will not dismiss as tokenism.
Social media networksprovide an indication that across Europe, not only are views hardening against migrants, and religious minorities such as Muslims, but also against people of African descent, irrespective of their nationality or religion. This condition precedent ensures that Africans are stigmatized and stereotyped as the ‘other,’ strange, foreigners, perpetual immigrants, or even less than human.
It should be noted that in those same social networks, it is claimed that Africans and other BME (British Minority Ethnic) people are in fact receiving preferential treatment and that ‘political correctness has gone too far’ or even that it is Africans and other BME communities which are seeking to oppress others. In reality, BME communities have no inclination and are in no position to offer institutional oppression or racism.
Individual citizenswho either because they have genuine prejudice, or they are opportunists seeking to capitalise on existing prejudice against Africans, exploit this bigotry for their own political gains. Africans as a visible minority are vulnerable.
The dangerous scapegoating of people of African descent.
The scapegoating of a minority, especially one that is visible, socially, economically, or politically disenfranchised is often the prelude to the elimination of that human group. In Europe during the 1930 and 1940’s we saw this with genocides committed against Jewish peoples, Slavs, Gypsies and Africans, and more recently we saw this with Muslim minorities in eastern Europe before and during the conflicts in the Balkans.
In this light British governments by being active or complicit, place their citizens of African descent in a very dangerous situation.
The increasing support for political parties across Europe that have either an overt anti-Muslim, or anti-immigrant rhetoric, often cloaks a more covert extreme-white supremacist agenda. British governments in public distance themselves from the rhetoric of a white supremacist agenda and from politicians such as those in the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) and the English Defence League (EDL), that promote extreme nationalism. British governments also denounce past and present politicians such as: Colin Jordan (White Defence League), Oswald Mosely (British Union of Fascists, Union Movement), Enoch Powell (Conservative Party), John Tyndall (National Front and British National Party), Jean Marie and Marie Le Pen (Front National in France), Norman Tebbit (Conservative Party) and Nick Griffin (BNP).
Each successive British government however, through a careful manipulation of policies have implemented many of the policies the political parties and politicians mentioned above advocate. This includes ‘grandfather clauses,’ forced deportation and detentions, the withdrawing of citizenship and introduction of ‘partiality,’ etc. The cumulative effect of nationality and immigration legislation since 1945 including the British Nationality Act 1948, Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1962 and 1968, Immigration Act 1971, Nationality Acts of 1981, 2002, 2009 and the inappropriate use of terrorism legislation divides British families of African descent from each other, by classifying some as citizens, and preventing others from ever obtaining that status. It is difficult, if not impossible, for non-white people from Africa, the Caribbean, and Asia or elsewhere to legally come to Britain to live or work.
British governments have restricted non-white immigration with each new major legislative enactment and are in fact disproportionately discriminating against people of African descent and other BME communities.
People of African descent hold their rights in Britain to be self-evident through long held conventions of birth, naturalisation and stay.
Over many decades, and at every stage of our oppressions we have petitioned for redress and justice in the most humble terms, and our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury, or mockery by those who intend further usurpations against minorities in Britain. The actions of successive post war British governments have amounted to a violation of international law and conventions and resulted in harm towards people of African descent present in Britain. This harm has resulted in the deaths of people of African descent and the destruction of African communities and families.
The rise of the far right across Europe poses particular challenges since it is feeding off the ignorance and bigotry which successive British governments have secretly pandered — or been indifferent towards.
Africans as a visible minority in Britain are particularly vulnerable because they are distinct. That is why their protection and right to self-determination in Britain is an important gauge of whether Britain can really live up to its responsibilities in national and international law and according to conventions and treaties.
All people in Britain have the right to be educated about their true history. British people have a right to know that their ancestors are also Africans and Asians.
No state can long endure half citizen and half immigrant. Africans and other BME communities are part of the fabric of this country and in order to form a more perfect state we seek that Britain recognise and protect the rights of citizens of African descent and enshrine their protection in law inviolable to the prejudices of time or fashion. This will set an example to the rest of Europe ensuring this country will be a bulwark against the rise of any terror, home grown or aboard, directed against this population or any BME communities.
What we want
In the situation where Britain leaves the European Union and abolishes the Human Rights Act 1998, that any new British Constitution and Bill of Rights, not only acknowledges and recognises the historic contribution and presence of Africans and other BME communities. But that they are protected by law and their rights to life, liberty, freedom and pursuit of happiness may not be fettered by other laws, conventions, customs, or by fashion. And that discriminatory conditions on citizenship should be removed, with no further erroneous restrictions created thereafter.
Restore the long held British values and principles of natural justice and give rights back to the citizens of Britain; with the power for ordinary people to oppose legally, and peacefully, the actions of the government and public bodies. As part of this to expand the provision of ‘genuine occupation qualification’ to allow class actions, which will enable people of African descent and others, to legally oppose historic discrimination.
Implement national and international laws that are there to protect the rights of all people, but have a particular significance for people of African descent.
That Britain acknowledge nationally and internationally its historic failure towards its citizens of African descent and publically acknowledge the disproportionate subjugation of those people by organs of the state such as the police force, etc. Just as the United States of America did in the 1960’s with African-Americans.
Address the hysteria surrounding immigration and publically acknowledge the mainstreaming of radicalism not amongst ethnic minorities, but the majority of the British population many of whom are becoming increasingly racist and xenophobic.
Ensure meaningful equality of outcome in the field of education, employment, housing, etc., for all in British society. Support existing organisations, clubs, etc., which provide justice, education and recognition for people of African descent and comply with Britain’s obligations under international law and the UN Decade for People of African Descent. (DPAD)
Sign the petition:
Follow us on Twitter: @2015petition