As of yesterday (11 October), the Green Party has become the first national party to commit to seeking reparatory justice for the transatlantic trafficking of enslaved Afrikans.
Proposed by Bristol Green Councillor Cleo Lake, the motion will see Greens call on Parliament to establish an All-Party Commission of Inquiry for Truth and Reparatory Justice.
The All-Party Commission of Inquiry for Truth and Reparatory Justice is a campaign founded by members of the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations, including the Stop the Maangamizi Campaign and the International Network of Scholars and Activists for Afrikan Reparations.
The campaign aims to urge the UK Government to commit to ‘a holistic process of atonement and reparations in accordance with the United Nations Framework on Reparations’.
Cleo Lake commented: “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 first reparations scholar-activists, and co-founder of the Pan-Afrikan Reparations Coalition in Europe, has long supported the Green 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.”
Lambeth Green Party Councillor Scott Ainslie, who 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.”