Reply To: Elections Aftermath: Was our 2019 Vote & the EU Referendum Rigged? #TORYRIG2019

Home Forums Discussion Forum Elections Aftermath: Was our 2019 Vote & the EU Referendum Rigged? #TORYRIG2019 Reply To: Elections Aftermath: Was our 2019 Vote & the EU Referendum Rigged? #TORYRIG2019

Kim Sanders-Fisher

As the old saying goes, “Heads will roll;” the ironic fact that they are only of bronze and marble effigies does not make witnessing their fall from grace any less rewarding. I would be the last to advocate for decapitation in a literal French Revolutionary sense, but so many of us desperately want to see our current exploitive despots removed from power, that even this symbolic victory is well worth relishing. This Tory Government has got the majority of our population enslaved on below the poverty-line wages, with ethnic minorities at the very bottom of the pile; that reality really needs demonstrating in our ongoing protests. A BBC News Report stated that, “A statue of noted slaveholder Robert Milligan has been removed from outside the Museum of London Docklands.” We must continue to demand the removal of Dominic Cummings from his pedestal of privilege and unelected power. More heads must roll!

The BBC said that, “Sadiq Khan earlier announced a review of all of London’s statues and street names, saying any with links to slavery ‘should be taken down.’ Milligan’s monument was removed to ‘recognise the wishes of the community’ said the Canal and River Trust,” according to the BBC. “There were cheers and clapping as the monument was lifted from its plinth using a crane.” The BBC quoted The Museum of London Docklands who said, “the statue of the prominent British slave trader, who owned two sugar plantations and 526 slaves in Jamaica, had ‘stood uncomfortably’ outside its premises ‘for a long time’.” Adding that “The Museum of London recognises that the monument is part of the ongoing problematic regime of white-washing history, which disregards the pain of those who are still wrestling with the remnants of the crimes Milligan committed against humanity.”

The BBC quoted London Mayor Mr Khan who said that, “London was ‘one of the most diverse cities in the world’, but added that, “recent Black Lives Matter protests had highlighted that the city’s statues, plaques and street names largely reflect Victorian Britain. It is an uncomfortable truth that our nation and city owes a large part of its wealth to its role in the slave trade.” He said. “While this is reflected in our public realm, the contribution of many of our communities to life in our capital has been wilfully ignored.” BBC reported that, “The Local Government Association’s (LGA) Labour group has also announced that Labour councils across England and Wales are to review ‘the appropriateness’ of monuments and statues in their towns and cities.”

According to the BBC, “Campaigns calling for the removal or amendment of monuments celebrating controversial figures have increased in volume around the UK in recent days. As the Milligan statue was lowered from its plinth, thousands of people gathered outside an Oxford college to demand the removal of a statue of imperialist Cecil Rhodes.” Adding that, “In Oxford, 26 councillors and an MP have called for a statue to be removed.” Elsewhere BBC report that, “A plaque is to be added to a Henry Dundas monument in Edinburgh to “reflect” the city’s links with slavery, while the leader of Cardiff Council said he would support the removal of a statue of slave-owner Sir Thomas Picton from the city’s civic building.”

In an Equal Times Article entitled, “From Charlottesville to Brussels: collective memory and the challenge of our monuments” the writer reflects on the stubborn denial of Belgium’s brutal colonial past in its failure to recognize or teach of the cruel excesses of King Leopold II. Reminiscing on a visit to “the city of my birth, Kinshasa, formerly Leopoldville, in the Democratic Republic of Congo” and hearing shocking news from the States about a violent protest in Charlottesville. “The speakers announce the 8.00pm news flash on Radio Okapi. The international news catches my attention. They are talking about a town in the United States called Charlottesville. The presenter explains that a young woman has died and another 30 people have been injured in clashes between white supremacists and anti-racist activists.”

The writer continues by explaining, “The reason for this violence? A statue, of General Robert E. Lee, who led the confederate troops of the slave states during the American Civil War. When the city council voted to remove the statue in February, it had no idea that implementing the removal would lead to such a confrontation. Looking at the pictures of the enormous monument to General Lee astride his horse, I immediately saw the visual and historic resemblance to that of Leopold II prominently displayed in the centre of Brussels, roughly equidistant from the Royal Palace, the European Parliament and the vibrant Congolese neighbourhood of Matongé.”

What is described so clearly in this piece is the deliberate whitewashing of the most unpalatable parts of history that we are equally guilty of here in the UK. They say “to the victor go the spoils,” but it is equally true to acknowledge that the victorious colonialist plunderers also commandeered the narrative and have dominated a well establish delusional version of their role as liberators and benefactors despite the horrific truth about their greedy conquests. The author admits late discovery of the facts saying, “I got to know the “Builder King” – as the Belgians nicknamed him – thanks to a book by American writer Adam Hochschild, King Leopold’s Ghost, published in 1998. I was 23 years old and I was discovering my country of origin and its strange, not to say difficult, relationship with my host country. This book showed me the ugly face of Belgian colonialism, which is something that wasn’t talked about in our history lessons.”

The article documents that, “On the basis of several historic studies, it is estimated that about half the population of the Congo was wiped out between 1885 and 1908, when Leopold II’s privately owned territory was annexed by Belgium. Thirsting for profits from the ivory trade, then rubber, the King’s militia pillaged, killed, raped, mutilated and enslaved millions of Congolese, while Leopold II, entrenched in his Brussels palace, accumulated an immense personal fortune. However, with the hindsight of history, it is difficult to truly believe that colonisation was ever motivated by humanist ideals, or to deny that its purpose was to conquer territory, drain its wealth, while exploiting its cheap and malleable work force. Even at the time, people around the world raised their voice in protest against these atrocities, which gave birth to one of the first major international human rights movements.” Despite such grisly revelations the exploitation of DRC continues to this day, with conflict driven by the mining o Coltral for our mobile phones.

The writer continued, “from primary school right through until university, Belgian students grow up without hearing a word about this, and involuntarily perpetuate the image of a ‘civilising’ and ‘redeeming’ colonisation. All my education has been in Belgium, and so it was a very sudden awakening to the invisibility 80 years of shared history, not just in education and culture, but also in the media and in our urban environment. Most of the existing traces of this subject paid tribute to terrifying and bloody characters. These so-called heroes became my tormentors. Despite their horrific acts, they were always cast as the good guys. It was rare to find anyone daring to denounce this type of evidence. Why so much censorship on this topic? Is it because many of the richest families in Belgium still owe their fortunes to this period? Or that the current king is a descendant of Leopold II?”

This article is well worth reading and I have to feel that writer would have felt greatly relieved to hear that following yet another extreme act of violence in the US, with the brutal murder of George Floyd by police, the anger of protesters has demanded change in numerous countries around the world and the glorified memorials to icons of hate and persecution are finally being removed. The Daily beast Reported that, “A statue of Belgian King Leopold II was removed Tuesday in Antwerp after protesters painted it red then lit it on fire. Leopold, who was king of Belgium from 1865 to 1909, oversaw that monarchy’s oppressive rule over Congo. Other statues of Leopold across Belgium—including those in Brussels, Ghent, and Ostend—have been defaced, some bearing George Floyd’s final words: “I can’t breathe.” Belgians have long campaigned to have statues of Leopold removed and plaques bearing his name changed, but recent Black Lives Matter protests have renewed the efforts.”

A Guardian Article asks, “It’s a big turning point’: is this the end of racist monuments in America?” They comment on the, “Protests across the country have led to the removal of many statues honouring racist figures – but hundreds still remain. Although a number of Confederate monuments across America were torn down in 2017 after a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, many still remained. But a bigger tide appears to be turning.” Will the protests finally have an impact? These haunting memorials to America’s racist past are prolific, “According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, there are roughly 1,800 Confederate symbols across the US, 776 of which are monuments. While 141 Confederate symbols have already been removed across the country (61 of which are monuments), the SPLC is aware of seven Confederate symbols pending removal or renaming across the country.”

The article highlights one proposal for, “Relocating the monuments from public areas to cemeteries could also happen.” They add, “When the statues are on court lawns or statehouse lawns where laws are made, it sends a message that you will not get justice in these places,” according to one commentator. “Many pedestals could be left empty, (if not removed altogether), making space for a new kind of monument. Last year, the National Memorial for Peace and Justice opened in Montgomery, Alabama, paying tribute to the lives lost from racial lynching’s between 1877 and 1950. In Florence, Project Say Something is planning to create a social justice monument. And recently, a fence outside the White House in Washington has become a makeshift memorial wall, covered in tributes to the black men and women who have died from police brutality.”

News Click Reports that, “The statues are coming down. The most recent avalanche began in the United States after the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police and the uprising it occasioned. It is clear that no society should celebrate people like Robert E. Lee, Winston Churchill and Edward Colston.” The report on a little publicized point that, “These were men who defended enslavement and colonialism; there is no debate about that. Over the years, even the family of Robert E. Lee has asked for his statues to be removed from public display: One of Lee’s descendants said in 2017 that he believes that the Charlottesville, Virginia, statue of his ancestor “has become a symbol of evil nationalism.” Another descendant of Lee’s wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post on June 7 calling for the removal of his ancestor’s statue in Richmond, Virginia.”

The focus of the article then shifts to the issue of cancelling the staggering debt that continues to cripple forward progress both for ordinary Americans and for plundered former colonies of the vast British empire. In a claim that is equally true here in the UK the writer says, “All crises within the United States disproportionately strike African Americans: the financial crisis from more than a decade ago illustrates this, but so does the coronavirus pandemic and the coronavirus recession. Everyone suffers, but African Americans seem to suffer more. Debt rates are higher among African Americans, while income loss in a time of crisis is borne more deeply in the African American community.”

The author states that, “To remove a statue is important because the existence of the statue is a standing rebuke to the humanity of the people who must walk past it every day. But more is needed: what the men depicted in these statues succeeded in establishing in the world must also be removed. The removal of Colston’s statue is significant. Behind it, however, lingers an atrocious reality. In 1833, when the British parliament passed the Slavery Abolition Act, it promised “compensation” not to the human beings freed from this brutal system, but to their “owners.” From 1835 to 2015, the British exchequer paid the “owners” and their descendants £17 trillion. This is an extraordinary amount of money. The precedent for this came from the French. When Haiti won its independence from France, the French sent their warships in 1825 to demand that the new republic pay compensation for the loss of slavery. Between 1825 to 1947, Haiti paid France $21 billion for the emancipation of the Haitian people.”

The reality check continues by exposing the truth of our ongoing exploitation by revealing that, “…countries like Haiti and Jamaica had to borrow money from governments and banks in Europe to finance their survival. That borrowing escalated over the last several decades as these countries faced enormous challenges, including natural disasters and coups promoted by the United States of America. The desolation of the finances of these countries continues. Today, a reasonable estimate of the external debt of the developing countries—many of them former slave plantations—sits at $11 trillion, with debt servicing due this year of $3.9 trillion. Attempts to postpone or cancel the debt have been futile as U.S. and European governments and banks have been lukewarm to the ideas on the table. They want their money.”

The writer concludes by saying, “This money, however, should not be sucked out of the formerly colonized countries; we need to use those resources toward the dire needs of our societies. It is one thing to knock down a statue; it is another to cut down the debt. In The Wretched of the Earth, Frantz Fanon wrote, “Colonialism and imperialism have not settled their debt to us once they have withdrawn from our territories. The wealth of the imperialist nations is also our wealth. Europe is literally the creation of the Third World. Bring down the statues, surely. But more importantly: cancel the debt and provide reparations to the formerly colonised for the centuries of theft and brutality.” Most former colonies in the developing world would be far better equipped to deal with the Covid 19 pandemic if we had not denuded them of their wealth and scavenged the few Medical personnel that they could so ill afford to train.

Far from conveying this realistic message to the public, this Tory Government has expounded on the unrealistic selfish demands popularized by delusional Brexiteers, that we must reduce or eliminate the foreign aid budget and rapidly gear up for increased exploitation of former colonies after we leave the EU. Because, just like in Belgium with the distorted truth about King Leopold’s brutal exploits, the telling of the history of the glorious British Empire is so seriously warped that UK children never learn about the horrific price paid by those that we oppressed. While many are prepared to march in protest how popular would genuine justified payback be among the younger generation who are themselves suffered from a decade of Tory austerity, deprivation and lack of opportunities? The harsh reality is that nothing can or will change until we are able to extricate this Tory Government from power.

The Covert 2019 Rigged Election installed a tyrannical Tory Government dominated by delusional Brexiteers who, despite their shallow talk of “levelling up,” have absolutely no intention of delivering justice or equality either here in the UK or overseas. If we do not demand an investigation to expose the truth we will fail to remove these corrupt usurpers from power and most ordinary people can expect decades of extreme “decimating down” after this Tory Government has totally finished culling the “economically inactive” from society in their “Slaughter of the Sheeple!” The gross mismanagement of the Covid19 Health crisis is by design: the sick eugenics plan of Dominic Cummings who still desperately clings to his position of power controlling our weak narcissistic PM. The Tories want you to forget about the Cummings scandal, after all he is just one strangle scruffy elitist abusing his power. Don’t be fooled by his dressing down; he is no friend of the people, but a ruthless megalomaniac who must be removed. Heads must roll – DO NOT MOVE ON!