The party will call on Parliament to establish an All-Party Commission of Inquiry for Truth and Reparatory Justice.
The Green Party has become the first major UK party to support seeking reparations for the transatlantic slave trade. On the final day of their conference on Sunday, members backed the notion pledging the party to call on Parliament to establish an All-Party Commission of Inquiry for Truth and Reparatory Justice.
The party will urge the government to commit to a ‘holistic process of atonement and reparations’ in accordance with the United Nations Framework on Reparations.
This backs calls from campaigners within the International Social Movement for Afrikan Reparations (ISMAR) (Afrikan being the preferred spelling of some activists) such as Stop the Maangamizi Campaign and the International Network of Scholars and Activists for Afrikan Reparations.
The motion was proposed by Bristol Green Party Councillor Cleo Lake who called it ‘a significant and historic milestone’.
“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,” said Lake.
“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.”
Top reparations scholar and activist Esther Stanford-Xosei supported the party’s work on the motion.
She 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 Council became the first local authority to call for a parliamentary reparations commission to address slavery’s impact on current racial inqualities in the UK. The successful motion was passed in July this year led by Green Party councillor Scott Ainslee.
Ainslee said this was a step towards Britain facing up on the ‘historical impact’ it has had on countries around the world.
He added: “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 three-day Autumn Green Party Conference took place virtually, with some reporting technical issues logging in, resulting in not enough members online to pass a vote at times. Others took to social media to complain about a handful of attendees filibustering, and in the process not allowing several key motions to be heard.
Sophia Dourou is a freelance journalist
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