17th MEMORIAL MARCH IN COMMEMORATION OF AFRICAN / BLACK HEROES / HEROINES AND VICTIMS OF THE MAAFA
[ENSLAVEMENT, COLONIALISM, NEOCOLONIALISM, NAZISM & RACISM]
Berlin (Wilhelm-Strasse 92), 25th February 2023, 11 am (CET)
PRESS RELEASE #01– Berlin, the 24.02.2023
For the 17th consecutive year, the “Committee for an African Monument in Berlin” (KADIB), represented by the “African / Black Community” (ABC), invites the general public to join us for our annual Memorial March in commemoration of the African / Black heroes / heroines and victims of the Maafa. “Maafa” (Kiswaheli) means “The Great Destruction” in Africa: Enslavement, Colonialism and Genocides, Neo-Colonialism and Ecocides, Nazism and Racism.
|Wilhelm-Strasse 92, 10117 Berlin
As every year, the Memorial March begins here with wreath-laying ceremony and speeches. At the invitation of German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, the infamous “Berlin Africa Conference” began on 15 November, 1884 in Berlin (Reichskanzlerpalais, Wilhelm-Strasse 77) and ended there on 26 February, 1885. Berlin, as the capital of Germany, was therefore purposely chosen as the location for the Memorial March, because of its colonial legacies, but also because of its involvement in Africa’s current plights.
The Memorial March ends with a rally at the Humboldt Forum.
#AfrikaIsBleeding: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guinea-Conakry, Guinea-Bissau, Libya, Mali, Namibia, Nigeria, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Tunisia, Uganda, Zimbabwe, to name but a few.
We call on all the general public, especially the African / Black / “BIPoC” communities, to participate in the Memorial March, to mobilise for it, to support our cause and demands as well to intensify pressure on the German Federal Government to at least expeditiously implement measures agreed upon in the coalition contract of the new German Federal Government dealing on Germany’s colonial legacy (see below).
The motto of this year’s Memorial March stays same as last year, “United We Rise!“, and thus our hashtag “#UnitedWeRise”.
Like every year, we will march to honour and pay tribute to our heroic Freedom Fighters who fought against the Maafa as well the victims of the Maafa. We emphatically declare our decades-old demand: the erection of a central monument in Berlin to serve as a place for commemoration and extracurricular learning about colonialism and neo-colonialism. We are also marching to protest against colonial continuities, against all facets and levels of racism, but also against Europe’s racist and deadly migration policy towards Africa.
We are taking to the streets once again to draw lines between the past and the present:
535 years after the dawn of the Maafa in Africa. More than 500 years after the launch of the Transatlantic Enslavement. 138 years after sealing the transformation from enslavement into colonisation of Africa (Berlin Conference). 118 years after the inexplicably gruesome genocides of the Germans against the peoples of Herero and Nama in present today Namibia. 78 years after the forced recruitment of African soldiers and the menace of economic exploitation of the continent for World War II and the detention and murder of Africans in Concentration Camps in Germany – suckered, racially segregated, exploited, abused and killed, undocumented and forgotten. 62 years after the murder of Patrice Lumumba in the Congo. More than 45 years after the Soweto Massacre in apartheid South Africa. 93 years after the historic anti-colonial and anti-racist Aba Women’s Revolt (also known as “Women’s War”) in South East of present-day Nigeria. 58 years after the murder of Malcolm X (USA) and 55 years after the assassination of Martin Luther King (USA). 32 years after the murder of Amadeu Antonio in Eberswalde (Germany). 28 years after the murder of environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa (Nigeria) and eight other Ogoni activists. 18 years after the murder of Oury Jalloh in Dessau (Germany). 14 years after the murder of Marwa El-Sherbini in Dresden (Germany). 11 years after the murder of Rita Awour Ojungé in Hohenleipisch (Germany). 9 years after Lampedusa (Mediterranean / Italy). 4 years after the murder of Marielle Franco in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and the murder of the psychiatric patient William Tonou-Mbobda in Hamburg-Eppendorf (Germany). More than two and a half years after the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis (USA). Just to name but a few!
The initiator of the Committee for an African Monument in Berlin (KADIB), Prof. Kapet de Bana† (RIP), had constantly reiterated:
“While we march, remains of our Ancestors and artefacts that have preserved our cultures and cultural treasures are still been displayed in German / European museums. We demand the repatriation of everything stolen by Germany from Africa.” Prof. Kapet de Bana also persistently reminded the world of the right and duty to remember.
We demand not only the erection of a central Monument as a place for commemoration and extracurricular learning about colonialism and neo-colonialism, but also a comprehensive reappraisal of German colonial history and continuities as well as an earnest approach of confronting institutional and structural racism, as also stated in the Agenda 2025 of the Federal Conference of Migrant Organisations (BKMO) and as declared by UN’s International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024).
Colonial legacy remains a nightmare in Germany, critical in its relation to racism, explosive in terms of foreign policy and, above all, existentially important for those affected in Africa and other colonised regions of the so-called Global South. Therefore, we are pleased to note that parts of our demands have been included in the coalition contract of the new German Federal Government, which states:
“In order to advance the reappraisal of German colonial legacy, we also support the digitisation and Provenance Research of colonially contaminated collections and make them accessible on platforms. In dialogue with the societies of origin, we strive for restitution and deeper interdepartmental international cooperation. In particular, we support the return of objects from a colonial context. We are also developing a concept for a place for commemoration and extracurricular learning about colonialism.”
[Coalition Contract between the Social Democratic Party (SPD), the Green Party and the Free Democratic Party (FDP), p. 125, Chapter VI, section “Colonial Legacy”]
We also welcome the German Federal Government’s long-overdue return of some of the looted (“sacred”) so-called Benin artefacts to Nigeria. These developments must be seen as “only a beginning” and we recognise them as partial victory which is a product of our vigorous and relentless decade-long anti-colonial / anti-racist resistance struggles in this country but also in Motherland Africa at large. Nevertheless, many of our sacred artefacts, treasures, statues and works of art that exhibit African traditional religious systems and beliefs, such as the Ngonso sculpture representing the origin and culture of the Nso People (Cameroon), are still stashed away in basements in Berlin and elsewhere in Germany.
Our ultimate goal remains unequivocal: The complete and unconditional decolonisation of all neo-colonial and imperial power constructs and systems in Motherland Africa.
We call on the German Federal Government to swiftly implement the above-mentioned agreement in the coalition contract. Going by more than 500 years of experience, we presume that such marginal actions like those of the new German Federal Government could at the end become just tranquilizers! We also demand a say and participation such in actions – Everything about us without us is against us!
We would be very pleased if you could announce and report on this historically important event (pre-event and post-event reporting). You are of course also cordially invited to the Memorial March. In addition, we are available for interviews as well as for general information on the Memorial March.
Tel: 0152 159 286 58 / Mail: email@example.com / Facebook, YouTube, Twitter & Instagram
Organiser: “Committee for an African Monument in Berlin” (KADiB), represented by the network “African / Black Community” (ABC). The following organisations and initiatives are considered here as co-organizers / supporters:
|1) Afrikanischer Dachverband Norddeutschland – ADV-Nord
2) Afrika-Rat – Dachverband afrikanischer -Vereine und Initiativen Berlin Brandenburg
3) PEACE Germany
4) Bündnis „Völkermord verjährt nicht!“
5) African / Black Community Networks
6) EOTO Germany
7) Africavenir International
8) Global Afrikan Congress
9) Afropolitan Berlin
10) Initiative in Gedenken an Oury Jalloh
11) AFROTAK TV cyberNomads
|12) Initiative Schwarze Menschen in Deutschland (ISD-Bund)
13) Arbeitskreis Panafrikanismus München
14) Pan-African Women Liberation & Empowerment Organisation – PAWLO Germany
15) Afrikabund Hamburg
16) Berliner Entwicklungspolitischer Ratschlag BER
17) The VOICE Refugee Forum Germany
18) Berlin Global Village e.V.
19) Zentralrat der afrikanischen Gemeinde in Deutschland
20) Berlin Postkolonial
21) Bündnis „Decolonize Berlin“
22) United for Eritrea