Africans from Cameroon deceived to Sweden, work under slave conditions

Stockholm, Sweden—Nine months ago, brothers from Cameroon heard about available ‘forest work’ in northern Sweden, where this is a huge industry.
 
They had a contract that was given to them by a “friend” that had contact with the company in Sweden. The contract gave figures for a lucrative salary, the number of days per week they were to work and other rights.
 
The Africans saw this venture as a life-changing investment when they considered how much money they could make in comparison to what they could earn in Cameroon.
 
So they made a decision to travel to Sweden with high aspirations of improving their lives and securing a better future for their families back home in the Cameroon.
 
They were supposed to work for six months only, which would give them as much as a three year salary in Cameroon.
 
They had literally put their lives into this by selling their land and collecting all the money they had, to go to what people call ‘democratic Sweden.
 
They never had a desire or any aspiration whatsoever of staying in Sweden, the only plan they had was to earn money to go back to their homeland so they could secure a ‘better’ future for their wives and children.
 
However, once they arrived in Sweden, they got another contract, which very much differed from the one they had been given in Cameroon. These brothers were working six days a week, for at least 10 hours per day, sometimes even more.
 
Also, what the new contract said was that they were being paid per plant, which with simple math means they had to work like machines and still not get paid anything near what they were supposed to.
 
Except from the part of this ‘forest work’, they were forced to do dirty work for free for their boss, like cleaning his house or act as a his personal driver, etc.
 
In the first contract, it said they were to be paid 18,500 Swedish kr/month, but they only received around 6000 Swedish kr. which is far less than they were promised in the beginning.
 
From this 6000 kr, taxes were also being taken directly into their boss’s pocket. So there was not much money left.
 
According to Swedish law, it is illegal to make people work under the conditions that these brothers were facing, whether being a Swedish citizen or not.
 
As we all know, Sweden likes to portray itself and is being portrayed as this role model as one of the most ‘equal societies’ in Europe; however when it comes to non-white people, this so-called ‘equal society’ is not a reality.
 
We, as Africans, whether in Sweden, the U.S., etc., worldwide are facing the same contradictions with imperialism.
 
As mentioned earlier, it is illegal according to Swedish law to make people work under such conditions as this, whether you are a Swedish citizen or not. This only goes to show that these brothers, literally, were treated like slaves.
 
This has been raised to different local and state trade unions etc. But since this revolves around non–white people, ‘solving’ this problem has not been prioritized.
 
Working on the Stockholm front of the International Peoples Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM), our responsibility now is to find these brothers and see what the status is at this moment and how we can support them in the best way.
 
These brothers are still in Sweden because they demand to get the money they worked for and then return home.
 
This case we just described with these brothers only shows one side of many of the contradictions Africans and other oppressed peoples face on a daily basis, whether we are in the U.S, whether we are in Angola, whether we are in London or whether we are in Sweden.
 
The problem is imperialism and our relationship to it
 
We have to be able to make the connection between the so-called ‘good’ Swedish welfare system and the looting of African resources.
 
Even if Sweden did everything to separate itself from the history of Europe and the rest of the world, we must understand that Sweden is a part of Europe and that Europe rests on the pedestal of African human and material resources.
 
The African working class both home and abroad have not seized power over our own resources.
 
The destiny of African people all over the world is not determined by ourselves, but by imperialism. It has been this way for over 500 years.
 
In order for us to live better lives, the solution is to seize the power over what belongs to us. And the only way this is possible, brothers and sisters, is by organizing.
 
We need to organize for power!
 
We have no future with imperialism.
 
The birth of Capitalism was and is still not possible without the enslavement of Africans and the looting of Africa.
 
There is no future for Africa or African people as long as imperialism exists. It must be destroyed!
 
We have been taught to strive for acceptance from our oppressors and it is being expressed in different ways.
 
We say things like: “I need to survive,” “At least in Sweden we don’t get shot in the middle of the street” or “People in Sweden are more tolerant,” etc.
 
The question we need to ask is tolerant to what?
 
What we need to stop doing is trying to “cure” racism, when the reality is that our human and material resources are being stolen right in front of us.
 
It is not racism that is doing this but it is our relationship with imperialism that creates these conditions in our lives!
 
We call on every African to join the International Peoples Democratic Uhuru Movement wherever you are located!
 
No one but us can solve this problem. We have to participate in the work for our own freedom. It is our responsibility.
 
The struggle for power in the hands of the African working class is the only solution for the freedom for Our Africa and African people worldwide!
 
We say if you touch one you touch all!
One Africa, One Nation!
Uhuru sasa!
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