LONDON — Africans from throughout London converged outside Parliament Square, Downing St. on Monday, June 1 to protest the neocolonial government of Nigeria’s treatment of Africans in the Delta Region. The Niger Delta Solidarity Campaign took the initiative to call the demonstration outside Number 10 Downing St., where the fate of Africans and other oppressed peoples is regularly being made and constructed behind closed doors.
The idea of freedom from oppression was already in the atmosphere as demonstrations organized by the Tamil protesters had been going on for weeks in protest against the barbaric military occupation in India. They had made a consistent and almost permanent presence outside Parliament Square for weeks since that conflict had headlined in the media. These demonstrations had sparked righteous resistance, giving voice to the voiceless.
The struggle currently taking place in Nigeria’s Delta Region is by no means a new struggle. In fact, to quantify the oppression of Africans in the Delta is to understand the history behind the oppression of black people as a whole.
Even from as far back as the 1950s, the Delta Region has been a popular haven for imperialism to extract crude oil. The Niger Delta region has a landmass of 70,000 km2 and is well known for its heavy supply of palm oil and crude oil, commonly called “sweet crude.”
European imperialism has had no regard for how their looting of the people’s natural resources impacts on the people, destroying countless homes and lives.
In the case with the Niger Delta, all of this has happened with the complicity of the government of Nigeria. With support from the British and U.S. governments, the Nigerian government uses all means to suppress, subdue and traumatize the people in a war without terms.
Undeniably to most media pundits, the UK government and the western world as a whole are faced with a deep and profound economic crisis. Imperialism is desperately fighting for its very life because the imperialist world economy is a blood-sucking economy born out of stealing poor and oppressed peoples’ human and material resources in order to thrive, and it is now unable to cope with oppressed peoples of the world organizing and fighting back to take control of their own lives. To rescue themselves, the imperialists are focusing their eyes again on the African continent and the loyalty of their neocolonial stooges.
The British government arms the Nigerian government to the teeth as means to disarm any attempt of the African masses to seize power over our lives.
Demonstration calls for end to oil war
The demonstration held in question was focused on ending the “blood for oil” war in the region. It was focused on stopping the raping of African women, particularly by the Nigerian military. Rape has been used as a weapon of war and a strategy to keep African people immobilized.
The government of Nigeria is aware of all contradictions in the land. They are aware of the toxic dumping in shantytowns, which sees our people at times literally living on waste. They are aware of the brutality of the military. In fact, it is the government that rally’s the military to carry out its violence. They are aware of the assassination of African patriots who live to serve the people.
Nigerian government incapable of meeting people’s needs
What we’re looking at is a government that is totally incapable of meeting the needs of the people. Currently the Nigerian President is Umaru Yar Adua. Before him and still quite recently there was Olusegun Obsanjo. Before Obsanjo there was Abdulsalami Abubakar, and before him there was Sani Abacha. The list goes on, but the conditions of existence for our people stay the same.
An example of the assassinations of African patriots was the murder of much loved African author and activist Ken Saro-Wiwa under the regime of General Sani Abacha in 1995. Saro-Wiwa was then the President of the “Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People.” Whilst fighting against the foreign companies’ exploitation of the Niger Delta and the degradation of the environment and waters, he became a thorn in the side of the imperialist Petroleum giant “Shell” that enlisted Abacha’s help to viciously take him down.
We have come to understand that the conditions of existence for our people don’t change under colonial or neocolonial domination. Whether the administrator is white or black, this system is there to literally suck everything we have as a pre-condition for its existence.
Under the leadership of the African petty bourgeoisie we know that we have run into limitations to take our liberation process to its conclusion.
Solution: overturn the African petty bourgeoisie
This parasitic economy cannot thrive without the complicity of the sell-out traitor class, the African petty bourgeoisie; the minority that needs the borders imperialism has created in Africa and in our minds to keep us separated from our assets and each other.
African Internationalism teaches us that it is the workers and peasants that produce wealth for society. It is the workers and poor people that have no stake in a system that sees the majority of humanity enslaved so the selfish needs of the minority are met.
African Internationalist philosophy is based on a system of collective not private ownership. It is this philosophy that sees us as one “African” people with the common responsibility to fight and fulfil the unification and liberation of Africa and African people.
This theory helps us understand what we have to do to organize ourselves and end the sad conditions of our long suffering people.
Africa that is so abundant in resources, under such a philosophy, would be the greatest economy this world has ever known. All our resources would filter its way through Africa and we would trade with each other, and trade with others on our own terms.
So the oil and gas and other resources plentiful in the Delta region would solve the contradictions of healthy living conditions, employment, development of agriculture, clean pipes, a sustainable economy and other avenues to transform our reality.
We organize with the conviction, “Touch One, Touch All!” That’s why we in the African Socialist International (ASI) are in unity with the “Niger Delta Solidarity Campaign,” and we call on more of our sisters, brothers, friends and comrades to join us in fighting against the unjust treatment of our people in the Delta Region.
The African Socialist International fights to take power away from the few — the few that use their influence and power to oppress the majority, because of their short-sighted and greedy worldview. This power should be in the hands of the workers, the producers of wealth in society, the majority.
The ASI is the Africa plan for the 21st century.
Build the African Socialist International, the vision of a fully free and united Africa under an all-African socialist government.