Hadithi? Hadithi? What would Makmende do?

Hadithi njoo, uwongo njoo, utamu kolea….

Sikiliza kuna hadithi. Kuna maneno utakuja kuelezewa. Sikilizeni niwasimulieni ngano.

Hapo (si) zamani za kale palitokea safari ya pan-Afrikans all ova di continent en within di diaspora of righteousness……

The ‘peacefulness’ of these elections has allowed some bloggers to look at the funny side of things.

Urban Legend Kampala keeps things in perspective, with fictitious interviews:

Urban Legend: Mr Museveni, what plans do you have for this next term of yours?

Museveni: Well, generally speaking our vision is to consolidate the gains made so far by my government so far, to keep Uganda progressing on track, to discover and exploit even more ways to maximize our natural resources and to further cement the vice-grip I currently have on power until the point that not even Armageddon can unseat me.

Urban Legend: Good luck with that, sir.

[Reposted with overflowing love, respekt en humility from http://wildugandablog.com/ ………Nollywood style…..]

Hadithi? Hadithi? Hadithi njoo……it is stories like these though that  inspire so many mo of us, so empowering when comrades and friends we love, respekt en admire, like bombastic kasha are abundantly recognised for their struggles and those of others on the frontline, ni kweli pamoja tunafika 🙂

http://www.africanactivist.org/2011/03/kasha-jacqueline-on-women-deliver-100.html

Hadithi? Hadithi?  Check dis text messages expressing support for mo of our freedom fighters like, Munyaradzi Gwisai of theInternational Socialist Organisation (Zimbabwe) and the 44 others who have been charged with treason:

Absurd it is and I condemn it in the strongest manner possible. Asi kuenda kwemukuru shingai varume we are with you in spirit.

  • ‘Let my people go.’ Exodus 5 v. 2 History is on our side! Age is on our side! People are on our side! God is on our side! The people shall govern!
  • Under these very difficult circumstances I wish you courage, faith, patience and humour.
  • The world has eyes. Nothing is going to happen to the 45 detained on false treason charges.
  • No rule of law, no democracy, no peace, no justice. It’s high time we should take to the streets and demonstrate against dictatorship.   
  • Let us pray for them. God is for the oppressed. One day he will free his oppressed people. Let’s have faith in him.
  • I support them because they are driving towards human, civil, political, social and economic rights.
  • We must be free to choose our favourite leaders.
  • Vicious regimes are destined to fall. We’ve the strong conviction to free our nation. Let’s fight on guys.
  • The Almighty God is watching. You will conquer. Keep the wheels of change rolling. We are with you.
  • Those who arrested the 45 are the ones who are committing treason.
  • Free the 45 now! – Batanai
  • To those imprisoned we want you to know that we serve a God of infinite justice. Be encouraged. We will pray for you and hold you in our hearts. – Nan
  • An injury to one is an injury to all. We are with them wherever they are. We will stand with them.

[reposted from http://www.kubatanablogs.net/kubatana/]

[we hear you, we see you, we feel you, tupo pamoja!]

Not in our name…….

Read the latest statement from Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights on the case of Munyaradzi Gwisai, Hopewell Gumbo and 43 other Zimbabweans who have been charged with treason:

Gwisai bemoans torture as Muchadehama challenges placement of activists on remand

Detained social justice activist Munyaradzi Gwisai on Thursday 24 February 2011 lamented the torture sessions to which suspects are subjected by state security agents as tragic and inexpressible.

Gwisai, who testified before Harare Magistrate Munamato Mutevedzi during an application for refusal of placement on remand for the 45 human rights activists filed by defence lawyer Alec Muchadehama disclosed in court that he, together with other activists, were subjected to torture sessions during their detention by the police at Harare Central Police Station.

Gwisai said the torture sessions were aimed at securing confessions from the activists which would implicate them in the commission of treason, a charge which they are facing in court.

In narrating his ordeal, Gwisai said he was tortured together with five other detainees in a room in the basement at Harare Central Police Station by nine state security agents who included some police officers who had arrested them.

During the torture sessions, which were recorded on video, the detainees were asked to recount what had transpired during their meeting which was held on Saturday 19 February 2011 in central Harare.

Gwisai said each of the six detainees received a series of lashes which were administered while they lay down on their stomachs. He added that he received between 15 and 20 lashes as the police and his tormentors sought to obtain confessions from him and the other detainees.

Gwisai said the pain which he endured and suffered as a result of the torture sessions was “indescribable, sadistic and a tragedy for Zimbabwe”.

The University of Zimbabwe labour law lecturer said it was extremely difficult for him to sit and walk because of the torture sessions he underwent together with other detainees.

Gwisai said the meeting held on Saturday was held to discuss ISO business and issues of democracy and constitutionalism and not to plot the toppling of the government as alleged by the police and prosecutors. He added that the meeting which was attended by HIV/AIDS activists was also meant to commemorate the life of a deceased HIV and AIDS activist, Navigator Mungoni.

Earlier on Muchadehama outlined the detainees’ complaints against the police.

The detainees’ lawyer said the arrest of his clients was unlawful as they were not advised of the reason/s for their arrest. He also advised that they were over-detained in filthy and stinking police cells. He said the detainees only knew of the treason charge when they finally appeared in court on Wednesday 23 February 2011 and no warned and cautioned statements were recorded in relation to the treason charge.

Muchadehama told the court that the police extensively subjected his clients to severe interrogation sessions where they attempted to coax some of the detainees to turn against their colleagues and be considered State witnesses.

He said some of the detainees were assaulted, brutalised and tortured while in police custody. The defence lawyer said the torture sessions were administered through assaults all over the detainees’ bodies, under their feet and buttocks through the use of broomsticks, metal rods, pieces of timber, open palms and some blunt objects.

In his application for refusal of remand Muchadehama argued that the facts as outlined by the State did not constitute the commission of an offence.

The matter continues on Monday 28 February 2011 when prosecutor Edmore Nyazamba, who applied for the placement of the detainees on remand, cross examines Gwisai. In the meantime, all 45 will remain incarcerated in remand prison in Harare and at Chikurubi Women’s Prison for the women detainees.

Source:  http://www.kubatanablogs.net/kubatana/

[ Reposted with overflowing love, respekt en in solidarity with our freedom fighters, healers, peacemakers and youth coming into their right destinies…..In a ‘blog/post-a-day’/series exploring quests of self-en-collective discovery of the powah! of harvesting the intersections of our diversity….

Our basic inquiry: What do we benefit from (wholly) pursuing the vision(s) of ‘a’ United States of Afrika?  And what is it about revolushuns and the urgencies of injustice in ripple effects?

In how many countries not only in North Africa and the Middle East, but all ova di world, will it take protests of indigenus massives not against flesh and blood, but against powers and principalities of darkness to spread the spirit of hope, positivity, truth, justice and love in abundance and institute democracies? ]

(on) The Assassination of El- Hajj Malik El-Shabazz

A: from The New York Times 

Malcolm X, the 39-year-old leader of a militant black nationalist movement, was shot to death yesterday afternoon at a rally of his followers in a ballroom in Washington Heights.

Shortly before midnight, a 22-year-old Negro, Thomas Hagan, was charged with the killing. The police rescued him from the ballroom crowd after he has been shot and beaten.

Malcolm, a bearded extremist, had said only a few words of greeting when a fusillade rang out. The bullets knocked him over backward.

Pandemonium broke out among the 400 Negroes in the Audubon Ballroom at 166th Street and Broadway. As men, women and children ducked under tables and flattened themselves on the floor, more shots were fired. Some witnesses said 30 shots had been fired.

The police said seven bullets had struck Malcolm. Three other Negroes were shot.

About two hours later the police said the shooting had apparently been a result of a feud between followers of Malcolm and members of the extremist group he broke with last year, the Black Muslims. However, the police declined to say whether Hagan is a Muslim.

The Medical Examiner’s office said early this morning that a preliminary autopsy showed Malcolm had died of “multiple gunshot wounds.” The office said that bullets of two different calibers as well as shotgun pellets had been removed from his body.

One police theory was that as many as five conspirators might have been involved, two creating a diversionary disturbance.

Hagan was shot in the left thigh and his left leg was broken, apparently by kicks. He was under treatment in the Bellevue Hospital prison ward last night; perhaps a dozen policemen were guarding him, according to the hospital’s night erintendent. The police said they had found a cartridge case with four unused .45-caliber shells in his pocket.

Two other Negroes, described as “apparent spectators” by Assistant Chief Inspector Harry Taylor, in command of Manhattan North uniformed police, also were shot. They were identified as William Harris, wounded seriously in the abdomen, and William Parker, shot in a foot. Both were taken to Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, which is close to the ballroom.

Capt. Paul Glaser of the Police Department’s Community Relations Bureau said early today that Hagan, using a double-barrelled shotgun with shortened barrels and stock, had killed Malcolm X.

Malcolm, a slim, reddish-haired six-footer with a gift for bitter eloquence against what he considered white exploitation of Negroes, broke in March, 1964, with the Black Muslim movement called the Nation of Islam, headed by Elijah Muhammad . . . .1

B: from Newsweek

He was born Malcolm Little, an Omaha Negro preacher’s son. Before he was out of his teens, he was Big Red, a Harlem hipster trafficking in numbers, narcotics, sex, and petty crime. He was buried as Al Hajj Malik Shabazz, a spiritual desperado lost between the peace of Islam and the pain of blackness. His whole life was a series of provisional identities, and he was still looking for the last when, as Malcolm X, 39, apostate Black Muslim and mercurial black nationalist, he was gunned to death by black men last week in a dingy uptown New York ballroom.

He had seen the end coming?predicted it, in fact, so long and so loudly that people had stopped listening. Malcolm X had always been an extravagant talker, a demagogue who titillated slum Negroes and frightened whites with his blazing racist attacks on the “white devils” and his calls for an armed American Mau Mau. His own flamboyant past made it easy to disregard his dire warnings that he had been marked for murder by the Muslims, the anti-white, anti- integrationist Negro sect he had served so devoutly for a dozen years and fought so bitterly since his defection a year ago.

His assassination turned out to be one of his few entirely accurate prophecies. Its fulfillment triggered an ominous vendetta between the Malcolmites and the Muslims?ominous in its intensity even though it was isolated on the outermost extremist fringe of American Negro life.

Death came moments after Malcolm stepped up to a flimsy plywood lectern in Manhattan’s Audubon Ballroom, just north of Harlem, to address 400 of the faithful and the curious at a Sunday afternoon rally of his fledgling Organization of Afro-American Unity. The extermination plot was clever in conception, swift and smooth in execution. Two men popped to their feet in the front rows of wooden folding chairs, one yelling at the other: “Get your hands off my pockets, don’t be messing with my pockets.” Four of Malcolm’s six bodyguards moved toward the pair; Malcolm himself chided, “Let’s cool it.”

Volley: Then came a second diversion: a man’s sock, soaked in lighter fluid and set ablaze, flared in the rear. Heads swiveled, and as they did, a dark, muscular man moved toward the lectern in a crouch, a sawed-off shotgun wrapped in his coat. Blam-blam! A double-barreled charge ripped up through the lectern and into Malcolm’s chest. From the left, near the spot where the two men had been squabbling, came a back-up volley of pistol fire.

Malcolm tumbled backward, his lean body rent by a dozen wounds, his heels hooked over a fallen chair. The hall was bedlam. Malcolm’s pregnant wife, Betty, rushed on stage screaming, “They’re killing my husband!” His retainers fired wildly through the crowd at the fleeing killers. Four assailants made it to side doors and disappeared.

The man with the shotgun, identified by police as 22-year-old Talmadge Hayer of Paterson, N.J., dashed down a side aisle to the stairway exit from the second floor ballroom. From the landing, one of Malcolm’s bodyguards winged him in the thigh with a .45-caliber slug. Howling in pursuit (“Kill the bastard!”), the ballroom crowd caught Hayer on the sidewalk, mauled him, and broke his ankle before police rescued him.

Hayer was charged with homicide. Five days later, police picked up a karate-trained Muslim “enforcer,” Norman 3X Butler, 26, as suspect No. 2.

The arrest of a Muslim surprised almost no one. For all his many enemies, Malcolm himself had insisted to the end that it was the Muslims who wanted him dead. They seemed to dog him everywhere he went; a bare week before his death, he was firebombed out of his Queens home, the ownership of which he had been disputing with the Muslims. Increasingly edgy, he moved with his wife and four children first to Harlem’s Hotel Theresa, finally?the night before his death?to the New York Hilton in the alien world downtown. When he died, Manhattan police assumed that Muslims were involved . . . .2

C: from New York Post

They came early to the Audubon Ballroom, perhaps drawn by the expectation that Malcolm X would name the men who firebombed his home last Sunday, streaming from the bright afternoon sunlight into the darkness of the hall.

The crowd was larger than usual for Malcolm’s recent meetings, the 400 filling three-quarters of the wooden folding seats, feet scuffling the worn floor as they waited impatiently, docilely obeying the orders of Malcolm’s guards as they were directed to their seats.

I sat at the left in the 12th row and, as we waited, the man next to me spoke of Malcolm and his followers:

“Malcolm is our only hope,” he said. “You can depend on him to tell it like it is and to give Whitey hell.”

Then a man was on the stage, saying:

“. . . I now give you Brother Malcolm. I hope you will listen, hear, and understand.”

There was a prolonged ovation as Malcolm walked to the rostrum past a piano and a set of drums waiting for an evening dance and stood in front of a mural of a landscape as dingy as the rest of the ballroom.

When, after more than a minute the crowd quieted, Malcolm looked up and said, “A salaam aleikum (Peace be unto you)” and the audience replied “Wa aleikum salaam (And unto you, peace).”

Bespectacled and dapper in a dark suit, his sandy hair glinting in the light, Malcolm said: “Brothers and sisters . . .” He was interrupted by two men in the center of the ballroom, about four rows in front and to the right of me, who rose and, arguing with each other, moved forward. Then there was a scuffle in the back of the room and, as I turned my head to see what was happening, I heard Malcolm X say his last words: “Now, now brothers, break it up,” he said softly. “Be cool, be calm.”

Then all hell broke loose. There was a muffled sound of shots and Malcolm, blood on his face and chest, fell limply back over the chairs behind him. The two men who had approached him ran to the exit on my side of the room shooting wildly behind them as they ran.

I fell to the floor, got up, tried to find a way out of the bedlam.

Malcolm’s wife, Betty, was near the stage, screaming in a frenzy. “They’re killing my husband,” she cried. “They’re killing my husband.”

Groping my way through the first frightened, then enraged crowd, I heard people screaming, “Don’t let them kill him.” “Kill those bastards.” “Don’t let him get away.” “Get him.”

At an exit I saw some of Malcolm’s men beating with all their strength on two men. Police were trying to fight their way toward the two. The press of the crowd forced me back inside.

I saw a half-dozen of Malcolm’s followers bending over his inert body on the stage, their clothes stained with their leader’s blood. Then they put him on a litter while guards kept everyone off the platform. A woman bending over him said: “He’s still alive. His heart’s beating.”

Four policemen took the stretcher and carried Malcolm through the crowd and some of the women came out of their shock long enough to moan and one said: “I don’t think he’s going to make it. I hope he doesn’t die, but I don’t think he’s going to make it.”

I spotted a phone booth in the rear of the hall, fumbled for a dime, and called a photographer. Then I sat there, the surprise wearing off a bit, and tried desperately to remember what had happened. One of my first thoughts was that this was the first day of National Brotherhood Week.3


1Peter Kihss, The New York Times, Febnruary 22, 1965, p. 1. Copyright @1965 by The New York Times Company.
2Newsweek, March 8, 1965, Copyright @ 1965, Newsweek.Inc. All rights reserved.
3Thomas Skinner, “I saw Malcolm Die,” The New York Post, February 22, 1965, p. 1.

Copyright © 2000 by Daniel J. Kurland.  All rights reserved.

Source: http://www.criticalreading.com/malcolm.html

[i,S.I.S note: en today, en the moons forward, we have all the power to share mo resources with bredrin en dadas on the continent – our freedom fighters, peacemakers and those spreading love, hope and positivity in abundance on the frontlines and wherever  they may be – from Harare to Kampala, Accra to Nairobi, from Cairo to Cape town….like check dis’ and spread the werd! or do anything you want with these stories, but don’t say you’d have lived your life differently if only you’d heard dis story, now you know….]

 

SAMWU PRESS STATEMENT

22 February 2011

This Union is outraged at the arrest of 52 activists in Harare on 19th February by armed security personnel. It appears that their only ‘crime’ was to be part of a discussion group, with a film examining recent events in Egypt and the Middle East.  They are all currently being detained in Harare Central Prison. This unprovoked attack on a peaceful political education session is indicative of the type of terror that was unleashed by ZANU-PF in the run up to the last elections.

afrika huru! afrika moja!

The purpose then as now, is clearly to instil fear into the general population in an attempt to demobilise democratic forces from asserting their rights. ZANU-PF has made it clear that they intend to win the next elections, even without an agreed constitution in place, and to win it by any means.

Zimbabwe continues to be in a state of siege. The working class and the poor continue to bear the brunt of the prolonged economic crisis while those in positions of power enjoy all that money can buy.  It is therefore imperative that those who wish to see a peaceful and prosperous Zimbabwe, where all are able to share in the resources of the country, must speak out when such attacks take place. They do not belong in a democratic society, and are a crude attempt to intimidate those courageous enough to say that another Zimbabwe is possible.

We demand that the 52 persons arrested be immediately released, and that if any charges are brought against them, that they be vigorously challenged and decisively refuted as justice demands they be. Furthermore, that those who disrupted this peaceful gathering be called to account and be exposed for what they are, wreckers of democracy.

 

Source: http://www.kubatanablogs.net/kubatana/

[Hadithi hii ni ya the necessity of gratitude, prayer and slowing down to speed up…..]

I give thanks for yesterday, today and tomorrow, I give thanks for all the lessons and positive transformashun

I pray that the blessings of yesterday carry into tomorrow…

Bless my family, friends, comrades.

Bless all those who share their love with, and pray for me.

(Eshu, carry my prayers……)

I pray for health and prosperity, not only for myself but for others….

I pray for long life and happiness, not only for myself but for others…

Ifa, bless me with marriage and children….


Bless the motherless and fatherless, bless those sick in hospital,

Bless the homeless…..

Bless our freedom fighters,

Bless the ancestors of dis’ land, in the diaspora of righteousness, Bless the ancestors on the Afrikan shores

Bless all those all who spread love and positivity in abundance

Bless our youth, coming into their right destinies, and our elders

 

Ifa, I ask you to forgive my sins, those that I do know, and don’t know about, and those I am yet to commit,

I pray for the healing of mama dunia…..

 

I give thanks to the orishas, I give thanks to the orishas, I give thanks to the orishas

I give thanks to the ancestors, I give thanks to the ancestors, I give thanks to the ancestors,

 

I pray for continued guidance and protection, not only for myself but for others,

I pray for knowledge and wisdom, not only for myself but for others….

( so much tings to say, I pray for clarity, patience……)

 

Ifa, I pray to be humble, I pray to be loving, I pray to be strong….

Ase, Ase, ase…..

I give thanks for El Hajj Malik El Shabazz (aka. Malcolm X), for (t)his birth (to)day, en for tomorrow, for the fruits of the work that not only (baba) Malcolm but so many other of our ancestors have done in liberating themselves en ‘other’ (people)s…

 

I give thanks for African Liberation Day (on May 25th), which is (depending on one’s ‘politics’) the biggest holiday of the year for (all) Afrikans, or more like, should be…. afrika moja!

Dis’  litany of love (en survival)  is embodied in ‘our’ symbols of resistance and the struggle of ‘everyday’, it explores the ‘other’ pieces of (where we) coming OUT from and embraces those ‘intersections’ in our diversity that (should) remind us we are all (from) one (Mama Afrika)….

so I give thanks for the work that the warriors of Blackness Yes! & Blockorama do to maintain positive & safe spaces for queer & trans folk of Afrikan descent, and for the folks who continue to do what they can to transform  not only themselves, but our communities for betta….

Like (in) dis’ litany of  pan-Afrikan realities sent out a moon ago, from (some of) the ones we’ve been looking for…ase.

April 19, 2010,

Dear Pride Toronto,

Thank you all for attending the community meeting on Tuesday, April 13, 2010 to discuss the proposed move of Blockorama. At this meeting you were able to see the passion our community feels for Blockorama. Our communities came out Tuesday to support Blockorama because it is created by and for community, with a deep sense of ownership by the community. We would also like to thank you for your letter, dated April 15, 2010.

Since 1998 Blockorama has been a party at Pride where black queer and trans folks, their allies, supporters and people who love them came together to say no to homophobia in black communities and no to racism in LGBTQ communities. To say Blackness Yes at Pride – loud and proud. Pride Toronto’s inability to lead on racism in the LGBTQ communities and homophobia in black communities sends a strong signal to black queer and trans communities and their allies everywhere.

We have built Blockorama out of love, through sweat and toiling. For 12 years, we have claimed space, resisted erasure, found community, shared memories, built bridges, embraced sexuality, and found home. Blockorama is not just a party or a stage at Pride. It is a meeting place for black queer and trans people across North America- Blockorama is the largest space of its kind at any Pride festival on the continent.

Black queer and trans communities have been central to the diversity of Pride. At the same time Pride Toronto as an organization has continually marginalized those communities. It is indeed those communities that enable Pride to be the celebration of sexual life and freedoms that we all cherish. Pride Toronto’s inability to recognize its own constituencies is not only sad and disappointing it is indeed politically naïve and damaging to the still necessary struggles around sexual freedom in our city, province and country.

It has been incredibly frustrating to have our concerns regarding the space for Blockorama at Pride be not taken seriously by the arts and entertainment manager at Pride. It is very unfortunate that communication seems to be an issue for Pride Toronto, and that so much institutional memory has been lost through the many transitions that Pride has gone through over the last 2 years. We are glad to have begun a conversation about how to rebuild our connections with Pride Toronto.

Based on the feedback we have received from our communities following Tuesday’s meeting and what was offered through your letter, we are prepared to accept the following:

1. A full stage and infrastructure in George Hislop Parkette on Sunday July 4, 2010. This infrastructure will include power, insurance, tents, tables/chairs, toilets,
garbage removal, insurance, permits and fees, security, tech costs and labour.

We assume that the other site requests previously made available to us (pizza and water for volunteers, barricades to which we secure our banners, etc) will, although not mentioned in your letter, still be made available to us.

2. A reciprocal commitment from Blackness Yes and Pride Toronto to respond to emails with 48 hours of receiving them and to check in with each other (by phone or email) at least twice per week from now until the end of the 2010 Pride Week Festival.

3. We agree to your request for programming information to be provided to Pride Toronto no later than April 21st. In fact, we had already submitted this programming information before receipt of your letter.

4. We agree to the request for information for the Pride Guide to be submitted no later than April 21st.

We will provide you with:

o A 100 word intro blurb;
o Two 50 word blurbs for artists’ spotlights;
o Any photos associated with those artists in high resolution (300 dpi);
o A 100 word blurb about Blackness Yes and a relevant photo.

5. We are committed to and have always adhered to Pride Toronto deadlines for
information on Site Logistics, Tech, Press etc. We request that any changes to deadlines be given to us in a timely fashion to avoid any delay in information sharing.

6. We are happy to re-join the coordinators committee for Pride. We will send 2 delegates from Blackness Yes to each programming committee meeting as often as is manageable. We recognize that although some other programmers may be paid for their time, we are a volunteer-based committee. We welcome the opportunity to become reengaged with pride committee activities!

We are not able to accept the following offers at this time:

1. It will not be necessary for you to provide us with a Stage Manager for the weekend. We have a Blackness Yes member who will advance the show with the artists and ensure that the stage operates in a timely fashion.

2. We accept your offer to fund the previously agreed upon budget of $5000 for the Sunday stage. We also request that as in previous years, Pride Toronto cover the travel and hospitality fees of artists from out of town who are appearing on the Blockorama stage.

We feel that it is unfortunate that Pride chose to cancel stage-based programming in George Hislop without any consultation with the programmers who program that space. We understand that this decision has resulted in the re-allocation of the funding for this stage to other parts of the festival, thus now requiring Pride to find an “additional” $20,000 to create the stage in George Hislop. With proper consultation and collaboration, we could have worked together to both keep the needed funds for Blocko in the budget, and helped to save costs overall.

Your offer to program 2 full days in George Hislop Parkette is unfortunately not possible. This is not a viable offer as you have specified that you do not plan to cover any artist’s fees for Saturday programming. Although we welcome the opportunity to develop 2 days of programming, we cannot do so without money to develop this programming, and the suggestion that we do so is surprising. We welcome the opportunity to discuss options for 2 days of programming with adequate budget in the future.

Pride Toronto should not consider running programming for which local artists are not paid for their time. One of the wonderful things about the festival is that it engages artists and helps support the development of artistic practice in Toronto by paying artists to perform. Blackness Yes cannot consider developing any programming that would result in artists not being paid for their time and efforts.


We would like to request the following:

1. We request funding to rent a temporary floor for in front of the stage – something that can be used on the grass to facilitate dancing, to provide a less slippery and muddy experience for participants, and to deal with the regular rain flooding and seeping that we experience each year in George Hislop Parkette.

2. We thank you for the opportunity to commit to the George Hislop space for both the 2010 and 2011 festivals. However we can only commit to 2010 at this time. We would like to set a date to begin working together shortly after Pride 2010 to find a more suitable long-term home for Blockorama.

3. We note that in 2002, Pride’s entertainment budget was $31,040; and the Blockorama stage received $2500 or 8% of overall entertainment budget. This year, Pride’s entertainment budget is has increased to $335,027, yet Blockorama is received only $5000 or roughly about 1.4%. We would like to know why the proportional allotment for our stage is shrinking despite increased money in the entertainment budget?

4. We support the use of the stage on Saturday by other community groups and we encourage one of the 4 paid programming staff at Pride to outreach to some of the communities currently not represented at Pride to help program the stage. We feel strongly that artists fees should be paid for any artists that play on Saturday’s stage.

We are concerned about the steady removal of community involvement from the structure of Pride Toronto over the past 2 years. As an independent committee programming a stage at Pride, we recognize how far Pride has to go to ensuring that it’s programming is reflective of the diversity of Toronto. We encourage and support all community groups currently marginalized by Pride Toronto, and/or the larger LGBTTI2QQ set of communities in Toronto.

There are many other communities that should also have Pride Toronto’s full commitment and engagement to develop relevant programming at the festival (First Nations and Indigenous people, LGBTTI2QQ people who are Deaf and those with Disabilities, and many many others) and we encourage Pride to connect with and engage these communities. We are disappointed that this year has seen communities pitted against each other – competing for stage space and funding at Pride.

It is also very unfortunate that Pride has distanced itself from so many of the communities that helped build the LGBTTI2QQ activist movement. Racialized queer and trans people, many of whom were street-involved, working class and poor started both the Stonewall and Compton Cafeteria riots that kick-started the “gay liberation movement” in North America. It is on the backs of racialized and working class queer and trans people that mainstream queer organizations like Pride Toronto have been built.

Yet for many of these same people, Pride is now an inaccessible space, one that is not representative of them in any way, shape or form. Many of these revolutionaries that began the riots would not be able to afford the beer gardens (or this year’s Prism main stage party) that have become the cornerstones of the Pride festival.

We wonder if they would be banned from the parade for carrying posters that make people uncomfortable- posters calling for an end to targeted policing of Trans people, calling to an end to systemic racism and homophobia, and demanding the right to sexual freedom and the right to self-identified gender expression. These words of resistance have consistently made certain people uncomfortable, but they have been crucial to the struggle for liberation and self determination of LGBTTI2QQ people.

Blackness Yes is committed to creating a space by and for Black/African Diasporic queer and trans people and all of their allies and supporters at Pride. Blockorama will always remain a political space for resistance and celebration, and we stand in solidarity with so many other groups that have been left out or forcibly excluded from Pride. We will also work to produce a Blockorama that returns to its roots. A Blocko organized by and for a supportive community that has been dancing, laughing, loving and eating at Blocko now for over more than a decade.

Thank you,

Blackness Yes!
Blockorama Coordinating Committee

Tessa C. Duplessis
Mykell Hall
Nigel Holbrook
Abdi Osman
Nik Redman
Syrus M. Ware
Kyisha Williams
Akhaji Zakiya

blogger’s note: you probably don’t know how these stories (will) go, or maybe you do…either way, we’re going through the archives of hadithi, checking our lists of super (s)heroes many times, en sharing myths en legends of Afrika in this epic of a series…. all the betta for you to over/stand The Q werd (coming not/so soon to a screen near you).

Today’s’ queen was known by many names, depending on who tells the story….

When men were not brave enough – the story of Queen Dahlia

A woman who faced her enemies while empires crumbled, one of the most famous yet elusive women in history, Dahlia was a Berber queen. She is better known as Kahina or al-Kahinat, a title given to her by Arabs, which means “witch”.

Before the Islamic conquest, Africa was a province of the Roman (Byzantine) Empire. At that time it comprised Tunisia, north Algeria and some parts of Morocco. Africa, reconquered in 533 AD by Emperor Justinian, was an Exarchate – a single province with virtual autonomy, governed by a supreme official called the Exarch.

The Exarchate’s capital was the ancient city of Carthage. After Justinian’s invasion, Africa experienced many decades of peace and relative prosperity. At a time when almost the entire world burned with the flames of war, this small province remained an oasis of stability. Peace brought economic prosperity. Its grain was exported, along with goods produced by its artisans, especially their red pottery which was renowned throughout the Empire. With luminaries such as Pristian, Corippus, Victor of Tunis and Aldhelm, Africa also rose to become one of the intellectual centres of the world.

This Africa of Dahlia’s youth was a melting pot, in which peoples of different races and religions thrived, including Romans, Berbers, Vandal and Visigoth settlers, and tribes of black Numidians. There were Christians of various denominations – Catholics, Arians, Donatists (who rejected the ecclesiastic authority of the patriarchs) – and also numerous Jews and pagans. All these groups lived mostly in peace, marred occasionally by outbreaks of persecution against the Jews and Donatists, and other conflicts.

Very little is known about the private life of Dahlia. It is hard to distinguish fact from fiction in the numerous legends which surround her. Dahlia was born the daughter of Tabat, a chieftain of the Jrawa tribe, who lived in the region of the Aures mountains. Some (mostly Jewish) historians claim that Dahlia professed Judaism. These point out that her Arab title, “al-Kahinat”, may be a corruption of the Hebrew word Khn, which means “a person of the priest class”. The surname Cohen derives from the same root.

Additionally one Arabic chronicle, by Ibn Khaldoun, written years after her death, calls Dahlia “a Jewess”. It is possible that the Berber Queen followed the Jewish religion, but this is only a speculation. Indeed, many Berber tribes professed Judaism at this time, but others also had Christian or traditional beliefs.

The legends preserve some details of Dahlia’s appearance. She had very long black hair, and had large dark eyes. She was extremely tall for a woman of the time. She was said to be charismatic, and authors attribute to her the gift of foresight – most likely a reminiscence of her great intelligence and wisdom.

When she was a young woman, a chieftain who demanded to possess her as his bride terrorised her tribe. Dahlia went into hiding for some time. Finally she agreed to the marriage. On the wedding night, she slew her new husband by smashing his skull with a nail. Due to her enormous talents, she climbed to the top of her society.

The storm comes

In 646 Ad, when Muslims finally conquered Egypt, the long years of peace were about to come to an end. The Exarchate of Africa found itself on the frontline of the war with Islam. The Byzantine Empire, itself suffering defeats on almost all fronts, and further weakened by a constant civil war, could give no assistance to such a distant province. The Exarches had to completely rely upon local, limited resources. That they managed to hold off the Muslim advance for so long demonstrates how enthusiastically the local population supported the defensive actions against the Arabs.

It was not until 680 AD that the Arabs finally broke through the defences of the Exarchate. While Romans barricaded themselves in coastal cities, a Muslim commander named Oqba led a raid along the coast that reached the Atlantic Ocean in modern Morocco. It is said that Oqba slashed the waves of the ocean with his sabre, furious that there was no more land to conquer. Upon his return in 683 however, Oqba’s army was annihilated by a coalition of Berber tribes, and he himself was slain.

This victory, however, merely postponed the eventual fall of the Exarchate. In 697 AD, a new Muslim army entered Africa, under the command of Hassan ibn Numan. At this point, At that point, the weakened forces of the Exarchate could not stop the Arab advance, and following a sneak attack, Carthage fell.

Surprisingly, a Byzantine fleet appeared in African waters and the capital was retaken, only to fall again the following year, after a dramatic siege. Almost all its defenders and most of its civilians perished. In retaliation for its resistance, the Muslims destroyed the city. Thus the ancient city of Carthage, and with it the last Roman presence in Africa, came to an end.

The siege of Carthage, however, had given Dahlia the extra time she had needed. A new power in Africa was born. One consequence of the Byzantine defeat was that the Romans had lost their interest Africa. From this point onward, we have to rely solely on Muslim sources, which are very rarely reliable.

The witch

During the siege of Carthage, Dahlia completed her lifetime’s achievement. She consolidated all the major Berber tribes under a common purpose – driving out the invaders. Beginning with guerilla warfare, she soon graduated to launching full-scale invasion against the Muslims. She was joined in this by the survivors of the Byzantine army, as well as the remnants of the local Visigoths.

Dahlia attacked the main Muslim army, completely defeating it and pushing the invaders back to Egypt. She even reclaimed the ruins of Carthage. At that point, she was the unquestioned heroine and leader of all of Africa’s population – both nomads, Berbers and Romans. All the ethnic and religious groups united under her banner. She was also joined by some deserters from the Muslim army. One of them, most likely an apostate, became her lieutenant and adopted son. This was also the time when she gained her famous Arabic nickname.

Without doubt, Dahlia was close to creating an independent state. She ruled with an iron fist. She quickly transformed the anarchic Berber tribes into a disciplined army. She showed great military and administrative skills. She managed to hold Muslims at bay for a long time, perhaps as long as for three years. She also established an administration capable of maintaining a large standing army for this time. Dahlia was an intelligent person and knew that the Muslims would come back, so she prepared for them the best she could.

One of the most bizarre episodes of Dahlia’s struggle against the Muslims was the defection of her three natural sons. These joined the Muslims and converted to Islam, claiming that they did it on a peremptory order given by their mother. Some speculate that Dahlia knew that in the long perspective she had no chance to stop the Muslims, and decided that it was the only way to save her beloved sons’ lives. Other authors suspect that her sons came to conduct espionage and sabotage.

Even if this second option is true, Dahlia had no chance to make use of her sons’ skills. The exact cause of her downfall, and the date when this happened, is not certain.

Muslim chroniclers accuse Dahlia of maintaining a “scorched earth policy” in the hope that this would make the Muslims abandon their invasion plans. For this reason they say she ordered her men to burn cities, to kill livestock and destroy all the fields. Africa, according to Islamic chronicles, turned into a desert on her orders. Muslims say these actions caused her to lose the support of the settled population, who were terrified by the destruction. Farmers and city dwellers became, from this time onwards, passive observers in the conflict. Chroniclers say proudly that such destruction could never stop them, since the main reason for Islamic conquests was gaining converts.

Dahlia’s “scorched earth policy” is, however, an unlikely scenario. Non-nomads formed the majority of her army and supporters. She was intelligent enough to know that such a move would make them abandon her cause. Moreover, it diminished her already scarce resources. It is most likely that the destruction of Africa (which is a fact confirmed by archaeologists) was done by Muslims themselves who later attributed it to their enemy. The invaders were the only beneficiaries of the destruction. Moreover, Muslims used these methods of terrorist warfare elsewhere during their conquests, as in Spain and Egypt.

Dahlia soon found herself the only enemy of Islam on the African continent. Muslims sent considerable forces and finally defeated her Berber warriors. Sources differ on how she died. Some say that she died a soldier’s death – with a sword in her hand. Others maintain that she poisoned herself when all was lost and defeat was near. Even the exact date of her death is unknown. It happened between the years 702 and 705. Dahlia’s head was mummified and sent to the Caliph, who ordered that it be nailed to the entrance of his favorite mosque.

The end

After Dahlia’s death, the fate of Africa was sealed. All organized resistance ceased to exist, though some Berber tribes continued the open fight for some time. In all treaties with the Berbers, the Muslims demanded conversion to Islam. Facing the threat of complete destruction, most of the tribes agreed to abandon their old beliefs. Those who did not accept the new religion were killed. Many Berber women were said to have committed suicide.

Conversions threatened by force rarely have initial effect. For a long time local Muslim governors sent reports to the caliphs that the ever-rebellious Berbers were Muslims in name only, apostatising at every possible occasion and starting mutinies time and time again.

The fate of the mostly Christian settled population was initially similar to that of Syria, Spain or Egypt. However, Christians had lost most of their intellectual elites who had either died in war or emigrated (most of old Roman aristocracy had fled to Italy). By such means, the population became Islamised and Arabized much quicker than in other regions conquered by the Muslim hordes.

Small pockets of Christians however, survived up to 17th century. In addition, as late as the 12th century in some coastal cities, the Latin language could still be heard in the streets.

A long dark night fell upon Africa….

It is somewhat ironic, but modern Islamic authors refer to Dahlia/Kahina as an example of the high role of women in Islamic societies.

By Basileos
Dedicated to “Sahara” and all other daughters of the desert.

Sources:

Roger Collins: Early Medieval Europe
Georg Ostrogorski: History of the Byzantine Empire
Wikipedia
http://www.whoosh.org/issue85/klossner6.html
http://gess.wordpress.com/2006/08/25/the-legend-of-the-kahina-a-north-african-heroine/
http://www.swagga.com/queen.htm

Further reading:
Primary chronicle: Ibn-Khaldun (a compilation of earlier accounts; very biased and written a long time after her death).
Anonymous, Une Jeanne d’Arc Africaine: Episode de l’Invasion des Arabes en Afrique. Paris, 1890?
Beauguitte, Germaine. La Kahána, Reine des Aurcs. Paris, 1959. (A novel)
Boisnard, Magali. Le Roman de la Kahena. Paris, 1925. (A novel)
Djelloul, Ahmed. Al-Kahana. Paris, 1957. (A play)
El Aroui, Abdelmajid. La Kahena. Tunis, 1990. (A play)
Encyclopedia of African History and Culture. Vol. 2, African Kingdoms (500-1500). Edited by Willie F. Page. Facts on File, 2001.
Gautier, E. F. La Passá de L’Afrique de Nord. Paris, 1937.
Hannoum, Abdelmajid. Colonial Histories, Post-Colonial Memories:The Legend of the Kahina, a North African Heroine. Heinemann, 2001.
Hannoum, Abdelmajid. The Legend of the Kahina: A Study in Historiography and Mythmaking in North Africa. Ph.D. thesis, Princeton, 1996.

Illustration: Nouredine Zekkara

original source: http://www.north-of-africa.com/article.php3?id_article=337\

en a much tastier “big apple”

watch, new york! there’s many tings you can learn….

no homo! 😉

 

St. Petersburg, Fla. — The Canadian Press Published on Sunday, Oct. 18, 2009 12:08PM EDT

Toronto will host the World Pride event in 2014 after winning a vote among gay delegates at the international InterPride Conference in Florida.

Toronto beat its main rival for the event, Stockholm, on Sunday to win the hosting duties.

Tracey Sandilands, executive director of Pride Toronto, told Toronto television station CP24 that Toronto captured 77 votes to Stockholm’s 61 in the first round of voting, eliminating Stockholm.

But that wasn’t enough for the two-thirds majority needed to win the right to host the political and cultural event, she said.

A second vote of yes or no gave Toronto a 78 per cent endorsement, said Ms. Sandilands.

Pride Toronto officials said that this summer’s Pride Week drew an estimated one million people to Toronto and contributed $136-million to the city’s economy.

”World Pride is going to be about five times bigger,” said Ms. Sandilands.

A delegation of 10 people went to Florida to present Toronto’s bid, including representatives from Pride Toronto, Tourism Toronto and Toronto police.

The Toronto event will be the fourth scheduled World Pride since the event’s inception in Rome in 2000.

World Pride promotes lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues on an international level through parades, festivals, and other cultural activities.

The next one is set for just prior to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London, England in 2012.

 EN NOW….the work continues. Pride Toronto  has alot of revamping to do if it means to honour that title.

This year, I came back to Tdot, specially jus’ for Pride, and I gotta say, I think there were way too many gaps.

en too much empty posturing.

dear pride committee, you’re guilty of token nominations. VICTOR MUKASA & Bill 18….nuff said.

dear Pride Toronto, unfortunately you are not doing nearly enough for WORLD  queers & trannies.

you are guilty of commodifaction & exploitation of minorities.

dear p.t, you need fresh, en more revolushunary blood.

this time, next year, you should host a world conference….

dear p.t, this time,  you should simply do much more “meaningful” community work.

dear p.t,  you’re supposed to be here because of the community, en many communities are here because of mostly other people’s work.

 dear PRIDE  committee,

we are here to HELP  each other.

 

seek ye first our global human rights!

start with campaigning in response to Bahati’s Bill….

do something more.

 

we’re watching YOU.

we ain’t holding our breath though…

ain’t agonising so much as organising,

dis revolushUn is (also) LIVE.