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Africa

C’est le Souffle des Ancêtres

SOUFFLE DE BIRAGO DIOP
Ecoute plus souvent
Les Choses que les Etres
La Voix du Feu s’entend,
Entends la Voix de l’Eau.
Ecoute dans le Vent
Le Buisson en sanglots :
C’est le Souffle des ancêtres.
Ceux qui sont morts ne sont jamais partis :
Ils sont dans l’Ombre qui s’éclaire
Et dans l’ombre qui s’épaissit.
Les Morts ne sont pas sous la Terre :
Ils sont dans l’Arbre qui frémit,
Ils sont dans le Bois qui gémit,
Ils sont dans l’Eau qui coule,
Ils sont dans l’Eau qui dort,
Ils sont dans la Case, ils sont dans la Foule :
Les Morts ne sont pas morts.
Ecoute plus souvent
Les Choses que les Etres
La Voix du Feu s’entend,
Entends la Voix de l’Eau.
Ecoute dans le Vent
Le Buisson en sanglots :
C’est le Souffle des Ancêtres morts,
Qui ne sont pas partis
Qui ne sont pas sous la Terre
Qui ne sont pas morts.
Ceux qui sont morts ne sont jamais partis :
Ils sont dans le Sein de la Femme,
Ils sont dans l’Enfant qui vagit
Et dans le Tison qui s’enflamme.
Les Morts ne sont pas sous la Terre :
Ils sont dans le Feu qui s’éteint,
Ils sont dans les Herbes qui pleurent,
Ils sont dans le Rocher qui geint,
Ils sont dans la Forêt, ils sont dans la Demeure,
Les Morts ne sont pas morts.
Ecoute plus souvent
Les Choses que les Etres
La Voix du Feu s’entend,
Entends la Voix de l’Eau.
Ecoute dans le Vent
Le Buisson en sanglots,
C’est le Souffle des Ancêtres.
Il redit chaque jour le Pacte,
Le grand Pacte qui lie,
Qui lie à la Loi notre Sort,
Aux Actes des Souffles plus forts
Le Sort de nos Morts qui ne sont pas morts,
Le lourd Pacte qui nous lie à la Vie.
La lourde Loi qui nous lie aux Actes
Des Souffles qui se meurent
Dans le lit et sur les rives du Fleuve,
Des Souffles qui se meuvent
Dans le Rocher qui geint et dans l’Herbe qui pleure.
Des Souffles qui demeurent
Dans l’Ombre qui s’éclaire et s’épaissit,
Dans l’Arbre qui frémit, dans le Bois qui gémit
Et dans l’Eau qui coule et dans l’Eau qui dort,
Des Souffles plus forts qui ont pris
Le Souffle des Morts qui ne sont pas morts,
Des Morts qui ne sont pas partis,
Des Morts qui ne sont plus sous la Terre.
Ecoute plus souvent
Les Choses que les Etres
La Voix du Feu s’entend,
Entends la Voix de l’Eau.
Ecoute dans le Vent
Le Buisson en sanglots,
C’est le Souffle des Ancêtres

BIRAGO DIOP
“Spirits”
“Listen to Things
More often than Beings,
Hear the voice of fire,
Hear the voice of water.
Listen in the wind,
To the sighs of the bush;
This is the ancestors breathing.
Those who are dead are not ever gone;
They are in the darkness that grows lighter
And in the darkness that grows darker.
The dead are not down in the earth;
They are in the trembling of the trees
In the groaning of the woods,
In the water that runs,
In the water that sleeps,
They are in the hut, they are in the crowd:
The dead are not dead.
Listen to things
More often than beings,
Hear the voice of fire,
Hear the voice of water.
Listen in the wind,
To the bush that is sighing:
This is the breathing of ancestors,
Who have not gone away
Who are not under earth
Who are not really dead.
Those who are dead are not ever gone;
They are in a woman’s breast,
In the wailing of a child,
And the burning of a log,
In the moaning rock,
In the weeping grasses,
In the forest and the home.
The dead are not dead.
Listen more often
To Things than to Beings,
Hear the voice of fire,
Hear the voice of water.
Listen in the wind to
The bush that is sobbing:
This is the ancestors breathing.
Each day they renew ancient bonds,
Ancient bonds that hold fast
Binding our lot to their law,
To the will of the spirits stronger than we
To the spell of our dead who are not really dead,
Whose covenant binds us to life,
Whose authority binds to their will,
The will of the spirits that stir
In the bed of the river, on the banks of the river,
The breathing of spirits
Who moan in the rocks and weep in the grasses.
Spirits inhabit
The darkness that lightens, the darkness that darkens,
The quivering tree, the murmuring wood,
The water that runs and the water that sleeps:
Spirits much stronger than we,
The breathing of the dead who are not really dead,
Of the dead who are not really gone,
Of the dead now no more in the earth.
Listen to Things
More often than Beings,
Hear the voice of fire,
Hear the voice of water.
Listen in the wind,
To the bush that is sobbing:
This is the ancestors, breathing.”
–Birago Diop

Mugabe – An African Hero?

This video proposes that although Mugabe is a dictator he has been uniquely successful at taking down white rule in his country and while it is common to blame his policies for the dire state of the Zimbabwe economy much of this has been caused by UK/US sanctions initiated under Bush.

President Robert Mugabe is the greatest black statesman alive today in Africa. Greatness here must be evaluated on the criteria of whether the person who claims the position of leadership of his or her people against colonialism, apartheid and white rule has been able to guide the nation to greater liberation, dignity and independence.
 
If we judged only on these criteria, not on the whims of popularity gained from affability and praise by Europe and the US, then Mugabe stands head and shoulders above the rest.
 
Therefore, his comments on Nelson Mandela’s legacy need to be taken seriously. Today it can be said with a measure of confidence that Zimbabwe is the only liberated black nation in sub-Saharan Africa. This liberation has been archived through a long and ongoing battle, with lots of mistakes on the way. Mugabe has been able to maintain strategic inflexibility with brilliant tactical manoeuvres.
 
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This description seems pretty outrageous given the UK media’s portrayal of Robert Mugabe as the ‘Black Hitler’ however if the arguments in the article are correct Mugabe deserves the recognition it gives him as Africa’s most successful freedom fighter. At 90, and three years older than Castro, he is undoubtedly the world’s most enduring leader. The article compares Mugabe’s strategy with Mandela’s suggesting that Mandala’s conciliatory strategy left the white coropratocracy in economic control.

Libya and Africa

http://youtu.be/Y6sOrUBYxp8

Reports coming out of Libya, even from the mainstream western media, show that the place is a mess. The result of the NATO intervention has been to set up an ineffectual government that has no democratic mandate and that competes with armed militias. The Channel 4 documentary describes a nation in continued conflict and rife with racist brutality against black Libyans and black migrant workers. It is interesting that although the documentary shows the truth of what is happening the commentary makes many references to the ‘barbarism’ of the Gaddafi regime, asserts that everyone is happy to see Gaddafi gone and repeats the lie that he was using mercenaries against his own people. Perhaps it would not have been possible to make the film without these caveats.

It is very clear that the NATO intervention in Libya was not humanitarian and was based on lies just as the decision to invade Iraq was based on lies. What does this say about David Cameron who with Sarkozy and Obama were central to pursuing the war and pushing for ‘regime change’? What does it say about the ‘loyal opposition’ that did not oppose this?

Dan Glazebrook argues that Gaddafi was a bulwark against US plans to recolonise Africa for the western powers and his elimination means that these plans can go ahead unhindered:

Glazebrook writes:

Libya’s destruction gave AFRICOM a renewed lease on life. The U.S. Africa Command “has now announced an unprecedented fourteen major joint military exercises in African countries for 2012.” Meanwhile, the NATO-created “government” of Libya passed Law 37, which imposes life in prison for “glorifying the former government or its leader,” and Law 38, which immunizes from prosecution all crimes – including lynching and ethic cleansing – committed while “promoting or protecting the revolution.”

With a threat of life imprisonment for “glorifying the former government or its leader,” it is hardly surprising if reporters find few people speaking well of the previous regime.

Glazebrook’s article, reprinted in Black Agenda Report provides a proper commentary to the Channel 4 Documentary:

“Libyan resources are now being jointly plundered by the oil multinationals and a handful of chosen families from amongst the country’s new elites.”
The scale of the ongoing tragedy visited on Libya by NATO and its allies is becoming horribly clearer with each passing day. Estimates of those killed so far vary, but 50,000 seems like a low estimate; indeed the British Ministry of Defense was boasting that the onslaught had killed 35,000 as early as last May. But this number is constantly growing. The destruction of the state’s forces by British, French and American blitzkrieg has left the country in a state of total anarchy – in the worst possible sense of the word. Having had nothing to unite them other than a temporary willingness to act as NATO’s foot soldiers, the former “rebels” are now turning on each other. 147 were killed in in-fighting in Southern Libya in a single week earlier this year, and in recent weeks government buildings – including the Prime Ministerial compound – have come under fire by “rebels” demanding cash payment for their services. $1.4billion has been paid out already – demonstrating once again that it was the forces of NATO colonialism, not Gaddafi, who were reliant on “mercenaries” – but payments were suspended last month due to widespread nepotism. Corruption is becoming endemic – a further $2.5billion in oil revenues that was supposed to have been transferred to the national treasury remains unaccounted for. Libyan resources are now being jointly plundered by the oil multinationals and a handful of chosen families from amongst the country’s new elites; a classic neo-colonial stitch-up. The use of these resources for giant infrastructure projects such as the Great Manmade River, and the massive raising of living standards over the past four decades (Libyan life expectancy rose from 51 to 77 since Gaddafi came to power in 1969) sadly looks to have already become a thing of the past.

The rest of Glazebrook’s article describes how:

in the same month Gaddafi was murdered (October 2011) – the US announced it was sending troops to no less than four more African countries – the Central African Republic, Uganda, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. AFRICOM has now announced an unprecedented fourteen major joint military exercises in African countries for 2012.

That the machinations in the Middle East and Africa are part of a plan to maintain the dominance of the West is so obvious that it takes wilful blindness not to see it. The question is, what can ordinary citizens of the UK do individually or collectively?

Sanyu

The Reaction to the Kony 2012 is phenomenal. Whoever was behind this has overplayed their hand and been caught out and now everyone is all over them. In this video Alex Jones has a really nice conversation with Ugandan American Sanyu. This highly intelligent and articulate young woman is a great example for other young people.

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