Topic

anti-racism

10 petitions

Update posted 2 months ago

Petition to Prof. Yaw A. Twumasi, Members of the University of Ghana Council, Prof. Ebenezer Oduro Owusu

Gandhi's Statue at the University Of Ghana Must Come Down

The Members of the University of Ghana Council Attn: Chairman of Council Prof. Yaw A. Twumasi                                                                                                 12 September 2016 Dear Honourable members of the University of Ghana Council: Re.: Petition for the removal of the Statue of Gandhi We the undersigned bring this petition for the removal of the statue of Gandhi to the esteemed Council of the University of Ghana Council for your consideration. Background: On 14 June 2016 a statue of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi[1] was erected at the Recreational Quadrangle. This is the only statue of an historical personality on the University of Ghana's Legon campus. Soon after it came to the notice of members of the University community and the general public, calls for its removal began within the University community and beyond.[2]  We, the undersigned associate ourselves with that call for the reasons outlined below. Rationale for Removal: 1. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi’s racist identity: Below we provide just a few citations from his own writings to illustrate this. Before Dec. 19, 1894 “A general belief seems to prevail in the Colony that the Indians are little better, if at all, than savages or the Natives of Africa. Even the children are taught to believe in that manner, with the result that the Indian is being dragged down to the position of a raw Kaffir.” ~ Vol. I, p. 193 Before May 5, 1895 “In the face, too, of financial operations, the success of which many of their detractors would envy, one fails to understand the agitation which would place the operators in the same category as the half-heathen Native and confine him to Locations, and subject him to the harsher laws by which the Transvaal Kaffir is governed.” ~ Vol. I, pp. 224-225 Before May 5, 1895 “So far as the feeling has been expressed, it is to degrade the Indian to the position of the Kaffir.” ~ Vol. I, p. 229 Sept. 26, 1896 “Ours is one continual struggle against a degradation sought to be inflicted upon us by the Europeans, who desire to degrade us to the level of the raw Kaffir whose occupation is hunting, and whose sole ambition is to collect a certain number of cattle to buy a wife with and, then, pass his life in indolence and nakedness.” ~ Vol. I, pp. 409-410 Before May 27, 1899 “Your Petitioner has seen the Location intended to be used by the Indians. It would place them, who are undoubtedly infinitely superior to the Kaffirs, in close proximity to the latter.” ~ Vol. II, p. 270 June 1, 1906 “The Boer Government insulted the Indians by classing them with the Kaffirs.” ~ Vol. V, p. 59 Source:  Gandhi and South African Blacks ( http://www.gandhiserve.org/e/cwmg/cwmg.htm ) *(NOTE-The term kaffir is considered a racial slur used in reference to indigenous Black South Africans.)  Gandhi also campaigned against the efforts of the Dalits, The Black “Untouchables” of India, and for the maintenance of the caste system right up to his death. 2. There are currently no statues of our own heroes and heroines on our campus: We are of the view that if there should be statues on our campus, then, first and foremost, they should be of African heroes and heroines, who can serve as examples of who we are and what we have achieved as a people. In a context where our youth know so little about our own history, such statues can serve as an opportunity for such learning to occur. Why should we uplift other people's 'heroes' at an African university when we haven’t lifted up our own? We consider this to be a slap in the face that undermines our struggles for autonomy, recognition and respect. Indeed, what would have been more fitting than to erect a statue of the former member of the University Council, Mr. Sam Aboah, who financed the construction of the quadrangle, and also financed the planting of the teak trees on the top of the Legon Hill near the Registry. 3. Removal of racist symbols from “world-class” universities: The University of Ghana seeks to be a world class university. At world class universities, even former bastions of slavery, apartheid and white supremacy, statues and other symbols associated with controversial persons have been pulled down or removed. Below are just a few examples: - August 2016: Yale University is in the process of removing stained glass windows that depict enslaved Africans. It is also reconsidering keeping the name of Calhoun College, named for John C Calhoun, a 19th-century vice-president, South Carolina senator and Yale alumnus who established himself as a vocal advocate for slavery. In April 2015 President of Yale, Peter Salovey said the name would remain. He has since appointed a new committee to develop guidelines for proposals to remove historical names from university buildings -- including Calhoun's. - May 2016: Yale announced it would name a residential college, set to open in 2017, for Anna Pauline “Pauli” Murray, a black Yale Law School alumna and civil rights activist. - March 2016: A committee tasked with re-considering Harvard Law School’s seal in light of its ties to slavery recommended that the Harvard Corporation revoke the emblem’s status as the school’s official symbol. The seal bears the crest of the former slave-owning Royall family, whose donation helped establish Harvard’s first law professorship in the late 18th century.  - November 2015: Georgetown University renamed two buildings on campus, Mulledy and McSherry Hall, that honour former presidents who organized the sale of slaves to a Louisiana plantation to help pay off the school's debt. (The school has not yet chosen permanent names, but for now Mulledy Hall will be called Freedom Hall, and McSherry Hall will be named Remembrance Hall, according to the Washington Post). - October 2015: Rhodes University established a renaming team to remove the name of Cecil Rhodes, former prime minister of the Cape colony, and one of the founders of apartheid.[3] - March to April 2015: First the senate and then the Council of the University of Cape Town voted to remove the statue of Cecil Rhodes. 4. Protests against statues of Gandhi throughout the world: There have been protests against Gandhi's statues in Irving, Texas in 2014. According to Gandhism.org, "past protests occurred at Gandhi statues in California in 2013 in the cities of Fresno and Cerritos, in San Francisco in 2011 and 2010, in Flint, Michigan in 2010," in London in 2008 and in 2003 and 2015 in Johannesburg, South Africa, where Gandhi lived for 21 years and where he is known for his role in the establishment of the infamous caste-like apartheid system. 5. There was no consultation about the placing of the statue: The University of Ghana has a tradition for the naming of buildings—a committee works on this and seeks the views of members of the University community and important stakeholders as the case may be.  While we speak here about a statue and not the naming of a building, we are of the view that similar principles of transparency and consultation should apply.  In the case of the Gandhi statue it would appear from responses the immediate past Vice-Chancellor gave to emails on the University email list, that he took the decision alone.  He explained that the statue was a gift from the embassy of the Republic of India. To questions about what we received or were promised in return no answer was forthcoming.[4]   We urge Council and the management of the University of Ghana, that in the future when buildings are named or statues erected, that colleagues from requisite Departments be consulted so it does not appear as if our academics do not have pertinent information. We can do the honourable thing by pulling down the statue. It is better to stand up for our dignity than to kowtow to the wishes of a burgeoning Eurasian super-power. Some harm has already been done by erecting the statue. We have failed the generation that look up to us, namely our students.  How will the historian teach and explain that Gandhi was uncharitable in his attitude towards the Black race and see that we're glorifying him by erecting a statue on our campus? The same goes for the human rights lecturer, the International Law lecturer, the Political Science lecturer teaching on apartheid in South Africa, etc. However, to allow the statue to remain on our campus will do even more harm and make us appear to hold double-standards. We should not bury our head in the sand and expect that the storm will die down. We thank you for your attention! For questions or comments contact: Prof. Akosua Adomako Ampofo (UG - IAS) Prof. Akosua Adoma Perbi (UG - History) Dr. Kwadwo Appiagyei-Atua (UG - Law) Dr. Ọbádélé Kambon (UG - IAS) Mr. Mantse Aryeequaye (Accra Dot Alt) #GandhiMustComeDown Movement     Contact Emails: obadele.kambon@gmail.comnaanugbor@yahoo.com               ___________________________________________________[1] Commonly known by his supporters as Mahatma ‘great soul’. We will avoid using the title Mahatma in this write-up and rather use Gandhi’s birth name.[2] http://www.legonconnect.com/gandhi-in-legon-p-leeeeeeeeeeease/ http://ugfile.com/the-deception-of-mahatmas-iconography-why-ghandimustfall-in-legon/ http://pulse.com.gh/features/mahatma-gandhi-will-gandhi-fall-in-accra-id5233915.html https://rawgist.com/ug-pull-ghandis-statue-racist/ http://pyrexgh.com/reasons-gandhi-statue-must-taken-legon-campus/ https://www.instagram.com/p/BHLIoR9B2m3/ http://radiounivers1057.com/2016/07/11/university-of-ghana-students-react-to-mahatma-ghandi-statue-on-campus/[3] http://www.iol.co.za/capetimes/rhodes-university-seeks-renaming-team-1927232[4] It has been reported on the Government of Ghana’s website that there is a financial angle to this on a governmental level: http://www.ghana.gov.gh/index.php/news/2848-ghana-and-india-sign-three-agreements

Gborbilor Aberqu
2,277 supporters
Update posted 2 months ago

Petition to Aisha Pridgen, Courtney Bain

UNC Honor Court - Drop the Charges Against Antiracist Activist Maya Little

Maya Little faces potential expulsion for an act of civil disobedience against a Confederate statue. We support the statement below, and we petition the UNC Honor Court to drop the charges against her. Maya’s statement: On June 4, the UNC Office of Student Conduct officially charged me with violating the honor code by “stealing, destroying, or misusing property.” My Honor Court hearing may very well coincide with the criminal trial I already face for spilling red ink and my blood on Silent Sam. The Honor Court will determine whether my protest against Confederate monuments is conduct unbecoming of a UNC affiliate. I can find no record of the Honor Court charging students for painting Silent Sam Carolina blue in 1982. But Daily Tar Heel records confirm that neither campus nor Chapel Hill police made any effort to arrest those students. Similarly, the paper reported that NC State students who painted Sam in 1974 were released by campus police without charges. At UNC, dousing the monument in paint in the name of basketball is deemed a pastime while doing the same to contextualize and fight racism is a crime. Revealing the racist violence upon which Sam was built -- exposing a truth the university would like to keep covered -- could result in my expulsion. UNC uses its disciplinary boards to punish political activism and its police to suppress free speech. Chancellor Folt and the Associate Vice Chancellor for Campus Safety and Risk Management, Derek Kemp, appointed an undercover police officer to infiltrate our movement and lie to and gather information on students fighting against racism. Why was it necessary to use tactics designed to entrap and engender mistrust among us? Perhaps because they are longstanding tactics of UNC administrators targeting anti-racist activists. Kemp and Folt carry on a practice that can be traced to campus police collusion with the FBI to spy on Black Student Movement (BSM) members in the 1970s. It is likely that black students protesting the 1971 murder of James Cates by a white motorcycle gang in the Pit were also targets of this surveillance.  This spring, Silent Sam protesters created a series of historical markers to educate the public about Cates’s murder and the untold history of white supremacy at UNC. When UNC police ripped apart these markers on April 30, 2018, they destroyed the only memorials to Cates that existed on our campus. The Honor Court, Board of Trustees, and Faculty Council have stood by idly as members of campus police, Derek Kemp, and Chancellor Folt continue to violate our First Amendment rights. How long will students be punished for demanding that black lives matter at UNC? In 2015, another activist wrote “Who Is Sandra Bland?” on Silent Sam. It was a fitting addition to a statue christened by boasts about horsewhipping a black woman who had sought safety on university grounds. Not only did UNC fail to protect her, it bestowed an honorary degree upon her attacker, Julian Carr. To this day, he holds that honorific. He is memorialized  in the names of a building I have taught in and the town that I live in.  Those who speak up are silenced and targeted, but violence against people of color and women goes unpunished. That violence is then celebrated in the protection of monuments such as Silent Sam, Aycock Hall, and plaques to families including the Kenans, who built their wealth on enslaved black labor. These are the crimes I hoped to expose when I poured my own blood on Silent Sam. Now I ask, how will UNC’s Honor Court act? Will they preserve what Dr. King called “a negative peace, which is the absence of tension,” or will they stand for the rights of their peers fighting for racial equality? It is time to truly uphold lux libertas, light and freedom, at UNC. Chancellor Folt, the Board of Governors, and Margaret Spellings have already shown their opposition to both. The student representatives of the Honor Court have chosen to investigate me, but they can still take this opportunity to act for free speech -- and against white supremacy.   The students of the Silent Sam Sit-In ask that the UNC Honor Court drop all charges against me for my protest of Silent Sam on April 30.   We ask that the proper disciplinary boards formally consider charges against university officials responsible for the continued surveillance and suppression of activists involved with protests against racist monuments.   We ask supporters to contact the Director of the Office of Student Conduct, Aisha Pridgen, at apridgen@email.unc.edu and Graduate and Professional School Student Attorney General, Courtney Bain, at cbain@live.unc.edu to ask the Court to drop the charges against me. We ask our supporters to demand an investigation by the Faculty Council of UNC Police, Derek Kemp, and Carol Folt for the undercover infiltration of our protest and the destruction of our signs. These actions constitute harassment, retribution, and silencing. We ask our supporters to sign and circulate this petition demanding the Honor Court drop charges against me for my April 30th action. As always, we ask our alumni supporters to withhold donations to the university until it removes Silent Sam and white supremacy from our campus. I hope to see you all on August 20 at my criminal trial on a misdemeanor charge for which I could possibly spend 60 days in jail. In the face of these betrayals by officials tasked to protect us, we support each other. When one acts, we act together.   Maya Little, on behalf of the Silent Sam Sit In, UNC Student and Graduate Worker 6/14/2018

Lindsay Ayling
6,752 supporters
Update posted 5 months ago

Petition to Horst-Dieter Husemann, Marlies Tepe, Jürgen Krogmann, Jürgen Westphal, Jews for Palestinian Right of Return, Christopher Glanz

We Stand With Palestinian Rights Activist Christoph Glanz Against Zionist Witch-Hunt

When signing, please: Write a personal message about why you support Christoph in the box at right Share on social media with the hashtag #StandWithChristoph Promote on Change.org Like on Facebook Update: Zionists are demanding that Christoph Glanz be fired from his teaching job. See also: From Israeli citizens, in Solidarity with Christoph Glanz, Against the Attempt to Silence BDS and Palestine Solidarity in Germany! ===== We Stand With Palestinian Rights Activist Christoph Glanz Against Zionist Witch-HuntJews for Palestinian Right of Return, October 13, 2016 On October 10, 2016, the Jerusalem Post published an article by anti-Palestinian propagandist Benjamin Weinthal under the screaming headline, “‘Antisemitic’ German teacher posed as a Jew to push anti-Israel agenda.” The designated target is Christoph Glanz, German activist, teacher, lifelong anti-fascist, and self-described former liberal Zionist. His supposed crime is having been listed as both a Jewish and non-Jewish endorser of Jews for Palestinian Right of Return (JPRR) in 2013. This is at least the seventh time in 2016 that Weinthal has falsely accused Glanz of anti-Semitism, and reflects a pattern of such smears by Weinthal against numerous other Palestinian rights advocates. In this case, as a simple inquiry would have revealed, Glanz’ double identification on JPRR’s statement was an inadvertent error on our part (now corrected), listing him among more than 700 other endorsers. In any case, just what is anti-Semitic about JPRR’s observation that, “[f]or more than a century, Zionists have sought to construct a ‘Jewish state’ through forced removal of the indigenous Palestinian people”? Or that “the Zionist regime officially denies the Nakba, the ethical equivalent of Holocaust denial”? Or that Palestinian refugees have the inalienable right to return? Readers are invited to read our full statement and decide for themselves. Anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitic; it’s anti-racist, anti-apartheid, and anti-colonialist. And Weinthal’s bogus accusations reflect an increasingly desperate witch-hunt to stifle the surging worldwide support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement — many of whose supporters are Jewish. Christoph Glanz will not be silenced by such attacks, and neither will we.

Jews for Palestinian Right of Return
1,509 supporters
This petition won 5 months ago

Petition to Orange County CA District Attorney

Drop the Charges Against the Anaheim 3

On February 27, 2016 activists and community members decided that the Ku Klux Klan should not be allowed to spew their racist ideology in our neighborhoods. Dozens converged at Pearson Park, Anaheim and confronted the group to make it clear they were not welcome. The KKK responded by stabbing several anti-racist protestors with knives and other home-made weapons. The Anaheim police arrived hours after the rally was scheduled to start and decided that the victims of the stabbings should be handcuffed while raising the caution tape for one of the KKK perpetrators to go free. When three brave anti-racist fighters (Mark Liddell, Hugo Contreras and Nicole Schop) attempted to detain this violent criminal, they were arrested and held in jail for more than two days. Then, the “justice” system followed suit with the police and showed their allegiance to the Klan. The DA filed misdemeanor battery and resisting arrest charges against these three heroes while no charges were filed against any member of the KKK. With an openly racist president, the Klan, and groups like them have been emboldened. Time and time again we have seen the police and the courts protect them. In the face of this, these courageous fighters deserve to be celebrated, not prosecuted! The undersigned demand that the Orange County District Attorney take a stand against racism by dropping all charges against the Anaheim 3. The trial of the Anaheim 3 is set to begin in May 2017. Endorsed by the Peace and Social Justice Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Santa Monica.

Sarah Harper
281 supporters