To celebrate the former President and the Dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos doesn’t make sense to me. The Filipino Nation, the Philippines has such great heroes that deserves dedication and get their credit. They are all deceased and gone, but their memory can live on. The most recent dictator doesn’t need a day or be celebrated in glory.
It makes sense that the dynasty, the family and the remaining family members wants to clear its name. However, the name will be remembered for the looting, the martial law and the oppression. Which let the republic revolt and had their EDSA, the People Power Revolution of the Philippines, which removed Marcos from power in 1986, who had been in power since 1965.
The man kept the republic under a control with an iron fist. With 1st and 2nd Term, the second martial law period from September 1972 to January 1981 and the final “Fourth Republic” from January 1981 to February 1986.
Therefore, I have hard time to see people celebrate a thief, a kingpin and a grand dictator. People shouldn’t forget the man and his whims. They should never forgot who he controlled and misused the government to his benefit. No, that should be remembered. So, that it doesn’t happen again and get repeated by someone else. That is how you can remember Marcos.
Instead of celebrate Marcos, the state could instead give days to the like Andrés Bonifacio, Emilio Aguinaldo and Jose Rizal. They could even celebrate a man who got assassinated by Marcos. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. a man who stood up against the Marcos regime and lost his life doing so. He deserves praise and being important in the revolt against Marcos.
This is why Marcos shouldn’t be celebrated. There are so many victims, families hurt and people who lived under the tyranny. This man doesn’t deserve the honour of a day in his name. A public holiday. He deserves to be part of history as a warning to what power can do to you and how it can corrupt you. However, not be a celebration of his persona and his life.
That is make glitz and glamour for a man who misused his office and took the Republic for granted. Used the seal and the good faith of the Filipino to his advantage. A man who used the military forces to keep a hold on the public and not allow them their freedoms.
Marcos doesn’t deserve this. If so, then why celebrate the EDSA every year? Why remember the People Power Revolution? When you remember the man who caused the need to revolt?
EDSA is celebrated every 25th February 2020 and rightfully so. A reminder of the power of the people, but also the popular demonstrations against Marcos.
Even if this is supposed to only be celebrated in the province of Ilocos Norte and Laoag City. It is still a reminder of what Marcos did for the whole Republic. It is a travesty to celebrate this every 11th September somewhere. While also celebrating the revolution who toppled him.
Marcos Day shouldn’t be a thing. Rather celebrate countless others who sacrificed themselves for the Republic. The ones who lost their lives for a democratic Filipino Nation. Not celebrate the men who took away. Peace.
“That statue is now under water, which is a piece of historical irony because undoubtedly people would’ve been thrown off the sides of the ships during that journey and there would be many African bodies on the bottom of the water” – Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees
There are certain aspects that remains, the legacy of the British Empire and the role United Kingdom played in the world. It is not the “free world” was that free, neither has the way the United Kingdom gotten wealth been the most humanitarian nor righteous. The United Kingdom wealth came from thieving, looting, destroying and conquering huge parts of planet earth.
That several of person used their station, their lives and their missions in destroying humanity for profit isn’t surprising. One of these fellows was Edward Colston. His legacy, which a vital part of the history of United Kingdom is filled with death, destruction and the despair. The damage and the hurt caused by men of Colston’s stature is hard for us to imagine. As he build his wealth and reputation around selling slaves, African slaves to Europe and the other colonies. The blood of Africans enriched this man.
The ones who wants to cherish this legacy because of his giving ways. That was tokens of silver coming from a man who sent thousands of innocent lives into the sea. A man who profited and worked with selling people like cattle. That is what he did and how he did it. Therefore, the ones brining it down. Only did a merciful thing and let drown like the man did several of unknown men, woman and children across the sea. Yes, vandalism isn’t a good thing, but neither is trading people like cattle. I prefer challenging the acts of betrayal of humanity over the destruction of monument of atrocities.
With that in mind. Here is some short clips of information on the man, that the Bristol City Council had made a statute and a plaque to commemorate, celebrate and have in the midst of the town. A man of such significance, that he was overlooking the town. Just read it and see for yourself.
Short history on Colston:
“Colston’s business empire at its height included more than 40 ships which in total are thought to have transported around 80,000 slaves. Around 20,000 slaves likely died during the Atlantic crossing on Colston’s ships. Colston eventually became deputy governor of the Royal African Company, an institution backed by Charles II that was granted a monopoly of the British slave trade. It was through this company that Bristol gained much wealth with Colston’s dealings contributing to Bristol becoming the hub of Britain’s slave trade. Later, Colston would come to directly deal with the royal family and sold stock in the Royal African Company to king William III. By the 1690s Colston ended his involvement in the slave trade and instead became a money lender, granting loans to the government on several occasions” (Epigram – ‘Histories of Bristol: Edward Colston’ 26.06.2018).
Maximizing space in the slave ships:
“To maximise profit, his ships divided their hulls into cramped holds, so they could transport as many slaves as possible. They were stripped and chained in leg irons – the women and children were caged separately and were frequently victims of sexual abuse. Unhygienic conditions, dehydration, dysentery, smallpox and scurvy meant mortality rates for the eight-week crossing were as high as 20 per cent. Slaves who died or refused to eat were thrown overboard” (Mike Gardner – ‘Edward Colston: The father of Bristol’s slave shame’17.06.2014).
So with that in mind and that perspective. It is easily to see that this man isn’t noble at all. His the soldier of fortune, his the merchant of death and so fourth. A slave trader and a man who had no scruples to ensure profits. This is the sort of man the United Kingdom trusted and appointed as part of the Royal African Company. Therefore, even as despicable as his actions was. They are connected with the whole United Kingdom. He served own interests by all accounts, but also directly as a public servant in the state owned enterprise.
That is why the Colston affair is a United Kingdom affair. It is darkness, the grim realities of the British Empire and how it brought wealth to the English people. This bloody enterprise earned him fortunes, glory and prestige. That is why the Bristol City Council at some point put up the statute, named a hall and schools after him. Because, in their eyes he was a noble man. Nevertheless, that doesn’t make it true, even if he used some of the spoils on some good causes. The business making it possible was devastating.
Edward Colston was a merchant of death. That is the only way I can see it, maybe not with guns, but with the way he traded humans. This is the legacy he leaves behind. The charity that someone points out is pointless, as the blood-money used for good doesn’t equate the bad. The ones pointing at that does that to shift the narrative. Instead of looking at the core of his business model. A place where there are no redeeming factors. Only blood, sweet and tears.
Colston fate deserved this. The relic of a despicable enterprise should be destroyed. If not like Keir Stramer said that it could be put into a museum. As a poof and symbol of the slavery, which is a part of the history of United Kingdom. Therefore, it is not shielding it or forgetting it. However, not at the same time glorifying it and having it as a part of city life. It deserves to be put in a historical context at a museum. Because, the public should look up to heroes and not merchants death. Peace.
Youth, Ladies and Gentlemen
Today we commemorate the 26th Anniversary of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda (KWIBUKA26), under the theme: “Remember-Unite-Renew”.
This is the twelfth year since the African Union started the annual commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. However, this year our commemoration activities have been limited due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Although we will not be formally gathering at the African Union Commission for this event as usual, I encourage you to commemorate this day from wherever you are.
This annual commemoration affords us an opportunity to reflect, and continue the fight against genocide, its ideology, denial and impunity with a view to ensure that never again shall Africa experience such a heinous crime against humanity.
In this regard, I would like to pay tribute to the leadership and the people of Rwanda for consistently working towards “Never Again” and for emerging through resilience and unity from the terrible past and putting Rwanda on a development path that continues to inspire many countries on our continent and beyond.
Between April and July 1994, the world stood still in awe as more than a million people were killed in a space of one hundred days in Rwanda. As we remember the fallen mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters in Rwanda, we should not be oblivious of the fact that genocide is always well planned, deliberately executed with impunity, yet genocide is also always followed by denial.
We should, therefore, redouble our efforts in fighting genocide ideology, its denial as well as impunity. If genocide ideology persists, its denial will continue unabated and impunity will reign. This task should not be the responsibility of the leadership and people of Rwanda alone. It is the collective responsibility of the African Union, Regional Economic Communities/regional mechanisms and all Member States, CSOs, the youth organisations, the women’s movement, Media and Academia. We should collectively combat genocide ideology, impunity and denial working hand-in-glove with the international community and all other stakeholders.
Fighting impunity should equally be at the heart of our collective efforts as AU member states as well as the international community by arresting, prosecuting or extraditing indicted fugitives. Last year at its 836th meeting held on 3rd April, the AU Peace and Security Council called upon countries to arrest, prosecute or extradite fugitives accused of genocide. It is imperative that countries move towards implementation of this decision.
This commemoration should remind us of a past never to be repeated. It should challenge us to deal with the present and the future in our efforts towards achieving peace, reconciliation, accountability, justice, social harmony, constructive management of diversity and the respect for and protection of human and peoples’ rights on the African Continent.
Our Commemoration of KWIBUKA26 this year assumes a special significance given the AU Theme for this year (2020) “Silencing the Guns: Creating Conducive Conditions for Africa’s Development”. I wish to seize this opportunity to call on all Africans to renew our commitment to promote peaceful and inclusive societies that will silence the guns for the attainment of socio-economic development and structural transformation and provide a firm foundation for building the Africa We Want and the Africa we Deserve.
Let us “Remember-Unite-Renew”.
I thank you.