“you, the queen, should be ashamed!”

neither of these articles tells whether or not other attendees supported mr. agbetu by leaving the sham of a service in protest. i’m sure there are many out there who would disagree with him disrupting this ‘service’ to indict to these direct beneficiaries whose progenitors did all but sail the boats themselves. those people won’t find a comrade here. when it comes to the topic of the slave trade, i believe that folks on both sides have healing work to engage in, but as far as a collective dialogue and movement toward healing goes, a sanitized celebration of the law that made it illegal to continue the salve trade – in a church – is not even close to the extent of the healing work that needs to happen. the fact that these people have neither the personal or political courage and integrity to accept culpability on behalf of their offices and countries gives me little hope for what they plan to accomplish with these ceremonies anyway. i’m gonna stop and just post two articles from the guardian that explain the events that catalyzed my rambling…

Protester disrupts slavery commemoration

Press Association
Tuesday March 27, 2007
Guardian Unlimited

A protester interrupted the service being held to mark the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the Slave Trade Act today.Toyin Agbetu brought proceedings at Westminster Abbey to a halt when he ran in front of the altar and shouted: “You should be ashamed.”

“We should not be here – this is an insult to us,” he said. “I want all the Christians who are Africans to walk out.” The Queen and Tony Blair were among those attending the commemoration. (full – source)

“You, the Queen, should be ashamed!”

The slavery bicentenary service was about 45 minutes old and running as smoothly and sombrely as any usual major national commemoration at Westminster Abbey: the singing of hymns, readings from the Bible and an air of inviolable solemnity.

All this was shattered when, from behind my seat in Poets’ Corner, a man strode rapidly into the space in front of the altar and began screaming at the top of his voice. The Queen, Prince Philip, Tony and Cherie Blair, John and Pauline Prescott, Gordon and Sarah Brown and the Archbishop of Canterbury watched in stunned disbelief. The bright-shirted black demonstrator, Toyin Agbetu of the African rights organisation Ligali, was only a dozen feet from all of them, with apparently no security guards to block him.

The Archbishop had just delivered his main address and the service had moved on to “confession and absolution”. But the reading was stopped in its tracks by Mr Agbetu’s outburst: “You should be ashamed. We should not be here. This is an insult to us. I want all the Christians who are Africans to walk out of here with me!” (full – source)

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~ by Anayah on April 3, 2007.

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