In the spirit of Mandela: 2021 International Tribunal on US human rights violations

Sincere greetings of peace! 

The “In the Spirit of Mandela Coalition*” invites your participation and endorsement of a planned October 2021 International Tribunal, which will be charging the US government with human violations against Black, Brown and Indigenous people. 

The Tribunal charges, to come in the form of a criminal indictment based on international law, will cite violations based on: 

  • Racist police killings of Black, Brown and Indigenous people, 
  • Hyper incarcerations of Black, Brown and Indigenous people (including constitutionally affirmed “legal slavery” enshrined in the 13th Amendment), 
  • Political incarceration of Civil Rights and National Liberation era revolutionaries and activists, as well as present day activists, 
  • Environmental racism and its impact on Black, Brown and Indigenous people, 
  • Public Health racism and disparities and their traumatic impact on Black, Brown and Indigenous people, and 
  • Genocide of Black, Brown and Indigenous people because of the historic and systemic charges of all the above. 

The legal aspects of the Tribunal will be led by Attorney Nkechi Taifa along with a skilled team of seasoned attorneys from all the above fields. Thirteen jurists, some with international stature, will preside over three days of testimonies. Testimonies will be elicited from impacted victims, expert witnesses and attorneys with firsthand knowledge of specific incidences raised in the charges and indictment. 

The 2021 International Tribunal builds upon the shoulders and wonderful work of past Tribunals, including the 1990 “Special International Tribunal on the Violation of Human Rights of Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War in United States Prisons and Jails.” Similarly, it is not only an educational political event, but also a people’s judicial proceeding which will establish a strong foundation to launch international solidarity campaigns, civil and legal proceedings in US federal and state courts, and potential congressional legislation. 

Nelson Mandela visits a Johannesburg school to the delight of the students. – Photo: Louise Gubb, Corbis

The international community, including the United Nations, has been historically ineffective and non-responsive to the issues of oppression, racism and exploitation of Black, Brown and Indigenous people in the United States. In the context of the 1951 “We Charge Genocide” documentation and the Organization of Afro-American Unity’s attempts to bring these issues before the world arena and subsequent efforts, the 2021 International Tribunal plans to go beyond basic presentation of the findings and verdict to the UN. Though these results will be presented to the UN at the close of the Tribunal on Oct. 25, the coalition has a unique set of outcomes which provide an opportunity for organizing on a mass level across many social justice arenas. 

“We are our own liberators!” This empowering statement by Jalil Muntaqim, recently released Black Panther Political Prisoner, co-founder of the National Jericho Movement and Tribunal organizer, clarifies in a word what we the people must do. The Spirit of Mandela coalition strongly agrees with this sentiment and plans to build the Tribunal as a powerful and effective organizing tool to mobilize people from all walks of life. 

The charges are expansive yet focused enough to embrace and address much of the oppression experienced by Black, Brown, Indigenous, poor and working-class people throughout history to today. The 2021 International Tribunal not only vets the facts and proclaims a demand for justice; it is also a plan of action! 

The 2021 International Tribunal has a unique set of outcomes and an opportunity to organize on a mass level across many social justice arenas. Upon the completion of the proceedings and announcement of the verdict, we will: 

  • Codify and publish the content and results of the Tribunal to be offered in high schools and university curriculums, 
  • Provide organized, accurate information for reparation initiatives and community and human rights work, 
  • Strengthen the demand to free all Political Prisoners and establish a Truth and Reconciliation Commission mechanism to lead to their freedom, 
  • Provide the foundation for civil action in federal and state courts across the United States, 
  • Present a stronger case, building upon previous and respected human rights initiatives, on the international stage, 
  • Establish a healthy and viable massive national and international network of community organizations, activists, clergy, academics and lawyers concerned with challenging human rights abuses on all levels and enhancing the quality of life for all people, and 
  • Establish the foundation to build a “Peoples’ Senate” representative of all 50 states, Indigenous Tribes and major religions. 

Endorsements are $25. Your endorsement will add to the volume of support and input vital to ensuring the success of these outcomes moving forward, and to the Tribunal itself. It will be transparently used to immediately move forward with the Tribunal outcomes. 

We encourage you to add your name and organization to attend the monthly Tribunal updates and to sign on to one of the Tribunal committees, which meet on the third Saturday of each month from 12 noon to 2 p.m. EST. Submit your name by emailing: spiritofmandela1@gmail.com.  

Please endorse now: http://spiritofmandela.org/endorse/

In solidarity, 

In solidarity, the SoM Tribunal Coordinating Committee:

  • A’isha Mohammad 
  • Jihad Abdulmumit 
  • Matt Meyer 
  • Sekou Odinga 
  • Eileen Weitzman
  • Dequi Kioni-Sadiki 

*Created in 2018, In the Spirit of Mandela Coalition is a growing grouping of organizers, academics, clergy, attorneys and organizations committed to working together against the systemic, historic and ongoing human rights violations and abuses committed by the USA against Black, Brown and Indigenous People. The Coalition recognizes and affirms the rich history of diverse and militant freedom fighters Nelson Mandela, Winnie Mandela, Graca Machel Mandela, Rosa Parks, Fannie Lou Hamer, Ella Baker, and many more. It is in their Spirit and affirming their legacy that we work.