British, Dutch banks, slave trade profiteers

This December 2014 video says about itself:

The Atlantic slave trade: What too few textbooks told you – Anthony Hazard

Slavery has occurred in many forms throughout the world, but the Atlantic slave trade — which forcibly brought more than 10 million Africans to the Americas — stands out for both its global scale and its lasting legacy. Anthony Hazard discusses the historical, economic and personal impact of this massive historical injustice.

Lesson by Anthony Hazard, animation by NEIGHBOR.

Translated from Maaike Schoon in Dutch Vrij Nederland magazine, 10 July 2020:

How Dutch bankers financed slavery

The UK financial sector is under attack for its involvement in slavery. Research by Vrij Nederland shows that predecessors of Dutch banks, and even former members of the management of De Nederlandsche Bank [central bank], were also involved in the slavery economy.

A series of films on the bank’s origins can be found on the international ING Group website. It begins in 1762, reports a cheerful female voice, with the founding of Baring Brothers, a British trading house owned by English bankers Frances and John Baring. The trading house grew into one of the largest investment banks in the world.

The international reputation of the bank does not die until the 1990s when the fraudulent merchant Nick Leeson gives the bank an unbelievably large loss of millions. Thanks to that loss of millions, ING is able to buy the chicest bank in the United Kingdom for the symbolic amount of £ 1, thus opening itself up to London City. And, as the video shows, also to the glorious past of the third oldest investment bank in the world. Even Napoleon was a customer, the woman says cheerfully.

This 2018 ING bank video says about itself:

Barings bank’s first big client was Napoleon. What did this British bank do for the French statesman in 1803 and how is ING related to what was once the UK’s most powerful investment bank?

The Vrij Nederland article continues:

What the video does not tell: Baring Brothers made big profits in the early years, thanks to large-scale investments in slavery. When slavery was abolished, Sir Alexander Baring, the founder’s son, had enslaved more than 2,000 humans as property in British Guiana (modern-day Guyana), and more than 1,000 on the island of Saint Kitts, totalling 3,400 people.

With the abolition of slavery, owners were compensated for the loss of their “possessions”. Sir Baring received compensation that would come to 1.2 million euros today.

Since June this year, a heated debate has raged in Britain about the slavery past of national business. Insurance corporation Lloyds Bank and brewer Greene King published press releases and apologies for the fact that the founders had enslaved people and had benefited financially. The numbers are a shadow of that of Barings: 162 and 231 persons respectively.

Directly related to slavery

ING is not the only Dutch bank that can be directly associated with slavery, or its financial derivatives, such as investments in plantations, through a legal predecessor. In the seventeenth but certainly also eighteenth and partly nineteenth centuries, the fine fleur of the Amsterdam financial world became involved in investing in ship insurance and plantation loans in Suriname and Guyana. It was mainly wealthy families who engaged in trade in the West Indies in search of returns.

According to research by historians Pepijn Brandon and Ulbe Bosma associated with Harvard, the trade in slave-produced goods accounted for forty per cent of economic growth in Holland in the second half of the eighteenth century. This growth again sparked a wave of speculation in plantation loans. Ultimately, this led to a major financial crisis in 1773, after which the investments declined again. But the trade did not stop.

Plantation loans are loans granted to plantation owners, both Dutch and foreign owners. The loans themselves were subsequently resold in pieces as bonds, says Brandon, who researched the subject. “You can compare the funds from then with private equity parties now; lenders provided capital to plantation owners, but then resold that debt to smaller traders. ”

In this way, the involvement in slavery was interwoven throughout the entire financial system: trading houses that did not immediately issue plantation loans often had to deal with it. Hedging was also not unusual for the eighteenth and nineteenth-century traders: hedging a financial risk should the slavery economy collapse. Thanks to the publication of these innovative financial products, Amsterdam – and to a lesser extent London – remained the financial nerve centres of Europe.


London City is currently in the spotlight because of that past. After all, legal predecessors of HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays, as revealed in June after a University College London database was published, also had ties to the slavery economy. It lists the individuals and firms that received compensation in 1836, as well as those who made a claim in vain.

The database provides insight into which political parties, country houses, museums and other institutions benefited from slavery. As an important financial centre, London was a prominent player in the slave trade: the database lists numerous bankers, trading houses and politicians who took advantage of the enslaved persons trade.

And after the death of George Floyd and subsequent Black Lives Matters protests, this new June information hit the ground.

Even the Bank of England, founded in 1694, was forced to apologize. No fewer than 27 former bosses of the Bank were found to have invested in slavery or to have been compensated for its abolition. “As an institution, although the Bank of England itself was not directly involved in slavery, it is aware of and apologizes for some unforgivable ties to former governors and directors,” said the regulator’s official press release. Eleven portraits of former presidents associated with slavery have since been removed from their buildings by the Bank of England.

Ties to the slavery past

The Bank of England’s apologies are relevant to the Netherlands. Research by Vrij Nederland shows that De Nederlandsche Bank – founded in 1814 – also has ties to the history of slavery.

One of the sources for this is a thesis by historian J.P. van der Voort from 1973, in which all plantation loans are recorded between 1720 and 1795. It is the most direct proof of financial involvement of investors in slave plantations in the Netherlands, in addition to the archives of the Emancipation Act of 1863 (which abolished slavery).

Van der Voort’s list states that the family company of the second president of De Nederlandsche Bank (he was that from 1816 to 1827), Jan Hodshon, provided plantation loans – he would eventually work for the company Hodshon & Co. As late as 1789, the trading house Hodshon & Co issued a loan to a plantation in St. Eustatius.

The family firm of Paul Hogguer, the first president of De Nederlandsche Bank (the daily management has consisted of the president plus five directors since its foundation), is also on this list. Although it is not immediately possible to determine whether he actually traded in these loans: his archive has largely disappeared. He briefly served as President: from 1814 to 1817.

Hogguer is from an important noble Swiss family, who owned several plantations, Pippin Brandon and Sven Beckert, another Harvard historian, recently wrote in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung. For example, his grandmother and father had the La Liberté plantation in Suriname, according to data from the Amsterdam City Archives.

Hogguer was no longer very active as a banker after 1790, suspects Professor of Economic and Social History Joost Jonker, who obtained his doctorate on the subject. “After the financial crisis in 1773, the market for plantation loans collapsed. Hogguer had already largely withdrawn from the markets at the end of the eighteenth century.”

Compensation schemes

Furthermore, data from the National Archives shows that during the official abolition of slavery in 1863, three directors of DNB were involved in the compensation scheme of the Dutch government for the freeing of slaves in Suriname. Owners received 300 guilders for each enslaved person – in 2020 this means around 7,000 euros, or parts thereof, if owners had shares in the plantations.

DNB director Ferdinand Rendorp represented the interests of shareholders in such a fund and, according to archivist and historian Okke ten Hove, also held shares himself. Secretary Herman Molkenboer is mentioned because his wife was compensated for shares in a plantation. Women only became legally competent in 1956, so the money fell to him.

At the time of the Emancipation in 1863, Jacobus Insinger owned several plantations and shares in plantations. For example, researcher Dienke Hondius previously reported that Insinger personally owned 214 people on the Surinamese Barbados plantation. During Emancipation, Insinger was a director at De Nederlandsche Bank.

In response to this, De Nederlandsche Bank states that it will approach an independent party to conduct historical research into the Bank’s initial period and into then presidents and board members.

Widow Borski

The woman who – according to the president of De Nederlandsche Bank Klaas Knot – is responsible for the existence of the Bank, widow Borski, also appears to have been involved in trade in the slave economy.

The Borski Fund, a fund for female investors, was established in October 2019. Named after perhaps the richest woman of the nineteenth century, and one of the few female investors of the time. Knot is a speaker at the presentation of the fund in Museum van Loon. They are “still grateful” to the widow, says the President of the Bank, because without the widow Borski it would have been questionable whether De Nederlandsche Bank could have existed at all.

De Nederlandsche Bank was founded in 1814 by King Willem I, on the advice of the aforementioned Paul Hogguer.

But that did not happen by itself: the existence of the Bank hung on a thread in 1814. Of the five thousand shares issued, only three thousand were sold; Amsterdam’s high finance had little confidence in the bank’s future. But one trading house dared to: Borski and sons, headed by the widow Borski. Thanks to a convenient deal with Willem I, she bought the remaining two thousand shares, thereby providing DNB with much-needed starting capital.

Thanks in part to her, the Bank got off the ground, says Frank Elderson in a broadcast of the VPRO series De IJzeren Eeuw. A replica of the portrait of the widow is still hanging in the DNB meeting room. Knot, in his speech: “(…) We still exist. Thanks to the shares that the widow Borski – probably largely in gold and silver coins – settled with King Willem I.”

This July 2016 VPRO TV video is about the widow Borski.

Purely out of self-interest

An extensive inventory from 1818 between the British and Dutch State, from the National Archives in London, shows that widow Borski had been investing in Demerary (present-day Guyana) since 1802: plantation loans with a current value of more than eight million euros.

It is remarkable that she still had it in 1818, says professor Jonker, because the trade in plantation loans had already largely dried up. “That the widow still has a mortgage of one hundred thousand guilders on plantations in Demerary at that time in history. She was of course very wealthy, but that is still a large amount. Incidentally, the widow acted with her deal with De Nederlandsche Bank purely for self-interest: she knew how to immediately sell those not yet issued shares to numerous traders in Amsterdam.”

In response to questions from Vrij Nederland, DNB states that it is aware of Borski’s investments. “The widow Borski, who co-financed DNB in ​​its founding years, is known to have used its capital to fund plantations in Suriname and elsewhere in the Caribbean.”

From a historical perspective, loans to plantations are so important because it was precisely this financial infrastructure that allowed the plantations in Suriname and other colonies to grow, says Karin Lurvink. On behalf of VU University Amsterdam, she conducted research into the involvement of bankers and insurers in the slave trade.

Lurvink: “Mortgages were placed on the lives of African slaves by plantation owners, with the intention of obtaining credit, so that they could, among other things, buy even more slaves.” The African slaves represented a third of the total value of the plantation. And based on that value, the loan was granted. This led to the cynical reality that the more enslaved people were owned by a plantation, the larger the loan that could be taken out. With which even more enslaved people could be bought.

Slavery downplay

In the past, the involvement of the Dutch in slavery was often dismissed; an activity that historian Matthias van Rossum describes as “slavery downplaying“. The Netherlands supposedly did not profit that much from slavery, was the idea. Moreover, the British transported many more enslaved people.

However, the Dutch bankers’ records have shown that the involvement of the Dutch is much greater than is often assumed. The inventory from the London archives that was drawn up in 1818 shows this. Not only do the Dutch control eleven percent of all British plantations, they also issue loans to foreign plantation owners. And the Dutch mortgages and slave owners together accounted for no less than a third of the total slave trade in the region west of Suriname, according to the accompanying document. Thanks to the financial elite in the Netherlands.

Not very keen

Dutch bankers also directly owned slaves, especially when the abolition of slavery was in sight. Some of the plantations went bankrupt before their abolition and fell into the hands of the creditors: the bankers.

The best-known example of this is the company Insinger & Co, the legal predecessor of the current InsingerGilisen. Research by Karin Lurvink, who previously wrote about it in OneWorld, shows that in 1863 the trading house Insinger & co-owned over 1,500 enslaved, more than any other Dutch company.

Moreover, the Dutch elite was not very keen on the abolition of slavery, says historian Pepijn Brandon. “People knew in the Netherlands that it would end, but have tried to stretch it until the very end. And then it became part of an economic rationale: in the final stages, it even became profitable to keep plantations, because the owners knew they would be compensated by the government anyway.”

Frits Insinger was particularly active in this: as a Member of the Dutch Parliament he postponed the abolition of slavery for years. “The government has no right to free slaves without compensation,” he said in 1854 (can be read in the historical documents of the Senate). In 1863 his company receives this compensation: 300 guilders per person, 350 thousand guilders in total. Converted to now, that is more than eight million euros.

Incidentally, the historical irony, according to professor of colonial and postcolonial history Gert Oostindie, in a radio conversation with VPRO, wants the abolition of slavery in the West to be funded by proceeds from unfree labour in the East. Thanks to the profits from the Dutch East Indies, the Dutch State had enough money to compensate plantation owners.

Double compensation

Dutch plantation owners were not only compensated by the Dutch state for their lost property, but also by the British. The British took out the largest loan in their history for this: £ 20 million – converted 2.5 billion euros. The British taxpayer has had to pay until 2015 to repay this loan.

If they abolish slavery in 1836, dozens of Dutch people still have plantations in British areas at the time. The University College of London dataset contains 31 Dutch people who received money from the British government in 1836. In total, the Dutch receive hundreds of thousands of pounds for many thousands of men, women and children that they counted as their personal property: converted to now that is tens of millions of euros.

One family, in particular, makes a fortune: the Secretary of the Demerary colony, Philip Tinne, a successful sugar merchant who also invested in coffee plantations. In 1813 he forms a partnership, Sandbach, Tinne & Company, which trades in, according to the archives: “prime Gold coast Negros”.

The company gets a windfall profit during the British abolition: converted to now it would receive more than 22 million euros for the enslaved people in various coffee and sugar plantations. Philip Tinne himself receives almost thirteen million from the British State. His fortune allows his wife and daughter Alexine to do whatever they want after his death. Years later, The Hague’s Alexine Tinne made waves as “the first female explorer.”

Past past

If Dutch ABN Amro bank wants to take over the US American bank LaSalle in 2006, one of the conditions for that takeover is that the bank investigates its own slavery past. The city council in Chicago, where LaSalle is based, already considers it fundamental in the context of corporate social responsibility that companies know whether they have ever made a profit by slave trade.

The investigation shows, among other things, that predecessor Mees & Zonen was actively involved in the transatlantic slave trade. Karin Lurvink previously concluded that the involvement of Hope & Co is not included in this, while ABN also refers to the past of this predecessor on its website.

Hope & Co is a renowned Dutch bank, and one of the private companies that maintained the transatlantic slave trade, says the Amsterdam City Archives.

In several cases, they work closely together with the Barings company. In Van der Voort’s thesis, Hope & Co is mentioned with seven credits: loans worth now just under thirty million euros. The Amsterdam archive also contains extensive lists and descriptions for the equipment of slave ships – which were necessary for the financing and insurance of the ships.

Called to account

In the meantime, the pressure on banks for their problematic past is growing in the United Kingdom. For example, Member of Parliament Layla Moran stated three weeks ago that she will write to all institutions that appear in the database, so that they can make apologies and donations, just like Lloyds and Greene King.

But “sorry” is not enough, says Hilary Beckles, president of the Caricom countries (the Caribbean islands plus Suriname and Guyana). Previously, these countries threatened to sue the British, Dutch and French states for their role in the slave trade and slavery, under the 1965 International Convention on the Elimination of All Racial Discrimination. Martyn Day of the Leigh Day law firm at that time. The case has not yet been brought to court.

The question is whether ING Group, as the parent company of Barings, can thus face a claim for damages. Day: “There are banks and institutions – and Baring Brothers is one of them – that have profited enormously from slavery and its abolition. To be honest, I would be surprised if there are no legal consequences for this in the coming years. Exactly how things will take legal form differs per case, according to Day. But: “All these organizations are nervous now. The time has come for them to be held accountable.”

21st century capitalism, still slave trade based

Demonstrators from the 'End Slavery In Athens' movement fill the steps of Athens-Clarke County City Hall during a County Commission meeting on the annual budget, and where commissioners Mariah Parker Tim Denson proposed their 50/10 plan in Athens, Georgia, USA

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Editorial: The global order built by the slave trade still endures

UN HUMAN rights chief Michelle Bachelet’s call for capitalist powers to pay reparations for slavery combines questions of symbolic and practical change.

The protests that have erupted across the world since the US police killing of George Floyd on May 25 have won victories on both fronts.

The toppling of the statue of Edward Colston in Bristol, like that of Confederate monuments in the United States, marked a symbolic victory over racism, but one which forced the role of the slave trade in creating modern capitalism into the spotlight, preparing the way for further-reaching changes in the way the British empire is presented in schools and media.

Murder charges for Floyd’s killer, Derek Chauvin, and for Garrett Rolfe, who killed black man Rayshard Brooks last Friday, as well as bans on chokeholds and legal changes to make it easier for citizens to hold police to account, represent direct practical advances that should save lives.

Judicial wins like today’s US Supreme Court ruling that Donald Trump cannot abolish the so-called “Dreamer” programme allowing people who were brought to the US as children to gain citizenship are likewise victories for the anti-racist struggle – for all the supposed independence of the judiciary in Western countries, courts are as political as parliaments.

The Dreamer ruling is superficially about migration rather than racism, but the relationship between the two is deep and intricate and opens up questions about global disparities in power and wealth – many of the same ones raised by Bachelet’s proposal regarding slavery reparations.

Slavery is usually depicted as a historical phenomenon, an admitted injustice but one vanquished long ago.

Modern slavery is of course real and widespread, and directly linked to war and the refugee crisis. The slave-markets for black Africans established in civil-war-torn Libya after Nato overthrew the Gadaffi regime hit Western headlines, though briefly. The refusal of governments including Britain’s to offer a safe haven to unaccompanied child refugees condemned countless children to a similarly awful fate: Europol reported as long ago as 2016 that 10,000 such children had disappeared and that it suspected many had been targeted by trafficking gangs for sale into the sex trade.

But the economic relationships established by historic slavery endure too. Though most formal colonial empires are gone – not because magnanimous Western governments “granted independence” but because of long and bitter struggles to throw them off – the global economy policed by the IMF, World Bank and numerous international treaties that establish corporate rights to enter and exploit markets, maintains the economic subjugation of the third world.

Much Western “aid” to poorer countries actually entrenches these relationships: Global Justice Now has documented the role that British aid money has played in promoting the privatisation of everything from electricity to schools in many African countries, with lucrative “aid” contracts being snapped up by for-profit operators like Adam Smith International.

Changes to the definition of aid accompanying the current government’s dissolving of the Department for Internatonal Development into the Foreign Office intensify the trend, promoting a model in which “targeted aid boosts British trade.”

The struggle against the legacy of slavery must take the practical form of a struggle against the modern-day structures of “globalisation” that subordinate democratic rights to transnational corporate ones. And that struggle is also a fight for social justice here.

The loyalist thugs who threatened an asylum-seekers’ demo over poor housing conditions in Glasgow on Wednesday claimed to be rallying in defence of British monuments – demonstrating that those most hostile to refugees are often the most supportive of the imperialist world order that creates them.

And the fact that immigrant-bashing Twitter loudmouth Katie Hopkins led attacks on Marcus Rashford for winning an extension to the free-school-meals progamme over the summer underlines the reality that indifference to foreign kids drowning in the Mediterranean dovetails neatly with indifference to British kids starving at home.

Karl Marx on slavery and capitalism: here.

English slave trader Colston, Tina Turner parody

This 9 June 2020 satirical music video from Britain is a parody of the song Proud Mary by Tina Turner.

It says about itself:

[17th-century Bristol, England slave trader] Edward Colston – Rolling to the River

The statue of Edward Colston sings.


Left a good job in the city
Joined the Royal African Company
Worked my way up to Deputy Governor
19,000 slaves died on our journeys
Statue was still erected
But it seems some of you objected
Now I’m rolling, rolling, rolling to the river

Grave of enslaved African in Bristol vandalised in ‘retaliation attack’: here.

Honour police brutality casualties, not slave traders

This 8 June 2020 video from the USA says about itself:

This couple joined a Black Lives Matter protest after their wedding ceremony.

In US news and current events today, Kerry-Anne & Michael Gordon joined a protest at Philadelphia’s City Hall, after their wedding ceremony. Watch the moving footage here.

Millions march in cities and towns in every part of the US to oppose racism and police violence. By Kevin Reed, 8 June 2020. The demonstrations over the weekend to protest the police murder of George Floyd, among the biggest nationwide mobilizations of workers and youth in US history, signaled a new stage in the movement of the American working class.

Trump, Barr continue threat to deploy military against nationwide protests. By Barry Grey, 8 June 2020. The political situation in the US remains on a knife-edge as Trump’s fascistic cabal continues to plot against the Constitution.

Buffalo, New York mayor protects police in attack on 75-year-old. By Jacob Crosse, 8 June 2020. The Democratic mayor’s comments follow another week of vicious police assaults against peaceful protesters across the country.

Hundreds of thousands join protests against police violence across Europe. By our reporters, 8 June 2020. The size and wide geographical spread of the protests over Floyd’s murder reflect broad-based opposition to racism and police violence around the world.

This 8 June 2020 video from England says about itself:

Who was slave trader Edward Colston and why was his statue pulled down?

Historic scenes were witnessed in Bristol over the weekend as Black Lives Matter protesters pulled down a controversial statue of 17th-century slave trader Edward Colston and rolled the memorial into the city’s harbour.

The divisive memorial has stood since 1895, with a plaque that read: “Erected by citizens of Bristol as a memorial of one of the most virtuous and wise sons of their city.”

But who was Edward Colston and why did his presence anger so many?

Read the full story here.

By Peter Frost in Britain, 8 June 2020:

Edward Colston: a man for who black lives didn’t matter at all\

PETER FROST is delighted that Colston’s statue no longer stands in Bristol

IF BLACK lives really do matter then Edward Colston, a man who sold 84,000 young black children, women and men into slavery and also murdered another 18,000 men, women and children doing it doesn’t deserve to have a statue commemorating his evil life and trade in the city of Bristol.

I was delighted not just to see his statue pulled down but also thrown in the harbour that engineer William Jessop built for Bristol in 1802 using the money the slave trade had brought to the city. They threw the statue into the harbour by Pero’s Bridge — the only place in Bristol named after a slave.

If anybody wasn’t sure of the demolition team’s motives they had only to take note of the fact they pressed their knees on the neck of the statue rather as Minneapolis police did killing George Floyd.

Colston’s toppled statue links the anti-racist and anti-imperialist causes: here.

Lewis Hamilton: All racist statues should be torn down: here.

By Bethany Reilly in Britain, 8 June 2020:

Met ‘potentially acted unlawfully’ in policing of Black Lives Matter protests

HUMAN rights groups have accused the Metropolitan Police of “potentially unlawful” actions against Black Lives Matter protesters in London over the weekend.

On Saturday and Sunday evening hundreds of protesters, who had been taking part in rallies against the police killing of George Floyd in the US, were held in the rain until about 2am by riot police.

Black Protest Legal Support (BPLS), a group of legal observers and lawyers, claimed that protesters were asked by officers for personal details in order to be released – an act which human rights group Liberty said could be illegal.

By Bethany Reilly in Britain, 8 June 2020:

Far-right goons plan to confront Black Lives Matter protesters in London next Saturday

HUNDREDS of football hooligans and far-right activists are planning to confront Black Lives Matter protesters on Saturday in London, campaigners warned today.

The Democratic Football Lads Alliance (DFLA), a network of hooligan groups, has called on supporters across the country to bus down to the capital this weekend and surround war memorials and statues.

Campaign group Hope not Hate warned that it “seems certain” the DFLA event will go ahead after prominent racist Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (known as Tommy Robinson) pledged to attend in a video posted on Sunday night.

Defying government threats, thousands join Australian protests against police violence. By Oscar Grenfell, 8 June 2020. Over 100,000 people demonstrated across the country, despite threats of large fines and an attempted ban of the Sydney rally.

Australian anti-racist demonstrators, including Marsheela, right

Australian protesters speak out: “The class systems need to be abolished”. By our reporters, 8 June 2020. The demonstrations were “a great show of people power and it’s a great show of how the world should move forward.”

‘Google, Apple, Facebook help slave trade’

This 26 September 2019 video about the USA says about itself:

Ex-Google/ex-Facebook TechLead exposes H-1B visa abuse in Silicon Valley, and his experiences working at Facebook.

From daily News Line in Britain:

Google, Apple and Facebook facilitate international internet slave trade says United Nations

2nd November 2019

THE INTERNET is being used to promote a modern-day online slave market, where women and children are being sold into domestic servitude. This is an extremely lucrative online business, facilitated by Google, Apple and Facebook who allow the adverts to be shown, the UN special rapporteur has alleged.

‘What they are doing is promoting an online slave market,’ alleged Urmila Bhoola, the UN special rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery.

‘If Google, Apple, Facebook or any other companies are hosting apps like these, they have to be held accountable,’ she added. The online human trafficking business is international.

Nine out of 10 Kuwaiti homes have a ‘domestic worker’. They come from some of the poorest parts of the world to the Gulf, aiming to make enough money to support their family at home.

Urmila Bhoola said: ‘This is the quintessential example of modern slavery. Here we see a child being sold and traded like chattel, like a piece of property.’

In most places in the Gulf, domestic workers are brought into the country by agencies and then officially registered with the government. Potential employers pay the agencies a fee and become the ‘official sponsor of the domestic worker’.

Under what is known as the Kafala system, a domestic worker cannot change or quit her job, nor leave the country without her sponsor’s permission.

One popular app promoting humans for sale is called 4Sale. The 4Sale app allows you to filter by race, with different price brackets clearly on offer, according to category.

African worker, clean and smiley,’ said one listing. Another: ‘Nepalese who never dares to ask for a day off.’ This is the true meaning of ‘free market capitalism’. Everything, including humans, is bought or sold to make a profit.

The northern states in the US all abolished slavery by 1804. Britain abolished slavery throughout its empire by the Slavery Abolition Act 1833 (with the notable exception of India). The French colonies re-abolished it in 1848 and the US abolished slavery in 1865 with the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution.

Capitalism today means a return to the barbaric practices of centuries gone by, using the most modern of technologies, the world wide web.

If there is any need for further proof that this system is rotten ripe for overthrow, then surely we need look no further than humans being trafficked into slavery around the world using the internet, with the big capitalist giants Google, Apple and Facebook allowing the adverts which promote this sickening business. The highest developments of science and technology are being used for the most backward and degrading exploitation of women and children.

This technology must be ripped out of the hands of the millionaires and billionaires and taken under the control of the people. This can only be done through socialist revolution.

Meanwhile, the rest of the capitalist world is locked into wage slavery. In this country, you have warehouse workers on zero-hours contracts and poverty pay, trying to keep up with robots which pack at three times the speed of humans, and collapsing of exhaustion in the process.

Ambulances were called to Amazon warehouses once every two days last year as workers collapsed and suffered broken bones. Eleven of the company’s 21 warehouses in the UK were attended by ambulances 606 times since 2016.

Tim Roache, the general secretary of the GMB trade union, said: ‘Behind the slick exterior lie working practices that owe more to Victorian workhouses than what we would expect of a reputable online retailer.’

All forms of slavery including wage slavery must be abolished and that means abolishing capitalism. It is through the victory of the world socialist revolution that science, technology and all the means of production will be expropriated, seized from the tiny minority who use it to enrich themselves, and put to work under public ownership where it can be used to enrich the whole of society.

Karl Marx called socialism the beginning of the real history of humankind. Everything before it will be considered a barbarous pre-history.

Last American trans-Atlantic slave trade ship discovered

This 22 May 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

What the Discovery of the Last American Slave Ship Means to Descendants | National Geographic

In this short film, the descendants of Africans on the last known American slave ship, Clotilda, describe what it would mean to discover and document the wreck site of the vessel.

From National Geographic in the USA:

Last American slave ship is discovered in Alabama

The schooner Clotilda smuggled African captives into the U.S. in 1860, more than 50 years after importing slaves was outlawed.

By Joel K. Bourne, Jr.

May 22, 2019

The schooner Clotilda—the last known ship to bring enslaved Africans to America’s shores—has been discovered in a remote arm of Alabama’s Mobile River following an intensive yearlong search by marine archaeologists.

“Descendants of the Clotilda survivors have dreamed of this discovery for generations,” says Lisa Demetropoulos Jones, executive director of the Alabama Historical Commission (AHC) and the State Historic Preservation Officer. “We’re thrilled to announce that their dream has finally come true.”

The captives who arrived aboard Clotilda were the last of an estimated 389,000 Africans delivered into bondage in mainland America from the early 1600s to 1860. Thousands of vessels were involved in the transatlantic trade, but very few slave wrecks have ever been found.

Libya slave markets and protests

This video says about itself:

Libya Slave Trade

28 November 2017

After Gaddafi was toppledslave markets have emerged in Libya. Recently, thousands of protesters took to the streets across Europe to draw attention to what is happening in Libya and to protest against slavery.

EU leaders complicit in torture of refugees and migrants, Amnesty says. Rights group claims EU is financing Libyan system that routinely acts in collusion with militia groups and people traffickers: here.

Drowned Mozambican slaves honoured in South Africa

This video from the USA says about itself:

Smithsonian Museum Set to Receive Sunken Slave Ship Artifacts

31 May 2015

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture will display objects from a slave ship that sank off the coast of Cape Town in 1794.

The artifacts were retrieved this year from the wreck site of a Portuguese slave ship that sank on its way to Brazil while carrying more than 400 enslaved Africans from Mozambique.

Objects recovered from the ship, called the São José-Paquete de Africa, include iron ballasts used to weigh the ship down and copper fastenings that held the structure of the ship together.

Lonnie G. Bunch III, the director of the African American history museum, said in a statement that the ship “represents one of the earliest attempts to bring East Africans into the trans-Atlantic slave trade.”

The National Museum of African American History and Culture is currently under construction in Washington and scheduled to be completed in the fall.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

South Africa beach service to honour slaves drowned in 1794 shipwreck

Ceremony to be held on Clifton beach, Cape Town, near recently discovered wreck site of Portuguese ship that sank, leading to the loss of 212 slaves’ lives

David Smith, Africa correspondent

Monday 1 June 2015 18.03 BST

A small, solemn memorial service will be held on one of South Africa’s most popular beaches on Tuesday, close to a recently discovered shipwreck where more than 200 African slaves drowned at the bottom of the sea.

The Portuguese ship, the São José-Paquete de Africa, was sailing from Mozambique to Brazil when it sank in turbulent waters near Cape Town in December 1794. Researchers say it is the first time that the remains of a slavers’ ship that went down with its human cargo on board has been identified.

Albie Sachs, a former constitutional court judge, will give a speech welcoming diplomats, activists and community leaders at the ceremony on Clifton beach, near the wreck site. “It’s profound and terrible to feel this is one of the most beautiful beaches in the whole world and within such a short distance lie the bodies of 200 slaves who died there,” the 80-year-old said on Monday.

“Presumably they were still in shackles or they could have swum to shore. This has been an untold story that has repercussions and reverberations for us today. Somehow their memories survive even though they’re not in the history books.”

The São José was making one of the earliest voyages of the transatlantic slave trade from east Africa to the Americas, which persisted well into the 19th century. More than 400,000 east Africans, shackled in ships’ holds, are estimated to have made the four-month, 7,000-mile journey from Mozambique to the sugar plantations of Brazil between 1800 and 1865.

The São José had only been sailing for 24 days when, tossed by strong winds in view of Lion’s Head mountain, it was smashed on submerged rocks 100 metres from shore. An estimated 212 slaves perished. About 300 survived and were resold into slavery in the Cape. The Portuguese captain, Manuel João, and his crew were also rescued.

The wreck lay undisturbed for nearly 200 years but was found in the mid-1980s by local amateur treasure-hunters who misidentified it as the remains of an earlier Dutch vessel. But in 2011 Jaco Boshoff, a maritime archaeologist, discovered the captain’s account of the wrecking of the São José in local archives. Those on board “made ropes and baskets and continuing like this were able to save some men and slaves until five in the evening, when the ship broke to pieces”, it recorded.

Evidence steadily built. Copper fastenings and copper sheathing indicated a wreck of a later period, and there was also iron ballast – often found on slave ships as a means of counterbalancing the variable weights of their human cargo. The Slave Wrecks Project, an international collaboration, found an archival document in Portugal stating that the Saõ José had loaded 1,500 iron bars as ballast before she departed for Mozambique.

Further research located a document in which a slave was noted as sold by a local sheikh to the captain of the Saõ José prior to its departure, definitively identifying Mozambique Island as the port of departure for the slaving voyage.

Objects retrieved from the ship this year include fragile remnants of shackles, iron ballast to weigh down the ship and its human cargo, copper fastenings and a wooden pulley block. There has been no trace of human remains.

Boshoff, co-originator of the Slave Wrecks Project and principal archaeological investigator on the Saõ José excavation, said: “The more information we get the better. The memorial service will be a bit more emotional, but when we start work again we’ll have to dial back the emotion.”

He added: “Every day there are discoveries made but, in the history of the slave trade, this one is important. It’s the first time we’ve been able to look at a ship that sank with slaves still on board.”

The wreck site is located between two reefs and is prone to strong swells, making conditions difficult for archaeologists. So far only a small percentage has been excavated. “There is a lot to do,” Boshoff said. “We haven’t scratched the surface. It’s a wide-ranging project and I’m fortunate it’s on my doorstep.”

A public symposium, called Bringing the São José Into Memory, will be held in Cape Town on Wednesday. Some of the recovered objects are to be displayed on long-term loan at the Smithsonian’s new National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC.

Lonnie Bunch, director of the museum, who is due to attend Tuesday’s event, said: “Perhaps the single greatest symbol of the transatlantic slave trade is the ships that carried millions of captive Africans across the Atlantic never to return.

“This discovery is significant because there has never been archaeological documentation of a vessel that foundered and was lost while carrying a cargo of enslaved persons. The São José is all the more significant because it represents one of the earliest attempts to bring east Africans into the transatlantic slave trade – a shift that played a major role in prolonging that tragic trade for decades.

“Locating, documenting and preserving this cultural heritage through the São José has the potential to reshape our understandings of a part of history that has been considered unknowable.”

Plans for divers from Mozambique, South Africa and the US to deposit soil from Mozambique Island, the site of the Saõ José’s embarkation, on the wreck site has been abandoned due to Cape Town’s volatile winter weather and high tides.

For Sachs, an anti-apartheid activist who lost an arm and the sight in one eye in a bombing in Mozambique while in exile in the 1980s, the international flavour of the day will be important. “There is a wonderful cooperation between the Smithsonian and the Iziko Museums of South Africa. People are diving together and compiling the information together. This is a beautiful example of present-day globalisation recovering an example of terrible globalisation from the 18th century.

“It’s a healing to have people getting together to memorialise the dead. I was nearly killed by a car bomb planted by South African agents in Mozambique. Mozambicans saved my life. Here South Africans are honouring colleagues from Mozambique for this commemoration.”

Anti-slavery fighter Ottobah Cugoano

This video is called Extracts of “Thoughts and Sentiments” by Cugoano.

By Sue Turner in Britain:

Inspiring anti-slavery hero emerges from shadows

Monday 1st December 2014

Martin Hoyles’s biography of radical campaigner Ottobah Cugoano debunks the Wilberforce myth, says Sue Turner

Cugoano Against Slavery, by Martin Hoyles (Hansib, £9.99)

MENTION the ending of the slave trade and William Wilberforce or even Olaudah Equiano may spring to mind.

But few will be familiar with Ottobah Cugoano even though he was the most radical campaigner for the abolition of the slave trade and slavery itself.

Martin Hoyles’s biography of Cugoano launches straight into a debunking of the myth that Wilberforce led the campaign to end slavery, stressing that the abolitionist believed that slaves were not ready for freedom.

Nor did he relish meeting black people and he was adamant that women should not be allowed to agitate.

He repulsed the support of radicals and opposed extra-parliamentary activity such as the sugar boycott and was against working-class emancipation in England.

This was at a time when news of revolts onboard slave ships and in the plantations of the West Indies regularly reached the public, who were increasingly horrified at their violent repression.

Having relegated Wilberforce to the sidelines, Hoyles describes the broad nature of the anti-slavery movement, from Church of England and quaker abolitionists to secular radicals up and down the country who were organising petitions to Parliament and public meetings attended by thousands.

In the 1780s there were around 10,000 black people in Britain – mostly in London, Liverpool and Bristol – and they too were active, particularly Ottobah Cugoano.

Cugoano, a Fante from the coastal area of present-day Ghana, was kidnapped at 13 and sold into slavery in Grenada.

After two years he was brought to England as a servant and in 1787 published his Thoughts and Sentiments on the Evil and Wicked Traffic of the Slavery and Commerce of the Human Species.

A campaigning treatise rather than a “slave narrative,” it nevertheless contains harrowing autobiographical details of his kidnap, the journey to Grenada and life on the plantation.

Hoyles quotes liberally from this book and drawing on fascinating anecdotes, facts and figures to set Cugoana’s experiences in a wider political and economic context.

The latter makes an articulate assault on all the justifications for slavery at the time, emphasising the common humanity of all people and declaring that slavery and Christianity are incompatible.

His argument that it is a slave’s duty to escape and use force to prevent further enslavement shows him to have been more outspoken than his contemporaries. Calling for a naval blockade of west Africa and punishment for slave owners were also unusual demands for the time.

Cugoano, the first African writing in English to demand the total abolition of the slave trade and slavery, went on to attack European colonialism in the Americas and its treatment of indigenous peoples. In Britain, he argued for better wages and full employment for both men and women.

He became the spokesperson for millions of slaves, writing with the authority of someone who had lived in three continents, thus giving an almost unique perspective on one of the most important human rights campaigns in the country.

With this richly illustrated and lively book Hoyles has brought Cugoano out of the shadows of anti-slavery history to the central position he deserves.

Dutch king continued slave trade after official ban

This video is called Journey through Slavery episode 1/4 – Terrible Transformation.

This morning, researcher Cordula Rooijendijk presented her new book Vrije jongens [‘Free boys’] about big businessmen in Dutch history, on Dutch VPRO TV.

One of the people in that book is shipping magnate Anthony van Hoboken (1756-1850). After the Dutch East Indies Company went bankrupt in 1799, Van Hoboken took over much of their business, especially to the colonies in Indonesia.

From Indonesia, van Hoboken imported not only colonial plantation goods like coffee, sugar or spice, but also exotic birds, monkeys, elephants and rhinos.

Van Hoboken traded in slaves as well, as Ms Rooijendijk said.

Officially, the Dutch government of King William I had abolished the intercontinental slave trade in June 1814.

However, 1825-1830 there was an uprising against Dutch colonialism in Java, and there were other wars in Indonesia. Many Dutch soldiers died from tropical diseases. The Dutch government thought African soldiers would be better suited to the climate in Indonesia.

So, they tried to convince West Africans to volunteer for war in Indonesia. This was not 100% voluntary, as these were mainly Africans with debts to Dutch merchants, which the Africans could pay off by becoming soldiers.

King William I thought there were far too little African volunteers for fighting in Indonesia. Therefore, in the 1830s, Van Hoboken started to buy slaves and to transport them to the war zones in Indonesia. Van Hoboken did that with royal consent, even though the king had agreed in 1814 to stop the intercontinental slave trade.

‘INSURANCE POLICIES ON SLAVES: NEW YORK LIFE’S COMPLICATED PAST’ “In its 19th-century beginnings, New York Life Insurance sold 508 policies covering slaves. Their descendants are grappling with it.” [NYT]