Africans from Cameroon deceived to Sweden and works under direct slavery conditions.
Around 8 months ago there were brothers in Cameroon that heard about available ‘forest work’ on the northern parts of Sweden, where this industry is pretty huge. They were later given a contract from a friend that had contact with the company here in Sweden. In the contract it said what their salary was going to be like, how many days they were supposed to work and other rights they had etc. They saw it as an investment when they figured out how much money they could make in comparison to what they could in Cameroon. So they came to Sweden but once they arrived here they got another contract- which very much differs from the one they saw in Cameroon.
The brothers took this decision to go to Sweden to secure for a better life for their families in Cameroon. They were supposed to work for 6 months only, which would give them as much as a three year salary in Cameroon. They put their life into this; meaning in order for them to make this trip possible they had to sell their land and collect all money they had, to go to what people call ‘democratic Sweden’. They had never a desire or any aspiration whatsoever on staying in Sweden, the only plan they had was to earn this money and go back to their homeland so they could secure a so called ‘better’ future for their wives and children.
According to Swedish law it is illegal to make people work under these conditions that these brothers were facing, whether you are a Swedish citizen or not. As we all know, Sweden likes to portray itself and is being portrayed as this role model as one of the most ‘equal societies’ in Europe. However when it comes to non-white people, this so called ‘equal society’ is not a reality.
We, as Africans, are facing the same contradictions with imperialism as all the other African brothers and sisters in the world. These brothers were working 6 days a week, for at least 10 hours per day. Sometimes even more. In the first contract it said that they were supposed to be paid 18 500 Swedish kr / month. But they only received around 6000 Swedish kr. Which is a hell lot less than they were promised in the beginning. From this 6000 kr taxes were also being taken directly to their boss’s pocket. So there was not much money left. Also what the new contract said was that they are being paid per plant, which with simple math means they have to work like machines and still not getting paid anything near what they were supposed to. Except from the part of this ‘forest work’, they were forced to do dirty work for free for their boss, like cleaning his house, act as a his personal driver etc.
As mentioned earlier, it is illegal according to Swedish law to make people work under such conditions as this, whether you are a Swedish citizen or not. This only goes to show that these brothers, literally, were treated like slaves. This has been raised to different local and state trade unions etc. But since this revolves around non – white people, ‘solving’ this problem has not been prioritized.
Working on the Stockholm front of ‘International Peoples Democratic Uhuru Movement’, also called Inpdum, our responsibility now is to find these brothers and see what the status is at the moment and how we can support them the best way. The reason why they are still in Sweden is because they demand to get the money they worked for. And then they want to return home.
This case we just described with these brothers, only shows one side of many of the contradictions Africans and other oppressed peoples face on a daily basis, whether we are in the U.S, whether we are in Angola, whether we are in London or whether we are in Sweden (which is in Europe).
The problem is imperialism and our relationship to it. We have to be able to make the connection between the so called ‘good’ Swedish welfare system and the looting of African resources. Even if Sweden do everything to separate itself from the history of Europe and the rest of the world, we must understand that Sweden is a part of Europe and that Europe rests on the pedestal of African human and material resources. How this is possible still to this day is because the African working class both home and abroad have not seized power yet over our own resources, which we have not been able to do since 500 years back or so. The destiny of African people all over the world is not determined by ourselves, but by imperialism. It has been this way for over 500 years. In order for us to live better lives the solution is to seize the power over what belongs to us. And the only way this is possible, brothers and sisters, is by organizing. We need to organize for power! We have no future with imperialism. The birth of Capitalism was and is still not possible without the enslavement of Africans and the looting of Africa. So there is no future for Africa or African people as long as imperialism exists. It must be destroyed!
We have been taught to strive for the acceptance from our oppressors and it is being expressed in different ways. We say things like: “I need to survive” well at least in Sweden we don’t get shot in the middle of the street” or “people in Sweden are more tolerant” etc.
The question we need to ask is tolerant to what? Also what we need to stop doing is try to “cure” racism, when the reality is that our human and material resources are being stolen right in front of us. It is not racism that is doing this but it is our relationship with imperialism that creates these conditions in our lives!
We call on every African to join the ‘International Peoples Democratic Uhuru Movement’ wherever you are located! No one but us can solve this problem. We have to participate in the work for our own freedom. It is our responsibility!
The struggle for power, in the hands of the African working class, is the only solution for the freedom for Africa and African people worldwide! We say if you touch one you touch all! One Africa one nation!