2018 Shot Leopold for Stealing our Natural Resources (Nzere) art by Marcellous Lovelace #biko70 #blackart #congo #marcellouslovelace
Leopold II of Belgium massacred 10 million Africans in the Congo. Cutting off hands as we see in Sierra Leone today, was very much part of Leopold’s repertoire. Today, Leopold’s “rubber terror” has all been swept under the carpet.
The great fascination of the Congo at the time was its mighty 3,000-mile river, variously called Lualaba, Nzadi or Nzere by the people who lived on its banks. Nzere means “the river that swallows all rivers” because of its many tributaries. Just one tributary, the Kasai, carries as much water as Europe’s longest river, the Volga in Russia and it is half as long as the Rhine. Another tributary, the Ubangi is even longer. On Portuguese tongue, Nzere became Zaire which was adopted by Mobutu when he renamed the country in 1971. Like most things African, the Europeans changed the river’s name to Congo. BRC-NEWS: Black Radical Congress – General News/Alerts/Announcements
Devil colonists need to employ some form of violence to acquire and maintain control of the colonized, and the more exploitative the arrangements on the ground, the more violent the colony’s rulers have to be to get what they want. During the 25 years that the Congo Free State existed, it set a new standard for cruelty that horrified even the other imperial powers of Europe.
With the field cleared of rivals, Leopold II reorganized his mercenaries into a ruthless group of occupiers called the Force Publique and set them to enforcing his will across the colony.
Every district had quotas for producing ivory, gold, diamonds, rubber, and anything else the land had to give up. Leopold II handpicked governors, each of whom he gave dictatorial powers over their realms. Each official was paid entirely by commission, and thus had great incentive to pillage the soil to the maximum of his ability.