In his first speech to Britain and the Commonwealth as the new monarch, King Charles III thanked his mother for her devotion to the ‘family of nations’.
But what makes a family? One of the key things that unites the 53 countries that make up the Commonwealth of Nations is that nearly all of them had their land colonized by Britain.
I thought of the lyrics to ‘Birthright’, the Sarathy Korwar track I have been listening to on repeat while putting together this magazine:
Mi casa es su casa, says the man who stole your land.
When Queen Elizabeth II took the throne, more than a quarter of the world’s population was under British imperial rule. She heard the news of her father’s death while she was in Kenya in 1952. Shortly afterwards her government violently quashed the Mau Mau uprising in the country. Decolonization movements across the world were met with similar violence from the British security forces, who often also tried to cover up the evidence.
Resistance to colonialism is as old as the process itself, and people around the world continue to agitate and organize for loosening its grip.
As we delve into the issue of land rights in this edition, we also launch a new series called ‘Decolonize how?’. Over the next year we will explore what people living with the legacies and current realities of colonialism are doing to challenge power.
Elsewhere, Busani Bafana reports on the Zimbabwean government’s crackdown on press freedom, and Severia Bel explores how asylum-seekers in Lithuania are caught in a political crossfire.
Amy Hall for the New Internationalist co-operative.
For decades, Indigenous peoples in the Chittagong Hill Tracts have lived under the violence of military rule. Hana Shams Ahmed reports on how the Bangladesh government’s push for tourism in the region is further threatening their right to land.
For generations, Indigenous-led actions have been pushing for the return of traditional lands across the US and Canada. Riley Yesno explores how that spirit has been turned into a movement – embodied in schemes to redistribute wealth from non-Indigenous hands.