JUSTICE FOR ALIKA OGORCHUKWU
The Italian Anti-Racist Coordination expresses its most sincere condolences and closeness to the family and accepts the call of the Nigerian communities for a mobilisation on SATURDAY 6 AUGUST 2022 in CIVITANOVA MARCHE at 2 p.m. at the Stadio Comunale at Lungomare Sergio Piermanni.
“The peddler”, “the Nigerian”, “the clandestine”: these are some of the terms with which Alika Ogochukwu has been defined by the Italian media, without even bothering to provide a name and an identity.
This is the media language, steeped in colonial and racist imagery, with which the Black body is defined, mentioned only in relation to landings or crimes and whose individual traits are erased.
The incessant alarmist and anxiety-inducing tones of this narrative contribute to the construction of stereotypes that influence the collective imagination, the consequences of which imply situations of terror, violence and death for Black and racialised people.
Looking closely, we also realise that we are not “only” facing an episode of racism: issues of gender, class, mental health and disability – combined with ideas related to the concept of race – form an intricate web of structural oppression that affects a certain part of the population.
At the time of his arrest, the murderer of Alika Ogorchukwu stated that he had wanted to defend his companion from “appreciation”, which was later denied by the woman herself. This alleged “instinct” to protect his partner received wide support.
We also recall that Alika Ogorchukwu was a street vendor of handkerchiefs and small accessories, who was killed in what can be called his workplace. Without rights or protections, self-employment in street trading allows racialised individuals to escape the overexploitation present in other sectors that could encompass them. At the same time, it is also a visible sign of the lack of policies to support market insertion – all the more so for racialised and disabled people – and the absence of serious structural policies against unemployment and poverty. These conditions affect the generation of daughters and sons, their future possibilities for social mobility and their class destiny.
The case of Alika Ogorchukwu highlights a further issue: that of disability. Ogorchukwu was also a victim of systemic ableism, due to which only 3 out of 10 disabled people in Italy are able to find employment.
In light of all this, we ask/claim:
- The recognition of the racial matrix which will see us constitute ourselves as a civil party as racialised people;
- The assumption by institutions and politics of direct and indirect responsibility;
- That the Italian information world begin to adapt to correct communication and validate Black lives by respecting names and surnames of non-Western origin;
- The removal of the murder video, which fuels the pornography of pain on the one hand and the trauma of the Italian Black community on the other;
- The feminist and queer movements of white people to denounce the instrumental use of our bodies and the male violence that is reproduced against subaltern and racialised masculinities;
- The recognition of male violence within minorities (Saman Abbas, Agitu Ideo Gudeta);
- That the institutions intervene to financially protect Ogorchukwu’s widowed wife, starting with covering the costs of the funeral, which it would be an aberration to burden her with;
- (Being immigrant daughters and sons) a concrete structuring of a welfare system, in order not to have to grow up in a total condition of precariousness and class violence;
- Ius Soli for Alika’s son and for all those who were born and raised in Italy by immigrants or who have lived there for many years;
- A change in the procedures for recognising qualifications, so that the process becomes more streamlined;
- All trade unions to mobilise in the name of yet another worker who has died for lack of rights in this country.
Because, in spite of everything, we remain standing.
For direct contact: Kwanza +39 3892758740
ITALIAN ANTI-RACIST COORDINATION ASSOCIATIONS