Prison Radio
Kenjuan Congo Jr.

My inmate number is ND7568, and the title of this piece is “Queen Elizabeth II and Imperialism.” This is Kenjuan Congo Jr., calling from a prison camp behind enemy lines.

I have allies who are crying over the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Crying literal tears. All human life is sacred. I’ll allow allies to grieve. Now that the final funeral for Queen Elizabeth II is over, it is time to evaluate and continue our struggle for liberation. I want to discuss the British Empire under the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. I want us to draw on this history in order to better our present and enhance our future.

The reign of Queen Elizabeth II is filled with violent upheaval or decolonization, though, for some reason, this bloody history is obscured. During her reign, we witnessed the separation of nearly the entire British Empire into fifty independent states. The age of Queen Elizabeth II claims that its origin is in the concept of British rule as a form of educating its colonies and self-government. But in reality, the objective was to preserve Britain’s international influence. Self-government was a lie and the truth was violent oppression.

The colonial governor of Malaya declared a state of emergency to fight guerrillas and the British troops used counterinsurgency tactics. The governor of Kenya imposed a state of emergency to suppress an anti-colonial movement known as Mau Mau, under which the British colonial power rounded up tens of thousands of Kenyans into detention camps and subjected them to brutal, systematic torture in Cyprus and Yemen. British governors again declared states of emergency to contend with anti-colonial uprisings, and again they tortured civilians. Nearly every year into the 2000s, the Empire tortured Commonwealth colonies. While championing multiculturalism to Wales, Ireland, and Scotland, the Empire also supported the U.S.-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Inequality continued to widen, the royal family split over Harry’s and Meghan’s accusation of racism, and London became a haven for the super-rich oligarchs.

During the last decade of her reign, the Queen watched Britain come to terms with its new position. Public pressure began to build against the State to acknowledge its horrific history of colonial violence. In 2013, the British government agreed to pay nearly £20 million to the torture victims of colonial Kenya. In 2019, the government made another payout to Cyprus survivors. See other colonial territories that follow the example of many others, including Barbados, who left its colonial past to become a republic in 2021. Maybe we can have a new campaign for Scottish independence, even though the Queen was against this as well. But we could look at the obscured history in new light, to learn from the imperial past and continue our struggle for world liberation.

This is Kenjuan Congo Jr., calling from a prison camp behind enemy lines. Thank you. All power to the people.

These commentaries are recorded by Prison Radio.