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PATRICE LUMUMBA’S SPEECH AT THE PROCLAMATION OF CONGOLESE INDEPENDENCE

PATRICE LUMUMBA’S SPEECH AT THE PROCLAMATION OF CONGOLESE INDEPENDENCE

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PATRICE LUMUMBA’S SPEECH AT THE PROCLAMATION OF CONGOLESE INDEPENDENCE
PATRICE LUMUMBA’S SPEECH AT THE PROCLAMATION OF CONGOLESE INDEPENDENCE

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Published by: sam_allen_15 on Aug 10, 2013
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05/14/2014

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PATRICELUMUMBA’SSPEECHATTHEPROCLAMATIONOFCONGOLESEINDEPENDENCE(1960)
Congolesemenandwomen:Ascombatantsforindependencewhotodayarevictorious,IsaluteyouinthenameoftheCongolesegovernment.Iaskallmyfriends,allofyouwhohavefoughtunceasinglyatourside,tomakethisthirtiethofJune,1960,anillustriousdatethatwillbeindeliblyengraveduponyourhearts,adatewhosemeaningyouwillteachyourchildrenwithpride,sothattheyinturnwilltelltheirchildrenandtheirchildren’schildrenthegloriousstoryofourstruggleforfreedom.ForthoughthisindependenceoftheCongoistodaybeingproclaimedinaspiritofaccordwithBelgium,afriendlycountrywithwhichwearedealingasoneequalwithanother,noCongoleseworthyofthenamecaneverforgetthatwefoughttowinitafightwagedeachandeveryday,apassionateandidealisticfight,afightinwhichtherewasnotoneeffort,notoneprivation,notonesuffering,notonedropofbloodthatweeversparedourselves.Weareproudofthisstruggleamidtears,fire,andblood,downtoourveryheartofhearts,foritwasanobleandjuststruggle,anindispensablestruggleifweweretoputanendtothehumiliatingslaverythathadbeenforceduponus.Thewoundsthataretheevidenceofthefateweenduredforeightyyearsunderacolonialistregimearestilltoofreshandpainfulforustobeabletoerasethemfromourmemory.Back-breakingworkhasbeenexactedfromus,inreturnforwagesthatdidnotallowustosatisfyourhunger,ortodecentlyclotheorhouseourselves,ortoraiseourchildrenascreaturesverydeartous.Wehavebeenthevictimsofironictaunts,ofinsults,ofblowsthatwewereforcedtoenduremorning,noon,andnightbecausewewereblacks.Whocanforgetthatablackwasaddressedinthefamiliarform,notbecausehewasafriend,certainly,butbecausethepoliteformofaddresswastobeusedonlyforwhites?Wehavehadourlandsdespoiledunderthetermsofwhatwassupposedlythelawofthelandbutwasonlyarecognitionoftherightofthestrongest.Wehaveknownthatthelawwasquitedifferentforwhitesandblacks;itwasmostaccommodatingfortheformer,andcruelandinhumanforthelatter.Wehaveknowntheatrocioussufferingsofthosebanishedtoremoteregionsbecauseoftheirpoliticalopinionsorreligiousbeliefs;exilesintheirowncountry,theirfatewastrulyworsethandeath.Wehaveknownthatthereweremagnificentmansionsforwhitesinthecitiesandramshacklestrawhovelsforblacks,thatablackwasneverallowedintotheso-calledEuropeanmovietheatersorrestaurantsorstores;thatablacktraveledintheholdofboatsbelowthefeetofthewhiteinhisdeluxecabin.Whocanforget,finally,theburstofriflefireinwhichsomanyofourbrothersperished,thecellsintowhichtheauthoritiesthrewthosewhonolongerwerewillingtosubmittoarulewherejusticemeantoppressionandexploitation?Wehavegrievouslysufferedallthis,mybrothers.
 
Butwewhohavebeenchosentogovernourbelovedcountrybythevoteofyourelectedrepresentatives,wewhosebodiesandsoulshavesufferedfromcolonialistoppression,loudlyproclaim:allthisisoveranddonewithnow.TheRepublicoftheCongohasbeenproclaimedandourcountryisnowinthehandsofitsownchildren.Wearegoingtobeginanotherstruggletogether,mybrothers,mysisters,asublimestrugglethatwillbringourcountrypeace,prosperity,andgrandeur.Wearegoingtoinstitutesocialjusticetogetherandensureeveryonejustremunerationforhislabor.Wearegoingtoshowtheworldwhattheblackmancandowhen,heworksinfreedom,andwearegoingtomaketheCongothefocalpointforthedevelopmentofallofAfrica.Wearegoingtoseetoitthatthesoilofourcountryreallybenefitsitschildren.Wearegoingtoreviewalltheoldlawsandmakenewonesthatwillbejustandnoble.WearegoingtoputanendtothesuppressionoffreethoughtandseetoitthatallcitizensenjoytothefullestallthefundamentalfreedomslaiddownintheDeclarationoftheRightsofMan.Wearegoingtodoawaywithanyandeverysortofdiscriminationandgiveeachonetherightfulplacethathishumandignity,hislabor,andhisdevotiontothecountrywillhaveearnedhim.Wearegoingtobringpeacetothecountry,notthepeaceofriflesandbayonets,butthepeacethatcomesfrommen’sheartsandtheirgoodwill.Andinordertoachieveallthis,dearcompatriots,restassuredthatwewillbeabletocountnotonlyonourtremendousstrengthandourimmenseriches,butalsoontheassistanceofmanyforeigncountries,whosecollaborationwewillalwaysacceptifitissincereanddoesnotseektoforceanypolicyofanysortwhatsoeveronus.Inthisregard,Belgiumhasfinallyrealizedwhatdirectionhistorywasmovinginandhasnotattemptedtoopposeourindependence.Sheisreadytograntusheraidandherfriendship,andatreatytothiseffecthasjustbeensignedbetweenourtwoequalandindependentcountries.Iamcertainthatthiscooperationwillbebeneficialtobothcountries.Weforourpart,thoughweshallcontinuetobevigilant,willrespectallcommitmentsfreelymade.ThusthenewCongo,ourbelovedrepublicthatmygovernmentisgoingtocreate,willbearich,free,andprosperouscountry,withregardtobothitsdomesticrelationsanditsforeignrelations.Butinorderforustoreachthisgoalwithoutdelay,Iaskallofyou,Congoleselegislatorsandcitizensalike,toaidmewithallthestrengthatyourcommand.Iaskallofyoutoforgetthetrivialquarrelsthataredrainingourstrengthandthreatentoearnusthecontemptofthoseinothercountries.Iasktheparliamentaryminoritytoaidmygovernmentbyconstructiveoppositionandtostaystrictlywithinlegalanddemocraticpaths.Iaskallofyounottoshrinkfrommakinganysacrificenecessarytoensurethesuccessofourgreatundertaking.Iaskyou,finally,torespectunconditionallythelifeandpropertyofyourfellowcitizensandforeignerswhohavesettledinourcountry.Ifthebehavioroftheseforeignersleavessomethingtobedesired,ourjusticewillbeswiftandtheywillbe

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