Roger Casement

Irish diplomat, activist, nationalist and poet (1864–1916)

Roger David Casement; 1 September 1864 – 3 August 1916), known as Sir Roger Casement, CMG, between 1911 and 1916, was a diplomat and Irish nationalist. He worked for the British Foreign Office as a diplomat, becoming known as a humanitarian activist, and later as a poet and Easter Rising leader. Described as the "father of twentieth-century human rights investigations", he was honoured in 1905 for the Casement Report on the Congo and knighted in 1911 for his important investigations of human rights abuses in the rubber industry in Peru.

Roger Casement in 1914
Roger Casement (right) and his friend Herbert Ward, whom he met in the Congo Free State
Roger Casement's grave in Glasnevin Cemetery. The capstone reads "Roger Casement, who died for the sake of Ireland, 3rd August 1916"[1].

Quotes edit

  • On Sunday evening, natives brought me a mutilated lad, who's right hand had been hacked of quite recently, the cold thread was a century of lalu longa, a Belgian trading society, when i asked why they had not appealed to their commissar, i heard from them, well it is the commissar, it is the Bula Matari, who does these things to us.
  • In 1887 i spend several months on the upper Congo, and i traveled over some of the grounds i now revisit in the absence of 10 years, the country was thickly populated, frequent and populous towns, but many of the inhabitants have been killed by the government, man and woman.
  • Of the persistent mutilation by government soldiers, there can be no shadow of a doubt, should the system maintain forced labor on this scale, i believe the entire population will be extinct in thirty years.
  • Tackling Leopold in Africa has set in motion a big movement – it must be a movement of human liberation all the world over.

Quotes about Roger Casement edit

  • In any inclusive study of the roots of modern British socialism and internationalism, Casement’s collaboration with E.D. Morel should be cited as a critical conjuncture in a tradition of English radicalism and the struggle for the fairer distribution of land.
  • It was a grey afternoon. The windows gave on to the Thames, and against the grey sky the warehouses on the southern bank were, through the gathering mist, lined in an outline of darker grey and black, the tall chimneys uplifted above them. The tide was out, and beside the distant quayside some coal-barges lay tilted on the sleek mud of the river-bottom, with their sides washed by the silver waters that raced seaward. Against this picture, looking outward before the window curtains, stood Roger Casement, a figure of perplexity, and the apparent dejection which he always wore so proud, as though he had assumed the sorrows of the world.
  • Roger looked wonderfully tall and dignified and noble as he stood in the dock. He seemed to be looking away over the heads of the judges and advocates and sightseers, away to Ireland – probably his mind’s eye was fixed on some well-known spot such as Fair Head or Murlough Bay – certainly he had no look of one who was conscious of his awful and sordid surroundings…
    • Roger Casement remembered in London Casement's cousin Gertrude described Casement during his court appearancen in which he was ultimately sentenced to be hanged for alleged ‘treason’ on August 3, 1916.
  • Casement’s belief in solidarity and cooperation between all the people of the world is fundamentally republican. It is a principle that is often ignored or diminished by the opponents and detractors of Irish republicanism. We’re not ‘Little Irelanders’. Our vision is fundamentally internationalist. We stand with struggling people of the world – and we are confident in the fact that they stand with Ireland too. In our own day and age – we reiterate our call for a global response to the current health pandemic. A global pandemic requires a global remedy. We face an enormous responsibility. No-one is safe until everyone is safe. No-one is free until we’re all equal. That is where Casement would have stood.

External links edit

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