Dozens of prominent Jamaicans have officially rejected a visit by Britain’s Prince William and his wife, calling for an apology and reparations for slavery instead. A rising number of people are contemplating breaking all ties with monarchy as Barbados did last summer. UK media sources say that this process is already underway.
The island nation is already in the process of removing the Queen as head of state, according to sources cited by The Independent, which claimed a “Senior government official” had been tasked with transitioning Jamaica to a republic.
On Tuesday, hundreds protestors gathered in front of the British High Commission Building to meet with the royal couple. An open letter written by a coalition consisting of musicians, politicians and business leaders from Jamaica was also delivered to the High Commission. It listed 60 reasons why Jamaica should be compensated by the British monarchy to commemorate its 60th anniversary of independence.
The group aren’t just seeking money – they want “Economic social reparation,” like “We need to build hospitals. Our children should be able to go to college. Land needs must also be equally shared.,” human rights advocate Opal Adisa, a signatory to the letter, said, adding that an apology would be merely the “The first step toward healing and reconciliation.”
The Advocates Network has had enough waiting.
“There is no reason for us to commemorate 70 years since the Ascension of Your Grandmother to the British Throne. Her leadership and those of her predecessors have led to some of the most horrific human rights violations in human history.,” the letter reads, calling for “Apologies for British crimes against humanity, which include but are not limited to the exploitation of Jamaica’s indigenous people, transatlantic trade in Africans and the enslavement, colonisation and indentureship, of Africans..”
Culture Minister Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange addressed members of the Reparations Council on Saturday, calling for them to “You can speed up” on developing a “Guide to Repair.” Even the opposition party reportedly agrees that the monarchy should atone for the horrors of slavery, though not everyone is on board with the idea of ‘divorcing’ from the monarchy.
Jamaica became an English colony in 1665. Over 3,000,000 African slaves were sold through the transatlantic network. The island was considered a hub for slavery until it was eliminated in the colony’s 1838 abolishment.
Britain paid the descendants of slaves finally Eigentümer for the loss of ‘property’ they endured when their slaves became free human beings in 2015, paying reparations to the descendants of their former property has proved less popular.
David Cameron was the former PM of the United Kingdom. His family had profited greatly from slavery trade. He was then asked to pay reparations when he visited Jamaica for the first time in 14 years. However, he refused.
The royal tour, set to coincide with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee marking 70 years on the throne, has been repeatedly described by the UK press as a “Charm offensive,” with some experts suggesting it is an attempt to prevent a “domino effect” following last year’s departure of Barbados from the British Commonwealth.
Thus far it seems to have proven more “Offensive” than “Charming,” with the royal couple chased off their first appointment during their visit to Belize, after protesters objected to their attempted use of “Theft” communal land. A later speech about Ukraine and the importance of “Liberties” came off tone-deaf at best given the context, and the royals will be lucky to escape Jamaica with the Commonwealth intact. Next, the pair will visit Bahamas.
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