British royal couple visiting Jamaica amid call for reparations | Slavery News

A bunch of professors, politicians and different distinguished leaders in Jamaica have rejected a go to by the duke and duchess of Cambridge, who’re travelling to the island as a part of a wider, week-long Caribbean tour.

The group has referred to as for an apology and slavery reparations as Prince William – the grandson of Queen Elizabeth II – and his spouse Kate are scheduled to reach in Jamaica on Tuesday.

“We see no purpose to rejoice 70 years of the ascension of your grandmother to the British throne as a result of her management, and that of her predecessors, have perpetuated the best human rights tragedy within the historical past of humankind,” learn a letter revealed final weekend, which was signed by 100 Jamaican leaders.

“Throughout her 70 years on the throne, your grandmother has completed nothing to redress and atone for the struggling of our ancestors that came about throughout her reign and/or throughout your entire interval of British trafficking of Africans, enslavement, indentureship and colonialization,” it reads.

The royal couple’s journey to the Caribbean area coincides with the sixtieth anniversary of Jamaica’s independence and the seventieth anniversary of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. It additionally comes at a time of rising scrutiny of colonial-era British conduct within the Caribbean and elsewhere.

Dozens of individuals gathered outdoors the British Excessive Fee within the capital Kingston, singing conventional Rastafarian songs and holding banners with the phrase “seh yuh sorry” – a neighborhood patois phrase urging Britain to apologise.

“I’m a descendant of nice African ancestors, I owe it to them to be right here,” customer support employee Hujae Hutchinson, 27, mentioned on the rally on Tuesday, the place activists learn out 60 causes for reparations.

“I need to make the British crown recognise that they’ve dedicated an amazing crime in opposition to the African individuals and that they have to apologise and provides again what they’ve taken from the ancestors.”

Barbados in November formally grew to become a republic, changing the British monarch as its head of state and severing its final remaining colonial bonds almost 400 years after the primary English ships arrived on the Caribbean island.

Whereas the nation stays a republic throughout the Commonwealth, specialists mentioned its choice to interrupt ties with the Queen might gasoline republicanism in different nations, particularly in Jamaica, the place the 2 important political events help breaking away from the monarchy utterly.

A whole bunch of 1000’s of enslaved African individuals toiled in Jamaica below greater than 300 years of British rule and confronted brutal circumstances.

There have been quite a few bloody rebellions, with one girl referred to as “Queen Nanny” main a bunch of previously enslaved Africans referred to as Jamaican Maroons, whose ways grew to become famend and battered British forces. “Queen Nanny” stays the only girl of Jamaica’s eight nationwide heroes.

Of their letter on Sunday, the Jamaican leaders mentioned they’d be celebrating 60 years of freedom from the UK – however burdened that an apology was “vital to start a technique of therapeutic, forgiveness, reconciliation and compensation”.

Jamaica lawmaker Mike Henry, who has lengthy led an effort to acquire reparations, additionally instructed The Related Press information company that an apology is barely step one for what he described as “abuse of human life and labour”.

“An apology actually admits that there’s some guilt,” he mentioned.

prince william and kate
Prince William and Kate are visiting Belize, Jamaica and the Bahamas [Chris Jackson/Getty Images]

Prince William and Kate first visited Belize throughout the weekend, and after two days in Jamaica they are going to journey to the Bahamas.

Even earlier than the pair left the UK, a protest by a number of dozen villagers at a deliberate Belize tour cease prompted organisers to alter Sunday’s itinerary within the nation, identified till 1973 as British Honduras.

On Monday, they visited a British navy coaching camp within the Chiquibul Forest Reserve in central Belize, and Prince William later identified that the nation had joined others in condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“Right now, we consider these struggling in Ukraine and we stand with them in solidarity,” he mentioned throughout a proper dinner on the grounds of the Cahal Pech Archaeological Reserve with Belize’s prime minister.

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