Jamaica demands reparations from the Queen for ‘damaging effects’ of slavery

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Jamaica was a British colony for 255 years and for much of that time slavery thrived on the island

Jamaica is once again demanding that the UK pay billions of pounds in reparation for the devastating long-term effects of slavery on the Caribbean island nation.

According to the Jamaican Culture Minister, Olivia Grange, a petition demanding slavery reparation from Queen Elizabeth II will be presented to the British monarch in due course.

"We are especially pleased to announce that we have made further steps in our strides towards seeking reparatory justice for the victims and descendants of the transatlantic slave trade”, Grange said.

"The petition is to be presented to the Queen of the UK and or the Government of the UK”, the Jamaican Culture Minister added.

According to Grange, the effort is fully supported by Jamaica’s National Council of Reparation and in that context the island nation’s Attorney General’s chambers “would need to weigh up the merits of the petition in the eventuality of the government of Jamaica’s involvement in the petition”.

The last time Jamaica made a concerted effort to demand slavery-related compensation from the UK was back in September 2015, on the eve of former Tory Prime Minister, David Cameron’s visit to the country.

Those efforts were led by former Jamaican Prime Minister, Portia Simpson-Miller, who was a tireless campaigner for accountability in relation to the slave trade and its consequences.

At the time, Cameron made it known that he doesn’t believe “reparations or apologies for slavery” constitute the “right approach”. Nearly six years on there is no indication that the UK’s attitude has changed on the matter.     



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