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Jamaica demands reparations from Britain’s Queen over UK role in slavery

Ahmed Kaballo

Press TV, London

The global call for reparations is growing louder by the day as news emerges that Jamaica's government is set to demand reparations from Queen Elizabeth and the British government, for Great Britain's role in the transatlantic slave trade.

A petition has been prepared and will be submitted in due course according to Olivia 'Babsy' Grange, Jamaica's Minister for Culture. The announcement comes not long after the UN Human Rights Chief Michelle Bachelet urged global action including reparations to "make amends" to people of African descent.

Over 3 million enslaved Africans were forcibly trafficked by the British empire to their colonies across the world, including Jamaica to work on plantations; while, being habitually brutalized and dehumanized.

Yet the British state has never apologized let alone taken steps to ensure reparatory justice. Meanwhile, when slavery ended, the UK government borrowed £20 million from the Treasury to compensate slave owners for the inconvenience of not having enslaved Africans to make them rich.

The loan was one of the largest in British history which was the equivalent to £17bn today and was at the time 40% of the Uk's national budget. Yet according to the Daily Express newspaper, based in the UK, 97% of their readers polled voted no to the question of whether Britain should pay reparations.

Jamaica is a small island nation with a population of just under 3 million that still has the British queen as its unelected head of state and while many people of African descent will welcome their latest demand for reparations others will feel that it will take a lot more than a petition to get the British state to finally accept responsibility for their historic crimes.

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