‘The damaging effects of slavery are ongoing’: Jamaica demands reparations from the Queen. Jamaica said it would present a petition for reparation to the monarch or UK government.
A petition is being prepared and will be submitted to Her Majesty and the UK government.
Minister for Culture, Gender, Entertainment, and Sport Olivia ‘Babsy’ Grange stated: “We are particularly delighted to announce that we have taken additional efforts in seeking reparatory justice for the victims and descendants of the transatlantic slave trade.
“The petition is to be presented to the Queen of the United Kingdom and/or the United Kingdom’s Government.”
The country’s Opposition – the People’s National Party – has likewise endorsed this approach (PNP).
Mark Golding, head of the PNP, told The Independent: “The Opposition supports, and has supported for a long time, the request for reparations for slavery.
“The PNP has been a part of the push for reparations for the ongoing effects of slavery; a commission on reparations was established several years ago and has continued to operate across Jamaican administrations, so I would say there is bipartisan support for the effort to garner recognition of the cause’s righteousness.
“There is also a Caricom initiative to seek reparations, which Jamaica is a part of, and bipartisan support for that initiative.”
In 1655, Jamaica became a British colony. Between then and 1838, it abducted nearly three million Africans from their homes and trafficked them over the Atlantic Ocean as part of the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
Enslaved Black people were forcibly transported to British-owned territories in the Caribbean, particularly Jamaica, and sold to work on plantations harvesting sugar and other crops, while being brutalized and dehumanized throughout the process.
Britain reaped enormous financial benefits from its commercial activities, laying the groundwork for the country as we know it today.
Following emancipation, the UK government borrowed £20 million from the Treasury in one of the largest loans in history to pay slave owners for the inconvenience of not having enslaved Africans to make them rich.
This was finally fully repaid in 2015 – by British taxpayers – but descendants of those enslaved have got no reparations and Jamaica continues to owe an absurdly high debt to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which the UK is a member of.
Though Jamaica obtained independence from the United Kingdom in 1962 following more than 300 years of British colonial control, the island remains a Commonwealth member and retains the Queen as its head of state.