Will And Kate Met With Protestors In Jamaica Demanding Reparations For Slavery
“Your grandmother has done nothing to redress and atone for the suffering of our ancestors that took place during her reign.”
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been met with protestors in Jamaica calling for reparations and an apology for slavery.
Will and Kate touched down in the Commonwealth country on Tuesday as part of a week-long tour of the Caribbean off the back of the Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee.
The trip was intended to strengthen ties to the British royal family amid conversations to break away from the monarchy and remove the Queen as head of state. Murmurings out of Jamaican Parliament suggest the government will initiate the process of becoming a republic to coincide with the 60th Anniversary of Jamaica’s independence in August.
In November, Prince Charles said the “appalling atrocity of slavery… forever stains our history” during a ceremony in Barbados to mark the country’s transition into a republic.
Dozens gathered outside the British High Commission in the capital city Kingston carrying signs that read “Seh Yuh Sorry” — a Jamaican Patois phrase at the centre of the anti-colonial movement, according to Al Jazeera.
“We do not welcome Kate and William. We do not want them here. We reject the photo ops that will be staged here for the UK’s consumption,” said local human rights activist Kay Osborne to The Guardian.
An open letter shared over the weekend by 100 Jamaican leaders and groups argued that Will, who is second in line to the throne, is part of the “direct beneficiaries of wealth” accumulated off the back of enslavement and trafficking. “Many Jamaicans are unaware of your visit as they struggle to cope with the horrendous fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, exacerbated by pre-existing social and economic hardships inherited from our colonial past,” it read.
“During her 70 years on the throne, your grandmother has done nothing to redress and atone for the suffering of our ancestors that took place during her reign, and/or during the entire period of British trafficking of Africans, enslavement, indentureship, and [colonialism].”
The protestors accumulated and read-aloud 60 reasons why the UK needs to apologise and “begin a process of reparatory justice” in Jamaica.