J'can leg of CARICOM reparations youth baton relays launched

Thursday, October 19, 2017

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — The Jamaican leg of the CARICOM Reparations Youth Baton Relays and Rallies was launched in St Thomas, yesterday, to encourage participation from young people and the general public for the success of the region-wide movement.

Speaking at the ceremony held at the Morant Villas, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange, said Jamaica is sending a signal to the world that the reparations agenda is “alive”.

She said that the programme seeks to build awareness and encourage persons to play a role “in ensuring that the movement for reparations for slavery gains momentum, and ultimately success”.

Noting that the ancestors suffered horribly during slavery, she said that the system has left serious social, psychological and economic scars on Caribbean societies, “leaving the legacies of poor education, crippling national debt, persistent poverty, inadequate healthcare, violence and crime, among others”.

The relays will be staged islandwide over the period October 19 to December 27, commencing at the Paul Bogle High School in Morant Bay, where the baton will be handed to Mayor Lenworth Rawle, followed by a rally in the town's square.

During the three-month activity, the atrocities of slavery and the economic and social impact on Caribbean countries will be highlighted.

Other events are scheduled for Port Antonio, Portland, on October 24; Port Maria, St Mary, October 26; Kingston and St Andrew, October 31; and Kensington, St James, on December 27 during the observation of the Sam Sharpe rebellion.

Each leg of the route will be run by a group of young people, with one of them carrying the baton and transferring it at the end of their leg to another group.

Relays have been held in Barbados, Guyana, Suriname, St Lucia, and Antigua and Barbuda. The exchange of the baton from Antigua to Jamaica took place last Tuesday.

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