Commonwealth celebrations dishonour our forefathers

Ras Miguel

Thursday, April 26, 2018

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This past week there was a massive 70th anniversary celebration of the Commonwealth in England. At a time when Britain is parting ways, politically, with the European Union she seeks to get closer to her long-time babies — those whom she ruled and exploited with murder and violence to build her empire; many of whom still hang on to her skirt tail in making their highest court the British Privy Council, even though its judges have described us as a burden in many ways.

We can well understand why Britain would want to celebrate, but how can countries like Kenya, Uganda, Jamaica, etc, celebrate colonialism and the legal murders carried out against our freedom fighters? Is this not a blatant disrespect to our ancestors who shed their blood at the hands of the British to give us some of the freedoms we have today.

When I see people like Uhuru Kenyatta present this must be accepted as a victory for the British. Knowing the extent that his father, Jomo, and the Mau Mau Warriors fought the British for freedom in the early 1950s, how can he now participate in the celebration? His father fought to get out, now he dresses up to go in.

Because the Mau Mau, who were dreadlocked warriors, in Kenya, defeated the British by 1955 the British carried out viscous, grudgeful and spiteful behaviours against our Rastafarian community in Jamaica. Many brothers and sisters here in Jamaica were killed, shot down or jailed for daring to say that Haile Selassie I is our God — a son of the Nile Valley Civilisation from whence human beings descended. Rastafarians were denied entry to schools, jobs, or even being passengers on public buses. We were classified as “south sea cannibals”, “deluded creatures”, and programmes such as rearmament were suggested by the British governor.

So, therefore, when our Prime Minister Andrew Holness goes and celebrate with Britain it makes his apology to Rastafarians for Coral Gardens, etc, artificial and meaningless. To celebrate with Britain also makes the Act of Parliament to decriminalise our national heroes a mere poppy show and lacking in understanding of their struggles. It was Britain who 'lawfully' saw to the death of Paul and Moses Bogle and the 437 brothers and sisters in the mass graves that are buried behind the Morant Bay Courthouse.

The time and money spent celebrating with Britain would have been best spent to exhume the mass graves and carry out DNA testing, using samples from the families of St Thomas, so as to identify our freedom fighters and give them a proper send-off.

The celebration of the Commonwealth is not just 70 years, but over 500 years of shameful acts overseen by the monarchs of England and their ancestors against Africans, at home and abroad. To celebrate with them runs counter to the call for reparation and is a ringing endorsement of Britain's policies.

Our pride and dignity have been seriously compromised by Andrew Holness, his Government, and the Opposition in Parliament, and makes a mockery of what is called democracy in Jamaica.

The crumbs from the Commonwealth table cannot appease the blood of our martyrs. The journey continues...

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