CARICOM sets out battle plan for slavery reparations

| 16/03/2014

(CNS): The leaders of several Caribbean nations unanimously adopted a broad plan which they will follow in the battle for reparations from European nations to address the continuing impact on regional societies and economies of the horrors of the Atlantic slave trade. A British human rights law firm hired by the Caribbean Community grouping of nations announced that prime ministers had authorized a 10-point plan that would seek a formal apology and debt cancellation from former colonizers, such as Britain, France and the Netherlands. The decision came during a meeting this week in St. Vincent & the Grenadines of CARICOM leaders.

The countries will also seek reparation payments to repair the persisting “psychological trauma” from the days of plantation slavery. The plan calls for assistance to boost the region’s technological know-how since the Caribbean was denied participation in Europe’s industrialization and was confined to producing and exporting raw materials, such as sugar. The plan further demands European aid in strengthening the region’s public health, educational and cultural institutions, such as museums and research centres.

It is even pushing for the creation of a “repatriation program”, including legal and diplomatic assistance from European governments, to potentially resettle members of the Rastafarian spiritual movement in Africa. Repatriation to Africa has long been a central belief of Rastafari, a melding of Old Testament teachings and Pan-Africanism whose followers have long pushed for reparations.

Martyn Day, of the law firm Leigh Day, called the plan a “fair set of demands on the governments whose countries grew rich at the expense of those regions whose human wealth was stolen from them.”

The lawyers engage to take the fight to Europe said an upcoming meeting in London between Caribbean and European officials will help the group gauge whether or not their concerns are being taken seriously.

Although the idea of the countries that benefited from slavery paying some form of reparations has been a decades-long quest, it is only recently that it has gained serious momentum in the Caribbean and begun to get growing support from across the world. The UK’s FCO however has been quick to dismiss the possibility, despite having already lost one battle with Leigh Day, the law firm engaged by CARICOM that won a more than $21 million compensation settlement for the Kenyan victims of the Mau-Mau rebellion, who were tortured by the British colonial government.

The reparations commission chairman, Hilary Beckles, who has written several books on the history of Caribbean slavery, said he was pleased that CARICOM has officially adopted the plan.

See ten point plan here

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: World News

Comments (18)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    Reparations!? They went from canabalizing each other and living in mud huts to being doctors and lawyers in a matter of 100 years! They should be thanking us.

    • Anonymous says:

      Apparently because of the lack of the "Psychological Rehabilitation" their nations all feel to pieces shortly after independence and most of them became crime infested drug transporation centers.  It is the white man's fault that they have a high level of criminality. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Bring back Canabilism! Its great for sales of Gated Communities!

    • Anonymous says:

      Such ignorance and racism. Try reading a history book. Relatively few Africans were cannibals and there were some advanced African societies.

      I'm not sure which 100 years you are referring to but if such were the case that would be a testament to the ability and fortitude who actually made the advance against all odds, not to those, such as yourself, who saw them as inferior sub-human beings.  

      The fatc that you have got so many thumbs up shows the level of racism we have imported into this country.     

      • Anonymous says:

        Such ignorance and racism. Try reading a history book. Relatively few Africans were cannibals and there were some advanced African societies. I'm not sure which 100 years you are referring to but if such were the case that would be a testament to the ability and fortitude who actually made the advance against all odds, not to those, such as yourself, who saw them as inferior sub-human beings. The fatc that you have got so many thumbs up shows the level of racism we have imported into this country.

        You sound offended… The truth hurts, doesn't it? Advanced African societies? You mean the Egyptians who werent really black? Ability and fortitude? Lets not forget that it wasn't Obama who abolished slavery…

        • Anonymous says:

          LOL. Your ignorance doesn't hurt me it only exposes who you are as a person – a racist pig. Like I said, go read a history book then you might learn about the ancient kingdoms.of Mali, Ghana, Nubia, Kemet, Aksum, Kush, some dynasties in Egypt etc.. Does Timbuktu sound like a mud hut to you, moron? 

          "Not really black". Yes, they were. While they were always black according to modern definitions some of these pharaohs have been shown to have DNA mostly from East and West Africa.    

          You are so clueless. It took America 100 years to grant full legal rights to black people after the abolition of slavery. And even so African Americans must deal with racist attitudes like yours on a daily basis where they are excluded or prejudiced on account of their race. When I encounter people like I hope that reincarnation is real and that you would come back as a black person.      

  2. The Thinker says:

    Everyone wants something for nothing.  What has anyone alive today done to any of these greedy people!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Serious reparations are owed to the Irish:

    TheIrish slave trade began when James II sold 30,000 Irish prisoners as slaves to the New World. His Proclamation of 1625 required Irish political prisoners be sent overseas and sold to English settlers in the West Indies. By the mid 1600s, the Irish were the main slaves sold to Antigua and Montserrat. At that time, 70% of the total population of Montserrat were Irish slaves.
     
    Ireland quickly became the biggest source of human livestock for English merchants. The majority of the early slaves to the New World were actually white.
     
    From 1641 to 1652, over 500,000 Irish were killed by the English and another 300,000 were sold as slaves. Ireland’s population fell from about 1,500,000 to 600,000 in one single decade. Families were ripped apart as the British did not allow Irish dads to take their wives and children with them across the Atlantic. This led to a helpless population of homeless women and children. Britain’s solution was to auction them off as well.
     
    During the 1650s, over 100,000 Irish children between the ages of 10 and 14 were taken from their parents and sold as slaves in the West Indies, Virginia and New England. In this decade, 52,000 Irish (mostly women and children) were sold to Barbados and Virginia. Another 30,000 Irish men and women were also transported and sold to the highest bidder. In 1656, Cromwell ordered that 2000 Irish children be taken to Jamaica and sold as slaves to English settlers.
     
    Many people today will avoid calling the Irish slaves what they truly were: Slaves. They’ll come up with terms like “Indentured Servants” to describe what occurred to the Irish. However, in most cases from the 17th and 18th centuries, Irish slaves were nothing more than human cattle.
     
    Happy St Patricks Day!
    • Anonymous says:

      There is a world of difference between being a slave and an indentured servant. A slave is not given a choice of whether to be a slave or not – they are considered property, to be dealt with as the owner desires, whether that's rape, flogging, torturing to death or whatever. As they are property, an owner can do what they want without fear of any form of punishment.

      An indentured servant usually entered into the agreement by their own choice (though some did not, some were coerced and some were tricked, some faced debtor's prison, some were prisoners of war who could not raise the ransome to free them), the contract was for a specific time, usually three years and you were not property. An indentured servant had protection as a human being in Law (if they could afford it) – a slave had none.

      And yes – Happy St Patrick's Day – let's celebrate the life of an Englishman who first arrived in Ireland as a captive of Irish raiders and was then sold by them into slavery.

    • Anonymous says:

      Many persons in the Caribbean are descendants of white indentured servants who in reality were white slaves. There are still descendants of those white slaves living in utter poverty in Barbados, in much worse economic conditions than most black Barbadians. Furthermore the African slaves were sold into slavery by other tribes in Africa who captured them during tribal warfare. Compensation should therefore be sought from those Africans as well. Most black West  Indians are middle class and are in a far better economic condition than mpst of their counterparts in Africa, so they should realize that good fllowed out from evil in that they have been fortunate to be living in theCaribean where many have become successful lawyers, doctors, accountants, senior politicans etc  and  have accumulaed vast fortunes which would have been only afforded to a tiny perent if they had remained in Africa.

      As for Cayman speciificaly, there hias never been any economic difference in the local population with respect to skin color though white expatriates, especially those from English speaking contries, are given preference in Caymanan society,

      • Anonymous says:

        As the poster explained below indentured servitude is not the same as slavery.

        One of the reasons Africa is improverished is because its vast resources were sacked by Europeans who colonised the entire continent by force of arms. 

  4. Anonymous says:

    They gave us Jesus and saved our souls.

  5. Anonymous says:

    It was their own African's that sold them. If they want to go back !… Hell ill charter the first one way Cruse Ship. I promise ; not in the hold and no shackles .

  6. Anonymous says:

    I hope cayman get some even though people won’t admit we came from slaves! Caymanian

  7. Anonymous says:

    Point 11: Harrass and do not promote the whites at your work if you are in a position of power, you deserve it. You are just talking back what is yours. Jesus would do the same.

    • Anonymous says:

      No 14.36, Jesus would tell us to love thy neighbour. I am just guessing of course, but suspect he would also have very valid points to make. Peace brother, feel the love.

    • Anonymous says:

      Poor Caymanians, can't claim we were from slaves because Jamaicans have successfully brainwashed them that even our slaves were 'Jamaican' so they think Cayman is theirs, lol

  8. Anonymous says:

    "The lawyers engaged to take the fight to Europe said an upcoming meeting in London between Caribbean and European officials will help the group gauge whether or not their concerns are being taken seriously."

    Let's see how this goes:

    European Officials "Can you read out your ten point plan again"

    CARICOM Officials "All of them"

    European Official "All of them, but in particular the Psychological Rehabilitation bit.  That was a cracker"

    CARICOM Official "Only a reparatory justice approach to truth and educational exposure can begin the process of healing and repair. Such an engagement will call into being, for example, the need for greater Caribbean integration designed to enable the coming together of the fragmented community."

    European Officials "Read it again, but before you do breathe into this helium balloon and put on this clown wig. . . "