During Prince William and the Cambridge Duchess Catherine's visit to Kingston on Wednesday, Jamaican citizens held a demonstration outside the U.K. High Commission to demand the British monarchy to apologize and award its former colony slavery reparations.
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"It is an act of grievance to my ancestors that British royals arrive without worry or remorse to our country," said protester Clement Deslandes, who wore a T-shirt showing a pair of shackled Black wrists surrounded by the phrase “Seh Yuh Sorry!”.
“The days when we received the nobility with red carpet ended, the British monarchy must pay for the crimes committed,” he added, recalling that over 300, 000 Africans were forced to work in Jamaica as slaves.
Former West Indies University lecturer Maziki Thame noted that the reparations request is not a new cause since Jamaicans have been seeking them for decades. “The question is whether the British are ready to contend with their history,” she stressed.
Prince William and the Cambridge Duchess Catherine visited Kingston as part of a week-long tour to Commonwealth countries in celebration of the 70th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne.
On Wednesday, Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness informed the couple of his country’s intention to end its association with the British crown and become a republic, as Barbados did on Nov. 29, 2021.
“Jamaicans are very proud of their history and achievements as a people. We are moving on to fulfill our ambitions as an independent, developed, prosperous country,” Holness pointed out.