The purpose of the press conference – held at the Centre for Reparation Research (CRR) – was to confront claims by the British Government’s Treasury posted via a #FridayFact on its official Twitter channel on Friday, February 9, 2018. The tweet, which was shared with the HM Treasury’s 318,000 followers, read: “Millions of you helped end the slave trade through your taxes”.
Although it was subsequently deleted, the tweet triggered reactions by various interest groups, and captured the attention of the British media and the CRR at The UWI.
The Commission Chair noted that Britain had argued against reparations saying they could not apologise or provide compensation for slavery and the slave trade because it was not illegal at the time and it also took place a long time ago. (more…)
Chairperson of the Reparations Task Force, Professor Emeritus, Pedro Welch presents Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth Stephen Lashley, with a copy of the report on reparations. ( Photo by W.Alleyne Associates via BGIS)
Barbados has made another step towards the goal of obtaining regional reparations.
This step comes as members of the island’s Reparations Task Force recently presented Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley, with an official report on arguments in support of reparations, in his Ministry’s Conference Room at Sky Mall.
After receiving the document, Mr. Lashley noted that he was very pleased to see the work conducted by the Task Force, which was established in 2012.
He noted that the Reparations Project was not only conceptualised to secure monetary payment, but also to form part of a “multi-faceted campaign designed to sensitise the Barbadian public on the historical and contemporary issues that inform an understanding of the meaning of reparations”.
Vice Chancellor, University of the West Indies, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, speaking on the topic ‘Faked Emancipation, Insincere Independence, Reparatory Justice: A 21st Century Paradigm for Economic Growth’ at a symposium held at the Mona Visitors’ Lodge, University of the West Indies, on October 11.
“Britain needs to be brought to the table to discuss the process of reparation, and if we can take this conversation to the higher level and make these demands… then these should become the basis of a summit.” – Professor Hilary Beckles
Vice Chancellor, University of the West Indies, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, has renewed the call for reparations valuing £76 billion be paid to the descendants of enslaved people of the Caribbean by former European slave-trading nation, Britain.
“The £20 million that they paid to the slave owners should have been paid to the enslaved. We have to make a claim to that money. We have an entitlement to that £20 million that was paid in 1834 (which) today values £76 billion,” he said.
Professor Beckles made the call while speaking on the topic ‘Faked Emancipation, Insincere Independence, Reparatory Justice: A 21st Century Paradigm for Economic Growth’ at a symposium held at the Mona Visitors’ Lodge, University of the West Indies, on October 11.
The Professor, who is also Chair of the CARICOM Reparation Commission, further suggested that the Caribbean’s bilateral debt should be offset against the £76 billion.
The opening ceremony will be held on Tuesday, July 4, at the Grenada Trade Centre, and the conference will conclude on Thursday, July 6.
Mr. Stuart and his CARICOM counterparts will have a packed agenda for the upcoming summit, with Heads of Government expected to review the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) and plans for its implementation among Member States. They will also be given an update on the progress towards completing the Protocol on the Refusal of Entry of Persons.
When they meet in a closed-door session, regional leaders will discuss the matter of regional security, as it relates to CARICOM’s Counter-Terrorism Strategy, especially as the Caribbean attempts to grapple with terrorism and violent extremism.
Strategies to further the region’s reparations agenda were the focus of discussion when Prime Minister Freundel Stuart met recently in Bridgetown, Barbados, with Chairman of the CARICOM Reparations Commission (CRC), Professor Sir Hilary Beckles; and CARICOM Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque.
Mr. Stuart, who is the Chairman of the Prime Ministerial Sub-Committee on Reparations for Native Genocide and Slavery, received a progress report on the reparations efforts, and suggested several approaches to advancing the region’s agenda.
Ambassador LaRocque stated that some progress had been witnessed since the last Prime Ministerial Sub-Committee meeting, and noted that several of the National Committees established around the region were “mostly active and eager to move forward”.