Royals ‘must rely’ on reparations

Britain’s Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, pictured last Thursday ahead of the couple’s tour of Central America and the Caribbean, including Belize, Jamaica and the Bahamas. Photo: Chris Jackson/Pool via AP

By RASHAD ROLLE

Senior Tribune Reporter

[email protected]

The Bahamas National Reparations Committee has said the British Royal Family must heed its devastating legacy of slavery, death and colonization and not be treated with a trip funded in part by Bahamian taxpayers.

Local critics have joined their counterparts in Jamaica and elsewhere in highlighting the complicated legacy of the British monarchy as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit Caribbean countries this month.

Prince William and Kate Middleton will arrive in the country tomorrow and stay there until Saturday to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

It comes as members of the local Rastafarian community plan to protest the trip on Thursday over repairs.

Meanwhile, the Reparations Committee said in a statement: ‘There is no doubt that the Organizing Committee (a) is doing an outstanding job of welcoming the British Royal Family, and in many ways this trip to welcome the royal family will be considered a resounding. Success.

“However, once William and Kate have crossed the newly paved roads, driven by the freshly painted walls, and waved at the school children who have been pulled from their classes to stand and watch them pass, what will be left? to the Bahamian people? with?”

The Reparations Committee was formed in 2013 in accordance with the CARICOM Reparations Committee. The organization advocates for reparations from former colonial powers. The chairman of the committee, Dr Niambi Hall Campbell-Dean, met with Foreign Secretary Fred Mitchell in February to brief him on its work. Mr Mitchell said the reparations are important to the country.

Yesterday the committee said the first point of the CARICOM commission’s ten-point plan of redress was for European governments to issue full and formal apologies for their ‘crimes against humanity’.

“The Duke and Duchess cannot be compelled to make such a statement during their visit to our shores. They may not be able to speak on behalf of the Queen and their government at this time. However, they can no longer ignore the devastation of their heritage. They and their family of royals and their government must recognize that their diverse economy was built on the backs of our ancestors. And then they have to pay,” the committee said.

“We, the members of the Bahamas National Reparations Committee (BNRC), recognize that the people of the Bahamas had to pay much of the cost of this extravagant journey. Why are we footing the bill for a regime whose rise to “greatness” has been fueled by the extinction, enslavement, colonization and degradation of the people of this land? Why do we have to pay again? »

Belize villagers objected to the Royals’ visit earlier this week. Yesterday in Jamaica, some people protested against the royal couple’s trip.

Over the weekend, the committee responsible for planning the Royals’ trip said their arrival will heighten exposure to key local issues and provide an opportunity for the country to change the way it is viewed globally. international.

However, the local reparations committee said yesterday: ‘This visit commemorates 70 years since Queen Elizabeth’s accession to the throne of imperialism – more years than the Bahamas has been a sovereign nation. BNRC says we as Bahamians need to have a clear understanding of what this trip really means. We are in no way beholden to the British Monarchy and we owe them no debt of gratitude for anything – not for our culture, our religion or our system of governance. Instead, the monarchy plundered and pillaged our land and our people for centuries, leaving us struggling with underdevelopment, left to pick up the pieces.

“In the words of Sir Hilary Beckles, Chairman of the CARICOM Reparations Commission, colonialism has been devastating and we are tired of footing the bill. We are tired of literally paying with our lives to maintain a paradigm in which we have been exploited so that others can be exalted. It’s time for restorative justice. It’s time for repairs.