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Prince William And Duchess Kate’s Visit To Jamaica Will Be Protested

Activists are demanding slavery reparations and for Queen Elizabeth to be removed as head of state.

Prince William and Duchess Kate are scheduled to visit Jamaica today (March 22). However, they are receiving pushback from leaders on the island.

They are arriving in Jamaica for the 60th anniversary of Jamaica’s independence and the 70th anniversary of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, who is the island’s head of state.

A March 20 letter published by 100 Jamaican leaders read, “We will not participate in your Platinum Jubilee celebration! We see no reason to celebrate 70 years of the ascension of your grandmother to the British throne because her leadership, and that of her predecessors, have perpetuated the greatest human rights tragedy in the history of humankind.”

The letter continued, ​​“We are of the view that an apology for British crimes against humanity, including but not limited to, the exploitation of the indigenous people of Jamaica, the transatlantic trafficking of Africans, the enslavement of Africans, indentureship and colonisation is necessary to begin a process of healing, forgiveness, reconciliation and compensation.”

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Carolyn Cooper, professor emerita at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica, told The Independent, “It’s quite presumptuous of Buckingham Palace to assume that a royal visit is going to change our conviction that we need to disengage from the British monarchy.”

Cooper also added, “We have to complete the decolonisation process and that means getting rid of the Queen as head of state.”

For decades, activists and politicians in Jamaica have been demanding that Queen Elizabeth be removed as the head of the state.

In September of 2021, according to Express, Mark Golding, leader of the People’s National Party (PNP), said in a speech to the Jamaican Parliament, "It is worth noting that our sister island in the CARICOM, Barbados, has recently taken the required steps to repatriate their sovereignty by establishing a Barbadian as their head of state and first president. That was a bipartisan exercise concluded in a timely manner from start to finish, through cooperation between the government and opposition in Barbados. I wish to commend them for it."

In September of 2020, Barbados removed Queen Elizabeth as the head of state and a ceremony took place in December of 2021.

Golding continued, "We in Jamaica should follow now, right away and without delay. The establishment of a non-executive president as our head of state in replacement of its English monarch was agreed by both major political parties over a decade ago… We can work together to make the required constitutional steps to make this happen in the year coming, which is the nation's 60th anniversary year.”

The Prime Minister of Jamaica, Andrew Holness, has said for years he is supportive of Queen Elizabeth being removed. However, it does not appear any action has been taken to move forward in the same way as Barbados.

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