It has been almost 200 years since Britain banned the slave trade. But the traces of colonialism can still be seen. Now Jamaica is demanding redress – and the removal of the Queen.
In 1655, England conquered the Caribbean Jamaica and subsequently brought more than half a million African slaves to the island. Now the country is petitioning for redress and the removal of Queen Elizabeth II as Queen of the former colonial area. The country is said to take responsibility for the slave trade in Jamaica and for the associated enrichment of some British companies and educational institutions.
“We hope for redress in all the forms one would expect if they really wanted to make sure we get justice out of injustices to repair the damage our ancestors have suffered,” said Olivia Grange, Jamaica’s Minister of Sport, Youth and culture, told Reuters news agency. She did not give an exact amount.
£ 7.6 billion in compensation
However, Mike Henry, the Jamaican legislature, named a sum of £ 7.6 billion in a private motion. Henry demands “that the slaves be paid the same amount of money as the slave owners”. This demand is based on the compensation that the slave traders received at the end of slavery – but not the enslaved people themselves.
Opposition leader Mike Golding is also calling for the Queen to be deposed as head of state. “You can hardly say that we are completely independent if we have a head of state who lives on the other side of the Atlantic and is not a Jamaican,” Golding told the Independent.