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Regional reparations movement in SVG to mark first anniversary

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The St Vincent and the Grenadines Reparations Committee will on Monday, September 15, mark the first anniversary of the launch of the regional reparations movement here in St Vincent and the Grenadines.{{more}}

This first anniversary will be observed with a week of activities, which will run from Sunday, September 14 to Friday, September 19. It will begin with members of the SVG Reparations Committee attending a church service at the Faith Temple Church in Kingstown from 9:30 a.m.

The activities will continue throughout the week, ending on Friday, September 19 with a movie night and general discussion on the reparations issue at the UWI Open Campus. The movie “Twelve Years a Slave” will be shown from 7 p.m. Other activities include radio appearances, school and community outreaches, newspaper articles etc.

The SVG Reparations Committee is currently focused on mobilizing mass support for the reparations movement and sees as its number one priority currently educating people on the issues relating to reparations and through education to garner their support for the cause.

In a recent address to the British House of Commons on July 16, 2014, chair of the CARICOM Reparations Commission, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, expressed the view that the reparations process will bring honour and dignity to the people of the Caribbean, as well as the people of Great Britain and Europe. He also predicted that “this 21st century will be the century of global reparatory justice.”

The chair of the Commission outlined the injustices of slavery and the genocide that occurred as a result of European expansion and stated that the government of Great Britain and other European governments that benefitted from slavery and colonialism “have a case to answer to in respect of reparatory justice.” Sir Hilary asked the government to respond with humility and openness when they receive a request for dialogue on the issue of reparations from Caribbean Governments. He further urged the Parliament to take decisive action to correct “the terrible wrongs of the past.”

“As we continue the fight for reparations, the SVG Reparations Committee is re-echoing its call for the former colonial masters to meet with CARICOM for a discussion on the reparations issue, since we believe that the journey towards reparations must begin with a conversation between those who benefitted from slavery and those who suffered as a result of slavery,” a release from the Reparations Committee said.

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