Scores of Jamaicans are gathered outside the British High Commission on Trafalgar Road in St Andrew protesting the official visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to the island, a former British colony.
Prince William and Kate scheduled to arrive at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston on Tuesday, which is part of a larger trip to the Caribbean region that coincides with the 60th anniversary of Jamaica’s independence and the 70th anniversary of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
However, the planned visit has been met with intense opposition from locals who cite the role the British monarchy played in slavery, and are peeved by the fact that there has never been an official apology and calls for reparations continue to fall on deaf ears.
“I am here to represent my ancestors, all those who died in slavery and got murdered because of white people’s oppression,” businessman and Garveyite Clement ‘Jawari’ Deslandes told OBSERVER ONLINE.
“We can’t continue to allow white people to do all manner of evil to us and we sit back and pretend that it is not happening,” he said.
Deslandes said it was about time Jamaica stopped laying out the “red carpet” for royals “with no concern, no remorse in their heart to say I am sorry or please forgive me.”
Hundreds of thousands of African slaves toiled in Jamaica under more than 300 years of British rule and faced brutal conditions.
During their two-day stay in Jamaica, Prince William and Kate are expected to celebrate Bob Marley’s legacy, a move that also has riled some Jamaicans.