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BY FRANK PHIPPS, KC

Decades of action by succeeding governments for crime control, especially for murder spreading fear across the island as domestic terrorism, leave communities with a pockmarked face of violence and emotional distress.

The heroes we celebrate on October 17 are those who struggled and sacrificed against slavery and colonialism to bring us this far. Here, there is a vacuum for law and order that is being filled by violence and competing deadly force for crime control.

This is the unfinished business for a new national hero around whom the people will coalesce with mutual respect and for mutual protection — a new hero to be a symbol of everlasting goodness and virtue portrayed in the flesh to represent all that is good in the people to glorify. 

Some people use a Tribal Chief as their monarch, others use a traditional King. Regardless of title, a sovereign leader is the final repository of goodness and virtue for those people. Using an alien monarch is a recipe for social disaster with crime topping the list.

National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang reports the heavy toll crime control takes from the financial resources of the country when there are other urgent demands to satisfy. The reduction of poverty is high on the list, reform of the justice system, expansion of mental health and wellness services, streamline the education system, improvement to personal safety requiring upgrade of roads and bridges and flood water control that take away life, all need immediate attention. Where is the money to come from to complete the journey our ancestors started in the pursuit of happiness?  

First, there is the UN Proclamation for January 1, 2015, to be the start of the international decade for “recognition, justice and development” for the people of African descent (UN Resolution 23 Dec 2013). Next is the unanimous bipartisan decision by peoples’ representatives in the Parliament of Jamaica passed in the same month, January 27, 2015, to claim reparation from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland for slavery under British colonial rule in Jamaica.

The Claim

The claim for reparation starts with the abduction of human beings from their home and family at different parts of Africa, carried out by robbers of different nations — European and African. The victims were shackled and marched to the west coast of Africa as strangers to each other, indiscriminate for origin, social status, religion, culture or language. There they were held in a community of imprisonment, awaiting transportation across the Atlantic as cargo for the Americas and the Caribbean.

This was the focal point of the infamous transatlantic slave trade with the ghastly physical and emotional injuries inflicted on the people of Africa, foreshadowed by the UN Proclamation for recognition, justice and development. It took 300 years of suffering for the international community to get there. Before the end of the decade, the people of African descent must act on their own in a claim for compensation.

The first leg of a triangular slave trade started in Britain with boats laden with goods for delivery at West Africa. The cargo was changed at the west coast of Africa for the second leg of the trade. Here the people from a break-up of the community of imprisonment were taken on board the vessels for a journey by the Middle Passage across the Atlantic to the Caribbean.

The second leg of the trade by the middle passage to what was called the West Indies (not knowing where they were), defies description for the horrors and the evil endured by human beings as freight in the hull of the notorious slave ships, secured and insured only for their commercial value to the merchants — traders in death and degradation for the people from Africa.

The stopover in Jamaica on the second leg of the trade was where the people from Africa were again separated to be sold at auction for work on the plantations, placed in a new relationship with other enslaved people in a system operated like any other piece of machinery in the agricultural industry.

A free hand was given to the enslaver for the commercial benefit of the “the Mother Country” as stated in Slave Law of Jamaica. (See also Act of Parliament 23 Geo. 11 Cap.31) .

The third leg of the triangle was the journey back home by ships loaded up with sugar and rum for sale in Britain, with enormous incremental profits from the trade.

Succeeding generations of the black people from Africa had worked enslaved and unpaid continuously for 183 years on the plantations in Jamaica under British colonial rule, exclusively to make Britain rich with the consent, connivance and complicity of the UK Government from whom they now claim reparation.

It should also be noted that the people of African descent in the Caribbean were never allowed an opportunity to worship together before their God, or an opportunity to gather as one people of African descent, except at work.

The Claimants

The Jamaican people are claimants in the demand for reparation. Jamaica is a nation of the black people from Africa who were transplanted to the Caribbean to become de facto the new indigenous people of the country (Sherlock & Bennett: The Story of the Jamaican People). The 2011 census records Jamaica with a total population of 2,684,115 with blacks accounting for 2,471,820 or 92.09 percentage of the total population (The Planning Institute of Jamaica).

These are the only people who have lived on the island continuously for more than 500 years from 1494. They had no nationality or residence other than Jamaica. They continued there with white settlers added and treated as a “superior race” under British colonial rule. In time, the blacks became the overwhelming majority of the population. These are people of African descent, identified in the UN Proclamation for recognition, justice and development.

In 1962 the people of Jamaica elected their government under a system of universal adult franchise to administer the affairs of the country for peace, order and good government. This was the first time the descendants of the people from Africa had an unrestricted voice to be heard in a claim for reparation for slavery.

Enslavement on the plantations for succeeding generations with their fundamental human rights and freedoms taken away was chattel slavery for life and beyond — a point where even the child in the womb was enslaved, a condition to be passed on from one generation to another as an inheritable legacy, with apartheid and segregation as part of a slave nation’s life.

— Dr Molefi Kete Asante Slavery Remembrance Day Liverpool Town Hall, August 21, 2007. See also Edward B Rugemer, (The William and Mary Quarterly Vol. 70, No 3 (July 2013)

The planters administered the country based on profit from the hard labour of enslaved people working from sunrise to sunset, mainly in the cane fields of the plantation. Women were particularly harshly affected, they worked both in the cane field and on the bed, producing children from the male slaves and from the masters that were in great demand for the economy.

The distinguished Harvard Professor, Orlando Patterson, documented the brutal practices of British Colonial slavery in Jamaica: “The sexual exploitation of female slaves by white men was the most disgraceful aspect of Jamaican slave society. … often involving the most heinous forms of sexual torture were the order of the day, he wrote in Sociology of Slavery.

These were the conditions that frustrate the full development of Jamaica as a free and democratic nation, the conditions of mental slavery that retard the emotional growth of individuals with the curse of crime and social disorder resulting.

At the end of the colonial period in 1962, there was a legacy of leftovers from the British with social and financial differences between the Haves and the Have-nots deeply entrenched for persistent poverty with social imbalance.

Enslavement was challenged by several revolts and rebellion islandwide. One of the first recorded resistance was in Clarendon at Sutton plantation in 1690, followed by the two Maroon wars in Trelawny, the Chief Tacky rebellion in St. Mary, Queen Nanny resistance at the east, and finally the Sam Sharpe resistance (the Christmas Rebellion) 1831/1832 one year before the Emancipation Act.

Jamaica’s development from a start behind scratch to reach the position of a stable democracy with fundamental rights and freedoms is a commendable achievement. Many individuals broke through the racial and financial barriers to prosperity but too many are still left behind the zinc fence screening poverty — the primary school for crime and social disorder.

Human rights abuses were aggravated at emancipation by paying compensation for slavery to the wrong people — the enslavers and not the enslaved. This is what a complaint to the UK Monarch can correct, along with the overdue adjustment of the inherited imbalance in the society that is causing uncontrollable crime, indiscipline and public disorder.

The offender and the remedy

Nations of Europe became extraordinarily wealthy from the transatlantic slave trade with human beings from Africa as cargo. Britain was the wealthiest of the wealthy and the most powerful from control of Caribbean slave labour.

The Charter of the International Military Tribunal, Nuremberg 1945, stated slavery as a crime against humanity. The preamble to the UN 1970 Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to Crimes Against Humanity stated:

“Convinced that the effective punishment of war crimes and crimes against humanity is an important element in the prevention of such crimes, the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, the encouragement of confidence, the furtherance of co-operation among peoples and the promotion of international peace and security.”

This submission on behalf of the people of African descent does not seek to punish the UK for human rights violations; instead, it relies on section 4 of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council Act 1833 for an adjustment in man’s inhumanity to man. It cannot be entirely fortuitous that Royal assent to the PC Act was August 14, followed two weeks later by the assent to the Slavery Abolition Act on August 28 as complementary legislation.

The section states where a complaint is made to the Monarch that cannot go through the courts, the Monarch will refer the complaint to the Privy Council for advice in the same way as for claims from the courts under section 3. 

A premature pre-emptive strike

CARICOM members who removed The Queen as head of state can no longer take that route to address slavery.

The UK Government accepts the advice of the Privy Council on such legal and constitutional matters that cannot go through the courts, confirmed by minister Crossman, HC Deb 06 March 1967 vol 742 cc1038 -9 1038).

Section 4 is where the UK Government should be brought before a court of justice (the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council that is highest court of justice for Jamaica) to account for the emotional and physical injury the people suffered from chattel slavery under British colonial rule, bearing in mind that Britain’s extraordinary wealth was acquired largely from the toil and tears, the blood and sweat of the enslaved people in Jamaica.

This is a once-in-a-life-time opportunity for reparation that will be lost when Jamaicans gives up the English Monarch as their head of state in a premature pre-emptive manner.

An order under section 4 for reparation should include a contribution and advice for training Jamaicans on how to deal with crime, debt relief and poverty.

More extensively to include provisions of goods and services for the improvement of education and mental health services, domestic harmony, alternative energy, and disciplined communication (road traffic madness and Internet scamming) to complete the journey for reparation while the alien monarch lasts.

This is the time with life and liberty guaranteed at Independence, a time for a new national hero to emerge for completing the journey for the pursuit of happiness. 

ADDENDUM 1

The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council Act 1833

3. Appeals to King in council from sentence of any judge, etc, shall be referred to the committee, to report thereon. All appeals or complaints in the nature of appeals whatever, which either by virtue of this Act, or of any law, statute, or custom, may be brought before his Majesty or his Majesty in council from or in respect of the determination, sentence, rule, or order of any court, judge, or judicial officer, and all such appeals as are now pending and unheard, shall, from and after the passing of this Act, be referred by his Majesty to the said judicial committee of his privy council, and such appeals, causes, and matters shall be heard by the said judicial committee, and a report or recommendation thereon shall be made to his Majesty in council for his decision thereon as heretofore, in the same manner and form as has been heretofore the custom with respect to matters referred by his Majesty to the whole of his privy council or a committee thereof (the nature of such report or recommendation being always stated in open court) .

4. His Majesty may refer any other matters to the committee. It shall be lawful for his Majesty to refer to the said judicial committee for hearing or consideration any such other matters whatsoever as his Majesty shall think fit; and such committee shall thereupon hear or consider the same, and shall advise his Majesty thereon in manner aforesaid.

ADDENDUM 2

CONCEPT NOTE Launch of the International Decade for People of African Descent

The 2001 World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance was a historic opportunity to acknowledge the burdens faced by people of African descent as a result of the legacies of slavery, the slave trade and colonialism. Despite efforts to mobilize political will at the national, regional and international levels, 13 years after the World Conference against Racism and the adoption of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, the discrimination faced by people of African Descent continues to manifest in situations of limited access to quality education, employment, security and vulnerability to violence based on colour or ethnicity

The International Decade will enable the United Nations, Member States, civil society and all other relevant actors to join with people of African descent and take effective measures for the implementation of the programme of activities in the spirit of recognition, justice and development.

Wanted, A New National Hero To Represent What Is Good In Us

BY FRANK PHIPPS, KC

Decades of action by succeeding governments for crime control, especially for murder spreading fear across the island as domestic terrorism, leave communities with a pockmarked face of violence and emotional distress.

The heroes we celebrate on October 17 are those who struggled and sacrificed against slavery and colonialism to bring us this far. Here, there is a vacuum for law and order that is being filled by violence and competing deadly force for crime control.

This is the unfinished business for a new national hero around whom the people will coalesce with mutual respect and for mutual protection — a new hero to be a symbol of everlasting goodness and virtue portrayed in the flesh to represent all that is good in the people to glorify. 

Some people use a Tribal Chief as their monarch, others use a traditional King. Regardless of title, a sovereign leader is the final repository of goodness and virtue for those people. Using an alien monarch is a recipe for social disaster with crime topping the list.

National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang reports the heavy toll crime control takes from the financial resources of the country when there are other urgent demands to satisfy. The reduction of poverty is high on the list, reform of the justice system, expansion of mental health and wellness services, streamline the education system, improvement to personal safety requiring upgrade of roads and bridges and flood water control that take away life, all need immediate attention. Where is the money to come from to complete the journey our ancestors started in the pursuit of happiness?  

First, there is the UN Proclamation for January 1, 2015, to be the start of the international decade for “recognition, justice and development” for the people of African descent (UN Resolution 23 Dec 2013). Next is the unanimous bipartisan decision by peoples’ representatives in the Parliament of Jamaica passed in the same month, January 27, 2015, to claim reparation from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Island for slavery under British colonial rule in Jamaica.

The Claim

The claim for reparation starts with the abduction of human beings from their home and family at different parts of Africa, carried out by robbers of different nations — European and African. The victims were shackled and marched to the west coast of Africa as strangers to each other, indiscriminate for origin, social status, religion, culture or language. There they were held in a community of imprisonment, awaiting transportation across the Atlantic as cargo for the Americas and the Caribbean.

This was the focal point of the infamous transatlantic slave trade with the ghastly physical and emotional injuries inflicted on the people of Africa, foreshadowed by the UN Proclamation for recognition, justice and development. It took 300 years of suffering for the international community to get there. Before the end of the decade, the people of African descent must act on their own in a claim for compensation.

The first leg of a triangular slave trade started in Britain with boats laden with goods for delivery at West Africa. The cargo was changed at the west coast of Africa for the second leg of the trade. Here the people from a break-up of the community of imprisonment were taken on board the vessels for a journey by the Middle Passage across the Atlantic to the Caribbean.

The second leg of the trade by the middle passage to what was called the West Indies (not knowing where they were), defies description for the horrors and the evil endured by human beings as freight in the hull of the notorious slave ships, secured and insured only for their commercial value to the merchants — traders in death and degradation for the people from Africa.

The stopover in Jamaica on the second leg of the trade was where the people from Africa were again separated to be sold at auction for work on the plantations, placed in a new relationship with other enslaved people in a system operated like any other piece of machinery in the agricultural industry.

A free hand was given to the enslaver for the commercial benefit of the “the Mother Country” as stated in Slave Law of Jamaica. (See also Act of Parliament 23 Geo. 11 Cap.31) .

The third leg of the triangle was the journey back home by ships loaded up with sugar and rum for sale in Britain, with enormous incremental profits from the trade.

Succeeding generations of the black people from Africa had worked enslaved and unpaid continuously for 183 years on the plantations in Jamaica under British colonial rule, exclusively to make Britain rich with the consent, connivance and complicity of the UK Government from whom they now claim reparation.

It should also be noted that the people of African descent in the Caribbean were never allowed an opportunity to worship together before their God, or an opportunity to gather as one people of African descent, except at work.

The Claimants

The Jamaican people are claimants in the demand for reparation. Jamaica is a nation of the black people from Africa who were transplanted to the Caribbean to become de facto the new indigenous people of the country (Sherlock & Bennett: The Story of the Jamaican People). The 2011 census records Jamaica with a total population of 2,684,115 with blacks accounting for 2,471,820 or 92.09 percentage of the total population (The Planning Institute of Jamaica).

These are the only people who have lived on the island continuously for more than 500 years from 1494. They had no nationality or residence other than Jamaica. They continued there with white settlers added and treated as a “superior race” under British colonial rule. In time, the blacks became the overwhelming majority of the population. These are people of African descent, identified in the UN Proclamation for recognition, justice and development.

In 1962 the people of Jamaica elected their government under a system of universal adult franchise to administer the affairs of the country for peace, order and good government. This was the first time the descendants of the people from Africa had an unrestricted voice to be heard in a claim for reparation for slavery.

Enslavement on the plantations for succeeding generations with their fundamental human rights and freedoms taken away was chattel slavery for life and beyond — a point where even the child in the womb was enslaved, a condition to be passed on from one generation to another as an inheritable legacy, with apartheid and segregation as part of a slave nation’s life.

— Dr Molefi Kete Asante Slavery Remembrance Day Liverpool Town Hall, August 21, 2007. See also Edward B Rugemer, (The William and Mary Quarterly Vol. 70, No 3 (July 2013)

The planters administered the country based on profit from the hard labour of enslaved people working from sunrise to sunset, mainly in the cane fields of the plantation. Women were particularly harshly affected, they worked both in the cane field and on the bed, producing children from the male slaves and from the masters that were in great demand for the economy.

The distinguished Harvard Professor, Orlando Patterson, documented the brutal practices of British Colonial slavery in Jamaica: “The sexual exploitation of female slaves by white men was the most disgraceful aspect of Jamaican slave society. … often involving the most heinous forms of sexual torture were the order of the day, he wrote in Sociology of Slavery.

These were the conditions that frustrate the full development of Jamaica as a free and democratic nation, the conditions of mental slavery that retard the emotional growth of individuals with the curse of crime and social disorder resulting.

At the end of the colonial period in 1962, there was a legacy of leftovers from the British with social and financial differences between the Haves and the Have-nots deeply entrenched for persistent poverty with social imbalance.

Enslavement was challenged by several revolts and rebellion islandwide. One of the first recorded resistance was in Clarendon at Sutton plantation in 1690, followed by the two Maroon wars in Trelawny, the Chief Tacky rebellion in St. Mary, Queen Nanny resistance at the east, and finally the Sam Sharpe resistance (the Christmas Rebellion) 1831/1832 one year before the Emancipation Act.

Jamaica’s development from a start behind scratch to reach the position of a stable democracy with fundamental rights and freedoms is a commendable achievement. Many individuals broke through the racial and financial barriers to prosperity but too many are still left behind the zinc fence screening poverty — the primary school for crime and social disorder.

Human rights abuses were aggravated at emancipation by paying compensation for slavery to the wrong people — the enslavers and not the enslaved. This is what a complaint to the UK Monarch can correct, along with the overdue adjustment of the inherited imbalance in the society that is causing uncontrollable crime, indiscipline and public disorder.

The offender and the remedy

Nations of Europe became extraordinarily wealthy from the transatlantic slave trade with human beings from Africa as cargo. Britain was the wealthiest of the wealthy and the most powerful from control of Caribbean slave labour.

The Charter of the International Military Tribunal, Nuremberg 1945, stated slavery as a crime against humanity. The preamble to the UN 1970 Convention on the Non-Applicability of Statutory Limitations to Crimes Against Humanity stated:

“Convinced that the effective punishment of war crimes and crimes against humanity is an important element in the prevention of such crimes, the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, the encouragement of confidence, the furtherance of co-operation among peoples and the promotion of international peace and security.”

This submission on behalf of the people of African descent does not seek to punish the UK for human rights violations; instead, it relies on section 4 of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council Act 1833 for an adjustment in man’s inhumanity to man. It cannot be entirely fortuitous that Royal assent to the PC Act was August 14, followed two weeks later by the assent to the Slavery Abolition Act on August 28 as complementary legislation.

The section states where a complaint is made to the Monarch that cannot go through the courts, the Monarch will refer the complaint to the Privy Council for advice in the same way as for claims from the courts under section 3. 

A premature pre-emptive strike

CARICOM members who removed The Queen as head of state can no longer take that route to address slavery.

The UK Government accepts the advice of the Privy Council on such legal and constitutional matters that cannot go through the courts, confirmed by minister Crossman, HC Deb 06 March 1967 vol 742 cc1038 -9 1038).

Section 4 is where the UK Government should be brought before a court of justice (the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council that is highest court of justice for Jamaica) to account for the emotional and physical injury the people suffered from chattel slavery under British colonial rule, bearing in mind that Britain’s extraordinary wealth was acquired largely from the toil and tears, the blood and sweat of the enslaved people in Jamaica.

This is a once-in-a-life-time opportunity for reparation that will be lost when Jamaicans gives up the English Monarch as their head of state in a premature pre-emptive manner.

An order under section 4 for reparation should include a contribution and advice for training Jamaicans on how to deal with crime, debt relief and poverty.

More extensively to include provisions of goods and services for the improvement of education and mental health services, domestic harmony, alternative energy, and disciplined communication (road traffic madness and Internet scamming) to complete the journey for reparation while the alien monarch lasts.

This is the time with life and liberty guaranteed at Independence, a time for a new national hero to emerge for completing the journey for the pursuit of happiness. 

ADDENDUM 1

The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council Act 1833

3. Appeals to King in council from sentence of any judge, etc, shall be referred to the committee, to report thereon. All appeals or complaints in the nature of appeals whatever, which either by virtue of this Act, or of any law, statute, or custom, may be brought before his Majesty or his Majesty in council from or in respect of the determination, sentence, rule, or order of any court, judge, or judicial officer, and all such appeals as are now pending and unheard, shall, from and after the passing of this Act, be referred by his Majesty to the said judicial committee of his privy council, and such appeals, causes, and matters shall be heard by the said judicial committee, and a report or recommendation thereon shall be made to his Majesty in council for his decision thereon as heretofore, in the same manner and form as has been heretofore the custom with respect to matters referred by his Majesty to the whole of his privy council or a committee thereof (the nature of such report or recommendation being always stated in open court) .

4. His Majesty may refer any other matters to the committee. It shall be lawful for his Majesty to refer to the said judicial committee for hearing or consideration any such other matters whatsoever as his Majesty shall think fit; and such committee shall thereupon hear or consider the same, and shall advise his Majesty thereon in manner aforesaid.

ADDENDUM 2

CONCEPT NOTE Launch of the International Decade for People of African Descent

The 2001 World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance was a historic opportunity to acknowledge the burdens faced by people of African descent as a result of the legacies of slavery, the slave trade and colonialism. Despite efforts to mobilize political will at the national, regional and international levels, 13 years after the World Conference against Racism and the adoption of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, the discrimination faced by people of African Descent continues to manifest in situations of limited access to quality education, employment, security and vulnerability to violence based on colour or ethnicity

The International Decade will enable the United Nations, Member States, civil society and all other relevant actors to join with people of African descent and take effective measures for the implementation of the programme of activities in the spirit of recognition, justice and development.

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