We don’t seem to be able to get rid of Queen Elizabeth but we may soon get our own King. Yup, for that’s probably where the new Accompong Maroon chief wants to go.
It’s no joking matter though, for the Maroons have been the only true revolutionaries in Jamaica.
When the British chased out the Spaniards who had brought them from Africa as slaves, they refused to be re-enslaved, so fought for their freedom. For eighty years they fought guerilla warfare against the British and eventually, their leader Cudjoe signed a peace treaty in 1739.
Among the conditions agreed to under that treaty were; the Maroons would end attacks on English settlements and they would be given their own lands and autonomy. But the part that still leaves the bitter taste in the mouths of most Jamaicans is that they also agreed to, and did return slaves who ran away from the British.
In 1865, National Hero Paul Bogle suffered the ultimate price for this treachery.
However, since independence, they have been peaceful and productive citizens in Jamaica.
Now clearly, the new leader, Richard Currie has romantic ideas of being Cudjoe reincarnate, with all the revolutionary zeal that comes with that name. Belatedly, he is claiming that the Maroons are the indigenous people of our island.
What happened when I wasn’t watching? Because it has long been established that it was the Tainos who were! The updated version of our history is based on the premise that some Tainos escaped to the hills, procreated with the Maroons, so their descendants are the indigenous people. Should we therefore do DNA tests to see who from the diverse Maroons qualify on the grounds that they have Taino blood?
Next, according to Chief Currie, Accompong is a sovereign state!
Even if the Maroons are the indigenous people, (using the new criterion) are there any other indigenous people anywhere in the world who have a sovereign state?
Last year August, assuming sovereignty I guess, a group of Maroons chased away members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force who were searching for marijuana fields on their communal lands. In a video clip following that incident, Chief Currie appeared with what was said to be a rifle slung across his shoulders. He described this as being a means of protecting his people. His ancestors, he said, had bows and arrows; modern times demanded modern weapons.
Then in early January this year, leading up to the 284th anniversary of the Maroon Treaty, the police warned against the traditional big celebrations in Accompong because of COVID-19 protocols but they ignored the warnings. The event was held, violence broke out among patrons and one person was shot dead and several others were injured.
Is Currie’s new militancy a natural progression from events in September of 2020, when Accompong Maroons designated a new currency called the LUMI, as their official digital currency?
I visited the settlement in May 2021, and while I saw their new, beautiful Central Bank of Accompong, I couldn’t get a LUMI anywhere!
As they now move full speed to become a sovereign state, l guess the plan is to finance it as we do, begging other country for alms!
Or is it the smell of big bucks from the granting of a license to mine bauxite in a section of the Cockpit country, owned partly by the Maroons, which is driving this new thrust?Things are changing fast among some Maroons