CARICOM Reparations Commission to Examine Connections Between Western Banking, Colonialism and Reparations

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The CARICOM Reparations Commission (CRC) in collaboration with the Centre for Reparation Research (CRR) and the Antigua & Barbuda Reparations Support Commission will convene a one-day symposium in Antigua and Barbuda on the topic, “Western Banking, Colonialism and Reparations.”

The symposium will take place at the Starfish Jolly Beach Hotel on Thursday, Oct. 10,
and will explore the historical roots of Western banks in the financing and
profiteering from the enslavement of Africans and their descendants in the
Diaspora. The symposium will also identify the role of these banks in the support
and expansion of colonial and neo-colonial rule in the Caribbean.

The Hon. Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda and Prof. Sir
Hilary Beckles, Chairman of the CARICOM Reparations Commission (CRC) and Vice
Chancellor of the University of the West Indies (UWI) will deliver keynote
addresses. Other major speeches will be made by Prof. Verene Shepherd, Director of
the Centre for Reparation Research at the University of the West Indies (UWI) and
Mr. Hans Fassler, an influential Swiss historian.

A distinguished group of scholars, historians and reparations activists will
participate as panelists. They include Dr. Peter Hudson from the University of
California at Los Angeles, Dr. Kris Manjapra from Tufts University, Dr. Kathleen
Monteith from the UWI, Dr. Ahmed Reid from the City University of New York, Mr.
Malik Al Nassir, author and poet from the United Kingdom and Mr. Armand Zunder,
head of the Suriname Reparations Commission.

“The CARICOM Reparations Commission (CRC) is delighted to be partnering with
the Centre for Reparations Research and the Antigua & Barbuda Reparations
Support Commission on this critical and timely symposium which will bring
together scholars and experts from around the world to explore the historical
connections between Western banking and enslavement and colonialism and to
examine the adverse impact on the development challenges facing the Caribbean
today,” said Sir. Hilary Beckles.

“We are honored to have PM Gaston Browne as one of our main speakers and we
commend him for reaffirming his government’s commitment to reparations in his
recent address to the United Nations General Assembly,” he added.
Prime Minister Browne, who is also Antigua & Barbuda’s Minister of Finance, is
expected to describe the challenges to economic and political independence posed
by the international finance systems and the current debt crisis in the region. He will
voice the CARICOM’s demand for “historical and contemporary justice and equity.”
“We extend a warm welcome to this reparations gathering,” said Dorbrene O’Marde,
Chairperson of the Antigua and Barbuda Reparations Support Commission. “This
crucial discussion comes five years after hosting the second CARICOM Reparations
Conference and we are confident that the deliberations of this symposium will
inform the reparatory justice work of the CRC and the governments of CARICOM in
the weeks and months ahead.”

“At the end of the symposium, we intend to issue a call to the international financing
sector to take responsibility for the role it played in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade
and the enslavement of Africans and to engage the global banking system in a firm
commitment to Caribbean development within a reparatory justice framework that
rejects the exploitation of the region and promotes ethical best practices rooted in
respectful mutual interest”, said Sir Hilary.

The symposium comes just weeks after the signing of an historic Memorandum of
Understanding (MOU) between the University of Glasgow and the University of the
West Indies whereby the two universities agreed to establish the GlasgowCaribbean Centre for Development Research.

Through reparatory-oriented policy research, the Centre will address the legacies of
slavery and colonialism, and over the next two decades, the University of Glasgow
will commit to spending £20 million as part of its programme of reparative justice,
and will work with the UWI to attract external funding for mutually agreed projects
that will benefit the communities of the Caribbean islands and other parts of the
world affected by the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade

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14 COMMENTS

      • Notes From A Native Son Of The Rock! “What matters is not so much the color of your skin as the power you serve and the millions you betray.” ― Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Mask!

        Let us Salute Dorbrene O’Marde, Chairperson and the Members of the Antigua and Barbuda Reparations Support Commission!

        If you may wish to understand why PM Browne is standing firm and on solid ground with this initiative would suggest that you read “Colonial Australia’s foundation is stained with the profits of British slavery” and learn how Caribbean Slave Holder descendants may their way to Australia with the proceeds from the British Governments Abolition Funds and developed that Nation and Civilization! They received the last payment in this The International Decade for People of African Descennt 2015 -2024 while we got nothing! Cameron offered Jamaica a Gaol for the return of Jamaican descendants from Britain! Would have gladly provided the URL for the Australian Historical Referent Point but this news outlet looks dimly on links!

        “What is any better than operating and acting out of our own collective interest? What is any greater than seeing the world through our eyes? What resonates more with people than understanding that we are central to our history, not someone else’s? If we can, in the process of materializing our consciousness, claim space as agents of progressive change, then we can change our condition and change the world.” – Asante!

    • Notes From A Native Son Of The Rock! : “Here lie the ashes of Oliver Ridsdale Second Earl Baldwin of Bewdley, Born March 1899 Died August 1958. Governor, Commander in Chief in and over the Leeward Islands and Vice Admiral of the same 1948 – 1950. He loved the people of these islands. RIP.” The People welcomed the Second Coming in his suit of Black! The Third Coming was The Ashes in an Urn celebrated by the Police Force!

      Britain freed the enslaved Africans in 1834 through the Emancipation Act of 1833, but gave the people no land, nothing in reality to get started on! Even the Apprenticeship, that dastardly process, more brutal on may islands that chattel, and today throughout the English Speaking Caribbean, no solid institution of technical learning and apprenticeship have been developed! At the same time, the Brits paid the plantation owners with Millions of Pounds! There was a willingness to give the white peasants from Europe an economic base and yet it refused to give its black peasants from Africa who came here involuntarily, in chains, and had worked for free for 200 plus years, any kind of economic base! So Emancipation for the People of African Descent was really freedom to hunger! It was freedom to the winds and rains of heaven and the ferocity of Annual Tropical Storms and Hurricanes in wattle and daub! It was freedom without food to eat or land to cultivate and therefore it was freedom and famine at the same time!

      What do you know of life from 1634 to 1951 on the Rock! What do you know of yaws and chiggers! What do you know of our people walking from all corners to Body Ponds and Wallings to get water to drink! What do you know of the 1950’s of men pulling carts with derelict shacks for houses to clear out the Barios Africanos on the Bridge, Garlings and Tinning Village to develop Ottos New Town! What do you know of Seven Standard Education for the masses before PMS was built in 1955! Antigua’s Keithlyn B. Smith, Fernando C. Smith: “To shoot hard labour: The life and times of Samuel Smith, an Antiguan workingman, 1877-1982!

  1. I was listening to Observer Radio on Saturday afternoon. The amount of Persons that call in the Snake Pit asking for the removal of the Their LEADER Harold Lovell was a BIG surprise. Most of the callers said that the UPP lack Leadership. Although these were UPP Supporters People like Chalkie and Others were cursing the callers. One caller said that They had the opportunity to get rid of all the Old Guards but They did not do it. This shows that the UPP does not listen to Their Members. Hope the Hon. Gaston Browne call a snap election. None of the Other Parties can find Candidates to run in all the Constituencies. Hope that an election will be call in 2021.

    • Thank JAH they can criticize their party and not drink the koolaid. Democracy is alive and well on Antigua and Barbuda with the freedom of the press NewsCo Observer Radio 91.1 FM can you say the same for the red koolaid radio stations Mr. Harris? The same Saturday you called about five times. What a wonderful Antigua and Barbuda with Observe Radio that people like you can exercise your freedom of speech. “Let there be light” and say NO to the dictator Gaston Top Dawg Browne.

    • Harris:
      Are you the one who said you were a Lawyer.I listened to you trying to complete a sentence on Observer Radio.You as a Lawyer could not lead a blind horse to the drink.My suggestion to you would be to stop drinking and or smoking that which you are using.

  2. Speaking of Reparations.I am coming to get my two mules,2 cutlasses, to chop wood and bun coal.This man Gaston Browne would be speaking on Reparations.Really? He who is giving away Antigua and Barbuda people lands.To the same off springs of the Colonialists and now the Chinese.That man is a two headed monster.He never saw a dollar he did not like and just walk away.They are nothing more than opportunists,yard boys.Yet you people are feasting off the backs of dead black people.While eating out of the hands of the same White Man.Hypocrites,you dirty hypocrites.One day the African Slave Trade Reparations Road would come to a dead end.With no exits.Then what?

    • Notes From A Native Son Of The Rock! “For the majority of the ex-slaves in this the small islands of the Leewards, emancipation signalled an important change in legal status only. With no economic alternatives in sight to the plantation system, they returned immediately and without euphoria to the cane fields of their masters, there to eke out a living under austere conditions.” – Dr. Gregson and Margo Davis: Antigua Black! That austere condition lasted until 1950’s and collapsed in 1973!

      Why do “nattering nabobs of negativity” suggest that People of African descent lift themselves up by their own bootstraps! They have no understanding over the legacy of slavery, white supremacy, colonialism, neo-colonial globalization and underdevelopment of People of African Descent on SIDS! Clearly we as an independent people ought to do all we can and seek to lift ourselves by our own bootstraps but it’s “ethical badmindedness” which Dr. Paget Henry and his colleague Dr. Gordon describe as an ethical discourse in which people are seen as acting out of bad motives rather than good ones and a cruel jest to say to a bootless man that he ought to lift himself by his own bootstraps!

      “Often, (The Reverend George Weston) would begin a story by saying, ‘You don’t know your own history!’ and would go on to tell us what he knew of the Black man’s legacy in Antigua.” – Dr. Gregson and Margo Davis!

      With Emancipation 1834, Adult Suffrage 1951, Statehood in Association 1967 and Independence 1981, Antiguans and Barbudans have been left bootless as a result of all of these years of oppression and as a result of a society that has deliberately made our African Ancestry a stigma and something worthless and degrading! It is necessary to remind you that, we like Haiti have bought our land rights when VC Bird paid the Syndicate Estates for the Plantation Land on which our people toiled until 1973!

      What do you know of Mary Prince of Woods Estate 1815 – 1828! It would be a fitting tribute to dedicate a Monument to her somewhere along Friars Hill Road Between the Cemetery and WIOC, the ill-named “Golden Mile!” Do you know there are people of African descent, resident on Antigua, who refuse to set food on Woods Shopping Centre and those Ribbon Developments along Friars Hill Road!

      What do you know of Isaac Royall and his endowment that was the foundation for the creation and development of Harvard Law School!

      “For me it is the greatest act of political immorality, to be told consistently and persistently to put this in the past and yet Her Majesty’s Treasury has released the relevant information to suggest that it is just two years ago (2015) that this bond was being repaid,” – Prof. Dr. Hilary Beckles, Chairman of the CARICOM Reparations Commission (CRC) and Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies (UWI)!

    • @Bugsy
      Grandson of a slave master Moodystuart, who lives in Antigua has his license to grow marijuana, light bulbs should have gone off here. Who will work on his farm, will he import farm workers?

      PM should fix this before he speaks.

      History is being repeated…..

  3. Mr.Knight for your information I never called in the Snakepit or any of Observer Programs. There you go again trying to deceive the People. Your Party UPP will be in Opposition forever. You will be complaining again after 2121. Just to juggle your memory. You told the General public that the UPP is OLD WINE IN BROKEN BOTTLE. Hope you remember. God bless Hon. Gaston Browne.

  4. How does division like this aid unity. Why not a central location free of cost for all to attend?

    Segregation and separation is obvious only a certain class of people is expected to attend.

    If unity is required all hands on deck, why the elimination of the financially depressed.

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