‘We owe it to our ancestors’ says the Bahamas National Reparations Committee
Campaigners in the Bahamas have urged the British monarchy to apologise and pay reparations for its role in slavery ahead of Prince William and Kate’s upcoming royal visit.
The Bahamas National Reparations Committee called for the monarchy to atone for its role in the mass trafficking of African people in a strongly worded open letter.
The committee sits within the Caribbean Community (Caricom), the oldest surviving integration movement in the developing world and intergovernmental organisation of 15 member states throughout the Caribbean.
"NS, the children of those victims, owe it to our ancestors to remember. We owe it to our ancestors to demand a reckoning and to demand accountability, healing, and justice," 彼らが書きました.
“The Duke and Duchess may not be compelled to make such a declaration during their visit to our shores. They may not be able at this time to speak on behalf of the Queen and their government. しかしながら, they can no longer ignore the devastation of their heritage.
“They and their family of royals and their government must acknowledge that their diverse economy was built on the backs of our ancestors. その後, they must pay.”
The collective also took umbrage with the fact that the Bahamas is paying to accommodate the royal visit.
"NS, the members of the Bahamas National Reparations Committee (BNRC), recognise that the people of the Bahamas have been left holding the bag for much of the cost of this extravagant trip,” it wrote.
“Why are we footing the bill for the benefit of a regime whose rise to ‘greatness’ was fuelled by the extinction, 奴隷制, 植民地化, and degradation of the people of this land? Why are we being made to pay again?」
“Once William and Kate have passed over the newly paved roads, driven by the freshly painted walls, and waved to the schoolchildren who have been pulled out of their classes to stand and watch them go by, what will the Bahamian people be left with?」
The Cambridges’ arrival in the Bahamas will fall on the 15th anniversary of the United Nations’ International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
The couple arrived in Jamaica on Tuesday to a much-publicised demonstration urging the monarchy to pay reparations for slavery, and there have been calls from politicians for the country to drop the Queen as head of state and become a republic.
Prince Charles witnessed Barbados break away from the British monarchy and become a republic last November, attending the swearing in of its first president, Dame Sandra Mason.