Minutes of the Honorable Jamaica House of Representatives

At a meeting of the Members of the House of Representatives held pursuant to adjournment at Gordon House in the City and Parish of Kingston on Tuesday, the 21st DAY OF FEBRUARY, 2012 The House met at 2:16 p.m. o’clock.

NOTICES OF MOTIONS GIVEN ORALLY

 Mr. Lester Michael Henry gave notice that at the next meeting of the House he would move:

 WHEREAS the Slave Trade was barbaric and uncivilized and represented one of the worst examples of man’s inhumanity to man and should never be either forgotten or repeated;

 AND WHEREAS it was as a direct consequence of this Slave Trade that the African people were scattered throughout the Globe against their will, resulting in the dismantling and destabilization of Africa, so that children who were produced as a result have remained disenfranchised;

AND WHEREAS in direct proportion to the destabilization of the nations of these sons and daughters was the growth of prosperity and power of their colonial masters;

AND WHEREAS nations such as the English-speaking Caribbean, which have evolved through wresting independence from their slave masters, have remained doomed to be forever strangled by mushrooming debt;

AND WHEREAS history is replete with instances where compensation has been paid to nationalities for injustices and violations suffered, to wit, the Jews for the Holocaust, the Maoris of New Zealand and the Japanese after World War II;

AND WHEREAS it was unanimously passed in the House of Representatives on the 20th July, 1948, that all who desire to return to Liberia should be facilitated, and in response thereto, general instructions were issued to the then JLP Government on the 10th June, 1964;

AND WHEREAS the cry for repatriation has been a pursuit of some citizens, and it is now almost eighty years since the Rastafarian brethren of Jamaica, in particular, commenced their struggle for reparation and repatriation:

 BE IT RESOLVED that this Honourable House, with a view to establishing a united and common position, take a vote acknowledging that reparation is due to the countries of the displaced descendants of the African peoples, and that the Government of Jamaica has the right to pursue such claims from Great Britain on behalf of all citizens of Jamaica;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Great Britain be called upon to provide compensation by way of cash and or debt relief;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Government accommodate any citizen or group of citizens who wish to enter into dialogue regarding their repatriation to Liberia and to give consideration to their request in accordance with the 1948 Resolution of this Honourable House;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that any or all compensation to be made, which should be equivalent to that made to the former slave owners, be paid to the Government of Jamaica, a portion of which settlement should be used for the repatriation of any citizen so requesting, subject to international treaties;

 AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this Honourable House appoint a committee to sit jointly with a similar committee of the Senate, in consultation with private and/or governmental bodies to pursue this settlement with Great Britain directly, or if necessary, through the highest international courts. “

 

2: July 2013 Motion:

NOTICE GIVEN ON TUESDAY, 23RD JULY, 2013 6.

The House to continue debate on the motion – [No. 6]

WHEREAS the economies and fortunes of Europe, including Great Britain, were largely built upon the slave trade and slave labour;

AND WHEREAS the British Parliament passed the Slavery Abolition Act, 1833, which abolished the slavery system under which the British slave owners were guaranteed an endless supply of free labour, which was critical to the productivity of their holdings;

AND WHEREAS, by further political action, the British Parliament paid to the British slave owners a sum of £20M as economic compensation for the loss of the slaves who formed a major component of their production engine;

AND WHEREAS no similar political action was taken by the British Parliament to compensate the former slaves or their descendants for their labour, which built the economies of Europe, including Great Britain, nor were the former slaves allowed to own land;

AND WHEREAS the former slaves and their descendants should have been paid for their labour which built the economies of Europe, including Great Britain;

AND WHEREAS the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), of which Jamaica is a member, took a decision to form a committee to oversee the work of a CARICOM Reparation Commission on July 6, 2013, to pursue reparation claims against Great Britain and other slave trading countries;

AND WHEREAS the Rastafari have had their case for reparation to Africa approved by this House; and a National Reparation Committee was established by this Honourable House:

BE IT RESOLVED that this Honourable House debate the issue, as set out in the prayer, and make the political decision by a vote that the Government of Jamaica is entitled, on behalf of the former slaves and via the basic tenets of labour law and human rights, to receive payment from Great Britain, equivalent to the sum paid to the British slave owners as compensation for the loss of slave labour;

 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the payment be used to clear off all the debt of Jamaica and to improve the education, infrastructural development, and health sectors, and a portion be set aside for the repatriation of African Jamaicans to Africa;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this Honourable House enjoin other CARICOM countries to make similar political decisions on this matter, and that this Honourable House instructs the Government of Jamaica to take this case of genocide to the International Court of Justice to value the economic cost of chattel slavery to Jamaica and the further compensation that should flow for the abuse of human rights and the attendant denial of culture and history, murder, rape and wanton abuse of power in flogging, branding, and denial of freedom of movement, freedom to worship, freedom to own land, and the right to education, which were the hallmark of slavery. [Page 18 of 24]

 

3: More recent Motion: 2014:

ORDER OF BUSINESS OF THE HONOURABLE JAMAICA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

TUESDAY, MARCH 11, 2014

 

NOTICE GIVEN ON TUESDAY, 23RD JULY, 2013 10. Mr. Henry – to move – [No. 20]

 

WHEREAS the economies and fortunes of Europe, including Great Britain, were largely built upon the slave trade and slave labour;

AND WHEREAS the British Parliament passed the Slavery Abolition Act, 1833, which abolished the slavery system under which the British slave owners were guaranteed an endless supply of free labour, which was critical to the productivity of their holdings;

 AND WHEREAS, by further political action, the British Parliament paid to the British slave owners a sum of £20M as economic compensation for the loss of the slaves who formed a major component of their production engine;

AND WHEREAS no similar political action was taken by the British Parliament to compensate the former slaves or their descendants for their labour, which built the economies of Europe, including Great Britain, nor were the former slaves allowed to own land;

AND WHEREAS the former slaves and their descendants should have been paid for their labour which built the economies of Europe, including Great Britain;

AND WHEREAS the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), of which Jamaica is a member, took a decision to form a committee to oversee the work of a CARICOM Reparation Commission on July 6, 2013, to pursue reparation claims against Great Britain and other slave trading countries;

 AND WHEREAS the Rastafari have had their case for reparation to Africa approved by this House; and a National Reparation Committee was established by this Honourable House:

BE IT RESOLVED that this Honourable House debate the issue, as set out in the prayer, and make the political decision by a vote that the Government of Jamaica is entitled, on behalf of the former slaves and via the basic tenets of labour law and human rights, to receive payment from Great Britain, equivalent to the sum paid to the British slave owners as compensation for the loss of slave labour;

Page 11 of 19

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the payment be used to clear off all the debt of Jamaica and to improve the education, infrastructural development, and health sectors, and a portion be set aside for the reparation of African Jamaicans to Africa;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this Honourable House enjoin other CARICOM countries to make similar political decisions on this matter, and that this Honourable House instructs the Government of Jamaica to take this case of genocide to the International Court of Justice to value the economic cost of chattel slavery to Jamaica and the further compensation that should flow for the abuse of human rights and the attendant denial of culture and history, murder, rape and wanton abuse of power in flogging, branding, and denial of freedom of movement, freedom to worship, freedom to own land, and the right to education, which were the hallmark of slavery.

 

3: 2015 Motion:

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