Former Colonies Demand Apology from King Charles
5May23 (Democracy Now!)
As King Charles prepares for his coronation on Saturday, Indigenous leaders in former British colonies are calling on the monarch to apologize, pay reparations and “acknowledge the horrific impacts on and legacy of genocide and colonization of the indigenous and enslaved peoples.” They are also demanding the repatriation of the remains and cultural artifacts of Indigenous peoples. The letter to King Charles is signed by groups in Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, the Bahamas, Belize, Canada, Grenada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Britain was one of the largest slave traders in the Atlantic in the 18th century. Senior Jamaican government official Marlene Malahoo Forte spoke with Sky News Thursday.
Marlene Malahoo Forte: “Why not a full apology? Is it because you may have to give back the wealth of the monarchy, taken from the people, taken from the places that were colonized, taken from the places where the people were enslaved? … It’s personal for our people, the policies that are racist and unjust by virtue of nationality and ethnic background and the color of your skin. It’s just not right.”
Minister Malahoo Forte said the coronation has accelerated plans for Jamaica to become a republic, with a referendum taking place as early as next year. The coronation ceremony will cost British taxpayers up to $125 million at a time where many are struggling to pay for basic living expenses. This week, the Home Office Police Powers Unit wrote to anti-monarchy groups planning peaceful protests, warning them about new criminal penalties and expanded police powers that were rushed into law ahead of the coronation.