Jamaican Government Issues Apology, Reparations for the 1963 Brutal Attack on Rastas [News]
By Lena D
On April 4, Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness made a historic apology for the “grave injustice” of an attack made on Rastafarians between April 11 and 12, 1963 — the year after Jamaica gained its independence from Great Britain. Alexander Bustamante was the country’s prime minister then, and he headed the Jamaica Labour Party — the same party that Holness leads today. Eight Jamaicans were killed in Coral Gardens (near Montego Bay) on what has come to be called “Bad Friday”, since it was Easter at the time.
As many as 150 Rastafarians were rounded up, arrested, beaten and abused; their dreadlocks, which have religious significance, were cut. The series of events that led up to the attack were part of an atmosphere of systematic oppression, discrimination and open hostility towards Rastafarians that had begun prior to independence, all of which were documented in the 2011 film Bad Friday.
PM Holness to issue formal apology on 1963 Coral Gardens incident in Parliament and will act on Public Defenders Report #Letthehealingbegin
— Naomi Francis (@PressSecOPM) April 4, 2017
The actual apology came later that afternoon in parliament; several media outlets …read more
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