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HomeNewsArchivesEND OF B.V.I. 'RASTA LAW' HAILED ACROSS THE WATER

END OF B.V.I. 'RASTA LAW' HAILED ACROSS THE WATER

Greetings in the name of Jah Rastafari,
It is more than "High Time" dem PLANTATION MINDED MISS LEADERS of Tortola repeal that discriminatory law. The island of Tortola is one of the last vestiges of the Queens rule in the Caribbean. Unlike former colonies such as St. Kitts, St. Lucia, Jamaica, Trinidad, Grenada, etc. the leadership of Tortola never sought independence from England. They appear to be more British than the British (I am referring to the leadership mentality) but they cannot continue to give the impression that this law is of some indirect order from their mother country England, for England itself does not restrict the movement of Rasta people between their island and their former colony''s of the Caribbean. So why should "Tortola?"
This policy must be a policy of the elitists of Tortola. No other island of the Caribbean had had such blatant laws of down-right discrimination towards the Rastafarian movement classing us as undesirables. That law severely restricted the exchange of belief, information, fellowship, idea and therefore strength between the Rastafarian community in Tortola and the rest of the Caribbean. My question as a Rasta to the government of Tortola is, "What is it about the Rastafarian movement that you feared all these years?"
We did not overthrow the governments of Jamaica, Virgin Islands, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, Antigua, Grenada, Trinidad, etc. All we sought to do was enlighten our people who have been indoctrinated, confused and void of Culture. Teaching them of an African king, an African country and an African belief. "For the way of His Majesty is the only way for Black people, Nation shall rise over Nation," – Jacob Miller Mix Up mood and Attitude Won't Work album. Finally, finally after all these years Tortola have removed this wall of separation. The island leadership have demonstrated the characteristics of what the Honorable Marcus Garvey termed
"Garrats" A term used to describe those people who hinder African unity in the Diaspora. In stead of working for inclusion and oneness of our people they chose to impede grassroots unity.
During the seventies the Caribbean produced two truly charismatic leaders of the people who had another approach to the movement. Leaders who had enough vision and foresight to see the potential of Rasta towards Caribbean unity and people of African descent in particular. They were the former Honorable Governor Cyril E. King of the Virgin Islands and the Honorable Premier Robert L. Bradshaw of the then Federation of St. Kitts, Nevis and Anguilla respectively. Governor Cyril King during his administration saw to it that members of the movement were not discriminated against setting a precedent that have proven to be effective in the territory over the years. His attitude was that, "If the white racist Yankees would not hire Rastas while using long hair as a poor excuse not to," that the government of the Virgin Islands would. From then till now Rasta's have worked as Parks and recreation leaders, nurses, health care workers, teachers, librarians, clerks, public works workers, warehouse workers, niversity professors, etc. Because of his vision Rastas can be seen today working for the private sector as oil refinery workers, cable tv linesmen, telephone linesmen, tellers, and other professions.
They can leave and come off the islands if they wish and other Rastas from the Caribbean can visit if they wish as long as they meet immigration requirements. I am not saying these leaders supported the movement wholeheartedly, but they certainly did not pass legislation to restrict its movement or involvement with other Rastas throughout the Caribbean.
Now everybody knows there are good Rastas and there are bad Rastas just like there are good Christians and bad Christians. There are good Muslims and there are bad Muslims. Simply put there are good people and there are bad people. But, for the Tortola government to use the concern of crime, drugs and hygiene as an excuse is pure bull and we beg you please stop trying to feed it to us for I and I don't eat meat.
Some of the biggest drug pushers are the Caribbean leaders themselves and who has a higher scent of hygiene than the tourist who visit' the Caribbean and can barely stand the God given sun of Paradise.
Sad to see that the Berlin Wall, Perestroika, and Apartheid had to fall before this law that was clearly designed to restrict the movement of a people their information and ideas. We know the true reason for the repeal of the law is economics and not because of any moral or social change on the government's behalf. The lucrative means of the Reggae festivals held in Tortola during the year has proven to be a treasure chest welcomed by the government and in order to increase their treasury it was taught wise to repeal this law to increase visitors and appear favorable to the rest of the Caribbean. Real miss leaders of the people if we ever seen one. Willing to sell their souls to make a dollar off of a people they totally despise.
Remember Jah said, "Woe unto the leaders that lead my righteous sheep astray and back them out of Holy Mount Zion way."
In concluding man would like to say it is good to read the utterances from various ones in the territory, nuff respect goes out to Mr. Terrence Positive Nelson, a man who means the people right.
Long Live Caribbean Unity.
Jah Rastafari is he without any Apology
Ras Abba
Atlanta, Ga.

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