The Earl and Countess of Wessex arrived in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines capital Kingstown to a red carpet welcome Saturday, but protesters calling for slavery reparations staged a demonstration calling for slavery reparations.
About 15 demonstrators held banners demanding an end to colonialism and compensation for the slave trade as the Royal visitors travelled to Government House.
According to iWitness News, Jomo Thomas, a former chair of the National Reparations Committee, was among the protesters.
The online publication quoted the former government Senator as saying that the protesters wanted to indicate their disgust, disdain, and concern that the ‘neo-colonial government’ of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines would again be welcoming and celebrating ‘these people.’
He said that under the Royal African Charter, the British were “responsible for the hunting down, kidnapping and transshipment of 60% of all of the Africans who were taken from the African continent”.
“They hunted us down, they kidnapped us, they stole us, they worked us. They owe us and they must now pay us,” Thomas declared.
He expressed that “the Royal Family is in the position where they are today because of the pillage of our country and the enslavement of our ancestors.”
The Earl and Countess of Wessex travelled to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines from Saint Lucia.
They arrived in Saint Lucia on Friday on a tour of three Caribbean Islands to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
They are due to visit Antigua and Barbuda on Monday.
Last week, ahead of the visit, the Antigua and Barbuda Reparations Support Commission published a strongly-worded open letter criticising the royal family for past comments on slavery.
The letter also warned the Earl and Countess against insulting black people.
The Royals were also due to visit Grenada on their Caribbean tour but postponed that leg of the trip.
According to the BBC, Buckingham Palace said the decision to postpone the Grenada visit came after talks with the island’s government and governor-general.