Ralph Gonsalves Marcus Garvey petition has CMPI’s support
For the duration of February, which is recognised as Black History Month, an online petition will be open, calling for people to support the campaign to get the late Black Nationalist and Pan-Africanist exonerated.
The campaign was initiated by the P.J. Patterson Centre for Africa-Caribbean Advocacy at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica.
In a February 1, 2022 open letter to the people of the region, Africa and the rest of the world, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves called on people and governments to sign the petition to have Marcus Garvey exonerated of his “unjust, flawed and dubious” conviction in 1923.
“The petition will be sent to President Joseph Biden of the USA for his action. Governments are urged to encourage their nationals to sign…. Assuming that President Biden accedes to this just and fair petition, he may find it of great convenience and moment to announce the exoneration of Marcus Garvey at the next Summit of the Americas to be held in June 2022 in California, USA,”
CMPI General Secretary David Denny has supported the cause, citing the large influence Garvey’s work had on the labour movement within the West Indies during the early stages of social changes in the early 1930s.
“Garvey made a solid contribution to the labour movement in the English-speaking Caribbean region, and also for the labour parties in the region. Garvey’s philosophy is one that would have helped to build the political consciousness among the progressive forces in the region, with his philosophy also playing a big role in the 1937 Rebellion in Barbados,” he said.
Prime Minister Gonsalves, who spoke glowingly of the Jamaican social activist and Black Nationalist, said the time was right to correct the historic injustice met upon him, given the resurgence of social issues that are once again threatening the rights to people of African descent.
“Persons and organizations, globally, who are wedded to justice, fair play, truth, human rights and sustainable development, whatever their nationality, ethnicity, class or religious orientation ought to join in the current campaign to exonerate Marcus Garvey,” he said.