Letter Sent to CARICOM Secretary General Irwin La Rocque re Justice for the Windrush Generation
Dear Secretary General La Rocque,
Please find attached hereto a letter written on behalf of the Clement Payne Movement of Barbados, the Caribbean Chapter of the International Network in Defense of Humanity, and the Barbados-based Pan-African Coalition of Organizations (PACO) in relation the Campaign for Justice for the Windrush Generation.
The letter is addressed directly to you, but we would be grateful if you would be so kind as to also use your good offices to share it with our Caricom Heads of State.
23 April 2018Ambassador Irwin La RocqueSecretary GeneralCaribbean CommunityCaricom SecretariatTurkeyenGeorgetownGUYANADear SirI write to you on behalf of the Clement Payne Movement of Barbados, the Caribbean Chapter of the International Network In Defense of Humanity, and the Pan African Coalition of Organizations (PACO).On Saturday 21st of April 2018 the three above-mentioned organizations staged a “Community Grounding” at the Clement Payne Cultural Centre situated at Crumpton Street, Bridgetown, Barbados on the issue of the systematic and racist infringement of the civil and human rights of the so-called “Windrush Generation” of British nationals of Caribbean origin by the current Conservative or Tory governmental administration of the United Kingdom (UK).The said “Community Grounding” benefitted from the personal testimonies of a number of Barbadian and other Caribbean nationals who had resided and worked for extensive periods of time in the United Kingdom, and who are therefore extremely knowledgeable about the plight of our predominantly black brothers and sisters of Caribbean origin resident in the UK.After comprehensive discussion of the issue it was unanimously resolved that the Clement Payne Movement, the Pan-African Coalition of Organizations, and the Caribbean Chapter of the International Network In Defense of Humanity would – acting on behalf of all participants in the Grounding – address a letter to the leadership of CARICOM, informing you of our findings, opinions, and recommendations as follows :-1. All persons of Caribbean origin in the UK – whether or not they be British nationals or be entitled to British nationality – remain part and parcel of our Pan-Caribbean family, and are entitled to the interest, concern, solidarity and support of the Caribbean people and governments.2.One of the core functions of CARICOM is to develop for the 15 Caribbean member states a collective foreign policy and a collective platform for dealing with the outside world and with powerful foreign governments such as the government of the United Kingdom (UK) in a unified manner.3.In light of the foregoing, CARICOM is obligated to take a collective position in relation to the plight of the members of the so-called “Windrush Generation” who have been subjected in the UK to a systematic state-orchestrated racist campaign of unlawful deportations, detentions in custody, denial of medical and other social services, and denial of the right to gainful employment. (And it must be noted that there are several cases of the mental and physical stress generated by this racist campaign resulting not only in physical and mental illness but also in actual cases of death!)4.The affected members of the Windrush Generation have suffered the type of racist group injury that requires the application to it of the concept and principles of Reparations: that is, the British government must be called upon to fully and unreservedly acknowledge the wrong that has been committed; to genuinely apologize to the victims; to immediately bring a halt to the injurious racist policies and practices; to put in place alternative and remedial policies and practices that are designed to genuinely assist the affected group with confirmation and certification of their legal status within the UK ; to immediately extend to deportees the right of return to the UK at the expense of the British government; and to financially compensate all victims for the injuries and damage suffered.5.CARICOM is under a duty to seek justice for our UK based brothers and sisters, and to do so by speaking forthrightly to and engaging with the government of the UK in the terms outlined above.The participants at the Community Grounding noted that there are a number of black grassroots activists organizations in the UK that are fighting for justice for the Windrush Generation, but it was the unanimous consensus that these organizations are up against a very powerful foe and will require the active solidarity and support of the Caribbean governments and of their collective regional organization – CARICOM – if the fight for justice is to be brought to a successful conclusion.It is in this spirit, and with this understanding, that we address this letter to you, and through you to the political leadership of our CARICOM member states, and urge that CARICOM take up this matter with the Theresa May governmental administration of the UK in a very serious, determined and committed manner.We would be grateful if we could receive a response from you giving us some indication of your proposed course of action.Yours faithfully
DAVID COMISSIONGcc: The General Secretary, Clement Payne Movementcc: The Chairman, Pan-African Coalition of Organizationscc: The Coordinator, Caribbean Chapter, International Network In Defense of Humanity
- See letter – Re: Windrush Generation