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Rastafarians in Jamaica want love and respect
Published on April 26, 2011 Email To Friend    Print Version

by Global Staff

KINGSTON, Jamaica -- Rastafarian lder Bungo Isaacs has called on the Jamaican government to show greater respect and recognition of the faith while at the same time pleading to all Jamaicans to live in love and unity.

Isaacs was addressing a room full of Rastafarians; attorneys, including Chief Justice Zaila McCalla; and students at the University of the West Indies, at a lecture held under the theme: Coral Gardens 1963: A legal analysis and implications for the Jamaican justice system.

The Jamaica Observer reported that the event coincided with a period commemorated by Rastafarians as Black Friday, also known as the Coral Gardens Incident. Black Friday actually refers to two days of violence involving Rastafarians, which started on Holy Thursday April 11, 1963, in the community of Coral Gardens in St James and continued into Good Friday, leaving eight people dead, including three Rastafarians.

The incident led to an island -wide crackdown on Rastas by agents of the State and citizens at large and some members of the faith were imprisoned, some killed and others faced severe harassment.

Isaacs, who lived through that period, shared briefly with the audience at the lecture, his experience. The Rastafarian elder lived about three-and-a-half miles from Coral Gardens and said that the police came seeking him out "like when man go into the bush to go seek wild hog to show their brutally and oppression to Rasta.”

He complained that Rastafarians have always been shunned by the government and the religious establishment.
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Susan Kitabwalli Campbell:
Very many of us around the world have been greatly inspired by the RastafarI message. I ask, though, that those who are negative toward homosexuals try to overcome their Old Testament emphasis. We are all as the Creator made us, better or worse according to our compassion and without regard to sexual orientation. Sisters and brothers, One Love!


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