The Commonwealth of Dominica, is perhaps one of the most beautiful countries in the world, with so much spectacular scenery per square mile, that it would take many lifetimes savour it all. A mere 290 square mile, island created by the violent eruptions of volcanic activity 26 million years ago. And like the island, Dread, Rastafari and Ethiopia: The definitive historical report of the beginning and the rise of the RastafarI movement in the Commonwealth of Dominica, is destined to shake the very foundations of Babylon, setting the nuggets of truth to come crashing down, laying bare the atrocities and brutality that that birth-panged a very important cultural heritage of the island, the Caribbean and the world. There comes a time when the truth must be told, and if not, the undercurrents that shaped the soul-searching of a generation of the last 30 years of the 20th century, might be lost to posterity forever. I refer here to the birth of Dreadism and Rastafari synonymously in Dominica, and the cultural and social impact, the movement had and continues to have on a former slave colony in the middle of the West Indies. It’s all in this book, the truth and still some…are you prepared to take it…This is the bigger question WHY THIS STUDY NOW? Why not! is my rebuttal. Further, my question to the sceptic is why is it that the victories and misfortunes of this tiny Caribbean island state has not come under the radar of academics, film makers, documentary makers and other enthusiast to share with the world the object lessons that may be gleaned from the ongoing saga, which is the history of Dominica. For example, Why is it that the subject of this book: a report of the rise of the RastafarI movement in the Commonwealth of Dominica, warrants only brief mentions in the offerings of researchers of Rastafari of ‘the serious political crisis’ in such publications as Chanting down Babylon: the Rastafari reader ( Publisher: Temple University Press Pub. Date: March 1998 ISBN-13: 9781566395847) By Nathaniel Samuel Murrell, William David Spencer, Adrian Anthony McFarlane, pages 186 to 189 or French websites: http://www.reggae-est.fr/?contid=74, , Rastalogie, or even commendable attempts in academic articles from author/lawyer, Gabriel Christian in A Rain of Stones The May 29, 1979 Revolt and Aftermath-http://da-academy.org/revolt_1979.html and In Crucial Times:(Radical Politics in Dominica 1970-1980). Also Despite, his father, Ted Honychurch, being caught up in the bloody events of 1981, historian, Dr. Lennox Honychurch objectively reports on those unfortunate years in his , The Dominica Story A History of the Island, ISBN 0-333-62776-8, published by Macmillan Education Ltd in 1995., pages 245-252 and, 2276 and 282 The same could be said of the importance of learning from the lessons of how Dominica coped with the devastation of hurricane David in 1979. As a reporter for the Dominica Chronicle in 2003, I interviewed former interim Prime Minster of Dominica, Oliver Seraphine who was responsible for guiding the nation to a democratic election following the downfall of the Patrick John administration in may of 1979. The winds of almost 200 miles-per-hour smashed into the country, leaving a wake of destitution , destruction , death and homelessness. He told me, that it was the first time that a reporter had spoken to him since that time. Why is it that , Dominica’s music, Cadance Lypso, pioneered by Gordon Henderson seems to be unable to attract the same amount of media frenzy that our sister island, Jamaican’s reggae. Where are the coffee table books, The plethora of publications all professing to be experts on the subject. The low budget films, the theatre productions. We see The University of the West Indies offering minors and other electives on Reggae and Rastafari studies. Yet Dominica with all her legendary beauty, catastrophic events and imaginative individuals, such as playwright, Alwin Bully, and to some extent, Dominica’s most famous author, Jean Rhys are still only spoken about in bated breaths. Thirteen years ago Dominica launched its world Creole Music Festival , held every year at the height of Dominica cultural calendar, during the month of October leading to November 3rd, independence and national day . Where are the archivists and publisher beating a track to the band houses of the pioneers like Gordon Henderson, Chubby , Ophelia and Jeff Joseph. And other cultural elders. Again, the Dominica Book Fair and Literary Festival now in its second year , held in collaboration with the local UWI Open campus, and which has to date featured many Caribbean literary greats such as Derek Walcott. The festival is destined to become one of the Caribbean’s biggest gathering of literary minds. But will we see a corresponding interest by the world’s media. Or is it because Dominica, as a small Caribbean island is not as important as its bigger brothers. We shall see! MY OBJECTIVES In presenting the material for this book, I hope that I will be able to raise the awareness that is lurking behind the resplendent beauty of the island is an inherent intelligence whose importance is to the world is just as pertinent as any happenings on the world stage today. The fact that the subject matter of this book happened nearly thirty years ago is irrelevant, as historians dig even deeper, only to regurgitate the findings of researchers before them, albeit with a retake of the facts. The same can be said for Rastafari. From its inception as a possible modus operandi for a cultural change and unique world view and , Caribbean-based , mind-set in the 1930’s, through to the seventies with the propagation of the activities of the likes of , reggae superstar , Bob Marley, and the resultant spread and acceptance of he Rastafarian creed world wide . We see what was first a religious concept, now being secularised and even packaged as a tourism product. Be that as it may, may, my aim it to present the facts with the assistance reliable sources, to a world largely ignorant of the subject. MARKETING CONSIDERATIONS AND STRATEGY DREAD, RASTAFARI AND ETHIOPIA: The definitive historical report of the beginning and the rise of the RastafarI movement in the Commonwealth of Dominica. Will appeal to millions of individuals and institutions around the world for different reasons. Firstly, it will strike a responsive chord with over 250,000 Dominicans on the island and in the Diaspora, many who were not even born, or who were young children when the events in this book were took place. They are fascinated with the Rastafari Movement and need to get the facts from an authoritative voice this author. The second group of readers who will be fascinated with my book are fellow Rastafarians in Jamaica and the rest of the Caribbean, the United States of America, United kingdom Europe who are only marginally informed on such topics as the Dread Act , Desmond Trotter and Eric Joseph from ancient sources mainly newspaper articles from the 70’s. I also predict that my book will be popular with students and academics, of the University of the West Indies and other scholarly institutions around the world who write and research on Rastafarian topics. As I will point out in my comparison with other books on the topic, There are no publications dedicated in their entirety to the study of the Rastafarians in Dominica and the Dread Act in particular. While there are many books written on Rastafari of a general nature, and with an emphasis on the Jamaican experience, none to date have considered analysing the Dominican experience. Other sectors who will want to own this book will be, public libraries, and libraries of universities. Such as the Smithsonian Natural Museum of Natural History Also anyone who is remotely connected to Dominica. Anyone who has family or friends their, or is planning to go their on a holiday or set up business there. Or just want to collect books written on the history of Dominica. HOW DOES MY BOOK COMPARE WITH OTHER BOOKS ON THE SUBJECT Few substantive study and/or field research on Dreadism or Rastafari in Dominica has been carried out. While there are literally hundreds of books written on various aspects of Rastafari and Reggae, but none that I have researched deal specifically with the Dread Act or with the Dread uprising and the rise of the Rastafari movement in Dominica. The same can be said for Desmond, Kabinda Trotter or the recently released Eric Joseph. Here presents an opportunity to capture this market share; the eye-witness accounts and personal reflections from those concerned before any one else does, and in a very memorable way as I have suggested by way of a attractive coffee table book. Book s that I have come across that mention the Dread Act are ‘CHANTING DOWN BABYLON ISBN: 1-56639-584-4 by Nathaniel an Samuel Murrell, William David Spencer, Adrian Anthony McFarlane. Dread Talk (ISBN 976-8125-68-3) by Velma Pollard Other mentions come in the form of an academic paper: In Times Crucial: Radical Politics in Dominica,1970 -1980, published on the internet by Author and lawyer Gabriel Christian. Letters to the editor on online magazines and a dictionary of Caribbean English Usage, (ISBN 976-640-145-4) by Richard Allsopp Other brief mentions would be in Dr. Lennox Honychurch’s The Dominica Story: A History of the Island (ISBN 0-333-62776-8) published 1995; Centring the Periphery: Chaos, Order and the Ethno history of Dominica ISBN: 0773511342 Published March 1994by Patrick L.Baker and Millennialism, Persecution, and Violence: Historical Cases ISBN: 0815628099 Published January 2004 by Catherine Lowman Wessinger; The Rastafarians 1997 ISBN 0-8070-1039-1 by Leonard E Barrett Sr; Commonwealth Caribbean Constitutional Law , ISBN-13: 9781859416914 by Sir Fred Phillips among others. What will distinguish my work from all others, is that while researchers use a system of referencing which is to quote or rewrite the work of another author in their manuscript , or to refer to the works of an author by way of passing remarks, I will be interviewing the actual persons involved or related to the subject matter. Thus, my work will be current and free from plagiarism in the slightest form. Additionally, because the subject has not been dealt with in any substantive manner previously, it will stand out as ‘the book’ by which all subsequent publications will be judged. HOW I RESEARCHED THIS BOOK In an effort to make this book authentic, rather than a piecemeal attempt to draw on scanty resources here and there, I have: Researched published material on the subject of the history of Dominica, Dreads of Dominica etc which is be referenced on each chapter. Arranged consultations with Rastafarian elders via telephone in Dominica, acquired from the police authorities photos, newsletter, and other archivesObtained copies of hansards from the Ministry of Legal Affairs re the Dread Act, Controlled Substances Act and Terrorism Act. Pursued, Dominican, Caribbean and international news papers for any mention of subject matter or characters named in my book relating to this period. Spoke with , former Prime Minster, Patrick John, Rastafarians Desmond Trotter and Eric Joseph and other persons related to this period. Photographed the people, persons and articles related to the subject matter of my book. DREAD, RASTAFARI AND ETHIOPIA The definitive historical report of the beginning and the rise of the RastafarI movement in the Commonwealth of Dominica As the title of this book suggests, it documents the development of the RastafarI movement in Dominica from its dramatic inception in the 1970’s to the present day. It’s author, poet, and author Ras Albert Williams , as a child was swept up in the waves of black power sentiments and inward introspection of the times that was to prepare the backdrop of the formation of RastafarI today. The methods used to prepare this book included extensive research in past issues of Dominica’s oldest newspaper, The Chronicle; I perused publications by fellow Dominican authors that have broached the subject, albeit in less words than it deserves. I interviewed notable characters whose living memory of the dramatic events of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s speak volumes, more than any research from books could disclose. DREAD, RASTAFARI AND ETHIOPIA The definitive historical report of the beginning and the rise of the RastafarI movement in the Commonwealth of Dominica is part autobiographical and part fictional and definitely documentary. The author has chosen a writing style that is both informative and entertaining and seeks to throw new light on such epic chapters in Dominica’s history as the passage of the notorious Prohibited and Unlawful Societies and Associations Act 1974(The Dread Act) by the Patrick John administration in 1974. The act was intended to disgrace, and eliminate the Dreads, but what it did, was to give them a legitimacy that distinguished the brothers from their Rastafarian counterparts in Jamaica. Still, it is ironic that eloquent as he was ,on the jargon used by the ‘Dreads’ , and by the very definition the then Premier John summarised the meaning of ‘Dread‘, as terrorist , that less than seven years later he would found guilty of treason and branded a terrorist himself. The book also revisit’s the historic trial of black activist, and thinker, Desmond Trotter and his subsequent death sentence for the killing of an American, John Jirasek which was deemed by activist worldwide as a conspiracy to silence the leading organiser of the dreads and compares this to the killing of the father of, Lenox Honychurch Dominica’s historian and author, during a altercations between the brethren and the police in the hills above Roseau, and we speak with Eric Joseph, who was released from prison after 27 years for the murder. Again, no one until now, has been brave enough to ‘sit in the dust with the brethren’ and ‘reason’ with the brethren to go beyond the stereo-type and systemic propaganda published by the John administration’s radio station, and sympathetic weeklies. DREAD, RASTAFARI AND ETHIOPIA The definitive historical report of the beginning and the rise of the RastafarI movement in the Commonwealth of Dominica is a candid and sincere account from the mouths and hearts of those whose side of the story has not until now been told. It is an in-depth-exposition that is destined to leave an indelible mark in Dominica’s publishing history. The informative text comes replete with archival photographs and illustrations; profiles of distinguished Rastafarians, both living and dead who stories deserve to be recorded within the scope of this book; a glossary of words peculiar to the dread era and an index for easy search and find of topical subjects. DREAD, RASTAFARI AND ETHIOPIA The definitive historical report of the beginning and the rise of the RastafarI movement in the Commonwealth of Dominica, will serve as a platform for future academics and researchers to further argue who are the Dreads, and who are the Rastafarians in Dominica. FINAL MUSINGS Let us get one thing straight, as the years turn into decades, and the decades into centuries, Rastafari as a whole will , like the rest of the world, and all it process, will continue to evolve. That is certain. And we the Rastafarians who have been the keepers of knowledge, and who have followed the God-head from the beginning of creation to this time will be here to set the record straight . Finally, I am confident that you too will share the excitement I had in presenting the following book proposal, and share in acknowledging the importance of exploring the topics and themes of my intended publication. What this book is not, is a comparative study of religion, with all the terminology and jargon that comes with academia, however, this book is a pure and authentic voice of a people once dispossessed, and demoralised as slave descendents, now creating for them selves an identity. Ras Albert Williams CRAWLEY UNITED KINGDOM
(FIRST PUBLISHED FEBRUARY 10, 2005)
NEWS OF THE PASING OF BROTHER MARCEL D´JAMALA FONTAINE WAS A SHOCK. TRUELY THIS IS A GREAT LOSS FOR THE COMMONWEALTH OF DOMINICA! D JAMALA WAS CULTURAL ICON, AND ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT FIGURES IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE CREOLE(KWEYOL) LANGUAGE, NOT ONLY IN DOMINICA, BUT THE ENTIRE KWEYOL-SPEAKING WORLD.
HIS WORK BEGAN IN THE EARLY SEVENTIES, AND SAW HIM AT THE FOREFRONT OF THE FORMATION OF THE KOMITE POR ETUID KWEYOL (KEK) WHICH WAS INSTRUMENTAL IN GENERATING INTEREST ACCEPTING KWEYOL, NOT AS A DIALECT, BUT AS NATIONAL LANGUAGE.
THROUGH HIS STRENUOUS EFFORTS, CREOLE DAY, CREOLE WEEK AND HERITAGE DAY WERE INTRODUCED AS AN INTEGRAL CALENDAR EVENT DURING THE NATIONAL AND INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRATIONS. AMONG HIS MANY ACHIEVEMENTS WERE THE COMPILATION OF THE CREOLE\ENGLISH DICTIONARY AND ANNOU APONN KWEYOL (A HAND BOOK FOR TOURIST), OF WHICH HER PUBLISHED SEVERAL EDITIONS, A S WELL AS SEVERAL PAPERS AND ARTICLES AND RADIO PROGRAMS. HIS PATRIOTISM AND LOVE FOR THE LANGUAGE LED HIM TO RUB SHOULDERS WITH MANY OF THE TOP LANGUAGE EXPERTS IN AMERICA, ENGLAND AFRICA AND FRENCH\ CREOLE SPEAKING COUNTRIES.
HE HAD HIS EYES SET ON WORKING TOWARDS HIS MASTERS DEGREE LANGUAGES I FIRST MET D JAMALA IN THE EARLY EIGHTIES DURING THE DAYS WHEN RASTAFARIANS MADE SEVERAL CONCERTED EFFORTS TO FORM A NATIONAL ORGANISATION, SINCE THEN WE BECAME GOOD FRIENDS ANAD SHARED MANY A DAYS IN REASONING. I HAD THE PRIVILEGE OF WRITING SEVERAL REVIEWS OF HIS BOOKS AN, AND HE ALWAYS KEPT ME ABREAST OF HIS DEVELOPMENTS.
HOWEVER, IT WAS IN EARLY 2004, DURING MY STINT WITH THE CHRONICLE THAT I LEARNT OF HIS ILLNESS, WHICH AFFECT THE USE OF MUSCLES. ALTHOUGH BEST BY THIS UNFORTUNATE DISEASE, HE WAS NOT DAUNTED AND CONTINUED TO WORK AT HIS GOAL TO MAKE KWEYOL NOT ONLY A SPOKEN LANGUAGE BUT ALSO A WRITTEN ONE. HE IT WAS WHO COMPILED THE KWEYOL ALPHABET. D JAMAL LOOKED FORWARD TO THE DAY WHEN DOCTORS AND OTHER SPECIALISTS WOULD HAVE FOUND A CURE FOR THE ILLNESS, SEEKING HELP FROM HERBALISTS, BOTH IN DOMINICA AND ENGLAND. IN OCTOBER 2004, I RETURNED TO ENGLAND, AFTER LIVING IN DOMINICA FOR 32 YEARS .
ONE OF THE FIRST DOMINICANS THAT I VISITED WAS D JAMALA AT HIS HOME IN STRATFORD, LONDON AS ALWAYS HE WAS JOVIAL AND CONTINUED TO SPEAK ENTHUSIASTICALLY ABOUT HIS WORK. ALTHOUGH ABOUT 90 PERCENT OF THE HIS POTENTIAL TO USE HIS BODY WAS SLOWLY DEGRADING, HIS MIOND WAS AGILE, AND AS SHARP AS EVER. WHEN I ARRIVED THERE, HE WAS DOODLING WITHA NEWLY-ACQUIRED LAP-TOP COMPUTER SURFING THE INTERNET; CHECKING ON THE NATIONAL NEWS ON THE CHRONICLE`S WEBSITE. D JAMALA AND I KEPT IN CONTACT MAINLY BY PHONE AS I LIVED IN CRAWLEY SEVERAL MILES SOUTH OF LONDON. IT WAS D JAMALA THAT I TURNED TO ASK OF NEWS FOLLOWING THE EARTH-QUAKE IN DOMINICA. I HAPPENED TO BE LISTENING TO RADIO LONDON, WHEN THE NEWS BROKE THAT AN EARTH-QUAKE HAD HIT THE ISLAND.
SINCE MY BROTHER AND SISTER HAD NOT YET HEARD OF THE DISASTER, IT WAS D JAMALA WHO INFORMED THAT A NUMBER OF CHURCHES IN PORTSMOUTH, VIELLE CASE AND BUILDINGS AND IN THE NORTH-EAST HAD BEEN AFFECTED. HE ALSO TOLD ME THAT HEAVY RAINS HAD ALSO TRIGGERED LANDSLIDES. HOWEVER, THE LAST TIME THAT I SPOKE TO HIM ON THE PHONE WAS SOME WHERE EARLY DECEMBER. HE COMPLAINED THAT HE WAS SUFFERING WITH THE FLUE AND THAT IT WAS MAKING BREATHING DIFFICULT. WE SPOKE FOR SOME TIME THOUGH. TALKING ABOUT HOME AND HOW HE WOULD LIKE TO HAVE THE DICTIONARY AND BOOKLET REPRODUCED ON AUDIO-TAPE AND COMPACT DISC.
D’JAMALA WAS PASSIONATE ABOUT HIS WORK. HE WANTED GOOD FOR DOMINICA, AND WHEREVER HE WHENT FOR EVERY WAKING HOUR , DOMINICA WAS ALWAYS ON HIS MIND. ON FEBRUARY 3RD, I MOVED TO SWEDEN TO TAKE A JOB OPPORTUNITY THERE, AND THIS WEEK, AFTER A LONG SPELL OF NOT CHECKING ME EMAÍLS, FELLOW POET AND ARTIST CARLA AMOUR THOMAS WHO LIVES IN SOUTH AFRICA WITH HER SON AND HUSBAND, BROKE THE NEWS TO ME. INDEED WE ALL KNOW THAT D JAMALA GAVE THE BEST OF HIS YOUTH TO SERVE THIS COUNTRY IN THE ONLY WAY THAT HE HE KNEW BEST. HE WAS ONE WITH A VISION. WHILE, SO-CALLED INTELLECTUALS SCOFFED AT HIS NOTION THAT KWEYOL SHOULD BE DOMINICA SECOND, IF NOT FIRST LANGUAGE, HE KNEW THAT THE WORLD WAS CHANGING.
HE WAS AHEAD OF HIS TIME. MOTIVATED BY HIS DESIRE TO TRANSFORM THE THINKING OF HIS COUNTRYMEN AND TO ENRICH THEIR LIVES, HE LED THE WAY WITH HIS EXTRAORDINARY ORGANISATIONAL, LITERARY AND RESEARCH SKILLS. AND NOW POSTHUMOUSLY, HE MUST BE CONSIDERED FOR SOME APPROPRIATE RECOGNITION THAT ELUDED HIM DURING HIS LIFETIME.
OUR DEEPEST SYMPATHIES AND CONDOLENCES GO OUT TO HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY,HIS BELOVED COMMUNITY OF HAGLEY, GRAND BAY, FELLOW RASTAFARIANS AND COLLEAGUES OF KEK. I AM SURE THAT D JAMALA WOULD LIKE UAS TO CONTINUE HIS WORK, ESPECIALLY THE OFFICIALS OF THE DIVISION OF CULTURE; TO KEEP THE RESEARCH GROWING. D JAMALA WE MISS YOU, BUT WE KNOW THAT THIS IS NOT THE END BUT JUST THE BEGINNING OF YOUR LABOUR OF LOVE.
Parliament approves amendment to the Drugs (Prevention of Misuse) (Amendment) Act 2020 to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana for religious and personal use clearing the way for its final assent by the President, His Excellency Charles Angelo Savarin.
The Dominica Labour Party led by Dr. Roosevelt Skerrit has within the hour, amended the Drugs (Prevention of Misuse) (Amendment) Act 2020, in a historic act of parliament towards first steps of relaxation of laws prohibiting the cultivation and/or possession of marijuana. The amendment seeks to allow users to possess no more than 28 grammes of Cannabis on their person or in their residence.
Further, the act makes provision for the cultivation of no more than three trees. Also, persons who have a previous marijuana conviction for less than 28 grammes will have their sentences expunged.
What is prohibited under the law?
The act also refers to the use of the plant for religious purposes. Prohibited under the law, is smoking in public places to wit “A person who commits an offence under subsection (2) is liable on summary conviction to a fine of one thousand, five hundred dollars.
“Prohibited places under the new amendments include “any structure, building, public transport or facility, that the public, or a section of the public, is entitled to use or that is open to, or is being used by, the public or a section of the public (whether on payment of money, by virtue of membership of a club or other body, or otherwise), road or path in the immediate vicinity of such buildings;
[It] does not include a privately-occupied residence not used for commerical purposes, or a usual place of worship of members of the Rastafarian faith or other faith.
The lifting of restrictions comes as Dominica winds up to the climax of its 42nd Independence anniversaries. The Dominica Labour Party in its 2019 Political Manifesto promised that it would address the question of decriminalisation of within this cycle.
CARICOM and Marijuana Commission
In 2014, the CARICOM Conference of Heads of Government at its Twenty-Fifth Inter-Sessional Conference convened in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, mandated the establishment of a CARICOM Regional Marijuana Commission (the Commission) to interrogate the issue of possible reform to the legal regimes regulating cannabis/ marijuana in CARICOM countries.
Prime Minister Dr. Skerrit in his budget speech in August announced that his government was forging ahead with A draft bill to “pave the way for a regulated marijuana industry in the Caribbean nation of Dominica” and that it would be tabled in the present sitting of the house that opened today at 10 am, October 26th for the The Fourth Meeting of the First Session of the Tenth Parliament under the Commonwealth of Dominica Constitution will held at the House of Assembly, Victoria Street, Roseau, Dominica, West Indies. Read the amended legislation here
Thanks to the Prime Minister and his fellow parliamentarians for taking such a bold step, and for his forward-thinking on this matter that has been so divisive in the past.
Meanwhile former Speaker Emerita, Alix Boyd Knights told this writer that, “an act of Parliament does not become law until it has been assented to by the President and then Gazetted.It is NOT YET law.”
Roosevelt Skerrit – Parliament of Dominica – 26th October, 2020 | Facebook (2020). Available at: https://www.facebook.com/SupportRooseveltSkerrit/videos/632295994121897/ (Accessed: 27 October 2020).
Dominica ‘forging ahead’ with marijuana industry, prime minister says (2020). Available at: https://mjbizdaily.com/dominica-forging-ahead-with-marijuana-industry-prime-minister-says/ (Accessed: 27 October 2020).
Legislation goes to Dominica Parliament to decriminalize possession of small amount of marijuana – Dominica News Online (2020). Available at: https://dominicanewsonline.com/news/homepage/news/legislation-goes-to-dominica-parliament-to-decriminalize-possession-of-small-amount-of-marijuana/ (Accessed: 27 October 2020).
Drugs (prevention of Misuse) (Amendment) Act 2020 – Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica (2020). Available at: https://dominica.gov.dm/bills-for-review/1138-drugs-prevention-of-misuse-amendment-act-2020?fbclid=IwAR336ngKluOFL08SVCoXwPTwjYCzbRJVMCywN9DQjBv1PuTyn67o0xINxt8 (Accessed: 27 October 2020).
“I admired the strength and courage with which Dr. Lennox Honychurch spoke when he re-lived what he describes as one of the most difficult moments in his life. He was my guest on the In the Spotlight (ITS) Radio Show on Monday April 27th, 2015” – Ferdina F Frampton
Ras Albert Williams (58) is calling on fellow researchers to broaden their research questions in relation to research of the Rastafari movement in Dominica. He says, that not only is plagiarism rife on the question of the infamous The Prohibited and Unlawful Societies and Associations Act, also known as The Dread Act, but very few have dared to investigate the many other strands of research that are waiting to be unearthed and discussed.
Williams who has self-published several Rastafarian-themed poetry books including: Honourable Natty Dread (1981, 1991), One Dominica -Odes For I Beloved (1985) and Through the Far Eye (1995). In 2005, his first Book of short stories- Haunted Heritage and other Stories was published by Publish America, and an incomplete coffee-table, Dread Rastafari and Ethiopia was released as was. in 2010, with a pocket edition released a year later in 2011.
However, the idea for Dread Rastafari and Ethiopia was born way back in 1991. “At the time, I was secretary of a local branch of the Ethiopian World Federation Inc (EWF) Empress Taitu Chapter. Our offices were on Potters Street, where I was first Sergeant – at arms, then elected to secretary., ” he said, adding, ” that it while being in that environment, I published a three-part series in the Chronicle for which I was paid EC$50.00 per article.”
According to the author, who holds a Honours degree in Computing and IT and a postgraduate Diploma in Technology Management from the Open University, he made contact with the public library who provided archival material from local newspapers that highlighted activities and stories about the Dread era in Dominica ,and was able to trackdown, Black Activist Desmond Trotter to Shashamane in Ethiopia. ” I scanned the internet and books for whatever I could find on the Rastafari movement in Dominica,” he said. “There was not a great amount of information. but through my contact with Kabinda (Desmond Trotter), I was able to piece together a narrative.”
By 2010, he had signed up for a computer degree with Open University, with time limited, he decided to publish his findings on a wordpress website https://dreadrastafariandethiopia.wordpress.com/ and for the past ten years his research has been very much untouched.
Speaking on a Facebook live broadcast on his Facebook- Dread, Rastafari and Ethiopia page, Williams made a call for scholars to look at the wider picture of Rastafari and in Dominica. ” I regularly scan the internet to see if anything new pops up with my name of my work, and I found this site https://domfari.omeka.net/ it was literally a carbon copy of my website https://dreadrastafariandethiopia.wordpress.com/ So I wrote to the owners and asked them why are they not crediting me for my work” Needless to say, despite some initial resistance, the whoever is in charge, has begun to give me credit for my original primary research.”
Recently, he came across a Facebook page that described itself as The Dread Act: A Documentary “To my amusement, whoever is in charge of this page used my book graphics as its profile and page cover and satted that he was working on producing a documentary on the Dread Act, and that was in 2015. Not once has this p[erson reached out to me to ask for permission to use the the photos above, or to even just reason.” Williams says, that it is clear that there is interests in the Dread Act, maybe even interest in the Dreads of Dominica as a whole. “It is unfortunate persons would carbon-copy another researcher’s work so brazenly when there are so many untouched issues that need investigating and documenting.” Williams cites the case of Eric Joseph who served 27 years for the killing of Prominent landowner, Ted Honychurch, who was the father of historian and at the time senator in the Eugenia Charles’ Dominica Freedom Party. Also the former prime minister John who teamed up with Klansmen from America and Canada in a failed audacious attempt to overthrow the Charles administration and reinstall Patrick John who was ousted out from office in 1979. ” …and there are many other subjects that could be investigated and analysed, such as the ‘the different ways the movement in Dominica has tried to organise themselves throughout the decades, from the establishment of the Rastafari cooperative community in the 70s to the Waitukubuli Nyabinghi house of Rastafari in the noughties, for example.” he suggested. “at any rate, the work must go on. You have to have what it takes it take to sustain the interest,” The dread author said sagely.
Dread, Rastafari and Ethiopia (2020). Available at: https://www.facebook.com/DreadRastafariAndEthiopia/ (Accessed: 15 August 2020).
Lulu (2020). Available at: https://www.lulu.com/search/?contributor=RAS+ALBERT+WILLIAMS&adult_audience_rating=00 (Accessed: 15 August 2020).
Greetings Idren and Sistren
I am solicitng information from Ones and Ones for inclusion in my research for my book DREAD, RASTAFARI AND ETHIOPIA, THE DEFINITIVE HISTORICAL ACCOUNT OF THE BEGININGS AND RISE OF THE RASTAFARI MOVEMENT IN THE COMMONWEALTH OF DOMINICAThe book seeks to throw new light on such epic chapters in Dominica’s history as the passage of the notorious Prohibited and Unlawful Societies and Associations Act 1974(The Dread Act) by the Patrick John administration in 1974. The act was intended to disgrace, and eliminate the Dreads, but what it did, was to give them a legitimacy that distinguished the brothers from their Rastafarian counterparts in Jamaica. Still, it is ironic that eloquent as he was, on the jargon used by the ‘Dreads’, and by the very definition the then Premier John summarised the meaning of ‘Dread‘, as terrorist, that less than seven years later he would be found guilty of treason and branded a terrorist himself.The book also revisit’s the historic trial of black activist, and thinker, Desmond Trotter and his subsequent death sentence for the killing of an American, John Jirasek which was deemed by activist worldwide as a conspiracy to silence the leading organiser of the dreads and compares this to the killing of the father of, Lenox Honychurch, Dominica’s leading historian and author, during an altercations between the brethren and the police in the hills above Roseau, and we speak with Eric Joseph, who was released from prison after 27 years for the murder. Again, no one until now, has been brave enough to ‘sit in the dust with the brethren’ and ‘reason’ with the brethren to go beyond the stereo-type and systemic propaganda published by the John administration’s radio station, and sympathetic weeklies.
DREAD, RASTAFARI AND ETHIOPIA: The definitive historical report of the beginning and the rise of the RastafarI movement in the Commonwealth of Dominica. Will appeal to millions of individuals and institutions around the world for different reasons. Firstly, it will strike a responsive chord with over 250,000 Dominicans on the island and in the Diaspora, many who were not even born, or who were young children when the events in this book were took place. They are fascinated with the Rastafari Movement and need to get the facts from an authoritative voice this author.
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Ras Albert Williams
Black activist and Rastafarian Elder, Ras Kabinda Habre Sellassie is one of the few Rastafarian, devotees to remain in Ethiopia despite the official retracting of the Land Grant by the Ethiopian administration. Since Emperor Haile Sellassie I (1894-1975) was deposed in 1974, and subsequently died while under house arrest the following year, this north-eastern African kingdom has been ruled by a revolutionary council, then a democratically elected government who both viewed Rastafarians with scorn because of their devotion to the deceased Emperor.
No one could have predicted following the coronation of a 36-year-old, Ethiopian Crown Prince, Ras Tafari Makonnen as Emperor Haile Sellassie I in Addis Ababa on November 2nd 1930, that by 2010 this event would inspire a world-wide movement that venerated him as The Almighty God.
In a 1928 speech, Marcus Garvey (1887-1940), Jamaican Pan-Africanist and promoter of a back-to-Africa movement, urged his followers to “look to Africa when a black king will be crowned, and when you see that the day of deliverance will be near.” His was a sentiment shared by black preacher Leonard Howell(1898-1981) who is known as the first Rasta. And so it was, in 1930, that the Rastafarian movement was born, its followers identified by their shaggy dreadlocks, sacred use of marijuana and insistent demands for repatriation.
As his ancestors had done for centuries before him, the Emperor was bestowed with the biblical titles: ‘King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and Conquering Lion of Judah.’ His ancestors had always claimed that their lineage could be traced back to the union of King Solomon and Queen of Sheba, and that he was the 225th in an unbroken line of successive monarchs. This was enough to convince Garvey and Howell and their followers in the city of Kingston, Jamaica, that the seven seals of the book of Revelation had been opened, and that redemption was near for a people who had been under the yoke of slavery for nearly 400 years.
The first settlers
In 1948 the benevolent Emperor donated 500 hectares of his personal estate in Ethiopia to the Rastafarians, members of the Ethiopian World Federation Inc and black people in the Caribbean and the USA in general. This was his way of saying thank you for their moral and financial support for Ethiopian monarchy and his troops during the Second Italo–Abyssinian War of October 1935 to May 1941. The promised land was in the region of Shashemane, “ a thriving market town” 150 miles south of Addis Ababa.
The first settlers to take up the offer of the Emperor and repatriate to Ethiopia were: Mr James Piper and his wife in 1955 who were nationals of the Eastern Caribbean island of Montserrat, followed by Dr. Gladstone Robinson from the United States of America in 1964. According to the record, Papa Noel Dyer arrived from the Bahamas in 1965. The exodus to the promised land was boosted following a visit to Jamaica by His Imperial Majesty in 1966, which saw the population soar to 2000 in its heyday.
Following the revolution, however, under a program of nationalisation, the revolutionary council reclaimed all but 11 hectares of the land grant which was to a large extent underdeveloped and underused by the Rastafarians. After this, Rastafarians were treated with disrespect and numbers soon dwindled to 300. The Rastafarians, who prior to the events leading up to the overthrow of the Emperor were regarded as a curiosity by Ethiopians, were now unwelcome guests – one Rastafarian even said he was spat upon.
Although Ethiopia is now governed by a democratic government, many of the policies, particularly the attitude of the Mengistu Haile Mariam regime towards the Emperor are still maintained even though, the dictator was ousted by a counter coup in 1991. The royal standard of the Lion of Judah has been removed from the nation flag. Mention of the role Emperor Haile Sellassie and Empress Menen had in shaping modern Ethiopia are all but erased from the official school syllabus, says Ras Kabinda.
Ras Kabinda, who first visited Ethiopia in 1989, and in 1992, has made Shashemane his home permanently, and has been involved in agricultural development and the building of additional classrooms for nearby schools. He is also actively involved in teaching Ethiopian farmers alternative farming methods such as integrated farming.
Part of the problem, Ras Kabinda cites, is the failure of some organisations to make good their promises for the development of acquired lands. He noted also that the import duty on vehicles for development purposes is almost 100 percent, and to obtain investor status one needs to give the government one million Birr (Ethiopian currency) or £48,056.50 British Pounds to obtain duty free concessions. In addition, Ras Kabinda calls on reggae artistes to make good their pledges to financially assist the brethren. “The pledges are not forthcoming, despite representation to the Ethiopian Government on their behalf,” according to Kabinda..
“It’s a struggle out here right now, “ Ras Kabinda told this author, when I met him in London earlier this year, “as legislation is being implemented that will greatly curtail the lands under I and I control. Limiting I to only 500 square metres per person.” Kabinda told me that previously, when he arrived in Shashemane he had an abundance of land to cultivate. His years in the Dominican forests had greatly prepared him for toiling the soil. “Presently,” he says, “I own 3,500 square metres which I plant with various vegetables and fruits so as to maintain a certain level of self-sufficiency…I have lived on these lands for twenty years, now it is seriously threatened by new urbanisation legislation.”
Ras Kabinda explained that the area where the Land grant was given back in 1948 was considered rural lands, but with the expansion of the town, Shashemane now seeks more lands for urban development. “Over the past two weeks, “the Rastaman continues, “I have been fighting an attempt by certain local authorities to breakdown I house on the grounds that it is in the path of an intended new road. This has been the 7th time they have tried to terrorise I man. Earlier this year, a gang organised by the local Kebele, tore down I fence, it cost I over 3,500 birr to repair it.” Kabinda continues to make representation to the Central Oromo Government under who’s jurisdiction the Shashemane town authorities fall.
Meanwhile, in a recent communication, Kabinda lamented how the Ethiopia authorities continue to make it difficult for Rastafarians in prison to be afforded their human rights.
“Satan has been giving I and I a spiritual fight,” Kabinda said adding, “by preventing I and I from seeing Idren in captivity.” Kabinda says that the prison officials claim that if the individual is a British national, that he will not be able to see him unless accompanied by a member of the British Embassy. According to Kabinda, “the embassy gave I and I letters giving I and I multiple visiting rights yet dem still refuse I and I…”
The struggle continues….
King James Bible Revelation 5:5 & 17:14
The Earth’s Most Strangest Man by Mortimer Planno
Dread:The Rastafarians of Jamaica by Joseph Owens
Report on the Rastafari Movement in Kingston Jamaica (1960) by Smith, Augier and Nettleford
The Rastafarians (ISBN 978-0-8070-1039-6) by Leonard E Barrett
Chanting Down Babylon: The Rastafari Reader (ISBN 978-56639-584-7) Editied by Murrell and McFarlane
“Rastafarians promoting alternative farming method” Inter Press Service News Agency, ipsnes.net. Accessed Jan 2011
“Protest cloud Marley celebrations” Scotland on Sunday, scotland onsunday.scotman.com Accessed Jan 2011
“Little aceptance of Ethiopian Rastas not all harmoney in African country” The Jamaca Star, jamaica-star.com Accessed Jan 2011
“Rastafarians in the ‘promised land’ of Ethioipia” Ethiopian News, ethiopianreview.com.
Read more at Suite101: Rastafarians in Ethiopia: 1948 – 2011 | Suite101 http://suite101.com/article/rastafarians-in-ethiopia-1948–2011-a330608#ixzz2EXjznVVG
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EWF convenor and Rastafarian elder and Black activist KABINDA HABRE SELASSIE who migrated to Itiopia over 20 years ago continues to update I and I on the atrocities that continue to be perpetuated against children of His Imperial Majesty.
In a recent email, 20.12/10 Kabinda describes how the Ethiopia auhtorities contiues to make it difficult for Idren in captivity to be afforded thier human rights et al.
“Satan has been giving I and I a Spiritual fight by preventing I and I from seeing the I and I in captivity..dem claim that if the person is a british national, I cannot see the I unless there is a member fro the embassy…the embassy gave I and I letters giving I and MULTIPLE VISITING RIGHTS, yet dem still refuse I and I…i AND i HAD TO PAY A LIAR 4,000 BIRR IN ORDER TO GET INSIDE…. despite representations, dem still refuse I and I visits….”
Ras Kabinda, went on to state that the I continues to persecute as a returnee to Itiopia, and was charged 12,5000Birr(Ethiopian money) for alledgledy defaulting on his residence permit.
“Through I and I overcame dem illegal restriction, dem pressure I Man by charging I 2,500 birr in court for being 3 weeks over on I resident permit, although for the past six weeks dem have been blocking I and I from consulting with I and I Idren, who is part of the Agro-Industry and who is a signatory….now after I have fullfilled all the criteria, dem hold down on I Passport, requesting further documents…clearly upset that I and I used legal representation to overcome their blockage, dem now pressure I in dem little semantics…tomorrow I return to check the vibes….recently dem deport an Idren who had been here for the past five years after finding him with less than half a spliff, because his papers were not up to date….many of I and I are in this reality, as the system does not allow for legality based on ethiopic descendancy….”
Meanwhile, The Rastaman who although suffuring with a leg aliment for some time contiues to be resiliant… bemoaned the fact that some dreadlocks seem to have fallen under the influence of the Ethiopian government officials and have aligned demselves with the local authorities, having built a police station,
“now even joining the force fooling dem, telling dem that I and I are the 83rd Tribe,” Kabinda says adding,, “but not fullfilling the legal parliamentary process that would enshrine I and I rights within the Constitution…political strategy to keep I and I divided…that way I and I who are in captivity are regarded as criminals and Ones must just stay shut, no matter what is being done .As RASTAFARI, I and I must stand as Man…Herb is for the Healing of the Nation…I and I are Family…truth cannot be compromised…it is I and I Right…it is so distressing to consider that in dis here 21st century, SYSTEMS OF AFRICAN GOVERNANCE are so hollow, so dumb and naive and subservient, without any authentic
originality of LOGICAL CONCEPTIONS….. ”
THE ESSENCE AND THE CORE OF THE STRUGGLE MUST BE NATION BUILDING.
Ras Kabinda concluded his email with words of Icoragement for man and man in dis time…
“RASTA MAN…HAIL HAILE I SELASSIE I AND LIVE….him who exalteth himself, shall surely fall….Stand Firm in RASTAFARI for the Race is not the swift, but who can TRULY ENDURE….The Fire is Hot….I and I must be Strong….SPIRITUALLY…..LEST I and I fall prey to satanic illusions……At all Times and In all Circumstances…let Quedamawi Girmawi Haile I Selassie I be I and I Guide….until the african continent is free from foreign domination, I and I Must sTAND fIRM and Resolute….total emancipation from babylon indoctrination and economic exploitation of I and I natural resources ….RASTA MAN MUST STAY FOCUS…THE ESSENCE AND THE CORE OF THE STRUGGLE MUST BE NATION BUILDING….I AND I AS A RASTAFARI NATION CREATING THE NECESSARY FOUNDATION TO SUSTAIN THE NATION…SETTING UP COMMERCIAL FARMS, AGRO-INDUSTRIAL FACTORIES,RESEARCH CENTRES,UNIVERSITIES, HERBAL SANITARIUMS,CULTURAL INSTITUTES…THE WORKS….THIS IS THE ESSENCE…LET I AND I BE WARY OF BABYLON MANIPULATIONS TO DIVERT I AND I ISES TO SUIT DEM POLITICAL AGENDA…..”
RASTA MAN…I and I come from the Fire…it is I and I Salvation….Prayers and Iration
RAS KABINDA FIGHTS TO PRESERVE SHASHEMANE LAND GRANT
By Ras Albert Williams
Black activist and Rastafarian Elder, Ras Kabinda Habre (Desmond Trotter) Sellassie is in a frantic struggle to hold on to ownership of 500 hundred hectares donated to Rastafarians and Black people in the West in 1955 as a way of saying thanks for their support for Ethiopia during the Italian invasion and occupation during the Second Italo–Abyssinian War of October 1935 that ended in May 1941.
His Imperial Majesty, Haile Sellassie Ethiopia, returned to this throne in 1941 when Italy was defeated by a force of the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth of Nations, Free France, Free Belgium, and Ethiopian patriots. On 5 May 1941, Haile Sellassie entered Addis Ababa and personally addressed the Ethiopian people, five years to the day since his 1936 exile.
Ras Kabinda who repatriated to Ethiopia in 1992 told this correspondent:
“OVER THE PAST TWO WEEKS I HAVE BEEN FIGHTING AN ATTEMPT BY CERTAIN LOCAL AUTHORITIES TO BREAK DOWN I HOUSE ON THE GROUNDS THAT IT IS IN THE PATH OF AN INTENDED NEW ROAD.. THIS HAS BEEN ABOUT THE 7TH TIME THEY HAVE TRIED TO TERRORIZE I MAN.. EARLIER IN THE YEAR, A GANG ORGANIZED BY THE LOCAL KEBELE, TORN DOWN I FENCE, IT COSTS I OVER 3,500 BIRR TO REPAIR IT.”
Ras Kabinda, who survives in Ethiopia by selling his agricultural products, and other Rastafari artefacts, lamented that he had initially drew back his fence by five meteres so as to not to be involved with technical department,
“I BROUGHT IN I FENCE FIVE METERS SO AS NOT TO BE INVOLVED IN ANY SEMANTICS. PREVIOUSLY, THE TECHNICAL DEPT. HAD DETERMINED THE ROAD AND PLACED CERTAIN MARKINGS, BUT SOME OF THE LOCAL OROMO PEOPLE BUILT THEIR HOMES OVER THESE MARKINGS AND NOW THE MUNICIPALITY HAS COME TO EFFECT THESE MARKINGS, THROUGH BRIBERY AND TRIBAL LINKS, THEY WANT TO DIVERT THE ROAD INTO I YARD.
I AM FORCED TO GO TO ADDIS TO REPORT TO THE CENTRAL OROMO GOVERNMENT AND INFORM THEM OF THIS ILLEGAL ACTIONS, FORTUNATELY, THE BROTHERS IN THE URBAN PLANNING DIVISION ARE CONSCIOUS AND HAVE ISSUED A LETTER TO THE DHASHAMANE AUTHORITIES NOT TO INTERFERE WITH I LOCATION, UNTIL AN EXPERT FROM THE URBAN PLANNING DIVISION COMES UP FROM ADDIS ABABA TO SETTLE THE MATTER. I PRAY RASTAFARI THAT THIS WILL SUFFICE AND I WILL BE ABLE TO FORESTALL THEIR EVIL INTENTIONS..
THE NEED FOR FURTHER REPREDENTATION AT THE HIGHEST LEVELS IS NOW FUNDAMANTALLY CRUCIAL IF I AND I AS A PEOPLE ARE TO ATTAIN EQUAL RIGHTS. THEY HAVE EXECUTED SIMILAR ACTIONS AGAINST THREE OTHER BROTHERS, WHO JUST ACCEPTED IT, TWO OF THEM HAD TO BREAK DOWN STRUCTURES IN THEIR YARDS, WITHOUT ANY COMPENSATION, WHICH IS AGAINST THE LAW. IT IS AN ATTEMPT AT ETHNIC CLEANSING..
Since the dethronement of Haile Sellassie the repatriated brethren have be under a steady campaign by the Ethiopian Government to reclaim the land, for allegedly developmental purposes. Many of the policies, particularly the attitude of the Mengustu regime towards the Emperor are still maintained even though, the dictator mengustu was ousted by a counter coup in 1991. The royal standard of the Lion of Judah has also been removed from the nation flag. Mention of the Role of Emperor Haile Sellassie and Empress Menen are all but erased from the official school syllabus, Says Ras Kabinda.
Ras Kabinda, who first visited Ethiopia in 1989, and migrated permanently in 1992, has been involved in Agricultural development and the building of additional classrooms for nearby schools. He is also actively involved in teaching Ethiopian farmers alternative farming methods such as integrated farming.
Part of the problem, Ras Kabinda cites is the failure of some organisations to make good their promises at the development of acquired lands. Also the fact that the import duty to import vehicles for development purposes is almost 100 percent, and to obtain investor status one needs to give the government one million Birr (Ethiopian currency) or £48,056.50 British Pounds to obtain duty free concessions. He also notes that reggae stars who make pledges to financially assist the brethren are not forth coming, despite representation to the Ethiopian Government on their behalf.
“THERE IS A CRUCIAL NEED FOR I AND I TO ESTABLISH A RASTAFARI UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF NATURAL SCIENCE, ARTS AND TECHNOLOGY, ESTABLISH OIL PRESSES AND CANE JUICE PROCESSING UNITS,” Ras Kabinda says, adding, “CONSTRUCTION FIRMS, TRANSPORTATION FLEETS, CERAMIC FACTORIES AND PRIMARILY HAVE HUNDREDS OF HECTARES OF LAND UNDER CULTIVATION..THESE ARE BASIC FUNDAMENTALS THAT I AND I AS A RASTAFARIAN NATION ARE YET TO ATTAIN.
Last week, Ras Kabinda initiated the representation to the Ethiopian Prime Minister in Addis Ababa, Meles Zenawi and the Orima President and will return next week to begin negotiations.
MESSAGE FROM KABINDA RE THE SHASHAMANE LAND GRANT
GREETINGS OF PERFECT PEACE AND LOVE IN THE MOST IVINE NAME OF HIS IMPERIAL MAJESTIC EXCELLENCY, EMPEROR HAILE SELASSIE I. I MAN PRAY THAT PEACE PREVAILS IN THE HOUSE AND PROSPERITY AND PROGRESS IS THE JUST REWARD OF I AND I LABOURS.
ALLOW I TO INTRODUCE I SELF..I AM RAS KABINDA HABRE SELASSIE (DESMOND TROTTER) AND HAVE BEEN LIVING HERE FOR THE PAST TWENTY YEARS. I AM ONE OF THE EDERS OF THE NIYABINGHI TABERNACLE AND THE R.C.S. OF LOCAL 14, E.W.F. SHASHAMANE. I AM AN ORGANIC FARMER AND HERBALIST, A COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT OFFICER AND A SCRIBE.
IT IS I DUTY AS AN ELDER AND A SCRIBE TO INFORM THE INTERNATIONAL RASTAFARI COMMUNITY OF THE REALITIES THAT FACE I AND I, AND THE CRUCIAL NEED FOR I AND I TO CLOSE RANKS AND MAKE THE APPROPRIATE REPRESENTATION TO DEAL WITH THE DISCRIMINATION BEING EXERCISED AGAINST I AND I BY THE OROMO LOCAL ADMINISTRATION.
THE SHASHAMANE RASTAFARI COMMUNITY IS A CLOSE KNIT FAMILY, I AND I FUNCTION REGARDLESS OF HOUSE AND LOOK FOR EACH OTHER’S BACK.DURING THE DERGUE REGIME, THE MAJORITY OF THE LAND WAS TAKEN AWAY, REPRESENTATION BY THE THEN ELDER SETTLERS ENSURED THAT 11 HECTARES WAS ALLOCATED TO BE SHARED BETWEEN 18 FAMILIES. THE FULL 11 HECTARES WAS NEVER GIVEN.
THE ELDER TWELVE AND FEDERATION ELDERS BRAVED THE FIRE AND PAVED THE WAY FOR I AND I WHO HAVE VENTURED IN THEIR FOOTSTEPS.SINCE THE CENTENARY OF HIS MAJESTY, RASTAFARI FROM ALL MANSIONS HAVE COME HOME, FROM EUROPE, AMERICA, FRANCE, JAMAICA, BARBADOS, MARTINIQUE, BERMUDA, ST.VINCENT,DOMINICA,CHILE..I AND I AS A COMMUNITY DO NOT EXCEED 300
ETHIOPIA IS GOVERNED BY A FEDERAL SYSTEM, WHEREBY THERE IS A CENTRAL GOVERNMENT, BUT THE COUNTRY IS DIVIDED INTO REGIONAL GOVERNMENTS, REPRESENTING DIFFERENT TRIBES, SO THERE IS OROMO, AMHARA, TIGREY, GAMBELLA, GURAGHE,SIDAMI AND AFAR REGIONAL GOVERNMENTS. SHASHAMANE IS THE FASTEST GROWING TOWN WITHIN THE OROMO REGIONAL GOVERNMENT, OVER THE PAST FIVE YEARS, THERE HAS BEEN DRAMATIC CONSTRUCTION ACTIVITY GEARED TO ESTABISHING IT WITH THE URBAN INFRASTRUCTURE BEFITTING A TOWN.
FIVE YEARS AGO, A MASTER PLAN WAS INITIATED TO SECTIONALIZE THE TOWN INTO RESPECTIVE CLASSIFICATION,DISTINGUISHING INVESTMENT AREAS, RESIDENTIAL AREAS,SCHOOLS,STADIUM AND RELIGIOUS WORSHIP. THE AREA WHERE THE SHASHAMANE TABERNACLE IS HOUSED AND THE RESIDENCE OF RAS KABINDA IS LOCATED, IS CLASSIFIED AS S44 ON THE MASTER PLAN. THIS BEING SPECIFIED AS FOR RELIGIOUS WORSHIP.
WHEN THE AUTHORITIES FIRST STARTED TO INITIATE THE MASTER PLAN, IT WAS CALCULATED THAT A 25 METRE ROAD MAY DAMAGE PART OF TRHE TABERNACLE. I AND I PROTESTED AT SUCH A THOUGHT TO LOCAL, REGIONAL AND CENTRAL AUTHORITIES AND AN AGREEMENT WAS MADE TO BRING IN THE FENCE TO THE WALL OF THE TABERNACLE, I AND I LOST THE HALF COMPLETED FEMALE QUARTERS, WHICH WAS DEEMED TO BE IN THE ROAD.
THERE WAS AN EIGHT METRE ROAD THAT RAN AT THE BACK OF RAS KABINDA,S
HOUSE AND THE HOUSE THOWEVER WHEN IT CAME TO THE FENCE, BEHIND I AND I HOUSES, A GANG OF 24 PEOPLE, ARMED WITH STICKS, CUTLASSES AND SPEARS, ORGANIZED AND LED BY THE LOCAL KEBELE AUTHORITIES, VIOLENTLY CUT DOWN I AND I FENCES. IT WAS A MOST VICIOUS ACT AND EXPOSED THEIR DESIRE TO EXERCISE ETHNIC CLEANSING. WHEN I AND I SOUGHT AN EXPLANATION FROM THE CHAIRMAQN, ONE OBBO MOHAMMED, HIS REACTION WAS PURE HATE AND MALICE.
THAT THE ELDERS DWELL WITHIN, I AND I FENCE MARKED THE BOUNDARY FOR THE ROAD . I AND I DWELLINGS HAVE BEEN THERE FOR THE PAST FIFTEEN YEARS. WHEN THEY FIRST CAME TO DETERMINE THE TRUE PASSAGE OF THE ROAD, IT WAS INDICATED WITH THE RIGHT MARKINGS, BUT THROUGH CORRUPTION, IT WAS CHANGED TO IMPEACH INTO I AND I YARDS.ON ONE SIDE, IT WAS INDICATED THAT I AND I SHOULD COME IN FIVE METRES, I AND I COMPLIED.
NOW IT IS ALMOST A YEAR, AFTER THIS INFRINGEMRENT, I AND I BROUGHT IN I AND I FENCES RIGHT UNTO I AND I WALLS. OVER THE PAST TWO WEEKS, THEY HAVE RETURNED AGAIN, THE SAME CHAIRMAN,WHO HAD BEEN REPLACED, WAS REINSTITUTED . THEY FIRST STARTED ON THE PROPERTIES OF THE TWELVE IDREN, MAINLY SISTER JOANNE, BRO. DESIE. BRO.. MOSES, ELDER ZION, RAS FLIPPINS AND BRO. CHIKA. WITHOUT WARNING, ROADS WERE CUT THROUGH ALL OF THEIR PROPERTIES,
THEY HAVE NO LEGAL AUTHORITY TO DO THIS ,AS THE ROADS ARE NOT INDICATED ON THE MASTER PLAN. THERE HAS BEEN A RECENT EDICT THAT STIPULATES THAT EVERYONE LIVING IN THE SHASHAMANE AREA ARE ONLY ALLOWED 200 SQ. METRES PER PERSON, WITH AN ADDITIONAL 140 SQ, METRES FOR 1 CHILD.
SOME OF I AND I, HAVE AREAS OF 2,000 T0 3,500 SQ. METRES, THAT I AND I LIVE ON WITH FAMILY, CULTIVATE THE LANDS AND BUILD HOMES FOR ONES AND ONES .
BRO. FLIPPINS, WHO HAD UST BUILT UP A HAIRDRESSING SALON, WAS ORDERED TO BREADOWN THE BUILDING , WITHOUT COMPENSATION, WHICH IS ILLEGAL, ACCORDING TO ETHIOPIA LAW.
LAST WEEK, THEY CAME AND STARTED MEASURING BEHIND I AND I HOUSES,I WAS NOT PRESENT,BUT THEY INDICATED THAT THE ROAD PASSAGE WOULD NECESSITATE THE BREAING DOWN OF I YARD AND THE ELDERS QUARTERS.THE IDREN AND SISTREN WHO WERE PRESENT OBECTED AND INDICATED THAT THE ROAD MARINGS WERE INSIDE WHERE THE LOCAL OROMO PEOPLE HAD BUILT THEIR HOUSES. THE SAID OBBO MOHAMMED, THE KEBELE CHAIRMAN ORDERED THE ENGINEERS TO LEAVE THE HOUSES THAT HAD BEEN BUILT IN THE ROAD AND DIVERT IT INTO I YARD AND THE ELDERS QUARTERS. HE FUTHER ARTICULATED THAT IT WAS ONLY THREE ELDERS LIVING IN THE BINGHI YARD, SO BREAK IT DOWN, NO PROBLEM…TOTAL CONTEMPT AND DISREGARD FOR I AND I AND I WELFARE.
THE IDREN AND SISTREN ASKED THEM TO RECONSIDER, BEARING IN MIND THAT RAS KABINDA HAS BEEN INVOLVED IN BUILDING OVER THREE FOUR CLASSROOM STRUCTURES FOR OROMO CHILDREN AND HEALED HUNDREDS OF VILLAGERS WITHOUT CHARGE. THEIR ARROGANCE DID NOT FALTER, A SITTING MAGISTRATE, WHO WAS PART OF THE CREW, COMMENTED NOT TO FEAR FOR KABINDA, HE WOULD FINISH WITH HIM.
THIS IS THE REALITY, I WAS IN ADDIS ABABA, DEALING WITH MATTERS RELATED TO I LEGAL STATUS, HAVING BEEN INFORMED OF THE SITUATION, REPRESENTATION WAS MADE TO THE OFFICE OF THE OROMO PRESIDENT, WHICH DIRECTED I AND I TO THE WORKS AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT BUREAU.I AND I INFORMED THEM OF THE BIAS AND CORRUPT PRACTICES BEING EXERCISED AGAINST I AND I. THEY LISTENED ATTENTIVELY AND TOLD I AND I THAT I AND I WERE RIGHT TO LODGE A COMPLAINT AND GAVE I AND I A LETTER ADDRESSED TO THE SHASHAMANE CITY ADMINISTRATION, INSTRUCTING THEM TO INFORM THE KEBELE AUTHORITIES TO DESIST FROM IMPROPER PRACTICES AND AWAIT AN ENGINEER FROM THE CENTRAL BUREAU TO DETERMINE THE TRUE MARKINGS. I AND I ARE AWAITING THIS LETTER TO BE DELIVERED TO THE KEBELE, BUT IT IS IN PROCESS.
THERE IS A TENSION IN THE AIR, ALL OF I AND I ARE FACED WITH THE SAME SITUATION, A LOT OF THE IDREN AND SISTREN LIVE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE KING,S HIGHWAY AND WITHIN THE NEXT FEW WEEKS WILL BE FACING THE SAME SITUATIONS. THE KEBELE AUTHORITIES ON I AND I SIDE ARE MORE VICIOUS AND LET I AND I PRAY THAT GREATER LOVE AND TOLERANCE WILL BE SHOWN TO THEM AND NONE OF THEIR HOMES THREATENED.
OBVIOUSLY THE TIME IS LONG OVERDUE FOR I AND I TO MAE FAR GREATER REPRESENTATION TO THE FEDERAL AND CENTRAL OROMO GOVERNMENTS ON I AND I STATUS AND IMMEDIATE NEED FOR CITIZENSHIP, PROPERTY RIGHTS AND ALLOCATION OF SUITABLE LANDS TO CREATE SELF-SUFFICIENT COMMUNITIES, WHERE I AND I CAN BE ENGAGED IN COLLECTIVE COMMERCIAL FARMING,SETTING A FOUNDATION FOR NATIONHOOD, WHERE I AND I CAN BUILD HERBAL RESEARCH CENTRES, NATURAL ARTS AND CRAFTS, A RASTAFARI UNIVERSITY COLLEGE OF NATURAL SCIENCE, APPROPRIATE TECHNOLOGY AND CREATIVE ARTS, SEWING AND KNITTING MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES, AGRO INDUSTRIES, OIL, SOYA,SUGAR CANE PROCESSING, ESSENTIAL OILS EXTRACTION, HERBAL REMEDIES, DREHYDRATED FRUITS ETC,
I AND I CANNOT FRET, REGARDLESS OF THEIR THREATS, THERE ARE SET THRONES OF JUDGEMENT ON THE WICKED IN CREATION. I AND I MUST FOCUS ON THE ESSENTIAL PREREQUISITE OF OBTAINING LAND FOR I AND I TO RECOGNISE I AND I SOVEREIGN RIGHT TO RETURN HOME AND BE HONOURABLY WELCOMED. I AND I MUST NEVER ACCEPT SUCH TREATMENT AND I AND I AS A PEOPLE MUST STAND IN SOLIDARITY. IT IS TIME FOR I AND I TO COME OUT OF BABYLON AND SOLIDIFY I AND I SELF IN THE MOTHERLAND. I AND I ARE THE REMNANT THAT IS DESTINED TO LIBERATE THE CONTINENT..IT IS BECAUSE I AND I ARE NOT IN TOUCH WITH ON THE GROUND REALITIES, I AND I LINGER IN THE WEST. IT IS I AND I DESTINY TO COME HOME, FACE THE FIRE AND TRAMPLE THE DRAGON.
THE STRUGGLE TO ILEVATE THE CONSCIOUSNESS OF I AND I PEOPLE IS AWESOME
BUT IS ONGOING, THE MAJORITY OF CHRISTIAN ETHIOPIANS ADORE A WHITE JESUS, WITHOUT APOLOGY. THEIR IGNORANCE IS I AND I BURDEN, WHY IT IS SO FUNDAMENTALLY IMPORTANT FOR THE THE SINGERS AND PLAYERS OF INSTRUMENTS TO COME HOME AND FULLFILL THE PROPHECIES.I AND I HAVE TO IBERATE I AND I PEOPLE FROM WESTERN IMPERIALISTIC INDOCTRINATION AS PERPETUATED BY HOLLYWOOD AND RELIGION. IT IS A MONUMENTAL TASK, THAT REQUIRES THE PARTICIPATION AND CONTRIBUTION OF ALL OF I AND I WHO HAVE CHOSEN TO WALK IN THE WAYS OF THE KING OF KINGS, EMPEROR HAILE I SELASSIE I….. I AND I WILL BE PROJECTING CERTAIN ASPECTS OF NATION BUILDING THAT I AND I HAVE CONCEPTUALIZED AND PRAY THAT I AND I AS A APEOPLE HAVE MATURED THROUGH THE AGES AND ARE PREPARED FOR THE WORK AT HAND… COME OUT OF HER…. I PEOPLE….ONE BLESSED RASTAFARI LOVE
WISE I INVITED TO RASTA STUDY GROUP TO FORM RASTAFARI ORGANISATION
On May 25th this year, the idea was born to start the process of forming a study group to build an organisation called, RASTAFARI ALLIANCE FOR SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND ARTS.
The group which has its Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rastafari-Alliance-for-Science-Technology-and-Arts-RASTA/474280542588870 is open for membership of any and all Rastafarians who have a skill or talent that they want to make known and make available for the purposes of building the Rastafari nation.
As a published author, musician, and student of Open University working towards a BSc in computing and BA in Business Studies, I man really keen on passing on to the younger youths what I have learned in my short years.
Although the objectives are still in the making and the final structure of the organisation is not yet final, I man would like to share some words of advice from His Imperial Majesty:
“Education develops the intellect; and the intellect distinguishes man from other creatures. It is education that enables man to harness nature and utilize her resources for the well-being and improvement of his life. The key for the betterment and completeness of modern living is education. But, ‘ Man cannot live by bread alone ‘. Man, after all, is also composed of intellect and soul. Therefore, education in general, and higher education in particular, must aim to provide, beyond the physical, food for the intellect and soul. That education which ignores man’s intrinsic nature, and neglects his intellect and reasoning power can not be considered true education.”
Emperor Haile Selassie I
Among the ideas that I man will be bringing forward to I and I are:
- The establishment of a database of upright Idren and Sistren in each country: lawyers, doctors, inventors, tradesman, accountants, musician, authors, bakers et who want to be available to assist the cause.
- The formation of a non-profit organisation to raise funds to be used to support I and Iin the furtherance of I and I works.
- A digitization of the works of Rastafari in print, film and sound for the purposes ofarchiving I and I I Story.
- Stronger efforts to assist the elders in Shashemane with the works.
- Representation at the highest diplomatic levels on the question of repatriation andreparation.
- Support for further research into African I story.
- The establishment of resource centres, libraries , sport facilities, studios etc where I
- and I could receive help to nurture I and I talents
- To make available legal assistance for ones and ones in times of need
- To offer artistic support in holding of conferences, and concerts.
- To assist in restoration of the monarchy in Itiopia.
I and I look forward to more reasoning form al house and mansions of Rastafari as the times forward and welcome any comments and suggestions.
Ras Albert Williams