By Derrick Scott
NEW YORK – Jamaicans in the Diaspora are urged to sign an online petition calling for the pardoning of National Hero, the Rt. Excellency, Marcus Garvey by Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness.
The petition seeks to have President Barack Obama pardon Marcus Garvey for the “wrongful conviction” on mail fraud in 1923. It needs 100,000 signatures by Sept. 28 in order to get a response from the White House.
The prime minister’s call came as he addressed his first town hall meeting to a standing room only crowd at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center in Jamaica, Queens, NY, last Thursday.
“Marcus Garvey is our national hero, but in the United States he is not so recognized as there is a charge against him which we believe he should be exonerated,” she said to resounding applause from the audience. “It should be struck from the records. It needs 100,000 to make it effective and I call on all Jamaicans throughout the diaspora to sign this petition so we can have Marcus Garvey, our nation hero, exonerated. This is very important for our country and our national hero.”
He added that Garvey stood up for the “depressed and the downtrodden” and has made his mark on the international stage. “The time has come when should be exonerated and the time is now,” Holness said.
The Prime Minister was joined on the stage by Garvey’s son, Dr. Julius Garvey who told the audience that it was right for his father to be exonerated because he did not commit any crime.
“He was criminalized in the United States because he was standing up for black people all over the world. So what we have to do now as Jamaicans is to let the President of the United states know that the people of the Caribbean, people of Jamaica, the people of Africans all over the world re behind Marcus Garvey because he’s is our hero. He is a hero. He is Jamaica’s first national hero and he is an international hero for African people.”
Efforts have been made in the past without success, but he was hopeful it would happen this time around.
Go to the website justice4garvey.org to sign the petition.