Rastas talk reparations at Jamaica gathering

KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — Dozens of Rastafarians are gathering in Jamaica to brainstorm ways of pressuring European countries to pay reparations for slavery and talk about other core beliefs of the spiritual movement.

Mostly dreadlocked followers assembled Wednesday at lecture halls at Jamaica’s campus of the University of the West Indies for a weeklong conference.

Rastafarians have long called for slavery reparations, a key tenet of their movement. They have unsuccessfully petitioned Britain for compensation.

But now, the Caribbean Community bloc is launching an effort to seek payments for what they say is the lingering legacy of the Atlantic slave trade.

Some Rastas disdain all government initiatives and are skeptical of the Caribbean Community’s efforts. But other adherents are hopeful the regional governments’ campaign can bolster their longstanding demands for reparations.

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