2012 – Waterloo Park

Africa Remembrance Day 2012 took part over two days at Waterloo Park in Hampstead. The theme over the two days was the commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Independence of Jamaica and Trinidad.

July 31st

The events kicked off with a lecture at Lauderdale House presented by Cecil Gutzmore and Nicole Rochelle Moore, on the contribution of African liberation activists such as Marcus Garvey and Bob Marley in Jamaica, and George Padmore, Kwame Toure, and CLR James in Trinidad, to independence, as well as their broader contribution to the Pan-African movement.

Firstly, Cecil Gutzmore tracked the problems with the West Indian Federation, which led to the independence of Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica. He also spoke about the struggle of the Maroons in 1739, 1740 and 1742. Finally there was also a focus on the continuing challenges facing Jamaica as it seeks to expand freedom and economic wealth to the poor.

Nichole Moore looked at how the nation of Trinidad and Tobago was built, highlighting those who paved the way and started the journey to independence. A few of those men were JR Hooker, Sylvester Williams and George Padmore. Nichole also spoke about the contribution of Trinidadian writers, for example Emily Paul who wrote about the hypocrisy of religion, J.J. Thomas who won a scholarship, before focusing on the well known pan-Africanists Henry Sylvester, Jacob Thomas, and CLR James.

August 1st

The event was held at Waterloo Park with presentations from representatives from the Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaican High Commissions, reflecting their respective countries and providing information on their achievements as well as the challenges facing them. The three minutes silence was held on behalf of the victims of the Jamaican and Trinidadian victims of the struggle for freedom, as well as the millions who died in the Middle Passage, in the Far East and on the African continent.

Poems, songs, and witness statements were contributed by members of the community to the proceedings. The day was concluded with the singing of Redemption Song, sharing of food, drinks and flowers.