by Eulana Weekes
St Kitts and Nevis (WINN): The Nyabinghi Theocracy Order has long been championing the cause to have a monument built in honour of the ancestors who fought and died during the Buckley’s Uprising. Speaking to WINN FM on Tuesday, May 3, Ras Iran, a member of the Nyabinghi Theocracy Order suggested that a proposal such as the Buckley’s Uprising Monument needs to be a priority.
In an effort to begin discussions about the Buckley’s Monument, a committee was established under the leadership of Akilah Byron Nisbett. During the Prime Minister’s Press Conference on February 10, 2022, Hon Akilah Byron Nisbett updated the public on the plans thus far.
“There was a committee established some time ago. The committee has been working to determine how best we can place a monument in recognition of Buckley’s Uprising. In doing our research into the space, we learnt that in the early 2000’s there were a number of Historical Sites that were designated as Historical, so then those lands will remain with the National Historical Site Committee and with the Government.”
Byron Nisbett added, “ Unfortunately, the Buckley’s Estate was not designated in the early 2000’s as a Historical Site; and therefore, in our research and investigations we learnt that the lands were actually sold. So, where it is that we were trying to build a monument within that space, we later learnt that-that land was no longer in control by the Government. So in order for us to be able to do that, we would have had to consider repurchasing the land, trying to move people from where they are.”
According to Byron Nisbett, there have been conversations with one of the mechanics who reside on the land, as well as discussions with Sustainable Development in an effort to see whether or not the mechanic can be relocated. She disclosed however that the mechanic had concerns about whether they will find a place that’s adequate enough for his operations based on its present state. The Minister revealed that a location was not identified that was comfortable to the mechanic.
Ras Iran notified WINN FM that he is a member of Buckley’s Uprising Monument Committee, but he is not convinced that the monument will come to fruition, due to the committee being inactive.
“When we spoke about getting a committee in place, the government was the one who decided to put the Committee in place and they got “ones and ones” [persons] to form the committee. We had a few meetings; not much, maybe about four meetings if so much and never again after that. We talked about getting back the land from whoever and getting them a different land elsewhere. The whole purpose was getting back the land.”
Ras Iran explained that based on discussions from the meeting, they decided to see if local businessman, Kawajah to whom the land was sold, would give back some of the land, in return for land elsewhere. He said a meeting hasn’t been held since then, which was years ago.
“Politicians, that’s how they come, they make you feel like something’s going on and when you go behind the scenes, nothing is going on.
Ras Iran referred to a poem by Mr. Michael Blake, who revealed that he will contribute EC $1, 000 solely for the erection of the monument, whilst sharing a poem during the 87th Anniversary celebration of the Buckley’s Uprising on Jan 28, 2022. Ras Iran proposed the opening of a bank account in which others can give financial support to the initiative. He said, it is time for the authorities to pay closer attention to the construction of the monument as this should not only be a priority to the Rastafarian Community but to all black people; including children who need to learn their history.