Bristol City Council approved a motion for slavery reparations on Tuesday in the act of “atonement.” The councillors who supported the motion urged parliament to set up a commission of enquiry to investigate reparations for the United Kingdom’s role in the infamous slave trade.
The motion for reparations for slavery was introduced by a Green party councillor, Cleo Lake, who urged her colleagues to approve it. The motion was tabled before an extraordinary sitting of the council members on Tuesday evening.
According to Cllr Lake, the motion was to address the unfortunate and uncomfortable truth about the acts of slavery initiated and white people facilitated. She added that the motion would award the victims some form of compensation for inhumane treatment by the lighter skin people.
Bristol City Council members passed the motion through a 47-12 vote despite the council being controlled by the Labour party. The motion papers indicated that reparations are necessary to ensure that social justice is achieved in the country and beyond.
Racial hierarchy and racism continue to divide the communities in the United Kingdom even today. Therefore, there was a need to introduce economic actions to ensure the enslaved Africans’ descendants were supported and accorded justice.
Among the reparation strategies included in the motion papers include wealth creation strategies, search for institutions that benefited from slavery to prepare for atonement and reparations, and recognition of slavery as a crime against humanity.
Cllr Lake noted that all humans are on earth to live, grow, and make the world a better place for everyone. She added that every human has a responsibility of making the world better for themselves and others.
Therefore, the motion will create a better world for the Afro-Caribbean population and African Heritage communities living in the UK by compensating them for the inequality they suffered during the slave trade.