The RasTafari Movement

 Leonard Percival Howell is the founder of the RasTafari Movement centered in the principles of African Liberation, self-reliance, sovereignty and community. He purchased over 500 acres of land in the Sligoville mountains, St. Catherine, Jamaica called Pinnacle. Pinnacle provided a holy, safe space for ex-slaves escaping the trials of life on the plantations and looking for a sense of identity and direction. For 16 years, the hands and hearts of the people created a sustainable future through building, farming, creating art, sharing ancient sounds and memories, it was a utopia. Pinnacle was the bread basket of Jamaica during the 40’s, this was the first place ganja was grown and used for nation building and healing remedies. On May 23rd, 1954 the Colonial government executed a raid, seek and destroy Mission to separate the people and hide the history that these RasTafari people had found the Promised key to self sustainability.

These are the words of Donisha Prendergast, granddaughter of Bob and Rita Marley, who calls upon the Jamaican government to seize the sale and misappropriation of the people’s cultural identity. She is a committed activist in the Occupy Pinnacle Movement whose campaign is centered around stimulating the minds of the public on the importance of maintaining the integrity of that sacred land and restoring RasTafari to it’s roots.

I-Nation, philosopher and social activist, during a session at the Rototom Reggae University summarized Rastafari as “becoming the best of oneself…the highest point of your existence can be achieved within you”. Just as the significance of the word Pinnacle itself is “highest point”. He also made the distinction between the true meaning of Rastafari as suppose to what is portrayed today; there are other aspects of the movement besides Reggae music and the use of cannabis.

As always politics plays a detrimental part and its all about business. People who refused to be a part of the system are persecuted and denied their cultural heritage, of which “Brand Jamaica is a copy and paste of Rastafari livity”. I support any endeavor that promotes positivity. We must realize and adhere to the importance of staying grounded, working together to build a sustainable future. We don’t need all the technology, those before us managed quite well without it. We need to take it back to our roots; and appreciate life in its pure and simplest form.

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Trouble In Paradise

The love I have for my country is unwavering, that’s why it breaks my heart to see the current state of a nation filled with so much potential.

A government is a body that is elected to make decisions with the best interest of the people at the forefront. However, in the game of Politics, the players concerns are far from that of the people. The depth of corruption is endless and accompanied by a web of lies. It’s become a norm where they continue their exploits and we allow them to; a system dominant in the Quid Pro Quo philosophy. I am by no means implying that politicians aren’t going to have to bend some rules along the way; one can accept a means to an end that benefits the majority.

Most country’s GDP is driven by the development and export of natural resources, however, Grenadians have yet to see the importance of our spices. It’s like we weren’t the second largest exporter of nutmeg in the world; are we no longer the spice of the Caribbean? Who are we? And what do we have to offer? We have placed so much emphasis and have become dependent on tourism that we fail to realize that in order for the tourism industry to be truly successful  areas such as agriculture and health must also flourish. We must remember that people vacation on tropical islands with intention of having an authentic island experience. They have certain expectations such as being exposed to local delicacies, art and craft also the availability of proper health care services.

Good governance, environmental stewardship and economic development go hand in hand but we always tend to sacrifice one for the other. – L.Romain, conservationist

We’ve been living in a bubble where a lot of people have yet to get a taste of real life. For too long we’ve been living tax free and getting too much for too little. But how can one take care of themselves and their family and still pay taxes on a minimum wage salary? The economy will suffer especially with increasing unemployment rate. Too many people who can afford to pay for certain services take advantage and those really in need go unnoticed. A system that would curb this issue needs to be implemented e.g social security number so that persons aren’t mistaken for someone else which can be detrimental especially concerning health care.

We must preserve our cultural heritage; our monuments, especially those in the main town,  include Eco-tourism in our campaign, invest in our people, our resources and not let outsiders reap all the benefit.  People are going to have to take accountability for their lives; no more sitting back and expecting the government to do everything. But the problem is that not enough people care to be proactive and stay committed to the cause.

We have been led by notorious groups of educated fools who are incapable of running this country, implementing growth and sustainability. We have dug ourselves into a dreadful hole filled with debt, strained relationships and decisions made without any logic; such as the constant shuffling of ministers so that projects are never completed, strong-arming government personnel if they’re not a supporter of the ruling party and hiring people who aren’t qualified. The politics need to go! It’s evident that we need a board to govern the government. The system of political parties should be eliminated and an unorthodox system that allows persons who have experience in respective areas to be nominated and then the people vote for the person who gave the better argument. Also, no one person should be allowed to stay in a position for more than two terms.We need to take control of our country and not have to sit back and see it being sold off in pieces.

Modernization is essential to our development, despite being one of the remaining islands that hasn’t been a victim of over-commercialism. We’re too far gone to not consider other prospects even though it means ruffling the feathers of the holier-than-thou Christians. We need to keep up in order to compete on an international level and bring sustainability. We should be working towards building a nation that can provide its citizens with free education, assistance to the elderly and disabled and other privileges hard-working taxpayers should be entitled to.

Put the politicians on minimum wage and see how fast things change.