12th July Movement: Honouring our Maroon Heroes
Once again the 12th of July Movement will honour the maroons with grand celebrations.
This year's activities are scheduled for July 10, 2016 (two days before the actual date of the anniversary) at the Old Market in Roseau where the organization will honour the 203rd anniversary of Jacko's death.
According to Sharome Burton, a member of the 12th of July Movement this year's activities will feature power talks from dynamic speakers such as the Chief Development Officer in the Ministry of Kalinago Affairs and the Kalinago Chief who will also be the guest of honour.
"We will also announce some expeditions we are planning to discover the grand maroon camp located somewhere in the heights of Belles as well as the other 13 maroon camps hidden in the forest," said Burton.
He added that the members of the 12th of July Movement will also announce a proposal to renovate the Old Market and perhaps change the name of the market to Maroon Square.
At the ceremony members of the 12th of July Movement will perform a song that they wrote to the "heroes".
Burton added: "This being the 203rd anniversary of Jacko's death even though it is a long time ago just as slavery is a long time ago doesn't make it any less relevant."
The 12th of July Movement is aimed at teaching history in a form that is more organic to Dominica, Burton said.
"If you look back at history Dominica is a shining example of resistant from the oppressors; being a young independent country if we can really channel that history to develop a new identity for our people that can bring us forward to the next decade or so," Burton stated.
Meanwhile, Alwin Bully, a member of the organization, said that the 12th of July Movement is dedicated to the promotion of the Maroons and awareness building among citizens such as the role of the Maroons in Dominica's history.
He said that the organization feels that "There is need for some structures and some decisions to be taken by honouring the Maroons such as a Maroon Day, such as the dedication of the Old Market Square to the Maroon people."
Bully said that it is time to change the concept of the Maroons people; he added that people tend to think of the maroons as runaway slaves, "We tend to think of them more as freedom fighters"
He added that the story of the maroons is extremely exciting, significant and crucial to the Dominican people and their whole attitude to life.
Bully said that there is an abundance of information on the life of the maroons recorded and reserved in libraries in Europe.
"The records are there as you know the British were very particular about recording everything and letters from the administrators and governors went back to England are still reserved in the libraries in the United Kingdom and Europe," said Bully.