The aim is to empower the Rastafari Family to know and demand their rights, to work with authorities on changes and enforcement of laws and eradication of colonial mindsets. Considering recent events in Jamaica including arrests of Rastafari for sacramental Ganja, forced cutting of the spiritual covenant Dreadlocks of a young Rastafari woman and previously a sickly elder with no admittance of rights violation by any authority, the international Rastafari family has been enraged into coordinated action.
The group will present petitions and 10 Demandments with thousands of signatures collected internationally on the issue. The overarching demand is for the resurrection of the Rastafari Advisory Board at the Jamaican Ministry of Justice as required by the Dangerous Drugs Act amendment of 2015 which legalized sacramental Ganja for Rastafari. Additionally, the demand is for an expansion of the advisory board's mandate to hold accountable all Government Ministries in relation to Rastafari issues. Sister Goldi, one of the groups organizers says, "No longer will Rastafari tolerate government use of its image and livity to sell Jamaica alongside unbridled and illegal abuse."
Ultimately RESPECT RASTAFARI aims to increase international pressure to ensure that the Jamaican government is held accountable and addresses the recent and continuing harassment and abuse faced by the Rastafari community in Jamaica in relation to multiple human, indigenous, and constitutional rights violations. "Rastafari is the foundation of the Ganja industry in Jamaica but is now the stone that the builder refuse. With no rights there can be no peace" another organizer, Rastafari elder and longtime Ganja advocate Ras Iyah V asserts.
ALL MEDIA ARE INVITED TO ATTEND VIA LIVE STREAM AT WWW.IRESPECTRASTAFARI.COM
More background on the issues can be found in the Letter to the Prime Minister and the Petition on the campaign website.
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