By Tangerine Clarke
September 30, 2009
Holding a portrait of Mummar Gadhafi, the President of Libya, a group of Rastafarians from Jamaica, joined hundreds of supporters to welcome the Libyan leader to the United States, during a rally outside the Libyan Embassy on 48th Street, in New York City.
The Tuesday, September 22, gathering coincided with Gadhafi’s first visit here, where his country was elected to hold the presidency of this year’s UN General Assembly, and where the leader participated in the historic Security Council summit chaired by president Barack Obama.
The welcoming group carried pro Libyan slogans, chanting welcome to the King of Kings of Africa, and long live Gadhafi, as the Jamaican stood on the sidewalk eager to have their voices heard with praise for the president of the African Union (AU).
Saying Gaddafi is the only man that said “Africa unite”, and who has the ability to stand behind his statement financially and politically, Don Black a Jamaican native said he is eager to take up the call for one Africa where all could live in unity.
“Gadhafi has been a ruler for 40 years, and his history shows what he has done for his people, and now he is calling for Caribbean natives to join the union said Black, who traveled from Florida to greet the leader.
“When Gadhafi became the President of the African Union, he specifically called on Jamaica, Haiti and the Dominican to join him to create the United States of Africa, so we in the Diaspora and the Caribbean would naturally want to step in to help in this effort, because we know that Africa is our home.
Making a passionate call to Caribbean people, Black says Africans have been lost and scattered for a long time, many living in diverse places, but says now is the time for them to grace the shores of Africa.
Joined by Daniels, who traveled from Jamaica, and Flego and Val, who are from the N.Y. area, Black says he visits Africa often where a group of Rastafarians now lives.
“America is in a critical state, that is why we want to move to Africa where there is potential, for nation builders like us.”
“Gadhafi only has one year as the president of the African Union, so while he is in the position of power, we are willing to unite for the future of our children, said Black.
Flego added that Gadhafi supports a united Africa, with one passport. And that is meaningful to Jamaicans, the entire Caribbean population and black people in the Diaspora. He said a discussion is in process for a Caribbean African alignment.
The Bush administration in 2003, lifted a ban on Gadhafi after Libya agreed not to seek nuclear weapons, and he paid $1.5B toward the Pan Am bomb relief fund.
Called a dictator, Gadhafi’s motorcade shut down parts of the East side that was littered with dozens of Secret Service and NYPD cops, during his visit to the Libyan mission just blocks from the UN.