Sat | Oct 1, 2022

Jamaicans deserve their full freedom - Holness

Published:Tuesday | August 1, 2017 | 12:00 AM

Prime Minister Andrew Holness is reminding Jamaicans that we owe it to those who fought tirelessly and defiantly for our emancipation to ensure that no Jamaican today has their freedom trampled by criminal forces.

Holness, in his Emancipation Day message, said, "No citizen who is paying extortion fees to open his little shop or to run his licensed taxi is enjoying the fruits of emancipation." He said further, "Our ancestors did not fight for our freedom only to have it snatched away by criminals who would keep us locked in our homes while they roam the streets freely to do evil. No, the Jamaican people deserve their full freedom."

The prime minister said that people have a right to go to their prayer meetings at night without having to fear that they won't make it back home safely. He said that their freedom to assemble with their brethren must be secured by a Jamaican State that is working in their interest and for their security.

"People deserve peace and security," he argued. "Our children must be free to study at nights and not be terrified by gunshots. They must be free to attend school in the day and go to extra classes in the late afternoon without any fear whatsoever."

Emancipated communities, he noted, are safe zones, where residents enjoy all the civil liberties enshrined in a democratic society. "Fellow Jamaicans, we must see emancipation in a holistic sense. There is no sustainable emancipation without economic growth. Full freedom means that people have access to work, education, health care, housing and adequate community amenities. Economic freedom has to accompany political freedom. Civil liberties are limited without economic opportunity."