Time runs out for Gar­vey pe­ti­tion

Pe­ti­tion fails to garner re­quired sig­na­ture to­tal

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS -

THE ON­LINE pe­ti­tion launched to com­mence the pro­ceed­ings of clear­ing the name of Na­tional Hero Mar­cus Gar­vey was archived yes­ter­day af­ter it failed to amass the 100,000 sig­na­tures needed for it to be con­sid­ered.

Gar­vey, the coun­try’s first named Na­tional Hero, was made a crim­i­nal in the United States (US) in 1923 af­ter he was found guilty by nine of 12 ju­rors of com­mit­ting mail fraud.

Dis­cus­sions sur­round­ing the is­sue led to the pe­ti­tion ‘Grant Mar­cus Mosiah Gar­vey a Post­hu­mous Pres­i­den­tial Par­don of His Wrong­ful 1923 Con­vic­tion’ be­ing started on the White House We the Peo­ple web­site, where it was hoped the pres­i­dent of the US would take steps to ad­dress the is­sue once the re­quired sig­na­tures had been met.

More than 9,000 sig­na­tures were added in its fi­nal hours, but it was not enough. By yes­ter­day’s dead­line, 25,732 sig­na­tures were at­tached to the pe­ti­tion, 74,268 short of the re­quired 100,000 sig­na­tures.

The pe­ti­tion al­leges that Gar­vey, a civil rights ac­tivist, was wrong­fully con­victed of use of mail in fur­ther­ance of a scheme to de­fraud.

It fur­ther al­leges that Gar­vey was con­victed af­ter be­ing tar­geted by J. Edgar Hoover, the di­rec­tor of the Fed­eral Bu­reau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion, and de­prived of a fair trial.

Ac­cord­ing to the pe­ti­tion, “dur­ing a time when Blacks were seen as sec­ond­class cit­i­zens, Gar­vey led a mass move­ment to el­e­vate the Black com­mu­nity through eco­nomic em­pow­er­ment and in­de­pen­dence”.

The ar­gu­ment has been floated that it is em­bar­rass­ing that Gar­vey has been con­ferred with Ja­maica’s high­est hon­our, but, at the same time, is on record as a crim­i­nal in the US.

This week’s Sun­day Gleaner re­ported that Se­nate Pres­i­dent Tom Tavares-Fin­son said it would be a “trav­esty” if the pe­ti­tion did not get the re­quired sup­port.


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