Let’s discuss the period of the Dread Act – Henry Shillingford

Thirty-eight years ago today, Parliament passed the Prohibited and Unlawful Societies and Associations Act,  which many argued started one of the worst chapters in Dominica’s history.

The brunt of the Act was felt by the Rastafarian community on the island, who wore their hair long and matted, commonly known as dreads. Hence the Act was infamously known as The Dread Act.

Under the Dread Act, individuals wearing dread locks and who appeared in public were guilty of an offense and subject to an arrest without warrant. The Act protected from civil or criminal liability, any civilian who killed or injured a member of the Dreads who was found illegally inside a dwelling house. Additionally, the security forces received immunity from the law for killing members of the rastafarian movement.

The act was passed in 1974 by the Patrick John-led Labour Party administration following violent attacks by certain members of the group against tourists and farmers, particularly in the southern part of the island. The legislation was enacted in response to a mode of panic that had hit the island.

There are many reports of atrocities committed against the rastafarian community with the House of Nyabingh in Dominica estimating that at least 21 members of that community were killed during the period of  the Dread Act.

Although the Act was repealed in 1985, outspoken attorney and rastafarian, Henry Shillingford, believes more should be done to  educate the public on the period surrounding its implementation and enforcement.

At minimum, he is calling for an apology from officialdom for the Act which according to him, was passed in the highest office in the land. “Up to now there is not one paper, assessment, no atonement for the passing of the Dread Act,” he  told Dominica News Online.

He said apologies should come from the Dominica Labour Party and the Dominica Freedom Party since the Act was passed by the Labour Party with no opposition from the Freedom Party.

But most importantly, Shillingford is calling for what he described as “an intellectual discussion and assessment” of the Act and the period surrounding it. “The University of the West Indies, the media houses and so on should come together to discuss, debate, and assess the period of the Dread Act,” he argued.

Shillingford is not the only one calling for something to be done concerning the Dread Act. The Rastafarian community in Dominica has called on education officials to incorporate lessons on the Act in schools saying that not only would this history serve as a way to let the youths learn about their country but the knowledge could be used as a tool to develop a better understanding of young people today.

“If we are able to revisit the 70’s where we were rebels with a cause, if the society is able to understand what our cause is and was and if we are able to talk through reason through that period, it might give us a better understanding for us to listen to the youths today rather than condemn them to jail and to further violence,” Peter Alleyne, a member of the rastafarian community said.

He said Dominica has never revisited and analyzed the period of the Dread Act to hear “both sides of the story.” “It was a troubling time in our history and we have never revisited it to get a true understanding of what really happened,” he said.

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111 Comments

  1. anonymous2
    September 5, 2014

    Peoples’ hairstyles should not be the basis for anything. The dreads were criminals and DA is still loaded with thieves and liars that bring the place down. The police are no help to the situation. 85% of the people on this island are a problem due to their prejudice and racism and that is pretty bad.

  2. sphinx
    July 13, 2013

    the problem is:the police was not educated to differentiate between “dreads” and “rastafarri”.and there are many policemen who simply believe they are above the law.where as they are there to serve the country with dignity!!

  3. answers
    November 24, 2012

    Anyone else find it weird PJ passed this and his son has dreads?

    • sphinx
      July 13, 2013

      lè ou kwashay en ho i ka tombé en lè né a vou

  4. Anonymous
    November 21, 2012

    Were the dreads the only ones committing crimes? Never! YET a law to brutalize the “look” and not any other. The ignorance so complete that no differenciation between criminals who SPORT dreads versus rastafarianism. WOW!!!! and many of you are here agreeing with that so christian are we here in Dominica. Everything is bible and church. Every meeting is prayers. stupes.

    You people remind me of groups like the Nazis and KKK and the tea party who try to camoflage their bigotry and pyschopathic souls with “patriotism” and self righteousness emphasis on SELF because nothing righteous at all about evil.

  5. Doesnt matter
    November 21, 2012

    Seriously why dominicans soo gullible for? I dont know about those times personally but its obvious that the men who committed these crimes were not rasta even if they did have dreads. Therefore targeting persons who happen to have dreads, either for religious reasons or just a hair style is absolutely foolish. Murders and crimes continue to occur regardless of how someones hair looks. I personally think it was just convenient for that law to be put in place since dreads and rasta were much more hated in those days. Dominicans need to let go of such trivial hate and i hope that retarded ideology dies with the older generation and doesnt get passed on. WAKE UP!

  6. ROSEAU VALLEY
    November 20, 2012

    THE GROOVE OF THE BAT may well serve as a clue as to what actions had been taken that lead to this ACT.

    Persons had their dread locks cut and some were killed abd beaten. Remarkably there are some policemen who fled our shores and others were reputed to have been involved in a series of Criminal activities in the heights of Giraudel Beaubois etc.

    I think a TRUTH COMMISSION is needed to look at such atrocities. Quite clearly there is a lot of hurting families who still cannot accout for their love ones.

    We just have to ask people especially those from NEWTOWN and Environs as to what they know and you will be shocked. The same exists for LOUBIERE and KINGS HILL and parts of GRAND BAY etc.

    There are now some persons who are pretending to be what they are not as some kind of disguise for what they appear to be but its evident they were known perpetrators and blood is on their hands.

    I call for PEACE and RECONCILIATION in my country. I also call for JUSTICE.

    There were also persons from the Roseau Valley region, very youngmen at the time who were victims to such atrocities.

    LET JUSTICE FLOW DOWN LIKE WATER and RIGHTEOUSNESS LIKE A MUGHTY STREAM.

    REPEAL the ACT.

    Yours truthfully

    ROSEAU VALLEY

  7. cold
    November 20, 2012

    they should teach in school as dominica’s history that will show the youths of today the truth about days of long ago and how the law maker was just as ruthless and reckless as the criminals of today. they were nothing but thugs, its a shame that till today no effort has been made to apolagise to the rastafarian comunity in dominica.

  8. dissident
    November 20, 2012

    So why are we not fearful of rasta today?

    Is is rasta dat kidnap de two youths in yampiece?
    Was rasta dreads involved in de murder at Pagua recently?
    Who burn G.O.N Emmanuel house? Rasta dread?

    Who molesting our little girls at home and elsewhere today? Rasta dread?

    Who murder de elderly woman at Giraudel? Rasta dread?

    Who steal de guns from de police armory? Rasta dread?

    Who getting free for murder on technicality? Rasta dread?

    WHO TERRORIZING OUR SOCIETY TODAY? Rasta dread?

    Who have cooections with Iran, Venezuela, de FARC and some of the dirtiest, ruthless modern day rogue states? Rasta dread?

    Patrick John and de Dminica Labour Party had strong connections to Klu Klux Klan.
    De terrorists were on de DLP side and today their bonds are stronger.

    u see all u words eating all u now? All U want to live natural and healthy?

    • Choice - X
      November 21, 2012

      Whilst the response of the security forces and government was harsh at the time, you have to appreciate that it was in response to dreadful(pardon the pun) situation in social mayhem that occurred. The main culprits are those who hijacked the rasta movement for their evil deeds. You have to admit the dreads were preventing farmers from accessing their farms, and Galaway and crew did kidnap some young girls in the Possie area. The economy took a hit from a decline in agri production at the time. Tourism, though marginal was decimated.

      What would you have done? sit on your hands and hope for the best, whilst society crumbles.

  9. Piper
    November 20, 2012

    That period during the 1970s was a very traumatic time in our history. The police used that act to commit a lot of atrocities.

    I remember a friend of mine who was picked up by the police. One of the police officers was a notorious one from Mahaut ( a fair skinned one who had straighish hair – I dont remember his name). Anyway, my friend was a rasta and while he was being transported to Roseau, one of the cops put a revolver to his head and pulled the trigger numerous times. The gun was empty, but who wants to hear the click of a revolver pointed at your head?

    On the other hand, the rasta committed a lof of crimes and people were genuinely afraid. The dread act went too far, but the government had to do something to return the island to normalcy.

  10. Diplomat
    November 20, 2012

    The period of the dread act is quite interesting. What is not fair here is that the majority if not all of the Rastafarian community are being penalized for the actions of a few. I think it is only right that after 35 odd years of being oppressed or being judged for the colour of our skin and for how we choose to wear our hair that this act be abolished. Slavery has ended people!

    I don’t believe that the entire Rastafarian community should apologize for the actions of a few. Now if those few are still alive and want to tell of the history and apologize tot hose families who lost land and even family then they should do so and it doesn’t even have to be publicly.

    The truth of the matter is God is all knowing, all seeing, all hearing. HE is the one who judges and it doesn’t matter what anyone on here thinks really.

    I think the period of the dread act needs to come alive in history books, I believe our young people can learn a lot from this. Dominica’s history is vast, we should never hide the truth.

    I think dread locks are beautiful, I think people who are courageous enough to wear their hair dreaded are beautiful. They possess a certain air which is calm and peaceful and most of them are highly intelligent people.

    Give them a chance, show love…

  11. him
    November 20, 2012

    I fully support the action taken at the time against these ruthless, brutal and criminal elements called the dreads.They killed, abducted stole etc etc. Apology… For me NO!

    • Real Dominican Diva
      November 20, 2012

      It’s quite apparent that the level of ignorance displayed poorly articulated ‘mini’ rant that you are a complete imbecile. Please educate yourself about what truly occurred during that time period. Don’t just take other people’s opinions as the gospel truth but do your own research. Many innoncent men and women were murdered simply because of the way they wore their hair. Had that been the “Stupidity Act” many people would have met their maker during that time.

      • him
        November 20, 2012

        @Real Cominican… Stop your garbage. These men were ruthless,brutal and criminal. I need noone to tell me anything about what was going on at the time. My village was the centrepiece of it all. Go dump your filth somewhere.Praises to the government of the day.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1
      • Malatete
        November 20, 2012

        Dear Diva, I assure you that I and many others only know too well what did occur. After all, many were victims of lawlessness at the time, and not only on the side of the “dreads”!. Many of these so-called “dreads” were not true followers of Rastafiri and simply jumped on the band wagon for their own wanton gain. They gave the true believers a bad name, which persists to this day. Your proposition re “stupidity” is purely rhetorical of course and should not be used to try and confer hero status on those, who did wrong. Peace be with you.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
      • rama
        November 20, 2012

        Tell that to the first innocent mappn shot to death in front of Pebbles Park during Carnival. Remember John Jirasek?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
      • A Voice
        November 20, 2012

        Educate him sista. The ignorance is just amazing.

        Before making any statements people should read the contents of the Act.

        One could not even go on the street dressed in African-style attire without being subject to arrest, brutalization and thrown into prison.

        Read the Act first before running here and talking about how it was justified.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1
      • HYPE
        November 21, 2012

        To rama
        I think I remember that incident. Think it was an Alleyne guy, a Trotter guy and someone else who allegedly did so. I believe a charge of murder was brought against them but somehow dropped because of an identity problem. But I’m sure you can remember too, when meeting were being held thereafter at Lagoon, with people shouting ‘free Trotter’ and so on. I think they went down to River Street and showed persons the Gun they used. And following, they were searched somewhere up Antrim and found that same gun in a butter tin, and then tested to see if it was the gun, and it was. You see, we’ve got an interesting piece of History and needs to be brought out there in complete detail

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
    • Dread I
      November 20, 2012

      @him, a million thumbs up. The nation was transformed into a peaceful one after the law was passed; and every body was happy. I became a goodclean head man. I changed my ways, and was able to get a job.

    • ??????????????
      November 20, 2012

      @him… You hit the nail on the head… These were ruthless people.

    • van
      November 21, 2012

      This is mere generalisation. Were all dreads criminals? Were the crimes commited by rastas, who are peace loving natural people? Wearing ones hair in locks or natural does not a dread or rasta make.

      Were the percentage of ‘non dread’ criminals not greater than ‘dreads’.

      We should all learn from the episode and move on and grow both in knowledge and tolerance.

  12. Frank Talker
    November 20, 2012

    The Dread Act had to have taught us a lesson, otherwise we would have gone down the same route with the so-called “anti-social” youth of today. Criminalizing a behavioural pattern has not worked to the benefit of most democratic countries on the globe. What is considered a crime today often is decriminalized some time in the future. See what’s happening to marijuana use in Washington state today. Both in Washington and another State, marijuana has been decriminalized. We learnt in school that a norm is also a deviation from a norm, meaning, when a society or parts thereof deviate from a norm, this deviation eventually becomes a norm. Today, wearing of dread locks is a norm. Rough tops became a norm recently but is now a dorm. The Roman Catholic Church is guilty of much atrocities and crimes against humanity for its intolerance against other faiths. Read “Fox’s Book of Martyrs” for historical and factual information of the role the church played in medieval times. The point here is that we need to exercise some tolerance to diversity and different ways of thinking and living. Those different ways have a habit of becoming acceptable over time.

  13. Rastafari
    November 20, 2012

    To all that don’t want to see this most atrocious piece of legislation disappear, I ask you, would it be justified to pass similar legislation against the youth of today who are committing the same and in some cases, worst acts against tourists and locals alike? It’s all about HATE and PREJUDICE towards the Rastafari community, isn’t it? There is no giving up on this and you all can rest assured that Rastafari is here to stay and justice will be served, one way or another! So get used to the topic and educate yourselves wisely!

    • ....................
      November 20, 2012

      Your fool these were not Rastafari at all…. These were terrorists. Stop your crap. If it existed now, yes i would like the same legislation, so that i would be able to go to my farm as i am doing now. In the part of dominica where i live i could not go to my farm.

  14. natural dominican
    November 20, 2012

    the act was necessary at the time…the dreads were really out of control causing chaos through the land

    • Rastafari
      November 20, 2012

      True, so would it be justified to pass legislation against the youth of today who are committing the same and in some cases, worst acts against tourists and locals alike? It’s all about HATE and PREJUDICE towards the Rastafari community. There is no giving up on this and you all can rest assured that Rastafari is here to stay and justice will be served, one way or another!

  15. Respec Rasta...
    November 20, 2012

    I believe that a documentry of that period “the 70s” should be done so people will know what really happened. my mother told me a lil bit once about it – as to what she remembers, an i am very much curious to know the full story… Mr.Felix Henderson this one is something you should consider making a story on. you did the prison, you did the elderly and others. i think this one is a very intrested one to document. please do.we the youth love to hear what went on is the past in dominica… please i beg you, do some interviews, have some talks and get the real deal out for us to know…. long live rasta an all other denominations…

  16. flower
    November 20, 2012

    I was afraid of going to our garden. some people never went back to there garden, The dread act help no apologies. Tell Mr. do something to build Dominica.

  17. Rastar-Marn
    November 20, 2012

    Rasta it’s all water under d bridge just let the past stay in the past,,,
    Them incidents that lead up to that case was very isolated cases and should not have blanketed a whole movement but oh well,,,

    Look at Dem man today dat passed dem Arbitrary Rules, especially D One call John “the evil that One does to his fellow man to cause him injury will come back to haunt him Ten folds”,,,

    What Marn should start doing is bring back the days when RatarMarn would go plant his food and grow his garden and teach dem young Ones true Roots and Culture,,,

    Not all RastarMarn have that matted-up hair you know some of dem carry their Dreadlocks in their Heart it’s more a spiritual uplifting than fashion statement,,,

  18. SiangUK
    November 20, 2012

    Discuss the Act, as much as you want.

    Ted Hornychurch was taken from his home and killed.

    His killer is alive and walking the street of Dominica today.

    So apology for the Act, NO.

    • possie
      November 20, 2012

      that was an isolated case, it was a grave crime, one which Dominica will never forget, but my god, because of one white man, people had to loose their sons, fathers, daughters? and Patrick John still there living in big house? I can never stop damning dat man, his soul has to burn in hell, he will die like a dog just as the policemen like scotland from woodfordhill, heawood from possie and the rest that there in isolation waiting for their fates

      • Malgraysa
        November 20, 2012

        You see Possie, racial prejudice is still with you. What did it matter what colour skin mr. Honeychurch had? Aren’t you all preaching that all men are equal? I remember that time as dreadful, with your brothers and sisters in the bush like guerillas and everybody so scared. Mr. Shilling ford can commemorate all he wants but I’d rather forget that awful nightmare.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  19. Anonymous
    November 20, 2012

    dread my

  20. Rasta4Ever
    November 19, 2012

    Personally, not withstanding the attrocities of some of the dreads at the time, I think DOMINICA, missed out on the true concept of rasta. If some to the things that rasta were preaching then were taken into consideration, some of the social and health problems we have now would not be chronic in the population.
    First rasta (the true rasta) preached love.Whether you knew a rasta or not and you met each other, he would greet you…..Hail brethern.
    Rasta preached exercise…. rasta preached stay off the imported foods particularly meat…. deaders….. rasta grew what they eat and eat what they grew….. Breathern would meet together and socialize….. I hope not all really smoked the ganja (lol) All in all I think the rasta philosophy was good but the evil influences just had to be identified and eradicated.
    Now everybody wants to be a rasta ………HOW THINGS HAVE CHANGED.
    For ME…. I will always be rasta….. a true rasta, conscious of the Most High God and of my brethern. One love…. Rasta4Ever.

    • Annonymoustoyou
      November 20, 2012

      You so Rasta and what you doing on computer??? Stupes!!! Have a seat!

  21. wiser than
    November 19, 2012

    a discussion well needed on one of the harsher topics of our history. why are people preaching ignorance. everything is politics well look it. it was de dominica labour party led government that implemented the ‘dread act’ so who better than the dominica labour party led government to removed the ‘dread act’. does not matter what generation it is.

  22. rama
    November 19, 2012

    Let us get the opinion of those the dreads murdered, like the Canadian Brights, Mr. Laurent, Ted Honychurch, farmer at Belles, policeman Lugay,Defence Force soldier, etc.
    ,

  23. Looking in
    November 19, 2012

    It is so interesting eh. Take for instance “groovy bat” Angelo Alleyne at that time was a cop who enjoyed cutting fellars dreads with dull cutlass, now take a good look at what he has on his head…hahaha

  24. Goingwayback
    November 19, 2012

    At that time the dreads had the country under fear, alot of eveil thing was done to innocent people who did no harm to others I was young a teenager there was a murder here,kidnapping there, rape, farmers were scared to go to their gardens, but alot of policemen at that time saw an opportunity to wipe out some innocent young men for no reason like the on from MAHAUT Johnrose he did not deserve to die the way they did it and dump is a landfill we must move past the 70s

  25. smr
    November 19, 2012

    dreeds me boi

  26. ....................
    November 19, 2012

    ABSOLUTELY NO APOLOGY…It should be the other way round. The sufferings these so called dreads/terrorists caused to so many families,will never be forgotten. They were brutal heartless souls. GOOD JOB PJ AND THE OTHERS.Love you all for clamping down on these brutal men.

  27. Frank
    November 19, 2012

    A guy who was a butal policeman back then and now has a certain talk show( 6am to 7 am) on one of the stations and is locks man today, was a brutal police officer haunting Rasta in the bush with the Defence force and police. O my how things change with time. I wonder what he has has to say about this discussion.

    • Anonymous1
      November 20, 2012

      Those Rasta bring that on them> remember What Joey, Marcus and Pocosion did to the old man in Giraudel on his farm and so many others? At that time the action taken was right….now its no longer needed though.

  28. Dominican
    November 19, 2012

    All that started when the Roseau BOOjwazs made complain after complains to the police that the guys were standing at 4 corners with long dreadlocks, and that they were afraid to walk in the (town at the time)city, and the police harassed the guys day and night causing them to move to the hills, a small number of them did commit crimes but most of the guys were peaceful people and again because of those BOOjwazs PJ an them pass that foolish law, and we can see it happening again in a deferent form what the BOOjwazs say goes.

  29. November 19, 2012

    pj did the right thing at that time in dominica history,so people think what would you all do at that time.It is easy to say p.j was bad,but only time can tell,so many people could not go to there garden,what about that there is two side to a story some 30 pluse years later.so mr.Herny tell the people the full story.John was not a bad man.thank you for doing what you did at that time.Iam happy for saving my family life,for going up hill and dowm valley to there garden,think da think.

  30. shy
    November 19, 2012

    I can still remember when prople were afraid to go in their own garden.People who had no problem with dread.The tourists didn’t even know what was going on and these guys used to attack them.You guys lucky they didn’t ban dread for good in dominica.

  31. Kakabawi
    November 19, 2012

    The Infamous List….the names I remember….Pocoshion….Tumba…Galaway…Mal…please help me those of you who remember the names of the men who terrorized our community back then. They don’t deserve no apology.

  32. ideal
    November 19, 2012

    its really time to get rid of that stupid law, dreads are worn all over the world, lawyers doctors, teachers and all works of life, here in Canada, dreads all over the place and they are peacful loving people, are the present dreads in DA violent?. WE ARE SO BACKWARD IN DA

    • 123
      November 20, 2012

      Didn’t you read in the article that “‘the Act was repealed in 1985.’?” Read again!!

    • yah
      November 21, 2012

      Are you daft?

  33. anonymous2
    November 19, 2012

    Learn from history, but read from several sources. There are too many people that don’t know history and it isn’t in the school books either. You have to get outside of the box. If you don’t know the truth, you will be blind sided again because history repeats.

  34. julius
    November 19, 2012

    GOD is within.He lives.If you can’t feel it,something’s wrong.I figure this act was intended to protect the society from all forms of antisocialism.At the time,the “Dread”appeared to be the troublemakers,and was targited as a result.
    How-ever,all societies have their share of unlawfulness.We must maintain the “PEACE OF THE LAND.”No nation can survive without this aspect.
    Law enforcement,groups or individualsshould not abuse,take advantage or manipulate the “fundamental human rights,”to be born,to survive and finally return to his/her maker
    “THIS HUMAN DEGRADING DREAD ACT,”should be ABOLISHED WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT.This is just a mare form of PERSECUTING a particular culture.
    THERE IS “THE LAW OF THE LAND,”which is quite sufficient to maintain security, and to bring offenders to justice.We are one NATION.Try to unite and make things better for ALL.

  35. Erasmus B. Black
    November 19, 2012

    According to our local historian, “the Dread Act was more successful as a psychological damper to the people’s fears than it was as an effective piece of legislation.[The Dominica Story- third edition, page 246]

    While it is a bit spurious for government to apologize to the dreads, can the people of Dominica expect an apology from the dreads for the subsequent murder, abduction, kidnap, possible rape, theft of produce, loss of livelihood, emotional distress, guerilla warfare, etc inflicted on them?

  36. Shameless
    November 19, 2012

    Maybe Henry is still halucinating on the thought of weed being legalized in Dca.

    In my humble opinion, Henry, Trotter, Peter Allyne and the rest owe “We the People” an apology for the turmoil, fear, brutality and insecurity that the so called Rastafari movement of the 70’s brought on us citizens. As a child I lived in constant fear of those criminally minded dreads who would steal and plunder from my family gardens in the countryside and even had the audacity to threaten my gramps with death if he reported it.

    Desperate time called for desperate measures and the government of the day did just right in their actions. Woe be unto those criminals who were arrested, punished or killed in an effort to bring back sanity to the land. If anything, the serving members of the police and Dominica Defense Force (DDF) who put all on the line for country during these turbulent times should be anointed as national heroes.

    “Lest we forget Henry, Lets we forget!” :twisted:

    Assertive, NOT Agressive!

    • Anonymous1
      November 20, 2012

      marijuana Should be legalised…made legal in XColorado and Washington State in the US. Only after America has packaged it and try to patent it they will say its ok to do so. I am not a smoker though….a natural plant should not be illegal to grow in your yard for whatever benefits derived from it

  37. November 19, 2012

    let there be a panel discussion, neither side should not slant or distort history in their favour. the dread ACT did not come about just like that.to every action there is a reaction. the dread act i must agree was very drastic but the dreads at that time were not guiltless innocent victims. they were very agressive and hostile towards those whom they ues to call bald heads,I,do not believe that mr. henry shillingford is seeking truth and reconciliation.He reminds me of toomba!!!

  38. B.E.B
    November 19, 2012

    All I can say is,those dreads or roges as some one called them, wanted to take over the country, so the Govt. at the time, the Labour Party, had to do some thing drastic to over come them, that’s why the Dread Act was passed. One can remember that there were some tourists who were camping on the beach in Pagua, they were brutally attacked with cutlasses by dreads. I cant remember whether any of them were prosecuted. Another couple, Nick {a Syrian guy} and his Carib girlfriend were burnt to death in a house in North End by dread locks members,no one was prosecuted. When they had kidnapped these two girls in Portsmouth, that was really meant for the two Lawrence’s sisters, now after these two girls were resued by the police after spending so many weeks in the dense forest being taped times and over, they were taken to the hospital where they were treated.Now to put these girls mind at ease,
    These guys used to travel from rigde to ridge over the country and when they would meet those farmers in their garden, they would tell them “take and do not come back” These poor farmers were afraid, and they had no other means to take care of their family members. So when the Govt. were hearing all these things were taking place,villagers were afraid to move about,the people were just in fear.The Govt.had to do something, that was the reason for implementing the Dread Act.Or else it would be a state runned by dreads or roges.On one occasion, they approached Mr. Bernabe {may his soul RIP} in the Belles area, seeing him , they shouted”here is the one who is training the police men”, they were going to kidnap him, when he said to them {Oh I finish that long time ago, ever so long I finish with those goys” At that time, he was still training the recruits at Morme-Bruce. Quick thinking ,caused him to leave the Belles area safely. I could go on an on an on, I dont have to mention about the Kidnap and murder of Mr Honychurch, as its still fresh in the minds of those over 35. Up till now , no dread locks members have ever appologize to the families. I dont understand what Mr. Shillingford is talking about, as they would have to convey appologies to so many people. A lot of people got killed by the dread cults and a few dread cults got killed by membere of the police and defence forces. At the time it was kill or be killed. Mr. Shillingford, my advice to you, is think other wise .

    • B.E.B
      November 19, 2012

      I mean “rapped” not “tapped” in the 9th. line and the line before the last “members”

    • B.E.B
      November 20, 2012

      DNO why did u leave out 3 lines from the end of my first paragraph.Some one reading my comments and reading “Now to put these girls mind at ease” do not make sense, I dont know why the rest of the paragraph were left out, there was nothing deflamatory, profane or offensive.

  39. sorry
    November 19, 2012

    no substance

  40. __________________
    November 19, 2012

    NO APOLOGY. These were blood thirsty criminals.

  41. him
    November 19, 2012

    These men called dreads at the time,created such atrocities during that time.They killed many innocent people,and many of them got what they truely deserved.
    The governments of the period should be applauded for their firm stance against these terrorists.

  42. DANZIGER
    November 19, 2012

    When will our X generation men apologize to our DOMINICAN women for spreading children all around DOMINICA and after they ABANDON both women and children.

  43. ()
    November 19, 2012

    These killers at the time were not rastamen. No Apology! They were worse than Al qaeda members. I SUPPORT WHAT THE STATE DID 1 00 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000%…

  44. A Voice
    November 19, 2012

    Our society too hypocrite to have that dirty linen aired out. Long before the Dreads come, crimes were happening in Dominica. People were doing a lot of wickedness and Dreads got the blame.

    Just yesterday my mom and I had a three hour conversation on the whole Dread business in Dominica back in the 70’s and I so regret that I didn’t record that.

    People just talking you know; just not combing your hair was enough to get you arrested, beaten and worse by the police and/or the public. See how they nearly hang Desmond Trotter for a crime he never committed.

    That was one of the worst Acts ever signed into law anywhere in the world and is just because it have too much people alive today that living in shame who signed their name to that Act, that is why they wanna keep it quiet.

    You know how Marcus say ‘A people without knowledge of their history is like a tree without roots’.

    Voyay glo rasta voyay glo pou moyay natty yo…

  45. Anonymous
    November 19, 2012

    Not interested!

    • Muslim_Always
      November 19, 2012

      Your Jack! What a idiotic bias statement!

    • wiser than
      November 19, 2012

      but u commenting;well, it shows wat ur interest are.

    • BIG
      November 20, 2012

      @Anonymous,

      We know! :mrgreen:

    • BIG
      November 20, 2012

      We know that! :mrgreen:

    • Rastar-Marn
      November 20, 2012

      well you not interested you have to come say dat den just doh respond nuh,,,

      See why allyou will always stay behind???

  46. thekingofitassi
    November 19, 2012

    I fully agree with the Honourable Rastafari brethren with this request…… RASTAFARI LIVETH!

  47. Quantitative Easing
    November 19, 2012

    Take it to the Matt in the Morning and let Blessings, Roseau Valley and the UWP make it another issue.

    If it is unsuccessful they can take it to court and it still unsuccesful, they can appeal.

    What’s up Roseau Valley???

    • Peeping Tom
      November 19, 2012

      :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

    • Anonymous
      November 19, 2012

      OR they can let corrupt leaders with no integrity, deal with it. Wonder if they say Go to Hell, or No law no Constitution.

    • you go
      November 19, 2012

      you will C unsuccesful!

    • Anonymous
      November 19, 2012

      Or if you are lazy enough and do not like to work, grovel with it to the God at the Red clinic.

    • wiser than
      November 19, 2012

      is people like u that have de country so…

      • Quantitative Easing
        November 20, 2012

        Really, I am the one that has the country tied up in court action hoping a decision will fall through the slips???

        Look at yourself wise guy…your head is scewed on the wrong direction.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
    • Anonym
      November 20, 2012

      I am a Labor/Skeritt supporter, however Roseau Valley strives to keep us honest. He/she means well and makes many valid points. Keep dem coming RV, big up!

  48. Hate ignorance
    November 19, 2012

    I was very young at that time and scared. i still think the drastic measures taken was the best thing that happened to curb the brutal killing spree that was being undertaken by these so called dreads. The country was living in fear , innocent people were killed ,farmers were threatened from visiting their own farms and so much more inhuman things these guys did. Remember the abduction, torture and murder of Lennox Dad . i think its best if that history is left alone . Drastic action was taken to deal with a deadly siutuation , i dont think any apologies are needed . The dreads were the perpertrators of that event . They got exactly what they deserved at that time.

    • Toloma
      November 19, 2012

      I agree with all what you said. It really worked. It was the best thing that was done at the time. It brought Dominica back to the descent and peaceful state that it once was.
      Now, some drastic measures should be placed to curb the crimes that we have today, including hanging, the electric chair and execution.

    • kasate
      November 19, 2012

      If you hate ignorance you must DESPISE YOURSELF

    • Country Man
      November 19, 2012

      This is exactly the mentality that resulted in the Rwanda genocide – how ignorant!

    • DreadRiverSTREET
      November 19, 2012

      “Innocent people were killed,”etcetera etcetera;None liked that PERIOD OF OUR HISTORY.Yet you believe it was the best way to deal with the situation. Tell the people who you are aware of who were killed by dreads?
      I know more Christians who committed murder in DOMINICA than the”DREADS” did.
      There has been more murders committed in Dominica in these few years than was ever committed by any dread during those dark days.Innocent people did get killed but the ‘DREAD ACT ‘was the ACT of a COWARD and INHUMANE GOVERNMENT and OPPOSITION

      • DreadRiverSTREET
        November 19, 2012

        CORRECTION: should read; Tell us who are the people who were killed by DREADS? And yes the TRAGIC death of MR.Honeychurch is regrettable and is not supported by this writer.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
    • Reflection
      November 19, 2012

      I was a child too! Totally scary period in our history. The dreads’ activities were completely unacceptable and they would receive even stiffer penalties today. In fact, this could not happen today. PM John did what he had to do. No little group of people should be allowed to terrorize the others.

    • Distured
      November 19, 2012

      I have a simple rule. Enemy = Understanding or dead.

      I visit grave sites just to still understand them.

      Note – none of the dead are or in anyway an occurance caused by myself. Should you like to test me, i will plead guilty to yours.

    • 7674life
      November 19, 2012

      true de dreads acted violently and who perpretrated those acts desevre their punishment,but was it de majority doing these things :-? what caused de dreads to act in such a mnner to de so call tourist farmers

    • Quantitative Easing
      November 20, 2012

      You are correct…Farmers and people in the NOrth as well were in fear of Tomba and these Dread Terrorist. At one time these devil (I mean dread) kidnapped their own sisters and some nurses.

      Drastic Times call for Drastic Measures

      By The Way…Tomba was brought down in a hail of bullets just like Pocosion….lol

      All who oppose..we took care of the Terrorist

  49. grell
    November 19, 2012

    Agree it should be part of our history,born in 1970s and have read a lot about it.The men and women that went through th estruggle should get an apolgy.

    • Anonymous
      November 20, 2012

      they should say they are sorry to society for their crimes

  50. >>>>>>>>>>>>
    November 19, 2012

    Apology for What?.For the crimes somne of these rogues at the time committed? Many of these men were not rastafarians, but terrorists and criminals. I live in a particular village,where some of these young rogues (including their then commander on whose head there was a bounty) actually forced some farmers to abandon their holdings, because they were told NOT to return or else…..They were bold/brazen enough to reap/harvest what these poor men/women struggled to plant.We were afraid of going to collect firewood on Saturdays for fear of meeting these men. If you were in authority how would you Henry respond to that? In the crossfire innocent ones (true rastafarians)may have been killed, but it was a war between the state and some rogues with dread locked hair, not rastamen. Many killed and many got killed… THE APOLOGY SHOULD COME FROM BOTH SIDES! THATS MY VIEW!

    • DreadRiverSTREET
      November 19, 2012

      I guess you know something , such BRAZEN and FOOLISH talk. I wonder what these DREADS did with all the produce they stole and all the lands they stole.

      • T
        November 20, 2012

        Keep on wondering maybe you’ll get the answer to the atrocities these wicked set of criminals were committing

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
    • wiser than
      November 19, 2012

      now that’s balanced.

  51. rasta fari
    November 19, 2012

    DRead Act RIP haille salassie eye n eye…long give ratsa…

  52. nice
    November 19, 2012

    with due respect you would like the authorities to apologize to your rasta community ,but what about the innocent people who were harassed,tortured and even killed .Have your group ever apologized to their families?

  53. yardie
    November 19, 2012

    that way pj should be in jail all now i remember as a little boy seeing the police shoot a guy in his leg becouse he was wearing hair on his head under the roseau middle bridge

  54. Tijhan
    November 19, 2012

    while you’re at it sort out your laws on homosexuality – it all stems from the same ignorance and closed minds.

    • you go
      November 19, 2012

      what you mean Sort Out?

      the Laws are clearly written in the BIBLE!!

  55. November 19, 2012

    great move
    ….let us open our eyessome more …..see what has been holding Dominica’s spirtual development.

    It is often internally felt 9deep in one soul) that the restraints to one’s spirit will result to the absence of truely moving forward in the body one holds -peter savil-

  56. possie
    November 19, 2012

    If is one time i agree with Henry is this time, i lost my only brother through dat stupid act, he was an innocent young man in his garden when police come and shoot him down and say they took him for a dread, i hate patrick john from dat day

    • Reflection
      November 19, 2012

      It is great that you loved your brother but did you ever get the Police side of the story? This was a tough time for law and order. All law abiding and responsible citizens should have cut the “dread” hair off to help the Police keep law and order that was disintegrating by the minute. These dread guys would have caused major anarchy in the country,and Dominica would have been a very different place today. Sometimes, for the good of all, tough decisions have to be made and this was not about a hairstyle worn innocently as braids are. The dread locks at that time represented terror, rebellion for no good reason, fear and destruction. It must have been a tough decision for PM John to make but had he not done so, Dominica could have become a small Rawanda or Uganda (as with Joseph KONE) The dread act and states of emergency were decisions that had to be made and the former PM should be respected for these decisions as positive contributions he made.

      • possie
        November 20, 2012

        he did not wear dread locks, he was just a simple farmer planting his vegetables in the heights of tan tan,he was met and was shot dead like a dog and left to die; thanks to another farmer who was hiding in the woods and saw what happened but before he could be helped he surcummed to his wounds, . lord, you said vengence is yours and you said to forgive but i can NEVER forgive Patrick John, i hate that man

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
      • Anonymous
        November 22, 2012

        so u really feel the cold blooded murder of this innocent man in his gardem was justified???

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0
    • Distured
      November 19, 2012

      Feel ur pain ehh.

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