The historic journey taken by National Hero, Paul Bogle from Stony Gut in St. Thomas to Spanish Town, St. Catherine in 1865, will be re-enacted in a “justice run” being organised by the Ministry of Justice.
The event, to be held on Wednesday (February 8), is part of activities by the Ministry to observe the year-long ‘Jamaica 50’ celebrations, and Restorative Justice Week from February 5 to 11.
It seeks to capture the significance of the 45-mile trek made by Bogle to the island’s old capital to seek audience with Governor Eyre, to register his dissatisfaction over poor working conditions and injustices in the legal system, where black Jamaicans were severely punished for even the most minor wrongs.
Governor Eyre refused to meet with Bogle, but this did not stop his protests against injustices, which led to the Morant Bay rebellion and his subsequent hanging.
As the nation marks 50 years of Independence, the Ministry sees it fit to remember those, who made the ultimate sacrifice against injustice.
Chairman of the Ministry’s ‘Jamaica 50’ Planning Committee, Beverley Little, said that the justice run serves to increase awareness of advancements in the criminal justice system, and the thrust to increase access to justice.
Former Olympians Donald Quarry, Dion Hemmings, Grace Jackson, are among those, who will be participating in the run, which is scheduled to get underway at 10:00 a.m. in Stony Gut.
The runners will travel to Yallahs, then onto Harbour View, Windward Road, East Queen Street, Orange and West Streets, and along Spanish Town Road and Mandela Highway. The runners will also pass by Central Village, the Jose Marti High School, Greendale, the Spanish Town Hospital and then onto Emancipation Square via Barrett Street.
“The Ministry of Education is partnering with us by allowing the schools along this route to participate in this event. They will come out and cheer the runners along as well as participate,” Miss Little informed.
The day ends with a civic ceremony at the Emancipation Square, beginning at 3:00 p.m., which will include performances from cultural and uniformed groups, and the reading of proclamations and declarations that brought Independence to the island.
By Toni-Ann Russell, JIS PRO