For the past several years, The Leonard Howell Foundation,
The Icient Order of the Nyahbinghi, the Howell family, all
organs of the Global Rastafari Movement and the Rastafari
Nation have been before the Jamaica Court system in
Spanish Town, St Catherine in an action brought by the St
Jago Hills Developers to evict the Rastafari Nation from their
occupancy at Pinnacle in Sligoville, Jamaica.

Pinnacle was purchased in the name of all members of The
Ethiopian Salvation Society, by Mrs. Tenneth Bent-Howell
and Mr. Leonard Percival Howell with money that came from
a bakery that Mr. Howell started sometime in 1935 at 108
Princess St. in Kingston, Jamaica and partly from the sale
of Mrs. Bent-Howell’s pearl necklace to Mr. Albert Chang,
an accomplished businessman and a friend of Howell.
Pinnacle was initially acquired by Mr. Chang for 900
pounds. The Howells’ paid 800 pounds as a down payment to
Mr. Chang. The remaining 400 pounds was paid later to Mr.

Pinnacle is situated in the same geographical area as the
very first Free Slave village in the Caribbean.
Ironically, Pinnacle flourished and became a totally self
supporting community of an estimated over 4,000 men women
and children. Unfortunately, Leonard Howell and the
inhabitants knew no peace. Although Mr. Howell believed in
the self empowerment and self improvement of the people,
they could not escape the daily social, economical, and
judicial injustices and other deprivation that was the
normal condition of the poor in colonial Jamaica.

The Colonial records document the injustice endured by Mr.
Leonard Howell, his family, inhabitants and InI enslaved
ancestors at Pinnacle. Records also detail the more recent
genocide attack on the Rastafari people at Coral Gardens.
Our people have been subject to gross abuses of their
humanity and civil rights by the Jamaica and British
colonial governments prior to independence, and which
currently continues without respite. In spite of all this
hostility, the Jamaican government and others are
profiting from our Rastafari images, especially the
tourism industry. In contrast, the Rastafari nation has
only been exploited and abused.
Bob Marley and the Wailers received the recognition they
deserved for preaching the peace, love and strength of the
Rasta community whereas the founding father still
languishes for his greatly deserved recognition.

The Rastafari Movement is still being abused,
marginalized and robbed of ancestral lands and remains
underclass people in the eyes of many Jamaicans. They are
treated as second class citizens, but they have now
become a global force to be reckoned with. We will not sit
idly by while the St. Jago Hills Realty destroys our
ancestral lands and sell it to the highest bidder for a
price of JD$2.4 million (JD$2,080,000.00) per plot. The
Jamaican government has never intervened, even as an
observer, in the Pinnacle case, although they know it is
in the best vested interest of the Jamaican people and the
Rastafari Nation proper.

Allowing St. Jago Hills to continue selling Pinnacle land
will result in the removal of descendants of free slaves
from their rightful land. Is this what Sligoville is all
about? Freed slaves losing lands to the children of the
slave masters who hounded Howell and the Rastafari people
never allowing them to fully enjoy the fruits of their own
labor at Pinnacle? How about the countless men, women and
children who were abused by the colonial establishment and
still continues with the Jamaica Constabulary Force? It is
urgent that these issues be discussed with transparent
dialogue, high accountability and a focus on honoring
Howell and the men and women who worked diligently to
create a sustainable life style and the Rastafari culture.

In 2006, Katherine Howell wrote to St. Jago Hills
notifying them that she was celebrating Mr. Howell’s
EarthLight/birthday. The St. Jago Hills cunningly is now
using Katherine’s letter as proof that St. Jago Hills
are the rightful owners of Pinnacle lands. Mr. Howell’s death
in February 1981 (it should be noted that Howell died
shortly after sustaining several vicious knife wounds the
attackers even tried to cut out his tongue from injuries he
received in a vicious knife attack when he refused to sell
Pinnacle), how did they come to obtain this land Pinnacle
in the first place? This adverse possession of Pinnacle
is not by taxes alone but a willful attempt by some entity
in the Jamaican Governmental agency to turn a blind eye as
her citizens are figuratively raped by this greedy
developer to who they have given the title. After the
gross destruction, robbery, genocide, beating, and burning
of these poor people of their personal possessions, and in
enormous cases unlawful imprisonment, it is astonishing
that the Jamaican government neglects to intervene on the
side of justice and common sense and consider the rightful
ownership and usage of its important lands that should be
preserved for its original and also all Jamaican

Part of the evidence in this case presented to the
Jamaican government by the developer Michael Lake, to
which he has testified under oath, is that St. Jago Hills
would build affordable housing on the land for poor and
suffering Jamaican people. This has been proven to be a
lie. At $2,080,000.00 (JD$2.4 million) a plot, this price
is obviously too expensive for the Jamaican poor to
afford. It is deplorable that a trust company that was
founded and registered in Venezuela is now using the
economic valuation of Pinnacle to enrich itself while the
current inhabitants residence will be homelessness.

We immediately urge the Jamaican PNP government of Her
Honor Portia Simpson Miller to step in and rectify this
unwanted destruction of one of Jamaica’s most important
and historical sites. It is sacred to a worldwide
community; this shrine should be preserved forever for the
benefits of future generations. This global wrong, if not
corrected, would be a crime against future generations.
The future generations will ask the Jamaican Government,
how can a place with such a unique significance, as the
birth place of a recognized worldwide philosophy and
religion be destroyed so stupidly? Preserving the
Rastafarian history and showing the world that our beloved
little Jamaica has made this great and important
contribution would be of great benefit for all Jamaicans.
The reality is that the Rastafari Movement is here to stay
and has local, international and global significance.
This is a legacy. The legacy of Leonard Howell as he is
only one of five other human beings on Earth who is
associated with the birth of a worldwide religion. He is
to Rastafarianism as Moses is to Judaism, Jesus Christ to
Christianity, Mohammed to Islam, and the Buddha to
Buddhism. We however, are thankful that some members of the
Jamaican government under both parties is finally coming
around to recognizing the important place and listening to
the voices calling for the approval of Pinnacle to be
declared a National then International heritage site. The
return of our ancestral lands is of vital importance.

The Rastafari people demand protection from the government
and the Jamaica Judicial system. Pinnacle and Mr. Leonard
P. Howell’s legacy should be preserved for posterity. It
is crucial that the destroyed structures and other
important sites, such as the community grain storage
buildings, the Well, and the Bakery and supporting
buildings be restored and/or re-built. Mrs. Tenneth
Bent-Howell died in 1943 and was laid to rest near the
family dwelling at Pinnacle.

This grave site near the great house is now in danger of
being destroyed. This represents more than just family
history; it represents the history of one of the great
leaders whose importance and significance have yet to be
fully appreciated. Pinnacle is our home. It is a place of
memories and of reflection of what one man with an idea
can accomplish and build when people believe. A place
where Rastafarianism was born, and a place of historical
pride for all Jamaicans rich, poor, young and old, black,
white, Chinese, Indian and every other racial, religious,
and political groups.

The First Rasta, a Helen Lee documentary produced by Kidam
Productions, has been released globally and recently
premiered in Jamaica. The film explores life on Pinnacle
and the life of Leonard Howell. The Jamaican government
can choose to ignore this vital contribution to its
society and the world and suffer the global repercussions
or acknowledge Howell, Pinnacle and the Rastafarian Nation
and correct this gross injustice and violation of human
and civil rights of its people.

We demand an urgent meeting with the heads of the Jamaican
government, opposition, chief justice Governor General and
Public Defender with Human Rights Jamaica, Caricom, and
the Au representative being granted observer status in
these proceedings and to attend all meetings with all
relevant parties in resolving this pressing issue.

Look at the Palisodes strip and how the injustice to the
Rastafari Movement is so pervasive that Michael Lake the
so called property developer blasted the Pinnacle lands to
destruction to save this vital roadway. The lands are
being degraded and its wealth expropriated with the full
acquiescence of the Jamaican government. Is this Michael
Manley’s Party? It is riveting to watch the collusion
which borders on grave corruption and dis empowerment of a
people by its own government. At least the JLP had to
courage to declare Pinnacle a National Heritage Site
before this process was rudely interrupted by nefarious
characters associated with the property developer and has
stalled in the hands of the executives of the board of
Trustees of The Jamaica National Heritage Trust.

We have written to the Prime Minister The Honorable Portia
Simpson Miller twice( last letterpinnacle dated April 16, 2012) in order to rectify this grave
injustice that has persisted since 1932 without response
nor acknowledgment from her to date. This open letter to
all who can read it is a cry for help as Jamaica descends
into the quicksand of insanity corruption and oblivion.
How can the Jamaica Government give land to the Chinese
when the Rastafari Movement has been dispossessed of their
lands without redress from current and past PNP and JLP

We will seek redress from the Caribbean and world courts
if needs be to correct this injustice against the
Rastafari Movement.