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CAMPAIGNERS seeking justice for slavery urged South Dorset Tory MP Richard Drax yesterday to relinquish his 621-acre sugar plantation estate in the Caribbean to the people of Barbados.
The call is in solidarity with the Caricom Reparations Commission, which represents states across the Caribbean.
The commission is asking the MP to return Drax Hall Estate to the people of the local community, many of whom are the descendants of those enslaved.
Drax Hall Estate was founded in the 17th century by the Drax family and was operated for almost 200 years by slave labour.
Profits from the estate played a key role in building the family fortune, and campaigners are asking Mr Drax to take “moral leadership.”
Mr Drax owns 15,000 acres of land in Dorset, including Charborough Park near Wareham, and is the largest private landowner in the county.
Stand Up to Racism (SUTR) Dorset co-chairwoman Lynne Hubbard said: “Much has come to light about the suffering of generations of slaves and their descendants — and about the role of the Drax family, which pioneered the use of slave labour in the Caribbean.
“We ask Richard Drax to recognise the legacy of slavery and to assist the people of Barbados so that Drax Hall Estate can be used for the benefit of the community today.
“Richard Drax is immensely wealthy: he is said to be the UK’s richest parliamentarian, with wealth exceeding £150 million.
“A fraction of his family fortune, accumulated during centuries of slavery, could do good today for people who are the descendants of those once enslaved. We say: ‘It’s time, Mr Drax’.”
SUTR Dorset and the South West TUC have called for a march on July 17, assembling at Winterborne Zelston near the World’s End pub, DT11 9EW, to rally outside Charborough Park.
Mr Drax has been approached for comment.
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