Donisha Prendergast on the Occupy Pinnacle Movement

May 30, 2014 § 4 Comments

Donisha Prendergast speaks at a screening of the documentary "RasTa: A Soul's Journey" at the Roots Public Charter School

Donisha Prendergast speaks after a screening of the documentary “RasTa: A Soul’s Journey” at the Roots Public Charter School

At the Roots Public Charter School in Northwest Washington, DC late last month, Donisha Prendergast was talking passionately about a growing movement in Jamaica that has become central to her activism efforts. The occasion was really a screening of the film, RasTa: A Soul’s Journey, in which she seeks out the truth about the history of Rastafarians and their influence throughout the world. But amidst the colorful red, gold and green hats and scarves, and the Ethiopian and Jamaican foods on display at Roots, was an awareness that something serious is happening that needs the attention of all conscious people. And so Donisha, who happens to be the granddaughter of Rita and Bob Marley, spent a chunk of time talking about what is going on in Pinnacle; indeed, she has become one of the faces of the Occupy Pinnacle movement, an effort to reclaim hundreds of acres of land in the hills of rasta_cinema-poster-2Jamaica that the government is trying to give away to private developers. Purchased in the 1930s by Leonard Howell, known as the “First Rasta,” Pinnacle became a thriving, self-sustaining communal village of Rastafarians that stood proudly in defiance of the British colonial authorities. Razed to the ground and destroyed a few years before Jamaica was granted independence, the land called Pinnacle seems to have been appropriated by other parties, with the government claiming the right to do with it as it pleases. Donisha was very gracious to grant us an interview later on, and Reggae Revival activist Dutty Bookman was equally gracious in agreeing to do the interview for Afrofusion TV. Even if you know a lot about the Rasta culture, watching RasTa: A Soul’s Journey will reveal quite a few things that will open your eyes to the extent of the influence it has had worldwide. RasTa was produced by Scarlett Media and directed by Stuart Samuels. You can also follow the movie on twitter. Watch the conversation above, and look out for the documentary when it comes to your town. And if you can, support justice for the original owners of Pinnacle, get into it, get involved. Email inquiries and suggestions to or visit the Leonard P. Howell Foundation site. Bless…


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