JOHN ROBBINS/Bullet News
I’ve always been somewhat of a history buff and since a child been keenly interested in my family history.
It’s only in recent years, though, that I have had the time and the tools to dig deep into the roots of my family tree.
And the conclusion I have come to is that my people have been royally ripped off over the years and it’s about time I take a stand and demand the return of what was stripped from us, and, by way of ancestral rights, from me personally.
Part of my family was from Scotland. They lived a traditional life for generations in that beautiful country, although from time to time they were assaulted and invaded by other peoples. We had our own religious beliefs and language.
The Christians came and “saved” us from our pagan ways. The English came and “civilized” us, giving us their language and laws. We fought back – many times – and lost. Eventually, we swore allegiance to the Crown and swore to defend it. Then during the English civil war, we found ourselves on the losing side. Charles II was out and so were we.
As a result, a few of my ancestors were banished to North America – New Jersey to be precise. We didn’t want to come here. We were forced.
We rebuilt our lives, set up new communities, farms and businesses – most likely displacing other people who occupied the land we were now inhabiting.
We became religious pacifists and suffered greatly for those beliefs. After the American revolution, so-called Patriots were all too happy to seize upon our decision to not take sides in the fight between colonists and the Crown and use it to justify seizing our land.
We headed north to the protection of the Crown once again.
We were promised much in coming to Upper Canada, but given little.
We rebuilt out lives, set up new communities, farms and businesses.
Some of us succeeded. Some of us didn’t.
Some stayed. Some went back to the United States after a time, some to Europe.
It’s basically the same story with the German parts of the family, who fled religious persecution in the 1500s and 1600s, and the Irish part of my family who lost ownership of their (our) ancestral lands to English invaders then migrated to North America when famine struck.
Hundreds of years later, the only land I have to call my own is a small house on a 75-foot frontage in Ridgeway.
If I don’t work, sooner or later the bank will come and take it away.
If there is to be some ancestral inheritance for my children (both of whom are adopted), I’d better stay healthy and keep my insurance up-to-date.
Doesn’t sound fair, does it?
After everything my family has been through, all the broken promises of governments of the day, we find ourselves in the 21st century living paycheque to paycheque, no certain future for ourselves or our children.
Well, I guess I could just sit back and accept what cruel hand history has dealt my clan, but now, knowing my heritage, I have decided do something about it.
(This is where I will conveniently ignore the fact that I have English blood flowing through my veins, too.)
Yes, I have resolved to reclaim my heritage and to fight (peacefully of course) for a restoration of our ancestral lands in Scotland.
I’m not sure who I’ll fight, given the people who persecuted, robbed and sometimes killed us are all dead.
But who cares? Some of those people alive today in the United Kingdom are the descendants of the invaders who stole our sacred lands, forced us to dress like them and pray like them and speak like them. Certainly they should be held to account for the sins of their fathers.
And there has to be more people like me around. We could get together and make demands.
Britain should clean up Scotland. It was a nice clean place before the Brits (including some who were also my ancestors) invaded and built all those factories.
And what about those offshore oil rigs sprouting up in the North Sea? Do we get some of the revenue from that? We better.
Of course we will want the right to good access to health care, employment, education, clean water whether we choose to live in downtown Glasgow or on a remote shore in the Orkney Islands.
Time for the Crown to pay up.
And the British government will, I’m sure, once they feel the strength of the united front we tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, of displaced Scots and Irish present.
We will make signs to picket highways and bridges in London. We will demand a meeting with the Queen and British Prime Minister David Cameron. If they don’t grant an audience, I will personally lead a hunger strike in front of No. 10 Downing St.
There, we will shout in Gaelic and make offerings to our Celtic gods, calling on them to help us in our most just cause.
And only in this way will I liberate myself and my family from the shame and agony of the historic injustices heaped upon us and Mother Earth.
We will not be silent.
We will be heard.
We will not rest.
We will be idle no more.