Heavily armed citizens who are loyal to Christopher 'Dudus' Coke, a drug lord linked to the ruling party, have been roaming the streets of the capital and burning police stations, in retaliation for the Jamaican government signing an extradition request from the United States.
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestne … police-car
http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestne … -us---cops
http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/ … news1.html
Dear reader, please take a look at the links and share your constructive ideas.
At the time of posting this I believe that we can use this crisis as an opportunity to engage the nation in truth and reconciliation by condemning the evils of garrison politics and political violence and charting a new experiment in democracy for our island nation.
The subject of the extradition request is only the symptom of a much more complex network of corruption.
How do we address this complex problem?
Problem brought to you by the US Gov, and the inability to see that the "War on Drugs" is a failed policy.
I am Jamaican. I live in Jamaica. I am at this moment about 7 miles from Tivoli Gardens.
The situation is this:
1) there has always been connection between politicians and what I'll generically call 'Dons'. The 'Dons' control the area. The Dons control the area because the majority of politicians do not visit their Constituency except around election time.
2) Most Members of Parliaments are MPs...Missing Persons. They don't serve their constituencies. Hence the Don is the one you go to when Granny dies, when you need money to send your kid to school.
3) A Don who doesn't serve the people is a dead Don
4) Tivoli was built by Ed Seaga. He was the 'Don'. The Dons who challenged got to be dead Dons
5) Golding came in and did a deal with Dudus. Dudus was the major campaign contributor. Dudus ruled Tiv. because no one likes Bruce. Bruce can't even go there.
6) The US asked to extradite Dudus in August
7) Bruce lied, Bruce tricked, Bruce hired lobbiests and lied about it, and lied about it, and when it was proven said he was sorry for being caught..(virtually)
8) Because Bruce is implicated in Dudus dealings, he has turned on his own electors to save his skin.
9) All the violence is Labourite against Police...(The JLP is the Jamaica Labour Party, Bruce's Party)
10) The PNP (Peoples National Party) led by Portia Simpson is not involved.
11) It is the Police/Soldiers dispatched to play Iraq using live ammunition against the very people that voted for Bruce Golding.
No civil war is likely. The violence is contained, and outside of people who have offices downtown, or business there, there is not much disruption.
I could have physically gone down town on Tuesday or Weds if it wasn't raining. (I ride a yamaha 175 DT)
So far the police say 73 have been murdered, but I feel it's 2x that. The scarey thing is that bodies are being hidden in unmarked graves in May Pen cemetary.
Violence not just Labourites against police but Labourites plus hired guns against Police.
When gangs loyal to drug lords were torching police stations in the capital, you had armed civil uprising by a rogue community against the state. If this had infected other garrisons island wide (or other unmentionable options) then you would have had war. Fortunately the security forces launched a successful offensive.
I deliberately framed the topic to suggest the possible scenario but then gave the reader media links to get the reports. And I was writing during the very early stages of the battle. You write after the fact, but clearly forgot to mention that not all areas of the city are open to the public.
I welcome the input of a fellow Jamaican.
Wished you had spent some time looking forward. Your analysis stops short of long term suggestions.
I Live here. Let me repeat that, I LIVE IN JAMAICA. I go EVERYWHERE. Okay?
The 'torching' of police stations...One station; Hannah town, which was oddly empty at the time was torched. No other police station was torched.
There were reports of shooting at Denham town, Darling Street, and Rockfort. I have no knowledge of anything happening at the Rockfort police station. Hence, that is a lie.
There was no armed civil uprising. My office is on Laws street. My partner was in the office, Tues/Weds/Thurs/Fri. Laws street, where my office is, if you'd like to Google, is one block south of Central Police Station.
The violence was confined to Tivoli. There was an attack on one part of South Camp Road as an assault on Up Park Camp, the soldier barracks. There was an attack on a police convoy on Mountain View Road.
It was business as usual in most other places. There was no possibility of Civil War.
I stand by what I posted. Outside of Tivoli, where the operation was going on, all parts of the city were open. As I said before; I live here.
The media has given a more frightening portrayal. Although I spoke 3x to the BBC, and was broadcast, those who prefer sensationalism would rather the reports from someone in Montego Bay who couldn't find Luke Lane with a map.
And where was your partner during the attack on Central? No my friend the attack on state was not confined to Tivoli. You would make more sense if you were to suggest that the thing was orchestrated as a conspiracy to blame Tivoli; at least then you would be right up the conspiracist view of history alley.
If you dont trust jamaican media how about Times:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/w … 135564.ece
"The violence spread yesterday beyond the Tivoli Gardens area in the west of the city, barricaded earlier by Mr Coke’s supporters. Police and soldiers again came under heavy fire in West Kingston and from gunmen trying to erect barricades in a poor section of St Catherine parish, while a police station in an outlying area of Kingston parish was raked with bullets."
I conduct business in downtown Kingston at least twice every week.
My church brother traveled in on Tuesday and was diverted at Industrial Terrace.
I have lived and worked in Kingston.
Truth, the state of Jamaica came under attack from a community because of the extradition issue.
"Attack on State - Police stations set ablaze Cop shot, civilian slain"
http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/ … lead1.html
"All Out War As Tivoli Assault Deepens."
http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/ … lead1.html
Unless you are a member of the security team you would have been restricted from entering certain zones in the theatre of war during and immediately after the conflict. But you live in Jamaica so you know this.
I already conceded that the topic is strong, but look it hooked you ...the operative word is 'brink'.
Since you have enough clout to be interviewed by BBC why not take the discussion forward to what we do in this moment of destiny.
Here is someone who has ( I disagree with his portia simpson suggestion since i believe that all the old time politicians should do a mea culpa and take a back seat right now):
http://mobile.jamaica-gleaner.com/glean … focus2.php
As for me, for starters I propose that we place all politicians guilty of consorting with drug lords under house arrest and ask the military to run things for 5 years (would be sad irony if military in pocket of drug cartels).
Or a coalition Government of National Unity after we have had a truth and reconciliation process. Better for democracy than first suggestion. And less chance of death squads.
But it cant be the same old same old.
I'm willing to post a new topic such as "Can Jamaica Move on to Truth and Reconciliation?"
BTW I see you have a hub on facebook scrabble as well. Great! At least we have something in common.
My office is on Laws street, I have been East of the curfew. Clearly you are coming from the Sp. Twn end so you ought have driven HWT not Ind. Ter. cause that is virtually Tiv. There were no restrictions East of the city in the Eastern section of West Kingston which goes to East Street.
There was nothing happening on Duke Street, but they love to panic so they got a work holiday.
Where an MP serves the Const. where there is an Area Leader or whatever one wants to call him or her to whom one can go to who will be able to contact the Counselor/MP there is no reason for the 'Strongman' or 'Don'.
Where the Missing Person can not be found and the only form of 'area leader' is the Don, then that is the person you go to.
That's where it starts and where it ends. Politician serving community.
Seaga was always the 'senior don', hence the dons held power under his dispensation, and lost power under his dispensation. Bruce is a bwoy. He holds power under Chris Coke's dispensation.
I believe the ABC report, I believe that Bruce stonewalled to protect himself, I believe that Dudus had to have some 'godfathers' to allow all these alleged drugs to enter the US, and I believe Bruce is doing the Bin Laden thing to silence him.
Coke is wanted, he isn't convicted, he hasn't been tried, all this excitement for someone who might, if he has a good lawyer in the US, bust the case.
My church brother was diverted at Industrial Terrace.
I did not come in until Thursday, and even then stayed out of downtown; and of course took the Boulevard.
My how Kingston has changed, even before the 'brink'. I've always been one to take shortcuts in front of Coronation going along North Street etc back in the days, until about a decade ago wiser minds warned me to stop.
You are still sharing common information. My question: How do we go forward, nationally?
After all, area leaders dont have to be brokers of violence. Ask any church area coordinator.
The Politicians, the Police, even the Dons, didn't fall from the sky. They were born and raised here. They reflect Jamaican culture. You seem to think that there is some outside force, something that needs to be done, when you miss the fact; this is the culture.
In 1978 I had gone to see 3rd World at the Intercontinental/Oceania..(today it's the Ministry of Health) and had to walk from the bottom of King Street to the top, and was scared. Really scared. (I was quite young). That was 32 years ago; there has been no change save that I'm no longer scared.
This particular incident is simply a heightening of the usual. Instead of 3/4 people being killed, its over 70. Instead of one or two bodies being
dumped it's a larger number.
I've lived in garrisons, I've had more police in my yard than cockroaches and know how they operate.
What is different in this case;
1) the Prime Minister launches an attack on his own Constituency instead of a garrison of the 'other side'.
2) the sheer numbers of licenced gunmen, (police & soldiers) used in the operation vs the number of unlicenced gunmen (Dons).
3) the number of people killed.
4) the wholesale body dumping
5) the extreme incursions of the licensed gunmen into heretofore 'off limits' areas, i.e. Kirkland heights and the better areas of St. Mary.
6) International media attention
Usually the licensed gun men go into some crummy area, kill a few characters, leave, and the people complain to the media. As most people are born liars they will destroy their own credibility by adding factors to the incident so that even if the licensed gun man is brought to court, the case collapses.
For example, a police officer killed a guy in cold blood in front of his mother. The case went to court. The mother began telling the jury what a wonderful boy her son was. Evidence was brought disputing that; i.e. the boy had been arrested numerous times and was wanted for shooting another boy at the time of his execution.
Because the Mother was discredited, and there were no other witnesses the police man walked.
This is how it goes here. The particular case happened in the 80s. There are examples in the 90s/00s of the same thing and I am sure, if there are cases just like that going back to the 50s and earlier.
You act as if 'the church' has an answer. There are more churches per square foot in Jamaica than anywhere else in the world. There are more churches than rum bars in Jamaica.
I appreciate that you take time to share your insight.
I rather suspect that you are as a participant observer allow yourself to accept destruction of civil society as norm. You are not alone. All Jamaicans have done so.
Until USA forced Bruce's hand in May 2010.
Cant you see. The events have triggered a moment of destiny.
I have spent most of my life trying to get church people to become more socially conscious so I know the power and the limitations of the church. I merely cited an example to show we can have area leaders without violence.
My church (ADRA) was down there last week feeding Tivoli people alongside Blair.
WE're on the same page. I agree with you entirely about Bruce being forced. Did you take in yesterday's Parliament?
It would be a moment of destiny if some of the Labourites would have had the moral courage to vote for the No Confidence vote. But as you can see, they have no honour, no morality, it's Party and power and pocket stuffing.
You can certainly have area leaders without violence. There are areas where a Church person or lawyer or other citizen sits in an alternative dispute resolution tribunal to keep peace the in the community.
There are many people who are not gunmen or politicians who are the ones you go to when there's a problem...there needs to be more of them.
I commend your church, and as you know a lot of 'unsung' heroes were down there with you.
So much for "One Love"! I don't think I'll be vacationing there anytime soon, or maybe ever!
Let's put it like this; where all this excitement is happening is far from tourist centres. It's like one side of the island to the other. Most tourists will go into an all inclusive and never come out until it's time to go to the airport, so you wouldn't even know something was happening.
It's like you live in NYC and there are riots in Neward N.J.
see? No Civil War.
Just a lot of people realising who and what Bruce Golding is.
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