Jamaicans For Justice (JFJ) has always been an enigma when it comes to the type of criminology to which subscribes.
For example, it made me cringe to hear JFJ Executive Director Carolyn Gomes on television, wanting the police commissioner to resign because he is not able to control the crime rate and, as an afterthought it seemed like, the police killing rate.
Is it the police commissioner (the police) who is responsible for the crime rate or is it the impoverished, dysfunctional society in which we live? Carolyn Gomes and JFJ never address economic and social injustice, and consequently seem to share the typical ruling class ideology that all that is necessary to control crime is to have an “effective” police force.
Well, if sociological factors are not to be considered as part of the reasons for crime, then no wonder the police use such deadly force against the inner city populace. What could be the objection when they are merely doing their job in the absence of any other available means. In their own paramilitary style, they are simply “controlling” the “known” perpetrators of crime — before they act.
So Gomes cannot have it both ways. She cannot be wanting the police to control crime and not expect them to be blowing out the brains of inner city youth at the same time. So please Carolyn Gomes and deputy Susan Goffe, let us deal separately with the sociological factors of crime. And let us demand no more from the police than that their duty is to apprehend criminals, and to do so in a lawful manner. The crime rate is to be blamed on the failures of the government and the economic ruling class — not on the police.
Indeed, it is interesting that JFJ, as a supposed human rights organization, supported the 2010 state of emergency (a rarity anywhere in the world for a human rights organization) and never called for the resignation of the police commissioner stemming from that massacre. But now in 2013, after the police have blown out the brains of over 200 young men, it is the Commissioner’s inability to “control” crime, that is the confusing basis of their call for his resignation.
The police commissioner knows that the policy of blowing out brains is indefensible, but when such criticisms are mixed in with not being able to control crime, he knows that he is standing on firm ground, because he and the police are doing just what they have been asked to do — blow out brains. Indeed, Gomes’ disingenuous call for his resignation is bringing all the pro-police zealots, such as former Public Defender Howard Hamilton out of the closet, to campaign for the commissioner and his brand of crime fighting.
Thanks to you JFJ and thanks to you Carolyn Gomes, for the opportunity to wrongly reinforce in people’s mind what is not the job of the police. Whose side are you on anyway?
But then again, perhaps your comfortable financial relationship with USAID, the European Union and Germany, among others, is what causes you to be always sitting on the fence, and creating a mess where advocacy for the human rights of Jamaicans is concerned.
Campaign for Social and Economic Justice
The court rejection of Maurice Tomlinson’s suit against three TV stations for not airing his PSA calling for “tolerance” of gay rights is not a “hallmark ruling for freedom of expression”, as the attorney representing one of the defendant TV stations has said, but another hallmark ruling for property rights, and a sad reflection on the deep homophobia which afflicts not only the Jamaican people, but more so the Jamaican state.
No one has been under any illusion that our corporate media represents the exclusive interests of the rich and powerful (the capitalist class to be more precise) but now the court by ruling that they can callously side with violence, brutality and ignorance against the LGBT community, because they own “property”, demonstrates that private property is the yoke of slavery around the necks of ordinary Jamaicans, not just LGBT.
The complicity of private media with government/state corruption and the state policy of police assassination of inner city youths, among other things, is long recognized by the most casual observer.
No one is been under any illusion either, that the state/government is not in the pockets of private property owners, after all, for starters, they pay for all elections (national and intraparty). In other words they call the tune.
So while PBCJ is supposedly public property, the managers also believe, like private media, that gays be damned because this is the position of private property and the Church.
Nearly two years after being elected prime minister, Portia Simpson-Miller has done zero to advance the human rights and civil liberties of LGBT Jamaicans. She must be condemned as a coward.
This homophobic culture, which even so-called Justice Minister Mark Golding pays homage to on every occasion that he is called upon to act against it, is a damnable indictment against a backward and ignorant ruling class.
No wonder the society is in the mess it finds itself.
Campaign for Social and Economic Justice
Environmentalists and others should not fall for the ruse being perpetrated by the government that the Goat Island “kite” is part of any concrete, generalized transshipment logistics hub. Goat Island is clearly a separate deal to give China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) what CHEC wants. The reason for this is explained below.
Minister Anthony Hylton has been talking up a storm about the transhipment hub and has NOTHING to show for it. Minister Omar Davies, on the other hand, is doing his own separate thing. That should be clear by now.
CHEC is currently a big investor in Jamaica (the Trojan Horse for China investments) and has designs in the wider Caribbean. Goat Island is “possibly” an asset to further their bigger economic plans even with Jamaica playing an important role. But still, there is no indication that anything more than an “understanding” has taken place between the government and CHEC.
“Understanding” should be also understood to mean that CHEC could very well have bribed who it is necessary to bribe as they have obviously done before, in order to get politicians scampering to do what must be done, such as environmental impact assessments, which they, the politicians, know for sure will “mitigate” any adverse environmental consequences. And CHEC, of course, is well aware of what the lingua franca means. [This lingua franca, by the way, is similar to the "shootout" story that the police use when they carry out their government-supported assassinations of innercity youths].
So, therefore, until any politician or official can demonstrate that his or her travel expenses to China to negotiate these “deals” and “understandings” were not paid for by the Chinese government, or any agency supported by or connected to the Chinese state (such as the Chinese Communist Party) Jamaicans ought to treat the Goat Island project, Highway 2000 (North/South leg), JDIP/JEEP, etc.(all associated with CHEC), as having been corruptly negotiated and should be rejected.
This is the most brazen, post-independence period of corruption by a desperate political ruling class that is using the economic crisis as justification for enriching itself in the name of “development”.
Campaign for Social and Economic Justice
Corruption, murder and deception, have always been the hallmark of those who run the political system in Jamaica, but now it has reached new heights.
Since the right to life is the most fundamental of all constitutional rights, let’s deal with that one first. There have rarely been killing sprees in the country’s decades-old policy of police extrajudicial killings that match the intensity of the present one.
Hardly a day goes by without reports of police killing someone using the same old lame excuse about shootouts. Since the start of the year the police have killed approximately 200 people. This killing rate matches the intensity of the killings under the 1980s Seaga regime when the police were instructed to kill those who still had political party distributed guns stemming from the bloody 1980 election.
And since the abandonment of the discredited Constabulary Communication Network (CCN) senior police officers are now routinely playing the CCN role of giving the shootout fable but also exposing themselves as the commanders and architects of the the executions.
Peter Bunting, the minister of national security, who makes policy for the police, obviously believes that his Christian-praying bona fides, exempt him from being held accountable for the murder spree. A successful financier he may be (thanks to government debt), an ambitious political aspirant he obviously is, but playing deaf, dumb, and blind to police murder is the biggest proof of his complicity.
His main policy directive to the police has been to reduce the murder rate to one per day by 2017. (Perhaps 2017 coincides with his bigger plan to lead the PNP into the next general election.)
How do the police reduce the murder rate? Well among his recommendations is for the police to consider the “Tivoli paradigm”, meaning the 2010 Tivoli Gardens massacre, which he thought was the successful factor in the then reduction of the murder rate (at the expense of 73 to 200 people killed by the security forces.)
Ever since this policy command there has been a dramatic spike and brazenness in police killings. The brazenness could be described as the combative comments made repeatedly by the police commissioner and senior police officers and their unfailing support for the shootout story.
While we could ignore the fact that the prime minister is Bunting’s immediate boss, and obviously has other more important things to preoccupy her time, Bunting is uniquely responsible and should be held accountable for this murderous police policy.
INDECOM, which raised an alarm about the recent spike needs to turn its attention on the Minister as well, and make a determination as to whether he should not be legally investigated for encouraging or condoning police murder. The Commissioner has the power of a judge and could question and investigate the minister as we understand it.
(2) The latest leak from the Turks and Caicos/US investigation of Olint boss David Smith has him implicating both political parties and leaders in his corrupt Ponzi scheme.
David Smith: They agreed to help me to sort out my problems with the FSC [Financial Services Commission].
INTERROGATOR: Who is they?
DS: The government.
INTERROGATOR: Which person in particular?
DS: The minister of finance
DS: No, Audley Shaw; Prime Minister Golding; Vaz as well. They were the main people that I spoke to and had regular meetings about it before they were elected.
If David Smith is telling the truth, then it is no wonder that after paying both parties handsome amounts of money (including, he says, a million US dollars to PJ Patterson so that he would not be killed by Skeng Dong who had threatened him) then it is hardly a mystery why he was never prosecuted in Jamaica.
The same applies to the Tivoli massacre. Both parties supported the operation and now the PNP under the leadership of Peter Bunting is reluctant to refer the matter to the International Criminal Court (ICC) because this creates a problem for Police Commissioner Owen Ellington who is commander of the present police killing spree; former head of the JDF, Major General Stewart Saunders who has been made Permanent Secretary by Bunting in his own ministry of national security; and of course, Bruce Golding, whose command responsibility for the massacre is not an issue for the PNP. Certainly, to go after Golding would constitute a double standard for Bunting who now has accountability issues himself.
(3) These are but minor examples of the deception played on the people by corrupt politicians among whom the only difference is ‘re re’ and ‘ra ra.’ Just as there was corruption under the CHEC/ JDIP programme, and we suspect major bribery, so there is now an obvious stench of corruption surrounding the current relationship between the present government and CHEC.
Just consider that officials of both political parties have been transported, wined and dined in China, at China’s expense; they have borrowed great sums of money, and yet the Transport and Works minister, Omar Davies, has NOT felt it necessary to give ANY public accounting of the terms of the monies borrowed.
Nor has he been forthcoming about the Goat Island project.
Something is not only rotten in Denmark but the stench of corruption is suffocating us here in Jamaica.
Campaign for Social and Economic Justice
Dear Bruce Golding,
Ever since 2010, you have been trying your endeavour best to duck your responsibility for the Tivoli Gardens massacre, and apparently you tried it once again at the Schomburg Center in Harlem, New York City, where you gave a lecture which some see as an opportunity for political rehabilitation.
Having dodged the issue of your homophobia raised by protestors outside of the Schomburg, you were forced to confront a questioner who wanted to know whether you shouldn’t be tried by a Nuremburg-type tribunal for crimes against humanity.
Predictably, according to a report in the Observer newspaper, you believe that if any crimes were committed, it is the security forces which must be called upon to answer. According to you “what the commission of enquiry must determine is, in carrying out that function [i.e. to bring that challenged part of the state -- supposedly Tivoli Gardens -- within the ambit of law and order], did members of the security forces act outside the law. If they did, they must be held responsible for whatever the consequences are.”
First of all Mr Golding, do not try to obscure the fact that it was you and not God who declared this state of emergency (“it must be borne in mind that a state of emergency was declared”). The question is: did you as prime minister remind the security forces, as it was your legal, political, constitutional and moral duty to do, that though the state of emergency suspends certain civil liberties, it does not absolve the security forces from acting in a lawful manner to protect life and property?
Furthermore, having given them that reminder, did you as prime minister, minister of defence, and parliamentary representative for the area, seek to make sure that they were abiding by their legal responsibilities?
I will not at this stage go into the facts and what the evidence reveal, which are known to you, except to say that you did none of these things. You were aware of atrocities being committed from the very beginning and you did NOTHING to stop them. Hosni Mubarak of Egypt is now in prison for doing NOTHING to stop the Tahrir Square massacre. So was Efrain Rios Montt of Guatemala convicted for doing nothing to stop the genocide against native Guatemalans during his time as prime minister. Only you know best why you did nothing!
Consequently, because you had command responsibility for the operation (not in name but in deed) and because according to prima facie evidence crimes against humanity were committed, as defined by the International Criminal Court (which Rome Statute was signed by the Jamaican government), you are not excluded from being tried for these crimes.
It is obvious by the weight you give to security-forces responsibility, that you wish to exploit the age-old Jamaican legal practice of excluding those who have command responsibility for crimes committed by the security forces from being prosecuted. And as a keen legal observer I’m sure you know very well that no individual policeman or soldier will ever be charged for these crimes.
That is why you are willing to testify with a “but” according to the interpretation of your comments in the Observer.
As far as the Tivoli Committee is concerned, you can legally have no say in how you are investigated, you are only entitled to defend yourself.
Perhaps you have an unwritten understanding with your friend Portia Simpson-Miller in terms of how their investigation will proceed. And that is precisely one of the reasons why the Tivoli Committee continues to insist that this matter must be referred to the ICC because that is the only body that can impartially investigate what happened in 2010. The people demand justice and justice must be done otherwise the other Tivoli Gardens massacres are just waiting to happen.
on behalf of the
The entire Jamaican government, and especially the Prime Minister and the Minister of National Security must be condemned for supporting the criminal policies being pursued by the Jamaica Constabulary Force in carrying out almost daily extrajudicial killings throughout the country.
The Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) must also be condemned as a willing tool of this policy of extrajudicial killings.
INDECOM investigates crime scenes which it knows are compromised; INDECOM has been a TOTAL failure in prosecuting much more convicting policemen for murder.
INDECOM can be said to collaborating with police killings because it never goes after police commanders who night after night appear on television to betray themselves to Jamaica and the world that these killings are planned and NOT shootouts!
INDECOM is COMPLETELY silent about the command responsibility of senior police officers including the Police Commissioner for these killings.
It is this aspect of planned and organized state killings which makes a mockery of any attempt to hold an enquiry into the Tivoli Gardens massacre which does not SPECIFICALLY go after those who had command responsibility for what took place.
Once the legal fig leaf provided by INDECOM is removed from the picture (which is the pretence that there is an investigation) it is obvious that the Jamaican state, and more specifically the government, which makes policy for the police, has decided to pursue a routine policy of killing citizens in the name of fighting crime.
The hands of Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, the Minister of National Security, Peter Bunting and Police Commissioner Owen Ellington are dripping with blood and smelling of sulphur.
Campaign for Social and Ecnomic Justice
From the Archives
Third World Viewpoint
[Published by Lloyd D'Aguilar]
The Workers Party of Jamaica (WPJ) was formed in 1978 as a communist party. This was during the second term of Michael Manley’s period in office as prime minister of Jamaica. This was at a time when it could be said that there was an effective international anti-imperialist movement. The political climate of the 1970s, both in its international and national dimensions, facilitated the formation of independent left-wing organizations, just as the 1980s facilitated the growth of right-wing politics in the region. Throughout the Caribbean there were a large number of radical political organizations of which the New Jewel Movement (NJM) in Grenada became the best known.
The Jamaican left-wing had two components. One was inside the ruling People’s National Party (PNP), and centered around the personalities of D.K. Duncan and Arnold Bertram (1) , both of whom had held important cabinet posts. They had no independent organizational strength among the working class or urban poor. Bertram’s strengths lay in the area of ideological think-tank work and Duncan was an effective party organizer and mobilizer of the PNP rank and file.
Manley’s attempt to maintain a balance in the PNP between his left and right wings faltered in early 1977. This was due to the enormous pressures from Washington which were particularly hostile to his close relations with Fidel Castro and his support for the Cubans in Angola. Moreover, the worsening economic situation led to the start of Jamaica’s long and painful relationship with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The domestic political situation worsened for the progressive movement and in October 1980 Manley was voted out of office and replaced by Edward Seaga and the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP).
Trevor Munroe, an academic at the University of the West Indies (UWI) , along with Don Robotham, the late Derek Gordon and myself, among others, felt that a formation independent of the PNP ws important if an agenda for radical restructuring of Jamaican society was to succeed. The PNP was a multi-class party and so we felt it was important to have a working class organization that would not be at the mercy of the business and middle class factions of the PNP.
The debate over the issue of whether we should start a party took place for most of the 1970s. The Cubans felt that there was no need for a working class party and that the left should essentially give Manley support so that he could stay the course against powerful domestic and international opposition. In Havana, Manley and later on Maurice Bishop, were seen as the charismatic national leaders without whom there could be no substantial movement for change. However, while Cuba’s influence was strong, Moscow’s views on a party independent of the capitalist class was on the positive side. They wanted to see what support we had in the country.
Our 1978 decision to form a party modelled on the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), which we considered the party of Lenin, was motivated by several factors. Those factors included the CPSU’s history and record of support to anti-imperialist struggles in the Third World; our growing links with the international communist movement, especially the parties in Central and Latin America; the writings of Russian theorists Rostislav Ulyanovsky and Karen Brutents, and visits to Moscow facilitated by our close relationship with the Soviet Embassy in Kingston.
What were the activities of the WPJ and what role did it play in Jamaican politics? WPJ members were involved in a wide range of political activities. Some worked in the trade union movement through the University and Allied Workers Union (UAWU) which is now the third largest union in the country. Others worked in urban communities providing representation for community members on human rights issues relating to police brutality, and on projects dealing with health, education and sports. In these areas we drew upon the voluntary assistance of party members who were lawyers, doctors and teachers. Similar work was also done in rural communities. Other party members worked in education developing the National Union of Democratic Teachers (NUDT) and still others worked in the media where an intense battle went on between the different political currents in the country.
It was in the area of internal party life that most of the criticisms that have been made by former party members tend to focus. The party structure was very rigid and did not allow for democratic debate. Political education classes reinforced hierarchical political rigidity. The fact of the matter is that the WPJ was not an organization that could seriously contend for power but it provided a forum for militants to play a role in a much needed critique and agitation against the old power structure. Alternative ideas to the IMF views on economic restructuring came out of this environment of radical critique.
What were the factors which led to the dissolution of the WPJ? The reasons for the dissolution of the WPJ in 1992 lay in the political changes that took place in the 1980s. These include Manley’s electoral defeat in 1980; the invasion of Grenada and the politics of Reaganism in the region; the defeat of the WPJ candidates in the 1986 local government elections; the political misreading by Munroe and the WPJ leadership of the significance of the changes that were underway in Jamaica and the world; the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe; and finally, Munroe’s blocking of democratic debate within the party.
By 1988 most of the senior leadership of the WPJ, including myself, had resigned. The issue of the party’s involvement in the infighting in Grenada’s Provisional Revolutionary Government (PRG), and the position taken by Munroe in support of the military group that emerged after Bishop’s execution created serious divisions. The WPJ came to be identified with Bernard Coard in the eyes of the Jamaican population. Political radicalism was discredited and hence Seaga who seemed destined for one term in office was re-elected for a second term (in 1983). (2)
In retrospect, I think that if the question that were being raised by party members had been honestly debated this could have led to a restructuring of the party in the 1980s. Our knowledge of Eastern Europe was considerable by then, at least to those of us who travelled and lived there, and who had experienced the realities and contradictions of those societies. But too much was at stake in terms of ideological positions, psychological attitudes and financial support from the CPSU. It would have meant being self-critical and restructuring in a profound way, giving primacy to our national interests and accepting the inevitable fall away of many party members and supporters who wanted to make up for “lost time” in terms of delays in pursuing careers and livelihoods.
The psychological fall-out from this period as far as the left is concerned is heavy. Many women and men nevertheless maintain a commitment to the ideals of social and economic justice and are playing their part in the collective efforts toward transformation in Jamaica.
In the case of the PNP, Manley went on to re-think his positions and by 1989 when he was re-elected had made peace with Washington and committed the PNP to the continuation of the market-oriented policies of the 1980s. The transition to P.J. Patterson’s leadership has to be seen not simply as a continuation of Manley’s politics but the coming of age of the black middle-class in national politics. (3)
In 1992 Munroe declared the WPJ dissolved and now functions as a public speaker and trade union leader, and is in the process of redefining his politics.
It is significant that what has not only survived from the 1970s but grown into a national organization is the University and Allied Workers Union (UAWU). The union is led in its day to day work mainly by people drawn from the working class. The mere existence of this organization speaks to needs that were not being met by the dominant unions. There is no doubt that Munroe’s contributions and that of other intellectuals have been significant.
Although the sphere of union activities is not threatening to the system as that of radical politics, there is a lot to learn from the experience of the UAWU and that discussion has not yet started. This will help to provide the key to any discussion of the revitalization of the progressive movement. I prefer to use the terms “progressive movement” rather than “left working class politics.” I think the latter perspective is a narrow-minded one and has a history of sectarian and Stalinist politics associated with it. This of course does not rule out radical working class politics now or in the future. But the view of the proletariat emerging from the Marxist tradition as a hegemonic force capable of leading all the oppressed in a revolutionary struggle against exploitation and the end of social classes is no longer tenable.
The 1970s Jamaican left inherited Stalinist political thinking from the 1930s, bypassing any critical assessment of the experience of Caribbean Marxists such as CLR James and George Padmore. CLR James‘ critique of Stalinism and Trotskyism remains theoretically important. George Padmore’s critique from a Pan-Africanist perspective is invaluable. We moved to an uncritical embrace of the Brezhnev doctrines of the 1970s as they were interpreted for the Third World by functionaries of the CPSU. One therefore has to learn to re-read politics especially after the Grenada experience and the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe, as well as the crises in Cuba. What sense does it make to speak of the contradictions between socialism and capitalism when twentieth century socialism as a product of the 1917 Russian Revolution is dead.
What are the viable concepts of revolutionary change in the Caribbean given the Cuban experience? Concepts die easily but the problems of how we live remain and require new theorizing. This theorizing must begin with the concrete experiences of our people and their aspirations. I do not see a revitalization of left working class politics, but I see a revitalization of national political life and discussion of economic options. Part of the way this can be done is through a critical discussion of the past and an understanding of politics that are in keeping with the material and moral interests of real social forces.
(1) The participation of Duncan and Bertram inside the PNP cabinet was consistently pointed to by the State Department spokesmen and the U.S. capitalist media as proof that the PNP government was communist. [Editor]
(2) It should also be pointed out that the WPJ was a staunch defender fo the PNP government during the 1970s. There were differences over the PNP’s approach to dealing with the IMF but it was always made clear by the WPJ that this was not reason enough to stop supporting the PNP. This is proven by their electoral support to the PNP in the 1980 general elections. Manley was held to be the “lesser” of the two evils and Seaga was portrayed in fascist terms. An argument can certainly be made that as the PNP’s IMF-type policies alienated them from the masses, it also hurt the credibility of the WPJ who were seen as too closely allied with the PNP. [Editor]
(3) P.J. Patterson succeeded Michael Manley as Prime Minister when the latter resigned because of ill health in 1992. Patterson subsequently led the PNP to a landslide victory over the Seaga-led JLP in the March 1993 general elections. Sections of the U.S. media unfamiliar with Jamaican politics, have alluded to Patterson as the country’s first “black” prime minister. Even if the African descent of Manley is denied, then certainly the African origins of Hugh Shearer who was prime minister from 1867 to 1972 are obvious enough. [Editor]
Dear Mr Earl Witter,
Residents of Tivoli Gardens and west Kingston who suffered personal injury and property damage wish to find out precisely what steps you have taken regarding state compensation for their suffering:
(1) Have you recommended to the government that there needs to be a COMPREHENSIVE SETTLEMENT for these damages?
(2) What is your legal assessment of the 80 to 100 million dollars paid out by the previous administration to some residents for property damage and burial grants etc?
(3) Do you regard these payments as an admission of liability and if so should the present government be guided by this admission?
(4) Has your office done a COMPREHENSIVE MONETARY ASSESSMENT of the damages and would you be willing to provide some information or indication as to how you have arrived at your assessment figure?
(5) In regard to personal injuries have you done an assessment as to how many people were injured, and perhaps the circumstances? We are aware of several who were crippled and incapacitated by actions of the security forces.
(6) Would you be prepared to share with us and the public what your records reveal?
(7) Have you or are you prepared to recommend that government adopts a compassionate approach and IMMEDIATELY deal with the suffering of these people?
(8) Given that your report concludes that there is prima facie evidence of extrajudicial killings, is your office prepared to facilitate wrongful death civil suits against the government?
(9) Are you prepared to acknowledge that you erred when in your Report you stated that the International Criminal Court has no jurisdiction over the crimes committed by the state in 2010 and, do you now recognize that under Article 12(3) of the ICC Statutes which Jamaica signed (but not yet ratified) the government can refer to the matter to the ICC?
(10) Are you now prepared to publicly acknowledge that due to (a) an implicit state policy of impunity for extrajudicial killings by the security forces; due to (b) the fact that it would be impossible to identify any individual solider or policeman for the killings which took place; due to (c) Jamaica’s judicial practice, contrary to international law, of not prosecuting those who have ‘command responsibility’ for the crimes committed by the security forces; and due to (d) the fact that a prima facie case can be made that those who had ‘command responsibility’ facilitated ‘crimes against humanity’ during the operations (your Report calls for them to be specially investigated), that the proper recourse would be for the government to turn over the investigation and prosecution to the ICC?
(11) In light of the foregoing, are you NOW prepared to publicly recommend that the government turn over jurisdiction of the investigation to the ICC, espeically since the government is preparing to release its terms of reference for the enquiry which does not contemplate the involvement of the ICC?
(12) Are you NOW prepared to publicly acknowledge that any Commission of Enquiry which does not involve the ICC CANNOT result in the prosecution of anyone for the heinous crimes committed in west Kingston in May 2010, and would be tantamount to a whitewash of state terrorism?
I eagerly await your reply.
on behalf of the
Once again the police high command has demonstrated that it does not command the police force — in which case the decent thing to do is to resign or be fired; or
That it is incapable of telling the truth when those whom it commands commit terrorist acts against the people — in which case it should resign, or be fired.
Deputy Police Commissioner Glenmore Hinds, who by the way had a command role in the 2010 Tivoli Gardens massacre, is claiming that he knows nothing about taser guns or stun guns being issued to members of the constabulary force, particularly those who were operating in west Kingston on Saturday September 14.
He admits that taser (stun) guns are “cost prohibitive” but yet there are credible allegations that they were in the possession of the police on Saturday 14. Did these policemen spend their own money to purchase these weapons of terror as a contribution to the JCF?
Glenmore Hinds says that it is “improbable” and would be “unusual” but not “impossible” for the police to have been in possession of these weapons which were used to terrorize innocent citizens on Saturday, September 14.
On the face of it Deputy Commissioner Glenmore Hinds has a serious credibility problem. Once made aware of the allegations, the responsible thing for him to have done was to immediately investigate what happened and to save himself the embarrassment of being exposed as a public officer collecting a salary at tax payer’s expense while being clueless about what is happening under his command. An audit should immediately be conducted to find out what he does with his time.
But what can we expect when his immediate boss, Police Commissioner Owen Ellington, has a credibility problem himself, such as when he congratulated the security forces for a job well despite having committed crimes against humanity in May 2010.
The police commissioner is so busy reminding the police of ‘force orders’ he has yet to find time to conduct his own review of the allegations of criminal conduct by the police under his command in May 2010. And it is obvious that his Minister of National Security Peter Bunting is too preoccupied praying for Divine Intervention to be concerned about such trifles.
There are many persons who can testify to having witnessed or having experienced taser gun attacks on Saturday September 14.
One such person is the 15 year old son of Kemorene Bennet of Shearer Drive, Tivoli Gardens, who was tasered by police in front of her very eyes. The youth was on his way back home from extra classes when he was accosted by a party of soldiers and police. He was put to lie on the ground, tasered and kicked. He was eventually allowed to run to his mother crying. He also urinated on himself. To add insult to injury Kemorene was pepper sprayed for protesting the treatment being meted out to her son.
There is another case of 16 year old who received the same treatment. I have heard accounts from a number of other persons about tasering.
The question therefore is: if stun guns have not been issued to the police, which means that it is illegal to use, is it not incumbent on the deputy police commissioner to investigate?
The Minister of National Security is on record as advocating police use of stun guns. Is he conveniently remaining silent in the hope that things will blow over, or does he owe the country an immediate explanation?
Has he procured stun guns for the police without telling Deputy Commissioner Glenmore Hinds?
And, by the way, what is the real job description for the Minster of Justice as it relates to justice?
Isn’t it time at least for the media to hold them all accountable?
Please sign petition demanding that Speaker of the Jamaican parliament Mr Michael Peart allow the Tivoli Committee to address parliament on the issues of justice for the people of Tivoli Gardens and west Kingston who were brutally assaulted by the secuirty forces in May 2010.
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