Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Lack of Organized Public Protest By The silent Majority


I cannot help but wonder why there is an almost lack of public protest in Jamaica. I am having a hard time remembering when last Jamaicans organized a massive, peaceful, progressive socially cohesive movement against anything. I am not talking about the politically organized partisan, out of control gas riots of the past or the protest in defense of Dons, warlords and gang members but a more productive outcry. A socially conscious movement against injustice, mismanagement and corruption within the Jamaican society.



The lack of organized public outcry in Jamaica either means that we are all content, yard nice, everything sweet, session a run, henny a flow and everything is right in our world or that we are such a fragmented society that it is almost impossible for us to come together as a people to confront the problems we face as Jamaicans. I know for a fact that all is not right with our world, even though some of us like to pretend it is. I know we are all concerned about the alarming crime rates in our country, mismanagement of the Government sector and attacks on our environment.

I know we are concerned with high unemployment rates. I know we are concerned with dilapidated infrastructure and the declining education system that is turning out students who are incapable of 21st century productivity. So why then are we so complacent in the face of Government corruption, crime and the declining economy? I have said it before that the people of Jamaica are afraid to hold the Government accountable fearing that the Government would then turn around and hold them accountable. I think Jamaicans are afraid of a society with rules, equality and Justice because we are addicted to the crab in a barrel lifestyle.


Jamaica have become an online petition country. We have adopted this non productive lazy form of protesting like a fish to water but with minimal response. While people in more technologically advanced countries are not afraid to put boots on the ground to defend their interest, Jamaicans prefers to sit in their Y-Fronts at home and pretend to protest online.




People in other countries throughout the world do not seem to suffer from this complacency. People around the world are organizing and taking to the streets to voice their discontent. From the UK various groups have organized and took to the streets, the massive student protest against raising student fees almost shut down cities across England. Disgusting far right groups have organized and protest to make their voices heard. A protest against police shooting that turned in a mass riot in England which highlighted deep rooted social and economic problems that exist across the UK and more organized protest are being planned as we speak against government cuts, Brexit, increasing unemployment and economic hardship, anti-austerity.




In the United States the Occupy Wall Street Movement is a protest against the greedy bankers who run the financial system that caused global economic collapse, which is set to spread to other cities and countries as people take to the streets to send a message to the ruling class that enough is enough. We are tired and we are not taking it anymore. The Tea Party Movement represents people standing up for what they believe in (right or wrong) and making their voices heard. I remember the million man march which was perfectly organized and executed with precision. Jon Stewart’s rally to restore sanity  just to name a few. Not to mention the uprising the in the Middle East.

 Million Man March

So what of Jamaica? We complain daily about the negative things happening within our society but we never seem to get past that. Our Governments knows that we are incapable of organizing a dance or a piss up in a brewery, much less a massive socially conscious movement and so they are free to do what they want, when they want and like us they only pay lip service to the problems we face as a nation. The year (2009) when we had 1681 murders across the island, where was the outrage? Where was the organized movement to force our government to take the issue of crime seriously? When are we going to stand up and demand accountability from not only the Government, but the Private sector and ourselves? We are afraid to protest because we think it will affect our earnings, disrupt the well oiled wheels of our economy (lol) but crime, mismanagement and corruption is actually affecting our earnings and causing the wheels of our economy to grind to a halt.  

When the mid 90’s Orane Report on waste and mismanagement in the Government was published and the Government did not implement it, I expected the people to demonstrate and demand that the Government implement the requested changes for making the Public sector more accountable and streamlined this would save millions of tax payer’s money. In doing so the people would have demonstrated that they have reached a level of political sophistication, demanding not only short term but also long term changes from the Government. This would have set precedence, showing that the people are no longer waiting for crumbs from the politician table but wanted exactly what they employed them to do.  I remember a group organized a protest against the rising crime rate but only about 200 people bothered to show up at that event however keep a street dance on Knutsford Boulevard and the people will descend like locus to part take in the merriment,” Easy skanking, skanking it easy”.


OK the memory of Morris Cargill ripping into Bob Marley about the following lyrics just comes to mind, Morris thought it was a low class and boogoyagga thing to say ... 

I want to disturb my neighbour,
'Cause I'm feelin' so right;
I want to turn up my disco...

Mass Social Activism/Movements, Protest and Rallies:



All progressive societies have dynamic and well organized groups designed to push progressive Nation Building Agendas. These progressive societies understand that the people are an integral part of Government, a vital part, a valid branch of Government. It is not vote and forget but vote and engage, they understand that the concept of Government is not limited to the elected officials alone but extends to the entire population who must communicate their desires, their intentions and displeasure by organized mass public activism designed to send strong messages to the Elected Officials, kind of like guiding sheep in the right direction.

All our Non-Governmental Organization NGO's, like our unions are nothing but extensions of the political parties. They do not have the people's interest at heart, they are NOT Nation Builders but exist to serve their political masters and do their biddings. They exist to help influence public opinion for their political parties, they are partisan in nature and they are rewarded for their work and efforts with access to resources and titles.

Politically motivated protests are almost always organized with the intention of destabilizing the country and the existing Government, so as to propel the opposing party into power. It is almost never organized for the greater good of the country but for the selfish needs of that party for power. Real Progressive Pro-Active organized groups do not care about which party is in power, their purpose is the same regardless of party, they do not want political rewards because their sole intention is to force the Government of the day to do the right thing by the people, to build a nation.

Year Mass Rallies Notes
1979 Gas Riot Not a socially conscious Mass Rally but a smash and grab organized by opposing the Political Party, VIOLENT PROTESTS, looting and shootings triggered by a hike in fuel prices brought Jamaica to a standstill rioters started fires, looted shops and set a large sugar cane plantation ablaze. Block roads and charge motorist a fee to pass.
1985 Gas Riot Not a socially conscious Mass Rally but a smash and grab organized by opposing the Political Party, VIOLENT PROTESTS, looting and shootings triggered by a hike in fuel prices brought Jamaica to a standstill rioters started fires, looted shops and set a large sugar cane plantation ablaze. Block roads and charge motorist a fee to pass.
1999 Gas Riot Not a socially conscious Mass Rally but a smash and grab organized by opposing the Political Party, VIOLENT PROTESTS, looting and shootings triggered by a hike in fuel prices brought Jamaica to a standstill rioters started fires, looted shops and set a large sugar cane plantation ablaze. Block roads and charge motorist a fee to pass.
2011 Occupy Half-Way-Tree Only a handful of Persons turned out(20) for the Occupy Half-Way-Tree protest organized by Child rights group “Hear the Children's Cry” and the “New Nation Coalition” who chained themselves to a median near the historic clock in Half-Way-Tree Square in protest against what they say were "Inequities and Injustices in the Jamaican society".
2012 Police Corruption and Killings Jamaicans for Justice Called for a mass protest but ONLY 60 People turned up.
Government Corruption, Lies and Empty Promises No Mass Rally or Protest have ever been organized to send a strong message to the Government that this is a serious issue and needs to be addressed A.S.A.P. Both the people, Political Parties and the Government continue to “Pay Lip Service” to this matter in order to score political points. I do believe that even if a Mass Rally or a Protest was organized that only a hand full of people would bother to show up, unless off course you get a sound system, some semi-literate DJ’s and hand out free rice from the back of a truck.
Increasing Murder/Crime Rate No Mass Rally or Protest have ever been organized to send a strong message to the Government that this is a serious issue and needs to be addressed A.S.A.P. Both the people, Political Parties and the Government continue to “Pay Lip Service” to this matter in order to score political points. I do believe that even if a Mass Rally or a Protest was organized that only a hand full of people would bother to show up, unless off course you get a sound system, some semi-literate DJ’s and hand out free rice from the back of a truck.
Economic Mismanagement and Hardship No Mass Rally or Protest have ever been organized to send a strong message to the Government that this is a serious issue and needs to be addressed A.S.A.P. Both the people, Political Parties and the Government continue to “Pay Lip Service” to this matter in order to score political points. I do believe that even if a Mass Rally or a Protest was organized that only a hand full of people would bother to show up, unless off course you get a sound system, some semi-literate DJ’s and hand out free rice from the back of a truck.
Crumbling and/or missing infrastructure No Mass Rally or Protest have ever been organized to send a strong message to the Government that this is a serious issue and needs to be addressed A.S.A.P. Both the people, Political Parties and the Government continue to “Pay Lip Service” to this matter in order to score political points. I do believe that even if a Mass Rally or a Protest was organized that only a hand full of people would bother to show up, unless off course you get a sound system, some semi-literate DJ’s and hand out free rice from the back of a truck.
Child abuse on rise in Jamaica No Mass Rally or Protest have ever been organized to send a strong message to the Government that this is a serious issue and needs to be addressed A.S.A.P. Both the people, Political Parties and the Government continue to “Pay Lip Service” to this matter in order to score political points. I do believe that even if a Mass Rally or a Protest was organized that only a hand full of people would bother to show up, unless off course you get a sound system, some semi-literate DJ’s and hand out free rice from the back of a truck.

No comments:

Post a Comment