Yesterday November 10, 2011 a small peaceful demonstration was launched by the Marcus Garvey People's Political Party MGPPP around 3pm just by the intersection of Knutsford Boulevard and Trafalgar Roads nearing the British High Commission building. Due to the limits placed on public gatherings nearing or beside overseas consulates and Embassies they had to remain away from the entrance. Their main bone of contention as the signs photoed below show was the debt crisis and the IMF International Monetary Fund with the supposed pressure we are under with the latest tests results or lack thereof, public sector job cuts.
However the UK's pressure to decriminalize the Buggery Law by the withdrawal of aid threat as was proposed by their Prime Minister David Cameron were added to the agenda via the repeated shouts over a bullhorn that was rotated amongst the four man one woman team. They stayed on message for better part of the twenty minutes or so I was there.
I sought a brief audience about the issue to do with the buggery law and a man of part Chinese extraction and who seemed to be the organizer of the activity and I had an exchange. He pointed out that we should continue the occupy Jamaica moves as launched before and that the country is in serious debt while we may not have money to pay government workers a sentiment recently expressed by opposition representative Peter Bunting, however it was rebutted by Finance Minister Audley Shaw two days ago that there are enough funds to carry us until the next budget due in March 2012.
He stressed that Buggery was wrong and unafrican and that we should not give in to foreign pressure and that Marcus Garvey would not have approved. He said we should default on our debt obligations to multi-laterals and development our local sectors before paying a cent over. When I asked what about the penalties for defaulting he said they would just have to understand, a similar sentiment was expressed by the occupy Half Way Tree protest recently where anti gay former talk show host Betty Ann Blaine chained herself to the guard rails by the bus bay. (see video below) The MGPPP demonstrators continued as I left for work, other passers-by took photos as well and collected their pamphlet which outlined a graph of debt we supposedly owe and other pointers about their party in brief exchanges as well. The Rastafarian personalities in the group were a bit uncultured in my view in engaging myself and my friend who accompanied me to the site but they no words like battyman or sodomite were said to our faces, they seemed to be more focused on reaching the motorists in line by the traffic lights as they darted in between cars handing out pamphlets and chanting loudly.
Interestingly in her speech about inequality she never qualified in her explanation if LGBT rights or recognition were apart of that or what she thought about the call for the decriminalization of buggery.
I am expecting more spontaneous protests like this one on the plethora of issues that seem to be on the minds of many and with the visible success of the Occupy Wall Street and our versions of the Occupy phenomenon persons are finding ways to vent. We can also seek to engage them peacefully and start or continue the respective dialogue on specifically LGBT issues with particular emphasis on sexual orientation and the buggery law's repulsion or decriminalization.
Freedom speech in full effect in Jamaica and good that the brief audience was interactive.
Peace and tolerance