Do you think the Buggery Law should be?

The Safe House Homeless MSM Project 2009 a detailed look & more



In response to numerous requests for more information on the defunct Safe House Pilot Project that was to address the growing numbers of displaced and homeless men in Kingston in 2007/8/9, a review of the relevance of the project and the possible avoidance of present issues with some of its previous residents if it were kept open.
Recorded June 12, 2013; also see from the former Executive Director named in the podcast more background on the project: HERE
Showing posts with label Police Harrasment hhhmmmm. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Police Harrasment hhhmmmm. Show all posts

Monday, June 16, 2014

Jamaica Observer deliberately aiding the further discrediting of the remaining LGBTQ credibility in public advocacy & gay baiting?

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The tear gas moment outside the pharmacy


actual shots from the scene with a popular community "diva" in view as she made her way out the establishment

A seven year old mobbing matter that in a sense has been put to rest in the minds of some has been reawakened via an article in the Observer claiming the police who were involved in the Tropic Pharmacy mobbing incident in Half Way Tree with the former Programs Manager of JLFAG Gareth Henry (now in Canada), a popular diva socialite and her two of her friends denying the alleged homophobic actions of the police themselves has all of a sudden been brought back to life and conveniently so in the middle of a public backlash led by religious fanatics. These fanatics seek to gather momentum to promote hate and hysteria towards supposed foisting of homosexuality on the nation and the perception of the lobby collectively becoming bullies incite fear suggesting ulterior motives behind anything involving gays as yesterday’s Gleaner headline hinted, clear deception is at work here by the Observer as the article brought to bear based on how it is written and dateless as to when the police’s denial of the veracity of Henry’s statements. Was this a recent interview with the alleged police officer involved in the matter and if so why now some seven years later?

More questions than answers

Why now why at this time does the Observer choose to do this, is it because their failed gay baiting attempt via a suspected fictitious story about a male jogger raped that although raised the temperature on the ground in terms of homo-negative responses did not reach far enough or sell enough papers so they are going for more blood and whose agenda are they fulfilling here?

Why a previous story about homo-thugs as well supposedly robbing or living openly?

Did the Observer misquote the Guardian newspaper on Henry’s statement or did the Guardian itself embellish the story?

Did Gareth actually lie or embellish the story? (I hope not, I have worked with the man prior to his departure)

Coupled with the Tropical Plaza Monarch Pharmacy mobbing incident is the Brian Williamson murder in 2004 as well where Mr Henry is also portrayed as lying about the real motive for that tragedy, even if the motive was not a homophobic one the reactions from the public that morning outside the building when the undertakers arrived to process the scene with the police and retrieving the body was clear enough that homo-negativity and indeed homophobia in Jamaica is real.

Timely Coincidence with a 2014 mobbing yesterday in May Pen Clarendon with such glaring similarities:



Yesterday’s mobbing incident carried on TVJ news last evening is a perfect example of active homophobia where the evidence is clear as crystal but also hints to a rise in mood of locals intolerance levels to the slightest perception of effeminacy in men as the person targeted was said to be in makeup.

Gareth and partner in Canada

The damaging article sans a timeline for the suddenly appearing statements from the police who have denied Henry’s claim Published June 15 2014 read in part:

THE police have hit out against a claim by former head of the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians All-Sexuals and Gays (JFLAG), Gareth Henry, that he and other men were beaten with guns during an incident at Monarch Pharmacy in Half-Way-Tree, St Andrew on Valentine's Day, 2007. Henry told The Guardian newspaper in England that he was one of three men who were chased inside the pharmacy at a shopping mall in Kingston by an angry mob intent on mauling them to death.

"According to his statement to the commission, the police were called but were abusive when they arrived. One officer asked if he was a 'batty man' and then all four policemen began beating him with their guns," The Guardian report read.

However, Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Area Four George Quallo said that the claim was untrue. At the time of the incident Quallo was the commanding officer for the St Andrew Central police division where the pharmacy is located.

"The men were holed up in the pharmacy and the first set of police who went there had to call for back-up. The police came with reinforcements and due to the large crowd had to use tear gas to repel them before taking the men away under a heavy police detail. They had no time to beat the men with guns," Quallo told the Jamaica Observer.

A few persons in the crowd threw objects as the men were being placed inside a police car, one of which hit one of the men in the head.

The Jamaica Observer was on the scene at the time and had to beat a hasty retreat due to the stinging effect of the tear gas which had the mob, made up mostly of schoolchildren, scampering in all directions. Quallo said that even after the men were rescued, a large crowd converged on the Half-Way-Tree Police Station and the police kept them inside until the crowd dispersed.

A customer who was in the pharmacy at the time of the incident also rubbished Henry's claim that he and two other men, who were dressed in drag, were chased into the pharmacy.

"The mob converged on the pharmacy because the gay men had doused a woman with water who spoke to them about their rowdy behaviour. The woman ran out of the pharmacy and told passers-by what had happened. Word spread and in no time a crowd converged at the front of the pharmacy and started shouting, 'let them out, let them out'. Nobody never chase them into nowhere. They walked inside the pharmacy," the shopper said at the time.

Henry also told The Guardian that he took over the reins of JFLAG after the murder of its founding executive director Brian Williamson in June 2004. He claimed that Williamson was stabbed to death in a homophobic attack.
However, police records indicate that Williamson was the victim of a gay-on-gay attack. Williamson's body was found lying face down in a pool of blood on his bedroom floor. He had multiple stab wounds to his neck.

There were no signs of forced entry to his room.

Desmond Chambers, one of two men with whom Williamson shared the three-bedroom house, told the media at the time that he did maintenance work around the property and accused two men who had visited the premises earlier of the murder.

According to Chambers, one of the men was a regular guest of the deceased.

"I have seen him here about six times (and) anything him want, Brian give him. Brian give him money, Brian give him food and help him to purchase (newspaper) to sell on the road," he said.

Dwight Hayden, the man accused of murdering Williamson and who eventually pleaded guilty and was slapped with a life sentence for the crime, had confessed in court that he and Williamson were lovers.

During an interview with the Jamaica Observer in July 2012, former Assistant Commissioner of Police Les Green also scoffed at claims by the local and international gay lobby that gays in Jamaica were the victims of wanton murder and marginalisation. The former Scotland Yard detective said at the time that his statistics showed that the vast majority of murders of gay men were the results of lovers' disputes and in his experience, only one was not perpetrated by a gay person and that was a case of robbery.

"All of those murders that I have investigated have been in relationships and are victims of gayattacks, domestic situations," Green said.

ENDS

In as far as Mr Les Green’s position immediately above is concerned his short tenure as deputy commissioner here in Jamaica is not enough for him to arrive at a definitive conclusion that All of those murders that I have investigated have been in relationships and are victims of gayattacks, domestic situations," what does he know, has he seen the older files with similar matters and in fact have such files even been doctored by local investigators as we well know the police have been adept at twisting stories to suit their investigations or even refuse to look at cases where it may involve some homosexual motive or involvement. We hear and see the cries for justice by other Jamaicans almost weekly on our television screens as cops are accused of extra-judicial killings or planting guns on persons to label them as criminals.

As I indicated above something is amiss here and the Observer seems to be on a gay baiting run here to further destroy whatever little credibility is left in parts of the advocacies that seek to operate on a more ethical plain than others and while doing so securing hefty sales/profits. I will concur that the actual causation of Brian Williamson’s murder and as was brought out in court “Wingee” Dwight Hayden was known to Brian yes and Brian did assist him in starting his newspaper business, I have been warning about this as one of the lone voices in the wilderness for years about the all important crisis communication and truth and this case is one such that poses a challenge. There are several other cases that involve less prominent persons of the MSM community in particular who have been murdered with a clear homophobic motive but somehow those cases have not been used I guess due to their non-notoriety so they are shelved and considered less important. The cases used consistently over the years simply cannot stand up to scrutiny.

Overseas protests by some other overzealous persons claiming to be advocates with tainted integrities and all while calling for boycotts of Jamaica is only seeking to slowly hurt the cause than aid it in as far as perceptions of dishonesty on our part is concerned, I have tried not to use the Williamson case as a beacon for homophobia as there are several other good strong cases that can be used in that department and strengthen the credibility of the crisis communication element of public advocacy.

The John Terry matter is another such case that cannot be relied upon as a good reference as the investigations and arrest has not netted much or unearthed good evidence of homophobia as a causation. The Dean Moriah matter also is another shaky case that cannot be used as he named his attacker before his death suggesting he had knowledge of the person and he was not a stranger, in other words some familiarity. Such cases with established “familiarity” cannot be used as strong evidence but our advocacies over the years have failed to properly delineate genuine homophobic cases versus non homophobic ones, stress ethics and so here we are in this tangled mess as more credibility rots away leaving the crisis communication tool weakened.

Let us watch the Observer’s trend and see. In answer to the post title I think they are on a trend to do just that.

also see:




Peace and tolerance

H

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Wheel and come again, ACP Green ...... but

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Someone has responded via a letter to the Observer as to the trope from outgoing former assistant police commission Les Green who basically berated the gay lobby's agitation on gay murders in Jamaica, where he has postured that it is not true. It would seem in the article there is some truth but our intellectual dishonesty is worrying to me as well. The specific June 13th double murders of the homeless men was NOT a homophobic incident and also a few others since the start of the year. We must take each case on their own merit.

Here is my audio as well:






meanwhile the Letter writer wrote:
Dear Editor,

Les Green's comments in the July 8 Sunday Observer are misleading! I don't understand his comments, but the media seem to be running away with them


Jamaica is a very intolerant society when it comes to gays, no question. The buggery law itself is anti-gay, making men who have sex with men (MSM) actually illegal, so how could he say otherwise? While it would seem that most gay murders on the island might be gay-related, usually following similar gruesome patterns, murder is still murder. Is he saying that because it is gay-related, it's not as big a deal? Clearly, these murders are a symptom of a much bigger problem, when you have a society so filled with violence .

Murder is usually inspired by intolerance anyway, so regardless of the specifics I don't see how this former senior police officer could suggest otherwise. Ironically, he is also suggesting that cross-dressers in Jamaica are too contrived, I suppose too bold, by being themselves and going out in public in "drag". If Jamaicans are so tolerant, why would he make this comment to warn cross-dressers? Is it illegal to cross-dress? Why should I care, or be bothered if someone want to walk the streets in women's stockings? It is their lives, their way of self-expression, their art, not mine. I have seen cross-dressers in many major cities elsewhere, and though some may get a few stares, even laughs, generally there is no fear or prejudice.

Also, it is not just gay cross-dressers who are attacked in Jamaica, any sign of looking different or seemingly effeminate can inspire a random attack. I have read stories about bullying in schools of effeminate young students - this is totally unacceptable, another sign of cultural intolerance. I witnessed a mob attack in broad daylight on Oxford Road, where two guys who were perceived to be gay, just by their sense of style or mannerisms, had to run for their lives.

I have friends from New York who were visiting the island as tourists who also had to flee New Kingston Shopping Centre, because they dressed differently. Luckily a woman driving by saw what was happening and opened her car door to rescue them, and warn them of what exists even in those areas. So Les Green needs to think again. His stay in Jamaica has been relatively brief; he did not grow up in Jamaica, or experience all aspects of life there, to be making such generalised comments.

And I don't understand that recent police raid in St Ann either. It is one thing to go after criminals if they are involved with illegal stuff, but playing up the cross-dressing part seems like targeting a certain group, and this seems extremely odd to me. While one would agree that Jamaica has changed a lot over the years, due to the media, internet, TV and films which help societies in some ways to become more aware, it is very unfair to say that Jamaicans in general remain tolerant to issues pertaining to sexuality; this is very misleading. 


It wasn't too long ago our own former PM publicly stated in a BBC interview that gays could not serve in his Cabinet. Gays who don't even cross-dress are still subject to ridicule, bullying, prejudice, hate. I therefore urge the former Assistant Commissioner to seriously rethink his comments.

Pete Delisser

Pdelisser 1988@yahoo.com

ENDS

Here is a video vox pop from the paper as well about supposed "gay murders" and possible causes.



Here is an older video from 2009 that gives some insight as to the early beginnings of the explosion of homeless men on the island separate and apart from the existing populations.



This was when the organizations meant something but since all kinds of politics has clouded our advocacy structures roles and responsibilities.

Peace and tolerance

H

Monday, July 9, 2012

Discrimination by cops while carrying out duties ??? ..........

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While cops have their responsibilities to carry out they must do so without open stigma being displayed, the alleged lotto scamming activity is said to be also in the same sex community resulting in a crack down on a party at Club Heavens last weekend at a popular socialite's birthday party. The cops appeared on the scene with anti gay remarks blaring even as the article below that appeared in the Gleaner yesterday portrayed a clean crackdown procedures ignoring the actual sequence of events as since told to me by several upset patrons hours after being processed and released.

Here is the article firstly

Kenrick 'Bebe' Stephenson (right) awaits processing by the police while two cross-dressers strike a pose for the camera after they were detained by the police yesterday.
Kenrick 'Bebe' Stephenson (right) awaits processing by the police while two cross-dressers strike a pose for the camera after they were detained by the police

Several cross-dressers, some suspected to be involved in the illegal lottery scam, were taken into custody and a number of items, including motor vehicles, seized by the police yesterday during an intelligence-driven operation in St Ann which targeted scammers from western Jamaica.

Head of the Lottery Scam Task Force, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Leon Clunis, and his team raided a nightclub on the border of St Ann and Trelawny early yesterday morning and discovered scores of men dressed in women's apparel, some proudly displaying their get-up.

According to Clunis, two of the men held were wanted by the police.

They were identified as Kenrick 'Bebe' Stephenson, an alleged mastermind of the illicit lottery scam who was wanted for absconding bail, and a man from Kingston who the police did not name but said he was wanted for housebreaking and larceny.

Charges were also laid against a man in connection with a quantity of illegal drugs found at the club.

"We took in more than 130 patrons, and confiscated a number of phones, and about 15 vehicles, including Skylines, and we are presently sifting through to determine the ones we need," Clunis told The Sunday Gleaner.

"At this nightclub party, we thought that there were many females, but in reality there were not more than 11 females; most of them were males dressed as females," added Clunis.

"We have no interest in one's sexuality or sexual preference, we are dealing with crime and criminality in general. As long as it is committed, we are coming after you."

In May this year, Stephenson was charged with unlawful possession of property and abstracting electricity from the Jamaica Public Service Company.

The police were also probing his alleged involvement in the lottery scam after he was held by members of the task force during a raid in St James.

But Stephenson has reportedly failed to attend court, prompting the issuing of a warrant for his arrest.

proper documentation

"We are doing our jobs, and ensuring that what we do is properly documented," said Clunis.

"What is very important is that corporate Jamaica is on board and they have been giving us assistance in terms of intelligence and quick information to which we can respond."

In the meantime, Clunis disclosed that during an operation last Friday, another alleged major player in the lotto scam was arrested in the Santa Cruz area.

He was taken to a remittance service facility to collect some $250,000 which is believed to have been obtained through the purported sweepstakes

ENDS

I was absent however in my capacity as a disc jock for events there but I have been kept abreast by some disgruntled members of the party who felt they were grouped with everyone else as guilty before proven Innocent or without any evidence to the effect.

Allegations such as:

Persons stigmatized as HIV  positive were searched with some cops wearing two pairs of gloves

Profiling and sexually inappropriate suggestions that the cross dressers be searched in a fondling manner

A patron while waiting to be processed had an asthma attack and was left to suffer for some time without any assistance until one officer intervened

Police officer on the crackdown operations had no numbers on their person as is required by law

The disc jocks on duty at the time of the event were ruffed up by the cops and one reportedly was hit on the head 

Veiled threats and suggestions that we are to die as homosexuality is wrong

Alleged verbal abuse by some members of the patrol with selected members of the party

Patrons felt rather uncomfortable as they saw what was described as hate in the cops eyes, the patrons were taken to the Trelawny All Purpose stadium for processing.

Yes, if there is evidence that lotto scamming is happening then do whatever in a legal and transparent procedure in nabbing the accused persons with the relevant evidence but to stop an entire event using typical homophobic and homo negative tactics especially on the strength of ACP Les Green parting shot as he returns to the UK that the gay lobby is embellishing calls of homophobia, SEE MORE HERE persons should be free to congregate and entertain themselves and to think the club is situated far from any populated areas in a bid to avoid interference and yet still we ended up with this invasion without a warrant or proper explanation upon entry as to the reason for the patrol and searches.

Also of importance is what is going to happen to those persons who maybe involved in this activity and now have been falling from grace, will they be made displaced and subsequently homeless adding to the already problematic set of circumstances including murder and internal strife with overlapping communities such as the hypermasculine types.


All the gains it seems we were making with the police and the interactions and cooperation have been eroded here just by the two most recent issues and the problematic homeless populations and the deaths is worrying to me and some influentials. Where do we go from here?

Peace and tolerance


Also see: Cross-dressers held at St Ann fete on the Observer site


also see:



and a subsequent letter to the Gleaner as well: The Club Matter – Unprofessional Police Behaviour Must Stop

H

Friday, November 18, 2011

Men rushed in New Kingston .... police hold 4

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As news and pictures from last night's scene at Trafalgar Square in New Kingston, the same square that was in the news earlier this year and before where homeless msms gather at nights and where a taxi driver had rescued some cross dressers over a year ago. Above see the remnants of a cross dressers outfit left on the scene Reports  from key influentials in and associated with the group suggest that threats have been issued by men in and around New Kingston and from a particular popular supermarket staff who have clashed with some of the homeless populations before by throwing stones and other debris at them while passing and verbally assaulting them. 


Trafalgar square on a sunny day 


Other more serious threats have been issued based on the grapevine where it is said that a kind of fatwa has been declared that one of the homeless men especially the cross dressers must be eliminated by December of this year, repetitive insults have been issued and were said to be on the increase. On my sister blog Gay Jamaica Watch only a few days ago I posted problems with the homeless msms in downtown Kingston and other issues to do with poor frontline advocacy from our representatives.


Last night's episode was said to have commenced around 8pm where the friends had gathered at a particular regular spot, which I have also been to before, they were said to have been pounced upon by passers-by and argument ensued following a brawl followed, police were summoned and unfortunately the queens and their friends were taken to the Half Way Tree police where they have been on holding since last evening, the group tried to explain their situation to the cops but their attempts failed and they were rounded up after things became tense at the spot.


Almost fifteen minutes before the creation of this post I managed to have spoken to one of the men through an influential who informed me that the other three men were already processed but were still held and he was waiting his turn. I deduced from the brief exchange that apparently their more masculine aesthetic/presentation has led to an issue of profiling by the cops as they were deemed suspects in a series of robberies in the New Kingston and Half Way Tree areas recently. Police have been known to frequently stereotype and profile men who supposedly fit a certain gangster description linked to criminal activity generally. Thankfully this one never turned out worse, we wait to see if they will be released. 


an old Jamaica Observer pic/story on homeless msms in 2011


This matter of a lack of interest by our advocates towards this languishing population glaring yet again, as we see however they couldn't care less about this population and almost echo sentiments that come very more contemptuous sections of the LGBT community that they are hopeless and cannot or do not need help. Happenings on the international stage, public relations smooth overs and ceremony are far more important than dealing with lives interrupted when they know fully well that they have access to the cogs of HIV and LBGT advocacy funding which can go a far way in helping to assist these sometimes aimless, low self esteemed, displaced or homeless men. The repealing of the buggery law is inextricably linked to this issue whether we want to believe it or not.


also see the hypocrisy on homelessness in the MSM community



The dark side to the homeless issue ..............


and 


Doing 'business' in New Kingston ... Jamaica Observer on MSM Homelessness ..... JFLAG should be ashamed



MEN RUSHED AND BEATEN IN NEW KINGSTON








video

this was the spot across from the park that this CVM TV report was made earlier this year

The rest of us feel almost helpless and angered in a sense as our little private informal crisis interventions cannot dent the problems associated with this issue as it requires far more professional help and psycho social work, some of the men have been assisted by concerned influentials who have literally housed them in their home but the sash as shown struned on the ground in the pic above was owned by one of the Miss World LGBT 2011 contestants who in my view had no business on the streets with that article of the event. 



Also on November 14, 2011 I also posted recent concerns and issues with other displaced men on sister blog Gay Jamaica Watch:

Homelessness/Displacement problems again .........

Only two days ago November 16 we had International Day of Tolerance where I raised my continued concern for this population: 




Peace and tolerance

H

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Homophobia In Reverse (Gleaner commentary) and a response

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Devon Dick

LAST MONTH, head of the Organised Crime Investigation Division (OCID), Senior Superintendent of Police Fitz Bailey, claimed that persons in homosexual relationships are the main perpetrators in the illicit lottery scam. Bailey asserted that his observation was based on data collected by OCID about perpetrators in this particular activity. This information about their sexual orientation was offered by them.

Some groups objected, labelling his statement as irresponsible and discriminatory as the sexual orientations of alleged criminals are irrelevant, and saying they further serve to stereotype persons. In response, the Police High Command issued an apology.

If Bailey came to the conclusion that participants in a homosexual lifestyle are the main perpetrators in the illegal lottery scam based on prejudice or based on deportment, then he should be disciplined. However, Bailey's interview appeared without prejudice. It should not be surprising if persons in homosexual relationships volunteered the infor-mation to OCID. Last year, I recall Dr Her-bert Gayle, University of the West Indies lecturer, speaking at a men's breakfast at Boulevard Baptist Church, stating that there is a growing acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle among ghetto youths.

Advocating tolerance

Additionally, at a recent comedy show, Owen 'Blacka' Ellis, returnee from Canada, advocated tolerance of the lifestyle. And more and more persons are coming out of the closet and speaking about their experience. It appears that homophobia is in reverse. This trend tends to support Bailey's claims that his comments were based on data.

Jamaica Gleaner Company

Unfortunately, we are not a data-based society. There is no strong tradition and appreciation of research, much less original research. Some journalists and columnists are prone to make statements which are not based on data or supported by information. There is nothing wrong with stating, if true, that most of the lottery crimes are committed by persons in homosexual relations.

Delroy Chuck, then an academic, wrote in his book, Understanding Crime, that the majority of persons in the prisons were from impoverished backgrounds with low educational status and single-parent families with poor housing solutions. Statements of the findings of such research should not and cannot be classified as irresponsible, discriminatory and stereotypical.

On August 4, 2011, The Star stated that AIDS is on the increase among gay and bisexual men in the United States. This is based on a government report. Are we going to claim that the publication of this data is irresponsible, discriminatory and stereotypical? No.

Proper analysis necessary

What is therefore needed is an analysis of Bailey's data. Why are persons in homosexual relations prone to be in illegal lottery scams? Is it because they are faced with discrimination at the workplace and cannot get or retain a legitimate job? Or are they suffering disproportionately because of the economic hardships? Is it that their lifestyle requires big bucks?

Additionally, some persons who appear to be sporting a homosexual lifestyle have been noticed to shop in groups. Is it that they are proud of the lifestyle and want to flaunt it, or are they afraid of violence and feel safe in a group? It seems to me that there needs to be more research done on persons within this community.

Years ago, a young man from the inner city, in responding to my article, said that in Jamaica, persons in homosexual relationships who are from the upper classes and play significant roles in society are accepted; but not so for those from impoverished backgrounds. Is that true?

Unfortunately, what seems to be happening is that persons who are sympathetic to the lifestyle are getting oversensitive to any data on the homosexual community, which is a kind of reverse homophobia. They are intolerant of other views or any negative perception of homosexuality, as if there is any one or any group that is perfect.

Rev Devon Dick is pastor of the Boulevard Baptist Church in St Andrew. Comment to columns@gleanerjm.com.

UPDATE: August 15/08/11

A response in the Gleaner


THE EDITOR, Sir:

I smiled somewhat after reading Elvena Williams Reittie's letter to the editor on August 12, in which she bashed the Rev Devon Dick about not declaring his position on homosexuality.

From my understanding, Rev Dick was not speaking on the topic of homosexuality itself. Rather, his intent was to identify, or at least to encourage us to analyse, the comments of Senior Superintendent of Police Fitz Bailey, which linked persons in homosexual relationships to the illicit lottery scam, to ensure he was not being irresponsible or biased in his assertions.

Ms Reittie's letter further shows that there will be no balance on this issue of homosexuality, for if gays are identified as being responsible for wrongdoing, they argue that they are being singled out, discriminated against, and the subject of abuse.

On the other hand, when well-thinking people like Rev Dick take a view to say it is not simply because of who you are but rather the activities you are engaging in, he is accused of not being Christian enough or compromising.

I do not support the homosexual lifestyle; however, this does not mean that each time I see the word I begin a crusade or pronounce hellfire on these individuals. Being humane or impartial to a gay does not change or conciliate my view on the matter.

Instead of an apology for the comments made by the SSP, what the Police High Command should have done was to release the data from which the SSP drew his conclusions. This would have provided more clarity and support for his arguments. Allow the facts to speak for themselves.

To Rev Dick, continue to enlighten our darkness through your well-written columns and sound doctrine.

ANN-MARIE PATRICK

Little London, Westmoreland

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Apology Accepted JCF but some questions on several fronts still linger ...

0 comments
So now that the dust is settling with this matter of an accusation or assertion that gays are involved in 80 - 90% or organised crimes though not specified in the television newcast where it was beamed to the world and most of us were enraged at first at the comment as it seemed to have labelled us as all fraudsters. There are some in the community who are questioning also was all the noise from JFLAG towards SSP Bailey needed here when it should have been sent to TVJ instead as they seemed to have edited certain parts of that interview which may have excluded the context in which he was speaking.

TVJ Logo

That reaction is understandable but in hindsight now some questions came to mind from those who have expressed them and myself:


Is Superintendent Bailey really to be blamed here?

Did television Jamaica leave out whether purposely or not the context in which he was speaking?

Was TVJ malicious to begin with as when Doraine Samuels led us into the story she did say "A senior Superintendent of Police is asserting this evening that gays are responsible for many of the organised crimes his division is investigating..." The reported Nadine McCleod also said he didn't specify which crimes homosexuals were responsible for.

Did we go off on a matter that could have been settled easily?

Do you think we will see any fallout from this?

Was JFLAG operating ethically by appearing everywhere on radio and crying fowl where it may not have been so?

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon

Is Clovis (Observer cartoon drawer above) creating unneeded stereotyping of gays with this cartoon and thus blowing up the issue further?

Was all this noise needed?

Are there some things we should let pass and settle by themselves?

Was the J trying to flex its muscles with this issue when there are other things it needs to be so vocal and active about?

Did the reporter do a good job covering the story? she seemed not to have asked him to elaborate further, if he had refused then there would have been grounds to blame him.


What about Mr. Bailey's reputation after all this now that an apology has come from the high command superseding his own words and worth?

Here is the apology as published in the Jamaica Observer today:


COMMISSIONER of Police, Owen Ellington, says that the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) withdraws the statement by Senior Superintendent of Police Fitz Bailey, head of the Organised Crime Investigation Division (OCID), which identified homosexuals as being prominently involved in the ‘Lottery Scam’ and highly lucrative criminal enterprise.

In a statement this morning, Ellington said that he had spoken to Bailey and that the JCF regretted any prejudice that might have arisen from the remarks.

"He shared information with me supporting his assertion and cited discussions he has had with representatives of J-FLAG (the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays) about the problem. He fully understands the basis of concern for the safety and well-being of members of the gay community who may be targeted by misguided individuals simply because of the statement's under reference," said the commissioner.
He assured the public that the JCF has no policy of singling out individual social groups for special attention.
"Our focus is on enforcing the laws without fear, favour, prejudice or ill-will. The JCF stands willing to receive and deal dispassionately with feedback from our publics. Our mission remains to serve, protect and re-assure all," said Ellington.
He reasoned that the matter demonstrated that the JCF was willing to listen and review its positions accordingly.

video

In the video he did say the following: (go to 2:59 for that story)
"I am not going to be prejudicial in my statement ....What I observed is that maybe 80 - 90% of these persons are homosexuals, it is something .... I don't know the gay community ... not being prejudicial but that's what we have identified."

It seems to me the reporter got what she wanted as the juicy piece for the story and the rest of the clip was a mere formality, so she didn't bother to get the clarification from the SSP as to what specific crimes did the gays commit as any ethical journalist and by extension newsroom manager would have demanded or followed up on when she came in with the reel. Instead a sensationalist piece is put forward with the possible damage it can cause, who cares?

Maybe this one is worth a quick resolve as yes as gays we are incensed about homophobia but in our zeal to crush it sometimes we may be too hasty to take action without listening, as George Michael would say listen without prejudice. Check properly before responding but it seems some folks didn't.

Something to think about.

tried an audio post as well, I hope to restart them soon:

also see:


Did Superintendent Bailey get his cue to lambaste the gay community as scammers from this NBC Miami report in which a Jamaican man was labelled as gay elsewhere?


Peace and tolerance

H

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Give Gays A Break (Gleaner Letter)

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THE EDITOR, Sir:

It is almost eight months since Christopher 'Dudus' Coke was extradited. Some of us did not want him to go.

I, for one, wanted him to stay in Jamaica. I could walk into my community without fear of being called names or being beaten to death. I simply went to Dudus and told him that I am gay and just wanted to live in peace.

I wasn't there to cause trouble, and I am still alive.

A new adult club opened in Half-Way Tree and it is the only place where I can be me. I can dance with my partner, I can drink in peace. Recently, this club was visited by policemen and women, who do not wear any badge.


The vest had a silver tape obscuring their police number. They point their long guns at us and shone flashlights in our faces. They shouted bad things at us, and we felt threatened.

I only want to have a place where I can have a drink and dance. I am not on the street performing for any public and I am not making noise or disturbing the peace.

I feel my life is in danger from the police.

I am, etc.,

GAY AND AFRAID

Tivoli Gardens

Jamaica Gleaner Company

ENDS

My Notes:
The letter while in good spirits of asking to be left alone an just wanting a peaceful existence it seems to be coming at a time when there is pressure from the police in certain circles of lgbt people in Kingston in particular and that of the homeless MSMs (men who have sex with men) who are facing a new round of harassment from new faces at the police stations in the Half Way Tree and New Kingston areas due to the transfers that have been taking place.

I Have some concerns about this letter and if it was actually written by the so called Tivoli Gardens Resident given the sensitivities involved in inner city life and the actual naming of a private gay club's location. The area of Tivoli Gardens was in news of course with the controversial extradition issue of the Area leader Christopher "Dudus" Coke who himself has been ridiculed and made out a a closeted bisexual himself worse yet with the wig he was wearing at the time of his capture in the company of strangely enough anti-gay pastor Reverend Al Miller.




The recent problems too with certain party promoters and the police as well with rouge elements in the force with inside certain knowledge taking sides to discredit and disrupt the operations of other party promoters and club owners is not going down with some persons including myself in the community. It is reported that officers arrived recently at the venue alluded to in the letter above and were hurling abusive language at some of the persons who were attending a function that was in progress at the time. Sad that we have these persons associating with us which may only lead to our own harm.

There has been however some intervention from sections of the police high command in dealing with the attendant issues, those discussions are ongoing.

Peace and tolerance

H

Monday, July 12, 2010

MSM harrassed again .......

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With the state of emergency still in force the police have stepped up their campaign to rid the streets of thugs, criminal elements and commercial sex workers in the New Kingston area but amongst all that are the homeless MSMs who have been targeted especially since the extended SOE to July 22 and the three day fashion event that happened on the weekend of July 9 – 11th called Fashion Block. Friday night’s event occurred at Devon House grounds some distance away from the business district until about midnight. The state of emergency supposedly had caused a halt to several major events as the cut off time for movement was 8pm in some instances however the Fashion Block organisers were able to obtain the relevant permits under the state of emergency and the Noise Abatement Act for Kingston.


The event attracts all those interested in fashion and as we know that includes the LGBT community many of the homeless MSMs now fewer in numbers since the dubious closure of the shelter were out after hours. The population of homeless MSMs is migratory so there are usually new faces that appear in the cliques or old faces that show up after a long absence. The police were seen on one occasion on that first night by my sources harassing some of the men by the New Kingston Shopping Centre and several of the drug addicts who occupy the gully nearby known as The Gulf were chased away in a bid supposedly to clear the streets. At first instance the gay men were warned not to loiter (as the cops maybe figured they were just in the area for the activities) when they were asked what they were doing on the road the men told the cops they were passing through. The following night Saturday July 10, 2010 despite day two of the Fashion Block event being held elsewhere around 11pm the same patrol team coincidentally came across the same set of homeless MSMs along with some of their friends in a different section of the district where the officers recognised the men and accused them of being male prostitutes they were harassed with one suffering hits with a baton and told to move away and not to loiter. 

Unfortunately the men didn't capture any of the officers identifying numbers or that of the patrol vehicle used.

The group of MSMs that usually converge along a particular strip as well have been given a stern warning by the police. Several taxi men who know of the MSM group members have warned them as well to avoid loitering as the cops aren’t joking as even they the taxi drivers who would normally wait out the night for night duty calls on their respective company CB radios along the hip trip and in front of the business hotels were told by the cops to reduce their waiting times until the state of emergency is near done or ended as no one will be allowed to loiter. Vendors have been told to clear early during the weekdays.

Sadly on Sunday July 11, 2010 there was another “cleaning” of sorts after the final night of Fashion Block along the business district again near the police station. The patrol cleared the streets which included female commercial sex workers who ply their trade on the northern tip of New Kingston were also warned with one woman taken away and is feared charged for resisting arrest as she was not willing to comply to the officers requests. Several men were also searched and held for marijuana and other contraband such as knives etc.



Commendable is the work by the police in maintaining security but to target supposedly gay men is not my idea of keeping the peace also of equal blame are how the men carry themselves I feel, it is well known that profiling takes place when it comes to suspected LGBT people and sometimes we do attract unnecessary attention to ourselves knowing the possible consequences when that happens. Some of the men were said to be flamboyantly dressed as even passers-by commented that while people are free to be who they are one has to be careful so as to avoid any problems as the men call down things unto themselves. Unfortunately I had to leave Fashion Block early on Sunday night but I did see some of them but only one in the group I saw was what some called flaming which is relative in my view. The difficulty is while one doesn’t want to be too prescriptive in how an individual should carry themselves as it could be viewed as condescending or “bad mind” in the Jamaican context how does one get the message that how one is attired attracts a certain response in real terms? If you know the answer, let me know.

Sadly here is another chronicle of abuse towards a section of the LGBT community seemingly damned by virtue of who they are, the advocacy systems overlook them generally save and except for specific crisis interventions after the fact when they have suffered some abuse and no preventative measures or programs are designed to guide this group out of trouble. One would say why do they put themselves in harm’s way by doing things in a haphazard manner? But how do they gage their behaviours when basic survival is what is at stake here?

I do not think homeless or displaced MSM would deliberately put themselves in harms way by engaging in commercial sex work when they cannot gain meaningful employment or have no way to earn skills under the absent social interventions that are a part of the mandate of the advocacy groups out now. We know the consequences when a man is publicly outed, it could spell ones demise.

Those of us who are very concerned and are on the sidelines watching are helpless for now as we can’t really do the things that are needed in the short term to try to advert this lack of intervention, to simply give money to them when one can and maybe try to talk to the homeless guys without the proper qualified psychological and social support systems is not of much help, when the matter of the homeless men issue was raised recently with a certain human rights lawyer associated with an advocacy group he basically dismissed the issue by saying it’s a worldwide problem and is not new. So I guess we should just go shut up and not critique this clear oversight of this highly marginalised group. Does anybody care?

We must also remember that under the present state of emergency now the detention orders cannot be challenged if one is held by the police and your release or charges are purely discretionary via the Minster of National Security through a recommendatory body specially set up to hear such complaints with a long waiting list. They however are powerless in a sense and can only recommend possible actions by the minister and cannot give or authorise any direct legal recourse towards a person who appears before it. Hearing of the over crowding of cells at stations almost everywhere the situation is not looking good add to that the unfortunate situation if some cross dresser or an alleged gay man whose status becomes known in a cell, the rest I don’t have to tell you. One can also be held for up to 30 days without or before bail is even considered for minor offences. The court in effect is powerless carry out any proper preliminary hearings or the benefit of habeas corpus to a citizen.

As always let us watch this issue to see of any changes are on the horizon for this group of the LGBT community.

Peace and tolerance.

H
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Thanks for your Donations

Hello readers,

thank you for your donations via Paypal in helping to keep this blog going, my limited frontline community work, temporary shelter assistance at my home and related costs. Please continue to support me and my allies in this venture that has now become a full time activity. When I first started blogging in late 2007 it was just as a pass time to highlight GLBTQ issues in Jamaica under then JFLAG's blogspot page but now clearly there is a need for more forumatic activity which I want to continue to play my part while raising more real life issues pertinent to us.

Donations presently are accepted via Paypal where buttons are placed at points on this blog(immediately below, GLBTQJA (Blogspot), GLBTQJA (Wordpress) and the Gay Jamaica Watch's blog as well. If you wish to send donations otherwise please contact: glbtqjamaica@live.com




Activities & Plans: ongoing and future

  • To continue this venture towards website development with an E-zine focus

  • Work with other Non Governmental organizations old and new towards similar focus and objectives

  • To find common ground on issues affecting GLBTQ and straight friendly persons in Jamaica towards tolerance and harmony

  • Exposing homophobic activities and suggesting corrective solutions

  • To formalise GLBTQ Jamaica's activities in the long term

  • Continuing discussion on issues affecting GLBTQ people in Jamaica and elsewhere

  • Welcoming, examining and implemeting suggestions and ideas from you the viewing public

  • Present issues on HIV/AIDS related matters in a timely and accurate manner

  • Assist where possible victims of homophobic violence and abuse financially, temporary shelter(my home) and otherwise

  • Track human rights issues in general with a view to support for ALL

Thanks again
Mr. H

Tel: 1-876-8134942
lgbtevent@gmail.com








Peace

Information & Disclaimer

lgbtevent@gmail.com

Individuals who are mentioned or whose photographs appear on this site are not necessarily Homosexual, HIV positive or have AIDS.

This blog contains pictures that may be disturbing. We have taken the liberty to present these images as evidence of the numerous accounts of homophobic violence meted out to alledged gays in Jamaica.

Faces and names witheld for the victims' protection.

This blog not only watches and covers LGBTQ issues in Jamaica and elsewhere but also general human rights and current affairs where applicable.

This blog contains HIV prevention messages that may not be appropriate for all audiences.

If you are not seeking such information or may be offended by such materials, please view labels, post list or exit.

Since HIV infection is spread primarily through sexual practices or by sharing needles, prevention messages and programs may address these topics.

This blog is not designed to provide medical care, if you are ill, please seek medical advice from a licensed practioner

Thanks so much for your kind donations and thoughts.

As for some posts, they contain enclosure links to articles, blogs and or sites for your perusal, use the snapshot feature to preview by pointing the cursor at the item(s) of interest. Such item(s) have a small white dialogue box icon appearing to their top right hand side.


Recent Homophobic Incidents
CLICK HERE for related posts/labels and HERE from the gayjamaicawatch's BLOG containing information I am aware of. If you know of any such reports or incidents please contact lgbtevent@gmail.com

Peace to you and be safe out there.

Love.

What to do if you are attacked (News You Can Use)

First, be calm: Do not panic; it may be very difficult to maintain composure if attacked but this is important.

Try to reason with the attacker: Establish communication with the person. This takes a lot of courage. However, a conversation may change the intention of an attacker.

Do not try anything foolish: If you know outmanoeuvring the attacker is impossible, do not try it.

Do not appear to be afraid: Look the attacker in the eye and demonstrate that you are not fearful.

This may have a psychological effect on the individual.

Emergency numbers
The police 119

Kingfish 811

Crime Stop 311


Steps to Take When Contronted or Arrested by Police

a) Ask to see a lawyer or Duty Council

b) Only give name and address and no other information until a lawyer is present to assist

c) Try to be polite even if the scenario is tensed) Don’t do anything to aggravate the situation

e) Every complaint lodged at a police station should be filed and a receipt produced, this is not a legal requirement but an administrative one for the police to track reports

f) Never sign to a statement other than the one produced by you in the presence of the officer(s)

g) Try to capture a recording of the exchange or incident or call someone so they can hear what occurs, place on speed dial important numbers or text someone as soon as possible

h) File a civil suit if you feel your rights have been violatedi) When making a statement to the police have all or most of the facts and details together for e.g. "a car" vs. "the car" represents two different descriptions

j) Avoid having the police writing the statement on your behalf except incases of injuries, make sure what you want to say is recorded carefully, ask for a copy if it means that you have to return for it

Sexual Health / STDs News From Medical News Today

This Day in History

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