Armed mercenaries erect barricades to an entry point into Tivoli Gardens as they prepared for war against the Jamaican State in 2010.
This country we know as Jamaica, some of us love, some claim to love, is fast descending into a cesspool which will only attract the worst types of criminals, if we do not put a stop to it now.
Decent people are already shunning our beloved country because of what’s happening there, we are fast-tracking to becoming another sub-Saharan hell-hole.
Why is the National emphasis on what is allegedly done by members of the Military, most of which are likely distortions and distractions ? (NOT arguing there should be no accountability).!!!
The National consensus must exponentially be centered on finding out how a community got to what Tivoli Gardens matestacised into.
More importantly, how could a local criminal become so powerful, that he was virtually untouchable locally.
Why the hell are we re-writing history ?
Police station burns:
The Office of Public Defender has finally released the long awaited Report, of what exactly transpired in the West Kingston Community of Tivoli Gardens in 2010. This has revived a vibrant debate on the issue, most of which so far has been in my estimation frighteningly misguided and unpatriotic.
Someone not conversant with what led up to the Jamaican State annexing Tivoli Gardens to the rest of the country, could seriously walk away believing that the people are seeking compensation from a foreign government which illegally invaded their enclave.
Bullet riddled police station:
The truth of the matter is, since it’s inception Tivoli Gardens has long enjoyed a type of favored status, one that is un-earned, but which has been bestowed on it nonetheless ,much like the fabled older sisters in the Cinderella story.
Tivoli Gardens, the brain-child of it’s patron Edward Seaga, former Prime Minister and perennial member of Parliament, had a split personality. At best it was a great example of community, a great community clinic, my oldest son was born in that very clinic. A great Comprehensive High School, and other social amenities. Tivoli Gardens was ground zero for culture and sports, much to the delight of Seaga who saw his efforts at social engineering similar to a parent child relationship.
Darling Street Police Station destroyed:
But like a doting parent Seaga failed to heed the problems emanating from that community, much like a parent ignoring and denying the wrongs been done by his teenager. Many argue that Seaga more than ignored those problems, he was the creator of those problems.
The Don culture which evolved from the Tivoli community model, is now posing an existential threat to the social order of Jamaica as we knew it. Seaga fundamentally believed in the social model he created, which was one of a hierarchical structure with him at the political zenith. He also created the space for a Don or so-called(community leader) who saw to the day to day affairs of the community.
This community leader handled the affairs of the community, the problem with this however is that it removed Tivoli from the sphere of influence of the broader Jamaican society. This includes the ability of the Police to arrest felons who take up residence there after they had committed egregious crimes in other parts of the country.
Seaga famously asked years ago , quote: “What was Adams doing in Tivoli Gardens”? in reference to then leader of the crime management unit going into the community to apprehend wanted men. Seaga unwittingly gave a peek into how he really saw the community, apparently as his fiefdom not subject to the reach or dictates of the rule of law.
As a boy growing up in Saint Catherine, I was a fan of Tivoli Gardens, I saw that community as a necessary counter-balance to the conflagration of PNP garrisons which had literally sprung up everywhere in the Kingston and Saint Andrew metropolitan area. Years later I changed my mindset when as part of a Special Police unit from the Mobile Reserve I took sustained automatic fire from that community at the Denham Town Police Station, hunkered down and ordered by the Superintendent not to return fire.
When the firing ceased a police truck parked in front of the station was destroyed, bullet holes pot-marked the walls of the station, where panes of glass existed minutes earlier shards of shattered glass told a jagged tale of horror. No one was ever held responsible. The problem with what happened that day is this, it happened simply because one boot-licking, lap-dog Superintendent had his nose too far up Seaga’s ass to get out of our way, or was too much of a coward to get out-of-the-way and let us do our jobs. My perception of the JCF changed that day, it hasn’t improved since.
How could that community not take on a brazen don’t care attitude of being untouchable?
The group of Ranger Squad members, of which I was a part, were more than capable of handling those scumbags that day. We were idealists who would have made the ultimate sacrifice for the Jamaican state. Politics drove a nail in the coffin of the Jamaican state on that day.
In any country where the rule of law is usurped, the emphasis later is generally to make sure that those opposed to the natural order are dealt with quickly and decisively. This is true even in states that does not necessarily adhere to democratic norms.
In Jamaica today, the conversation is centered around compensation for residents of Tivoli Gardens. From the bull-shit report coming out of Witter’s office, to the parliament, to the regular village lawyer, the argument is about apportioning blame to the foot soldiers of the security forces who went in and restored sanity to that volcanic situation.
In most countries those members of the security forces would have received commendations and have accolades heaped on them. In Jamaica the outrageous sentiment is that a commission of inquiry must now be convened to dig further to see what illegal act was committed by those brave members of the security forces, (if any) in what was a theater of war.
If you are finally appalled and outraged you should be, this is in addition to the wasted $76.098-million which has been allocated to Witter’s office for this year. For that money, tax-payers received a report calling for a commission of inquiry, and yes that the people in Tivoli Gardens should be paid handsomely.
You ask what they should be paid for ? Your guess is as good as mine.
Jamaica just secured another loan from the International Monetary Fund, this money though necessary for the short term, will be partly responsible for devastating consequences to the country’s attempt at solvency in the future.
This will add to the country’s burgeoning debt crisis. Working police officers, nurses teachers , firemen and others, who apply to the National Housing Trust for mortgages are turned down, years ago I was one of them. The Jamaican Prime Minister recently announced a plan to build housing units for urban dwellers, to people familiar with Jamaica, these are people who are unable financially to pay for those homes. They are political handouts for votes.
In effect, it is a disgustingly cynical attempt at vote buying, while working professionals are turned away , unemployed people will be housed at no cost to themselves. If you ever wondered why Jamaica is the way it is you should digest what you just read here today.