Opinions: Gas Riots '99 - Jamaica, West Indies

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Black my Story by Charmaine

     Of one accord the people of Jamaica let out a thundering 'NO' to the latest round in Government attempts to take a dollar out of 15 cents. The unity of the Jamaican people: the man with the tear up pants, brown people going bright red under the sun, ladies who lunch driving Pajeros, older folks who have become accustomed to this kind of thing and young son-to-be technocrats from the island's University; converged to form a human protest.
      Though the riots are disturbing with ugly images of human greed, looted business, distressed fellow countrymen and burning buildings; the riots were also a celebration of the best of Jamaica.
      The unity that I experienced, with old and young, men and women, upper, lower middle -any class- , black, white brown, Chinese, Syrians coming together finally to reclaim this country as their own. Despite the ugly truth, Jamaicans all were together.
      While we also were standing in unity, a sense of empowerment was evident when people decided "dis cant work!" and went out and did something about. Applause to those who protested with placards peacefully, I only wish that that was the extent of the demonstration of power.
      It also came to pass that Bounty Killa, with his songs "Poor People Fed Up' and "Anytime" was proven a prophet. Perhaps Bounty should be given a public relations post as he truly knows the feelings of the people.
      Dickens has been known to say "It was the best of times and it was the worst of times" and I think thats how I feel about the riots. It did really rough but bredda it did worth it.


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Last updated April 22, 1999