Why is it taking so long to investigate the cutting of a Rastafarian’s dreadlocks by the police?

The alleged cutting of a Rastafarian woman’s dreadlocks by the police on July 22, 2021 caused a huge wave of outrage on Jamaican social media. I wrote about the case here for Global Voices. Well, once the storm of outrage had died down – and other news items and new “things to be shocked about” … More Why is it taking so long to investigate the cutting of a Rastafarian’s dreadlocks by the police?

Jamaica’s rivers and gullies are suffering from abuse

Today is World Rivers Day. It is observed on the fourth Sunday in September every year, I have learned. It was founded by a Canadian, Mark Angelo, a long-time river advocate who spoke at the United Nations in 2005 as part of its Water for Life campaign. Jamaican rivers are very different, of course, from … More Jamaica’s rivers and gullies are suffering from abuse

COVID-19 crisis in Jamaican prisons: a call for the most vulnerable to be released

In my last news update, I wrote: It was disturbing to learn recently that only 10 per cent of the prison population has been vaccinated (was a truly concerted effort to get them vaccinated ever undertaken?) Now even more worryingly, we learn that 58 prisoners and 38 staff members have tested positive.  In his State of … More COVID-19 crisis in Jamaican prisons: a call for the most vulnerable to be released

September 21, 2021 in Jamaica: The car that broke down, the toast that burnt, and the polls that flopped

With tropical storms pottering around in the Atlantic (two are called Peter and Rose, the names of our nephew and niece, respectively), it has been warm and muggy in Kingston. Clouds appear and do not bring rain. It has been a week of surprising developments – not least that of the toast to “No Movement … More September 21, 2021 in Jamaica: The car that broke down, the toast that burnt, and the polls that flopped

A Jamaican People post

At the moment, I am celebrating Jamaicans. Not “celebrities” – I am not fond of celebrities in general. They serve no purpose, except for filling endless Instagram posts and providing employment for photographers and videographers. They are in a world of their own, one that I am not interested in and not impressed by. When … More A Jamaican People post

“There is no freedom where violence exists”: Emancipation Day 2021 Message from the Prime Minister of Jamaica

As I mentioned in my last news update, I found this year’s Emancipation Day message from Prime Minister Andrew Holness hit the right note. It is very well written, weaving in the legacy of violence from slavery days and looking at the dire situation our society finds itself in now. While noting that violence “in … More “There is no freedom where violence exists”: Emancipation Day 2021 Message from the Prime Minister of Jamaica

Jamaica Update, August 3, 2021: Andrew pleas for peace, Elaine flies down the track, and everyone must get vaxxed

These are tense times. While most of Jamaica has been glued to the Olympics track events – obviously, our forte – the number of COVID-19 cases has been accumulating rapidly. New cases are now in three digits daily, and so are hospital admissions. It is alarming, but what’s happening in Tokyo has provided a welcome … More Jamaica Update, August 3, 2021: Andrew pleas for peace, Elaine flies down the track, and everyone must get vaxxed

The Community Paralegal Programme: supporting Jamaican victims of violence

The discussion about gender-based violence continues in the Jamaican media; in fact, it never really goes away. But very often, those who suffer are not aware that help is available. The Community Paralegal (CP) programme is there to help. It is delivered by the non-governmental organization Stand Up For Jamaica, with grant funding from the … More The Community Paralegal Programme: supporting Jamaican victims of violence

Jamaica Update, July 27, 2021: Insults hurled, apologies not proffered, and COVID-19 fraying nerves

The problem-plagued Olympic Games in Tokyo finally got under way, and has proved a helpful distraction for Jamaicans fretting about COVID-19 and everything else. And we had some soothing rain – although it has been a contentious week, with insults flying here, there, and everywhere. Oh, and on a personal note…our roof is still leaking. … More Jamaica Update, July 27, 2021: Insults hurled, apologies not proffered, and COVID-19 fraying nerves

A strictly security-focused approach to crime prevention is costly, ineffective and paves the way for human rights violations

Just a couple of days ago, Prime Minister Andrew Holness said, frowning heavily as he spoke at the opening of a new police station in his own constituency of Olympic Gardens, Kingston: There is no doubt that our use of States of Public Emergency has worked to reduce murders and shootings where ever they have … More A strictly security-focused approach to crime prevention is costly, ineffective and paves the way for human rights violations