Sat | Sep 23, 2017

Supporters get rowdy at Gordon House

Published:Friday | March 11, 2016 | 3:00 AM
A police inspector tries to calm down Jamaica Labour Party supporters outside Gordon House yesterday.
Opposition Leader Portia Simpson Miller leads her team into Gordon House.
Police try to control angry People's National Party supporters at Gordon House.
James Robertson, Jamaica Labour Party member of parliament for St Thomas Western, reads a phone message being shown to him by Luther Buchanan, People's National Party member of parliament for Westmoreland Eastern.
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Passions ran high for supporters of the two major political parties during yesterday's swearing-in of the new Parliament.

Supporters breached the security barriers set up at both sides of Gordon House on Duke Street when Prime Minister Andrew Holness, now dubbed 'Champion Boy' by his followers, arrived.

Green-clad fanatics raced to cheer on their leader, prompting People's National Party (PNP) supporters to increase their volume as they cried, "Portia! Portia! Portia! Wi seh Portia!"

After initially being taken aback, security personnel moved quickly to restore order before things got ugly, figuratively and literally.

Not even a member of the canine family, dressed in green, was spared the vitriol of the PNP.

However, their aim, with ammunition in the form of water bottles, mercifully, was off.

 

WAITING TO SEE PM

 

Buoyed by their surprise victory in the February 25 general election, the Jamaica Labour Party supporters came out in their numbers. Among them was bicycle-riding, pin-stripe-suit-wearing Anthony Brown, who said that he was born and raised in west Kingston.

"Wi did know we were going to win," he said. "My mother was a JLP and my father was a JLP, and a suh mi come."

Who was he there to see?

"All a dem. But Andrew, Andrew, Andrew mi seh!"

Expecting a large turnout, vendors came well equipped with cool libations and snacks for the Labourites.

The arrival of every member, especially the new faces like senators Pearnel Charles Jr and Matthew Samuda, was greeted by peals of the bells and huffs of the vuvuzelas, which were absent from the King's House swearing-in of Holness as prime minister.

 

JEERED BY PNP SUPPORTERS

 

Still hurting from the election defeat, PNP supporters congregated at the corner of Beeston and Duke streets were in full voice as they jeered the new government members with comedic barbs, some of which were not fit for print.

"Chaka-chaka Government," the PNP supporters yelled at members of the ruling party.

"A two year wi a gi dem inna dis," they predicted.

While most merely ignored them, newly minted Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie instead returned the JLP 'V' sign with a broad smile.

Green-clothed women walking past the orange crowd were in for some harsh words as well, but the police quickly stepped in, just in case.

PNP supporters also had words of encouragement for their 'fallen' Comrades.

"Wi deh yah pon di gully side same way. Wi nah go nuh weh!"

The supporters were adamant tthat they would be taking the local government elections this year and predicted a rough term for the JLP, especially for new finance minister Audley Shaw.

"A now IMF (International Monetary Fund) tes' a go fail," they declared, laughing.

Order restored, supporters made their way home, vowing to keep supporting their party of choice, on whichever side of Gordon House they now sit.

daviot.kelly@gleanerjm.com