Cops say ‘no’ to tonight's Granville’s street dance
The residents of Granville, St James, who were looking forward to putting on their dancing shoes tonight to celebrate Jamaica 55 with a street dance, will have to make alternate arrangements as the St James Police High Command has withdrawn the permit for the event.
In a release from the St James Parish Office of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) yesterday, Parish Manager Jacqueline Thompson-Pearson stated that, regrettably, the event would not be staged because the permit had been withdrawn by the police.
"Please be advised that the Jamaica Constabulary Force has withdrawn its permit for the staging of the street dance in Granville, which was scheduled for Saturday, July 29, 2017, due to an upsurge in shooting incidents during the course of this week," the release stated. "The commission regrets the inconvenience."
Despite several community peace initiatives, primarily driven by Councillor Michael Troupe, peace remains quite elusive in Granville, which has been seeing increased outbreaks of gun violence, resulting in several murders.
"This is so sad. We have been working very hard to normalise the community and things were going so well until we had the recent shootings," said a resident. "I am sure this is a bitter pill to swallow for Councillor Troupe, who has been putting in so much effort with his social-intervention programmes."
'The police are throwing in the towel'
Some residents are taking issue with the decision and questioning whether permits will be withdrawn for the events slated for downtown Montego Bay, where gun violence is at an all-time high.
"There is not a single community in Montego Bay that is not being impacted by the violence, so I am hoping the other planned events will be treated the same way," a female resident told The Gleaner. "Instead of standing up and providing security, the police are throwing in the towel. I call their action dereliction of duty."
Social activist Ras Astor Black is siding with those residents who are unhappy with the decision to pull the event, arguing that the residents are being denied an opportunity to celebrate Jamaica 55.
"Give the great citizens of Granville what their tax dollars paid for - Celebration 55," said Black, who is an aspiring politician. Don't deprive the people. One love."