Sat | Jun 23, 2018

We can't manage the war - Mountain View residents wish not to return to violent, deadly past

Published:Friday | December 29, 2017 | 12:00 AMJason Cross
Parliamentarians Julian Robinson (second right) and Fayval Williams and Deputy Mayor Winston Ennis (second left) speak with a resident during a tour of Mountain View Avenue yesterday.

Having had to endure a constant feeling of fear over the past few weeks, due to a flare up of violence in their community, Mountain View residents are upset and concerned that years of hard work and dedication to maintaining peace will soon be lost.

The Gleaner toured the community yesterday, along with members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force and the Peace Management Initiative, and visited in particular, Goodwich Lane and Jacques Road, the two warring areas.

One woman, who gave her name as Miss Townsend, said things have got so serious for residents that persons are afraid to even venture outside of the community.

“We have not been coping well. Me have two daughters and anytime dem hear di shot dem, dem catch asthma attack. Me affi live a Children’s (Hospital), and di hottest thing, is that mi even fraid fi go Children’s (hospital) because mi nuh know who mi a go buck up. The old people dem pressure gone sky high. My sister bun up because of all this. Gunshot a fire and she a deal wid hot water, and because of nervousness and fright, when the shot dem a fire, she bun up. Who work 'fraid fi go work. There is a gentleman who had to stop work, because men circle him workplace.”

She added: “What really caused the latest set of shootings, is because of one person, who come back into the community. Jacques Road and Goodwich Lane is one community enuh, but one somebody come back and a build wire fence and a try segregate the two sides. Him come not even two months now and war start. We nuh want this nuh more. We can’t manage it. We want back the niceness weh a happen. We used to keep pure dance, we have karaoke, we have Sunday Best (Round Robin) and we have all movie night.”

Another resident, who gave his name as Ramsay, and who said he is a football coach, was more concerned about the impact that the occurrences will have on the long-term development of the children in the community.

“The parties, the football competition and everything, are a part of the activities (for) personal and professional development. As youths growing up, they really need dem things there. Da war yah affects us bad bad. Instead of developing, it stop everything. This even contributes to unemployment because if you affi go work, you affi change your shift often, in order to accommodate war,” Ramsay said.

“In total, I coach 205 youths. These youths come from Top Range, Nannyville, Backbush and then you have Jacques Road, Saunders Lane. We merge these youths together, so they can play and socialise with each other. When they grow, they can understand the times they had as youths. War naa go give you that. This affi stop!."

jason.cross@gleanerjm.com