Fri | Aug 17, 2018

Beyond violence and mass rallies

Published:Thursday | February 11, 2016 | 12:00 AM


After reading The Gleaner's editorial of Tuesday, 'Security and mass rallies', I could not fully comprehend or fathom the link between our violent political past and the crime which took place at Sunday's JLP rally.

Based on the reports given by the police, as pointed out by the editor, the incident is reported to have been gang-related. Indeed, the police asserted that it was so, and they are the best authority to so determine. A clear causal link is the fact that the two killed were wanted gangsters, therefore, the incident was without any political motive as far as I'm concerned. Given that most of us do not know the full reason(s) behind this crime, we have to trust the police reports, albeit speculative about the cause.


The editorial also concurred with the opposition party's sentiment, which is a thinly veiled attempt to cast aspersions at the PNP of having some vested interest in promoting violence against the JLP, a truly Machiavellian tactic straight from Joseph Goebbel's handbook.

That the incident was "a barefaced and heartless attack on the democratic process". Really? It seems as if the editorial, like the JLP, had no confidence in the police on the matter. It is apparent that no other motive apart from gangland criminality is to blame as no one gains from such an act.

Should we make room for a possible political reason for this abhorrent incident?

I think not. To me, the position of both The Gleaner editorial and the JLP is lacking in fact or sensibility. The editorial also suggested that the crime which tainted the JLP's rally on Sunday is an indication that we as a nation are yet to turn the corner in extricating political tribalism. Jamaican politics have come a long way since those wretched days of the 1980s and '90s. Just two Sundays ago, the PNP had their mass rally in Half-Way Tree without too much worry.

The focus and question should be on the way forward and the notion of change for these political parties and their campaign exploits. Anything worth reviewing to bring about meaningful change are party principles, practices and organisational insight. This is what necessary to control this, along with cooperation from party supporters.

Robin Rock