Wed | May 31, 2023

Spanish Town residents march for change

Published:Monday | April 12, 2010 | 12:00 AM
Placard-bearing participants march from Greendale to Spanish Town proper in a demonstration against criminality and donmanship in Jamaica. Billed as the 10,000-man march, only a few hundred persons turned out to support the church-led initiative. - Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer

Nedburn Thaffe, Gleaner Writer

As church leaders and residents of Spanish Town, St Catherine, trekked through several enclaves yesterday in an ambitious show of strength against criminal gangs, they expressed hope for change despite a lower-than-expected turnout.

The event, dubbed the '10,000-man march', did not live up to its billing, as only a few hundred persons took to the streets, women and children boosting the paltry numbers.

Bearing placards with messages of religious defiance, the demonstrators walked from Dempshire Pen into the heart of the Old Capital, where marauding thugs from the Clansman, One Order, No Order and other gangs reign.

"Mi fully endorse it," stated a 40-year-old, declining to reveal her name, who has lived all her life in the community. She acknowledged that while the peace push was welcome, it would not last without sustained pressure.

"It will work for the first two week or so but it soon go back to square one," she told The Gleaner. "If dem have it like two times a month instead of every year, mi believe the man dem will stop dem foolishness," added the woman, who blamed flare-ups on youth joblessness.

Fed up

Dwight (surname withheld), 40, a Spanish Town resident for nine months, said he has had enough.

"Mi fed up. Mi see dem find man headless, dem find body in the river and all kind o' things," he said, while sharing an experience of how he stumbled upon the body of a senior citizen just metres from his church. He believes the march will help stem crime and violence in the area.

Chairman of the Spanish Town Revival Church and chief organiser, Rohan Edwards, said the march demonstrated the community's commitment to take a stand against crime and violence.

"For evil to prevail is for decent, law-abiding citizens to sit back and do nothing about it, and today we are taking a stance," he said.