Tue | Jun 6, 2023

'Tivoli still hurting'

Published:Wednesday | December 21, 2011 | 12:00 AM

Martin Baxter, Gleaner Writer

A section of the Tivoli Gardens community in West Kingston is still hurting more than a year after the May 2010 incursion by Jamaica's security forces to execute an extradition warrant for Christopher 'Dudus' Coke, says Kingston Mayor Desmond McKenzie.

McKenzie, who as the Jamaica Labour Party parliamentary candidate for the constituency in which Tivoli Gardens falls, made the comments after handing out gifts of food items to elderly residents at the community's annual Christmas treat.

"What took place in May cannot be easily erased by an eraser," McKenzie told The Gleaner.

"There are still going to be persons who are hurting, but I believe that the greater portion of the community has put that behind them and we are moving forward. It is something that is still there; we'll have to live with it, but we have been working assiduously to change that and to give some level of support and comfort to these persons who were traumatised."

McKenzie added that if he is voted in as member of parliament at the December 29 general election, one of his main priorities would be to change the negative perception and address prejudices that hung over the community.

Recognition, respectability

"One of the things that we need to do is to return some level of recognition and respectability to the community because people see West Kingston as a violent place, a place that, you know, if you go there you're liable to just end up nowhere. We want to reform that," he said.

"We want to create a West Kingston where persons who apply for a job can use the address that they live, in order to gain employment. And the second challenge I face is to try and deal with the problems of employment, especially among our young people. That is a major challenge. The third one is about the physical infrastructure of the constituency, when it comes on to the housing stock and the living conditions and some of the roads."

Long on to www.jamaica-gleaner.com/videos for related features.