KINGSTON, Jamaica -- The presence of the Rastafarian community was evident at the memorial service to honour the life of Nelson Mandela at the University of the West Indies (UWI) chapel Thursday.
The Rastafarians, decked in their trademark red, green and gold outfits beat drums and chanted before the official start of the ...more »
A public protest or demonstration is an action carried out by individuals who do not possess the requisite powers to change an untenable situation. It constitutes an appeal to those who possess certain powers of action that could avert the undesirable state of affairs.
A protest by nature is an admission of inferior power levels in the matter about which the protest is made. Getting involved in a protest then must be a studied matter. Because, while it may bring much attention to the matter - which is what most demonstrators seem to want - it also makes certain statements that protestors may not necessarily want to make.
Protesting against criminal activities is one of those delicate issues that should be handled with much care. In fact, a demonstration is probably the last thing that we want to do in such matters; we don't want to give criminal elements the remotest idea that they have any power over us. Granted, it may be that the protestors are actually aiming at getting the legitimate powers to do something about what is going on. But what obtains when those "legitimate powers" are joining the protests? Whom are we then appealing to?
In Jamaica we're certainly not short of demonstrations (our unofficial third language of saying that something needs to change). But the more we protest the more things seem to persist: our women and children are not prized and protected, and the power brokers (mainly men) seem keen on protecting their kind. Enough already people, it is time for action. Demonstration is just cheap talk. We need laws with teeth and a system that works without bias. The kind of demonstration we need now is one that shows what happens to men who do what happened at Irwin Point.
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