Dub club debacle

BY RICHARD JOHNSON Observer senior reporter

Monday, April 24, 2017

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SOUND system selector Gabre Selassie has been released from police custody and is scheduled to appear in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court in Half-Way-Tree on May 15, in relation to an incident at Kingston Dub Club held at Skyline Drive in Jack’s Hill, St Andrew, last Sunday.

Selassie (given name Karlyle Lee) is the promoter of the weekly event.

According to a statement from the Corporate Communications Unit, the police information arm, at about 10:30 pm a team visited the venue, where a party was in progress. They requested the event’s permit from the promoter. Lee was unable to produce one and was instructed to turn off the music. He was informed that he would be charged under the Noise Abatement Act.

The police said patrons became boisterous and attempted to prevent them from carrying out their functions. Pepper spray was used to subdue the crowd.

Lee and selector Rahay Mooyan, 25, of Royal Flat in Manchester were subsequently arrested and charged.

Yesterday afternoon, in a statement via social media, Lee said he would be using the opportunity to regularise his operations and have the event return next Sunday.

"First of all, I would like to thank each and everyone for their concern about my well-being. I am fine... just finished having a progressive meeting with the authorities, and our charge of breaching the Noise Abatement Act has been lifted. Let I man say that for every action, there is equal and opposite reaction. So we are going to take good from the bad. We are sorting out a proper solution once and for-iver (forever). They will have to realise one day that Rastafari is not an enemy of the State but a protector of that State... we are not carrying any ill feelings towards the authorities," the statement read.

Sunday was the 51st anniversary of Ethiopian Emperor Haille Selassie’s visit to Jamaica.

Entertainment and Culture Minister Olivia "Babsy" Grange weighed in on the incident, calling for better relations between the police and music community.

"It is really unfortunate that something like this happened at the same time as carnival, as it sends the wrong message that there are ‘two Jamaicas’. Gabre Selassie is an icon who has dedicated and promoted roots-reggae music for all these years, so he deserves recognition for his consistent support of our indigenous Jamaican culture. His work has grown out of a desire to promote our culture and he should be praised for that. The support his event gets from Jamaicans who love roots culture, tourists who come to Dub Club each Sunday night, as well as those who follow it online each week, underscores how world famous our culture is," Grange’s statement read.

Minister Grange further stated that amendments were coming to the Noise Abatement Act.

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