For peace sake

Junior Reid hosts concerts against violence

Observer senior writer

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

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THE One Blood Music Festival, a two-day event promoting peace in troubled Kingston communities, starts tomorrow (Labour Day) at the Dunrobin Playing field on Red Hills Road.

An initiative of singer Junior Reid, the second leg takes place the following day at Balmagie Playing Field in Waterhouse, the neighbourhood where he was raised. Because he has business and family ties to Cassia Park and Waterhouse, Reid said it is important to get involved and help bring peace among gangs in both areas.

“A lotta di youths dem in Dunrobin, mi employ dem an' dem same one, a fight 'gainst demself, so mi tell dem dat nuh mek nuh sense,” Reid told the Jamaica Observer. “Same thing wid Waterhouse…me'd a be a wicked man fi stay away 'cause a dey mi born.”

Two weeks ago Reid staged a seven-day walk through some of Waterhouse's hot spots, including Moscow, Buckers and Binns Road. He said it attracted many people in the community who are tired of violence.

“When I use to walk those streets as a youth it wasn't like dat. So, it important to me as somebody from Waterhouse, 'cause di youth dem dat I don't know, I know dem parents.”

The Cassia Park community borders Molynes and Red Hills roads. Since December when the burnt body of a man was discovered in the Sandy Gully, it has experienced spurts of violence.

In March, three individuals were shot and another killed at Verene Avenue in the neighbourhood as hostilities heightened.

In February, the St Andrew South Police Division increased security presence in Waterhouse and neighbouring Olympic Gardens after another outbreak of violence.

Reid said a number of artistes have pledged their support for his show. They include Bounty Killer, Predator, Luciano, Sizzla, Richie Spice, Louie Culture, and Little John.

The 54-year-old Reid was among a number of promising artistes who emerged from Waterhouse in the early 1980s. He had several hit songs during that decade including the anthem One Blood, his cry for unity in urban areas across the world.

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