Why we stand with Latoya Nugent

Friday, March 17, 2017

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Dear Editor,

We seek justice, fairness and transparency. Nothing more, nothing less.

And we will not settle for less. So we must be firm, resolved and unequivocal in standing with Latoya Nugent, in the face of her arrest and subsequent hospitalisation.

If we — feminists, advocates of justice and victims of crimes — could see the law operating with due process and speed, there would be little need for the noise of protests.

It is only when the wheels of justice are stuck, when gentle appeals are ignored, when pleas are treated with contempt, and when patience is exhausted by dismissals, that there is a need to resort to protest.

And some of those protests must take a form specifically intended to challenge the existing order.

That is precisely what Nugent has done in her determination to force the State to do its duty — not to her but to attend to the pain of countless victims.

Yet, instead of addressing the issue she raises, the State has turned to focus on her. She is not the issue. She is merely a scream pleading for attention to gross, fundamental and ongoing criminal sexual injustice that is persistently ignored.

This is a structural matter.

We stand with Latoya Nugent, co-founder of the Tambourine Army, in calling on the Jamaican Government to address the agony of criminal sexual injustice in Jamaican society.

We stand with Latoya in calling for the Jamaican Government to expedite the screams for justice among the victims of these crimes.

We stand with Latoya in calling for the Jamaican Government to live up to the high standard in all the international conventions for justice and fairness and equity that it has signed on behalf of women and children.

We stand with Latoya in urging the Government of Jamaica to reform laws that preserve prejudice and bigotry and serve to inhibit the emergence of a respectful and inclusive society.

Caribbean Association for Feminist Research and Action

Castries, St Lucia





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