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One Love in Trench Town

By Kediesha Perry
Observer writer

Friday, February 21, 2020

Even though members of Arnett Gardens in St Andrew South are coming to terms with the death of its key peacemaker Kevin “Rum Ram” Clarke, organiser of the One Love Jamaica Concert says all is set for tomorrow's staging.

“The reason why the concert was conceptualised in 2016 was to promote love among our people. Of course, the growing numbers of murders is alarming, but that concern existed before the concept of One Love Jamaica came about. While we are troubled by the recent death of the gentleman who preached peace, we are looking forward to the concert. We are going to have heavy police presence, and everybody is going to have a good time,” Claude Sinclair told the Jamaica Observer's Splash.

The free concert will be held at Tony Spaulding Stadium in Trench Town.

Minutes after 7:00 pm Monday evening, explosions echoed through Arnett Gardens. When they subsided, Clarke, a Peace Management Initiative (PMI) liaison officer, was found suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. The 42-year-old was taken to the Kingston Public Hospital where he died while undergoing treatment.

On Tuesday, the police's Corporate Communication Unit (CCU) told the Jamaica Observer that investigators have not yet determined the circumstances behind his killing.

Sinclair noted that his concert is inspired by the April 22, 1978 One Love Peace Concert at the National Stadium; which saw Bob Marley bringing Prime Minister Michael Manley and Opposition Leader Edward Seaga on stage in a symbolic gesture of peace. However, he does not want politics to be attached to it.

“This concert is about love among all Jamaicans. We do not want it to be about crime or politics. It is simply about telling our people to love one another,” he said.

According to statistics from the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), 2019 saw 166 people dying in the St Andrew South division due to gun-related violence.

The constituency encompasses Rousseau Road (off Maxfield Avenue), Retirement Road, Half-Way-Tree Road, Slipe Road, Tarrington Avenue, and Spanish Town Road. Senator Mark Golding, its Member of Parliament, will address tomorrow's concert.

Sinclair noted that the show has been successful since its inception; and he has no doubt that tomorrow is going to be different.

“We saw it fit to have a 'edulibertainment' package for the crowd. That is, education, liberation and entertainment. So, we're not only sharing the importance of loving your brother, but there will be quality entertainment,” he said.

Freddie McGregor, Yellowman, Josey Wales, Triston Palmer, Horace Andy, Jesse Jendah, Errol Dunkley, Nature Ellis, Natty King, Hugh English, Fred Locks, and The Silvertones are some of the artistes slated to perform.