Karen Cross says 'honourable, peaceful protest' at PNP headquarters to go ahead ThursdayWednesday, September 22, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica— Controversial People's National Party (PNP) activist, Karen Cross, says members of the party still intend to go ahead with their protest on the party's Old Hope Road, St Andrew headquarters on Thursday.
This is despite a warning from the police to members of the public that those caught participating in marches or public processions at this time could be in trouble with the law.
"We still intend to hang on out on the hallowed grounds of the People's National Party tomorrow (Thursday) morning," she told OBSERVER ONLINE in an interview on Wednesday.
The activities are scheduled to begin at the PNP headquarters at 9:00 am.
And in light of the arrest of Joseph Patterson, the leader of the United Independents Congress (UIC), who allegedly breached the police's order to stage a march in downtown Kingston, and the police's warning that peaceful gatherings would be in breach of the Disaster Risk Management Act (DRMA), Cross said she was not deterred as members of the PNP would not be "marching".
"We are not marching... We will just drive up and people will ride up and take bus and sit down a PNP headquarters," she disclosed, adding that "We just a go up a PNP headquarters go hang out."
Asked what form the "hanging out" will take, Cross said she herself "did not know" what it would entail.
"Anybody who want to see what is it that we're doing should come," she responded.
Whatever activities will take place, the veteran PNP member said: "It will be a honourable, peaceful protest."
She added, "... nobody going to beat up nobody, nor threaten nobody, nor threaten nobody. PNP don't behave like that."
In the meantime, Cross said she was not concerned about the number of people who turned out for Thursday's activities.
"I don't care; five, 10, 15 or 20, 25, 30 [people], I really don't care how much people turn up... Anywhere where two or three are gathered, it's always enough to talk about what we wanna talk about. So numbers is not important," she declared.
Several posters of the planned protest, which is themed "Let us take back our party", has gone viral on several social media platforms.
The poster had stated, "March on PNP HQ. Thursday, September 23, 2021. PNP naa keep! Let us take our party back!"
OBSERVER ONLINE understands that several PNP members journeyed to the island from overseas for the planned protest.
The protest is being reportedly staged as some comrades, many of whom supported Dr Peter Phillips' One PNP 2019 leadership race and Lisa Hanna's failed bid to become party president last year, and are upset at the latest poll findings.
The recent Nationwide News Network's Bluedot poll showed the ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) leading the PNP by 30-points in the party standings, while the RJR/GLEANER group commissioned poll showed that most Jamaicans felt that the PNP's performance is worse under President Mark Golding's leadership.
In a recent video, Cross had called on PNP members to, among other things, support the planned protest.
"I will be there standing up for PNP; I will be there demanding that the PNP make some changes; [and] I will be there doing my part as a PNP. I am asking those of you who feel the same way as I do to join me," Cross said.
She added: "Comrades, the PNP is in shambles, and if every day you get up and talk to each other about the shambles that it's in, it's going to remain in shambles. If every day you get up and hold yuh little corner doing your own little thing, thinking that something is going to happen around you and that you can join in to make it better, you have a rude awakening [waiting for you]."
The controversial figure, who, interestingly, supported Hanna in her failed attempt to lead the Opposition party, pointed out that throughout history, "it had always been one or two people who had stood up to tyranny, war, stood up to bloodshed, [and] stood up to injustice".
"It is our time now Comrades. We cannot continue like this," Cross charged.