'PNP in shambles' – Karen Cross, others plan march on party headquartersTuesday, September 21, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Several People's National Party (PNP) supporters, including controversial activist Karen Cross, are planning to march on the party's Old Hope Road, St Andrew headquarters on Thursday, in a bid to "take our party back".
The protest is being planned 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, 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.
Several posters of the planned protest, which is themed "Let us take back our party", has gone viral on several social media platforms.
In a recent video, Cross indicated that she will be at the PNP headquarters at 9:00 a.m on Thursday, September 23.
"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 argued.
She continued: "You cannot sit down and do nothing... It not going to get better until all of us join hands together and say enough is enough. When are you going to find that courage to stand up and say, 'Listen this is my party, this is our party. Let us try to fix it, and since nobody nah listen to we about how to fix it, we are going to show up; we are going to stand up, and we are going speak up,'" she declared.
Against that background, Cross encouraged PNP supporters to join her at party headquarters for the protest.
"Those comrades throughout the country, if you feel like protesting and you can't reach Kingston, then do it in your own little corner. Get up, man! Speak up and stand up, man! Respectfully and honourably, man! Get up like a PNP and say this is our party, not theirs," she appealed.
At the same time, Cross assured that protestors will not be engaging in any violence or quarrel with anyone.
To those in leadership, who she referred to as "leadership cowards" or those persons in "leadership who hold dem little corner with dem little leadership positions", Cross called on them to stand up for the party as well.
"... It's time for you to stop playing 'footsy' with this leadership of the People's National Party and get up and stand up with your people, and let us save the People's National Party," she suggested while urging persons to pass on her voice note.
OBSERVER ONLINE understands that some PNP bloggers have thrown their support behind Thursday's planned protest, with some indicating that they flew in from overseas for the activities.
Cross is no stranger to controversy in the Opposition party and has lambasted the leadership of Golding through several social media posts.
Cross and social media blogger, Natalee Stack, were both fined $750,000 in the Supreme Court in July after they were found guilty of contempt of court matter involving the party's General Secretary, Dr Dayton Campbell.
A month later, Cross paid her fine, avoiding the alternative sentence of six months in jail if she failed to pay the sum. While the activist made her full payment at the Supreme Court, it is unclear whether Stack had paid her fine.
With the recent poll findings showing Golding and the PNP losing ground to the JLP, Cross has been leading the charge for change in the party.