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Thursday, September 08, 2005

Jamaica Back To Normal: The Days After The Shutdown.

On Tuesday most of Jamaica came to a halt, business places were closed, the normally congested roads were as quiet as midnight only punctuated by a few passing vehicles. Workers and students stayed home except for the brave, or foolhardy ones who if they didn’t have their own vehicle were stranded as the JUTC withdrew its bus service for safety reasons. The widely publicized JLP organized protest was on.

Although the “Island wide” protest was not well supported it was enough to shut down the country as the gas riot of the 90s is still in our minds. The demonstration was for the most part comprised of several roads being blocked with debris, old cars, tree trunks, old stoves and fridges and in some areas burning tires (I call all of this the "Road Block Kit" – because mi nuh know weh dem people yah find all dem tings deh on such short notice. It’s as if they have it stored with a sign saying, “Remove contents in case you need to block road”). The protest was supposed to make the government aware that they are oppressing poor people and that they are not governing the country properly. It seems this was sparked for the most part by the latest increases and the new tariff granted to the JPS by the OUR. Other claims included the rapid increase of inflation and the unavailability of jobs.

But what did the protest achieve? The government has not announced a drop in inflation nor I have not heard of any plans to create new jobs. The NSWM has announced that they will now need an increase in their budget to remove the contents of the Road Block Kit used to block the roads. Since most business places were closed there was a loss in revenue and hence a loss in the tax money for the government. And we all know who will have to fill that gap! One thing I’ve noticed about this protest, based on the TV coverage, it was mainly persons who just wanted an excuse to block the roads and who don’t seem to have a job…well formal job, hence they don’t pay taxes and of a certain educational level. No wonder why they always feel that they have to mash up the countries infrastructure to prove their point.

My views: The protest was didn’t accomplish anything positive. The only way to make things better in this country is 1. People need get a good education 2. A change in the attitude and values of most Jamaicans and 3. A government that has the countries best interest in mind and not the personal interest of its members.

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Hi Stunner-I was wondering about the results of the demonstration. No good and produced NOTHING. What Jamaica needs is government that is for the good of the people. No where else in the Caribbean do I hear of such poverty, aggression and violence from the less fortunate. It's sad.

i dont think governments heed protests any more

Agree with your writing here 150%

What did the protests achieve?? ....Bruce and Co. managed to give the nation a day off during the week!