“There is universal law which is bigger than every other law and as living humans we are not subjected to any law of man but only the law of God.”
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Some members of the entertainment fraternity have come out in support of the United Independent Congress’ (UIC) protest in downtown Kingston today, in which its leader Joseph Patterson was arrested.
A day ago, after information began circulating on social media that a protest was afoot, the Jamaica Constabulary Force had made it clear that no permit was applied for, or granted for a protest by the political party and its supporters.
According to the notice that came from the UIC and its supporting organisations, which was shared and endorsed by Spragga Benz, the intention was to march on the House of Parliament Gordon House at 9:00 this morning to, among other things, voice objection to forced COVID-19 vaccinations.
Today, Bounty Killer and Foota Hype were among those who castigated the police for taking action against Patterson and the other persons involved in the protest.
Bounty Killer shared a video clip of police arresting protesters and expressed dismay, which he directed at Prime Minister Andrew Holness.
“Mr Holness @andrewholnessjm where is your holiness god not sleeping though real dictatorship or it’s government badness Die Hearted PNP and JLP when unuh gonna be gonna be Die Jamaicans again until then it’s dooms day here for y’all,” he wrote.
“When did the people ever need permission to have a peaceful protest, ppl need to know that there is state law federal law and then there is universal law which is bigger than every other law and as living humans we are not subjected to any law of man but only the law of God,” he declared on ZJ Sparks Instagram page where an image of one of the arrests was shared.
Billboard-charting producer Kirk “Koolface” Ford also gave the protest high-fives.
“It’s time for action because politicians are behave like they’re sitting on a throne or they’re Gods but not everyone will be sheeps and allow their rights to be taken away by Backra Massa,” he noted.
This afternoon the Jamaica Constabulary Force reported that they had arrested “the main organizer of the protest, Joseph L Patterson, following his non-compliance with the provisions under the Public Order Act”.
The Constabulary noted that Jamaican laws require that individuals organizing public marches must get a permit from the police and that “no permit was sought and none was granted”.
Yesterday the JCF had noted on its social media pages that the Police High Command was aware of a public march that was reportedly being planned and promoted by Leader of the United Independent Congress (UIC), Mr. Joseph Patterson.
‘The march, which is slated to culminate at Gordon House, is scheduled for Wednesday, September 22,” the police noted.
“The Police High Command is stating categorically that it is not in receipt of any application to hold this or any similar march across the island. As such, the public is advised not to participate in what would be an illegal march,” the notification said.
The Constabulary also noted that “while the Constitution allows for peaceful gathering, a march of that nature would not be authorized at this time, as it would be in breach of the Disaster Risk Management Act (DRMA) which stipulates that no more than ten persons must be gathered in any public place”.
Additionally, the JCF said that the protest would “not be compliance with Section 7 of the Public Order Act, which outlines that, among other things, “here any person desires to organize any public march in daylight he shall, at least three days before such intended public march, make application for a permit to the senior officer of the Jamaica Constabulary Force for the parish in which the public march is to take place, or to the Commissioner of Police if the application relates to the Corporate Area of Kingston and Saint Andrew.
An hour after the Constabulary laid down the law and pointed out that the march would be illegal, the UIC shared a copy of letter dated September 21, 2021 on its Instagram page, addressed to the JCF stating its intention to stage a march and tagged the police.
The UIC post also declared that police officers should “Stand down, keep the peace and stand with us’ and not “not allow @andrewholnessjm to use you as a tool of oppression”.
In a subsequent post, the UIC had said that it respected the police officers and were also fighting for their rights.
“We respect our men and women in uniform. In fact, we are also fighting for your rights @jamaicaconstabularyforce. It is important that you understand, we will not stand down and will push ahead in defending the Jamaican people,’ the post noted.
“Do not infringe upon our right to freedom of movement and peaceful assembly. It is time for the Jamaica Constabulary Force to show the world and the @andrewholnessjm led Government, that it’s role, includes defending the fundamental human rights and freedoms of the Jamaican people,” it added.
However, being dated less than a day before the event, the UIC letter would have failed the three-day notice required under the law, which subsequently led to the arrest of Patterson who was in breach of several sections of the Public Order Act.
The Constabulary had also noted that it was an offence for any person that participates in any march that is prohibited or which a permit has not been granted and that Section 12 of the Act, makes it an offence for any person who organizes or attempts to organize or incites any person to organize or take part in any public march in contravention of its provisions.
“The public is also reminded that Gordon House is a schedule premises and as such all gatherings should be at least two hundred yards,” they added.
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