Myself and another friend of mine went to the site to see what had transpired last night but the gates were blocked up and the shrubbery cleared, we however came across some of the men in Half Way Tree Square proper and who looked lost as if they did not know where to turn, another set was in New Kingston proper in a tense standoff with some guards at a popular business entity building while yet others were in jovial spirits it seems (although we doubted they were part of the Cargill Avenue group as the some of the faces were new to us) they were dancing near to a popular Jamaican eatery as music blared from a nearby club. The hands came outstretched in some instance as they asked for pocket money to buy food. Others were said to have gone elsewhere to "cool out" meanwhile the cops patrolled the areas slowly with their lights flashing, this was around 11pm.
Also of note several "Fight The Hate" cards as produced by JFLAG were noticeable around various spots in New Kingston, Trafalgar Road by the old Super Plus Store, Grenada Crescent, Knutsford Boulevard and as lower down by Trinidad Terrace, why the cards were thrown on the streets in relatively large quantities was anybody's guess. Myself and company had walked the areas to see the guys, there was also an unconfirmed report that a chasing took place just hours before along St Lucia avenue by the infamous biker boys after a drag queen who have a history of profiling and attacking suspected MSMs.
Let us not forget the previous civil disobedience action taken on January 27, 2010, see more here: MSM employ Civil Disobedience to get Board's Attention ....
Just 4 days ago as well mention was made of the aforementioned civil disobedience the men took against agencies who they felt slighted them and it is surmised that the reason why they have been left to fend for themselves is in payback mode as the episode embarrassed many top key superstar advocates. The LGBT communities' own reaction in some quarters as well offers no consolation either and is very bitter in some instances labelling the men as an embarrassment to the gay community while tacitly supporting no direct assistance to the men as well.
Here are the two newsclips on the story as carried by CVM TV exclusively at midday and the nightly news.
How many more stories like this must we see to realize that the social issues are far more important now than even the suggested buggery review by the Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller as that seems to be the all important goal while those MSMs in particular at the lower end of the social spectrum are just bait it seems for victim public relations while pushing the line that Jamaica is homophobic, we all know that the nation is homophobic but where in fact is not? but why do we continue to wrap our version of stigma and discrimination in a lovely gift box with a pink bow and pass it on to poorer less educated gays then turn around almost in the same breath and push for tolerance of homosexuality by the mainstream?
Here is my audio on the new development:
also here is my hard hitting take on the beginnings of the now cronic problems we are now seeing with the homeless populations, we MUST NOT forget these matters as it will inform I feel how we move forward on this issue as many would prefer it is swept under the rug.
The few influentials who are in contact with the populations are not nearly enough to assist as resources are indeed scarce and certain pyscho social support is just not there. To begin to resolve this a proper residential facility with a full cadre of psycho social support services for a sustained period is urgently needed.
The relevant LGBT agencies should be ashamed that this is where we have now reached as a divided community, how can we have any credibility to ask for tolerance or rights for that matter when we are not prepared to enjoy them?
By the way the deafening silence from the groups and advocates on this is telling.
UPDATE August 30
CVM TV continued their coverage of the story in their midday newscast but disturbingly the men supposedly denied that they were commercial sex workers, CSWs which we know better, also the particular voice who indicated they were "Peer educators" clearly was lying, why would peer educators live in bushes? even if they were used by the agencies why weren't they paid and assisted to get proper accommodation then?
The real homeless men lost a golden opportunity to speak on their issues to the nation I fear and by extension the world but instead the moment was hijacked by some other persons.
Only the truth will make our advocacy effective, homeless or not.
Think on these things.
UPDATE 06/09/12 on facebook LIVE a 7 asked
Peace and tolerance.
click the "Homeless MSM in Jamaica" tab immediately below for previous entries on the subject