Shooting in Southside

Written by Jermaine Evans

Ask any Jamaican what the biggest problem in Jamaica is and 9 out of 10 times they will say CRIME. Feuding communities, usually separated by political allegiances, are unfortunately, a major contributor to the ever-increasing crime statistics. Countless lives have been lost in Southside and Telaviv, Kingston as a result of community feuds. With the recent shooting of Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) councillor Rosalie Hamilton in Southside, visited Telaviv for their reactions on the incident.


Upon arriving in the area it was obvious that the community had seen better days. Going down Georges Lane, you could hardly see anyone outside, most of the people were indoors or in their yards. Entering one structure, which seemed to be the place with the most people on the lane, you could see the despair on some of the people’s faces. “Di war a go get hotter yah now inno,” said one concerned male in the yard.


“A so it go, gunman and gunman a war and innocent people get hurt in the crossfire,” said *Claire, a short, stout woman. “No shot never really directed to she, Rosie just deh di wrong place at di wrong time.”



The residents told that the war between the two communities was not affiliated with politics. They told us that it has been like that ever since.“You done know a so it go, dem a Labourite and we a PNP, sometime it ago be political but no all di time,” said *Joe, a bystander who decided to join the discussions. *Joe also sought to give us a scenario on how youths from the communities who went to the same schools end up taking their friends life. “…You and a man go school when unnu a yute. Him come from South and you come from Telaviv. Unnu lef’ school and ting and him go back whey him come from and you go whey you come from. Something go down and di yute from South mother get shot, and dem say a Telaviv man do it, him go turn gunman and say him must kill a bwoy from Telaviv, when him come shoot up the place, guess who him kill, him best friend from Primary school wey no inna nutten…a no politricks do dat, a just so it go.”


One-sided Media
Inside a house in another yard, we met a group of guys watching television. After the necessary introductions was invited in to sit and talk with them.


Most of the men were just concentrating on the football match on the television, except one. He wanted to voice his opinion on not only the shooting but also on the ‘one-sided media’ as he called it.


“Just because di woman (Rosalie Hamilton) get shot unnu come down yah, so what happen to di yute wey dead the week before last week and di woman wey get shot yesterday?” said *Bryan, a mechanic in the area. “How mi no see no media dem day deh when people a dead inna Telaviv? But now when councilor get shot it all deh pon front page, and she not even dead, di innocent yute dead and it not even mek di back page.” *Bryan also told us that the boy that had died was only sixteen-years-old and still going to school.


After hearing *Bryan say what was on his mind a few of the men in the room told us how things were going daily in the community. They told that gunshots ring out every night, and that only Southside and Telaviv can stop the war, neither police nor politicians.
*Names changed upon request.
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