2013 peace protest in Kingston of Coral Gardens massacre

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Another year of protest, and again a silent march. The legs to National Heroes Circle are silent, except for a few, very few outbursts.
There is much wonder as to what the result and after impact will be this year, the 50th anniversary of the March 16, 1963 Coral Gardens Massacre in St James. Some hoping for at least a public apology, others monetary compensation.

This year, the peaceful protest whicg began at noon, was organised by Mutabaruka and was broadcasted live on IRIE FM with his Stepping Razor programme. The other main forces were IRIE FM, the Rastafari Millennium Council and the Coral Gardens Committee head. Roots FM and Newstalk also were invited to participate.

Once around parade the marchers go, and among those at the forefront is Mutabaruka of Irie FM. His hope is to unite at least the radio stations of the media community in turning up the volume on the protest. Then he’ll have a better pulpit to preach against modern ills. Ills, he like Tony rebel believe are similar to the massacre which took place in 1963. Tony Rebel, reggae giant in song, action and physique likens the Tivoli Gardens events to the massacre.
Bottom line is they both are social injustice wrought against the Jamaican society for many reasons which to date have no foundation.
In St James, in 1963, a bearded, locks head man is involved in cas cas over a land deal turned sour and reacts by burning down a gas station, after he is jailed. The police then react by declaring war on the Rastafarian brethren – which led to a riot. Rastafarians were shot, killed or arrested. The event is still commemorated as the Coral Gardens Massacre.

Earlier protests were staged in Montego Bay Amphitheatre. After the amphitheatre was transformed into a part of the new Howard Cooke Highway Dualisation, the event was switched to Sam Sharpe Square.
In recent years a Kingston leg was developed.
On March 28, 2013 over 50,000 Rastafarians, amongst them chinese, white, European visitors and bald heads marched once around Parade, then past the originating point at Ward Theatre to Duke Street and Sutton Street corner for 30 minutes of silence. They then, led by Mutabaruka went via Church Street to National Heroes circle, for a brief address by the ancient before leaving for Mandela Park by foot, and a motorcade.
At Mandela Park activities including performances and addresses were slated.


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