Why Attack The Police When They Do A Good Job?

In one of the most bla­tant and non­sen­si­cal attacks upon the JCF which could only be attrib­uted to (a) utter igno­rance of what polic­ing is about, or (b) a fee­ble attempt to get eye­balls on his pathet­ic arti­cle, or both, Gleaner Columnist Christopher Serju made a com­plete ass of him­self in a July 26th arti­cle.
The writer’s unfor­tu­nate attack on the police seemed to indi­cate that he had a dead­line but did not both­er to do his home­work. Instead, he default­ed to what works in Jamaica, a cow­ard­ly, and unfound­ed attack on the police.
He chose to attack the police for doing exact­ly what they are tasked with doing and ensur­ing the exact out­comes they desired.
But in Jamaica when these poor excus­es, which pass for jour­nal­ists, do not do their home­work or worse, does not under­stand a sub­ject (intel­lec­tu­al defi­cien­cy), they default to what they were raised to do. That is to attack the police.
Unfortunately, the writer’s weak attempt to blame the police while try­ing to kiss up to a for­eign move­ment fell flat on its face.


By Christopher Serju.
Jamaica Gleaner.…

Tuesday’s demon­stra­tion by Greenpeace International activists, sup­port­ed by local envi­ron­men­tal­ists and non-gov­ern­men­tal orga­ni­za­tions, caught the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) off guard for the rea­son that it was peace­ful. The envi­ron­men­tal activists had the audac­i­ty to announce in advance that they were going to turn up at the gates of the Jamaica Conference Centre, the International Seabed Authority head­quar­ters in down­town Kingston, at 8:30 a.m.Armed with that infor­ma­tion, the JCF pulled out all the stops to ensure that the protest did not unfold as planned. However, it appar­ent­ly did not antic­i­pate that the demon­stra­tors would be bright, intel­li­gent and able to hold a cogent con­ver­sa­tion.
“It’s a peace­ful, edu­cat­ed, sci­en­tif­ic posi­tion that we are putting for­ward, and that’s what I want to be able to do as the del­e­gates arrive today. This is the pub­lic side­walk, and I can’t see too much legal prob­lem with that. Obviously, the author­i­ties have a slight­ly dif­fer­ent opin­ion,” declared Frank Hewetson, Greenpeace co-ordinator.He was right, as the police had come to thwart what they must have antic­i­pat­ed would have been a show­down of epic pro­por­tions. With mem­bers of the bicy­cle squad, at least two motor­cy­clists on stand­by, an assis­tant com­mis­sion­er of police, a deputy super­in­ten­dent, an inspec­tor, and a host of rank-and-file mem­bers, the JCF was ready for any even­tu­al­i­ty. Instead, what tran­spired was the tri­umph of com­mon sense and log­ic over state intransigence. 

They were dis­armed by the calm, cool and col­lect­ed stance of Hewetson, who was polite and charm­ing and just as firm in the con­vic­tion that he was doing no wrong.“I want to stress that we will obey the police, but we are going to exer­cise our con­sti­tu­tion­al rights,” he insist­ed. But even after he had explained a cou­ple of times their rea­son for being there, Deputy Superintendent Alton Spencer was still unsure as to the type of dis­or­der he was try­ing to quell. “I am not even cer­tain what their mis­sion is, but we are here to basi­cal­ly ensure that there is no block­age. Nobody is imped­ed in terms of move­ment, and we are pro­tect­ing the inter­est of those per­sons who are attend­ing the con­fer­ence,” he con­fid­ed. The senior police offi­cer, how­ev­er, must be com­mend­ed for his mul­ti­task­ing skills: field­ing ques­tions from pesky jour­nal­ists, direct­ing his troops and attend­ing to the many and var­ied con­cerns of Enoch Allen, head of secu­ri­ty for the International Seabed Authority. He was a very busy man indeed.


Allen shared with The Gleaner his rea­sons for oppos­ing the Greenpeace International demonstration.“In gen­er­al, when we have our con­fer­ences, it is of para­mount impor­tance that we, being the host, and the Seabed Authority in par­tic­u­lar, ought to pro­tect the del­e­gates. There is a demon­stra­tion going on and we don’t know the enti­ties involved, so we have to have all hands on deck and do our job as best we can.” It bog­gles the mind that both men admit­ted to not know­ing what they were oppos­ing, while enun­ci­at­ing their strong oppo­si­tion to the unseen, unde­fined ‘ter­ror’. In fact, with time on their hands and the storm in the teacup not quite bub­bling to the boil, it must have been bore­dom that drove Assistant Commissioner of Police Steve McGregor to issue this warn­ing: “When you leav­ing, I don’t want you to leave any of your para­pher­na­lia any­where because I will pros­e­cute.” I sus­pect but could be for­giv­en for think­ing that Assistant Commissioner McGregor was guilty of try­ing to intim­i­date his audi­ence. If he was, it didn’t work, and the attempt sput­tered like a soak­ing wet squib. By refus­ing to be bait­ed, while firm­ly and respect­ful­ly toe­ing the line, Greenpeace International out­foxed the JCF, Hewetson telling Deputy Superintendent Spencer: “That’s not con­flict. That’s peace­ful assem­bly. If I dis­obey you it would be con­flict, but I am not here to fight with the Jamaican police author­i­ty in any way at all.”
For the Jamaican police who were antic­i­pat­ing a chaot­ic encounter, it was a dis­ap­point­ing and peace­ful end­ing, and some­thing to which they are obvi­ous­ly not yet quite accustomed.

The fore­gone is exact­ly why peo­ple should stick to what they know and not delve into what they do not know.
This guy writes about agri­cul­ture, the envi­ron­ment, and rur­al devel­op­ment.
Obviously, he did not do his home­work to meet his dead­line, or was too piss-lazy to write an arti­cle which made sense. Or he is too stu­pid to write a qual­i­ty arti­cle. So he decid­ed to do what they all do, become a par­a­site and try to suck the blood from the police.
The police showed up in num­bers to ensure that (a)no laws were bro­ken, (b)that no one was incon­ve­nienced by the protest (which did not have a per­mit), I might add. © That con­fer­ence-goers were able to tra­verse the facil­i­ty with­out fear.
What the orga­niz­er did was to demon­strate to Jamaicans that they know how to obey laws and get their point across, with­out being rau­cous dis­or­der­ly or dis­re­spect­ful to law enforce­ment.
Of course, he is from a coun­try which respects their law enforce­ment offi­cers.
I com­mend Steve McGregor and his offi­cers for doing a ster­ling job. The leader of the Greenpeace protest was very clear that he was not there to dis­obey rules, or be antag­o­nis­tic toward the police.
Serju, on the oth­er hand, should have learned some­thing from the Greenpeace Organizer. Respect the offi­cers who are out there doing their lev­el best to ensure that every­one gets their point across in safe­ty.
Were he an hon­est, intel­li­gent jour­nal­ist, he would have writ­ten an arti­cle explain­ing to the pub­lic the rea­son for Greenpeace’s pres­ence.
Instead, he wrote this, an arti­cle which turned out to be a fee­ble attempt to dis­cred­it the police. It fell flat, he fell flat.
He should hang his head in shame.