Buju Banton has been among the Dancehall stars who have had a mouthful to say about the United Independent’s Congress (UIC) president Joseph Patterson’s arrest and upcoming trial, after being charged for breaching the Disaster Risk Management Act.
Patterson is slated to appear in the Half-Way Tree Court this Thursday, for leading an illegal protest against vaccination, in breach of the Act, as, according to the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), he, among other things, had no permit from the Police Commissioner as the law prescribes.
In an Instagram musing on Friday, a pensive Buju had expressed concern that Patterson, seemingly led his followers on the protest in Downtown Kingston, like the proverbial lambs to the slaughter.
“Mi si a likkle party rise up weh day day; mi nuh know weh dem call demself. But mi listen to di bredda and him put out suppm pon YouTube and weh him a seh make a whole heap a sense,” Buju said.
“Di only issue me have is: who is behind him? Because I don’t believe you can lead my people to be lambs to the slaughter, because mi si dem draw yuh weh, cart yuh weh and all di abuse weh yuh suffa, there was no one to save you from dem,” Buju added.
The Voice of Jamaica artist said that if the police were able to unceremoniously grab Patterson and whisk him away to jail, then his followers would perhaps lose confidence in him.
“So what’s going to happen to people dem who decide seh dem going follow your mandate? Yuh haffi understand seh most a Jamaicans are so entrenched in dem two-party system, they will kill yuh fi dem colours,” Buju said.
“An it is important dat di people dem realize dat dem have a choice, because they currently don’t. You don’t know that you have an alternative,” the Grammy Award winner said.
Buju then went on to say that while he supports protests, he was warning people to continue to keep their protests civil and not resort to violence or damaging other people’s property.
“Mi nuh want no one feel seh is burning in di streets and destroying yuh fren dem property. Becaw dat is weh dem want oonu fi do fi gun oonu down. Dis war yah is mental; is psychological,” Buju said.
“Blind leading Blind” -Skatta Burrell
Days before Buju Banton made his statements, music producer Skatta Burrell who has issued multiple posts warning people not to take to the streets to protest, had poured scorn on the modus operandi of the UIC president.
“Blind leading Blind as I stated in my post last week,” he had noted under a post of the police arresting Patterson.
According to Skatta, he had come in for some verbal abuse when he had said that the UIC going out to protest, was unwise. “They did the same over my page when I stated the stupidity. These Men are all the same and don’t care about the People,” the Coolie Dance producer had said.
I-Octane weighs in
In the aftermath of the UIC’s demonstration against the Andrew Holness administration, I-Octane also had a mouthful to say.
The Mama You Alone artist, said he was providing what he considered ideal demonstration tips to Jamaicans, arguing that the UIC-led street protest was futile.
“Wha oonu a guh out deh guh protest fa? Weh oonu a meck a mockery a oonu self. Oonu nuh organize. Oonu haffi organize before oonu guh out deh because di system already organize. A dat a beat oonu,” Octane said in a video post which he shared to Instagram.
“Oonu naw stop get beaten by Babylon enuh. Last week mi tell oonu seh ‘stay home’ seen. Boom, si mi come bun di fire and stan up pon di battlefield yah, throw some judgment and some lightnigball inna Andrew (Holness) head, seen,” he added.
According to him, the people had disobeyed his warning that when the country reopened for business following the lockdown weekend, they should not to leave their homes to go to work but instead, ‘stay inside’.
“Mi seh wi haffi come togedday so when wi march wi march inna one unity…,” he had said.
“Oonu a run guh out deh unprepared. Oonu unprepared. Das why di system a guh use dem officer against oonu and use di police force. See it deh. A pure beatup…. Oonu voice naw be heard. Oonu unda di colonial system. Di system can change laws and rules and regulations. Where in the world you eva hear she protest illegal? Only Jamaica,” Octane had said.
As Octane continued his rant he declared that all of the protesters were simply “collateral damage” who were not going to stop get beaten by Babylon”.
“Black people look inna oonu self nuh man,” he said as he jumped up and down.
“Oonu a eediat man? Meck mi tell oonu: di whole a oonu a collateral damage,” he added.
Declaring that he was a man who “seh bun PNP and bun Labourite and bun politics, I-Octane’s ensuing round of advice was rather bewildering.
“Oonu come togedda guh check di Maroons dem; guh ova di Maroons guh tun Maroons. When oonu a Maroons oonu nuh unda di law; oonu nuh unda di law a di colonial system,” he said, even though Maroon Heritage is only ascribed through bloodlines.
He however had saner advice afterwards, as he like his musical colleagues, advised against violent protests. “Stop tink bout oonu belly… a backa wall when people guh out an bun dung place… when oonu bun dung place, a wi same one haffi pay back fi it. Zeen. A soft answer will turn away wrath.”