In this section, I will provide information found on the Internet connected to homophobia depicted in dancehall music
plus the evolution of the topic in the Caribbean context from 1976 to present time
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January 13, 2008: Lutan Fyah use stage performance to make anti-homosexual comments
January 13 marked the 15th edition of the Rebel Salute concert, one of the most popular event in Jamaica. The concert raised a crowed of 10 000 reggae fans in Manchester. The lineup included: Leroy Gibbons, Louis Culture, E'tana, Queen Ifrika, Ernie Smith and Pluto Shervington, Chalice, Ini Kamoze, I-Wayne, Lutan Fyah, Richie Spice, Tarrus Riley, Capleton, Busy Signal, Sugar Minott, Jah Cure, Luciano. Lutan Fyah, who was described by the Jamaica Observer as 'another star is in their midst', seem to have been one of the hilight of the evening. He unfortunatly used his performance to make anti-homosexual comments. "Jamaica needs a positive vibe at this juncture. Only music can turn back the crime wave. The people sing the songs line for line and it is the only thing they can quote in their lifestyles," Lutan Fyah told Splash during an interview. Two weeks before, the Jamaica Star reported the same kind of behaviour onstage at Sting 2007, when 'Lutan Fyah put a lyrical bullet on a funny guy (homosexual)'.

NOTE: Obviously the singer is unable to acknoledge the fact that anti-homosexual comments contribute to the crime rate. As he point it out 'people sing the songs line for line and it is the only thing they can quote in their lifestyles'. Every Jamaican knows that Bobo Shanti don't approve homosexuality. He shurly doesn't need to put any emphasis on this during his concerts, specially if he is challenging crimes in Jamaica.
(
Jamaica Observer 1) (Jamaica Observer 2) (Jamaica Star) (YardFlex)

January 28, 2008: Monopoly in Reggae/Dancehall: VP Records purchase Greensleeves Records
VP Records, the world's leading reggae record company, has announced today that it has made an offer to purchase Greensleeves Records & Publishing from Zest Group plc, subject to the approval of Zest's shareholders. Music publisher Zest Group PLC has accepted VP Records purchase offer and has agreed to sell reggae label Greensleeves Group to VP Records (UK) Ltd for 6.13 million dollars (approximatively 4 millions euros), because initiatives at Greensleeves have not produced expected returns. VP Records will inherit a catalogue comprised of some of the most notable albums of the genre, from Elephant Man to Yellowman and hit songs recorded by such acts as Rihanna, Sean Paul and Shaggy. Chris Chin and Randy Chin, respectively Chief Executive Officer and President of VP Records, further added: "Although Greensleeves has historically been our competitor, we have always had the utmost respect for what Greensleeves stood for. The label and its founders had a long term commitment to Reggae music and no one is better positioned than VP Records to understand the need to respect this legacy. We will ensure that Greensleeves remains alive as a brand synonymous with excellence in Reggae and Dancehall music." Olivier Chastan, Vice President of VP Records, concluded: "The addition of Greensleeves to our catalog will ensure that the genre remains an important category in music". Greensleeves is the world's largest reggae publisher, selling reggae hits in the US, Japan, France, Germany, Benelux, Canada and Scandinavia. The label's back catalogue includes 400 albums and 900 singles. According to another article, the deal occured officially occured in February 2008. NOTE: I'm not fully sure, but it seems that Jet Star Records (based in UK), the third largest company in the newest reggae/Dancehall genre is no longer existing. Their website is no longer in operation and they haven't released their biggest selling compilation 'Reggae Hits' in 2008, a compilation that is usually released in Automn. Their last released (Reggae Hits Volume 37) was issued in October 2007. VP Records getting the monopoly in reggae business? Yes indeed... A major disapointment for true reggae lovers.

(
Big Up Radio) (United Reggae) (VP Records) (Jamaica Gleaner) (NOVEMBER 2008: Jamaica Observer)
(
Wikipedia article on VP) (Wikipedia article on Greensleeves)

ADDITIONAL INFO: On February 1st 2008, VP launched PlanetReggae.com (see below, on February 1st 2008 for more info). On May 1st 2008, VP Records launched the 17 North Parade label, in order to release compilations of 'Old School' reggae music coming from the combination of the Greensleeves and VP catalogues. 'Reggae Anthology: The Sweet Sound of Cocoa Tea' seems to be the first compilation issued on the label. It's interesting to notice that the Cocoa Tea compilation was issued on March 11, six weeks before VP 'officially' lauched the label. The news published on VP Records website is dated May 1st. All the previous titles from the 'Reggae Anthology' collection are part of the VP regular catalogue. (
17 North Parade)

January 29, 2008: Three gay men brutally attack by angry mob
Mandeville, Jamaica. Andre and some friends were finishing dinner when a mob showed up at the front gate. Yelling antigay slurs and waving machetes, sticks and knives, 15 to 20 men kicked in the front door of the home he and his friends had rented and set upon them. “I thought I was dead,” Andre, 20, a student, recounted in a faint voice, still scared enough that he was in hiding and did not want his full name to be used. The mob pummeled him senseless. His right hand, the one he used to shield himself from the blows, is now covered with bandages. His skull has deep cut marks and his ear was sliced in half, horizontally. Doctors managed to sew it back together and he can hear out of it again. Being gay in Jamaica is not easy. For years, human rights groups have denounced the harassment... MORE ON THE LINK BELOW.
(
New York Times) (PinkNews) (Human Rights Watch) (BET.com) (rod 2.0)

February 1, 2008: VP Records launches PlanetReggae.com... which includes a vast selection of 'Murder Music'
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: VP Records, dubbed the world’s leading reggae record company, has launched planetreggae.com, an online music store selling MP3s, music videos and ringtones. Along with it an affiliate programme, which allows anyone to set up, a co-branded planetreggae.com store and make 10% on each item sale.The online music store will have VP Records digital reggae music catalogue including music from Channel One, Joe Gibbs, Penthouse Productions, Techniques, Dynamic Recordings and King Jammy to name a few. It sells single track for US$.99,full album downloads for US$9.99 and videos for US$1.99, ring tone prices though yet not finalized are likely to be sold for US$1.99. Additionally, the planetreggae online music store will accept Paypal and all major credit card and debit cards (Visa and Mastercard). If you sign on as an affiliate, you will receive monthly statements but will be paid your money quarterly to coincide with artist royalty payments. VP Records, headed Chris Chin and Randy Chin, was in the news this week when the company made an offer to buy Greensleeves Records & Publishing from Zest Group plc, subject to the approval of Zest’s shareholders. If the sale is approved, then VP Records will inherit a catalogue comprising some of the most notable albums of the genre, from Elephant Man to Yellowman and hit songs recorded by such acts as Rihanna, Sean Paul and Shaggy. The online store was already active (since 2007?) on VP Records regular website, but became officily known as 'PlanetReggae' in February 2008.
(
SiliconCaribe) (PlanetReggae.com)

NOTE: In July 2009 (at time of writing these lines), I made a quick search and found out that the store offers the majority (if not all) of the songs that promote violence and killing of gays released by VP Records over the label 30 years of activity. During that search, I found the following songs for sale: Boom Bye Bye (by Buju Banton), Bun Out The Chi Chi (by Capleton), Log On (by Elephant Man), Killa Is A Killa (by Bounty Killer), Head Out (by Sizzla), Gunz Like Mine (by Vybz Kartel), Chi Chi Man (by T.O.K.) Interesting fact: the songs Damm!!, Roll Deep and Victory (Chi Chi Man Fi Dead) by Beenie Man doesn't seems to be available on PlanetReggae.com! Did Beenie Man management opposed to the re-release of these songs? A deeper research could confirm that some (or all) the Beenie Man songs that advocate violence against gays are not available on this site.

February 7, 2008: Free Speech in Popular Music to be Discussed at Forum
An emerging media entity on the Caribbean/New York landscape, ZYNC-TV, will examine the boundaries of free speech in today's popular music culture, at a specially arranged forum at the Grand Army Plaza branch of the Brooklyn Public Library (Eastern Parkway/Flatbush Avenue), in central Brooklyn, on February 7, beginning at 5:30 p.m. "A number of today's artistes are beginning to feel the pressure of censorship because their lyrics speak out against certain lifestyles and concert promoters now run the risk of having to cancel events or make considerable adjustments to their line-ups for fear of boycott, demonstration and rejection," Eion Saunders, co-producer of ZYNC-TV and the forum's convenor told JIS News. The forum will draw on a number of key resource persons and personalities from the music industry, academia and the Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual & Transgender (GLBT) communities..... MORE ON THE LINK BELOW.
(
Jamaican Information Service) (Jamaicans.com 1) (Jamaicans.com 2)

February 14, 2008: J-FLAG co-charing member seeking asylum in Canada
Jamaican queer activist Gareth Henry was friends with 13 people murdered since 2004 just because they were gay. The bodies of three of them have never been found. So it's not surprising that Henry - until recently the cochair of the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, Allsexuals and Gays (JFLAG) and now a refugee claimant in Canada - breaks down when talking about the death of his coworker and one-time roommate Steve Harvey in 2005. "It was a Tuesday night," he says. "We finished a meeting about 11 o'clock. We went our separate ways. I was called at about two in the night and told Steve was brought home by four men and the four men said to his housemates and his partner, 'We're going to kill Steve because he's gay.' They left with Steve.... MORE ON THE LINK BELOW.
(
X-Tra) (Rod 2.0) (YardFlex)

February 24, 2008: Gay Jamaican cop comes out and seeks asylum in Canada
A couple of weeks back, a local tabloid, The Jamaica Star, ran a screaming headline when a local police officer, disturbed by the attack on the dinner party guests, decided to disclose his sexual orientation to the paper. He said he had been harassed regularly by his colleagues because he is gay. He said the police did not take violence against gays seriously. “Jamaica’s motto is ‘Out of Many, One People,’ and I say, ‘What about us?’ ” said the police officer, Michael Hayden. Mr. Hayden, who has since taken leave from the force, is in hiding out of fear that his colleagues might kill him.... MORE ON THE LINK BELOW.
(
The Star) (New York Times) (Toronto Star) (Rod 2.0)

NOTE: See September 26 2008 for an interview with Michael Hayden.

February 24, 2008: The Gleaner: Dancehall's betrayal of reggae
Interesting article written by Ian Boyne, published in The Jamaica Gleaner on February 24. 'Music which lionises shottas and badmen who are a terror to poor people is not good. Music which encourages violence for the slightest dissing; music which preaches a message of death to homosexuals or any group is not a good thing; music which encourages "gal inna bungle" is not a good thing because of its effects on our sisters and even on our brothers. Music which makes poor people feel small because they can't bling out is not good. This has nothing to do with 'middle-class values'. In fact, the UWI academics and my colleagues at TVJ don't live in the inner cities. They can glorify dancehall music from their ivory towers and television studios but the poor, defenceless ghetto people who have nowhere to hide and no friend in high society have to contend with the gunshots and the mayhem - not created by dancehall but certainly not helped by it'.
(
The Gleaner)
SIMILAR ARTICLE:
No to 'Kill people' music
SIMILAR ARTICLE: A collapse into chaos? The dancehallisation of Jamaica
SIMILAR ARTICLE:
Clean up your act! Dancehall DJs urged to be professionals

February 29, 2008: Toronto public forum: The Sound Of Hate
Canadians should consider a tourism boycott to pressure Caribbean governments to protect the human rights of their gay citizenry, said participants in a University of Toronto forum Friday evening. About 200 people attended the two-hour discussion, The Sound of Hate: Where Sexual Orientation, Race, Dancehall Music and Human Rights Collide. The debate focused on a popular segment of reggae that gay rights activists have dubbed "murder music," because it contains threatening sentiments toward homosexuals and pejorative patois terms for them..... MORE ON THE LINK BELOW.
(
Toronto Star) (Xtra)

March 2, 2008: Tourist boycott to Jamaica? – Not the appropriate response says J-FLAG
In a statement released yesterday (March 2), J-FLAG, Jamaica's Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays, said it shared the frustration at the "slow progress towards transforming the social climate that makes it difficult for gays and lesbians in Jamaica to lead lives free from homophobic violence. "Yet, because of the possible repercussions of increased homophobic violence against our already besieged community, we feel that a tourist boycott is not the most appropriate response at this time. "In our battle to win hearts and minds, we do not wish to be perceived as taking food off the plate of those who are already impoverished. ..... MORE ON THE LINK BELOW.
(
Pink News) (Rod 2.0)

March 17, 2008: Canadian music retail stores vs 'Murder Music'
In late January, Eagle Canada along with Stop Murder Music (Canada) contacted the Canadian music industry to request that they withdraw the sale of music that advertised violence to the gay and lesbian community. The people that were conatcted: Humphrey Kadaner (president of HMV Canada), Peter Lowe (director of marketting at Apple Canada) and Pierre Marchand (president of Archambault Musique). The first two companies relplied, but Archambault has still not open any dialogue on the matter. On March 17, a second draft of letters were sent to the same companies (see copies of these letters lower). On March 27, similar letters were sent to Amazon and it's affiliated Canada Post.
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iTunes Canada letter 2) (HMV Canada letter 2) (Archambault letter 2) (Amazon.ca letter) (Canada Post letter)

March 20, 2008: Jamaican boycott to be launch on May 17
Egale Canada sent a letter to to the Jamaican consulate in Canada requesting among several things, that the government denounce the homophobic violence in Jamaica, the instauration of a National homophobia/transphobia Education campaign and the repealing of Buggery Laws that further stigmatize, discriminate and criminalize consensual same sex acts. If by May 12, the Jamaican government hasn't sent an official response, that establish a plan to move forward with the requests, Egale Canada will launch a Canadian tourism boycott to Jamaica and the boycott of goods and services from Jamaica. The boycott will be launched on May 17, which is the International Day Against Homophobia.
(
Egale Canada) (Hour) (YardFlex)

March 24, 2008: An association named 'Stop Murder Music Bern' is created in Switzerland
Contrary to the other associations that works under the banner 'Stop Murder Music', the one located in Bern (Switzerland) was created by heterosexuals! They are four reggae fans that are active in the local alternative reggae scene. Tom from Stop Murder Music Bern: “We started our group in March 2008 because of a homophobic incident with "Dubversive Soundsystem" from Zurich, Switzerland, during a reggae-dancehall-party in March 2008. The organizer, a Somali living in Switzerland since some years, and a small non-commercial Dancehall-Reggae-Party-Organizer, was shocked about the homophobic arrogance of DS (‘Dubversive Soundsystem’ – that's racism against gays and lesbians) and asked some of his friends to help fighting against "Killerqueens" (artists that promote violence against LGBT) and homophobic turntables. We developped our own Manifest that people can support, and campagned against concerts of Sizzla, Capleton*, Vybz Kartel, Anthony B and Junior Reid. Our main targets are not only concerts but also a probably bigger problem, the local soundsystems". In October 2008, their group was joined by a gay activist. A month later, two Rocksteady-Reggae-Soul DJs showed interest in joining their team. (MORE FROM THE INTERVIEW BELOW)

NOTE:
*Capleton's Basel (Switzerland) concert was cancelled in November 2008.
(
complete interview with SMM Bern) (Stop Murder Music Bern)

March 25, 2008: Bounty Killer European Tour: 5 concerts cancelled
On March 23, Bounty Killer started his European Tour in London at the Stratford Rex after having fis first two concerts cancelled in UK. The tour tentatively brings him in Holland, Germany, Italy, Belgium, France, Switzerland and UK. The Jamaican artist that is target by the 'Stop Murder Music' still haven't signed the Reggae Compassionate Act. So far, five concerts have been cancelled: Bradford (UK), Birmingham (UK), Essen (Germany), Antwerpen (Belgium) and Berlin (Germany). "Bounty Killer has performed murder music songs and has ridiculed other singers who have agreed to halt their encouragement of queer-bashing attacks," said Peter Tatchell, who coordinated the British concert cancellation campaign with his colleague David Allison. "Bounty Killer bragged that he was invincible. He vowed his concerts would go ahead and boasted that no gays could stop him... There must be zero tolerance of singers like Bounty Killer who advocate the murder of other human beings". A recent report made by Germany's Lesbian and Gay Federation LSVD sate that the Dortmund concert was cancelled (are they refering to Berlin's April 9th concert?), but the Munich concert went as planned on March 28. LSVD: "Germany’s Ministry of the Interior issued a ban on March 27, prohibiting Bounty Killer from entering the country. Unfortunately, at the time of the ban, Bounty Killer was already in the Netherlands, and the lack of border controls between Schengen countries meant he was able to enter the country unhindered. It is not normally a problem for the Bavarian police to pick up unwanted guests and escort them smartly to whatever frontier is appropriate – often via a holding cell at Munich airport. But not in this case. The Bavarian government allowed the concert to go ahead. The only “concession” was to have police present at the event, to intervene and stop the concert if the singer presented his homophobic songs on stage. Yet, as emerged in today’s press reports (March 31), the singer used the term “Battyboy” several times without intervention from the police". See NOTE lower for unconfirmed details.
(
UK Gay News) (PinkNews) (The Guardian) (BGay.com) (Reggae.FR) (YardFlex) (Bounty Killer European Tour Dates) (Jamaica Star)

NOTE: I wasn't able to find the UK dates that the news source is refering to. Someone told me on March 27 that Bounty Killer's visa has been revoked and he has been deemed persona non grata to the Schengen countries
*. It has not been confirmed yet, but apparently a number of his concerts have been cancelled. I think Germany is leading this one.

*The Schengen countries include: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Greece, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.

March 26, 2008: Elephant Man promote violence towards gays in 'Our World' video
Elephant Man has a new album coming on April 8: 'Let's Get Physical'. In order to promote the album, a videoclip was made for the song 'Our World'. The video promote extreme violence toward gay people. That clearly shows that Elephant Man signature of the Reggae Compassionate Act in November 2007 was just a gimmick to make his North American and European concerts. Robert Burnett describing the videoclip: "And so the anti-gay violence continues, and dancehall artists like Elephant Man continue to fuel the fire. Fab Montreal reggae critic Erin MacLeod called me up one day to discuss the video for Elephant Man's 2008 hit song 'Our World' which features one character using a cleaver to sever a man's head."As he chops," MacLeod notes in her Pitchfork review, "the victim transforms into a fish [and] 'fish' happens to be a [patois] slang term for 'gay man.'" Elephant Man made this song with Jamaica artist Demarco. (see link below)

NOTE: I can't believe that any video channels can even think of playing that video... and apparently this was a hit song. Totally sick. What are Governments doing allowing these people a Visa to perform in our countries?
(
Hour) ('Our World' videoclip) (Lyrics of the song)

April 4, 2008: Red Stripe pulls the plug on sponsoring music concert
In a bold and possibly controversial move, brewing company Red Stripe has announced its decision to withdraw sponsorship of live music events which its says facilitate "violent and anti-social lyrics". In a statement issued yesterday, the company said that its main sponsorship beneficiaries, the annual Reggae Summerfest and Sting stage shows will no longer have its support. "Over the years, however, a very negative trend of glorifying violence has crept into some of the music, causing much consternation among well thinking Jamaicans and others at home and abroad. This has far-reaching and damaging implications for the industry and for the country as a whole," the release stated. MORE BELOW
(
Jamaica Star) (Jamaica Gleaner 1) (Jamaica Gleaner 2)

April 7, 2008: iTunes Canada remove 'Murder Music' from it's online store
In response to calls from Egale Canada and Stop Murder Music (Canada), iTunes has removed controversial murder music from its North American markets. Anti-gay tracks by popular dancehall artists Buju Banton, Elephant Man and T.O.K are no longer available on the iTunes site. “This is an historic victory for the LGBT community here in Canada and in the Caribbean,” says Akim Larcher founder of SMM (Canada), “iTunes is exercising its corporate responsibility by pulling this murder music and raising the bar for other retailers and distributors to do the same.” The decision comes as a result of calls from Egale Canada and SMM requesting the removal of lyrical content which openly calls for the violence and murder of gays and lesbians. “We are extremely pleased with this decision,” said Helen Kennedy, Executive Director of Egale Canada, “we have also contacted HMV, Archambault Inc, and Amazon.ca and we are optimistic that they will follow iTunes lead.” iTunes has removed entire albums including compilation albums which contain the artists in question.
(
Egale Canada)

April 16, 2008: New York WNYC Radio podcast: 'The Future Of Dancehall?'
On April 16, New York's radio station WNYC (93,9 FM), broadcasted a 9-minutes report by Jonah Engle entitled 'The Future Of Dancehall?' on their morning show. The report features interview with Staceyann Chin (a Jamaican lesbian activist that lives in New York), Elena Oumano (leading journalist writing on Jamaican music), Tracii McGregor (Buju Banton Management), Roy Walters (NY radio DJ for IRIE JAM 93.5 FM).The podcast introduction text: 'For several years, activists in the UK have waged a campaign against homophobic songs in dancehall, a modern form of Reggae. Now the campaign is growing in North America. Concerts are being picketed and iTunes Canada recently announced it was pulling all homophobic dancehall songs from its website. As Jonah Engle reports, the campaign is stirring up a debate that is pitting human rights against artistic license'.

NOTE: The report closes with Bunny Wailer's song 'Cool Running', in order to bring back some peace with roots lyrics. This is quite ironical, as few people will know that Bunny Wailer is part of Jamaican artists that use their stage performaces to spread homophobia. He done it at least once, in January 2001.
(
WNYC Podcast)

April 19, 2008: Bounty Killer's performance inciting gay violence in Guyana
Coming back from a European tour that where several concerts were cancelled and where he faced protests by gays and lesbians at the remaining venues, Bounty Killer couldn't countained himself during his April 19* perfomance in Guayana. Thinking that he was now free to say whatever he wants, as he was now in the Caribbean, the first thing he shouted when entering the stage was: “All battyman fi dead”. Despite several warning from Wildfire promotion, the singer used his stage performance to promote hatered and sing an anti-gay songs*. The performance was interuped three times because of what was reported as technical problem. However, the two artists that performed before him didn't faced any problems. Julian Jones-Griffith, Bounty Killer manager, also tough that the audio cut-off might have something to do with the artist comments: 'Wayne Wonder and QQ performed prior to Bounty, their performances free of any technical glitches. However, five minutes into Bounty’s performance the generator packed up and all power to the stage was cut. I myself checked to see if it was anything other than the generator and was satisfied that it was indeed a technical problem'. In a second article published in Stabroek News, the short concert is resumed: 'Less than ten minutes into his nerve-racking and rather inappropriate performance, the Fusion audio sound system suffered a breakdown. Keeping his cool, the Five Star General sat on a stool centre stage waiting for the power to be restored. Once this was done, he began his performance once more, still attacking members of the gay community and celebrating gun violence. After two more power failures cut short his performance, the annoyed crowd began throwing bottles at the stage. This was nearing 2 am and Bounty Killer had not even given his thirsty fans five songs. Power was restored but about five minutes into his act, he was asked to leave the stage as it was time for the show to end, added to which, gunshots rang out'. Some desapointed Guayanese fans, protested the short concert by throwing beer bottles at the stage. Police had to discharged some warning shots, on two different occasions, to tame the crowd. In the initial report published by Stabroek News, it wrongly suggest that fans hurled bottle at the singer. In a press release issued two days after the incident, Wildfire Promotion said: “We can assure the general public that we do not believe in promoting violence of any kind and we strongly [condemn] it. We apologize if anyone was offended by any statements made by the artists or DJ’s hired to entertain at our Ignition Concert.
(
Stabroek News 1) (One 876 Entertainment) (Jamaica Star) (Stabroek News 2) (Stabroek News 3) (Stabroek News 4)
(
GuyanaChronicle: Open Letter) (Stabroek News: Open Letter)

NOTE: Bounty Killer's concert actually occured on April 20, as it was past midnight when he reached the stage. Unfortunately, the name of the songs were not listed in the articles that I found. Make shure you read the two open letters, they are as relevant as the articles.

April 19, 2008: Lady G and Turbulence join the rank of singers who preach violence against gays
On Saturday April 19, it was Sizzla's Birthday Bash dubbed 'Rise To The Occasion IV', a concert that was held at Temple Hall Estate, in Stony Hill, Jamaica. The show that lasted five hours, featured over 20 artists: Junior Cat, Hawkeye, Richie Spice, Bascom X, Nature, Natural Black, Turbulence, Lady G, Junie Platinum, Mavado, Cocoa Tea, Spragga Benz, Lutan Fyah, Twins Of Twins, Monster Hempire and Sizzla. (plus several new commers: Stream, Dada, Fyakin, I-Lion, Bobo David, Burning Flame and Terrorist). Condemnation of homosexuality and the rejection of the new drive by police to enforce the 'Noise Abatement Act' were among the 'hot' topics of the evening. Lady G and Turbulence are two of the artists that were specifically mentioned in articles making violent remarks on gays and lesbians. Extract from Jamaica Observer: 'That same night, we attended Sizzla's Birthday Bash, dubbed Rise To The Occasion IV at Temple Hall Estate. The central issues addressed by the artistes in song and on-stage commentary were condemnation of homosexuality, the glorification of "gangsterism" and gun- "battyboy, mi an' mi ten big gun a go visit yuh" (Turbulence) and the rejection of the new drive by police to enforce the Noise Abatement Act. At various times, it seemed like we were attending a political rally with some very militant statements coming from artistes like Coco Tea, Turbulence and Twin of Twins in particular. Another article published in Jamaica Observer: 'It took a performance from a no-nonsense Lady G, whose lesbian-burning lyrics ignited the massive at Temple Hall Estate, for the event to once again rise to the occasion. Clearly in no mood to play, the ever-fresh Lady G was a warrior as she fiercely touched on topics like child abuse and homosexuality.
(
Jamaica Observer 1) (Jamaica Observer 2) (Jamaica Observer 3)

NOTE: Only two artists were 'officially' reported preaching violence against gays and lesbians that evening. Probably more singers made similar comments... I'd be currious to find out if Sizzla was able to remain silent on the subject... For those of you who aren't familiar with 'burning' gays and lesbians in Jamaican culture, it is important to explaint that it's the biblical fire that comes from the Old Testament, very popular in Jamaican culture, used with exageration in dancehall lyrics. Still brings a very violent imagery. The fact that preachers/signers link homosexuality with pedophilia is really a problem in Jamaican culture. Those two things that are completely different. Is this a lack of education or simply part of their agenda to get a stronger crowd approval for discrimination and hatered? For the record, I am totally opposed to pedophilia and I'm tired of seeing the two link together.

April 24, 2008: Collage – The Boycott in Jamaican News
I was very surprise to see that much coverage of the boycott in Jamaican News. These are the articles that I found so far.
(
Jamaica Gleaner: February 28) (Jamaica Gleaner: April 8) (Jamaica Star: April 24) (Jamaica Star: May 22)

SLIGHTLY MENTIONNED
(
Jamaica Star: May 13)

INTERNATIONAL PRESS
(
Toronto Star) (Xtra) (Pink News) (Rod 2.0) (Egale Canada) (Hour) (YardFlex) (Xtra: Dispatches from Kingston) (GBMNews) (Xtra)

April 29, 2008: Canadian music retail chain Archambault removes homophobic songs
In response to calls from Egale Canada and Stop Murder Music (Canada), Archambault Inc, one of Eastern Canada’s biggest record dealers, has removed controversial murder music from its Canadian markets. Anti-gay tracks by popular dancehall artists Buju Banton, Elephant Man and T.O.K are no longer available from its retail and on line stores. The decision comes as a result of calls from Egale Canada and SMM requesting the removal of lyrical content which openly calls for the violence and murder of gays and lesbians. “Archambault Inc. is now the second prominent retailer in Canada to pull this murder music,” said Helen Kennedy, Executive Director of Egale Canada, “earlier this month Apple’s iTunes removed the controversial songs from its North American markets.”
(
Egale Canada Press Release) (Hour)

April 29, 2008: Bounty Killer and Mavado: banned from Guyana
Omid a simmering row over his recent show here, Jamaican reggae singer, Rodney ’Bounty Killer’ Price has been banned from entering this country again and his protégé David Brooks called Mavado has been blacklisted owing to security concerns, Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee announced yesterday. The minister also disclosed that entertainment company Wildfire Produ-tions had been sanctioned for its part in hosting Price who bashed gays and glorified guns with his lyrics at a show two Sundays ago at the National Park. Rohee did not disclose what sanction had been imposed on the company headed by businessman, Jonathan Beepat. Bounty Killer has sparked a lot of controversy following his recent performance at the National Park where despite pleas from his manager and officials of Wildfire Productions, he belted out a number of anti-gay lyrics promoted the use guns. Rohee told reporters at a press conference yesterday that the action was taken last week... MORE ON THE LINK BELOW
(
Stabroek News)

May 6, 2008: Sizzla refused European visa: 17 concerts cancelled
It was made official on May 6 that Miguel Orlando Collins, aka Sizzla, was refused his visa for the Schengen countries. In other words, Sizzla was baned from performing in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Greece, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden. Sizzla's European Tour starts on May 9 in Budapest, Hongary. So far, only four concerts remain: Budapest, Wroclaw (Poland), Prague (Czech Republic) and Zurich (Switzerland). The ban innitially affects 19 concerts of his European Tour (see NOTE lower). The previous day, Jamaica Star reported that Sizzla is still performing violent anti-gay songs. He performed his anthem 'Nah Apologise' (to no battyboy) as recent as Friday May 2nd, during a concert held at the University of Technology (Student's Activity Center), in Kingston, Jamaica. Sizzla signed the Reggae Compassionate Act in April 2007, stating that he will no longer promote discrimination on stage or on records against gays and lesbians. He has never respected his signature. Several video segments available on YouTube present him performing the song 'Nah Apologise' in various European countries. (see June 13, 2007 for more details). On May 29, it was announced that Sizzla himself would have renounced to the rest of his Europeen Tour. (See May 29, 2008 for more details).

NOTE: It was reported that the Montreuil and Amsterdam concerts ocurred, despite the fact that Sizzla wasn't authorized to enter France and Netherland. According to footage included on YouTube, Sizzla perfomed the violent homophobic songs To The Point and Nah Apologise. Initially 19 concerts would have to be canclled, but how many of them ended up happening? If you know of any concerts that went on during his Eutropeen tour let me know and I will correct the informations. (email:
irieites72 (at) yahoo (dot) ca).
(
PinkNews) (Jamaica Star) (LSVD Press Release) (Tetu 1) (Tetu 2) (Tetu 3) (Tetu 4) (Sizzla European Tour)

May 9, 2008: Coalition to defend dancehall singers against the 'attack' of gay rights groups
According to YardFlex, 'a Coalition to Defend the Rights of Black Businesses, Black Organizations and Reggae Artists has been formed to provide a unified voice to defend the Reggae Industry against these attacks by the Gay community and other issues'. On June 2nd YardFlex was promoting the blog 'Reggae Lovers For Freedom Of Speech'.

NOTE: It is possible that 'Maria Jackson's blog entitled 'Reggae Lovers For Freedom Of Speech' is the same project as the coalition promoted by YardFlex on May 9. I wrote an email to Maria Jackson, but she never replied.

Never occured to think that if dancehall singers did not promote violence against the gay community, there wouldn't be any conflict? Now dancehall singers are seeking to defend themselves... Why don't you sign the Reggae Compassionate Act and respect it instead, you will see, it's possible to walk into this world without confrontation when you are acting in a peaceful and responsible way.
(
YardFlex 1) (YardFlex 2) (blog: Reggae Lovers For Freedom Of Speech)

May 10, 2008: Elephant Man touring United States without signing the RCA
On April 8, Elephant Man released his 'Let's Get Physical' album, an album that has been delayed for months. The album debuted at #1 on the Billboard Reggae Album’s Chart. This album is the first one the artist is releasing since 2003's 'Good 2 Go' album. The long gap between the two albums is mostlikely attributed to the Stop Murder Music campaign. On May 10, he started his United States tour in Tampa, Florida. Elephant Man still haven't signed the Reggae Compassionate Act, a document that he should signed before being allowed to performed in North Amercia. So far, 22 concerts have been announced for his US tour.
(
Let's Get Physical US Tour Dates)

May 13, 2008: Buju Banton pleads with artistes to clean up lyrics
In Buju Banton's latest Gargamel Gleaner, the popular dancehall artiste is pleading with fellow dancehall entertainers to clean up their lyrics in order to stem the social decay that is not only present in Jamaica but most of the Caribbean countries where the music is very popular. Lyrical content in dancehall music has been a hot topic in the Caribbean lately. Recently the Guyanese government decided to not only ban Bounty Killer and Mavado from the country, but also banned their music on the radio. Other Caribbean countries have been attempting to ban the popular Passa Passa street dances that has been a hit in Jamaica due to the type of dancing and general behaviour associated with the street party. In Trinidad and Tobago, popular radio personality Hypa Hoppa pleaded with fellow DJs to be careful what music is played on the radio. According to the Gargamel Gleaner, the country is "presently having a problem with; crime, politics, the dons, the deejays and lesbian and gays." "We are suffering a social decay yet no one, not a single one of our entertainers, have seen the need for a change in the lyrical content they are selling," Buju Banton said. Buju continued, "What happened? Have we all become followers now, instead of leaders for our people? No wonder these political snipers are getting away with blue murder. Everybody is afraid of what speaking out might bring." (TAKEN FROM TTGAPERS)

NOTE: The whole Buju Banton speach, published in his newly established 'Gargamel Gleaner', can be found at the end of the TTGapers article. Other artists have recently expressed the need to clean up dancehall lyrics:
Lady Saw, Mavado, Vybz Kartel and Ninja Man. If you know any other artists that publicly express such concerns, let me know and I will include them.
(
TTGapers) (Jamaica Star 1) (Jamaica Star 2) (One876Entertainment) (Jamaica Observer 1) (Jamaica Observer 2)

May 17, 2008: Jamaican boycott is called off
Jamaican government have been ignoring the concern of the international community to adress homophobia and taking the approprite mesure to face the crisis of violence that Jamaican gays and lesbians are facing on a daily basis. In order to pressure the Jamaican government to adopt a policy to protect human rights, the idea of a boycott was suggest during the pannel discussion The Sound Of Hate, on February 29. Three weeks later, Egale Canada was adressing to the Consulate General of Jamaica in Toronto, a list of issues that the Jamaican government would need to adopt and if they didn't show any positive action to adress the situation, a boycott would be launch on May 17, which is International Day Against Homophobia. Among the issues expressedn in the letter, Egale Canada requests: A government Public Service announcement denouncing homophobic/transphobic violence in Jamaica, a national homophobia/transphobia Education campaign and repealing the Buggery Laws and other legislation that further stigmatize, discriminate and criminalize consensual same sex acts. (see March 20 2008, for complete letter). J-FLAG, Jamaica's Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays, as shown concern that such a boycott could end up bringing more violence to the Jamaican gay community "Yet, because of the possible repercussions of increased homophobic violence against our already besieged community, we feel that a tourist boycott is not the most appropriate response at this time. In our battle to win hearts and minds, we do not wish to be perceived as taking food off the plate of those who are already impoverished". Jason MacFarlane, the current program director at J-FLAG, says that SMMC and Egale's campaign against murder music gets people talking and that is a good thing. But he's opposed to the tourist boycott because he says it complicates J-FLAG's work. "I personally understand where they're coming from," he says. "But [Egale and SMMC] are in a position where they can't see what's happening day-to-day. They are not facing the realities. If J-FLAG had one case [of violence against gay people] a week, since the boycott we have three. They're not seeing the reality. It is essentially bringing more violence on the community." On May 20, when asked to clarify the situation on the suggested boycott, Egale Canada wrote me: "Calls for a boycott of Jamaica is called off, however Egale Canada and Stop Murder Music (Canada) are still calling on Canadians to make informed choices about where they travel to or what products they buy".

When requested to comment on the boycott, Jamaican prime minister Bruce Golding' reafirmed his position: "There is a road down wich I am not going to allow this country to go under my leadership".The leader has been misleading the conflict, always bring it to the ground of same-sex union debate, which is not at all what J-FLAG and international Human Rights are requesting from the Jamaican governemnt. The Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) had expressed concern about the threats, and added that the Canadian market was a particularly viable one. Wayne Cummings, head of the JHTA, told THE STAR “They are a very forward-thinking, liberal country, and I’m sure there may be some credibility to the argument that they could affect us.” J-FLAG have woked very heard since 2000 to request that Jamaican government remove the Buggery Laws. Jamaican governement have not shown any signs to repealed those outdated laws.
(
Jamaica Star 1) (Xtra: Dispatches from Kingston) (Jamaica Star 2)

NOTE: I suggest that you read the entire article published in Xtra (Dispatches from Kingston), as it brings an important perspective on why the boycott was called off. But I'd like to correct the writer: as far as I know, the initial idea of a boycott was lauched and supported by people from the Caribbean who grew up in the climate of violence and have lost friends trough homophobic killing. Even Gareth Henry, who has been co-chair of J-FLAG between July 2004 and January 2008 have said that he would supported a tourist boycott of Jamaica. But obviously, it's not everyone at J-FLAG who share his opinion. If you want to read some of the oppinion expressed on the boycott, before if was called off: (GBMNews) (Xtra). On April 14, I was aksed to take position on the boycott by Xtra, the Canadian gay and lesbian newspaper. A portion of it was print in their paper. Click here to read my position on the Jamaican boycott.

May 20, 2008: Jamaica Prime Minister interviewed on BBC: no homosexuals in my cabinet
Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding is defending his declaration on a BBC talk show, that homosexuals would not be welcome in his Cabinet. Responding to a Gleaner editorial, criticising the tone of his response to questions about homosexuality on BBC's HARDtalk Tuesday, Golding made it clear his Government was not about to erode the country's innate values that determine both its prejudices and morals. "Values inherently involve prejudices," Golding wrote in a letter to the editor. "For example, we are prejudiced against incest and prostitution. Should we now be required to recognise the rights of incesters and prostitutes and find accommodation for them in the Cabinet?" (text taken from GayNewsWatch.com).
(
BBC News – Hard Talk) (Jamaica Observer) (Jamaica Gleaner 1) (Jamaica Gleaner 2) (Jamaica Gleaner 3)
(
Jamaica Gleaner: Opinions)

May 21, 2008: Unsigned artist Jomo Minott already on the list of singers that promote hate
Online music stores are selling so-called Murder Music despite protests from gay rights activists. Martin Adelskov, founder of leading LGBT radio station Pride Radio Denmark, has complained to Freewebs.com and Indietitan.com after coming across the hate-filled content by unsigned artist Jomo Minott. "It's insane that online music stores and free internet hosting services wont block users whose sole purpose, with their musical career, is spreading hatred though music," Mr Adelskov told PinkNews.co.uk. "I immediately emailed the support on Indietitan.com, and several hours later, I received an email letting me know they would start an investigation at the very same moment." Mr. Adelskov also reported the artist's website hosting service Freewebs.com. "Freewebs.com actually has an abuse-policy, and 'spreading hatred' is on that list, so I thought they would be easy to dance with. "But Freewebs.com are either full of it or they simply just don't get it, because the site is still there. "It really scares me that internet companies like Freewebs.com and Indietitan.com are making sure that the ugly face of hatred has a platform from where they can speak." The Stop Murder Music campaign, headed by legendary activist Peter Tatchell, has added Jomo Minott to its list of hate artists (text from PinkNews).
(
Pink News)

May 29, 2008: Sizzla cancelled the remaining dates of his European Tour
Tjenbé Rèd had just found some common ground with Sizzla through the mediation of Eddie Brown, his European agent. Sizzla had acknowledged that he had made some “mistakes” (by which he meant, had again performed some songs with homophobic lyrics). This was after he had put his signature to the Reggae Compassionate Act (RCA) on the 15th of April 2007, which committed him never to perform such songs. Sizzla had subsequently, as we had asked, brought himself again within the scope of the RCA, according to a statement by his European agent, dated Tuesday the 27th May 2008 at 22:35. ...However, according to Havana Café, where he was scheduled to perform this evening (29 May) in Ramonville near Toulouse, then on Sunday the 1st of June at Montpellier, Sizzla is said to have suddenly decided to cancel the remainder of his French tour. He left suddenly for Jamaica without even giving formal notice of his decision to the organisers of the remaining concerts. These organisers have found themselves reduced to trying to understand the elliptical comments coming from Eddie Brown’s office. He apparently does not take or return their telephone calls, despite the fact that they have forked out in advance some €8,000 per concert, and have incurred other expences for promotion or the technical teams’ salaries. (text taken from Tjenbé Rèd) (see May 6, 2008 for more details)

NOTE: I have found no english publications that wrote articles on Sizzla's decision to cancelled the remaining concerts of his European Tour. But how many of these concerts were left? According to my research, his decision was affecting four concerts: Ramonville (May 29), Villeurbanne (May 30), Lille (May 31) and Montpellier (June 1), which two of them were already officially cancelled. One article mentionned that Sizzla signed again the RCA (probably the new version of the RCA – to be confirmed). In the Tetu article, it is reported that Eddie Brown was thinking about suing LGBT European groups or the German authorities that stopped Sizzla from entering the Schengen countries, for the money he lost (which he estimates as being several hundred thousand euros). I have a question: Why would Eddie Brown honoured Sizzla with a European Tour in 2008, knowing the fact that Sizzla didn't respect the RCA in 2007? Eddie Brown has initiate the RCA with OutRage! in the Spring of 2007. Why a promoter give a contract to a musician who clearly did not respect a previous contract that was partly written by the same promoter?
(
Press Release 1) (Press Release 2) (Press Release 3) (Press Release 4) (Press Release 5) (Press Release 6) (Tetu) (ReggaeFrance)

June 4, 2008: Tjenbé Rèd suggests a dialogue to Danchall lovers
Two weeks of confrontation on Sizzla’s coming to France (from the 9th to the 20th of May). One week of (ultimately aborted) discussions with Sizzla’s people (from the 20th to the 27th of May). And a week of a noisy clashes between the various parties’ differing versions of the outcome of these discussions (from the 27th May until today). Now Tjenbé Rèd is suggesting to the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi- and trans-sexual) community and to the Dancehall community to move on a bit to perhaps a more constructive phase - that of dialogue. To all well-intentioned people, Tjenbé Rèd suggests we meet in a bar, around a drink, to look for a solid solution to this impasse and to find some area for dialogue between the LGBT community and that of Dancehall. Meet on Saturday the 7th of June at 16:00 in Paris, near the St-Paul Metro. The code word for this operation is “Tout' moun' sé moun' !” which is French West Indian Creole for “Everybody is a person!” (text from Tjenbé Rèd)
(
Press Release)

NOTE: David Auerbach: 'Unfortunately, nobody showed up at the meeting point'. Maybe because the date and time was not to the convenience of people that would have been opened to start a dialogue. He wrote that he was ready to make another meeting point where people could suggest a time and place at their conveniences.

June 11, 2008: Red Stripe to sponsor Red Stripe Temptation Isle
Is red stripe softening its stance on sponsorship of live events? This is the question on many lips this afternoon as information surfaces that the annual high end Red Strip live events party RTI is on for July 31 to august 3 in Negril. You may recall that a few months ago, red stripe announced that it had withdrawn sponsorship from all live events in an effort to positively affect the Jamaican music landscape. Events which have been affected as a result of this decision includes Reggae Sumfest of which Red Stripe was a title sponsor and dancehall shows generally, which would see the brand sponsoring in one form or another. However Red Stripe Temptation Isle or RTI as it is more commonly known may see a softening in the brands stance on live events as it’s all systems go for the annual live entertainment event. However, brand public relations manager of red stripe Kim Lee, tells Music News that that they will be sponsoring the parties and not to live events. Reggae Sumfest on the other hand, announced at its launch earlier today that although Red Stripe had withdrawn title sponsorship from the festival, Red Stripe will still be the official liquor on the ground. (text taken from Irie FM)
(
Irie FM)

June 12, 2008: Richie Spice banned from Irie FM
The Jamaica Observer broke news of Irie FM’s ban of Richie Spice’s Music on its airwaves. According to the station “Effective immediately, artistes who include explicit lyrics or indecent language in previously clean pre-released singles on CDs or other released music, will be facing a media black-out by the company.” This comes on the heels of an embarrassing moment for a radio DJ who played the title track off Riche Spice’s "Gideon Boot" Album on the air. At the end of the song there was an expletive “B*&% c@#%, it finish already." (read 'Bumbaclot, it finish already') It seems promotional CDs that the station were given were clean, but when the actual album was received and played on air, the format was different as the expletive was added. Of course it comes as a shock to many since Richie Spice is known not for using profanity, but for his positive and uplifting music. The newspaper quotes his assistant Ornaldo 'Junior' Thompson as saying that, "It was just a vibe. When he finished singing the song he made the exclamation and the engineer captured it. I guess because it sounded natural and musical, he left it on the track. When the raw footage was being submitted to the company it was on it and because our badwords have no meaning on the overseas market, the company just left it at the end of the track." (text taken from Lime).

NOTE: However this censorship is not related to homophobia in Jamaican music, I think this news belongs on this page as it shows another action being put in place in Jamaica to clean up the music. I agree with those who think it's too drastic to ban the entire catalogue from an artist. It seems like IrieFM used Richie Spice to get their point across. According to the date from the news coming from ReggaeFrance, the new IrieFM policy would have been posted on their website on May 12 (or May 13). The story appeared in the Jamaica Observer on May 20. On June 12, the Internet press offcialized Richie Spice's ban on IrieFM.
(
The Lime) (YardFlex) (Jamaica Observer) (Reggae France)
On a personal level, I love Richie Spice's music. He is one of the rare contemporary Jamaican artist that I can fully tune with his music (at least, the one that I've heard ;-). I suggest the album 'In The Streets To Africa'.

June 14, 2008: RainbowVibes.com: Caribbeans first Gay and Lesbian social network
Jamaica, dubbed one the most homophobic nations on earth has spawned the Caribbeans first Gay and Lesbian social network, RainbowVibes.com: Where Caribbean Gay Life Meets the World. Andrea Rainford: 'The site is an online hub for Caribbean gay, lesbian, bisexual individuals living at home and overseas, in addition to the many others across the globe who have interest in the Caribbean. Now Jamaican gays and lesbians can connect with others in Trinidad or Barbados or Guyana. Likewise, American, Canadian and European gays and lesbians can meet Caribbean gays and lesbians in that single space online at rainbowvibes.com'. Its the brainchild of Matthew Raine, a gay Jamaican IT executive who now lives in Canada and Andrea Rainford, a Jamaican lesbian marketing executive who lives in Kingston, Jamaica. 'The need was glaring and since its something we craved ourselves and had the know how to get it done, we said lets be bold and give this Pride month gift to our community of Caribbean LGBT people wherever they are in the World', Matthew said. The site, which is translatable in six languages, has all the interactive features of a social network like Facebook. Members are able to create and join groups, add music, events, videos, chat, make friends, find dates, create and join discussions, write blogs and read news from the Caribbean and the World. An online store will be launched soon where members can buy RainbowVibes.com merchandise such as t-shirts and stickers (a good chunk of the funds generated will go towards Caribbean LGBT organisations). 'Our focus is on making the site it a fun,vibrant and meaningful destination online where our members are happy to spend time and tell their friends about it too', Matthew explained. RainbowVibes.com went line on June 14, 2008. (text taken from Silicone Caribe)
(
RainbowVibes.com) (SiliconeCaribe)

June 20, 2008: Poll results: One Jamaican out of four believes in equal rights for gays
The polls, conducted on May 31 and June 1 across 84 communities in Jamaica's 14 parishes, found that 70 per cent of respondents believe that homosexuals and lesbians should not be entitled to the same basic rights and privileges enjoyed by heterosexual Jamaicans. The polls, which had a margin of error of plus or minus three per cent, found that 26 per cent of respondents believe that homosexuals should enjoy the same level of lifestyle as other persons. The study found that women are more accommodating of gay lifestyles. Some 34 per cent of them said gays should enjoy the same basic rights compared to 20 per cent of males who share this view. (Text taken from Jamaica Gleaner. More on the link below)
(
Jamaica Gleaner)

June 20, 2008: 'Taboo', a new Jamaican documentary on gays & lesbians in the making
Jamaican-American Actress, Model and now Filmmaker Selena Blake that is currently working on a second documentary titled 'Taboo... Gay and Lesbian Yardies. The Voices of Those Who Dare to Speak'. In early 2006, she released the documentary 'Queensbridge: The Other Side' based on the lives of the people living in “The Bridge” - the Queensbridge Housing Project, whose residents are hardworking multi-cultural, multi-ethnic families trying to make ends meet. Her new documentary wants to open dialogue about homosexuality between all spheres of the Jamaican society. The press release for her new project read: 'As a Jamaican I’m aware of the zero tolerance attitudes most fellow Jamaicans (aka “yardie”) feel towards homosexuals (aka “Battyman”) and lesbians. But I’ve never personally witnessed or know of anyone being harmed solely because of their sexual preference. ...This documentary is not endorsing homosexuality or lesbianism; nor is it intended as a medium for criticism or that condones violence of any kind. It is intended to shed some light on one of the many stereotypes that plague our culture, that most Jamaicans are violent towards gays and lesbians in Jamaica....Our mission is to bring awareness not only to this reality, but to the reality of the homophobic mentality and behavior to the extent it does exist. And to denounce the violence that is being perpetrated on gays and lesbians in Jamaica -a mentality that is based on a lack of information/education- an ignorance that permeates throughout a relatively small percentage of the Jamaican culture. ...Our goal is to find not neutral, but common ground, where all can stand tall and be proud of our legacy like the Bob Marley’s, Peter Tosh, Dennis Brown, Berres Hammond & Judy Mowatt, Marcia Griffiths, Luciano and so many other legendary conscious artist of all time. The time has come for "YARDIES" to address this homophobic behavior, -whether perception or reality- in a more socially responsible manner. We all have the right to our opinions and choices; and rightfully so. But we do not have the right to harm anyone on the basis of his or her color, religion, race and sexual preference.' The film maker is seeking for 'interviews from all categories; gays, bisexuals, lesbians, heterosexuals males & females Jamaicans and from all different socioeconomic background who are brave and bold enough to come on camera and speak their truth pro and anti so we can finally get to the bottom of this madness and start the healing process'. A fundrasing party was organised in Manhattan on June 26. The documentary is due to premiere late Fall 2009. More information available on the Press Release below.
(
Press Release 1) (Press Release 2) (Fundraising Press Release) (Jamaica Gleaner) (New York Daily News)
(
TabooYardies.com)

Information about Selena Blake previous documentary:
(
Queensbridge:The Other Side) (7-minute teaser) (28-minute interview) (collection of articles) (introduction to Selena Blake's career)

Information about Selena Blake previous documentary:
(
Queensbridge:The Other Side)


June 20, 2008: German politicians request withdraw of violent Jamaican music and sanctions
TEXT FROM JAMAICAN ARTICLE PUBLISHED IN JANUARY 2010: ...On June 20, 2008, the Bundestag Printed Paper published a reply from the German Federal Government to the minor interpellation tabled by the members of the German Bundestag -- Volker Beck (Cologne) and others in the Alliance 90/Green's parliamentary group. It included the following false statements which amount to a smear campaign against Jamaica and all its musical forms. "Gay people are in a critical situation in Jamaica", "prison sentences of up to 15 years are imposed simply for holding hands". The document implies that Brian Williamson (JFLAG) and Lenford Harvey were victims of homophobic violence and that there has been a steady increase in frequency of such murders over recent years. It states further that "homophobic lyrics feature in the repertoires of many of Jamaica's Reggae and Dancehall stars, but clergymen, trade unions and the Jamaican Government, also stir up gay hate". (more on the link below).
(Jamaica Observer) (JUNE 2008: Replly of the Federal Gov. of Germany concerning the status of homosexuals in JA)

June 23, 2008: Ninja Man promotes One Umbrella Movement
Dressed in all-white, Ninja Man took his seat at the front of the conference centre, appearing relaxed, and focused on discussing the One Umbrella Movement and its organisation, which promotes non-violence, especially amongst the youth. "There is no one better than me to head this movement. Bounty can't do it; Beenie Man can't do it. Only a man like me who has lived the life I've lived can be a role model to these youths, and telling them that if they go the path of drugs, they will end up like this, or if they take up a gun, they will end up like that. I've been down that road, which everyone knows, and it's time for me to take up this cause to save the youths from a life that's not good. I know, I've been there as everybody knows. The only two other man who could do this is Josie Wales, or Super Cat. We know that violence will never be eliminated, but we can at least bring violence down, and I am going to do it!" So said Ninja Man when asked how his life's experience has prepared him for this role. One of the mandates of the One Umbrella Movement is to have chapters in most Reggae consuming countries such as Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America and throughout the Caribbean. Focus will be placed on giving youths resources they so badly need to take their minds away from violence, and focus on prosperity. As an initial offering, young entertainers will be given a sound system to hold their own dance in their local community. Also, there are talks of installing a car wash, and educating youths on business management." (TAKEN FROM JAMAICA OBSERVER)
(
Jamaica Observer 1) (Jamaica Observer 2)

June 24, 2008: Ja'Sound Tour 2008 would be cancelled, for potential forest fire risks
On June 23, Tjenbé Rèd requested vigilance on three of the twenty artists that were programmed on the Jah'Sound Tour 2008 in Cuges-les-Pins, located East of Marseille, in France. The following day, a second press release informed that the festival would be cancelled as the organisers were not able to meet the conditions of the Cuges-les-Pins municipality to prevent potential forest fire from happening. The festival was to be located in the Provencal hills, in the South of France, an area that is subject to fire. In it's first press release, Tjembé Rèd requested vigilance on different levels for the three artists. Beenie Man must re-affirm his intention to respect the Reggae Compassionate Act, a document that he publicly denied signing. Sizzla must clarify his May 27 declarations and Capleton must confirm that he still respects his signature of the RCA. In the second press release, Tjenbé Rèd stated that they had no intention for the festival to be cancelled, but want to make shure that the three artists fully respect their engagement of the RCA.
(
Tjenbé Rèd Press Release 1) (Tjenbé Rèd Press Release 2) (Ja'Sound Tour 2008)

July 7, 2008: Straight Pride has a 'homophobic agenda'
A Straight Pride parade is being organized by TCOOO Productions, a reggae music label who is furious because a hit song by their artist Stapler, 'Hit Them Hard', has been banned by some radio stations because it encourages violence against gays. Reggae performer Jango Fresh said in a press release: "The Straight Pride parade is a great idea because when a song like 'Hit Them Hard' by my label mate Stapler can be banned just because it stresses the importance of a male and a female in every family, it is a sign that heterosexuals need to wake up." TCOOO Production press release: The Straight Pride Parade is a chance for Heterosexuals to gather together and proudly embrace their sexuality. The Parade will also allow reggae and dancehall fans who are in New York City for the Labor Day celebrations to get together and celebrate reggae, dancehall and family in love and unity. Adults are encouraged to bring their children along for the celebrations, as the event will be family oriented. The president of TCOOO said he hopes the event will unify the reggae community who has seen many reggae events cancelled recently not only in the United States but all over Europe and the Caribbean. "I sat quietly and watched as they cancelled artists like Buju Banton, Sizzla Kalonji and Capleton" he said, "but when the gay community went after TCOOO artists like Vineyard the Rebel Priest, Stapler and Jango Fresh we decided that we must make a show of strength." Commenting on the planned Straight Pride, gay human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, a spokesperson for OutRage! and the Stop Murder Music campaign, said: "The US is a free country. Let them have their misnamed Straight Pride parade. They say it is a celebration of heterosexuality, but really it’s a promotion of straight supremacism. Their parade is driven by a homophobic agenda. They defend artists who incite hatred and violence against LGBT people. The organisers falsely claim that the Stop Murder Music campaign is an attack on reggae music. Nonsense. It is an attack on a small number of reggae singers who have perverted reggae's message of peace, love and justice. They have betrayed the liberation ideals of the reggae pioneers and are hijacking the genre to turn it into an anthem of homophobic hatred and violence. They are encouraging civil war in the black community. They want black straight people to kill black lesbians and gay men". The parade will take place on Eastern Parkway along the same route as the annual Caribbean labor day parade.
(
PinkNews) (PR Web) (Hit Them Hard lyrics) (Oppinion: Long Bench)

July 12, 2008: Bounty Killer perform violent homophobic song at ‘What A Bam Bam’ festival
The 2008 Festival Song Competition at the National Indoor Sports Centre, St Andrew. This year’s event was dubbed, "Festival Song 2k8 – What A Bam Bam". Jamaica Star report’s Bounty Killer closing perfomance: ‘It was Bounty Killer who stole the spotlight for the night. Though it seemed not his usual crowd, Bounty Killer had the audience out of their seats and running to the front of the stage. And instead of the 'cross, angry and miserable' persona, the warlord was 'calm, cool and collected' throughout his performance. While he kept his music lyrically 'clean', passing over songs he deemed "too bad" Bounty Killer could not resist the urge to speak out against what he believes to be wrong in Jamaica. He entered on stage saying, "I notice di place nuh full like how it suppose to ram, yet when the boogoyagga foreign artiste come, di place ram. We mus' rememba dat we are many, show some patriotism," Bounty said. He went on to perform songs such as 'Anytime', 'Can't Believe Mi Eyes', and 'Look Into Ma Eyes' before closing with 'Nuh Fren Fish' (No homosexual friends). Although it was a family event, the artiste gave a running commentary on the prime minister's statement about having no homosexuals in his cabinet, applauding the PM's decision.

Note: Both songs 'Can’t Believe Mi Eyes' and 'Nuh Friend Fish' are homophobic songs. 'Nuh Friend Fish' promote the killing of homosexuals. The fourth link is a remix with gun sampling.
(
Jamaica Star) (Nuh Fren Fish lyrics) (Nuh Fren Fish song) (Nuh Fren Fish remix)

July 18, 2008: Bounty Killer Arrested For Profanity at Sumfest
Bounty Killer was arrested early Friday morning at Reggae Sumfest which was held in Montego Bay, Jamaica. In a performance that started off very upbeat and was initially warmly received in front of the estimated 19,000 in attendance the mood changed dramatically as Bounty was booed when he began to disparage fellow artists Ninja Man and Beenie Man. With both unkind and, daresay, juvenile commentary that included physical threats, sexually charged comments and a slew of obscenities Bounty served to dampen the mood of what was proving to be a full but engaging lineup in front of a packed audience and large international media presence. After Bounty's performance the MC made an announcement that the police were closely monitoring all performances and those in violation of the laws would be arrested. Beenie Man who closed the show made light of Bounty's indiscretions (saying he should be forgiven) and played a set that left the capacity crowd streaming out at minutes after 6am fully satisfied with what proved, on the balance, to be an excellent night of terrific music. (text from WestIndianTimes). Jamaica Observer’s version is slightly different: ‘Bounty Killer who was in a 'cross, angry, and miserable' mood, and he showed it too! He started hitting out at Red Stripe for withdrawing their sponsorship, claiming their problem wasn't about violence but more particularly violence against homosexual men. He continued his cussing spree by disparaging Ninja Man and Beenie Man, but that was as far as the audience allowed him to go’. According to BillBoard, he was booed after criticizing Beenie Man and Ninja Man. Police said that Bounty Killer ‘unleashed a series of expletives and left the stage in a huff’. He was charged and released on bond. He is due to appear in court on July 31 when he will answer two counts of using indecent language and disorderly conduct. He faces a maximum penalty of 30 days in prison, or a fine.

NOTE: I might be wrong, but I have a feeling that the dis with Beenie Man and Ninja Man is related to signing the RCA and cleaning up the lyrics. In a YardFlex article, it is written that Bounty Killer called (once again) Beenie Man a fish. The term 'Fish' is a Jamaican slang for homosexual.
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WestIndianTimes) (Jamaica Observer) (BllBoarard) (YardFlex)

July 18, 2008: Reggae CDs Under German Scrutiny for Anti-Gay Lyrics
The homophobic lyrics of several Jamaican reggae musicians has moved the German government to consider blacklisting them and restrict their sales and distribution. The CDs by Elephant Man and T.O.K. could be put on the "Index of Harmful Materials," which, while it would not censor the materials in Germany, would severely limit their advertising and marketing.
The Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons will decide over the next several months if the music will be included on the index, the government said on Thursday in its response to a parliamentary inquiry. The index includes items such as media which glorify war and violence and are intended to induce hate."Those in Jamaica who invoke hatred should not earn money with their music in Germany," he said on Thursday in Berlin. (text taken from DW-World.de) (more on the link below)
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DW-World.de)

August 12, 2008: Jamaican Lesbian Granted Asylum
In South Florida, a 29-year-old Jamaican lesbian was spared deportation to her native land after a judge found she could be beaten or killed there because of her sexual orientation. The immigration judge's decision is considered "extremely rare." The Miami Herald: 'The general atmosphere in Jamaica is a feeling of no tolerance towards homosexuals in general, and as such, . . . the respondent's life is definitely at risk,'' Immigration Judge Irma Lopez-Defillo said, according to court documents. Lopez-Defillo initially ordered that the woman be deported because of a pair of drug convictions. In the same ruling, the judge deferred the order based on the climate of intolerance in Jamaica. Nichole checked in with immigration authorities on Thursday regarding her order of supervision. She is due to report back in three months. The woman, who uses her middle name Nichole in court documents has lived in the States since 10 years old, says being gay ''is the worst thing you can be stricken with [in Jamaica].'' The woman says when she was a teenager and ''her sexuality became apparent, her parents, Seventh-day Adventists, tried to stage an intervention. Her parents sent her back to Jamaica'' and an aunt beat her.. (text taken from Rod 2.0) (more on the link below)
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Rod 2.0)

August 15, 2008: Sizzla so-called conscious lyrics: 35 songs where he advocates murder
TEXT FROM JAMAICA OBSERVER: Conscious deejay Miguel Collins, more popularly known as Sizzla, has advocated murder in at least 35 songs, that's more than Ninja Man, Mavado or Munga, yet he still considers himself righteous. His victims include, Pope John Paul II, politicians, policemen, informers, gunmen, gays, and even an innocent taxi driver. He's the "baddest mother***** ever seen". These songs are all gun tunes and don't include Sizzla's vast catalogue of fire-burning tunes. Splash analysed 34 of Sizzla's albums, which covers much of his known discography of over 300 songs. The music tells of a man deeply prolific but equally at odds, caught between God and the gun. (MORE ON THE LINK BELOW)
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Jamaica Observer)

August 31, 2008: Straight Pride Parade: Attendance Zero
In early July 2008, a New York reggae label, upset because one of his song was banned on radio because it was advertising violence to gays, decided to lauch the first Straight Pride parade in Brooklyn. The event was sheduled to occured during Labor Day weekend, one day prior to Brooklyn West Indian Carnival (the organizers of the carnival have distance themselves from the Straight Pride Parade). Gay blogger Joe.My.God turned up at the advertised meeting point at 10am on Sunday to find he was the only one there. "I did see a good number of cars whizzing by that were festooned with flags from Jamaica and other Caribbean nations, but those were probably just folks getting ready for tomorrow's massive West Indian Day Parade," he wrote. "Just to make sure I hadn't missed the fun, I popped into a few shops to inquire if anybody had seen a parade this morning. The manager of Raquel Shoes told me, "I've been here since 8:30am. It's been totally quiet all morning." When visiting the website of the reggae label on September 2nd, there was no pictures of the parade. The event wasn't even mention. Just two weeks before, the organisers issued a second Press Release advertising the parade.
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PinkNews) (JoeMyGod.blog) (TCOOO 2nd Press Release) (Hour) (TimeOut) (The Root)

NOTE: I must admit, I was currious to see how the Straight Pride Parade unfold. I visited YardFlex a few days later and found nothing. No article, simply because there was nothing to cover. I must say I was surprised. That meant even the organisers of the parade and their friends did not even sho
wed up!? Maybe they just couldn't get a permit? (In Montreal, you need to have a permit to organise such events as it implies closing streets...). I cannot help but point out some of the text coming from their press release: "TCOOO label and Stapler believes the gay community targets Reggae because 99 percent of the artists are African American" "They go after Buju Banton and Sizzla, but they don't bother a Sean Paul or a Damian Marley. When Damian Marley said, 'Funny man get drop like a bad habit,' what do they think a funnyman is? A funnyman is a homosexual, so are they afraid to challenge a Marley, or is he not Black enough for the homosexual community to try and destroy?" and the funiest line of all: "Beenie man went on the Ru-Paul show so why are gays still bent on destroying Reggae music?" For those of you who really feel the need to advertise your heterosexuality, you can always buy a T-Shirt on StraightPride.com

September 26, 2008: What it's like to be a gay cop in Jamaica
On Februyary 24 2008, The New York Times ran an article on Jamaican homophobia. In the article a gay cop, Michael Hayden, explained his daily struggle. Seven months later, Current TV made a report on what it's like to be openly gay in Jamaican Police force. The report named 'Gay Jamaican Cop' was made by Michelle Bromley-McGhie and was broadcasted in England on VC2 (Viewer Credited Content) on September 26*. It last 5m29 and it's available online.
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Current TV: Gay Jamaican Cop)

NOTE: Wonderful interview made with a brave Jamaican cop. The video was posted September 26 on current.com, but seems to have been 'officially' broadcasted on Current TV only four days later.

October 9, 2008: Egale Canada Submits Report to the United Nations Human Rights Council
On September 25, Egale Canada's requested that Buju Banton would not be allowed a visa to perform for his upcoming concert at Toronto's Kool Haus on October 11. For Egale Canada, before being allowed in Canada, musicians that advocated the killing of gays and lesbians through their music in the past, must sign the Reggae Compassionate Act and make a public conference in the Caribbean to announce their signatures and publicly condemn violence made to gays, lesbians, bi-sexual and transgenders. So far, Buju Banton signed the first version of the Reggae Compassionate Act, but his management company denied his signature. He also performed part of his controversial song 'Boom Bye Bye', at least once, after signing the RCA. Canadian Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Diane Finley have ignored Egale Canada's request. “The Minister has abdicated her duties by allowing Buju Banton into the country and as a result has provided him with a platform to incite ‘murder’ said Akim Larcher, spokesperson for Stop Murder Music (Canada). “Buju Banton has continued to perform ‘murder music’ whilst on tour in the Caribbean and has recently said that gays and lesbians are part of social decay.”To date, our Federal Government has ignored requests to revoke Buju Banton’s visa and has been silent on the issue of “murder music” for over a year now. On October 9, Egale Canada Submited a report to the United Nations Human Rights Council documenting key areas where Canada has failed to comply with its national and international obligations to LGBT rights.: “The governments lack of transparency in addressing the issues and their blatant lack of consultation with Canadian not-for-profits, could lead to Canada producing a National report that is one-sided, partial and slanted to the actual situation of LGBT human rights in Canada,” says Helen Kennedy, Executive Director of Egale Canada. A copy of the report can be obtained by contacting Egale Canada.

On October 22, Egale Canada called for a boycott of the Kool Haus, a popular venue for LGBT events, especially during Pride week. Akim Adé Larcher: "In spite of verbal and written assurances to Stop Murder Music (Canada), Egale Canada and Proud FM that the concert had been cancelled, Kool Haus’ CEO Charles Khabouth went against his words and provided a platform to Buju Banton, one of the most notorious homophobic/transphobic artists".
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Egale Canada: Open Letter) (Egale Canada: Press Release) (Egale Canada: Press Release for United Nation Report)
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Egale Canada: Kool Haus boycott)

October 14, 2008: Tjenbé Rèd! request that Anthony B sign the RCA
On October 6, Jamaican artist Anthony B launched a 16-date European tour. The french Caribbean LGBT organisation Tjenbé Rèd! request that Anthony B sing the Reggae Compassionate Act in order to perform in Europe due to the existance of at least four homophobic songs written between 1996 and 2002. Anthony B was supposed to perform at Vitry-le-François (Marne), France on October 12, 2008, but the concert was cancelled by the mayor's request, to avoid public disorder. On October 15, Tjenbé Rèd! request a public debate on 'Murder Music'. See french Press Releases for more details. On October 18, a Press Release was issued where Anthony B was responding to the association via his French lawyer to some violent homophobic statements that he would have made in an interview, published in the French magazine Reggae Massive in 2001. In that article he said that if his son was gay he would kill him (see link lower for transcrip of this interview). Instead of trying to get the concerts cancelled, Tjenbé Rèd was reaching for a dialogue with dancehall fans and the singer. On October 21, when performing at Toulouse, judging by his actions, Anthony B clearly manifested that he has no intention to sing the Reggae Compassionate Act and that he is not ready to move on with his homophobic past: during the concert, he insulted the gay community by using several time the pejorative term 'pedal', a french equivalent to 'chi chi man', when pointing out at his behind. The following day, Tjenbè Rèd! invited other LGBT organisations and concert venue holder to be vigilent on the remaining 5 dates of his tour. On October 24, to avoid possible public disorder in his town, the owner of the venue and mayor of Sannois (France) cancelled the concert that was sheduled for October 28, 2008. In it's latest press release, Tjenbé Rèd! mentionned that they were not in favour of concerts to be cancelled, but maintained their position on establishing a public debate on 'Murder Music' and the importance of signing and observing the Reggae Compassionate Act.
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Press Release 1) (Press Release 2) (Press Release 3) (Press Release 4) (Press Release 5) (Press Release 6) (Press Release 7)
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Tjenbé Rèd 17-page dossier) (Anthony B article in Reggae Massive)
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Reggae France 1) (Reggae France 2) (Reggae France 3)
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Tjenbé Rèd dossier: three years of figting against 'Murder Music') (Trac distributed on October 13)

MY OPPINION: After reading what happen at the Toulouse concert, I can't help but saying: What a stupid attitude to adopt when a LGBT organisation is trying to make things smoother by establishing the dialogue instead of cancelling your concerts. This is the type of attitude you may expect from a 8-year old in a school yard. Anthony B: it's a good thing that you show us your behind: A good kick in the ass and don't come back. You are a shame to reggae music. Any decent human being would NEVER object to sign the RCA. It probably made some people laugh that night, but I am positive that a majority of reggae fans will think twice before investing their money into this artist again.

NOTE: A fair portion of Tjenbé Rèd 17-page dossier as been directly taken from my website. I have no problem with this, but just wish to specify that I am not associated with their organisation. Although we share similar goals, their oppinion does not necessarly reflect mine. I applause their initiative to open up a dialogue with dancehall fans and appreciate all the energy the gay and lesbian organisations put daily so we can live in a better and saffer world.

October 28, 2008: Video proof surfaces: Capleton broke his signature of the RCA
On December 25 2007, while performing at Magnum GT Taylor Christmas Extravaganza (Black River, Jamaica), Capleton sang the homophobic song 'Fire Time' and promoted violence agaisnt gays and lesbians with sentences like 'Battyman fi dead di yuth em right bout that'. By doing so, he breakes his signature of the Reggae Compassionate Act, an official document that he signed in May 2007 in order to move on with his violent homophobic past and be able to tour in Europe. By promoting violence towards gays and lesbians onsatge in Jamaica, the artist proves that his signature of the RCA was a fluke and was done strictly for financial purpose. Although these videoclips of the Xmas Extravaganza 2007 were posted on YouTube earlier this year, they were only brought to gays and lesbians attentions in late October by the Swizerland branch of Stop Murder Music campaing. Contrary to the other associations that works under th banner 'Stop Murder Music', the one located in Bern (Switzerland) was created by heterosexuals (see April 2008 for more details). The discovery of the videoclip may well jeopardize Capleton 23-date European Tour that starts on November 3rd. The same date, the gay and lesbian organisation HABS (from Basel, Switzerland) wrote an open letter to Capleton (see lower), pointing out his responsability as an artist and requesting that he stop promoting hatered and violence. In the absence of a positive answer, the LGBT group made it clear that he would not be welcome to performed in Switzerland on November 6th. On November 5th, the concert scheduled for Basel was cancelled by the organizers. On November 7th, the concert sheduled for Tournefeuille (Toulouse), France on November 26 was cancelled. A petition named 'Sauvons le dancehall' (translation: Save Dancehall Music) has been circulating since November 10. This petition was lauched by two French dancehall fans that believe in establishing a dialogue with Human Rights groups to reach a compromise, instead of having cancellation (see NOTE No.2, lower).
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YouTube – clip of the concert) (Transcript Of The YouTube segment) (Capleton European Tour)
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XTra News Jamaica: Extravaganza concert review) (GT Taylor homepage review)
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HABS Open Letter) (HABS Press Release) (Stop Murder Music Bern Press Release) (Tjenbé Rèd Press Release 1)
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Tjenbé Rèd Press Release 1) (Tjenbé Rèd Press Release 2) (Tjenbé Rèd Press Release 3) (Tjenbé Rèd Press Release 4)
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Tjenbé Rèd Press Release 5) (Tjenbé Rèd Press Release 6)
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Tjenbé Rèd – Other document) (petition: Sauvons le Dancehall!)

NOTE 1: For a confirmation that this concert really occured after Capleton signed the RCA, visit YardFlex to see pictures of the 2007 Christmas Extravaganza concert. Notice the satge is identical to the one featured in the clip. According to Xtra News, that concert drew a huge crowd and featured over 40 artists, including Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, Jah Cure, Richie Spice, Freddie McGregor, Tarrus Riley...

NOTE 2: A petition is quite welcome, as it will implied dancehall fans that are tired of this situation. But the request should not be adressed to Human Rights groups (read gay and lesbian groups) like the current petition states. It should have been adress to Capleton, Sizzla, Elephant Man, Bounty Killer, Anthony B, Buju Banton, Baby Chan (and the list goes on and on...) requesting that they stop promoting violence and hatered. The solution is not hard, it just take some good will. If they don't respect the values stated in the RCA, they should be denied their Visas. Period. Although I favorise a dialogue instead of an endless fight, there should be no compromise with people that promote violence against anyone.

November 15, 2008: African American actress Wenda Sykes comes out publicly
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: Dozens of rallies were held around the nation on Saturday to protest the passage of California's Prop 8, which re-banned same-sex marriage and sparked a fury. But only one that I know of featured a prominent celebrity coming out of the closet, and that would be the one here at the GLBT Community Center. Here she is "I thought, man we are moving in the right direction. And then at about 11 o'clock I was crushed. We took a huge leap forward and then got dragged 12 feet back. I felt like I was being attacked, personally attacked, our community was attacked. I got married Oct. 25, I don't really talk about my sexual orientation, I felt like I was living my life, I wasn't in the closet, but I was just living my life. Everybody who knows me personally, they know I'm gay. And that's the way people should be able to live our lives, really. We shouldn't have to be standing out here demanding something we automatically should have as citizens of this country. ... They pissed off the wrong group of people. They have galvanized a community. We are so together now and we all want the same thing and we shouldn't have to settle for less. Instead of having gay marriage in California, no, we're gonna have gay marriage across the country. When my wife and I leave California, I want to have my marriage also recognized in Nevada, in Arizona, all the way to New York. ... I'm proud to be a woman, I'm proud to be a black woman and I'm proud to be gay." (more on the link below).
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Las Vegas Blog)

November 17, 2008: Tatchell slams police and Home Office over Bounty Killer performance
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: Gay rights activist Peter Tatchell has said that the Metropolitan police would cancel a concert in London by a reggae artist notorious for his homophobic lyrics if there was a riot, but they ignore "polite, peaceful lobbying." Mr Tatchell said that Bounty Killer has been granted a visa by the Home Office to perform in the UK, despite the fact that inciting murder is a serious criminal offence. The veretan campaigner said that he would not be organising a protest at the concert in Stratford on Sunday as it would be too dangerous."The Metropolitan police would only cancel the concert if there is a likelihood of public disorder – in other words they will only halt the concert if we riot."They are fully intent on ignoring polite peaceful lobbying – the Met will only respond to threats of violence.""The Home Secretary has many times refused visas to people who have racist views – it just shows what scum we are in their eyes."Bounty Killer was banned from Guyana earlier this year, but the British government says he is welcome to sing in the UK. (more on the link below).
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Pink News) (The Guardian) (Peter Tatchell)

December 18, 2008: In a first, Gay Rights are pressed at the United Nations
TEXT FROM ARTICLE: Sixty-six countries at the United Nations have called for homosexuality to be decriminalised. The countries signed a declaration sponsored by France and the Netherlands demanding an end to legal punishment based on sexual orientation. Sixty other countries of the UN's 192 member states, including a number of Arab and African states, rejected the non-binding declaration. They said laws on homosexuality should be left to individual countries. Gay men, lesbians and transsexuals worldwide face daily violations of their human rights. Homosexuality is a criminal offence in more than 80 countries, while in at least seven nations, including Saudi Arabia, sex between men can be punished with the death penalty. This month marks the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the French and Dutch governments are using this to highlight discrimination against homosexuals. Their statement calls for an end to the execution, arrest and detention of homosexuals and transexuals. Yet there is considerable opposition to this at the UN. Socially conservative countries in the Arab world and in Africa did not want anything to do with it. The US was the only major Western nation not to sign the declaration. (more on the link below).
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BBC News) (New York Times)