“If we know, then we must fight for your life as though it were our own.  For if they take you in the morning, they will be coming for us that night.” – Angela Davis

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Jamaica has done what was believed to be sacrosanct some months ago, defaulted on our sovereign debt with the most unlikely accomplice, the IMF.

Every conceivable thing is on the table that will ensure the viability of the Jamaican economy to the extent that we will be able to repay the IMF their 1.3 billion dollars contained in the agreement of our letter of intent.  The capitalist class, authors of the debt restructuring project, quickly telescopes this artificial, book cooking exercise as indispensable to an IMF agreement and the only solution in solving the intractable deformed fiscal deficit.

With all that contrived manipulation of the market, the economy cannot survive in a sea of blood, not with 1,700 murders annually. So what is the companion national security strategy to this debt restructuring exercise and the pending IMF agreement that will see a reduction of the unsustainable level of murders? The recent elaborate maneuvering of the Jamaica Constabulary Force in announcing the number of murders for the calendar year 2009, betrays their dilemma and indeed the embarrassment of the government and its promised road map to reduce crime and violence.

We have already witnessed some of the collateral damage of which the Minister of National Security speaks, while the demand for justice grows louder daily  from Alligator Pond to Granville, with truth being the first casualty.

It is clear that the police have lost the trust of the vast majority of the people. To borrow from the Jamaica Observer’s editorial of Friday January 22, 2010, “…when trust goes, it usually takes the rationale for co-operation with it and when that essential co-operation dissipates, it will inevitably be replaced by the progeny of social disorder, namely crime, destruction and ultimately, death.”

This is where we are today: the end of the pretence of conventional policing. For the JCF has effectively alienated the vast majority of the ordinary Jamaican people, the base on which conventional policing is built.

The New Order

For the new order the JCF must shamelessly carry out the agenda of the state and that of a traumatized populace that demands like the Jews of old to “give us Barabbas”. Take out those criminal boys from among us by any means necessary! This must be the instruction to all divisional commanders.

Don’t let them fool you, these ambitious, university-trained, black, bespectacled men in khaki uniforms and their professorial affectations designed to mask their insidious intent with their double speak and coded messages.

The message is clear to the rogue cops. The minster has spoken; you will not be dragged in the courts like common criminals. Further, according to the minister, those who threaten the lives of law-abiding Jamaicans have forfeited their right to live among the law-abiding. And on yet another occasion the minister declared that “those who perform will be rewarded.” Do you need more?

We have been here before, with the Suppression of Crimes Act. Let us learn from history. As the German anti-fascist Martin Niemoller reminded us :

First they came for the communists, but I was not a communist so I did not speak out.
Then they came for the socialists and the trade unionists, but I was neither, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew so I did not speak out.
And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.”

Michael Manley’s five flights a day to Miami is not an option to the movers and shakers of the economy. Ask the residents of Spring Farm, and the Lagoons. Do not believe for one moment that they are prepared to abandon the prospects and possibilities of the Elegant Corridor because of some niggers in Flankers who are bent on tormenting the peace and harmony of the city. Do you believe for a moment that they are prepared to abandon their exotic Peruvian domestic maids their 4th of July barbeques or their pet monkeys – and, for that matter, the means that sustain their South Florida retreat properties – because of some low life criminals and lotto scammers from Norwood and Granville?

Like the torturous high interest rate on government paper that caused a virtual default on our sovereign debt to look like high economics, these wicked, brutal and senseless gunmen among us make a death squad a palatable – the viable option to a traumatized nation and a desperate and clueless political directorate.

The society is now crippled by fear. Fear that drives otherwise decent and rational men and women to suspend their long held moral principles and beliefs; fear that would cause them to yield to vigilante justice. Already the well armed men and women of Ingleside, Mandeville have stated their intention. I have no doubt that they are prepared to live with a death squad, their only concern being how it will be finessed.

Death Squad

A Death Squad is described as: “Police and military personnel who kill people without legal orders. Many countries where the rule of law does not operate may have death squads. In several countries they kill street children. Other targets are criminals whom the police claim cannot be convicted by a court.

“Their presence could be considered a sign of political pathology. In the Nazi state and its imitators the official police take on this role – so that there is no distinction between police and criminals.”

Sounds familiar? Like the discarded suspended police constable, Metro McFarlane, who was shot dead by his own colleague in broad daylight, a foreboding of things to come, those rogue cops who allow themselves to be enticed.

Our recent history seems to suggest that the tenure of the former commissioners of police and indeed that of the ministers of national security is linked to their success in reducing the number of murders. If that is the case what would be the instructions of the acting police commissioner to his divisional commanding officers?

O. Dave Allen
odamaxef@yahoo.com