Support for Peace Marches in St. James

Photo: Marlon Tingling Residents of Salt Spring in St. James marching for peace in their community recently. The event was organized by the St. James Peace Management Initiative (PMI), chaired by Rev. Everton Jackson.

Story Highlights

  • Chairman of the Peace Management Initiative (PMI) in St. James, Rev. Everton Jackson, is hailing as a major success, the peace marches which have been staged in the volatile communities of Norwood and Salt Spring in the parish.
  • Rev. Jackson said the PMI will be staging peace marches in other areas of St. James later this year.
  • Milton Campbell, who for years was on the wrong side of the law but is now working to build peace across communities in St. James, welcomed the peace marches.

Chairman of the Peace Management Initiative (PMI) in St. James, Rev. Everton Jackson, is hailing as a major success, the peace marches which have been staged in the volatile communities of Norwood and Salt Spring in the parish.

In an interview with JIS News during the latest peace march which took place in Salt Spring on May 22, Rev. Jackson said he was pleased with the massive support which the march received.

“These communities have been grappling with crime and violence for years and the peace marches have made a major difference in bringing back the love among the citizens,” he said.

The Chairman noted that efforts will now be made to ensure that peace returns not only to the Salt Spring and Norwood communities, but to all areas of the parish.

“We have been encouraging persons who have the privilege of speaking to audiences at different levels to grasp the opportunity to become vanguards and proclaimers for peace,” he said.

“I believe that a momentum is developing, because at the Ministers Fraternal level for example, you get the sense that Ministers are becoming more involved in the proclamation of peace from their pulpits. Leaders of various agencies are also spreading the message,” the Chairman added.

Rev. Jackson said the PMI will be staging peace marches in other areas of St. James later this year.

Meanwhile, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Sharon Beeput of the St. James Police Division, said the massive support given to the peace marches is an indication that the residents have grown tired of crime and violence and are now speaking out.

She pointed out that a joined-up approach to fighting crime and violence has been adopted, with the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) and the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) leading the process.

“The police and soldiers are in the communities carrying out their duties daily. We also have persons from the Community Safety and Security Department who are also in the community and they intend to stay. They work along with persons from the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP), the PMI and the Community Development Committee. We intend to get some positive results,” DSP Beeput said.

Member of Parliament for St. James Central, the constituency in which Salt Spring falls, Heroy Clarke,  in welcoming the peace marches and the value of the initiative, told JIS News that he will be working with the stakeholders to ensure that peace is returned to not only sections of the constituency, by to St. James on a whole.

“I am very elated that there is a start. Our goal in Salt Spring is to get back to that time when we can leave our windows and doors open. We have to give more time to prevention and less on cure,” he said.

Milton Campbell, who for years was on the wrong side of the law but is now working to build peace across communities in St. James, welcomed the peace marches.

He told JIS News that he will be using his experience of being incarcerated and now free, to uplift and point potential wrong-doers to a life of positive thinking.

“My quest is to uplift the youth and show them the things that I have been through, so they can avoid facing the same crisis. Crime and violence is not the way,” Mr. Campbell emphasized.

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