JIS News

Hundreds of persons, including Ministers of Education and Health, Andrew Holness and Rudyard Spencer respectively, supported the Violence Prevention Alliance’s (VPA) three marches for peace throughout the corporate area on March 04. This later, culminated in a Rally at the UDC parking lot.
According to Chairman of the Violence Prevention Alliance Dr. Elizabeth Ward, the public support was “very encouraging and demonstrates that Jamaicans are becoming more sensitized and involved in the call for a peaceful society.”
This theme was echoed at the rally by keynote speakers and performers Prodigal Son and Tony Rebel. Drawing on his experience Prodigal Son encouraged those in less fortunate circumstances not to give up but rather to look for and make the best of the opportunities around them.
Popular performer Tony Rebel reminded the audience that he was not there “just to sing a few nice and lively songs”, but to encourage everyone to “live in love and learn to talk to each other”. He told the audience that it was through this level of interaction that Jamaica would overcome the challenges. He also urged his listeners not to give in to revenge, and relating to Ghandi’s maxim pointed out that if “an eye for an eye or life for life was practiced” Jamaica would be a sightless society and with lifeless communities.
Sheltered by his “peace umbrella”, Dance Hall D.J. Ninja Man, now a firm supporter of the VPA’s efforts, and also spearheading his own peace initiatives in his community pledged J $100,000 in cash prizes for schools participating in the Peace for Prosperity tree planting campaign. He then delivered a spectacular performance to the crowd who had eagerly anticipated his arrival and show.
Other performers throughout the evening included brothers Kush and Taurrus Riley, Dub Poet Blak Adelaja, I mar, Hattaman and Signature, Duane Stephenson, Nesbeth, Avalanche, I Octane and Fyah Kin. Queen Ifrica gave an engaging performance and persuaded Tony Rebel to perform along with Lenky Roy. She also urged the crowd to live consciously and use their inherent power to make a change. She noted that if the same value of resources and attention focused on ill intent were put instead into education, the society would be “way ahead”. She also urged more support for events such as the Rally.
Officials and organizers at the Peace Rally included the Rev. Ian Muirhead of the Shortwood / Grants Pen community who started the proceedings with prayer, media personality and MC Amba, VPA Steering Committee Chairman Professor Barry Chevannes, Milton Tomlinson representing the Peace Management Initiative (PMI) and Dr. Eva Lewis Fuller of the Ministry of Health. There were also spirited performances by the Tavares Primary School and Mountain View Cultural Group.

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