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JIS News

Residents of the old capital, Spanish Town, will be taking the message of peace to the streets on Peace Day, March 4 between 8:00 and 10:30 a.m.
Among them will be students accompanied by teachers from seven or more schools within the community; trainees from the Jamaica Police Academy; members of the Chamber of Commerce and representatives from the Child Development Agency and the National Youth Service.
Co-ordinator of the Peace March, Sharon Palmer told JIS News that the Jamaica Constabulary Force would also play an integral part in the event, which is expected to see more than 1,000 persons participating in the call for peace.
“We hope to get even more persons on board by encouraging those who we have invited and those who have initiated the process to motivate others to become a part of the peace building efforts,” she said. “It is about citizens empowering each other towards peace for prosperity,” Ms. Palmer stressed.
With Spanish Town being earmarked for future development, she said it is imperative for residents to co-exist peacefully, because such beneficial activity could only happen if there is a stable environment in which potential investors and others could operate.
“This is the main focus of having the peace march, as we want to restore Spanish Town to a community with something to offer, for example in terms of tourism,” Ms. Palmer argued.
Echoing similar sentiments is Monsignor Richard Albert, Chairman of the Crime Prevention Committee in St. Catherine, specifically Spanish Town.
“The purpose is to once again highlight and motivate citizens of Spanish Town to strive for peace, dialogue and co-operation between all sides in political and civic community for a bright future for everyone,” he told JIS News.
The March will commence from Dempshire Pen Early Childhood Development Centre, situated in close proximity to the Spanish Town Hospital and cover areas such as Barrett Street, White Church Street and Wellington Street.
At Marlie Mount Square, marchers will meet up with another group coming from St. John’s Road, which has seen its share of flare-ups in recent times. “They were interested in becoming a part of the march, given the problems they have been experiencing,” Ms. Palmer said.
From the Square, the participants are expected to march to Oxford Road on to Burke Road and finally Prison Oval, where a rally will take place with guest speaker, Dr. Henley Morgan, social activist and community worker offering words of inspiration.
In the meantime, Ms. Palmer is encouraging the participating schools to design posters, placards and banners displaying messages of peace. “The school or group with the best peace message will receive an incentive,” she said.