A Dozen Activists from Jamaica protested a speech by the country’s former Prime Minister, Bruce Golding, on Tuesday night in New York.
The gay rights activists shouted ‘Bruce, you’re wanted! Unrepentant murder!’ and ‘Gay rights are human rights!’
The protesters lined the pavement outside the Harlem Institution for over an hour and received comments from supportive and non-supportive bystanders.
A statement from the National Anti-Discrimination Alliance (NADA) said that Golding is symbolic of Jamaica’s homophobic culture. He publicly announced his opposition to gays serving in his Cabinet on BBC Hard Talk in 2008 and has since made other homophobic statements.
This year there have been a number of anti-gay crimes in Jamaica, including the brutal murders of 16-year-old Dwayne Jones and 41-year-old Dean Moriah. Dwayne was murdered in July this year; he was dressed as a woman. His gender identity and sexuality are unconfirmed at this time.
In September, two men escaped a ‘mob’ of men, who became violent towards them, after a car accident in the small town of Old Harbour. The crowd assumed that the two were gay.
Dwayne Brown, organiser of the demonstration and a gay Jamaican who fled to the USA because of death threats, said he would not go inside for Golding’s speech because he feared a violent response from the audience.
The press release from NADA continued with:
‘The Jamaica Anti-Homophobia stand feels strongly that Bruce Golding must be held accountable for the human rights offenses he oversaw during his tenure, including the Tivoli Gardens Massacre and the perpetuation of anti-gay attacks.’
Watch video from the protest here