State of Emergency in Kingston

Well I didn’t want to blog about this but the unrest in Jamaica’s capital, surrounding areas and small pockets throughout the island seems to be getting worse. Fortunately I am safe as I am in East Kingston while the unrest and standoff between security forces and gunmen are in West Kingston. There are period gunshots in the distance, a military helicopter is circling overhead while I type this and there is even a C-130 US Navy plane at high altitude over Kingston that I can barely see from time to time but images of the craft are on Facebook.

This all started about 9 months when the United States filed an extradition request for Christopher “Dudus” Coke – a well known local businessman who is also alleged to be a drug and gun don. In the last week or so things have been very tense but just before midday yesterday there was an outbreak of violenceΒ  and a State of Emergency has been declared in Kingston and St Andrew parishes of Jamaica.

Video chat rooms at Ustream

Things are so crazy right now, I can’t even concentrate to make a proper blog post so since yesterday I have been streaming news from local TV and radio stations via my ustream channel. Please follow me on Twitter for other updates and ramblings. Feeling like I am in Bagdad right now but thankfully I am safe so far so just riding out this storm, hopefully things will be sorted out soon. Wish I could go out with my camera but I’m told that to some people a DSLR might look like a gun so no citizen journalism for me!