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 violence  and a State of Emergency has been declared in Kingston and St Andrew parishes of Jamaica.

Video chat rooms at Ustream

More on Jamaipanese.com:  2015 send-off reception for successful JETs

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!

[sob]

17 thoughts on “State of Emergency in Kingston

  1. Stay safe and thanks for your streaming tweets – I’ve been following with you since yesterday.
    It’s very distressing.

  2. Tan Photographers vest and PRESS in big white letters on your back, a white shirt tied around your right arm might either keep you from getting shot or heighten your chances. :/

    Glad your safe though.

    I weep for jamaica. [sob]

  3. I am so saddened to hear this. Stay safe and I’ll be following you on here. Keep us updated. [sob]

  4. Keep your head down and stay safe man. That sounds serious. Hopefully things don’t spiral out of control like they have in Bangkok.

  5. This is a shocking news. I have been following this unpalatable events in Kingston through media. Really, I dont like it at all.
    I have never been there, but we had been believing Jamaica is cool, lovely, peace, however not peaceful :-(
    It is difficult to believe that this is happening in Jamaica, the most astonishing part…. is the reason for the violence.

    I wish it will settle soon, wish you to be on safe side, and we can once again enjoy your posts. [shocked]

  6. Hi,

    I am a student at DePaul University at Chicago, IL. My group and I are researching the food industry of Jamaica (especially in Kingston) for a class project. Would it be possible if you help us take a survey? It would help significantly. If you have other Jamaican friends, could you forward this email to them?

    Survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/PBDR82F

    We highly appreciate your help. Thank you.

    Melody

  7. I’m from LA… the Kingston situation reminds me of LA, April 1992. The marines came in and it took almost a week to get things back to normal. Every night, the sky had an orange glow from all the fires and the gunshots never stopped.

    Glad to hear your neighborhood is safe. What about the area where your workplace is?

  8. Can’t concentrate, eh? Same here.
    All of my works are cancelled. So I have stayed in my room and stuck to my desk. But it’s hard to concentrate.

    Are you still going to work, Jamaipanese?
    Though I hear sporadic gunshots all day all night long, none of them are reported in the media.
    But you are in a harsher area. I can’t complain. (smile)

    I’m scared to go out to pay bills. (Most of the payment institutions are closed anyway though.) I hope my light would not be shut down, especially at a time like this.
    Did you pay light bill?

  9. I wish you all the best and hopefully things calm down. Be safe and don’t go out with your machine gun like DSLR :)

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