Pubdate: Mon, 24 May 2010
Source: Jamaica Gleaner, The (Jamaica)
Copyright: 2010 The Gleaner Company Limited


Reinforcements Imported To Aid In 'dudus' Battle

Reporters Told To Leave - 'get It Right, Or Else'

MEN SWEATING as if they were working on construction sites muscled
their way through sections of west Kingston this morning, reinforcing
barricades to keep out the security forces.

 From one end of the city, vehicles rolled up to the blockages
regularly, unloading passengers.

But these are no ordinary commuters. They are men who, neighbouring
residents say, are being imported to strengthen an army of militants
who are preparing to defend alleged gang boss Christopher 'Dudus' Coke
with their lives.

As the early-morning sunlight hit shrubs and tombs in the nearby May
Pen Cemetery, a few women, some with toddlers on their backs, made
their way from behind the blockades, leaving Tivoli Gardens for safety.

The west Kingston enclave has been preparing for a battle with the
security forces since Justice Minister Dorothy Lightbourne signed an
authority for extradition proceedings against Coke, their don.

Men have mounted sandbags to fortify their positions and, in some
instances, have filled old refrigerators with sand, a sign they are
preparing for a street war. Several large tyres have been transported
into the community by truck.

leave dudus, leave tivoli

This morning, an elderly woman who was walking towards one of the
blockades protested that she has been forced to endure life in Tivoli
Gardens without water and frequent interruptions in power supply.

"Why dem nuh leave di big man alone. After we caah go a fi dem country
go weh we want," she said, in a verbal attack on the United States
which has requested that Coke be extradited to face gun- and
drug-trafficking charges.

As our news team looked on, men adjusting the blockade sent stern
warnings that no cameras were welcome.

"Get it right or else a unnu wi a go tun pon next," a man warned as
insurgents passed a contingent of journalists on a section of Spanish
Town Road.

Another group of men travelling in motor cars instructed that the
press "leave".

Just before noon today, the Jamaica Constabulary Force said the
barricading of the Tivoli Gardens community was "an act of cowardice
on the part of selfish criminal elements, mainly Coke".

"These criminals are not to be confused with the decent, law-abiding
citizens of Tivoli Gardens who want to get on with their lives as free
citizens in a peaceful community and country," the police added.

The police have asked that Coke hand himself over to the nearest
police station for the warrant of arrest to be executed. 
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