Publicity stunt?Friday, September 24, 2021
A gentleman by the name of Joseph Patterson, leader of the United Independent Congress (UIC), was arrested and released on bail for leading an unauthorised anti-mandatory vaccination march in Kingston recently.
Until this week Patterson and his organisation, which one can assume has political undertones, was unknown.
They say all publicity, good and bad, is publicity. Suddenly, Patterson has been thrust into the media spotlight because of his arrest. Was this organised for publicity?
Patterson has said that he intends to sue the police because he is free to walk and march and the police have no jurisdiction over his freedom.
I was surprised that the People's National Party's Damion Crawford was quick to support the call for Patterson's release.
Where do these people come from? Every country has laws which must be enforced to maintain civility and social order. We are in the middle of a deadly pandemic and public gatherings are not allowed due to health and safety risks. The vulnerable and ignorant marchers following Patterson's lead were neither socially distanced or wearing masks.
It is our indiscipline and inability to follow rules and laws that could be the biggest impediment to economic development.
Patterson is free to form his opinion; he is free to call for the resignation of the Cabinet; he is free to not take the COVID-19 vaccination; and he is free to organise, mobilise, and vote in any election. What he is not free to do is to be a public menace. He abandoned his civic duty and responsibility and put lives at risk.
He has also put his ignorance on public display. Vaccination is not mandatory in Jamaica, so why protest? Jamaica has an extremely high positivity rate of over 40 per cent of those tested, with case numbers soaring and hospitals overflowing and people dying.
Does this not mean anything to Patterson and his followers?
If you are going to be irresponsible, be prepared to deal with the consequences, Patterson.