For the past 13 years, Evelyn Forbes has taken on the hard task of planning and executing Inner City Carnival, which includes a road march. Yesterday, her efforts seemed to have been thwarted more than ever before, as the police declined permission for the carnival's parade. "I think me ah guh done. Mi tiyad of the insults," Forbes told The STAR.
Instead of the Zoukie truck with a sound system meandering through Waterhouse, Balcombe Drive, and other south St Andrew communities, it had to make its way straight to the location of what would have been the finale, the Seaward Primary and Junior High School's playing field. Phone calls to the Hunt's Bay Police Station by Forbes and the event's co-organiser, her daughter Karlene Anderson, confirmed that the march would not happen.
Superintendent Aaron Fletcher of the Hunt's Bay Police Station told The STAR: "We have had a dramatic upsurge in crime and violence in the area, so much so that today we are the number one division on the island for special murders. So we have decided to err on the side of caution. For the safety and reputation of the event, we decided to have it confined to the field,"
"We're also severely constrained and so wouldn't be able to provide adequate personnel for the large number of people we expected to be partying," the policeman said. Police officers visited the event on an ad hoc basis during the day to monitor the proceedings, with a plan to redouble those security efforts after nightfall.
GET CERTAIN SUPPORT
However, Anderson said: "We did a peace march earlier this year with the church. We even asked them if we can just stay on the main stretch, but they don't want it any at all. We just don't get certain support."
Last weekend, Forbes was hot on the promotions trail, giving radio and television interviews about the upcoming affair. The mother and daughter pair report having paid dues and having receipts for permits from the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAC), the Jamaica Fire Brigade, a private security company, an ambulance service, and other entities related to event planning.
Forbes took up developing Inner City Carnival in 2004, in response to the exuberant support shown for the 'uptown' carnival road marches. "Downtown people can't afford the costumes, so I went smaller," she explained. This latest development may be the straw that breaks the camel's back.
Anderson is convinced that sponsorship issues are also to be blamed for the denial of Inner City Carnival's road parade and so is her mother. "Most of the sponsors are for the upper class people. Is like dem cyaa put themselves inna the ghetto. Mi just frustrated," Forbes added, insinuating that she would not make a 14th attempt.