Jamaica Police Stand Down As Residents Of 85 Red Hills Road Their Life On The Line

The scenes were menacing at 85 Red Hills Road on Thursday morning.

A bulldozer operator was twice thwarted in his effort to carry out his job and mow down the homes.

With a small contingent of policemen staring blankly from across the street, the irate residents used a human shield to prevent the operator from wrecking the dwelling houses.

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Residents of the informal community which is home to hundreds of persons, staged a protest for the second straight day against the owners of a section of the land, who gave them notice to vacate their homes which were marked to be bulldozed.

Some of the residents have been living in the informal community for upwards of 50 years and have never called anywhere else home.

They demanded the presence of their Member of Parliament, Karl Samuda, who they claim has abandoned them.

β€œThis is my livelihood. This is from where I send my children to go to school. I born and raised here. We would like to know if we are animals,”
one resident claimed.

The residents seem to a have a fight on their hands as councillor for the Whitehall Division, Lee Clarke said the matter has already been decided in the courts and the Government is powerless to help the protestors.

Clarke rebutted claims by the residents that they were not given enough notice and were unaware that the land had been sold. He said the residents had known about and attended court hearings on the matter and knew beforehand that they would have to vacate the land.

The owners have stated their intention to invest in a shopping plaza.

85 Red Hills Road has been an informal community since the 1960s. Many of the first residents hail from other sections of the Corporate Area and rural Jamaica. Some residents own their own plots.

The plot of land that is the bone of contention lies to the upper eastern corner of the property and houses about 40 families. The original owner inherited the plot from a relative but has since migrated to the United States and had sold the land to an associate.

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