Friday, February 16, 2007
Angry Mob of 2,000 Jamaicans Attack, Stone Three Gay Men
Dramatic pictures from Jamaica, where riot police were forced to fire tear gas into an angry homophobic mob of thousands who chased and stoned three young gay men. According to the Jamaica Observer, the three men—"who all had bleached-out faces, and dressed in tight jeans pants and skimpy shirts"—sought refuge inside a pharmacy and were holed up inside for more than an hour.
The approximately 2,000 people gathered outside the Kingston pharmacy hurled insults at the three men, with some calling for them to be killed.
The crowd grew larger as the minutes ticked by and the three men and staff inside the pharmacy were visibly terrified as the mob demanded that they be sent out so they could administer their brand of justice. "Send them out!" shouted one man.
The bloodthirsty crowd "included men, women, teenagers and small children." Once police arrived on the scene to escort the young men, "one of the alleged homosexuals was hit on the back of the head with a stone as he flashed a wry smile before attempting to hustle inside the police car."
Officers dispersed the crowd by firing tear gas cannisters. Reportedly, many within the homophobic mob faulted police for saving the boys. "Unu can come save them nasty boy yah? Them boy yah fi go down," one man demanded.
One woman expressed surprise and outrage at the "brazenness" of the young men's appearance and dress. "Jamaica has lost its way if men think they can openly flaunt being gay without any consequences. We don't want that kind of open gay life in this country."
Mob violence against alleged or perceived gays is not uncommon in Jamaica. Last April, students rioted at the University of the West Indies and attacked an alleged gay student. In December 2005, a Kingston mob chased an alleged man along the waterfront. Fearful of the crowd, he leapt into the water and drowned.