Thursday, January 5, 2012

Shower Posse Politics Dominate Jamaica Election

The power of Shotta culture in Jamaica was illustrated strongly this week as the Shower Posse, named for the fact that they shower their enemies in lead, pulled their support of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP).

Shotta is the Jamaican term for gangster, a slang derived from the high regard given to 'shooters' or murders in the culture.

They withdrew their support following the Dudus affair in which they felt betrayed by the party they had previously backed so strongly.  This was shown in last Thursday's election in which 48% of the electorate just didn't show up at the polls and the JLP were slaughtered at the polls as badly as Dudus' Shower posse was a year ago when the JLP bowed to American pressure to go after Christopher "Dudus" Coke and invaded his domain in Tivoli.

For those whose only exposure to Jamaican culture is Bob Marley and sons reggae/dancehall sounds, Shotta culture may be a bit of a shock.  The Posses and Yardies are some of the hardest criminals on the planet, giving Kingston and Jamaica the reputation of murder capitol of the world a statistic they have justly earned for many of the years since the early 70s when the posses began to form.

Yardie is a term that derives from those living in the government yards or housing projects in Jamaica where the posses originally formed and has been exported to refer to Jamaicans struggling in the West.

Prior to this, Jamaica was prospering from the mining of bauxite but felt that they deserved the same sort of labour deals as the miners working for the same companies in Canada.  Alcan disagreed and told the industrial world to choose between working with Canadian aluminum or Jamaica.  Following this economic collapse the only option for Jamaicans was to serve foreign tourists or resort to desperate measures and so Shotta culture was born.

It spread through the migration of Jamaicans to England, America and Canada and with them came Jamaican Marijuana and reggae music, which I am sure the majority of you are familiar with.  Following this came the almost inevitable expansion into cocaine, guns and just about every other organized crime activity they could profit on.

Fast forward to the present and the recent elections which clearly illustrate how powerful Jamaican posses have become as without their backing no one can achieve legitimate power.

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