Jamaica’s Apartheid-like Beaches

Government sells off public beaches – Jamaicans refused access to most of their best beaches!! 

The bottom line is that……..almost every beach in this beautiful country of ours….carries a “No Trespassing” sign! Some are even heavily guarded by armed security personnel…..

The bottom line is that every few weeks another wall or fence goes up….keeping them in….and blocking us out of our beaches!

Elaborate security systems locking us out of the beaches we have swam in and romped in for decades….

The bottom line is that ……………Jamaica is beginning to look like an apartheid state…where pedestrian access to beaches in our backyards is only granted if we carry an id….or if we are honorary tourists!

best beach in the world, jamaican beachThe bottom line is that ……beaches are not a luxury…beaches are a public space that provide a different set of rhythm to renew public life. Beaches are democratic commonsthat bring people together as equals. The bottom line is that ….public access to the beach is integral to democracy and equality.

The bottom line is that……… successive governments in Jamaica have failed to put public space and the public interest over private power and hence ….our rights to Jamaica’s beaches are being severed.

The bottom line is that ………….the struggle to preserve public access to our beaches spreads from Negril point to Morant Point and everywhere in between…..but it is a struggle we seem to be losing….as Jamaicans battle with bread and butter issues…

The bottom line is that …………our civil rights and civil liberties are at stake here….the ability to “go to the beach” as we say in Jamaica…..is not just about recreation (although that might have been enough in a country so deeply traumatized)….it is more than that …..it is about our civil rights and our human rights…. to equal justice for all!!

The bottom line is that…………we must reverse the current situation…..we must fight for public access to our coastline….before we lose it all….we must fight ….through activism, legislation and our votes!!

The bottom line is that ……this is not only about the beach….it is about our livelihood….about our fishermen….and our farmers…..first they sell the coastline….then what…? How much of the Jamaican coastline… do we the Jamaican people…. currently have access to?

The bottom line is that……this may sound flippant and even farfetched….but the wanton sale of Jamaica by successive governments….. Is great cause for concern…..are they also selling us as cheap labour…..through the IMF, EPA agreements, security initiatives?….which will ultimately serve only to  militarize our nation and re-enslave Jamaicans?…..

The bottom line is that …..the sale of or beaches is part of the wider problem of the fundamental importance of land rights……for securing the enjoyment of a wide range of other civil, political, economic and social rights in Jamaica.

The bottom line is that …..We must demand of our political representatives… that they represent us on this matter…..we must actively engage the system to ensure that the constitutional provisions will go far enough to guarantee that our land rights…including our coastline and beaches…are protected!

The bottom line is that ……the complicity of the private sector in the sale of Jamaica….. must be dragged out into the open and named for what it is….The bottom line is that we…all of…as Jamaicans….must call out the private sector on the agendas they are setting for Jamaica….we must do this…for the sake of peace and stability in our country….

The bottom line is that….land is central to our long history and is tied to the continued abuse of the landless by the landed gentry….in this case private sector interests… with the complicity of our elected representatives….this cannot be ignored….

The bottom line is that ….the exploitable potential of Jamaica ….is serious business….as a people we are physically and spiritually linked to land….and we will not and cannot ignore the wanton sale of Jamaica….by those  whom we elect to preserve and protect our legacy….

That’s the bottom line…


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Danita WhyteShaneece UhuruAlison Price LM CPM RM - Come to MammaAinsworth GouldbourneClare Liddell Recent comment authors
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Paul Frigan
Guest

I share your thoughts and concerns. The unfortunate truth is that many governments are choosing the best interests of big business over that of its people. Very sad

Owen Odean Chevaughn
Guest

True word everyone needs to talk up now its getting late so talk now

Shaneece Norris
Guest

In Mobay, all thats left for the natives is beaches with but rocks in the water…..impossible to enjoy. If there is a petition…send it on. I’ll sign it asap.

Blair D. Fire
Guest

Apparently these are privately owned beaches you are screaming racism about. There are also public beaches everywhere in Jamaica. It appears you have intentionally left out some of the reasons why many of these privately owned beaches go private with guards. One reason is to block out undesirables for these “white” tourist beaches. I think these private beaches have a right to restrict wandering sales people with their own to capitalize on the market they’ve created and paid for. I personally believe you know why they go private but your shallow arguments would hold no weight whatsoever then. But why… Read more »

Andrew Baines
Guest

the government of jamaica us shit , has always been and will continue to be with these passive people , they will fight and kill each other in the street but refuse to fight for what is important , I have long seen our situation as doomed for the longest time , a bunch of talkers and no doers.

Come to Mamma Midwifery and Doula Services - Alison Price LM, CPM RM
Guest

Andrea, take a hint from the California Coastline Comission. http://www.coastal.ca.gov/ They have a beautiful protected coastline with public access. Blair, “funnels down to all the people in the way of tax benefits’? bruhahahahah Who ya kidding? It’s tragic what has happened to the coastline of Jamaica. It’s not just private individuals who sell out, it’s cities, like Oracabessa for example, who sold out the ‘old pier’, now Goldeneye Resort and Spa. Fine, but don’t privatize the beach.

Blair D. Fire
Guest

That’s Jamaica’s problem if they cannot properly collect the taxes from selling items sold at the tourist resorts. Form a committee to purchase the property from the owners as done in the rest of the world. When studies indicate that Jamaica is 95% of African descent the problem, if there is one, can only be blamed on themselves by electing officials unsympathetic to Jamaica’s situation. But no tourist likes sitting on a beach with anyone holding a machine gun to protect them against a strong potential of being robbed. Furthermore, not all white people like being approached to buy ganja… Read more »

Andy Gouldbourne
Guest

There is a season for everything and maybe this is the season for inconsiderate government and big business. History has taught us that this too shall pass. I can remember many years ago there was a large hotel in the portmore area with beach front and beach access, it was along the port Henderson area, which is called back road now…. This went on for a few years, business dried up, fences came down and the hotel was abandoned. Natives were once again able to use the beaches to our leisure…. This too shall pass….

Fatta Fats
Guest

As you say we are preoccupied with just trying to survive while those in charge sell we out we have to continue to do our part and try to activate others

Clare Reed
Guest

I lived in James Hill many years ago, but visited the coast also. I found the private beaches so disheartening, that we made a point of only using the public beaches. We could mix with the wonderful locals and learn more about the real Jamaica. Why would anyone want to go on holiday, and not be a part of that countries culture?

Maverly Linkup
Guest

I think there is a lot of beach to share, private and public government need to come up with creative ways to make everyone happy, tourist and local.

Richard King
Guest

Persons who own beach front property must have the right to protect themselves from undesirable persons who access these properties. Criminals disguise themselves as fishermen or otherwise and claim to be simply walking along the high and low water mark and use this perceived right to commit crimes against property owners. Indeed some beaches lead to privately owned homes and other facilities next time do research before you pick a topic you remind me of a village lawyer who jumps on issued without understanding the subject. My Jamaica can never be equated with ARTHEID. (Do not put a fence around… Read more »

Kirkland Balleski
Guest

well ..in Negril you still have access to all the beaches eve if its fence off

Joan Nanook Webley
Guest

Your piece spurred on a personal rant that was a long time in the coming… we need to stand up for ourselves more!

Adrian McLean
Guest

No government has any authority to sell public beaches. …its all a continuation of a blatant disrespect for the Jamaican people. The people get the government that they deserve.

Michael Levy
Guest

Reminds me of the Mighty Gabby’s song about a similar experience in Barbados recorded in “The Government Boots” from the early 1980s. “Dat can’t happen here in dis country. I want Jack to know dat de beach belong to me!”

Geoff Lewis
Guest

wake up and smell the roses, when are you going to realise the people you vote for are and put in power not interested in you, only in filling their pockets

Ceo Margaux
Guest

might have to do some research on the ratio of hotels per isalnd to other island and jamaica which is a major draw. one is enough.. two three not thousand …

Ceo Margaux
Guest

might have to do some research on the ratio of hotels per isalnd to other island and jamaica which is a major draw. one is enough.. two three not thousand …

Ceo Margaux
Guest

might have to do some research on the ratio of hotels per isalnd to other island and jamaica which is a major draw. one is enough.. two three not thousand …

Marc Garvey
Guest

“For a colonized people the most essential value, because the most concrete, is first and foremost the land: the land which will bring them bread and, above all, dignity.” ― Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth What Jamaica needs is a true socialist revolution like it was in Libya under the stewardship of Muammar Gaddafi. And please do the research before you respond by parroting the western MSM Weapons of Mass Distraction propaganda of dictatorship or strongman rubbish. It would even serve Jamaica well to be like our neighbours in Fidel Castro’s Cuba. Again, if you haven’t done the… Read more »

Roydel Rutty
Guest

It takes a REVOLUTION TO MAKE A SOLUTION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Middleton Lyn
Guest

I do believe that beach fronts cannot be sold in Jamaica, but many resorts for security reasons have illegally blocked access. The same can be said for places like “Blue Hole,Laughing Waters etc.In Cuba the beaches are accessible to the general public, even resort beaches.However no one bothers you.

Anthony Shaw
Guest

This is a national disgrace. I am a Jamaican living in Barbados. As Paul correctly said, all beaches by LAW must have a public access. Regardless if a million dollar hotel or villa is off the beach. This was a very public issue in the 70s when a Gov Minister gave a hotel a private beach. As a result a song was made about the issue and as a result of the public outcry, the decision was reversed and the law followed shortly there after. What is very disturbing is Laughing Waters and the formally public beach in Ocho Rios.… Read more »

Steven Smith
Guest

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS JAMAICA Added to the list of rights is the right to enjoy a healthy and productive environment expressed at section 13 (3)(l) as: ‘the right to enjoy a healthy and productive environment free from the threat of injury or damage from environmental abuse and degradation of the ecological heritage;’ Mrs. Arlene Harrison Henry wrote: “And what protection does the charter offer? The right as expressed in the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedom offers persons in Jamaica two main entitlements: the right to enjoy a healthy and productive environment that is free from a) the threat of… Read more »

Claudette Young-Davidson
Guest

Too true. Seen it.

John Brown
Guest

JAMAICANS NEED TO STEP UP AND TAKE AND DEFEND THEIR RIGHTS. PETITION THE GOVERNMENT YOU THINK TANK. YOU DESENDANT OF BENJAMIN! THE BEACH IS PUBLIC SPACE, GOVERNMENT OFFICALS AND NO ONE AND NOBODY SHOULD LAY CLAIM TO IT. ONOY THING WE SHOULD DO IS KEEP IT CLEAN. NO BEACH SHOULD SHOUT OFF FROM THE PEOPLE OF THAT COUNTRY, IF THE WHITE TOURSIT WANT TO COME, COME ENJOY IT WITH THE PEOPLE, IF BLACK TOURIST COME, LET THEM ENJOY IT WITH THEIR PEOPLE. IF THESE GOVAMENT BWOY DU WAA HESR THE PEOPLE, YOU THE PEOPLE DO NOT VOTE FOR THESE OFFICALS.… Read more »

Ceo Margaux
Guest

no one is talking bout what beaches.. and where.. …

Ceo Margaux
Guest

Jamaica is getting to suck and they are selling souls. and its a world wide thing like a jamaican thing will sell ur soul for a dollar to get out of greedy debt.. maybe time to find a new place to chill..i got tired of negril watching pimps do their thing same way..

Jared JuggHead Harris
Guest

All beaches in Barbados are open to the public at all times. Just throwing that out there

Angela Miller-Tennyson
Guest

A lot of “bottom line”.

Anthony Shaw
Guest

This is a national disgrace. I am a Jamaican living in Barbados. As Paul correctly said, all beaches by LAW must have a public access. Regardless if a million dollar hotel or villa is off the beach. This was a very public issue in the 70s when a Gov Minister gave a hotel a private beach. As a result a song was made about the issue and as a result of the public outcry, the decision was reversed and the law followed shortly there after. What is very disturbing is Laughing Waters and the formally public beach in Ocho Rios.… Read more »

John Brown
Guest

JAMAICANS NEED TO STEP UP AND TAKE AND DEFEND THEIR RIGHTS. PETITION THE GOVERNMENT YOU THINK TANK. YOU DESENDANT OF BENJAMIN! THE BEACH IS PUBLIC SPACE, GOVERNMENT OFFICALS AND NO ONE AND NOBODY SHOULD LAY CLAIM TO IT. ONOY THING WE SHOULD DO IS KEEP IT CLEAN. NO BEACH SHOULD SHOUT OFF FROM THE PEOPLE OF THAT COUNTRY, IF THE WHITE TOURSIT WANT TO COME, COME ENJOY IT WITH THE PEOPLE, IF BLACK TOURIST COME, LET THEM ENJOY IT WITH THEIR PEOPLE. IF THESE GOVAMENT BWOY DU WAA HESR THE PEOPLE, YOU THE PEOPLE DO NOT VOTE FOR THESE OFFICALS.… Read more »

Ceo Margaux
Guest

no one is talking bout what beaches.. and where.. …

Angela Miller-Tennyson
Guest

A lot of “bottom line”.

Jared JuggHead Harris
Guest

All beaches in Barbados are open to the public at all times. Just throwing that out there

Ceo Margaux
Guest

Jamaica is getting to suck and they are selling souls. and its a world wide thing like a jamaican thing will sell ur soul for a dollar to get out of greedy debt.. maybe time to find a new place to chill..i got tired of negril watching pimps do their thing same way..

Paul Frigan
Guest

I share your thoughts and concerns. The unfortunate truth is that many governments are choosing the best interests of big business over that of its people. Very sad

Clare Liddell
Guest

I lived in James Hill many years ago, but visited the coast also. I found the private beaches so disheartening, that we made a point of only using the public beaches. We could mix with the wonderful locals and learn more about the real Jamaica. Why would anyone want to go on holiday, and not be a part of that countries culture?

Joan Nanook Webley
Guest

Your piece spurred on a personal rant that was a long time in the coming… we need to stand up for ourselves more!

Adrian McLean
Guest

No government has any authority to sell public beaches. …its all a continuation of a blatant disrespect for the Jamaican people. The people get the government that they deserve.

Ceo Margaux
Guest

might have to do some research on the ratio of hotels per isalnd to other island and jamaica which is a major draw. one is enough.. two three not thousand …

Michael Levy
Guest

Reminds me of the Mighty Gabby’s song about a similar experience in Barbados recorded in “The Government Boots” from the early 1980s. “Dat can’t happen here in dis country. I want Jack to know dat de beach belong to me!”

Middleton Lyn
Guest

I do believe that beach fronts cannot be sold in Jamaica, but many resorts for security reasons have illegally blocked access. The same can be said for places like “Blue Hole,Laughing Waters etc.In Cuba the beaches are accessible to the general public, even resort beaches.However no one bothers you.

Steven Smith
Guest

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS JAMAICA Added to the list of rights is the right to enjoy a healthy and productive environment expressed at section 13 (3)(l) as: ‘the right to enjoy a healthy and productive environment free from the threat of injury or damage from environmental abuse and degradation of the ecological heritage;’ Mrs. Arlene Harrison Henry wrote: “And what protection does the charter offer? The right as expressed in the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedom offers persons in Jamaica two main entitlements: the right to enjoy a healthy and productive environment that is free from a) the threat of… Read more »

Kirkland Balleski
Guest

well ..in Negril you still have access to all the beaches eve if its fence off

Roydel Rutty
Guest

It takes a REVOLUTION TO MAKE A SOLUTION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Claudette Young-Davidson
Guest

Too true. Seen it.

Richard King
Guest

Persons who own beach front property must have the right to protect themselves from undesirable persons who access these properties. Criminals disguise themselves as fishermen or otherwise and claim to be simply walking along the high and low water mark and use this perceived right to commit crimes against property owners. Indeed some beaches lead to privately owned homes and other facilities next time do research before you pick a topic you remind me of a village lawyer who jumps on issued without understanding the subject. My Jamaica can never be equated with ARTHEID. (Do not put a fence around… Read more »

Maverly Linkup
Guest

I think there is a lot of beach to share, private and public government need to come up with creative ways to make everyone happy, tourist and local.

Blair D. Fire
Guest

Apparently these are privately owned beaches you are screaming racism about. There are also public beaches everywhere in Jamaica. It appears you have intentionally left out some of the reasons why many of these privately owned beaches go private with guards. One reason is to block out undesirables for these “white” tourist beaches. I think these private beaches have a right to restrict wandering sales people with their own to capitalize on the market they’ve created and paid for. I personally believe you know why they go private but your shallow arguments would hold no weight whatsoever then. But why… Read more »

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