Last weekend, news emerged out of the second city about the armed invasion and attack on community members at a night club. Information coming to the fore is that this attack represents the culmination of a long series of internal community arguments among owners and managers of LGBT entertainment spaces.
Reports suggest that the core issue is the decline of Club Kush (formerly known as Club Heaven) located at the St. Ann-Trelawny border and the concomitant growth of the Corporate Area and Montego Bay based Loft and Club Anthrax respectively. The recent Montego Bay attacks complement a spate of Police visitations to the Loft by members of the security forces attached to Corporate Area Divisions. The major difference, between the two sets of incidences, is that the Corporate Area police has refrained from attacking patrons and has merely requested proof from the club management of compliance with domestic regulations concerning the operation of places of entertainment. Upon receipt of said proof of compliance the Corporate Area police has consistently retreated without any incident.
In January a meeting was convened in Vineyard Town, ostensibly to iron out areas of disagreement particularly those related to:
- Timetabling of events
Unconfirmed reports suggest that The Anthrax attack and Loft visitations represent a breakdown of the Vineyard Town Talks and other ongoing dialogue and a resumption of hostilities by the Management of Club Kush. As such it is being intimated that the management of Club Kush is utilizing rogue cops to protect their turf and manage their relations with other promoters. These rogue cops have in turn sought to leverage the power of homophobic sentiment to enlist the support of colleagues in the assault of members of the community.
We here at Pink take the opportunity to advise all party promoters to follow in the footsteps of the Management of the Loft and ensure compliance with all local laws and regulations governing public places of entertainment. These include engagement with relevant municipal fire safety and electricity inspectors regarding the safety of venues.
In response to the Club Anthrax attack, the Management of the Loft has published a press release published on their Facebook Page and also via Blackberry Messenger Broadcast facility indicating the ownership arrangements of their facility and the relevant steps they have taken to ensure patron security. Whilst the Loft in recent memory has struggled to ensure a smoking ban on patrons, Pink can confirm that the regular security arrangements at the door have been supplemented with armed security response from King Alarm.
Please click for the full text of The Loft Press Release