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ARCHIE BUCK DEM UP! By Rae Samuel

posted 19 Sep 2016, 21:51 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 19 Sep 2016, 21:53 ]
"Waaaaaaaaaiiii.'' We never figure him out for a back in times man but last week it seems the CJ, like his namesake in the ‘60s, well 'buck dem up'”.

His Honour's call, riding a riddim from King Striker's hit - hello, hello...order in de court. The name of the song was Archie BUCK them up. Take yuh mind out of the gutter before yuh end up in front of a non-existent jury.

Archie made a call for abolition of trial by jury, thus igniting a furore within the legal fraternity who inhabit that chimera - the justice system. And if there was any doubt about how broken it is, the Sunday after the call was made, women prisoners at Golden Grove had to stage protests about the conditions under which they are detained. Not that Archie was around to hear them. All yuh kyah stop him from travelling at all yuh expense…all yuh could only talk! He was headed to Guyana to attend a legal conference at State's expense of course.

Why Guyana? Ai...what happen to yuh? Guyana is the home of good calypsonians and a place for good songs. Sparrow did say "One B.G. plantain does full up de pot''. Or Sparrow's "Dey go be puttin' mih out mih way/If dey tackle Tiger Bay/And bun down de hotel whey all them "wahbeen'' does stay.'' Guyana is also the home of the Great calypsonian King Fighter and Dave Martin and the Tradewinds. (Check out Cricket in the Jungle).

One of the more pertinent responses to Archie's comments is not the lengthy trial by jury process but the time it takes to get to trial. In the recently concluded Vindra Naipaul-Coolman case the process took ten years when it was manifestly clear to many that the case never had a chance. What does one tell an individual who has been served that kind of justice?

A 20 year old who has been through that would have seen his/her peers, recent school mates, former co-workers move on, attempt to build lives and raise families. The legal fees would have long ruined his relatives. As George Jackson/Soledad brother so aptly put it “those who are not broken can never be 'normal' either...”

Why is this matter not attended to urgently? Capitalism, profit, exploitation - facts of everyday life in a society! A prisoner has to be processed, housed, fed, arraigned, transported, clothed, guarded and re-cycled. Do we really imagine Amalgamated would like to see the prisons emptied?

Dear friends, east of the prison complex at Golden Grove is an area fenced off with barbed wire which is not coming down anytime soon. It is the site of our next "Max Row', maximum security prison. As soon as the present administration takes time off from writing autobiographies a contract will be awarded to complete it. Somebody has to fill it and it will NOT be former politicians, heads of housing corporations, corrupt policemen, shotcallers, dodgy lawyers, corporate land grabbers, tax evaders or drug lords. What about columnists and bloggers? In any case some of us are too old to go to jail...right? What you mean "you stop dey?"

What next now that we have moved from contempt of court to contempt of the jury system? Your guess is as good as mine! Poom poom shorts and door prizes in the Magistrates’ court?

Archie buck dem up/Archie *&%$#!! dem up!
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