Unattached youths in the section of Rockfort known as ‘Top Temple’ during a Gleaner/RISE Life Management On the Corner with Unattached Youths forum last Thursday.
For most inner-city communities in Jamaica, there is a strongman or a don who calls the shots, but not so in the section of Rockfort known as Top Temple, and the youths in the area want it to stay that way.
“We don’t need any don. If you rape children and dem things there, you have to come out, and if we see you a move too feminine, you have to come out. Round here, we deal with things ourselves, or we work wid di police,” declared Hakeem Jackson last Thursday.
Jackson was one of several youths who participated in a Gleaner/RISE Life Management On the Corner with Unattached Youths in Top Temple, and he was adamant that the community is much better without a don.
“We did have a don in the past and that don would deal with youths real, like when the man them don’t have any lunch money, he would give them lunch money to go to school. But them man deh drop out and we nuh have nobody else,” interjected Garfield McIntosh.
He argued that it would be difficult for anyone to emerge as a don in the area.
According to McIntosh, a don would only hamper the gains that have been made in Top Temple.
“Suppose you want to do something and the don don’t agree with it; him can stop you. We don’t want that,” said Jackson, noting that residents are willing to turn over wrongdoers to the cops to protect the area’s reputation.
“Right now, this area is the most peaceful place in Rockfort. Other places around we are at war, but right here so ever peaceful. It is like we are in the middle and are surrounded. So the good have to suffer for the bad,” added McIntosh.
That was endorsed by Jackson, who noted that the police often restrict parties and other forms of entertainment in Top Temple because of gang violence in other sections of Rockfort.
“Right now you have to call it that right here is like the mother, the heart of Rockfort. When any big match or anything playing, is right here it keep. People feel comfortable to come here,” said Jackson.
“Right here we try to deal with things. We try to get the police them involved if anything. Youths will have conflict still, you know, but we always try to quash it down,” added Jackson.