Manchester police have intervened to secure the cancellation of reggae
superstar Buju Banton's Manchester concert, which was scheduled for
this Thursday 23 September.
Expressing concern about possible public disorder and threats to local lesbians and gays by Mr Banton's fans, the police have ensured that the Bierkeller in central Manchester pulled the plug on Mr Banton's concert.
Mr Banton's promoters then tried to secure a replacement venue, The Big Western, in Moss Side, but the police had that venue cancelled too.
Banton, whose lyrics advocate shooting queers in the head, and who faces arrest on charges of participating in a queer-bashing attack, is now confronted with the collapse of his UK tour.
"We thank Manchester councillors and police for taking a stand against Mr Banton and his murder-music," said Peter Tatchell, of the gay human rights group OutRage!, which campaigned to have the concert axed.
"The Bierkeller and The Big Western should never have agreed to host him in the first place.
"They would not sign a performer who advocated gassing Jews or lynching black people. Incitements to murder gays and lesbians are not acceptable either. They should not be rewarded with concert contracts.
"Banton's big hit song, Boom Bye Bye, incites the execution-style killing of gay and lesbian people. He urges listeners to shoot queers in the head, pour acid over them, set them alight, and burn them like car tyres.
"We are appalled the Home Office granted Mr Banton a visa. He should not have been allowed in the country, given that he has incited the murder of gay people and that Jamaican police have issued an arrest warrant for him on charges of causing 'grievous bodily harm' in a gay-bashing attack in Kingston, Jamaica, on 24 June 2004," said Mr
This can be confirmed by contacting DCI Clive Driscoll of the Metropolitan police on 07730 050 908.
Excerpts from Banton's murderous lyrics follow below.
"Jamaican gay rights group J-Flag (001 876 978 8988) confirm that Buju Banton is wanted by the Jamaican police over an armed attack on a group of gay men in their home, which resulted in the hospitalisation of two victims.
"The allegations of Banton's involvement in this violent homophobic assault are corroborated by Amnesty International in a letter to Mr Banton dated 19 August 2004 (see excerpts from the Amnesty letter below).
"The existence of a warrant for Mr Banton's arrest has been confirmed by Supt Thompson of the Jamaican police at Constant Spring police station. In addition, one of the victims of the attack on 24 June was given the same confirmation from Constable Linton, also at Jamaica's Constant Spring police station (001 876 924 1421/22)," added Mr Tatchell.
"Boom Bye Bye is probably the most murderous incitement recorded by any singer anywhere in the world," said Mr Tatchell.
"Banton still performs Boom Bye Bye, most recently on Sunday 8 August 2004 at the Smirnoff Festival in Negril, Jamaica.
"The record remains on sale. He re-released it on his recent Greatest Hits album.
"Banton is still making money from his incitement to kill gay people.
"Buju Banton's PR agents are falsely claiming he has apologised for these murderous lyrics. It is true that his record company put out an 'apology' a decade ago, but Banton immediately denied apologising and even attacked his own record company for doing so. If he is sorry, why is Banton still performing Boom Bye Bye, re-releasing it, and making
money out of it?" said Tatchell.
"Free speech does not include the right to commit the criminal offence of incitement to murder," added OutRage! co-organiser Brett Lock.
"It was very important we stopped this concert in order to show that 'murder music' does not pay.
"If Mr Banton's brand of violent homophobia ever became a popular musical genre, it would almost certainly be followed by a rise in anti-gay assaults", said Mr Lock.
Amnesty International letter to Buju Banton, 19 August 2004, issued by Susan Lee, Programme Director - Americas, International Secretariat, AI London:
"We can confirm that Amnesty International has received information from reputable national and international human rights organisations concerning reports that Buju Banton was involved in a homophobic attack. These reports take the form of statements that allege that on June 24 2004, six men were driven from their home and beaten by a group of armed men, and that the alleged assailants included Buju Banton (Mark Anthony Myrie). The reports further allege that this attack was apparently motivated by hatred of gay men: the victims reported that both before and during the attack the assailants had called the men "battymen" (homosexuals). Amnesty International is further aware that several of the alleged victims were interviewed by a Human Rights Watch researcher who was in Jamaica at the time. Amnesty International has also received reports that several of the alleged victims made official reports to the Constant Spring police station on 25 June 2004."
For more background info on the "Stop Murder Music" campaign, see:
Buju Banton - Boom Bye Bye
This song incites the execution-style killing of gay and lesbian people, by shooting them in the head, pouring acid over them or setting them alight, and burning them like car tyres.
The Jamaican patois lyrics are followed, line by line, by translations into standard English
Anytime Buju Banton come
Anytime Buju Banton comes
Batty bwoy get up an run
Faggots get up and run..
Boom bye bye
Boom (gun shot) bye bye (Goodbye, as in you're dead)
Inna batty bwoy head
In a faggot's head
Rude bwoy no promote no nasty man
Rude boy don't promote any nasty (queer) man
Dem haffi dead
They have to die...
Send fi di matic an
Send for the automatic (gun) and
Di Uzi instead
The Uzi (gun) instead
Shoot dem no come if we shot dem-
Shoot them, don't come (to help them) if we shoot them..
Guy come near we
If a guy comes near me
Then his skin must peel
Then his skin must peel
(Note: In Jamaica, pouring acid on an individual is a common
Burn him up bad like an old tire wheel
Burn him up bad like an old tyre