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Germany axes reggae murder music

OutRage! News Service | 20.08.2004 16:38 | Culture | Gender | World

Buju Banton’s concerts cancelled

LONDON - 20 August 2004 – Buju Banton's appearance at the Reggae Jam Festival in Saarbruecken, Germany, on 3 September, has been cancelled. Concert appearances in Hamburg and Darmstadt have also been dropped.

Dragan Nikitovic, the promoter of the Saarbruecken festival, was so disgusted by Banton´s lyrics, which incite the murder of gay people, that he immediately cancelled Banton´s performance, saying he was prepared to do so even if it meant losing money.

The German gay rights group LSVD is taking legal advice in a bid to have Buju Banton prosecuted under German incitement to murder and hate-crime laws.

Today Claudia Roth, the German Member of Parliament and Human Rights Commissioner, added her voice to the calls for action against Banton by writing to the concert organisers, asking them to cancel concerts by hate-singers.

Ms. Roth previously was the chairwoman of the German Green Party and the chairwoman of the Green Party Group in the European Parliament.

In her letter to reggae promoters, Ms Roth says: "I do not want to live in a country where people openly incite hatred and violence against minorities. I appeal to you as the promoters to forego the planned appearances of Buju Banton in Germany."

These successes follow a vigorous campaign by the Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany (LSVD) to stop the promotion of homophobic violence by Jamaican murder-music singer Buju Banton.

The campaign has won support from top civic and government officials.

Philipp Braun, LSVD spokesperson says: "Buju Banton does not only call for the murder of gay people in his song Boom Bye Bye, he is also suspected of involvement in a gay-bashing attack in Kingston, Jamaica."

In a statement issued today, the Jamaican lesbian and gay group J-FLAG said: “On 24th June, 2004, we received a call for help from six men who reported to us that Buju Banton, along with a group of men, forced entry at gunpoint to their home, proceeded to beat them, ransacking the home and destroying various items of personal property. Two of the victims were later treated at the University Hospital for injuries sustained in this attack. Yesterday J-FLAG reported that there is an arrest warrant for Buju Banton in Jamaica.”

Reports that Banton is wanted by the police for questioning about the attack have been confirmed by the German newspaper, Die Hamburger Morgenpost, as well as by Amnesty International.

Buju Banton has not apologised for his lyrics inciting the murder of gay people, and he performed Boom Bye Bye on 8 August at a concert in Negril, Jamaica. The song was re-released as recently as 2001 on a Greatest Hits album.

"It is wholly appropriate that Saarbruecken, Darmstadt and Hamburg have dropped Buju Banton. Reggae promoters in Uebersee/Chiemsee, Hamm, Bremen and Berlin should come to the same conclusion and drop this musician immediately. It is unacceptable that local concert stages are used by artists who incite the murder of gay people" says Mr Braun.

The LSVD has informed the German Public Prosecutor’s office and handed them a detailed dossier on Buju Banton. It has asked them to examine translations of his hate-lyrics, investigate their distribution in Germany, and to ensure (if a concert goes ahead) that no statements are made from the stage which constitute a violation of the criminal offence of incitement.

Earlier in the week, the LSVD successfully negotiated with German sportswear company, Puma, to agree to cancel sponsorship deals with artists, including Buju Banton, if they violate Puma´s strict non-discrimination policy. Senior Puma officials have already warned Banton that he will lose Puma sponsorship immediately if he continues to make homophobic statements.

"Buju Banton's concerts are being cancelled left, right and centre. There are moves to have him prosecuted under German incitement to murder and hate-crime laws. Even the handful of venues who are agreeing to honour their contractual obligations are unlikely to ever host Buju
Banton again. His career in Germany is finished," said Mr Braun.

"All the other artists who incite the murder of gay people will eventually suffer the same fate" he added.


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Hide the following 3 comments

Outrage behaving Outrageously

23.08.2004 13:43

The English homosexual Organization Outrage has waged a war against Jamaica’s most popular entertainers. They have targeted Beenie Man, Bounty Killa, Elephant Man and now Buju Banton. Outrage labels Buju Banton as an entertainer who records songs that incites the killing of homosexual because Buju recorded the notorious song “Boom Bye Bye” in 1989 when he was 16 years old. Since then he has not recorded any songs that homosexuals object to.
Moreover, the song does not mean that people should literally kill homosexuals. Buju, “the Voice of Jamaica,” was merely echoing the sentiment of most Jamaicans. Homosexuality may be prevalent and accepted in many European cultures but that is not the case in Jamaican culture. Outrage is participating in cultural imperialism by dictating that reggae artists should not reflect their own culture.
Furthermore, Buju sings about the many injustices in the world. He addresses many issues like child abuse, imperialism, globalization and the suffering of the under-privileged. He has also worked to prevent the spread of HIV by dedicating a song to condom use and has formed an organization to assist people suffering from AIDS in Jamaica.
Buju Banton is being crucified by Outrage for reflecting his culture. Moreover, outrage is only increasing the tension between heterosexual and homosexual Jamaicans by instigating a fight with their attacks on Jamaican Reggae Artists. As a result the youth of Jamaica are now even more anti-homosexual after hearing about the war Outrage is waging against their cultural icons.


fight homophobia

23.08.2004 14:24

sorry, but the thing with the "cultural imperialism" is the worst bullshit i read in the last time. Following this logic, the anti-apartheid campaigns against south africa were also "cultural imperialism" because of judging over other countries sets of believes?! Wake up, homophobia is the same shit as racism- there is no reason to justify hatred against gays, lesbians and women. Reggae-culture may have some political issues but it is far away from being progressive leftwinged because of having some very reactionary rightwinged positions. A campaign to raise the conciousness that it is simply not ok to sing of murdering, shooting, burning, beating di battyman is simply necessary coz this are issues many artists dancehall lyrics deal with. Time that there is a reggae movement with other content than just a blind copying of jamaican culture.
Stay rude- stay rebel.

asha is a dork
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Dancehall Fans Against Homophobia

26.01.2005 20:08

DFAH (pronounced differ) – because we’re DFAHrent

In 2005, the reggae subgenre of dancehall is under attack from a variety of sources. Most of these attacks relate to the homophobic content of some dancehall record releases. However, many of these attacks are so woefully inaccurate as to be dangerous in their own right. Dancehall Fans Against Homophobia is a newly formed organisation of dancehall fans who are as fed up with governmental and media attacks on dancehall as they are with the handful of deejays currently releasing homophobic records.

1) We are fans and supporters of reggae, dancehall and Jamaican music in all its forms.

2) We are opposed to homophobia and homophobic lyrics.

3) We call on record companies to desist from releasing homophobic records and to encourage their artists to perform lyrics dealing with other issues.

4) We will no longer buy records with homophobic lyrics.

5) We call on soundsystems to desist from playing homophobic records, or from making homophobic comments on the mic at dances.

6) We will no longer support homophobic soundsystems.

7) We reject the demonisation of reggae and its fans by parts of the media.

8) We are opposed to state bans on artists.

9) We recognise the long history of homophobia in Jamaica and that there can be no "quick fix". We propose that the way forward lies in dialogue and not in gesture politics.

10) We would like to open up a dialogue between reggae fans, artists, labels owners, soundsystem operators and the reggae community worldwide.

If dancehall fans are interested in signing up to these principles, they should log on - , and step on prejudice, in all its forms.

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