[Hpn] SQUATTERS HOMES BULL DOZED~WOMEN AND CHILDREN HOMELESS AGAIN

William Charles Tinker wtinker@metrocast.net
Mon, 26 Jul 2004 04:21:36 -0400


www.Jamaica-Gleaner.com



Mammee Bay squatters evicted

published: Monday | July 26, 2004

By Devon Evans, Gleaner Writer

OCHO RIOS, St. Ann:

SCORES OF informal settlers were evicted from a disputed 40-acre prime beach
front property in Mammee Bay, St. Ann on Friday, ending years of legal
wrangling over the occupation of the property.
The eviction exercise was peacefully carried out under the watchful eyes of
police and security personnel. This follows the intervention of Deputy
Superintendent of Police Anthony Castelle who held meeting with the
residents the previous day and got them to comply with the eviction order.

However, with the clearing of the residents from the property a serious
social problem has been created with several women and their children now
left homeless and having to be sleeping without a shelter.

A ACT OF WICKEDNESS

Leader of the Mammee Bay Squatters Settlement, Roy Daniel, described the
eviction of the residents and the bulldozing of their farms and other
belongings as a act of wickedness.

On Friday morning, it was actually the residents who began to pull down the
building on the arrival of the eviction team and a part from one woman who
reported that the bulldozer ran over the board from her dismantle house,
they were all allowed to remove most of their belongings and whatever pieces
of board and other items they could salvage before the bulldozer moved in.

Friday's eviction of the over 40 families followed a supreme court ruling on
Tuesday which gave Mammee Bay Resort Limited the right to reclaim the
remaining five-acre portion of the disputed property that was being
occupied.
After serving notices on the occupants, the owner tried to reclaim the
property by force on May 11, but this was stalled by a court action. One of
the squatters, Owen Crosbie, filed an injunction in the Supreme Court
against the action.

POSSESSION

Crosbie had also sought adverse possession of the five acres of the property
on which he and the other families are living, claiming that it had been
occupied by his grandfather since 1960. But this case was thrown out in the
Supreme Court on Tuesday paving the way for Friday's eviction.
>From Thursday when word of the plan eviction exercise began to circulate
throughout the community, some of the residents began pulling down wooden
structures that were either their houses or shops, while others refuse to
budge holding out some hope of remaining on the property.

Unfortunately on Thursday overnight rain caused much discomfort for those
who had been sleeping in the open and children who got soaked had to be
rescued in the homes of neighbours. Among those who got soaked in Thursday
night rain was Owen Crosbie's common-law wife and a six-month-child.

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