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Buju Banton’s Cancelled LA Show Rebooked On the Downlow?

Jim Burroway

October 15th, 2009

That’s what seems to have happened:

Jamaican Reggae star Buju Banton, whose upcoming performance in Los Angeles was initially canceled after outcry over his homophobic lyrics, may be slated to perform Thursday night.

A woman speaking for Hollywood’s Cabana Club told on Thursday that the event had yet to be confirmed — five hours before the scheduled start time, 9 p.m. However, the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center has announced it will be holding a silent protest in front of the club on Thursday.

Banton’s North American tour has experienced multiple cancellations over the past few months as LGBT activists have protested his music advocating the murder of gay people. On Monday, LGBT advocates Michael Petrelis, San Francisco Supervisor Bevan Dufty, EQCA\’s Andrea Shorter met with Banton and pressed him with several ideas on how to diffuse the controversy. Despite the fact that Banton rejected every suggestion out of hand, the LGBT advocates hailed it as a “good first step.” Karen Ocamb found that hard to take:

And now that photo op, glowing press from the SF Weekly, and a few quotes from Dufty and Petrelis about how this was a “good first step” are being used by Banton\’s PR team to put a crack in the wall of what up to this point has been a successful boycott with promoters cancelling concerts.  That pictures made newspapers, TV stations and blogs from South Miami to Jamaica.

News of the meeting met with glowing reviews from The Jamaica Gleaner and the Jamaica Observer, which asks “Buju Breaks Under Pressure?” The clear message in both articles is for Banton to hold firm.

Karen Ocamb asked UK activist Peter Taschell for comment on the meeting. Tatchell has been at the forefront of the long-running campaign to stop murder music by asking artists to sign the Reggae Compassionate Act. Tatchell reports that Banton signed the document in 2007, only to repudiate it in the weeks following.  In the email to Ocamb, Tatchell described the photo-op as “a big propaganda victory for Banton”:

Despite their reported failure to secure anything from Banton, LGBT activists agreed to allow his concert at the Rock It Room to go ahead. If true, I am stunned that Banton\’s demand for a concert was conceded in exchange for nothing tangible from him.

…This meeting is a big propaganda victory for Banton. He can now use it to show that he has dialogue with the LGBT community. It will be ruthlessly exploited by his management to undermine the LGBT campaign and the concert cancellations.

Meanwhile, Banton’s tour continues:



October 15th, 2009 | LINK

Reggae music reminds me of polkas. There are songs I like of both genres. Buju Banton’s stance reminds me ofthose of Uganda or Jamaica. Entities whose products I can’t boycott because they don’t make anything I would want to buy.

I think Gargamel is small fish.

Leonard Drake
October 16th, 2009 | LINK

Just as a side note to this DISGUSTING MAN and the sequence of his concerts. The concert held in Solana Beach is not “Solano Beach.” It is spelled “Solana Beach.”

October 16th, 2009 | LINK

Don’t go after the venue…they obviously could care less…go after any neighboring businesses. I sent St. Petersburg’s, Janus Landing owner, Jack Bodziak (, the following email, and I plan to follow through. We are regular at a couple of restaurants in that area.

I have read that a planned concert by Buju Banton at Janus Landing is still scheduled. Is that true?

I generally support all forms of artistic expression, but Banton crosses over a line. Buju Banton has a long history of performing songs advocating violence against gay people, including one song, which advocates shooting gay people in the head with automatic weapons, pour acid on them, and burn them “like an old tire wheel.”

But the issue goes far beyond just lyrics in some songs. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch confirm that Banton was among six men involved in a gay bashing in June 2004 in Constant Spring, Jamaica. UK, so Banton has a history of not only inciting others to harm fellow human beings, he himself has participated.

Despite having met with a group of gay leaders and activists this week, Banton made the following statement, “This is a fight, and as I said in one of my songs ‘there is no end to the war between me and faggot’ and it’s clear.” This is NOT a person who should be invited to our community, and frankly, you should be ashamed for providing a venue for a person like this.

I frequently go to downtown St. Petersburg, eat at a number of restaurants, and watch movies at Baywalk, but no more. I will no longer feel safe after Buju has had the opportunity to incite people to murder and burn gay people, and will be notifying those businesses I frequent to explain why they will no longer enjoy my patronage.

I am truly sorry that you believe some amount of money is worth sponsoring the bringing of a person like this into our community.

October 17th, 2009 | LINK

Gargamel the sorcerer is the sworn enemy of the Smurfs.

Buju Banton may have a problem with the Smurfs . . . He has a problem with SpongeBob and Beavis and Butt-head “batty man them.”


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