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Violence & the Labour Day parade

Some folks would like to see the back of the annual Labor Day carnival parade in NYC. (Photo credit: Nick Johnson/

So there has been a lot of chatter this week about violence and the annual West Indian American Day Carnival festivities (aka Labour Day parade) in New York City.

A fatal shooting in Crown Heights has been controversially linked to the celebration, much to the anger of some in the Caribbean community in NYC.

Caribbean-American political figures came out to bat for the carnival at an emergency press conference – like others, they were not happy with the NYPD which has been under fire since it was revealed that the victim of the shooting may have been killed by a stray police bullet.

A run in with a black city councilman along the parade route has also raised ire.

However, other non-fatal shootings during the day stopped the parade during the day, causing other Caribbean Americans to look  inward. On, two commenters were scathing in their denunciation and on other Caribbean American sites, West Indians have expressed dismay at the violence which has once more been linked to the festivities.

People are so nervous that a rumour flew around last night that 2011 may have been the last edition ever of the Labor Day parade.

Thankfully, it seems that rumour wasn’t true but it is clear that things are going to have to change. The question is how?

Islandistas up north – what do you think? Have you ever participated in the Labor Day parade? Did you feel safe? Do you think it is fair to link the violence to it? And what can be done to put some shine back on the reputation of Caribbean people’s biggest party day of the year in North America?

By Me

island ~ ista
From Latin -ista via Portuguese -ista
one who follows a principle; an adept.

As an islandista I live, embody, exude the spirit of the Caribbean islands.

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