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Buju Banton gets support

By Germaine Smith, Staff Reporter.


Buju Banton
A MASSIVE BOUT of support is now pouring in for deejay Buju Banton and his representatives, as they appeal the restrictions which have been placed on his international travelling and working priviledges.

The support has come with representatives drumming up signatures of those who support Buju, and who believe that the current ban on him in the United States and Britain should be lifted.

They have contested the circumstances of Buju's marijuana conviction, and declare that an international movement has been started in solidarity with the artiste.

Share information

So far, the group has visited different media houses in Jamaica to share information, visited entertainment events and other areas in an attempt to garner as many signatures as possible.

One of the representatives, United States based Tracii McGregor told THE STAR that; "The goal is to create an awareness, to get people aware of what has happened to him," she explained.

She noted that the drive actually started overseas, and has been now. "Support in this way started in Brooklyn a few weeks ago, and we have taken it here. So far we have over 2,000 signatures to it, and we know that he has support in other countries as well."

Positive impact

General Manager of Gargamel Music Inc, Mark Wilson, told THE STAR that their action was to show just how much of a positive impact Buju's work has had and will continue to have on the country, and how it could be tremendously harmed if his appeal is not successful.

"It is to show that he has support globally," he noted. "Buju has earned US dollars for this country, so he is a tourism product. People globally come here to see him and when he goes out he represents the country. We need to have him out there."

In Wilson's view, having restrictions placed on him because of a questionable marijuana conviction will only set a dangerous precedent. "The very fact that he got charged for a marijuana offence in this industry, we can be sympathetic, because in this environment it can face any other entertainer in the future just like that...we can air our voices with a signature. It is a big effort and I hope we all respond well."

According to McGregor, they have been met with encouraging attitudes so far, and that has been positive. "The reactions we have been getting have been positive. People are glad someone is doing something about it already because it affects all the industry."

She added that they did not have a specific number of signatures in mind, but for now they will gather as many as possible.

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July 30, 2004
 

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