Gays claim “victory over homophobia”
London UK – 7 December 2003
Jamaican reggae star Bounty Killer cancelled concerts in Birmingham and London this weekend after the gay rights group OutRage! urged the police to arrest him on charges of inciting violence against homosexuals.
Acting on a request from OutRage!, police warned the concert venues, the White Pearl Club in Birmingham, and the Stratford Rex in London, that they may be guilty of aiding and abetting criminal offences if Bounty Killer performed his hit songs calling for gay people to be burned, drowned, stoned, wiped out and murdered.
“The cancellation of his concerts is a victory over homophobia in pop music”, said Peter Tatchell of OutRage! “Our aim is to make Britain a no-go area for singers who incite violence against gay people and other minorities”.
“Bounty Killer has chickened out of his UK concerts, fearful of arrest and gay rights protests. This macho homophobe is really a wimp. He talks tough but runs a mile when anyone challenges his bigotry”.
“The investigating officer, Detective Chief Inspector Clive Driscoll, has assured us the police investigation into Bounty Killer, and two other homophobic reggae singers, Elephant Man and Beenie Man, will continue. If enough evidence is produced, charges will follow”.
“In June this year, OutRage! submitted a dossier to the Metropolitan Police urging the prosecution of the three Jamaican reggae stars on charges on inciting homophobic violence and murder, and of causing harassment, alarm and distress to gay people. The police are still pursuing our request and gathering evidence”.
“We hope this victory will encourage people in other countries to campaign for the cancellation of these singer’s concerts. Hit them in the pocket where it hurts financially. Once they start losing money they’ll soon drop their homophobic lyrics”, said Tatchell.
The full text of OutRage!’s letter to the Metropolitan Police, urging Bounty Killer’s arrest, follows below – together with excerpts from Bounty Killer’s songs that urge violence against gay people.
Text of the original OutRage! letter to the Metropolitan Police
Detective Chief Inspector Clive Driscoll
New Scotland Yard
1 December 2003
Dear Clive Driscoll,
Request for the arrest of Jamaican reggae singer Bounty Killer on charges of inciting the assault and murder of gay people, and/or on charges of causing harassment, alarm and distress.
Further to my letter of 18 June 2003 requesting the prosecution of reggae artists who advocate homophobic violence and murder:
One of those artists, the Jamaican reggae singer Bounty Killer, will be in Britain later this week to perform at a concert in Birmingham on Friday 5 December and at another concert in London on Saturday 6 December.
His London venue is the Stratford Rex. Tickets are being sold via Ticketmania (0870 6000 888, www.ticketmania.co.uk).
The lyrics of the four Bounty Killer songs listed below variously incite the murder, assault and harassment of gay people and are, at the very least, likely to cause harassment, alarm and distress – all of which are criminal offences.
Specifically, the four tracks call for gay people to be burned, drowned, wiped out, stoned and murdered.
Bounty Killer cannot be allowed to come to this country and spread his message of homophobic violence with impunity.
1) On behalf of the queer human rights group OutRage! I am urging the Metropolitan Police to arrest and charge Bounty Killer under either Sections 4 or 5 of the Public Order Act 1986, the common law offence of incitement to violence and murder, or under Section 4 of the Offences Against The Person Act 1861.
2) We also request the police to warn the Stratford Rex and Ticketmania they may be guilty of aiding and abetting criminal offences by promoting and giving a platform to Bounty Killer, especially if he performs any of his violently homophobic songs on 6 December.
3) If the Stratford Rex and Ticketmania cannot give an assurance that these violent, criminal tracks will not be performed, we urge the Metropolitan Police to insist that Bounty Killer’s concert is cancelled and that all ticket sales are halted.
We reiterate: what we object to is Bounty Killer’s explicit encouragement of violent attacks on lesbians and gay men. Encouraging such attacks is a crime under British law. We expect the law to be upheld.
In a democratic society people have a right to criticise homosexuality, but they do not have a right to encourage queer-bashing violence and murder.
If a singer advocated similar violence against a racial minority, he would be immediately arrested and charged. We see no just reason why incitements to homophobic violence should be treated less seriously than incitements to racial violence.
The Metropolitan Police and Crown Prosecution Service are making a mockery of their commitment to tackle anti-gay hate crimes. It is now five months since we submitted our dossier on these violent hate singers. So far, all we have received is lame excuses, especially from the CPS. What degree of violence do these singers have to incite before the Met and CPS will act? How many queers have to get bashed and murdered before the promoters of homophobic violence are prosecuted?
We expect action against Bounty Killer and will settle for nothing less.
I hope you can reassure us that action will be taken. The lesbian and gay community is entitled to the full and equal protection of the law. To date, we have not got it. How much longer must we wait for equality under the law? Not beyond the end of this week, I hope.
OutRage! – campaigning for queer human rights
APPENDIX: Bounty Killer lyrics
Bounty Killer lyrics – and their meaning
Artist: Bounty Killer with Baby Cham
Song: Another Level
Album: Wow… The Story (Baby Cham)
Audio CD (October 24, 2000)
Original Release Date: October 24, 2000
Label: Artists Only Records
Bun a fire pon a kuh pon mister fagoty..
Poop man fi drown a dat a yawd man philosophy (Uh huh)
Burn the queer..
Men who have anal sex should be drowned, that’s a yardie man’s philospohy
Artist: Bounty Killer
Song: Look Good (track 7)
Album: Ghetto Dictionary: Art of War
Audio CD (May 28, 2002)
Label: V.P. Records
“wipe out the faggot with a pure laser beam”
Artist: Bounty Killer
Song: Mr. Wanna Be
Album: 5th Element
Audio CD (October 19, 1999)
Original Release Date: October 19, 1999
Hear this likkle punk guh sing a battyman concept.
To kill dis yah fool, to me dat is no stress
Murder dem fast just like a Federal Express
Hear this little punk who sings a queer song.
To kill this fool, to me that is no stress
Murder him fast, like Federal Express