Reggae star barred from Britain.
OutRage! gets all concerts cancelled.
Singer, promoters and venues lose £100,000.
London – 4 November 2004
Jamaican reggae star, Sizzla Kalonji, has been denied a visa to enter the UK.
The Home Office has indicated to gay rights group OutRage! that it has not issued Sizzla a visa for his five-city UK concert tour, which was to have begun last night at the Empire nightclub in Milton Keynes.
The visa denial follows lobbying by OutRage! and the Green Party, both of which urged the Home Secretary to issue an exclusion order against Sizzla on the grounds that he has incited the murder of white people and homosexuals (details below).
“Following our request for an exclusion order, we have been advised by the Home Office that the Home Secretary David Blunkett is minded to exclude Sizzla from the UK,” said Peter Tatchell of OutRage!
“While an exclusion order is being considered, the Home Office will not allow him to enter the country.
“Our understanding is that Sizzla has not, and will not, be issued with a visa. He therefore cannot perform in Britain, which means that none of his concerts will go ahead – either now or in the foreseeable future.
“It is estimated that the concert cancellations have cost Sizzla, his promoters and the venues over £100,000 in lost income”, said Mr Tatchell.
All five of Sizzla’s UK concerts have been cancelled following protests by gay rights group OutRage!. The group protested to the venues, local police and council officials.
The cancelled concerts are Bradford, Birmingham, Bristol, London and Milton Keynes.
“We organised hundreds of our supporters to blitz the venues with emails urging the cancellation of Sizzla’s concerts on the grounds that he incites racist and homophobic violence,” said co-organiser of the OutRage! protest campaign, Brett Lock.
“This is the second UK concert tour by Sizzla that OutRage! has got cancelled in the last two months. His gig at the White Pearl Club in Birmingham on 3 September was dropped after we lobbied the venue and local police.
“It is sickening the way the Stratford Rex venue in East London was trying to proceed with Sizzla’s concert this Saturday, despite the horrific gay-bashing murder of David Morley.
“The Stratford Rex is making money out of promoting murder-music singers like Sizzla,” said Mr Lock.
OutRage accuses Sizzla of inciting racist and homophobic violence.
“Burn all white people in Jamaica,” Sizzla told his audience at the 1998 Reggae Sumfest Festival in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
The racist performer has also urged his listeners to kill gay people. His current album, Red Alert (2004), includes the song Boom Boom, which says: “Queers must be killed.” Another, Pump Up, says: “Shoot queers.”
At a concert, in Chicago in April 2002, Sizzla appeared to boast to his audience that he has personally murdered homosexuals: “I kill sodomites and queers, they bring AIDS and disease upon people.shoot and kill them”.
Sizzla’s real name is Miguel Orlando Collins.
See full details and references for Sizzla’s “kill gays” lyrics and stage comments at the end of this news release.
“Sizzla has refused to apologise for his incitements to murder white people and to kill lesbians and gay men,” added Mr Tatchell.
“His ‘kill gays’ songs are still in circulation. He has not withdrawn them. He is still profiteering from his murder music.
“His encouragement to kill white people stirs up racial hatred and violence.
“Sizzla’s songs promote the murder of gays and lesbians. If his performances had gone ahead they may have led to public disorder and to homophobic and racist hate crimes.
“No one would give a platform to a singer who advocated killing black or Jewish people. A performer who brazenly encourages the murder of whites and gays should not be rewarded with concerts and financial success.
“Securing the cancellation of Sizzla’s concerts will hit him in the pocket. It will help pressure Sizzla and other anti-gay Jamaican singers to abandon their murderous incitements. Once they start losing money, they will soon drop their violent lyrics. Driving homophobic violence out of Jamaican music will have a huge positive impact on Jamaican culture and attitudes – to the benefit of all Jamaicans, gay and straight.
“In a free society, Sizzla has a right to criticize homosexuality. But he does not have a right to advocate the killing of lesbians and gay men. He has gone too far.”
“Free speech does not include the right to encourage the killing of other human beings. Incitement to murder is a criminal offence. We want his tour cancelled because he endorses violent hate crimes, not because he insults gay people.
“Inciting murder is a criminal offence under UK law. He is a threat to public order and could provoke hate violence against white people and lesbians and gays.
“The Metropolitan Police and Crown Prosecution Service are currently conducting a criminal investigation into Sizzla Kalonji and seven other reggae singers on the grounds that their lyrics commit the criminal offence of incitement to murder,” added Mr Tatchell.
“Sizzla Kalonji does not merely express his disapproval of homosexuality,” said Brett Lock of OutRage! and co-organiser of the Stop Murder Music campaign.
“He calls for all homosexuals to be killed and incites his listeners to murder gays and lesbians. This goes way beyond an acceptable expression of opinion. Lesbian and gay people have a right to live their lives free from threats to kill them,” Concluded Mr Lock.
For more background on the ‘Stop Murder Music’ campaign, see:
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At the 1998 Sumfest Reggae concert in Jamaica, Sizzla urged his audience to “Burn all white people”:
“Sizzla sported controversy when he made public endorsements at the 1998 Reggae Sumfest Festival in Montego Bay. During his performance he agitated his audience, and in particular the world press, after denouncing Queen Elizabeth II, homosexuals, and even the Sumfest Festival. He saved his most controversial racist diatribe for the finale when he stated, “Burn all white people in Jamaica”, this led to a stunned silence from the multi-racial crowd. His attempts to win approval failed, which resulted in a talented performer being regarded as an embarrassment to Jamaican music”
“Kill gays” Murder Music lyrics by Sizzla Kalonji
Lyrics in Jamaican patois, with the standard English translation underneath in brackets [ ].
Sizzla – Pump Up
Step up inna front line
[Step up to the front line]
fire fi di man dem weh go ride man behind
[burn the men who have sex with men from behind]
Shot battybwoy, my big gun boom
[Shoot queers, my big gun goes boom]
Sizzla – Boom Boom
Boom boom! Batty boy them fi dead
[Boom boom (as in gunshots) Queers must be killed]
Sizzla – Get To Da Point
Sodomite and batty bwai mi seh a death fi dem
[Sodomite and queers, I say death to them]
Mi no trust babylon fi a second yah so
[I don’t trust Babylon for a second]
Mi a go shot batty bwai dem widdi weapon ya
[I go and shoot queers with a weapon]
At a reggae concert in Chicago on 12 April 2002, Sizzla bragged that he kills queers, and also incited the audience to murder gays and lesbians:
“mi nuh go tek back mi chat… mi kill sodomite and batty man dem bring aids and disease pon people… shot a kill dem, mi nuh go tek back mi chat”
[I wont take back my words.I kill sodomites and queers, they bring AIDS and disease upon people.shoot and kill them, I won’t take back my words.]
A report by Amnesty International, dated 17 May 2004, about a reggae concert in Jamaica earlier this year, documented Sizzla and other reggae stars abusing and threatening to kill gay men.
“Throughout the night, Capleton, Sizzla and others sang almost exclusively about gay men. Using the derogatory terms for gay men – “chi chi men” or ‘battybwoys’ – they urged the audience to ‘kill dem, battybwoys haffi dead, gun shots pon dem. Who want to see dem dead, put up his hand’
[kill them, queers have got to die, gun shots in their head, whoever wants to see them dead, put up your hand]
In an interview by Richard Burnett in the Canadian entertainment magazine ‘Hour’ on 19 August 2004, Sizzla said:
“.burn sodomite, burn battyman. Burn all things that are wrong. Burn it… We must get rid of Sodom and Gomorrah right now.”
Sizzla UK Tour – Now cancelled
Murder-music singer Sizzla UK concert tour: 3 – 8 November 2004.
3 Nov – Empire – Milton Keynes
4 Nov – Town & Country Club – Bradford
5 Nov – Aston Villa Leisure – Birmingham
6 Nov – Stratford Rex – London
8 Nov – Carling Academy – Bristol