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#495901 - 09/20/14 05:52 AM Church Gets Injunction Against Alkaline
Marty Offline
Jamaican dancehall artist, Earlan Bartley, who is better known as Alkaline, landed in Belize yesterday for a concert in Cayo and Dangriga. He's supposed to be the next big headline event for the 20th Night. But, tonight, the concert is in jeopardy because of a late move to pull the venue.

The concert was scheduled to be held at Sacred Heart College in San Ignacio. That's a Catholic run school, and Alkaline's often outrageous, violent and sexually explicit lyrics caught the ear of the Catholic Church in Belize.

Today, a Press Release was sent from the office of Bishop Dorick Wright and the Catholic Diocese of Belize City and Belmopan.

In the release, the Bishop strongly condemned the decision to have such a concert on the grounds of a catholic school, calling it, quote, "...a serious error in judgement." End quote.

He continues on to explain the reasons for his strong disagreement. The statement says, quote.

"A cursory investigation on the internet reveals how shocking (even by today's standards) is this artist's music lyrics and on-stage lewd behavior....He has been banned from performing on some Caribbean islands and should have no place in our Christian Nation of Belize. This concert represents a departure from everything we in the Church hold as good, wholesome and sacred. Sacred Heart College must not promote such rank hedonism." End quote

The Bishop's statement continues, quote, "...It is of the general public's concern and in the best interest of our youth that this said event be opposed by parents. As the Bishop charged with the duty of shepherding the families of our Nation, I am sounding a call to all parents to forbid your children from attending this event. This artist's performance will certainly impact your children's innocence and spiritual wholeness in a very negative way. May the people of San Ignacio and Belize be aware of what is coming to our shores." End Quote

This evening, the Bishop authorized his attorney argue an ex-parte interim injunction to stop the concert from being held at Sacred Heart. It happened just an hour before news time, and 7News was there. Here's what Michel Chebat told us:

Michel Chebat, attorney
"It is an application by the Roman Catholic Church of Belize and the application is geared at preventing Alkaline's concert at the Sacred Heart college grounds. As you all may be aware, in the church's view this artist does not reflect the morals and values of the Catholic Church. It is allege that this gentleman is involve with satanic worship, his lyrics are lewd. I would say to you that somebody like that should not be allowed to even enter into Belize. He is not somebody that we want our youth to be exposed and so thankfully the court has seen that and the court has granted a temporary injunction preventing the concert. We are to return tomorrow morning at 10am for an interparty hearing where the promoters will get an opportunity for the court to hear them if they so wish."

Isani Cayetano, Ch5
"One of the questions is why at a last minute, at the eleventh hour; would the Catholic Church decide to forward this particular request?"

Michel Chebat
"This has just been brought to the bishop's attention and it is the bishop who has mandated and has instructed me to proceed to obtain the injunction. As you all are aware, the Roman Catholic Church is the proprietor of Sacred Heart College and in that light he is the ultimate authority over that school and he has so exercised his authority today."

Daniel Ortiz
"This might be seen or taken as a publicity stunt. Any sort of publicity is good publicity even though it is bad; it might boost ticket sales for the artist. How do you respond to those who say that the church has bought into that game and they have allowed Mr. Alkaline more attention than he wouldn't have got, had you not taken this step?"

Michel Chebat
"I think your comment is a fair comment. We would hope that people out there who are looking and listening and who have done the research on Alkaline would know exactly what it is that he represents and would stop their children from attending this concert. Certainly we don't want our kids to be exposed to this kind of a person."

This comes as a major blow to the promoters, who've promoting the concert at Sacred Heart for some weeks now. This evening, we got one of those promoters on the phone. He told us that Sacred Heart's management signed contracts, and the Catholic Church shouldn't be allowed to break that written agreement:

Martin Castillo, Promoter
"I'm in process of talking to my lawyer and see what the possibilities are and from there I will make a step whereby we have to meet the demands of the people. We have to meet the demands of what everybody has been waiting for, the baddest artist Alkaline. I am going now to the school party, like I said I've been in Belmopan all day trying to get my working permit whereby I've been granted before my temporary working permit and I've been pushed around. I want the Belizean people know that I've been pushed around for 5 hours for a working permit that I already have the temporary working permit sign for."

Daniel Ortiz
"You are talking about working permit for Mr. Alkaline right?"

Martin Castillo, Promoter

Daniel Ortiz
"Now that the church has made this move, do you intend to try to fight tomorrow in court to get that venue as was planned?"

Martin Castillo, Promoter
"Like I said I am going to be in process of talking to my lawyer and see what the possibilities are. We have paid, we have talk to the directors, the president the space from the time we did this months ago. They wanted a detail description of what this artist present and we explain to them in copies that we sent to them via email that we have as evidence. The contract was sign doing for the venue on the certain dates that we mention. They had a meeting and we discuss everything with them on the phone via my representative that's been here and they were fine with it. As what have been transpired within the 2-3 days I really have not been checking into it as I just landed yesterday, so that's the thing we are looking into now. Like I said I will proceed with the proper procedures to make this show go on."

Alkaline has faced this sort of tough criticism before when his work permit was revoked on the small Caribbean island of Nevis, which makes up half of St. Kitts and Nevis. Caribbean News reports say that no less than the Prime Minister of that country, Premier Vance Armory, voiced his objection to Alkaline being allowed to perform in St. Kitts and Nevis.

But when Nevis blocked him from performing in July. Eventually, under protest he was granted permission to perform and after that experience, he spoke with an entertainment company, called Mada-road. Here's what he had to say, in July, about resistance to have him perform.

Alkaline and his attorneys have the option to fight the injunction in court tomorrow at 10 a.m., and the promoter told us that he will explore all options.

Channel 7

#495914 - 09/21/14 05:50 AM Re: Church Gets Injunction Against Alkaline [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Injunction lifted, Alkaline concert to go on as planned

The temporary Supreme Court injunction obtained late Friday by the Roman Catholic Bishop of Belize, the Most Reverent Dorrick Wright against the planned concert by Jamaican dancehall artist Alkaline has been lifted.

The injunction was lifted after a rare Saturday hearing by the Supreme Court, paving the way for the concert by Alkaline, whose real name is Earlan Bartley, to go on as scheduled tonight at the Sacred Heart Auditorium in San Ignacio town.

During the inter-parties hearing this morning, the attorney Hubert Elrington, representing Marine Sounds and promoter Martin Castillo gave a broad undertaking to the Roman Catholic Bishop and by extension agencies of the RC Diocese that Alkaline will not sing, say or do anything that will injure or tarnish Catholic morality in his performance tonight.

Elrington told the court, on behalf of his clients, that they were aware that the event was being held on a Roman Catholic School grounds and that the intention was not to offend anyone.

Attorney Michel Chebat, representing Bishop Dorrick Wright and the Roman Catholic Diocese told reporters following this morning’s hearing that the entire Alkaline performance tonight will be videotaped to ensure that the artist keeps his word on not singing, saying or doing anything that would be prejudicial to Catholic morality.

Chebat also said that from here on, any future requests for use of the Sacred Heart College Auditorium for concerts will have to get prior clearance from the Bishop’s office.

On Friday, Bishop Dorrick Wright issues a scathing rebuke of the planned concert, saying that it “represents a departure from everything we in the Church hold as good, wholesome and sacred.”

A statement from Bishop Wright’s office said that “Sacred Heart College must not promote such rank hedonism,” and went on to call on parents to forbid their children from attending the event.

“This artist’s performance will certainly impact your children’s innocence and spiritual wholeness in a very negative way,” says the Bishop’s statement.

The 20 year old Jamaican artist has run into problems in other Caribbean countries for his on-stage performances and in some cases has been banned from performing in some places.

Patrick Jones

#496014 - 09/24/14 06:07 AM Re: Church Gets Injunction Against Alkaline [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Devil Was In The Details For Alkaline Concert

In our newscast before the long holiday break, we told you about how the Roman Catholic Church tried to block the Jamaican artist, Alkaline, from performing at the Sacred Heart College Auditorium for his 20th Night concert. Their attorney, Michel Chebat, managed to convince Justice Courtney Abel to grant them an interim injunction in an ex-parte hearing. The promoters from Marine Sound Entertainment told us that they were going to do everything they could to get the concert to happen and that's just what they did.

You may already know that they succeeded in get their concert to happen, but this sort of move, as far as we, know has no precedent So, for context we take you back to that moment on Saturday when there was still that uncertainty that the promoters would succeed. Martin Castillo, the main promoter, retained Hubert Elrington as his attorney, and they took advantage the opportunity to respond to that interim injunction. That was a one and a half hour hearing in the judge's chambers, and we understand that main points from the promoters' perspective was that the management of Sacred Heart signed contracts which certain legal requirements, and that Alkaline was pledging to give a clean show. This meant that the concert-goers would get to see him perform, but there would not be any of the explicit, violent and explosive lyrical content that Alkaline's music is known for.

After the hearing, we got an interview from both attorneys about the result, and both sides were claiming victory. Here's how they explained it:

Hubert Elrington, Attorney for Marine Promotions
"The injunction was lifted forthwith and it's no longer in place and this was due mainly because my client felt that he did not want to upset the bishop in any way at all. So whatever they could do to give the bishop the assurance that their business is not to interfere with the Catholic morality at all, at all, at all. That that assurance was given or the undertaking was given that we would not do anything that will upset the bishop and the Catholic Church."

Daniel Ortiz
"Sir, tell us about the reception of this particular decision. We know that yesterday the Roman Catholic Church was staunchly against having Alkaline perform at a Catholic venue."

Hubert Elrington
"Yes, but they did not do so irrationally. They did so because they feared reasonably that Catholic morality was being put under attack and of course if you do that the bishop would not sit idly by. And even though we noted that he was not really a party to the contract and had no business in it we were prepared to overlook that and say to him Bishop we are on the same page with you. We are not here to upset you or your flock or the people of Belize. That's not what we are about."

Michel Chebat, Attorney for Roman Catholic Diocese
"The promoters for this artist came to court and gave an undertaking, a very broad undertaking that he would not sing, act or do anything that would contravene Catholic principles and Catholic morals and in addition they have agreed that we are going to be videotaping the performance so that if we need to enforce that undertaking we will be able to do so."

Daniel Ortiz
"It would seem that you guys have compromised on that position of complete no."

Michel Chebat
"Obviously, our intention has always been to stop this concert but we have to be reasonable also and we have to look at the repercussions for everyone involved. The church is involved, the promoters are involved, the school is involved and there are also people who have purchased tickets who are involved. Clearly I want to send out the message that the church does not condone Alkaline, does not condone his lyrics, does not condone his performance and unfortunately we could not stop him completely today from performing and from carrying out that concert but I think that today sent a very strong message that the bishop of this country is going to stand up for morality and for the teachings of the Catholic Church."

As noted in the interview, agents of the Catholic Church were granted permission to film the entire concert to ensure that Alkaline would respect and follow through with the undertaking, in the same way he did in the concert in St. Kitts and Nevis. The attorney for the Catholic Church says that if he violated that agreement, they could take legal action.

Social media reviews of the concert said that it was poorly attended, that students form Sacred Heart high school and junior college were not allowed to go, and that Alkaline appeared to have given a curt and dispirited show.

Channel 7


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