Capleton broke Reggae Compassionate Act (RCA) in 2007Concert cancelled in Basel, Switzerland: Big Testimony to the RCA
A Reggae concert with the Jamaican singer Capleton that had originally been scheduled for Nov 6th has been cancelled by the organizers. Local gay interest groups together with “Stop Murder Music Bern” have heavily disputed the concert because Capleton had been performing songs with homophobic lyrics in the past. The cancellation then happened when „Stop Murder Music Bern“ was able to prove that Capleton had broken the so-called “Reggae Compassionate Act”, a self-obligation to not perform such tunes anymore, during last Years Christmas Extravaganza in Jamaica.
Capleton, a Jamaican Dancehall singer, was planned to give a concert in the Kaserne, a local, alternative music venue in Basel, Switzerland on Nov 6th. Because the concert was controversial from the very beginning, the organizer emphasised not to promote artists who are still performing homophobic lyrics. Nevertheless, some groups and activists – among them the „habs“, Basel’s local LGBT-group – asked the organizers to cancel the concert, as long as Capleton does not play a more active role concerning human rights. Capleton’s own blame – caused by long lasting homophobic calls – would not have been taken into account sufficiently by just signing the Reggae Compassionae Act (RCA). The principles of the RCA, like ‘civic engagement’ or ‘conciousness raising’, require such an active role.
Open letter to CapletonConsequently, the “habs” formulated prerequisites to agree with a Capleton concert in Basel: his public apology and a clear statement that homo-, bi- and transsexuals also have the right of psychological and physical health and integrity. In terms of ‘civic engagement’, such a statement could not just mean a one-time avowal, but would need to be repeated in the future. In particular, a similar publicity would be necessary, like the one given for years when singing homophobic lyrics. To establish a dialogue about those questions, the “habs” sent an open letter to Capleton.
Big testimony by the Kaserne BaselThe Kaserne Basel, however, was faster: On Nov 1st, it was proofed that there was a homophobic act involving Capleton on Dec 25th 2007, i.e., after his signature under the RCA in May 2007. By cancelling the concert, the organizers made a big testimony to the RCA. Homophobic acts are nothing to be forgotten easily! There is much respect from the local gay groups for this decision by the Kaserne.
Appeal to the fansBecause of the cancelation, many fans here in switzerland – absolutely most of them not homophobic – will be disappointed. The „habs“ calls to directly contact Capleton: „Say him, that you were looking forward to the concert; say him, that you cannot understand, why he did not stop with homophobic statements; and explain him, that there needn’t be hatred to whomever in the music you like.“ firstname.lastname@example.org
Upcoming concerts?There are still other concerts planned with Capleton: in Lausanne, Switzerland on Nov 8th, and about 15 concerts in France starting from next week. Different Swiss organizations are now calling for cancelling the concert in Lausanne. More Informations provides Stop Murder Music Bern.
Open letter to Capleton, Nov 3rd 2008:http://www.habs.ch/aktuell_pics/20081103_openletter_Capleton_habs.pdf
Proof of Capleton breaking the RCA, Nov 4th 2008:http://www.stopmurdermusic.ch/reitschule/stopmurdermusic/Texte/CapletonbreaksRCA-Video.pdf
Stopmurdermusic-Protest against the Capleton-Concert in Lausanne:http://www.stopmurdermusic.ch/reitschule/stopmurdermusic/index2.html