Keep Winnifred Beach Public
Original Note from the Winnifred Beach Defense Committee via Maria Carla:
We have started to set a trial against Urban Development Committee after finding that in the National Beaches Act there is a law saying the if a beach is public without any interruption for 20 years it cannot be made private. Using this tool I got 12 statements from old people living in the area which testify their regular presence on the beach. Court day is set for the 8th of August at the Port Antonio Court house. Please keep the fingers crossed.
One more thing, we need to raise some money to pay the two lawyers and to improve the water system at the beach. Plus we want to fix the road to the beach which at the moment is quite dreadful. So I have opened a bank account which is:
Winnifred Defense Fund at Scotia Bank
- Port Antonio Branch
- Account N°807657
- Routing from Europe NOSCJMKNA
- USA CHASUS33
- Swift code 021-000-021
- Transit 70235
Any small contribution is going to be a blessing and I'll keep you updated on what's happening.
Winnifred is a place we all love, so let's fight for its freedom.
Maria Carla Gullotta
But probably most of you are looking for some update.
Winnifred case went to Buff Bay courthouse in July and the case has been set for trial on November 19 in the same courthouse.
Also Nepa has filed its statement to the court so on the 19 there will be the lawyers form us and from NEPA. We solictated NEPA for more than a year but until we decided to do without their help we did not get any support. Now, something must have happened to convince them to follow us but honestly we prefer to be in court by ourselves to avoid any further delay.
The issue presented is court mention prescriptive rights, which means that, according to the National Beach Act, if a beach has been public for 20 years without any interruption, the same beach cannot be made private. So there will be several witnesses stating for how long they have been using the beach.
In the meantime we are still looking at the way how the beach has been sold and we hope to have some more reasons to counteract UDC.
We also wrote a petition to the new Prime minster, Mr Golding, hoping to get some attention and we have included the petition with all your signatures.
In the meantime we try to keep the beach going at our best. Luckily we got very small damages by Hurricane Dean and so the beach looks lovely same as before.
Actually we are trying to improve the road to the beach and the water system so that visitors can use bathroom facilities and even have a shower.
We, the Winnifred people, thanks again one more time all the friends we have found in this adventure and we will let you know what is the result of the November trial.
One love, Maria Carla Gullotta
See Free Winnifred Beach Website and view a video clip about the struggles.
Read more about the current situation in John Maxwell's article in the Jamaican Observer.
7-27-07 Update from the Observer
7-29-07 Update from the Gleaner
Please help us to keep Winnifred Beach a public beach and prevent non-sustainable development that will prevent Jamaicans and visitors from using the beach by signing our petition. Please follow the link above. Thank you.