In one of the first displays of its kind seen in Cayman, artist Joseph Betty, aka Gumba, held a silent two-hour protest in Heroes Square outside the Court House on Thursday morning to condemn the increasing gun crime.
Covered in white body paint, holding placards plastered with Mahatma Gandhi quotes and wearing ‘hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil’ tape over his ears, nose and mouth, Gumba attracted the attention of tourists and workers throughout the morning.
‘I’ve never seen anything like this before. It’s wonderful that someone is bringing attention to this. I admire him,’ said Ian Anderson, a cruise ship tourist from Scotland.
Gumba, dressed only in a plastic diaper, lay silently and still on the ground near the fountain before moving towards the front of the court house where he stood holding his placards, as lawyers and court staff passed by.
One of his signs read: ‘Whosever you is, keep you drugs and guns away from our youths…. we are fishermen/seamen… not soldiers’. [sic]
On the other side of the placard were words of Gandhi, the famous Indian leader who led India to independence through mass peaceful civil disobedience, stating: ‘An eye for an eye will leave the world blind’.
On the back of another placard, Gumba had written his own version of the Cayman Islands national song, the first verse of which read: ‘Oh land of soft, fresh breezes, verdant trees so fair, with the Creator’s glory reflected everywhere. P.S. NOT rob, rape, murder, drugs and guns.’
Unwilling to speak to the media, the artist wanted his appearance and the signs to speak for themselves.