January 8, 2001

Protests over bad roads erupt in Jamaica


                  KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) -- Residents and taxi drivers in several small towns
                  on Jamaica's northern coast blocked roads Monday to protest the poor condition
                  of the area's roads.

                  The peaceful protests were centered in Oracabessa, about 52 miles (83
                  kilometers) from Kingston, and have left hundreds of people, including students
                  returning to school from the winter break, stranded, Radio Jamaica reported.

                  The radio report said a "large" number of people, including taxi and bus drivers,
                  are demonstrating, but did not give an exact figure.

                  Police from Kingston have been called in to help clear the streets and maintain
                  clam, Radio Jamaica said.

                  Police confirmed a protest was taking place but refused to provide further