However, Manners has said that he will not be deterred and that he is prepared to fight for his country.
He pleaded not guilty to the charge when he appeared before the court on July 29. The case was adjourned until September 3.
“I know where it is coming from. It’s a political move,” Manners said in response to the sedition charge.
“Don’t care what the enemies bring upon my flesh, I will fight for this country,” he said.
At an uneventful demonstration of the Opposition People’s Action Movement (PAM) to register displeasure over the Land-for-Debt Swap legislation on 06th December, 2012, Manners was arrested for carrying a placard which was said to be seditious in its contents.
According to Manners, the placard read “We want back our land” and had imprinted on it a cartoon version portraying a New Town fisherman by the name of Botart. He saw nothing seditious about the contents.
“I think I was unfairly charged. I feel my rights have been infringed upon,” he said. “I don’t think the charge has emboldened me but it hasn’t cowed me either to go out there and stand up for St. Kitts. Who ain’t know me is who ain’t from this planet.”
Pledging his innocence, Manners said “people know me. People know I am not a violent guy and I know once God is on my side everything will work fine because if you go around the length and breadth of St. Kitts, people will tell you not Jam down. Jam down is not a violent guy.”
“I’m not a gunman. I’m not a robber man. I don’t sell illegal things. I work hard at Port Zante…you come down here, you look at any Indian—the minute you say Jam Down—although they’re not familiar with these kinds of terms, they will know who you’re talking about,” Manners said. “They know it’s somebody genuine and reliable.”
Manners claims that he was victimized by the present Labour Administration.
“I don’t think that they can determine from standing up and demonstrating and talking out because it ain’t start just now…this thing start from since 1996 when my job was taken away at the Port. I worked at the Port for 10 years. Simmonds took me from down Irish Town. I could have been the ‘baddest’ boy in town. He took me out…I used to move around with Simmonds to put this Port Zante on stream. During the days up to the 1993 election, there was rivalry in those people for a man like me,” said Manners.
He said that in 1996 under the Labour Government, he, along with Willy Liburd, Chairman of Frigate Bay Development Corporation, and 17 young men were dismissed from the Port on 19th October, 1996 with no reasons given. He said that the only reason that it could have been was political.
“These are poor people you talking about you know, so when you hear people up and down talking about they ain’t turn away anybody, we were turned away because we supported a party,” Manners said.
Manners said he wants the best for his country and that he’s prepared to speak out for what he thinks is right and against the things he considers to be wrong.
“I am a force to be reckoned with, a guy who believes in what he believes in and not an easy nut to crack because I am one man that loves to see the country run well and I want the best for this country,” he said.
He added: “I am just trying to keep myself cool and I’m just watching and seeing what they are trying to do to a poor man like Jam Down who means so well to the country.”
Sedition is conduct in language inciting rebellion against the government in power.
In 1987, Lee Moore was charged with sedition because of statements made in political meetings but the charge amounted to naught.
In 2009 in the United Kingdom, sedition and seditious libel (as common law offences) were abolished by section 73 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 with effect on 12th January, 2010. It was said that “the offence was redundant and that it was not necessary to have any offence of sedition.”