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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 June, 2005, 12:31 GMT 13:31 UK
'I played a part in history'
Sean O'Kane in Santa Maria
Mr O'Kane is heading to Neverland for the remainder of his US visit
Race relations worker Sean O'Kane, from Liverpool, has been in Santa Maria waiting for the outcome of child abuse charges against his hero Michael Jackson.

Here the 23-year-old, originally from Northern Ireland, describes his relief at the not guilty verdicts.

When I heard the results being read out my abiding feeling was one of relief. I am so relieved because Michael Jackson was persecuted for crimes he didn't commit.

People have been talking about the similarities between Michael Jackson and Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela.

I think that's fair.

Martin Luther King got his message across through his speeches. Michael gets his message across through his music.

Michael Jackson is the most successful recording artist of all time.

He has touched everyone through his entertainment and has given every person a happy memory.

He's a martyr - but the thing to remember is he's still alive.

Played part

There are loads of British and Irish people out here. Some of us knew each other already and some of us didn't but it's a great atmosphere.

Michael Jackson front pages
The acquittal of Michael Jackson is big news

I came here because I couldn't believe the injustice of it all.

There's only so much you can do sitting in your house and complaining about it.

I definitely think that, by being here, the fans have played a huge part in supporting Michael through this difficult time.

I have played a part in history and that hasn't really sunk in yet. I don't think it will sink in for another three or four months.

It's four in the morning here and for the last few hours, I've constantly been able to hear some Michael Jackson music being played somewhere or other.

It's Michael Mania here - but you won't hear any complaints from me.

Awaiting album

I first became a fan at the age of 14 when I saw the video for Earth Song from the History Album. That was in 1995.

From then on I became a big fan but I only became really involved when I heard about the allegations against Michael.

I've always been interested in civil rights as well, so that was another motivation for showing my support.

In terms of what's next for Michael Jackson, I hope he just rests - he needs to get fit and healthy because this has really taken it out of him.

A Michael Jackson fan screams on hearing the verdicts
The scenes over here are probably hard to understand for anyone that's not here

When he's ready, he will definitely come back with an album and a tour.

Tomorrow, we're going to Neverland and I'll probably spend most of the week there.

It will be a big comeback.

Michael Jackson will not let all this happen without singing about it.

People have been down on Michael Jackson for a long time. He's been persecuted in the media.

It's human nature that some of his fans should have doubted him.

I hope people feel guilty for doubting him.

But it doesn't matter what anyone says - he's always there.

Neverland visit

It's another way of showing our support.

The scenes over here are probably hard to understand for anyone that's not here.

My time over here has been spent getting up, going to court, getting back from court and making signs for the next day.

But there's also been a fair amount of drinking.

Now is the time to celebrate.


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