Saturday, November 05, 2005

Being Here Now

Ucill Cambridge, reporting in yesterday's Express:

Police are now investigating a claim that a number of people in the Diego Martin area are tagged for execution once the Eid fast has been broken.

The Express has been reliably informed that there exists a list with the names of persons in the West End district who are to be all killed once the Muslim festival of Eid-ul-Fitr ends today. The death squad is said to be a religious group from the Bagatelle area.

The Express spoke with a senior investigator from the West End Police district who said he was unaware of the existence of any list but promised to investigate the claim.

The man who told the Express about the existence of a list has also reported receiving a death threat shortly after the interview was completed.

Attillah Springer, writing in today's Guardian (no permanent link yet; my bold):

I am tired of Manning and Panday. I am tired of microwaved speeches delivered by frothing-at-the-mouth masters of rhetoric and old blag.

First the Daddy Oh Manning says he knows the "Big" man in the bombing business. Then the outside father Panday reveals his heretofore undisclosed seerman powers by declaring that soon Indo-Trinidadians would be the targets of bombing sprees.

So what I want to know is, if Manning knows and Panday knows, then how come the police don’t know who to go and arrest?...

One thing Mr Panday is right about. We should not lie down and accept discrimination. And what the politicians of the two overruling parties are doing is discriminating against the many many people of T&T who see through their games. Who cannot be lured into a false sense of belonging by party cards and fever-pitch speechifying.

Debbie Jacob, writing in the Guardian last Monday:

By the age of 16, my son, Jairzinho, has witnessed a security guard being shot, three acquaintances being kidnapped, and the horrific death of a beloved teacher's husband. I know he is not the innocent child that he could have been if he was not touched by such events....

I don't know about you, but it doesn't make me feel good to see Abu Bakr in the newspaper saying he is going to find the trash can bomber. It doesn't make me feel good to open up the newspaper and read that the FBI is in Trinidad.

These headlines smack of one feeling: hopelessness. When we look around us we see a government paralysed by ineffectiveness. Do you think the enraged, disengaged, disenfranchised people who graduate into criminals don’t look around them and get the same messages we're getting?

And two days ago, in the course of a wide-ranging four-hour conversation, an artist colleague asked me this question: how do we know that this new FBI presence in Trinidad doesn't have as much to do with President Chavez across the Gulf as with the Port of Spain bombings? And what better listening post than a small English-speaking island, heavily dependent on trade with the US; an important base of operations for foreign energy corporations with large expatriate staffs already engaged in (ostensibly geological & economic) intelligence-seeking; & flooded with young middle-class Venezuelans likely to come from anti-Chavez families?

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