Friday, November 14, 2008

Three years later

october 2005 1

More than three years have passed already since the Saturday morning in October 2005 when thousands of Trinidadians marched through the streets of Port of Spain to protest the Manning government's failure to deal with spiralling murder and kidnapping rates, widespread public anxiety, and the profound social inequalities behind these.

I was there. I walked from Independence Square up Henry Street, across Duke Street, down Frederick Street to Woodford Square. Outside the Red House three hundred volunteers dressed in white lay down on a long sheet of red cloth, representing that year's tally of murder victims to date. I talked to dozens of people, asked them why there were there, what they were feeling. They were angry. We were angry. It seemed the whole country was finally angry enough to trigger a political revolution of some kind--not a revolution of guns and bombs, but one of responsibility and accountability and democracy.

Less than a month later, on 16 November, the Trinidad and Tobago football team qualified for the World Cup. It was a wonderful thing to experience the explosion of sheer joy that rocked the country that afternoon. Again, I was there. I walked down Ariapita Avenue and Western Main Road through deliriously celebrating throngs. We were happy. We forgot how angry we had been just a few days before. For a few blissful hours, it was wonderful to forget.

We forgot too well.

It is time to get angry again.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We will gather again in January,09. More and more Trinis are prepared to stand up for their country. I hope this time the foolishness of who attended and who did not attend the 'Death March'will not distract from the seriousness of the situation.