again. This time, it wasn’t here. It was death in Guyana and the threat
of terror in the UK. And we, as a people who live on an island and need to
travel, are stuck.
reaction to the violence is oddly visceral, considering it doesn’t have
an immediate impact on us. Our brains are now full of realistic
possibilities rather than neurotic fears: Of planes blowing up with
thousands of people over land and sea. Of men armed with automatic weapons
storming into newspaper press rooms, ordering men on the floor and
shooting each one at the back of the head at a point blank range.
memory of a train’s long whistle. Children walking in little groups,
mothers walking nearby laughing, men smoking in amiable silence.
Vacationing, it was called.
the past we ran away for two weeks a year to escape the escalating crime
and murder in our small island. Today, we are all trapped by the violence
because it is no longer local, it is global. It doesn’t matter where you
are, you are unsafe, on land and in the sky.
was a time I felt safe in madly busy midnight street markets in Bombay,
that was before the bombs; or on an autumn night in London where gold
leaves flew about, that was before the tube bombers. There was that crazy
time when a friend and I arrived finding we had no money on us and nowhere
to stay, yet were without fear in the Paris suburbs before the streets
to file away those safe memories.
doesn’t take a rocket scientist to tell George Bush, Tony Blair, or Ehud
Olmert that bombing and murdering thousands of innocent Iraqi, Afghani and
Lebanese civilians will encourage the growth of hothouses that breed cells
of extremist terrorists that will in turn kill civilians everywhere in
revenge. The terrorists have infiltrated every country.
Internet was bloated today with blogs by people swearing off flying after
the plot to detonate explosives on up to ten transatlantic flights.
worldwide know they will never be safe from these cells worrying that
“trains, ocean liners, buses, subways in all the major cities of the
world will be prime targets.” People are envisioning a world where
“passengers will be lined up like inmates and given garments and paper
slippers to wear while flying.”
dictates our lives. It’s everywhere. People are saying “let the
extremists on both sides kill one another, wipe one another out, leave us
alone.” But that doesn’t work because innocents are slaughtered in the
cornerstone of the Social Contract of every civilised State is in return
for citizens following the rule of law, the State’s primary duty is to
protect us from violence. British intelligence discharged that duty
admirably last week, averting civilian casualties on an unprecedented
T&T we can’t “let them gang boys kill one another” any longer
because bit by bit they have claimed Morvant, Laventille, Beetham,
Cocorite all of which are slowly becoming no go areas. The people who live
there are finding that their social contract is null and void. The
protective services seem to have brought a halt to the kidnapping. They
must now stop our murders. This year we have had more than 220 murders in
a population of 1.3 million people. Compare this to New York’s 316
murders with its population of 8.1 million people. The US has kept its
social contract, clamping down on gang warfare.
Mafia-type shooting has shown us that once gangs realise that citizens are
a soft target, they will turn away from one another and towards us. We are
a heartbeat away from Guyana. We need to forcefully demand that our
security forces do their job, fulfill their contract, and protect us all.
T&T without fear. Where else would anyone want to live?