There are daft people sitting in positions of power in this country and we'd better be afraid...truly afraid.
Imagine the San Fernando Businessmen ASSociation, comprised no doubt of businessmen and women from South Trinidad is eagerly proclaiming Better a POLICE State than a CRIMINAL State.
I immediately harked back to the SoE of 2011 when on the night Kamla Persad-Bissessar and her Small Goal Team made the announcement many members of the middle, upper and business classes heaved huge sighs of relief because finally some government was brave enough to lock up all them black people and them....oh yeah...you better recognise that that is what all the relief about the SoE was.....that's the same thing that fuelled the anti-Sea Lots rant by Darryll Heeralal and Renuka Singh the other day too....all these damn black people...let's kill them and plant cabbage on them! YEAH!!!!!
Now, we have a group of businesspeople, or the body that represents them coming out to endorse a Police State because the PPG's Defence Amendment Bill, is under siege both inside and outside the Parliament....and for good cause.
Apparently Daphne Bartlett's knickers are in a knot about why we don't want soldiers to have powers of arrest....and like the political leader of this country, Daphne Bartlett has just dealt a severe blow to all intelligent women in the world every where who happen to be attractive, for her colossal intellectual laziness.
I say this because I want to believe Ms Bartlett doesn't know what a police state is and in her ignorance does not know what she is encouraging or endorsing.
The version of the Defence Amendment Bill that I accessed online says the following:
The Bill seeks to amend section 5 of the Defence Act,
Chap. 14:01 to confer on any member of the Defence Force who is
engaged in assisting any member of the Police Service in the
maintenance of law and order, with the same powers, authorities,
privileges and immunities as are given by law to members of the
In plain wording...the Bill wants to give the exact powers of the Police to a Soldier once he is on patrol.
One of the clever little things that this pdf of the legislation doesn't quite outline is that Soldiers by law do not fall under the Commissioner of Police, rather authority for soldiers fall under three people: the Chief of Defence Staff, Minister of National Security and ultimately the President, who is Commander in Chief.
So the soldier will have all of the powers of a police officer: the ability to detain you, search you, arrest you, question/interrogate you, charge you and lock you up. But he doesn't fall under the jurisdiction of the Commissioner of Police.
Says it right here:
When any member of the Defence Force
having been charged under subsection (2) with
Enactment Short title Section 5 of
Chap. 14:01 amended the duty of assisting any member of the
Police Service in the maintenance of law and
order and is engaged in so doing, he shall have
the same powers, authorities, privileges and
immunities as are given by law to members
of the Police Service.”.
If he cocks up on the job he is only likely to face a court marshall. If you think Police doh face prison here...wait till Soldier Police arrive!
Now let me explain how a soldier getting these privileges amounts to a Police State. Last night in Parliament Roodal Moonilal was again less than honest with the nation when he said even security officers are precepted. What he failed to explain is that precepted security officers....those allowed to carry weapons and make arrests are actually called Estate Constables and operate by a slightly different set of rules to regular security guards.
This Government, in trying to shove this bill down our throats, has gone into all kinds of arguments about how the army here has no purpose because we have no war for soldiers to fight except the war on drugs. Now, lemme ask you this...when this Government starts its "WAR on DRUGS" and deploys its soldiers to attack the citizenry....which citizens you think will be attacked? The people who bringing in the shipments of drugs....or the people who are used to control the drug blocks?
In all sane and proper countries the purpose of the army is to defend the citizens of a country, not attack them. If Kamla and Jack were serious about fighting crime and waging a war on drugs the country would have three OPV Vessels with a joint patrol of Soldiers and Coast Guard members on board these vessels protecting our borders from traffickers or drugs and guns....but the point of precepting soldiers and making Soldier Police here isn't to fight crime or to wage a war on drugs....
If you believe that, then you believe the SoE was about fighting crime, protecting the PM from several assassination attempts and preventing Beetham from bunkering fuel.
This precepting of soldiers and making soldiers into police is about something deeper and far sinister. It is about controlling the State.
From as early as June 2010 this government has faced Opposition. The first active opposition came from the THA. And to date the people of Tobago are down on record as having been the most successful at resisting this government thanks to solid legislation in the THA Act and a Chief Secretary who knows his Constitution and isn't afraid to assert himself. But this Defence Bill will affect Tobago too...and I am yet to hear its position.
For several months the PP administration enjoyed a delicious honeymoon with both the citizens and the media. People couldn't get enough of Kamla dashing about in hard hat and OSHA gear by day as she swooped in on a helicopter to aid the flood afflicted, and by night would transform into an elegant Prime Minister. Haven't we been accused often enough of "jealousing the PM because she pretty"?
But then came the Reshmi Ramnarine incident....the hiring of telephone operator to run the country's highest intelligence -gathering agency. What accompanied it too was the thorough and deliberate dismantling of all the country's security apparati: Blimp, OPVs, Surveillance Equipment, SAUTT.
Then the government brought in a CoP they could manipulate and under whom they could promote and appoint their own select police officers into positions of authority. We have on record a letter from a mid-level police officer who appears to be giving advice to the Prime Minister on who to hire and fire in both the SIA and the Police Service. The basis given for firing people is political. According to the letter, Persad advises the PM to fire people because they seem loyal to the PNM. And we were angry at the Jamaica Observer for talking about ethnic cleansing in our Public Service why?
What that letter outlined was that this is a government bent on political retribution and there is no space in the country for anyone who is PNM or resembles a PNM....and in Trinidad to resemble a PNM you need only have Afro-centric features....if that isn't both partisan and racist, I don't know what is....but that is the government we have...a government that is only for it's people: the UNC/COP Base!
It doesn't surprise me at all that both the PM and this Police Officer share a last name.
But I digress...I need to explain how precepted soldiers and Police State are linked.
So the Reshmi incident happens followed fast and furious by many scandals and then comes the SoE. From August 2011, I said the SoE was only the beginning of the Constitutional ills of this government. The SoE got citizens used to the idea of detaining and locking up people who "look" like criminals. In Trinidad a criminal "looks" like a black person, usually from depressed poor areas. Trust me, the stereotypes are there. In the very first days of the SoE I had several women of Indo descent telling me about how safe they were feeling....not a crime had been solved...but the mere fact that the government had taken upon itself to lock up people who "looked" like criminals made these women happier. And that's when I realised that Hulsie Bhaggan's myth of the African rapist who lusts only after Indian women was still alive and well. You go girl!
During that SoE we got accustomed to images of black men in the back of trucks; we got accustomed to images of the AG and Minister of National Security on our tv sets regularly. The AG went after a 14-year-old girl who used YouTube to verbally attack and curse the PM for the SoE....and on Facebook you had feminists lamenting how the PM and Indian women have no voice in Trinidad and couldnt speak out on issues.. they didn't seem particularly perturbed that an impressionable 14-year-old, who did shit, now had the might of the State in the form of the AG trained on her. You see, these women were all glad that at long last something was being done about the crime....and that something was the random and baseless locking up of people who look like criminals....black people.
The next threat during that SoE was intimidating people on FaceBook and other forms of Social media. Social media takes power out of a government's hands and puts it in the hands of its citizens. Imagine tens of thousands of Trinis able to say what they like about the PM and AG and Jack can't stop them? Madness!
So they began to attack people on Social Media and trained their paid bloggers to attack folks who spoke out against the government.
What became apparent and obvious was fear...people became concerned about what they were posting and saying to each other online. Because folks began to lose jobs or get threats.
Now jump forward to Warner becoming National Security Minister. UNC people were joyful, they knew their government wasn't performing and because Warner talks a good talk, without having little to show for any of it, they believed Jack would solve the crime problem.
Within three days of becoming Minister of National Security what did Warner do? He used the might of the army to attack not criminals....protesters. Try and see the trend here folks....at every turn the people being attacked as criminals by this government are the people who are either seen to be PNM or to be opposing the government. anything remotely resembling Opposition has to be squashed.
Warner has since issued threats to a female journalist, the Opposition Leader and a private citizen, Donald Bell. The journalist was targeted in a live, state-sponsored broadcast featuring the Minister of National Security and several other government ministers all hell bent on attacking a journalist. The other two people he attacked under the privilege of Parliament.
On all three occasions what is implied is that Warner has tremendous state apparati at his disposal. He can spy on people and intercept information and use it to intimidate people.
To date, Warner, as National Security Minister hasn't used any of the surveillance equipment at hand to uncover details about any criminals or to crack any cases....but we know that he knows who having meetings in their homes and who attending...right?
The same man who doesn't know a thing about the Flying Squad, can use intelligence to spy on private citizens.
So now we have a situation where a National Security Minister drunk on power and a Prime Minister drunk on....sighh....have taken it upon themselves to precept soldiers and give them powers of arrest and detention.
In a country where a State of Emergency can be called without due process or a valid reason and 8000 people, of whom 80% were of African descent, can be detained without evidence, do we want Soldier Police?
In a country where a Minister of National Security can use state surveillance equipment to spy on and intimidate citizens do we want Soldier Police?
In a country where a secret police Unit can be set up under the same Minister of National Security, complete with 75 officers and a private detention prison in Arouca that no one in the country knows about, do we want Soldier Police?
In a Police State the government controls the social, economic and political life of the citizens.
In a Police State the government imposes these controls on you claiming it is for you own security that your rights are being taken away.
In a Police State after you have given away these rights, even more rights are then taken away....at each point the state claims it is for your own good, for teh safety and security of the NAYYYYSHUN!
The first people targeted are those who oppose the Government publicly...thereafter anything goes as the government becomes more and more paranoid about the perceived enemies of the state.
Think of Nazi Germany, South Africa under apartheid; Haiti under Duvalier.....think Ton Ton Macoute, SS Officers. Think people being quietly arrested and detained and you don't know which prison cell they are being held in and eventually their beaten or dead body shows up...their one crime being they didn't agree with the government's position on an issue.
A five-year-old can tell you that there are a number of ways this government could be tackling crime. Start with the money launderers and see where the trail ends. Clean up the police service so that corrupt officers are no longer protecting drug lords and their turf. Restrict the flow of arms and ammunition across our borders; improve detection skills in the police force and at forensic technology at crime labs.
But putting 1000 soldiers with the powers of arrest under the Ministry of National Security to wage a war against citizens isn't the way. This isn't about Warner alone....CDS Kenrick Maharaj doesn't inspire me with confidence either, nor does Stephen Williams. And I won't even bother to discuss PM Kamla. This is about an entire government and its cronies that are drunk on power and will do everything to hold onto it, including removing the rights of its citizens. Section 34 ring a bell?
There is a reason the Sunset Clause lasts two years....by that time a new election is called. Two years to lock down and terrorise a country with an unofficial SoE. Two years to have the government's specially picked Soldier Police run riot in this town.
If in 3 months the SoE managed to lock up 8000 people, imagine what this government will do in 24....
And this is the asinine decision that Daphne Bartlett and Associates are supporting?
Full Dotish Inna 4D!!!!!!!