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Residents wrong, it will happen again
The political leader of the Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) David Abdulah says that while he does not condone the use of violence to resolve any situation, he believes that there will be more episodes similar to the incident where Laventille West MP Fitzgerald Hinds was doused with flood water last week.
Unless there is a change in the governance and respect for the issues citizens face, politicians will continue to face difficulty in their interaction with the people on the ground, Abdulah said at the MSJ’s media briefing in San Fernando yesterday.
“Not condoning it, but it is going to happen again unless we change our system of governance,” Abdulah said.
Following long and heavy rainfall last Monday and Tuesday, the Beetham Garden’s in Port-of- Spain was left with several metres of flood waters in their community.
Hinds, the acting Attorney General, together with the councillor for Picton/Beetham, Akil Audain, were chased away by the Beetham Garden residents, who kicked and threw floodwaters on them.
“We have to recognise that there are some underlying problems in many of our communities and we have spoken about this before. About two years ago when residents blocked the road on Beetham.
It came up a year ago again and we made the point quite clearly that there are underlying trauma, stress and problems in some of our communities.
“Given our failed governance system, which does not allow people to be involved in decision- making and to see their problems being resolved in a timely way, tensions, trauma, stress, frustration and anger tend to build up and it will explode in ways that we don’t find acceptable but we can understand why it happened,” Abdulah said.
He said while the residents’ action was unacceptable, it was the same kind of frustration that residents of Penal and Barrackpore felt when they block roads for water and other issues.
He said although Hinds was correct to criticise those deviant residents, describing them as ignorant and illiterate was not helpful. All it did was to further alienate the young men involved in the incident and does nothing to help in gaining their respect.
Abdulah said this type of behaviour was common among politicians as he recalled Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal referring to women of the Highway Reroute Movement women as “bags of aloo” when they protested at an Indian Arrival Day function which then prime minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar had attended.
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