Police and soldiers were called in when 20 scantily clad women engaged in an angry shouting match with a dozen male street side preachers in downtown Port of Spain on Monday night.
The women angrily shouted at the men, who they said, alleged they (the women) were engaged in prostitution at the Brian Lara Promenade opposite the People’s Mall. While the men stood in a line, wearing their religious robes and paraphernalia, many of the women hurled insults, cursed and made lewd hand gestures.
“You watching a big woman and saying, ‘Whore!’ You mad or what,” screamed one irate woman. “I am a mother of children,” said another. “Is your mother a whore? Is this policewoman a whore,” another woman asked. Three police jeeps pulled up but the police remained on the outskirts of the melee, outnumbered and waiting and watching.
Later, about four soldiers all armed with rifles arrived and strode towards the crowd. By then, the street side preachers began to leave, walking towards several cars parked nearby and then driving off. The women remained. The incident drew a huge crowd of bemused onlookers, several of whom loudly voiced their support for the women’s right to be present.
The religious group, in regular sessions of preaching downtown over the past year or so, has been seen sporting Hebrew symbols, plus a picture of a man defaced with devil’s horns. Members have been heard regularly uttering remarks condemning, “the white man.”
Conversely, one of the women leading the verbal assault on the men is frequently seen in altercations, including last week swearing at staff at a local shop and a few months ago chasing another young woman, apparently with the aim of attacking her. No arrest was made Monday night.