THE EDITOR: It was quite shocking to learn that the police failed to arrest and charge some 40-odd partygoers who were engaged in a poolside party at Bayside Towers last Sunday, in clear breach of the covid19 pubic health regulations.
Admittedly, my consternation on the matter was not merely because of the obvious partiality shown by the police – giving the partygoers a heads-up to disperse and a warning upon their arrival – but rather the seeming impunity by which it was done and the public’s passive acceptance of same. It’s almost as if they were following some unwritten rule.
If such rife injustice by the officers wasn’t bad enough, then came the Minister of Health and the Commissioner of Police on Wednesday, seemingly singing from the same hymn book, as they further indemnified the actions, or rather inactions, of the officers, boldfacely suggesting that the regulations didn’t contemplate or cover such instances in private dwelling spaces.
Certainly they do. To dispel such suggestions, one only has to reflect on the recent arrest and charging of 32 people at a private residence in Valsayn or those in a house in Arima or the many others caught in bars in similar circumstances (ie, congregating in groups of more than five).
Unless, of course, the minister and commissioner are now admitting that such arrests and charges by the police were illegal and thus citizens are free to congregate and host “zesser” parties at their private residences with impunity.
I would hate to think that this is the new position of the authorities, particularly given the current spike in positive covid19 cases and deaths from the virus. If not, then perhaps one can conclude that such misleading urgings are simply meant to distract from the inevitable conclusion about the pervasive inequalities and underlying discrimination that exist in the society.
Perhaps one can even infer that systemic classism has become so endemic in TT that the renowned phrase that “all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others,” as proclaimed by the pigs who control the government in George Orwell’s Animal Farm, might well be tipped to replace our national motto – unofficially anyway.