27 January, 2009

Signs of social instability?

Photo: Dave Persad/Trinidad Express

Could the social instability that Finance Minister Teschiera warned about be here already?
This story in today’s Express newspaper:

“POLICE were unable to remove burning debris which blocked the Guaracara/Tabaquite Road in Rio Claro for several hours yesterday, as hundreds of angry residents formed a human barricade around the fire.

The protesters stood in the rain and refused to move, until officers threatened to arrest them.

The fiery protest was sparked by the shooting death of 52-year-old George Ashby. He was killed on Friday evening. He was shot in the chest by police.

The protesters, who came out around 4 a.m., used old vehicle parts and appliances to block the main road leading to San Pedro Village. Traffic backed up for miles and residents were unable to leave the village to get to work and school.

They held up placards which read: "Police Must Speak The Truth", "Innocent Killing" and "No Excuse For Killing Innocent Man-We Want Justice".

The protesters hurled insults and jeered at the policemen, who eventually removed the debris and allowed traffic to flow smoothly around midday.”

And in the Guardian.

Check this other Express story about innovation, technology and information flows in crime, headlined, “Bandits in Trees”:

“HIDDEN inside the trees located near the lighthouse in Port of Spain, police unearthed the lookout points of several suspected criminal elements yesterday.

Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Anti Crime operations, Raymond Craig, who was assisted by Assistant Superintendent Manuel Harripaul along with other officers, conducted the search around 2 p.m. yesterday.

Five men, found hiding in the trees, were detained by police for questioning yesterday.
One of the five men was found with a quantity of cocaine along with a device for smoking the drug.

The men would hide in the trees and look at the movements of motorists especially during periods of traffic congestion, Craig said. And then they would relay the information to their cohorts waiting further along the road, Craig added. He said this strategy was instrumental in the majority of thefts which have taken place along the Beetham Highway.”

The story didn’t say, but it is safe to assume that cell phones were used to “relay the information to their cohorts waiting further along the road…”

Now if only we had discovered that creativity, innovation and natural small unit tactics when they were teens, and in a mandatory national service programme.

- Trini Funshooter

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