Wednesday 2 December, 2020

ESC stands by protesters, condemns politicians

Police in a stand-off in Sea Lots with protesting residents.

Police in a stand-off in Sea Lots with protesting residents.

The Emancipation Support Committee (ESC) is expressing their support for residents of marginalised communities in Trinidad who have been protesting against police brutality this week. 

In a media release, the Committee sympathised with the frustration felt by the protesters.  

“We will stand by these communities in this hour of peril and assist them in every way that we can,” they wrote. 

Detailing the week’s events, the ESC outlined the disparity they’ve observed in the treatment of different communities as it relates to police brutality. 

“If the victims had been residents of St Clair, that community and the wider society would expect swift justice from those in authority. Based on experience the people of Morvant, Laventille, the Beetham, John John and similar marginalized communities do not have the same expectations. They have to make their voices heard and while no one likes to be inconvenienced, the public understands the pain of those suffering in these neglected and demonized communities,” they added. 

The Committee also condemned the positions that Minister of National Security, Stuart Young and Commissioner of Police, Gary Griffith, have taken in light of the circumstances. 

“It was therefore appalling to hear the Minister of National Security publicly describe the expressions of righteous anger as part of a political plot for which some persons were paid. The accusations of a political plot were backed up by the Commissioner of Police assuring the nation that ‘the well-orchestrated plan to destabilize the country by a few, has been quelled.’ He described the few as ‘gang leaders’ who ‘commenced their plan to cause mayhem, fear, and destruction throughout the country’”, they wrote. 

Also referencing the front page of a newspaper, the ESC called the image of a police officer in camouflage kneeling on a man’s neck during the protests troubling and disturbing. They are calling on the public to avoid becoming desensitised to incidents like these. 

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