Tuesday 7 July, 2020

PM on Black Lives Matter protests: We too have lessons to learn

Protesting for racial equality is not a foreign concept to Trinidad and Tobago.  

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, recalling a protest for social justice which occurred in North America, he says even those have led to change here in Trinidad and Tobago. He said T&T ought not to distance itself from the Black Lives Matter protests happening now in the United States.  

“Like it was in 1970 when the Black Power Movement started at Sir George Williams University, Trinidad and Tobago citizens at Sir George Williams University on the same issue of racism, where the conversation found its way to the pavements of Port of Spain and the corridors at UWI and our young people took to the streets. The next thing you know, by April of 1970, the government of Trinidad and Tobago had to respond and respond in a way that they had never been called upon to respond before,” he relayed. 

Dr Rowley, initiating the message of a popular local saying, ‘when your brother’s house is on fire, wet yours’, said there’s much to learn from what’s happening abroad.  

The Prime Minister acknowledged that T&T has its own issues surrounding racism. Even so, he says as local demonstrations continue, he’s not worried that they will escalate to unmanageable levels. 

“Fortunately, we have made sufficient progress, I believe, to bolster us and protect us from the most vulgar of what we’re seeing on the outside today, but let us not for one minute believe that we are insulated from that or that it doesn’t apply to us,” he said. 

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