Monday, April 03, 2006

Rally for Sean Luke

I was going to write about something else today, but then this morning I got the following e-mail from Inshan Ishmael, manager of the Muslim Station, IBN (Channel 8). I mentioned them the other day in relation to my Please Stand video, which they adopted as an anthem.

(Inshan's e-mail):
Dear Elspeth,
Our Station was asked by the family of Sean Luke to put together a Rally urgently...We have begun to do so and we have decided on the following -

Date - Saturday 8th April 2006
Time - 10:00 am
Venue - Brian Lara Promenade...

Please spread the word...


Inshan Ishmael

(My response, sent as a forward to my e-mail list ... and now also to you):

Dear All, this message was sent to me by Inshan Ishmael, manager of IBN (Muslim Station, Channel 8). I only came across them personally within the past fortnight, but so far in my experience with them, I see they are very supportive of important causes and communities in need. They have very generously supported me in one of my efforts and I will support them in their efforts. According to Inshan, they act as a voice for the voiceless (which is the way I also often feel about my own work).

I know many are fed-up of hearing the words ‘rally’ or ‘march’ and wonder what the purpose of any mass movement is. In fact some have even become immune to the word “march”. But there is strength in numbers – especially at this time in TT’s history when unity and numbers will count. Sometimes we cannot stop to ask “What will this do? What effect will this have?” … because sometimes there is no immediate or ‘logical’ answer … and we may end up doing nothing because we so want to know the ‘outcome’ before it presents itself.

If you have additional questions or wish to assist IBN in any way, Inshan’s cellular number is below his name. Please spread the word.


N.B. I have not published his cellular number here, but if anyone would like to contact him, I can put you in touch. Thanks.


Anonymous theglasshermitage said...

Like you, I have been trying to sift through very turbulent emotions, floods of ideas, temptations to just go find a good book or a case of beer and forget about everything...but I really am haunted and I am worried for you too and for all the people who have to face this situation day in day out. I want you to assure me that you are as safe as you can be and that you are taking care of yourself, and that you don't let this get you down.

I read the "Big View" article that you linked us to yesterday and it really upset me. I didn't respond immediately because I distrusted the intensity of my reaction. I realise that I can’t bear to hear “the talk” anymore. As he painstakingly added insult to injury, I had to finally shake my head in disbelief when he triumphantly dealt what he must have thought would be the climactic clinching slap:

”Maybe we should ask the farmer in Cap-de-Ville if he would prefer his son or daughter to continue cultivating their five-acre plot or work as an accountant at the proposed smelter.”

Sounds like one of the decisions the newly freed African ancestors would have had to make. I think back then they would have given Mr. “Big View” great satisfaction by choosing accountancy at” de boss man smelter”…and well yes, the rest is history.

Just listen to Brother Valentino’s lament in his classic “Dis Place Nice”
“Trinidadians is who should own land
Now is the time to make the land their possession
But their sense of taste could just trace
To all them fancy show case
So the business man, he blow their mind
And is his dollars them got to find”

or, Maestro’s “Yuh Foolin”
“Yuh fooling, Brotherman, yuh fooling
Educate your children at any cost
Win back the land yuh fore-parents lost
Leave colour TV
For folks with plenty money
Is we alone wasting
Brotherman, I say we wasting.”

or, Penguin’s "What Sweet In Goat Mouth”
"Dey tell me watch at the new bourgeois
Drinking scotch, travelling afar
Video and stereo like peas
Air-conditioned car, dey ‘fraid breeze
But not a plantation, so next generation
Could truly say this is my land."

Today, with indignation tempered, I will just wish the fellow love. He is simply another victim of our warped education system. Ironic though, how the most abused minds then want to support and perpetuate the abuse of others.

Like Mr. "Big View", I also ate with relish, the caca that I was fed by school, by the society, by alien but “informed” declarations on how our societies should make themselves over in the image of the “developed” world. I can say, without even trying hard to remember, that during the entire period of the academic education that I received from kindergarten to post-tertiary, NEVER, not even once, not even in passing, was farming held up as what it is - an essential, honourable, and rewarding career. Not one of my teachers ever spoke glowingly about working in harmony with the earth to produce food. Space does not permit my going into how wrong all this turned out to be for my SOUL but suffice it to say that what was sweet in this goat's mouth was very, very sour in the “exit”.

So no, I don’t buy Mr. "Big View’s" arguments and I do not trust his logic and values. They are all flawed. Cell towers installations should NOT be close to where people live and work. He talks about being properly informed, but do these companies disclose if they have adhered to the safe distance calculations when choosing locations for these towers? No one has the right to try to silence people’s health concerns or any other concerns.

Always, always, it comes down to this. We are expected to be infantlike in our trust, and invisible, mute and accepting in our demeanor. “Hush yuh mout. You eh see “big” people tryin’ to wuk?! …OK, yuh want something to do. Here! Take some paint. Look de stones dey. Fix up!!”

Demagogues looking down from their ivory towers and positions of privilege always find those who revolt revolting and will do anything, from issuing pacifying, “reasoned”, “trust-us-dears-we-know-best” arguments, or deflecting suspicion onto other groups in the society, to outright attempts to quell any challenge to the status quo.

The people of this country ARE entitled to say HOW and WHERE and WHEN they want things to be done in THEIR country. These technocrats and their uncritical defenders have for too long have been allowed free run of this place. They walk and talk like saviours but in their trail is the slime of brokenness, and the despair of dehumanized beings.

8:58 PM  

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