Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 2nd 2014 Contents interview
www.guardian.co.tt SUNDAY, MARCH 2, 2014
with Clevon Raphael
Q: Mr Lindsay, a while
ago you told me you
were all in favour of
the evolution of the mas. How
come, then, you are kicking up
a fuss against four bands pass-
ing through Taylor Street in
Woodbrook on Carnival days?
A:(At a residence in St
morning) I don t person-
ally think it is about kicking up a
fuss. I think it is about understand-
ing that it s operating within a res-
Yeah, last week you spoke
about revolution...doesn t that
speak to violence?
I don t think it speaks to violence
so much so that you know the
forum was one in which one was
able to intimate exactly how they
felt about the assault on the Car-
nival. At the meeting with the
mayor, as was reported in the
Guardian... (He fishes out clippings
from the Guardian on the whole
affair, one of which quoted an offi-
cial of the Woodbrook Residents
And didn t you make a state-
ment which could be construed
as being controversial?
(Referring again to the clippings)
"Residents were not consulted over
the route changes made by bands,
there was no consultation here.
Some 48,000 people would pass
here, there are senior citizens here,
people with babies. I am a revo-
lutionary and I cannot promise we
are not burning tyres for the two
Mr Lindsay, I can see you are
very passionate about your
cause but doesn t "revolution-
ary" sound kind of threatening?
In what context are you using
It has to be taken in the context
that you are operating in an envi-
ronment of a residential commu-
nity, and I think that in the surge
of what is happening in the envi-
ronment of Trinidad right now, a
lot of people are afraid to speak
out, okay? And I think...
You really believe---and where
is the evidence---that people are
afraid to speak out...you don t
listen to the radio, the television
or read the newspapers?
If you were to reference what
comes out in the press, in the print
media, the electronic media ...
about how people go about trying
to resolve situations, you will see
countless instances where people
resort to all sorts of ploys, measures
in order to bring about relief, okay?
Mr Lindsay, when were you
all told about this plan and by
This proposal was brought by
the four bands, but at no point in
time was there any stakeholder
consultation with residents. I may
also add that right now a frame-
work with Woodbrook residents
has been worked out with Opt
Entertainment for another function,
which went well last year and
which would proceed satisfactorily
this year without a hitch, as they
consulted with the residents, and
that is the approach which ought
to be taken if you are going to come
into a residential area with that
kind of event.
The only time we knew about
this decision was via the news
Burning of tyres also sounds
like a threat. Are you a disciple
(Chuckle) I am not a disciple of
Mr Kublalsingh. What I am a dis-
ciple for is to speak for those indi-
viduals on my street who have no
So why this question of
Because you know what: this is
what I am seeing. We have a prob-
lem and we have to provide a viable
solution. It has to be outlined how
it would benefit the residents of
the street, who have never been
averse to the plans and develop-
ment of Carnival.
This interview, Mr Lindsay,
is coming out on Sunday. If
there is no resolution to this
impasse by this time, what are
you going to do...Are you
going to take out the tyres?
Well, no, this is what I am going
to say, and I am going to put it like
this, which is taken from the news-
paper, in a letter from a Woodbrook
resident who said last week: "The
residents in the main are retired
and not up to the type of protests
that pervade the national scene.
We have raised our objections to
this national Carnival assault ver-
bally and civilly, and we hope that
the authorities put a stop to this
madness from occurring."
It is not my intention to create
any...to put my family at risk, to
put the people who live on my
street at risk. Taylor Street is a
main trunk line into and out of
Port-of-Spain, and all forms of
public and private transport tra-
verse that area.
All that I have requested from
the Commissioner of Police is for
his esteemed consideration, seeing
that he is the office-holder who
has to give the authority, the
instructions to have Taylor Street
be utilised as an emergency access
egress route for protective and
So the only street you have
a problem with is Taylor
What I am saying, Mr Raphael,
is that I am from Taylor Street,
and I have been here from since
1981, and all of my work within
the community is well documented
and at this juncture, just like the
Commissioner of Police say, we
have to do this security thing street
My elderly parents and all of the
other elderly couples who have
been living on that street and the
seniors who are infirm, and my
how will they deal with that?
Mr Raphael, I am not going to
be burning any tyres but I need to
say something to let them know
that we are serious and it is not
my intention to incite violence or
to create a nuisance to the public
order but I will tell you what: this
is how this country runs, if you
don t stand up now, next year is
just going to roll over.
Very well. Can this situation
be resolved if they just remove
Taylor Street from the pathway
of the bands on their way to
the Jean Pierre Complex?
Speaking on behalf of the res-
idents of Taylor Street, yes.
That is the only street you
have a problem with?
As far as my street goes, yes,
and the Woodbrook community.
The chairman of the NCC came
on TV and says nothing has been
approved; that is not what this
says (referring to another news
item in a newspaper). This here
says it is a done deal, right?
Finally, Mr Lindsay, your last
word, in the event nobody
bothers to take you on by
By Sunday when this article
comes out, Mr Raphael, they had
correspondence on Tuesday, they
would have had enough time to
think about it, ok?
On Sunday the CoP and the
whole country is going to be read-
ing this article, and even then the
remit of the CoP allows him to
make that decision on the resi-
dents justifiable expectations. But
we shall see. We shall see...
kick up a fuss
Residents of Woodbrook are opposing the use of
Taylor Street for four major bands to access the
Socadrome at the Jean Pierre Complex on Carnival
days. The special adviser to the chairman of the
Woodbrook Residents Committee, Gregory Lindsay,
says they want the issue to be peacefully resolved
in the interest of the national community.
Lindsay adds the residents were never consulted
and while they have nothing against the evolution
of the Carnival, the refusal of the powers that be to
meet residents on the sore issue is not the way to
If mas bands cross Taylor Street...
Adviser to the Woodbrook Residents Committee, Gregory Lindsay, holds a Guardian newspaper, showing the map
depicting the new route for four large Carnival mas bands---Harts, Tribe, Yuma and Bliss. They have been given
approval by the NCC to parade along an extended route on Carnival Tuesday.
PHOTO: KEITH MATTHEWS
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