Enjoy Carnival and Be Safe!

Go Lean Commentary

It’s Carnival time … in Trinidad and Tobago (T&T). The streets of Port-of-Spain will be jumping, jiving, jamming, bumping, grinding and all the other festive adjectives.

Enjoy you people … and be safe too!

As the planners for a new Caribbean, we do not have to tell you how to enjoy – that is your legacy – but we do need to guide you on security and safety – it turns out that there are active foreign threats and domestic inadequacies.

Yes, the  Caribbean legacy is one of “being lax”. So we need T&T to pay more than the usual attention; and we need to convey to the whole world that Caribbean events can be safe and secure.

“Active foreign threats” …

… that is industry-speak for terrorism warnings.

Indeed, the “War on Terror” is real; there has been countless attacks since the World Trade Center Terrorist Attack in New York City on September 11, 2001. This war is still waging, though its some 17 years later, and it is not limited to the United States alone. Canada, France, Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, Spain and others have all reported terrorist attacks. The Caribbean has been spared thus far …

… but according to some reports, that streak is about to end.

Let’s hope this story here in the British tabloid The Sun – see Appendix below – is more hype than news, but can we truly ignore it?

Title # 1: Terror threat raised for Trinidad and Tobago Carnival

(The Sun) – British tourists in the Caribbean have been warned an ISIS terror attack is “very likely” during carnival celebrations in Trinidad and Tobago.

The Foreign Office warned to avoid crowded places after cops discovered a suspected plot to target the Mardi Gras festivities on Monday and Tuesday.

In a dramatic late-night announcement, the Foreign Office said: “The Trinidad and Tobago authorities have arrested some individuals who planned to carry out attacks against Carnival on February 12 and 13.”

Officials added: “An attack is still possible. The Trinidad and Tobago government is increasing security measures for the Carnival.

“Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Trinidad and Tobago.

“Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in crowded spaces and places visited by foreigners. You should remain vigilant and avoid crowded places and large gatherings.”

Around 30,000 Britons a year visit the country. Some have family links to Trinidad but most are tourists heading to Tobago, which has direct flights from London on BA and Virgin.

Surprisingly, the island nation of just 1.3million has the highest ISIS recruitment rate of any country in the Western hemisphere.

Around 125 people are feared to have travelled to fight in Syria and Iraq, and they pose a severe threat when they return home. Authorities are also wary of home-grown terrorists radicalised in the country.

The Foreign Office travel advice update warned: “There’s a threat from individuals who may have been inspired by terrorist groups, including Daesh and al Qaeda, to carry out so-called ‘lone actor’ attacks targeting public events or places.”

The crowded streets during carnival would be a soft target for an ISIS-inspired bomb or truck attack.

Last year Trinidad jihadi Shane Crawford, who goes by the nom-de guerre Abu Sa’d at-Trinidadi, featured in the group’s propaganda magazine.

The sniper called on ISIS supporters back home to “attack the interests of the Crusader coalition”, including embassies, businesses and civilians.

He said: “Follow the example of the lions in France and Belgium, the example of the blessed couple in California, and the examples of the knights in Orlando and Nice.

“You have the ability to terrify the disbelievers in their own homes and make their streets run with their blood.”

Trinidad and Tobago, the southernmost nation in the Caribbean, is ethnically diverse with many people of African and Indian heritage as well as Chinese, European and Arab minorities.

Around 5 per cent of the population are Muslim, according to the 2011 census.

A small radical group known as Jamaat al-Muslimeen (“Community of Muslims”) launched a coup attempt in 1990, led by a convert named Yasin Abu Bakr who is now an imam on Trinidad and hosts a weekly radio show.

Last night it emerged the remaining two Brit members of the “Beatles” beheading gang led by Jihadi John had been captured in Syria.

Last month we revealed the world’s tourist terror hot spots at “high risk” of attacks.

Source: St. Lucia Times quoting the UK’s The SUN; posted February 9, 2018; retrieved February 10, 2018 from: https://stluciatimes.com/2018/02/09/terror-threat-raised-trinidad-tobago-carnival/

Related Story:
https://www.caribbeannationalweekly.com/caribbean-breaking-news-featured/terrorist-threats-tt-carnival/

Carnival is a BIG Deal in Trinidad and other Caribbean countries. Just the thought of active threats can discourage travel to and consumption of related events. Our regional tourism would be in jeopardy!

So we – the Caribbean member-states individually and collectively – must not disregard any security threats or risks. Any news headline that features the words “ISIS” and “Caribbean” is a scandalous combination! This thesis was elaborated on by the promoters of the book Go Lean … Caribbean, in a previous blog-commentary describing an ISIS terrorism-threat in the region.

No one wants to be accused of ignoring terrorism. Yet, as reported in another previous blog-commentary, the US and many other advanced democracy countries, are very alarmed of the Caribbean member-states and their bad practices for regional security. The troubling evidence include these inadequacies:

The foregoing all draw reference to the book Go Lean…Caribbean – available for free download – as it details the quest to reform and transform Caribbean society, The book is a how-to guide and roadmap for elevating the region’s societal engines for (1.) economics, (2.) security and (3.) governance. Strategies, tactics and implementations for a successful ‘War on Terrorism’ have been a consistent theme of this book and subsequent blog-commentaries.

But people can be terrorized by domestic or local bad actors as well. Carnival has had the bad practice of people – mostly men – being too jovial, solicitous and harassing to women participants on the streets of Port-of-Spain. This too can be terrifying …

This issue is finally being addressed this year by the T&T Police. See one news story here, reported by a Miami, Florida newspaper:

Title # 2: This Caribbean Carnival won’t allow you to twerk —unless you ask permission first
By:
Jacqueline Charles

Attention all Carnival revelers and masqueraders attending the Caribbean’s biggest bacchanal: Non-consensual grinding, the provocative hip-gyrating, free-for-all that’s known in Caribbean parlance as “wining,” can get you slapped with an assault charge.

Trinidad and Tobago, the two-island country that’s considered the birthplace of the modern-day Pre-Lenten Caribbean Carnival, is telling all attendees that before you back it up on someone, ask permission. And the same goes for twerking, when the street party kicks off Monday and Tuesday in Port-of-Spain.

The ask-permission edict from the police comes after years of protests by Trinidadian women who want to be free to dance without having to worry at Carnival, the annual cultural event that draws everyone from tourists to costumed diplomats two days before Ash Wednesday.

Last year, one of the biggest hits in the lead-up to Carnival was the song “Leave Me Alone” by Calypso Rose, about a woman trying to dance in the streets free of harassment. The lyrics — “Boy, don’t touch me” — made the song a feminist anthem and inspired hundreds of gyrating women to wear “Leave Me Alone” and “Leave She Alone” T-shirts during last year’s Carnival.

Like the song, the new consent rule is part of a Caribbean-wide push by women to have more say over their bodies, said Gabrielle Hosein, the head of the Institute for Gender and Development Studies at the University of the West Indies in Trinidad.

“What you’re getting is an argument that has been made by tens of thousands of women over three or more decades in the Caribbean, long before the me-too movement addressing sexual harassment,” Hosein said. “Women have a right to be sexual and feminine in public without that happening on terms set by male aggression.”

And what’s happening in Trinidad is more radical than the me-too movement, she said. It’s women, who often dress in racy costumes during the revelry, saying they have a right to express sexual freedom without fear of sexual violence.

The concern over sexual harassment during Carnival isn’t only in Trinidad. In 2016, 22-year-old college student Tiarah Poyau was fatally shot in Brooklyn during the J’Ouvert street party before the West Indian Day Parade after telling a man to stop rubbing against her and dancing provocatively close. Police later arrested 20-year-old Reginald Moise. [See VIDEO below of Carnival in Greater Miami.]

Hosein commended the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service for warning last month that those who “thief a wine” — or hip-grind on a person without consent — during the raucous street party can be charged with assault, based on a law prohibiting physical touching without consent.

“This is a struggle that is finally recognized not only in law, which it was before, but explicitly in the language of the police in what is an extremely progressive position and statement the police service has taken,” she said.

Soca artists, whose performances are designed to provoke hip-grinding and gyrating, are divided about the controversial rule.

But when one well-known singer, soca king Machel Montano, objected and told fans at a concert that no consent was needed to wine, the public backlash forced a quick turnaround.

“Once you get consent, take a wine and have a time,” Montano told the Trinidad Express in a written statement.

Source: Miami Herald’s America Column – Posted Februay 8, 2018; retrieved February 11, 2018 from: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/article199040889.html

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VIDEO – Carnival color: Miami-Dade and Broward celebrate – http://www.miamiherald.com/entertainment/article38770695.html

Carnival lovers and revelers geared up for one of the most anticipated cultural Caribbean traditions, Miami Broward Carnival on Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015 at the Miami-Dade County Fairgrounds. VIDEO Credit: Carl Juste

Say it ain’t so?

Only now in 2018, will the T&T Police start to treat an assault like an assault.

This – lax security – is why there is the need for a new Caribbean stewardship. This recognition is part-and-parcel to the Go Lean movement’s effort to optimize the societal engines – including homeland security – of the 30 member-states of the Caribbean region. This priority on homeland security was pronounced early in the Go Lean book with the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Page 12) that claims:

x. Whereas we are surrounded and allied to nations of larger proportions in land mass, populations, and treasuries, elements in their societies may have ill-intent in their pursuits, at the expense of the safety and security of our citizens. We must therefore appoint “new guards” to ensure our public safety and threats against our society, both domestic and foreign. The Federation must employ the latest advances and best practices … to assuage continuous threats against public safety.

xi. Whereas all men are entitled to the benefits of good governance in a free society, “new guards” must be enacted to dissuade the emergence of incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the peril of the people’s best interest. The Federation must guarantee the executions of a social contract between government and the governed.

xii. Whereas the legacy in recent times in individual states may be that of ineffectual governance with no redress to higher authority, the accedence of this Federation will ensure accountability and escalation of the human and civil rights of the people for good governance, justice assurances, due process and the rule of law. As such, any threats of a “failed state” status for any member state must enact emergency measures on behalf of the Federation to protect the human, civil and property rights of the citizens, residents, allies, trading partners, and visitors of the affected member state and the Federation as a whole.

xvi. Whereas security of our homeland is inextricably linked to prosperity of the homeland, the economic and security interest of the region needs to be aligned under the same governance. Since economic crimes, including … forms of terrorism, can imperil the functioning of the wheels of commerce for all the citizenry, the accedence of this Federation must equip the security apparatus with the tools and techniques for predictive and proactive interdictions.

The Caribbean appointing these “new guards” will include many strategies, tactics and implementations considered “best-practices” for improved public safety and the ‘War Against Terror’. The book Go Lean … Caribbean presents its 370 pages as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU) to elevate the region’s societal engines of economics, security and governance. With a brand name like Trade Federation, obviously the primary focus is on economics – so promoting the image of safe Caribbean festivals is paramount – but the book also asserts (Page 23) that peace, security and public safety must be coupled with an economic empowerments. The book continues that “bad things will [always] happen to good people” and so the community needs to be prepared to contend with the risks that can imperil the homeland. The Go Lean book therefore promotes these 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion GDP and create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a homeland security apparatus to ensure public safety and to protect the resultant economic engines of the Caribbean
  • Improvement of Caribbean governance to support these above engines.

The Go Lean book details the series of community ethos, strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to improve public protections: interpersonal violence, crime mitigation efforts, and even wage a successful ‘War on Terrorism’. This charter includes all proactive and reactive public safety/security measures in the Caribbean region. There have been many previous blog-commentaries that have elaborated on policing and governing empowerments for the region’s homeland security needs. Consider this sample here:

http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=13746 Failure to Launch – Security: Caribbean Basin Security Dreams
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=13126 The Requirement for Better Security: Must Love Dogs
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=11054 Managing the ‘Strong versus the Weak’ – Mitigating Bullying
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=10566 Funding the Caribbean Security Pact
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=9974 Lessons Learned from Pearl Harbor
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=9072 Securing the Homeland – On the Ground
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=9070 Securing the Homeland – From the Seas
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=9068 Securing the Homeland – From the Air
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=7345 ISIS in the Caribbean?
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=6720 A Lesson in History – During the Civil War: Fighting for Our Own Cause
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=6103 Sum of All Fears – ‘On Guard’ Against Deadly Threats
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=5002 Managing a ‘Clear and Present Danger’
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=4809 America’s Model of Monitoring for Terroristic Activities
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=4360 Dreading the ‘Caribbean  Basin Security Initiative’
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=1554 Status of Forces Agreement = Security Pact
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=1076 Trinidad Muslims travel to Venezuela for Jihadist training
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=809 Muslim officials condemn abductions of Nigerian girls
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=535 Remembering and learning from Boston for Festival Security

An effort to provide better public safety and homeland security solutions in the Caribbean should be welcomed by all stakeholders. The effort to project the image of Safe Caribbean is a pressing need. We do not need to undermine our economic engines with lax security measures or attitudes.

It is past time to do better!

It is past time for a new Caribbean stewardship. One that must foster good security habits … and ‘war against a lax attitude’ – the world is watching!

Now is the time to lean-in to this Go Lean roadmap. Now is the time to better secure our homeland: monitor for threats, gather intelligence, investigate incidences, police communities, arm a defense apparatus and prepare for the worst. Now is time now to grow up and secure our economic engines.

All Caribbean stakeholders are therefore urged to lean-in to this roadmap, to this conceivable, believable and achievable plan to make the Caribbean a better, safer place to live, work and play. 🙂

Download the free e-book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

Sign the petition to lean-in for the roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.

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Appendix – The Sun Tabloid Newspaper

The Sun is a tabloid newspaper published in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. Since The Sun on Sunday was launched in February 2012, the paper has been a seven-day operation. As a broadsheet, it was founded in 1964 as a successor to the Daily Herald; it became a tabloid in 1969 after it was purchased by its current owners.[6] It is published by the News Group Newspapers division of News UK, itself a wholly owned subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch‘s News Corp.[7][8]

The Sun has the largest circulation of any daily newspaper in the United Kingdom,[7] but in late 2013 slipped to second largest Saturday newspaper behind the Daily Mail.[9] It had an average daily circulation of 2.2 million copies in March 2014.[7] Between July and December 2013 the paper had an average daily readership of approximately 5.5 million, with approximately 31% of those falling into the ABC1 demographic and 68% in the C2DE demographic. Approximately 41% of readers are women and 59% are men.[7] The Sun has been involved in many controversies in its history …

Source: Retrieved February 10, 2018 from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sun_(United_Kingdom)

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