Monday, 28 January 2013 02:30
By Rawlston Pompey
Throughout human existence, erratic human behavior, mind boggling decision and/or irrational actions were known to have provoked”... recklessness and/or lawlessness” within otherwise peaceful and stable societies.
Though it has been said that “...The tree of Liberty shall be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants” [Thomas Jefferson: 1787], modern civilization dictates that humans behave civilly and act responsibly. Frequently, however, some behaviors were known to have been precipitated by human misunderstanding of human nature and environments, that otherwise, may have been conducive to harmonious relations, mutual respect and cooperation.” Invariably, these environments were filled with people with “...antagonistic attitudes and pregnant with hostility.” Most have ended in “...brawls; ...running street or gun battles; ...property damage; ...looting and injuries, resulting in mass casualties and/or arrests. Across the globe, Law enforcement authority; ...peaceful protesters/picketers; ...innocent or curious by-standers had suffered “...intended and unintended consequences.”
In understanding “...human actions, reactions and/or responses to the environment in which people work and/or recreate themselves,” it is important to understand that which may provoke “...disquiet, discord, and/or disaffection” and that which “...motivates or drives their impulses; ...boosts spirit or inflates their egos as to become Activists, conservationists and protectionists.” .” Then there were those who saw the environment as driving them into desperation and down the abyss of despair. The experts have determined that it was natural for humans to be so indoctrinated or brainwashed as to harbor thoughts of “...Self-Importance and or Feelings of Superiority,” while those on the edge of “...Reality” were said to have bordered “...paranoia,” as to have harbored beliefs of aspiring to “...positions of grandeur” or to entertain feelings of wretchedness. The conscious were said to be alert, know and understand the environment in which they operate.
SYSTEMS AND VARIABLES
From Law Enforcement perspective, administrators and/or enforcement officers may not be seen as being “...insensitive or oblivious to situations” that have the potential to be “...provocatively explosive and unmanageable.” It was well known that within these environments, there were many “...systems and variables.” Thus, if those charged with administrative and/or Operational duties, were to discharge their responsibilities “...efficiently and effectively; ...fairly and impartially and/or meeting public or citizen’s expectations,” few obstacles encountered, would be in surmountable. Then there were some critical factors that had to be carefully assessed, understood and monitored for outbreaks of public protests, disorder and/or anti-social behavior. These include “...people with activist tendencies and a propensity to incite public anxieties; ...social status of the easily influenced or led; ...station in life- “...affluence or indigence; ...behavioral pattern/traits; ...customs and cultures; ...practices; ...values and mores.”CHANGING SCENES OF LIFE
When promises are not kept, people are bitterly disappointed; ... When expectations become elusive through deceit and trickery, hearts are broken; ...When hope is dashed, dreams are shattered; ...When goals are not easily attainable, people devise survival strategies, and when aspirations become illusive, people may turn to hymns of praise for comfort and joy. These reflects the “...Changing Scenes of Life.” Thus, when frustration and disillusionment engulfed the mind, people may resort to singing “...Through the Changing scenes of life; ...In trouble and in joy; ...The praises of my God shall still; ...My heart and my tongue employ.” This may have been the experiences of many people within the global community. More fundamentally, however, there comes a time when man is required to “...employ his heart and his tongue” as had been the recent experiences of Information and Technology Senator Dr. Edmond A.M. Mansoor.ACTIVISM
In spite of different reasons, many individuals and/or groups had indulged in some form of “...Activism.” Invariably, such activist tendencies were mostly intended for specific purposes as they “...affect and/or influence Change.” Most, however, had resorted to “...Activism,” primarily for the “...protection of their human rights-freedoms, liberties; ...heritage or patrimony; ...transparency and accountability in governance. In these instances, the citizen’s actions were said to have been those associated with “...Radicalism and Activism.” The latter, reflecting calculated human behavior was a concept defined as “...Involvement in action intended in bringing about Social, Economic, Political and/or Environmental change.”CONSERVATISM AND ACTIVISM
In developing the concept, the Dictionary further speaks to Activism as “...Consisting of efforts to promote; ...Impede or Direct Social, Economic, Political and Environmental Change” [Wikipedia]. These efforts, were to be seen through the “...Doctrine or Practice” of vigorous actions in achieving set goals, frequently by “...Demonstrations.” Invariably, there were “...sit-ins or picketing- using peaceful or violent means in getting their messages across to policy-makers. It was the experience that even that which had started out “...Lawfully and peacefully.” Had sometimes turned into lawlessness; ...chaos and confusion; ...violent and high-handed Law enforcement actions that were perceived to have been horribly frightening. The previous experience of Conservationists, attorney John Eli Fuller and recent arrest of Lone Wolf Leader, attorney Vere Bird III, seemed to have supported some of these contentions. They may have become “...Martyrs” to convictions for that which they had truly demonstrated fearlessness, neither of “...persecution nor prosecution.”LAND-PATRIMONY
While people may, in good faith, demonstrate evidence of patriotism, they shall also be prepared to “...protect, defend and conserve their nation’s resources, however limited and their heritage, however acquired. There was no doubt underscored the philosophical stance of prominent Veterinary Surgeon, educator, social justice commentator and patriotic national, Dr. Radcliffe Robbins as he sought in inculcating a sense of “...protectionism; ...conservatism and preservatism” in the citizenry of national heritage, historical or otherwise.” In support of his philosophical beliefs, he persistently spoke to a legendary Antiguan and Barbudan, “...John William Jeffery,” said to be the first indigenous national to have “...purchased an Estate in the Five Islands area, and willed it into Perpetuity.” He had posited that the “...Land is our Patrimony,” and had implored the citizenry to do likewise. There was no doubt that he may have inspired and had admonished many among the parliamentary grouping that some legacies had to be preserve for posterity.THE BEACH BELONG TO WE
When the issue of utilization of the section of the Long Bay Beach for a “...Tourism Expansion Project” recently surfaced in the public domain, it had triggered protests by Vendors and residents in the surrounding community and citizens from a wide cross-section of the society. Many people have been using it daily, either for “...eking out a living; ...recreational therapy; ...leisurely moments and/or picnicking. Many vendors, sea-bathers and visitors, may have become conscious, if not mindful of the need for protecting and/or conserving the beaches. Many may have been reminded of the social commentary by Barbadian Anthony Carter “...Mighty Gabby,” who sang “...TELL JACK” (Jack Dear QC, then Chairman of Barbados Tourism). He sang “...I grow up bathing in sea water; ...But nowadays that is bare horror; ...If I venture down by the shore; ...Police telling me I can’t bathe no more; ...Tourism vital; ...that I can’t deny; ...But not more than I and I; ...Jack don’t want me on the beach; ...Jack tell them to kick me outa reach; ... But tell Jack Gabby say the Beach belong to we; ...The beach is mine I can go there any time” [June 27, 2010]. This may very well have been the position of some Parliamentarians most notably Honourable Chanlah Codrington.SEGREGATIONIST WIRE FENCE
Just over a decade ago, having heard the people’s cries, in militant mode, yet with controlled aggression, aggrieved citizens led by notable Parliamentarians with clearly noble intentions, converged upon the picturesque “...Long Bay Beach, demarcated by what appeared to have been a “...Segregationist Wire Fence.” The objective-“...TAKING BACK THE BEACH” on which adjacent property owners, for all intents and purposes, had “...erected a wire fence deep into the shallow pristine waters, under the guise of “...Keeping Out Animals.” While such may have been the intention, the wire fence had “...virtually restricted human access” to the eastern side of the beach and around the rocks. Spurred into action and motivated by the presence of the Parliamentarians and even that of Law Enforcement, with bare hands, protesters forcefully ripped the obstructive fence apart. To the delight and satisfaction of the hundreds present, this was followed by the planting of a massive Flag of Antigua and Barbuda. It was a day of redemption, signifying that the “...Long Bay Beach had been “...RECLAIMED and RESTORED” to the people. The exercise ended peacefully. This was then followed by picnicking-music, foods and drinks and fun and frolic on the “...People’s Beach.” Today, the beach remains freely and easily accessible to all a sundry.THE GABBY SPIRIT
Demonstrating”... Gabby’s Spirit,” with deep commitment, evidenced by an unshaken resolve,” the “...Honourable Prime Minister Dr. Baldwin Spencer and loyalist colleagues ...Hilson ‘Brother B’ Baptiste;...Alister Thomas; ...Sir Gerald Watt KCN, QC; ...Harold Lovell; ...Vincent ‘Tubby’ Derrick; ...Fergie Derrick; ...Collin Derrick; ...Chester Hughes; ...Elleston ‘Namba’ Adams; ...Vaughn Walter; ...Charlesworth Samuel; ...Livingstone ‘Livie, ‘General’ Samuel; ...Lionel Gomes (trio deceased); ...Phillip Abbott; Eugene Humphrey ‘Minister of Helps,’ Jameison ‘Kublai’ Mannix and ...Jim Galloway, and hundreds had thronged the beach. Evidenced by national consciousness, organizational cohesiveness, a show of strength, they had made their presence felt. The massive crowd, comprising of people from communities across the nation and strata of society, protesting in unison for the conserving their heritage, which fundamentally allowed for “...freedom of movement; ...unfettered access and the unhindered enjoyment of the nation’s beaches.”ACTIVISM/RADICALISM
Some environments were known to have produced “...Individual Activists, Pressure and Advocacy Groups.” Incidentally, “...Activism” was said to have been founded and/or based on “...Group’s ideologies, philosophical beliefs and commonalities.” It was known that such ideologies or beliefs had produced a consciousness in and a commitment by people, evidenced by action akin to “...Activism or behavior associated with “...Radicalism.” Thus, such environment was said to have been ideally suited for development for one or both, dependent upon goals and objectives. Frequently, the “activist tendencies” were said to have been viewed from “...sensitive community, societal issues and/or critical matters of national importance,” particularly those affecting “...Social Justice, human, individual and political rights and Equal treatment for all people. Not infrequently had these groups, collectively and/or individually were said to have taken “...Affirmative Action” for “...Transparency and/or Accountability” by public officials or in keeping governmental administration, and/or Lawful Authority and in check. Frequently, most were said to be seeking answers to questions posed over critical national issues, particularly those affecting the “...Socio-economic” aspects.VARIABLES
There were peculiarities with some environments that those who are entrusted with the management of Law enforcement agencies have always been advised to “...understand variables in the environment, that they may discharge their duties with “...Administrative and Operational effectiveness.” Invariably, these environments were known to have become “...unstable, chaotic, explosive,” producing frustration and restlessness in disoriented, confused and desperate peoples. It was well known that in such environments “...Activism and Radicalism” had been “...nurtured, promoted, preached, practiced and thrived.” For Law enforcement administrators, the environments that were seen as posing the most “...administrative and/or operational difficulties” were those involving “...socio-economic and political issues.” Many people who had been “...persecuted and/or prosecuted,” appeared to have been mostly those fighting for “...human rights; ...recognition; ...socially desired conditions- equal treatment and opportunities for advancement. Most have been driven to Activism.”EXERTING PRESSURE
Thus, mankind has initiated actions necessary in ensuring that meaningful Change shall occur through the process of exerting pressure upon the policy-makers, particularly those charged with the responsibility for governance. Hence, those who became “...Activists” may have been those who became frustrated and/or disillusioned over the way “...national issues were being ignored or addressed.” The proactive move by Activist Alister Thomas in the “...seminal case” placed before the Judiciary in compelling the nation’s “...Public Accounts Committee for bringing “...Audited Accounts of Public Funds before Parliament speaks to such issues of “...Accountability.RISKS-INJURIES/ARREST
Over the last two decade, a consciousness had been awakened in the nation that has seen several “...Notable Freedom Fighters, Patrimonial, Social Justice, Community, Environmental and Political Activists, Protectionists and Conservationists.” People, collectively as a group or individually, have acted in consort or unilaterally in affecting significant change within the nation. Each appeared to have “...special interests and/or concerns over “...humans and/or his existence.” Frequently, it may have involved, inter alia, “...some developmental activities, and “...real or imaginary,” were perceived to have had the potential for affecting individual, community, national well-being, or negative impact on “...patrimony, economy, the environment or conservatism.” Most notably, for instance, was the distinguished attorney“...John Eli Fuller.” Leading a group of Conservationists in several “...Sit-ins,” they had risked “...bodily injuries by heavy duty Demolishment equipment and Deprivation of liberty.” In bold attempts at impeding the demolition of the derelict remains of the National Public Library building, then located on Lower High Street .ELLOY DE FREITAS CASE
Then there was the historic case of and a courageous Civil Servant Elloy De Freitas, respecting the fundamental individual rights, freedoms and liberties that had been “...infringed, abridged or abrogated.” In the land mark Judgment Elloy De Freitas had challenged his “...Interdiction from the Civil Service [Sept/Oct.1990] as he, et al “...Peacefully Demonstrated and Picketed” the Headquarters of the Ministry of Agriculture against “...Government Corruption.” Interestingly in the June 30, 1998 Judgment, the Lords of the Judicial Committee of the London Privy Council posited that the Court “...Recognizes the special position which is enjoyed by Civil Servants in a democratic society.” It spoke to “...Neutrality and Impartiality” and the need to “...ensure and maintain public confidence” in the system of governance.LAW LORD’S DICTA
However, Lord Clyde’s dicta was “...Our democratic system is deeply rooted in, and thrives on, FREE and Robust public discussion of public issues; ...As a general rule, ‘ALL MEMBERS’ of society should be permitted, indeed encouraged, to participate in that discussion [Privy Council Appeal No.42 of 1998].” This case speak to many concerns, including “...Transparency and Accountability and the impact some decisions have had on the nation’s image and quality of life of the citizenry. Further, there was the Judgment for Winston and Samuel ‘Fergie’ Derrick over “...Free Media” [Privy Council Appeal, No.3 of 2000]. This had followed the seizure of Telecommunications Apparatus for On-Air Radio Broadcasting without a License [September 2, 1996] and a five-year Legal Battle that was determined in favor of Winston and Samuel ‘Fergie’ Derrick of Observer Publications [March 19, 2001]. Thus, it was for these and other legitimate reasons that many “...Freedom Fighters; ...Activists; ...Conservationists and Environmentalists” had endeavored to do that which was considered necessary, “...fair or unfair, legitimate or illegitimate” in “...AFFECTING CHANGE.”THE INDOMITABLE KUBLAI MANNIX
Then there was the indomitable community activists Jameison ‘Kublai’ Mannix, counseled by Alister Thomas, they had mobilized and led residents of Old Road into a massive three-day protest against the Carlisle Bay Resort Development, impeding the free flow of Vehicle and pedestrian traffic. Consequently, the residents had forced the administration of former Prime Minister and current Member of Parliament Honourable Lester B. Bird to a Town Hall meeting. That meeting had resulted in deadlock and the resident’s wishes had prevailed . This was followed by Eugene ‘Minister of Helps’ Humphrey who had singularly protested the “...deplorable road conditions in the Golden Grove area.” Like attorney John Fuller and several group members, “...Kublai and Minister of Helps” were removed by Law enforcement to subsequently face criminal charges of either obstructing Law enforcement in the “...Execution of Duty or Vehicular Traffic.”ACTIVISTS
Then followed other activists, the self-styled “...Minister of Helps,” Eugene Humphrey, who was widely known for his “...socio-economic, political and administrative activism; Member of Parliament Honourable Chanlah Codrington, who, aided by Jameison ‘Kublai’ Mannix, caused the demolition of a gate erected as an obstacle/hindrance to public access to the “...Pearn’s Beach [May 31, 2012]; ...Members of the Senate and House of Representatives Honourable Paul ‘Chet’ Greene and Elleston ‘Namba’ Adams who had mobilized irate residents of Liberta following the shooting death of Denfield ‘Tody’ Thomas, virtually blocking the roadway to English Harbor and surrounding communities in showing their outrage and calls for justice[ 2009].CONCLUSION
There were still others including Eli Fuller, environmental activist and a passionate Marine Biologist, Educator/Principal of the Mc Chesney George High School on Barbuda, John Mussington and political activist for “...Transparency and Accountability, attorney- at-law, Vere Bird III, Leader of the group “...Lone Wolf,” with member Jim Galloway. Both were arrested by seemingly overly officious Law enforcement personnel and charged with “...Obstructing Police,” while conducting a “...lawful and peaceful Picket” [Jan. 21, 2013]. There were other “...Advocacy Groups” such as the oblivious “...National Movement for Change (NMC) led by Alistair Thomas and Jameison ‘Kublai’ Mannix, who had engaged themselves in several protests across the nation. They had also mounted protests against the “...Carlisle Bay Hotel Expansion Project; ...Bendals School Incident that saw the “...Community Activism” rose over the disastrous amputation of a Student’s leg from “flying dynamited rocks” and the “...choking dusty atmosphere enveloping the Bendals community and residents;” ...Point Fisheries Project; ...Sunshine Hub and Parking Lot; ...spearheading the protest with the Nurses Association against imports of “...Cuban Nurses. Then there was the defunct “...Lock Up Movement Party (LUMP),” then headed by Winston Derrick and “...Concerned Citizens,” then led by E. T. Henry (deceased).” The latter had comprised of prominent citizens, including renowned multi-business owner George Ryan. Many among the membership were said to be of “...financial substance, while others said to be of straw.” This group was said to have been descended into oblivion when influential members were said to have been “...favored with livable-earning positions for their souls, political allegiance and/or support.” Thus, while some may have gained more “...Substance, others had lost their Straw.” These, therefore, represent not only some of the “...Changing Scenes of Life,” but also “...human frailty; ...vulnerability; trials and tribulations; ...avarice; ...perseverance; ...resilience; ...convictions and jeopardy.