– Ayanna Kinsale
AT least 200 citizens took part in a march against crime around Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain, on Sunday, organised by the group Project 600.
Participants carried white flags with a diagonal black stripe, mimicking the TT flag minus red thereby representing the loss of blood to violent crime.
The group had said it had aimed to have 600 participants, each carrying a flag to represent each of the 600 individuals likely to be murdered annually.
Project 600 chairman businessman Isa Mohammed in his address urged all sectors of TT society to act against crime. He urged faith groups to change their approach, said sports groups must continue their efforts, and called on businessmen to sponsor sport activities. He said the police must clean house, the judiciary improve their conviction rates, and Government and Opposition politicians work out solutions instead of one-upmanship against each other.
Mohammed urged the Prime Minister to show the same leadership against crime that he had shown against covid19.
He told armed criminals, “Enough is enough. Put down the gun.We need peace.
“There are no winners in this war.”
Mohammed said more people must march against crime.
“We’ll come back here as much as it takes, over and over.
“Let us march together, to make Trinidad and Tobago the paradise it used to be.”
Newsday spoke to several Project 600 committee members.
Author/journalist Lisa Allen-Agostini welcomed the turnout, given recent rainy weather. “We wanted 600 flags, one for every person we estimate is going to be lost this year, but we are still happy people came out, walking and participating. That’s what we want – people to be part of the action.”
Events manager Kirk Langton estimated the turnout at 200-plus. “It is an unknown group. First time.
“Success is not about how many people. It is just that we have started, with a few people, owning that space that we want them to own and to have a voice, that protesting can make a difference.
“It will only build.”
Communications consultant Dennis Tayé Allen told Newsday, “I’m standing up for my nephew who was shot in the back of his head buying a cigarette in a parlour 50 metres from his house that he grew up in his whole life. “He was most likely shot by someone who knew him, somebody who knows his mother, his brothers, his sister and who grew up in that same community. I’m standing up in solidarity for people like my nephew.”