Where we stand‎ > ‎News & Comment‎ > ‎

FREEDOM OF (FROM) THE PRESS by Rae Samuel

posted 5 May 2017, 07:31 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 5 May 2017, 07:39 ]
Rae Samuel
Even as King Archie continues to show his fondness for old time calypso, (“Who want to go could go up dey/Me ain't going nowhere'') comrades and friends who should know better seek to make me cry.

Some of them, two in particular,(names withheld so I can have their matters 'part-heard') have suggested that my being still at large on "World Press Freedom'' day is proof of democracy in the media, and, by extension, Trinidad and Tobago.

I have told them that Lasana Liburd, Earl Best and Raf are in the line ahead of me. Besides, I have an iron clad defense strategy. I will do all in my power to appear before real or imagined magistrate Ayers Caesar. Of course I must ensure bail. By the time the matter is called, I will be on the other side conducting interviews with Joe Young, Mao Ze Dong, Claudia Jones and the late Lord Fluke

Every day now we are being made aware that the stench from the judiciary is not coming from the toilets and cells from the holding bays, but rather from the hallowed, now hollowed out, halls of justice. Madame Justice must not only be blind but her nasal passages must be seriously clogged if she has not yet fainted.

Please, please let us not forget that in this 'justice system', the role reserved for the working class man or woman remains constant. It is not the lawyer, police officer or court clerk who has to find more money or spend more time behind bars because court officials are not ‘functus'.

Re: a comment being repeated on the loudspeaker on May Day. It was a claim that none of the major daily newspapers mentioned much about the march. I asked myself if that was expected to be taken seriously. Would the Vanguard carry an ad from the Chambers of Commerce calling for the privatisation of WASA and NGC in the name of "freedom of the Press?" The speaker was at one time reminding that we are engaged in serious class warfare and on the other stating this. Was he confused? What was this supposed to suggest…"Freedom' of the Press?

All serious struggles feature a newspaper oriented to put forward the ideas of those seeking change. Russia had Pravda, China had the People's Daily, and our Cuban cousins have Granma. Liberation, Vanguard, Hold the Fort, Caribbean Contact, the Torchlight were local and Caribbean progressive publications.

Unfortunately there was not one flyer distributed during the May Day march. If that is the approach, how are we going to win the battle of ideas which is so important at this point? Facebook? Twitter? Have the Guardian, Express NewspaperS gone out of print? Not the last time I looked. Media forms a critical part of the mobilisation process

n closing, might I refer to the latest debacle by the present administration? A drunken man or woman who rises after a fall will again lurch. So the State cannot organise sea transport. Then that same State cannot decide if a magistrate is a judge, was a judge and whether said individual is/was/or shall ever be a magistrate again.

Therefore I am expressing no surprise that they cannot import Tendulkar. The truth is that while Brian preferred to have Sachin come for the opening, is that it was not put out to tender, denying Sammy, Ben Stokes and Darren Ganga the option to bid?

Nor could they risk sending an official from the Ministry of Sport and have him/her bring back the captain of the Indian hockey team. Was Michael Phillips a victim of the fall out? Maybe, maybe not! No biggie. He and cycling got their big velodrome. Me, I would have avoided this by naming the main stand after Manohar Ramsaran.

P.S. And if I am not invited to the official opening it would be entirely my editor's fault.
Comments