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Monday, December 09, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Mixed reaction in PNM strongholds
“Heat for Keith!”While that wasn’t the official themeof yesterday’s Independent Liberal Party(ILP) motorcade through several northwestareas, constituents of such People’sNational Movement (PNM) strongholds—including PNM leader KeithRowley’s Diego Martin West—expressedconcern about their conditions and eyedILP leader Jack Warner for attention.
Warner touched base with some constituentsduring yesterday’s motorcade,which started in Diego Martin West,continued through Diego Martin Centraland Port-of-Spain North and South,ending with a public meeting at PiccadillyGreens, Port-of-Spain, last night.During the motorcade, Warner said:“This meet-the-people tour is just anextension of what had begun in ChaguanasWest.
“We’re talking about change, tellingpeople they can’t continue to live thisway, seeking an end to corruption andnepotism and seeking the removal ofthe cabal. We are more corrupt nowthan three years ago. We in the ILP aresaying there’s a ray of hope via the ILP.”On the perception that the tours werea vote-seeking mechanism, Warner said:“To change the Government you haveto get votes and whatever means youhave to get the votes, so be it.
”ILP chairman Robin Montano said hehad learnt the PNM had done a pollwithin the last month which showedthat out of every three people in its constituenciesone or two were turning ILP.He said ILP members on the motorcadeincluded ILP supporters from outsidethe northwest communities, as wellas people from those areas.Montano, ILP deputy leaders LyndiraOudit, Anna Deonarine, Inshan Ishmaeland other ILP officials, stood in the trayof a van for the motorcade, waving toresidents and pedestrians along the route.
Warner left his green Hummer to climbaboard another van to wave and greetpeople.The ILP entourage, which featuredmore than six police vehicles, markedand unmarked, as well as a motorcycleescort, was greeted at the start of thetour in Carenage — Rowley’s constituency— by some residents of the area whovoiced their community concerns.
Two ladies in red cheered Warner.Augustine Noel, who has been seekingownership of Chaguaramas land overthe last couple of decades, said he wasswitching his support to Warner, whobacked his cause.A man who gave his name as Damien,of Philip Street, Carenage, said: “I wasa PNM supporter but I didn’t vote PNMfor the past couple years. We needchange.“This Government isn’t doing anythingfor us and Rowley ent doing nothingfor us either. The fish market inCarenage still to complete, so I decideI going green.”
A woman said: “I”m still a PNM supporterbut I came to hear what Warnerhad to say. Right now my mind open.I watching things.”One Miss Luke of Haig Street said:“We in this area went from PNM toUNC and right now I in green. Theykeep promising and promising. Everybodygetting fed up of that. Is time weneed some action.“We haven’t formed any ILP partygroup yet but I went to Warner’s meetings.”
As the motorcade moved east alongthe Western Main Road to Diego Martin,the ILP crew attracted glances frompedestrians and children, some of whomcame out of buildings to watch.Some took pictures. A few waved orswayed to the music of Jack is the Manfrom the ILP trucks.A tall, dreadlocked man in a T-shirtand shorts waved a bunch of bay leavesas the procession passed an outdoor stallin Carenage. Women outside Hi-Lo,Glencoe, waved at Warner.
There was little response in DiamondVale to ILP loudspeaker appeals to “comeout and meet Jack Warner.”But in upper Diego Martin and Covigne,the group attracted slightly moreattention, including a gentleman whohurriedly clamped a green watch capon his head as he drove down to meetthe entourageA bare-backed man near CharlesStreet sputtered furiously at theapproaching procession: “What Jack is?God here?”
En route to Bagatelle, a man who gavehis name as Cecil Hinkson, who waswearing an ILP jersey, ran down the roadto greet Warner with outstretched arms.Hinkson then followed the motorcadea little way on his bicycle.At the Bagatelle playing field a groupof youths holding signs of ILP supportgreeted the procession loudly. A similargroup greeted them at the Petit Valleyintersection.
In Blue Basin, an elderly lady in green,who gave her name as Ms Samuel, brokeout in a dance, waving to the ILP processionas it passed.The ILP received some waves as theypassed through Petit Valley, Alyce Glenand surrounding areas.A person at PNM’s Diego Martin Centralconstituency office peered brieflyat the passing group but quickly shutthe door .
The ILP attracted less attention, savecursory glances in St James and alongAriapita Avenue.On Park Street a man shot a furiouslook at the passing procession, whichran into 4.30 pm traffic as it made itsway down Frederick Street Port-of-Spain.As Warner paraded through the PNMheldseats, Opposition leader Rowleyyesterday headed to Naparima Collegein south Trinidad to deliver his Independenceaddress, according to PNMdeputy leader Marlene McDonald.
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