UWI uproar

Two students detained over campus chaos

By Shane Superville
October 19, 2018 – newsday.co.tt

University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad Main Administration BuildingTWO students of the University of the West Indies (UWI), St Augustine campus are now in police custody after they were arrested yesterday for their roles in a heated students’ protest at the campus’ south gate over an increase in assaults and robberies at the university. The confrontation started around 1.45 pm and ended shortly before 4 pm.

The demonstration, which began as a town hall meeting for students of the UWI’s Student Activity Centre sought to address the concerns of the students over a reported lack of security at the campus, descended into chaos when students blocked the gate and resisted campus security, administration officials and police.

Several students expressed their frustration over the crimes said they were disappointed in members of the campus’ administrative staff absence from the meeting, this led the students to leave the meeting and block the gate to express their dissatisfaction.

Close to 500 students formed a human barricade around the gate preventing the passage of vehicles in and out of the compound and despite several attempts by UWI’s campus security to disperse the crowd, they were unsuccessful. At one point a vehicle attempted to leave the campus, by driving up against the students, but were later instructed by security to use another gate as the students refused to disperse.
Full Article : newsday.co.tt

3 thoughts on “UWI uproar”

  1. Dham, you would not believe that there is RACISM at UWI when ‘negroes’ are being arrested for protesting against CRIMES there.. I think Racism is a Crime too..

    Dem Boy dem Bright we..

  2. This is what you call a “boil over” activity, meaning it was in the pressure cooker for awhile. The student frustration reach this level after years of complaining.

    There is one thing that could be said about students, they “band together” well in a time of crisis. The police should have stand down and allow the protest after all it was only a couple hours of the day. Restraint..

  3. We have to start with the bigger picture, once we deal with that we can go down to specifics. The bigger picture, which I think we have not dealt with in T&T yet, and which we need to have a serious conversation about, is the issue of freedom versus security. Western countries have had to deal with that issue since 9/11 and have come up with some positions on it. We need to start thinking about it. If the bête noir of western countries is terrorism, our bête noir is crime and the high murder rate. The question is – how much freedom are we prepared to give up for security? To explain this more, there is a continuum between absolute freedom and absolute security. We can have absolute freedom and have no infringement on our ability to do anything we want, anytime, anywhere, or we can have absolute security where we are secure but totally controlled by the security apparatus of the state. Hobbes put it as a choice between a “nasty, brutish and short life” and a ruler with absolute power. Most democracies have a balancing act between these two absolutes. We want security but we want to ensure that fundamental human rights are not infringed in the pursuit of power. After 9/11 in the US people were prepared to think about giving up some of those rights (say for intelligence gathering) to achieve greater security. In the US again when crime was high, people were willing to give up some rights to feel more secure, for example in stop and search activities or profiling. In some countries profiling has proven to be quite successful in stopping crime. However it has drawbacks when it becomes for example racial profiling. T&T has been a country that has historically valued freedom, even absolute freedom. We feel we should be able to do anything without interference from the law. If you see a red stop light in the night and there are no cars around, why not break it. If fact our penchant for freedom from the law shows itself on the roads. Our pursuit of absolute freedom has tended to make us a society that looks at law and order very suspiciously, it infringes on our freedom. We have become a lawless society because of this. The law should have no control over us. If it does its infringing on our rights. As a result we have no respect for law and order or for the agents of law and order – the police. Again there are some agents of destabilization who use this conflict between security and freedom to incite and foment destabilization of the state. They call for law and order and when attempts are made to restore law and order they cry – infringement of our rights. The state is caught up in a no win situation. We have to have a conversation on what type of balance we want to have between security and freedom so that we will have some consensus on what, as a society, we think should be done. So now to the specifics. 1. The university can’t hire an infinite number of security guards. There is a limited amount they can employ unless students want to pay more for security. 2. Security guards should institute spot checking of cars entering the university and in the university compound. 3. There should be spot checking of identity cards of people in the university. 4. Patrolling in the night. 5. A meeting between administration and students to discuss these matters.Of course these are just some of the starting points to think about. Since we are dealing with university students, we should expect more light than heat in this matter.

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