Independence, sedition and legislative violence

Of Independence, sedition and legislative violence: how elitist laws have damaged the nation

By Dr Tye Salandy
September 02, 2019
UPDATED: September 03, 2019

Sedition, careful, careful how you talking … hey hey!

Sedition, careful, careful whey you walking

Incompetent idiots have genuine patriots

Always under escort in the sedition court.

—The Mighty Sparrow (Sedition)

Dr Tye SalandyThe Sedition Act, used recently to charge Watson Duke (and earlier Michael Seales and Abu Bakr), is a dangerous law that has no place in our law books. This Sedition Act, along with marijuana laws, anti-loitering laws, vagrancy laws, and obeah laws, is part of a long list of colonial laws that are still on the books.

These laws were colonial weapons enacted to control and police black and brown bodies and create a society to mostly suit European and elite interests. So it is not that these laws are archaic, as argued by some, but rather that they were abusive and ill-conceived in the first place and certainly have no place in our modern society.

The Sedition Act, in particular, has been weaponized against the trade union movement, Black Power protestors and other persons who expressed views that challenged the colonial and post-independence authorities. All these laws have contributed to the underdevelopment of our country by denying the public access to a wide range of views, especially from those who have alternative perspectives.

The particular danger of laws such as the Sedition Act is that, given their origins, they are ambiguous and can be selectively activated at any time in ways that are against our democracy and free speech. There are other laws that can ensure a balance between the rights of free speech and responsibility.

If we were to look through the archives, especially around election times, I suspect we will find many cases of politicians making war statements that are seditious in the context of the Sedition Bill. Yet they have never been charged. Another example of how these laws are selectively used to crush protests was when anti-drumming laws were used to stop a protest during the Summit of the Americas.

Certainly, any discussion of the validity of a law must include the original intent of the law. The Sedition Act of 1920 was used throughout the English-speaking Caribbean to repress dissent and resistance to the British empire.

The 1919 Labour Uprisings and Legislative Violence

The early 20th century was a significant period in the development of modern T&T. On one hand, the heterogeneous interests of coloniality that consolidated itself after emancipation continued to control the society. On the other hand, working-class resistance continued as soldiers who fought in World War I returned home with sharpened racial consciousness, given that they fought for Britain yet experienced deep and blatant racism there.

In 1919, just one year after the end of World War I*, utility workers, dockworkers and railway workers went on strike against the backdrop of low wages and racism. Later in the year, dockworkers again went on strike, forcing businesses to close and chasing away the scab labour replacements. In response to the turbulent events of 1919, local whites were armed, marchers were fired on, arrested and some leaders were deported, British troops were increased and repressive legislation was passed to control dissent.

One of these pieces of legislation was the Sedition Act that was passed in 1920, just one year after labour riots. It followed a string of colonial legislation, from emancipation onwards, that also included the Vagrant, Rogues and Vagabonds Ordinance amendments (1838), Masters and Servants Ordinance (1846), Summary Convictions Ordinance (1868), Peace Preservation Ordinance (1884), the Shouter Prohibition Ordinance (1917) and Habitual Idlers Ordinance (1918).

The Sedition Act aimed to clamp down not only on speech but also publications that were seen as threats to the colonial order. Marcus Garvey’s newspaper, The Negro World, which was read across the colony, was one of the targets of this legislation, along with a long list other banned literature, which included Marxist, anti-imperialist, trade union and Black publications.

The Seditious Trio: Garvey, Elma François and Butler

Marcus Garvey would again become a target when he planned to visit Trinidad and Tobago in the 1920s. According to historian Jerome Teelucksingh in his book Ideology, Politics, and Radicalism of the Afro-Caribbean, the Trinidad Guardian and the POS Gazette (both representing white elite interest) led a sustained defamatory campaign opposing this visit. Such was the fear of Garvey’s message that the Expulsion of Undesirables (Amendment) Ordinance was passed, thereby restricting Garvey from visiting the Caribbean until 1937.

Banning Marcus Garvey did not stop his influence, nor did it diminish the resistance of the working class. The emergence of Uriah Butler, Krishna Deonarine (Cola Rienzi) and Elma Francois was significant in the development of working-class collaboration that cut across traditional racial boundaries.

Even in the midst of more organised labour struggles, there was yet another manifestation of legislative violence. In a brilliant lecture recently at the Caribbean Workers Conference, held at Cipriani College, sociologist Rhoda Reddock expressed that the 1932 Trade Union Ordinance, while opening up certain rights, at the same time limited trade unions in major ways by “limiting membership to wage labourers, excluding small tradespersons, artisans, domestics, small farmers, fisherfolk, self-employed persons etc”.

Also in 1932, the Cinematographic Ordinance was introduced, which in conjunction with the Board of Censors banned films for sexual content, violence, interracial relationship depictions and content hostile to the British empire.

In 1934, the Theatre and Dance Halls Ordinance was passed. According to Gordon Rohlehr in his book Calypso and Society in Pre-Independence Trinidad, the bill required calypsonians to submit their calypsos for approval before they were performed. The bill also banned ‘profane, indecent or obscene songs’ and ‘lewd or suggestive dancing’.

All of these ordinances, Rohlehr wrote, were first aimed at keeping the colonial worker in a sealed vacuum of ignorance about the international nature of the struggle. Second, they sought to block communist and anti-imperialist ideas, and third, to prevent the emergence of the racially aware Black worker.

In the words of the banned calypso ‘Sedition Law’ by calypsonian King Radio: “They want to license we mouth, they don’t want we talk, they mean to license we foot they don’t want we walk”.

This legislative violence continued in the arrest and trial of Elma Francois and Uriah Butler for sedition. Elma François was the first person—and woman—in the history of T&T to be tried for sedition. She defended herself and won the case, while Butler was convicted and jailed.

In spite of the attempts, the first half of the 20th century was filled with many ordinary, unknown men and women resisting colonial, social and legislative violence. They worked towards decolonization, universal adult suffrage, and rights for women, trade unions, domestics and the working class in general.

However, as local writer Gerry Kangalee explains: “When the people of the Caribbean after the Second World War demanded independence and control over their destinies, we were diverted with political independence under the rule of middle-class professionals who implicitly supported capitalism.”

In fact, it seems that British colonial authorities deferred granting independence to Trinidad and Tobago so that the radical trade union leaders (who would have been more likely to upset entrenched dominant elite interests) would not get into the corridors of political power.

Independence and the Threat of Unruly Natives

Despite the rhetoric of ‘massa day done’, Trinidad and Tobago’s transition from a colony to an independent republic did not shatter the global context of imperialism, nor did it transform the internal inequalities and colonial hierarchies.

Certainly, the corridors of political power were opened up to non-white persons, but the systems of colonial education, the colonial laws, the inequalities of land and resource distribution, and the ideologies of race, colour, gender and class superiority/inferiority continued. This led Caribbean thinkers to describe the country as a plantation society and economy.

CLR James writing prophetically in 1932 said clearly that no one expects that these islands “on assuming responsibility for themselves, [would] immediately shed racial prejudice and economic depression”. He goes on to say that the post-independence leaders will disappoint, deceive and betray the people.

Similarly, Frantz Fanon in his chapter The Pitfalls of National Consciousness, in the book The Wretched of the Earth, wrote that the “national bourgeoisie identifies itself with the Western bourgeoisie, from whom it has learnt its lessons.”

After Independence, Prime Minister Dr Eric Williams set about to make changes, however, his rootedness in British academia and middle-class background did not allow him to think outside of the boundaries of western capitalist development. Thus, in post-independence, we see a continuation of the repression of the colonial era.

The 1963 Mbanefo Commission to root out leftists, subversives and radicals; the house arrest of CLR James; and the brutal repression of the Black Power movement were all Jamesian and Fanonian prophecies painfully coming true. In addition, like the colonial period, we also see the use of legislation to brutalise dissenting voices into compliance.

The 1965 Industrial Stabilization Act aimed to block strikes and minimize subversive elements in the oil and sugar industries. The Public Order Bill pioneered by Karl Hudson Phillips in 1970 was a draconian bill (See Chalkdust’s calypso Ah Fraid Karl) that was met by widespread opposition before it was pulled. Yet political scientist Hamid Ghany expressed that the elements of the Public Order Bill were reworked into other pieces of legislation, including the Firearms Act 1970, the Sedition (Amendment) Act 1971, and the Summary Offences Act 1972.

It is by no accident that the Sedition Bill (and others) that has recently come under scrutiny was amended following the Black Power uprising. In fact, activists and leaders of the 1970 Black Power era felt the brunt of this law as they were jailed at Nelson Island and later charged with sedition.

Just like in colonial times, public dissent and disturbances inspired elites to pass legislation to consolidate their grip on society and to discourage persons from expressing views that threatened the status quo. So when in 2016 our minister of finance, Colm Imbert, boasted that despite continuously increased gas prices the people have not rioted yet, it is a long history of legislative violence that has brought us to this passive place.

Lessons of History

Looking back at the history of legislative violence, mainly against ordinary black and brown people, two lessons are clear. Firstly, despite some legislative improvements, many laws on our books from a colonial genesis were never meant to protect the interests and rights of the masses of persons. Quite the opposite, both colonial and post-independence elites used legislation as a weapon to maintain the status quo and stamp out dissenting voices.

This is made worse by the ‘savings clause’, that maintained colonial laws that would have been invalidated by the new constitution. In other words, although independence brought a new constitution, the ability of ordinary Trinbagonians to experience the full range of rights in it was limited by the ‘savings clause’ that elevated backward colonial laws over the new constitution. Trade unionist Cecil Paul gives a very strong example of this here.

Secondly, 57 years of independence has shown the elite have little interest in overturning backward colonial legislation in a manner that is needed to bring new development to the society. The elite reaps the economic, social and political benefits of the present plantation society and economy.

In addition, they do not feel the brunt of the poor decisions that they make. They send their children to the ‘best’ prestige and private schools; family members often have lucrative state contracts; when they get sick, they don’t line up in public hospitals; and armed guards, gated communities and elite neighbourhoods generally keep the violence and crime at a distance. So there is no urgency to address the basic abc issues in our society.

Just look at how many mainly ordinary citizens continue to be brutalised by marijuana laws despite government acknowledgement (almost a year ago) that the law is problematic. It is in this context that the formation of a better Trinbago could only come from more informed and active citizens, vibrant social and economic co-operatives and more inclusive and robust public dialogue.

The brightest moments in the nation’s history was when its citizens stood up for freedom and revolted against [legal] slavery; when they stood up for labour rights despite legislation that sanctioned employer powers; when they sang, beat drums, played steelpan, marched, protested, worshipped, wrote, and wined in opposition to elitist colonial and post-independence laws and policies.

The best of the Caribbean has come from the seditious nature of the people. The most powerful aspects of Caribbean culture (think Kweyol, Reggae, Calypso and Steelpan) and the most important advances our country has ever made have come from this spirit of resistance. It is the inherent right of human beings to express different views, to question authority and to challenge unjust laws.

Although repressive colonial and post-independent legislation has weakened protest movements and pacified and divided working-class resistance, no legislation (including the Sedition Act) can close the eyes of those who see or the eyes of those who will see in the future.

To close with the words of Sparrow: “The people of a country shouldn’t ’fraid to talk their mind /If you guilty here is straight to jail without a fine/Betrayal of the people’s trust, to me is much more dangerous/Than what they talking ’bout”.

Dr Tye Salandy is a sociologist and independent journalist. He can be reached at tyesalandy@gmail.com (A shortened version of this article appeared recently in the Trinidad Express)

* CORRECTION: This article previously stated “In 1919, just one year after the end of World War II…” This has been corrected to “In 1919, just one year after the end of World War I…”

17 Responses to “Independence, sedition and legislative violence”


  • It is almost frightening with the swift and almost cohesive calls coming from intellectuals to get rid of the sedition Act. While i do respect the right of individuals to speak their minds and add their two cents into the argument, I also see this as trend as dangerous towards the rule of law and order. I agree with the Prime Minister where he advocated (tongue IN cheek) to get rid of all “old” laws.

    There is a feel of intemperance with the way the media and its adherants vehemently attacked the use of this law. ONE gets the impression judging from this intemperance, that this law does not reside on the law books of this land. Im not arguing for or against this law. What i am against is the “rush to repeal” without proper presentation of the arguments (for or against)

  • The last i checked, we are a democracy and a nation of laws that ALL should abide by. I agree there are laws that we may like and dislike equally. But as a democracy we do not choose which law we should obey and which we should not. I also expect the media to be an informative source by which we should get a better understanding of how the laws apply to us all. So what if Sat Maharaj and Watson Duke are charged with sedition based on current law? Does it make the law less relevant or does it make the law less reflective of the acts of sedition under which they are charged? The law is the law. While it remains on the books to which we all adhere it is as relevant as any crime committed.

    Rather than jumping and talking about its colonialist past, why dont we present arguments through the relevant mediums such as
    media, law journals, community orgamizations, party groups, interested parties and interested imdividuals before deciding that it should be repealled? WHY SHOULD I as an ordinary citizen feel compelled to agree to repeal because Dr Sheila Rampersad said so? There is a feeling in our society that some individuals are more important than others because they do not have the same level of education or competence and that is wrong.
    Let us make the arguments before putting the issue to the people to repeal or not to repeal.

    Im tired of intellectuals making decisions for us before we can have a sober conversation on whether a law is good or bad for us.
    There is a process for repeal and we should not jump the gun and follow the meanderings of people who believe that they are intellectually superior to common folks. In the meantime the media should slow the temperature of arguments for repeal and try to educate us about what an act of sedition really is.

  • PM’s misplaced sarcasm on sedition

    Daily-Express-Editorial
    September 01, 2019

    IN yet another characteristically flippant response to an important public issue, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley presented the country with the false choice between the archaic 99-year-old Sedition Act and the expression of “disparaging, hurtful and damaging statements…”

    Completely dismissed by him was the point made by this newspaper and others about the need to review the law to bring it in line with the values of a modern democracy.

    With all-too-familiar sarcasm, he suggested the country might also consider ridding itself of the Trespass and Act and even the law against murder.

    It is perhaps too late to expect Dr Rowley to mature out of an instinctive attitude of defensive bristling at every criticism. For, if he weren’t so quick to the quip he would see the issue being raised is not about the age of the law, per se, but about its framing and relevance in a contemporary context. To suggest, as he did, that critics are complaining about “how old the Sedition Act is and it is time to get rid of it” is an outright misrepresentation.

    If Dr Rowley were to spend a few minutes reviewing the long list of Cold War-era “Prohibited Publications” attached to the Sedition Act, the obsolete nature of the law would immediately become clear to him. Among them, for example, is Granma, the official voice of the Communist Party of Cuba, with which the Trinidad and Tobago Government enjoys very cordial relations. Today anyone can access Granma online at will.
    Full Article : trinidadexpress.com

  • Can anyone say with some clarity that some aspects of corruption come under the sedition act i.e. acting against the state where economic crimes are committed?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yq3TQoMjXTw&feature=youtu.be

  • Kian wrote:
    “Rather than jumping and talking about its colonialist past, why dont we present arguments through the relevant mediums such as
    media, law journals, community orgamizations, party groups, interested parties and interested imdividuals before deciding that it should be repealled?”

    I would suggest that Dr. Tye Salandy did exactly that which Kian is requesting.His article logically outlines a brilliant, factual and historically accurate analysis of the sedition laws and sound reasons why these laws are archaic.
    Unfortunately we have a Prime minister who is intellectually bankrupt and to make matters worst, he relies on a Cabinet of stumbling court jesters who are equally incompetent.
    I expect to be arrested soon for sedition when these comments are made public.

  • This PNM gov­ern­ment is mis­us­ing the sedi­tion act in an at­tempt to in­tim­i­date peo­ple who speak out against it.
    Once again the Police is acting as an arm of government in support of the PNM. This is not new. This duplicity involving the Police occurs repeatedly around election time and is manifested in a variety of forms in order to ensure a PNM victory. This time it is sedition.
    It will work with the PNM base.Look at Kian’s response and I suspect that he is educated!Pity!

  • Not being a person with much letters before and after my name, and not a holder of one of the traffic light colored shirts, (red, yellow or green) I decided to look up the meaning of the word ‘sedition’ in an English Dictionary, most likely written by some colonial master, but a dictionary nonetheless.

    SEDITION – conduct or language inciting rebellion against the authority of a state; an offence that tends to undermine the authority of a state.

    Now if that is a law that was written to control and police black and brown bodies, and create a society to mostly suit European and elite interests, then it would mean that there is no such law in these European or so-called First World countries, and Keith Rowley, who did not write the law, is intellectually bankrupt and relies on a Cabinet of stumbling court jesters who are equally incompetent. Meanwhile, our Opposition Leader is a Greek scholar.

    Just checking.

  • TMan, I submit to you that Dr. SALANDY’S opinion is only as relevant as the reasonining he submitted. The law that is now being bashed by many did not put itself into our law books. Sure Dr. Salandy offered suggestions that appeear to be reasonable and sober but does that mean that people as less seditious now that when the law was enacted? There are arguments to be made to keep this law on our books as well as those against. All i am saying is that as a democracy we should be able yo present our arguments to the people before any consideration is given to repeal.

    Your opinion is that Dr. ROWLEY is intellectually bankrupt but does that make your argument any less bankrupt? We sometimes take ourselves too seriously when we have a differing opinion and thats why conversation is absolutely necessary when dealing with matters like this. The laws governing civil society must be exhaustively pursuasive towards fairness. Sedition is real and if used without regard to proper civility can be disruptive and can create chaos.

  • “Sedition is real and if used without regard to proper civility can be disruptive and can create chaos.”(KIAN)

    It has certainly disrupted the life of Watson Duke and his family. His house was searched, his electronic devices were seized, his nine year old child’s room and electronic devices were confiscated,his wife was under police guard and surveillance at her place of residence and he lost access to his personal data and information relevant to his role as leader of his union.

    Why? Because he spoke out against the government and its leader, King Rowley.
    Duke is a colourful union leader, in the tradition of former leaders. He uses metaphors to effectively communicate with his people. His use of the words “fight” and “die” in the context of his speech, which was made over ten months ago, were obviously metaphoric expressions made to emphasize the importance of his cause. To literally interpret these words as sedition reflects the stupidity of the Police and the DPP.

    When the MP for Laventille ordered his constituents to drive a stake with the balisier on top into the hearts of the UNC people, was that sedition?

    It is reported that this all began after Duke told the PM privately to shut his f*****g mouth in response to Rowley’s description of public servants as being lazy.

    • It is difficult to prolong a conversation when facts are substituted for personal taste and flavor. TMan, you could not care a rat’s behind about Duke but to make your point about the man Indians love to hate ‘King Rowley’ you intentionally changed Duke’s behaviour to a criticism of government. This is dishonesty. If you want to make a point, make it on reported facts not coloring it to suit your argument. Duke was not charged for using ‘colorful’ language. Duke used language to the effect of (spreading dead bodies) to create death and destruction. That was the effect of Duke’s seditious language. You write every single day with dishonest intent and expects to be considered as a person who is serious about the future of this country.

      Duke is not the only one. Your partisan Devant Maharaj used
      seditious language when he called the catholic schools and told there were bomb in the schools. Based on your reasoning, because Devant is UNC and Indian that is no crime committed. Thats the kind of reasoning we are faced with every day on social media and on this blog. In other words people like you base your ethics not on the act but on who commits the act. Very dishonest.

  • Sir Kian
    I took your post seriously , re-read my comments and could not find statements which were not factual.When in doubt , I used the phrase, “it was reported”.

    Dishonesty is a very serious charge. My criticisms of Rowley is based on my opinion that he is incompetent.
    Am I not entitled to my opinion?
    My opinion is that Duke’s behavior and comments were not seditious but metaphoric.
    Am I not entitled to that opinion?
    Do I have to care about Duke to offer what I believe is an objective opinion?
    Others may disagree but that does not make me dishonest.
    Implicit in your “dishonest” stereotypical label is a certain degree of what I describe as “racism”, either sub-conscious or overt.

    • I don’t write because I want to say something, I write because I have something to say. In our complex society, words sometime go over our heads because meanings can be variable. In this case we are discussing “sedition”, its meaning goes as follows: “conduct or speech inciting people to rebel against the authority of a state or monarch”. To understand its meaning, certain words become necessary to emphasize, ‘conduct’, ‘speech’, ‘inciting’, “rebel against authority”. Taken individually, these words connotes serious intent, not metaphor.

      For example, if TMan goes about cursing all black people and says he wants to annihilate them all, a few of us might not like it, but he is likely to go on with his life without police knocking at his door to lock him up. Conversely, if Sat Maharaj were to say the exact same things, we would expect the police, secret service et al to come knocking at his door and take him down to police HQ.
      Do you know why? TMan is not in a position to ‘incite’, he does not have command of groups of people to ‘rebel’ against the state, his speech does not go beyond self. Sat, on the other hand, can operate ‘with authority’ to command a force into reality. This, in a nutshell is what ‘sedition’ is all about. In a situation like this I don’t see ‘metaphor’ being construed by Sat.

      In this example, if Marcel Montano were to act like Sat, he too should be taken down to police HQ. Sedition can only apply when one has the ability to carry out the act. And that makes such a person dangerous to the state.

      Sure, you are entitled to your opinion but that too is problematic. If you call a leader of a country with 1.5M people, inherited a Treasury’s with only three days worth of cash, a large workforce facing retrenchment, an exhaustively used up credit worthiness, a currency diminishing in value,
      diminished oil production, low GNP, huge indebtedness, wage hikes (agreed to by the previous administration) but no money to effect it ‘incompetent’, then any reasonable thinking individual will view your opinion as biased.

      My blogs speak for themselves. Sure, I will not shy from speaking about race (and I should not) because it is a very complex issued that most people shy away from. It is an issue that is both subtle and misleading depending on how it is presented. We must defend and call out outrageous behavior when the public is confused by it. Many take advantage of our naivety when race is played to accentuate stereotypical behavior. I happen to be one who notice the subtleties of this behavior and will call it as I see it.

  • PM digs in on Sedition Act
    THE Prime Minister said the Sedition Act must be retained to keep peace among groups in TT, and did not think its restrictions on free speech needed to be repealed. Dr Keith Rowley shared his views at today’s post-Cabinet briefing at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s.

  • Sedition is being used as a political tool in some undeveloped countries to silence opposition to dictatorial leaders.
    George Or¬well warned that “threats to free¬dom of speech, writ¬ing and ac¬tion, though of¬ten triv¬ial in iso¬la¬tion, are cu¬mu¬la¬tive in their ef¬fect and, un¬less checked, lead to a gen¬er¬al dis¬re¬spect for the rights of the cit¬i¬zen.”

  • A few days ago I was in the grocery store and Caribbean Queen played thru the PA system.. Memories came back to when this mega artist came around to say goodbye (to his friends) as he got a recording contract in foreign.. It dawned on me how destructive this sedition act. was/is.. It impeded our recording industry in TT.. not only him as an artist had to flee to ‘record’ his greatness but men like Lyn Taitt also… Yet, Calypso literally financed the development of the worlds recording industry..

    (Ref: Harry Belafonte became the first artist to sell 1 million records with his 1956 hit album “Calypso.”)

    * Vet­er­an ca­lyp­son­ian Dr Hol­lis “Chalk­dust” Liv­er­pool says the cen­tu­ry-old Sedi­tion Act has been a ma­jor hur­dle to artistes through the decades.

    “Ca­lyp­so­ni­ans have faced the chal­lenges of the Sedi­tion Act more than any­body else,” he said.*

    http://www.guardian.co.tt/news/sedition-or-right-of-struggle-6.2.929061.2088692bd1

  • The question of sedition is not germane to Trinidad and Tobago alone. Countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, India and others have from time to time addressed this issue as it relates to the restriction of “freedom of speech” and repeal. In almost all cases, the legislators ended up not repealing but amending the Act, with some sensitivity towards how far speech should be allowed to go.

    My problem is not with the Act itself, the population needs to be assured of national stability and has to be protected from those who wish to go beyond the boundaries of speech using insurrectionist language to destabilize the running of the country. What I have seen so far, is the preoccupation by the media and renowned academics such as Sheila Rampersad, Ralph Maraj and Martin Daley to back the political claims of Kamla to
    use “freedom of speech” to say anything they want against the government.

    Freedom of speech is being used as a “black hole” argument that should superseed any other consideration. It is being used ad infinitum without any restrictions or qualifications to its use to fit the argument for repeal of the Seditions Act. This, to me is dangerous and careless because most insurrections begin with speech against established law. When Kamla was prime minister, a little fourteen year old girl used her “freedom of speech” right to say disparaging things about her. What did Kamla do? She had her Attorney General, Anand Ramlogan confront the infant with a view towards prosecution. She did not dismiss the child’s view as her right to free speech. But she now find that any insurrectionist speech against Rowley should he proctected? Give me a break!

    Isnt the issue of national security one of paramount importance for ALL of us? I am willing to hear from these academics, what would they do if they are confronted With uncheckered speech that would undermine their authority, what would they do? In co sidering repeal of the Sedition Act, there must be considerations given to speech that would undermine the administration of government, promoting ill-will between different races or classes of the population or inciting public order.

    If those concerns are left out of the repeal argument, then it cannot be said that they are really understand what the Sedition
    Act is all about or that we really care about national security.

  • It seems that the T&T Police as well as the DPP cannot be trusted to objectively determine when someone crosses the freedom of speech boundaries when making public pronouncements
    This is the vulgar nature of the society in which we live. Politics and political affiliation contaminate every decision including court rulings made by magistrates and judges.

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