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Keeping Vincy Mas safe


The 2005 Carnival is well on the way and the response by patrons has been overwhelming.

It points amazingly to an indication that there must be disposable income around to allow our young people to be willing to spend in the numbers they have been doing.{{more}}

All major shows thus far have been all but sold out, and so too we expect, have the many bars selling bottled drinks been patronized.

Which brings us to the vexing question. How can we as a people assist the Carnival Development Corporation (CDC) in its quest to limit the sale of bottle drinks at events?

We commend the CDC for taking their No Bottled Drinks stance, but feel that, as a society, we need to go further in our quest to ensure that violence is kept to a minimum.

It is a sad fact of our existence that persons drink alcoholic beverages and that some become quite drunk and unable to control themselves. While the majority of Vincentians and carnival lovers are peaceful, decent, law-abiding citizens, there are still, amongst us, the hooligans with a propensity for creating violence. Too often a beer or rum bottle becomes an easy weapon of choice.

It is here that limiting the sale of alcoholic beverages in bottles becomes so very important. It is okay for the CDC to implement their policy at Carnival City, but one wonders what is going to happen on the streets of Kingstown when all of the temporary bars begin to operate.

Only a few weeks ago, at Heritage Square, we saw the Fish Fry organized by the Fisheries Department going beautifully, with families enjoying the food, when all of a sudden one hooligan got into action with his bottles. This has not been an isolated case at that same location. And while we do not want to sound like prophets of doom we expect to see much more of this as the festivities intensify. We just cannot control everyone’s actions.

What we can do, however, is to limit their access to what can readily become improvised weapons.

We know we can rely on the Police to implement their stop and search methods that have been so effective during former years’ carnivals and we urge them to continue to so do. We are however, at the same time, asking the Ministry of National Security to look more closely at the question of disallowing the wanton sale of drinks in bottles in public places where multitudes gather during the festival. Keep it safe.

Are we scare-mongering? We think not. The CDC did not arrive at their policy out of the air. We need to ensure that, as we invite persons to come out from their homes, whether here or from abroad to enjoy the great quality entertainment on offer, that they can do so in peace and without worry. This is how we will ensure that our festival continues to be the greatest summer party anywhere.