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It's a music festival, not a riot

As usual, I attended the Panorama semi-finals and year after year I am shocked at the police brutality.

Unnecessary situations of violence haunt and mar our festivities for innocent supporters.

Every year supporters bring their bands over the stage, every year they stay to hear their band play and then they go home or lime around, or some would pay and enter the Savannah stands.

Every year these fully armed riot police with tear gas, machine guns and batons beat onlookers who were simply at the end of the stage straining to hear and see their band compete. Why does Pan Trinbago not understand that this is a music festival, not a riot.

I am informed that Pan Trinbago officials on stage called out these specially armed riot police? If so, why?

Did Pan Trinbago or the police understand that supporters love their bands? Are they introducing violence and excessive force unnecessarily?

It appears that Pan Trinbago and riot police officers do not understand excessive force, or crowd control, and do not love pan.

They aim to regiment and deprive the euphoria that pan lovers feel at Panorama, even if it means violently. Is this wise? Is this the spirit of Carnival?

Please Pan Trinbago and Mr Commissioner of Police, there is a lot of room on the eastern and western sides of the stage, and the northern side of the stage is more than wide enough for the supporters to listen to their band. Please, you must find a civilised and orderly way to accommodate band supporters, and please, please stop the brutality in Panorama!

Gary Aboud

via e-mail

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