Turbulence at Sea

In the beginning you really loved me
But I was blind and I could not see
But when you left me, oh, how I cried
You don’t miss your water
Till your well runs dry
You Don’t Miss Your Water, The Byrds

Did you see the news on Thursday night?  Did you see them throw the unarmed physicist off a barge and into the water?
Because on this sweet and sour island, the criminals are the ones whose weapons you can’t see.  Whose only crime is thinking that they deserve better.  Who stand trial for standing up for themselves.
They threw Peter Vine off a barge when he was pleading with a crew of workers, appealing to their conscience to halt the destruction of another piece of mangrove.
A woman poses with a dolphin, and the EMA is silent.  No one is arrested.  No one expresses alarm that we’ve resorted to eating mercury ridden endangered mammals.
No one sees the connection between what we are doing to our seas and the fact that we’re eating mercury ridden endangered mammals.   We’re killing Flipper and nobody cares.
But an unarmed physicist gets bodily thrown into the sea. And I wonder how it go look to people outside of Trinidad, that we treat our own like this.
We might think it’s no big deal, but the language of a video where the white boss looks on while three big black men rough up an unarmed activist.
And those of us who wallow in all our middle class self-consciousness and our working class paranoia about white people not wanting black people to have nutting, will say is no scene.   Will say Peter Vine look for that. What the hell he go on the people barge for. Everybody have a right to do they work.  Like the police have a right to intimidate me with their big guns in town as if we are at war with ourselves.  And the government has a right to spend millions on a useless blimp circling our heads like a cobo that eats sponge cake instead of filth.
An unarmed physicist gets thrown overboard and the President might have a party.
And we kill Flipper to pay homage to the wanderings of a man who walked on water and fished men from their despair and we don’t note the irony.
We destroy the things that sustain us and act surprised when these things turn on us.
We will not question why the prices of fish are so astronomical.  We assume it’s the greedy fishermen.  We accept no culpability for living off the spoils of industries that dump their effluent unchecked into our waters.   We suffer from I never thought when our children are struck down with strange cancers.   We want to eat king fish every day and it never occurs to us that we might be over-fishing.
We’re doing development and we’re doing it large.  Well done, T&T!  Well done.
An unarmed physicist gets thrown off a barge by three big black men.  It’s the stuff of true independence, this.  We really reach where we have to go.
Flipper gets slaughtered and many people have expressed concern, but when do we take responsibility for creating a burden on our resources with our growing demands and our ever increasing levels of waste?
I wonder about public servants who get paid to attend conferences where we sign endless international conventions only to result in unarmed physicists being thrown overboard.
Why did we sign the Convention on Wetlands? What is going on in our education system that is stopping our children who then become our adults from knowing that wetlands are sacred?   What are we not doing to ensure that people have different notions of what sustainable economic and human development means?
Chances are, if you’re putting down a port, you don’t give a damn about protecting coastal areas on a small island, where, according to EMA Chairman and Nobel Laureate John Agard, the sea levels are rising.
Chances are, if you’re killing Flipper you either don’t know or don’t care that dolphins are protected under the 2000 Protocol Concerning Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW) of the Convention for the Proetction and Development of the Marine Environment in the Wider Caribbean Region.
But everybody have to eat a food.   So Flipper will continue to get slaughtered.  And physicists will be manhandled for daring to ensure that the laws of this country are upheld and we will make it through Lent.
All is well with Trinidad.

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