Method

Take a Stand, Not a Seat

In response to a death count of 463 persons killed through crime across Trinidad and Tobago in 2016, a demonstration called ‘Together We Take a Stand, Not a Seat‘ was held at Woodford Square, Port of Spain, on Friday 13th January, 2017. The activity was organised primarily by drama organisation, DMAD Company, lead by Andre ‘Ziggy’ Dillon. The initial goal was to gather at least 463 persons to lie in silence on the ground of Woodford Square, thereby visually demonstrating 2016’s homicide toll. A large fraction of that was achieved, but not the full number. Ziggy was clear in stating that he views positive action against crime as arising personally, from each individual opting against violent or corrupt means.

 

The demonstration began with a few spoken-word pieces by local poets, followed by a performance by DMAD in which actors silently mimed a few common incidents of brutality. As actors were ‘slain’, their bodies were piled onto the Woodford Square grass, followed by the gathered demonstrators lying on the ground as well, as though dead.

After lying in silence for roughly ten minutes, Freetown Collective performed a sombre song before the gathered demonstrators began chanting, “We will stop the bloodshed!” They walked the perimeter of Woodford Square. Large, blue drums of simulated blood were poured onto Frederick Street, to symbolise the blood of slain victims staining the ground. Police were present and lent assistance in manging the flow of vehicular traffic.

The relatively short demonstration ended with few final songs by Freetown Collective, and the demonstrators applauding themselves, the performers, and the police for their assistance, and also acknowledging the dangerous job the protective services are tasked with.

 

Ardia Yearwood-Marchan
http://www.guardian.co.tt/news/2016-08-05/burnt-bodies-found-van

Rosemary Blackburn
http://www.guardian.co.tt/news/2016-08-28/murder-suicide-rocks-trincity

Apphia Janelle-Quamina
http://www.trinidadexpress.com/20160828/news/who-killed-apphia-and-why

Carlene Grant
http://www.guardian.co.tt/news/2016-07-28/spurned-lover-beats-batters-guard-death-relatives-call-swift-justice