Fresh Phillip, left, lends an ear to one of the
young men gathered at Crowne Plaza in Port-of-Spain yesterday,
for a second day of meetings to work towards a peace agreement
It seems a rocky road still towards peace as community
leaders continued to thrash out their differences on
the second day of meetingsthis one held at the Crowne
Plaza on Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain, yesterday.
And while many continue to be committed to the fledgling peace
treaty, warring factions unwilling to come on
board are applying pressure to the tenuous bid for unity.
One of the main opposing factions hails from upper Laventille
and has refused to meet.
Late yesterday evening, a council of community leaders
was attempting to meet and mediate with that group.
have to remember this is a process. This is about trust and
trust will take some time, said WASA union representative
A Laventille resident, Muwakil and community activists Muhammed
Shabaaz, Mc Donald Padmore, Foulade Mutato, Lennox Smith,
Archbishop Monica Randoo, Cry founder Lystra Penny, Power
102 radio host Ricardo Gladiator Welch, as well
as representatives from the Ministry of Social Development,
had their hands full as they attempted to cool the escalating
tempers of the young men gathered.
The most volatile moment came when Sean Bill Francis,
a well-known community figure in Morvant, walked out of the
meeting after a few young men refused to forgive and
Frustrated, those who went to the meeting from Laventille,
Morvant and Port-of-Spain, paced the corridors of Crowne Plaza,
while attempts to unravel years of turf war went on for hours.
One young man was seen sporting a rosary wrapped around his
The meeting, which was carded to begin at 11 am, ended at
5 pm with a joint executive committee of community leaders,
community activists and residents being appointed.
However, this new committee raised many objections to acquiesence,
with some factions complaining that the real people
were not part of the board.
Media representatives, banned from the meeting, were told
that a press briefing will be held today from 1 pm at Crowne
Sources confirmed that Kerwin Fresh Phillip of
G-Unit and Kernel Spanish Rodriguez of Beetham
Gardens formed part of the committee.
Chris Bulls of Gonzales was not appointed to the
committee, although calls for the inclusion of him and Paranoid
from Nelson Street in PoS were voiced.
Notably absent were Cudjoe of Crab Connection,
representing San Juan, and Sean Sandy of St Barbs, who
were among the major players at Sundays peace rally
at the St Barbs basketball court.
There were tense moments for members of the media, who were
accused of being papparrazi and of hurting the
Once again, the Ministry of Sport sponsored the meeting.