Friday, September 22, 2006

Soca Stars join protest

Richard Charan
Trinidad Express
September 22, 06

Cricket star Brian Lara will be asked to visit Chatham Village, Point Fortin to support the protest against plans to construct an aluminium smelter on Trinidad's southwest peninsula.

Football great Dwight Yorke will also be petitioned for help to convince Government to reverse its decision to allow industry giant Alcoa to build the billion-dollar plant on the 3,000-acre site.

The move to get the two sportsmen on their side was disclosed yesterday when protesters were joined by rapso artistes Roger Roberts and Wendell Manwarren from the band 3Canal who came from North Trinidad with members of the Keith Noel 136 Committee, and radio personality Anil Roberts.

This followed two weeks of camping out by residents and supporters at the entrance to the proposed industry site at Food Crop Road.

The visitors brought food and drink for the people keeping vigil at the site, where workers are using equipment to test the soil ahead of a decision on if to construct the smelter on the land.

Anil Roberts said an advertising campaign was being launched on the environmental and social impact of the plant.

He said: "The whole country is motivated. Brian Lara throughout his career has been involved in charitable work. He is very interested in the health of the people. I know this personally and when he comes back (from India) we are going to invite him down here."

The protesters briefly barricaded the road leading to the proposed site but police reported no violence or arrests.

The 3Canal group sang their anti-establishment songs, "Talk Yuh Talk", "Revolution" and "Salt" to a protest group of around 150 people.

Roger Roberts said yesterday was the start of a campaign where the camp would be visited by several singers including Destra Garcia, Shurwayne Winchester, Maximus Dan and Kees Dieffenthaller.

He said that the issue was now national in scope, and "not because we are living in gated communities mean we are not affected by this which is a backward step".


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