One of the discussions has been about the announcement in yesterday's newspapers that Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj, former Attorney General and recent returnee to the split and weakening Opposition party the United National Congress has offered to take up, pro bono, the case of the community of Chatham/Cap de Ville and environs, against the building of the ALCOA aluminum smelter in their area.
Indeed it's the first time I've seen so much use of the Express newspaper's online reader's comments attached to indvidual stories that they over ambitiously touted as their 'blog'feature.
The prevailing wisdom seems to be that it's a mistake for the community to align itself with Ramesh, given his track record (one of the things that comes readily to mind in his time as AG, he withdrew Trinidad from the UN declaration on Human Rights so that he could hang some people).
Still, as I asked of some people this morning, why haven't other non aligned lawyers come forward? If it is then that the communities are now at the mercy of political bandwagonists, who only bother to hitch themselves to successful popular movements anyway, then is that the naiveté of the communities, or is that the fault of those of us who should know better? Or is it both?
The reality is that an injunction needs to be taken out. The community was as far as I know turned down when they approached Legal Aid. Ramesh came forward and has offered to do the work pro bono.
I think it is the responsibility of all who are concerned about this to keep an eye on what is going on. Ramesh should not be allowed in the manner of ALCOA and our esteemed government, to ride on the backs of the people of Chatham and Cap de Ville.
Indeed it is an interesting development in the anti-smelter lobby. I hope that all the many citizens standing on the sidelines, don't use this as justification for their continued inaction.
Now more than ever we need to give the communities of the south western peninsula our support.