By Prior Beharry
THE Candlelight Movement will launch a petition on Friday calling for five measures including the use of non-lethal weapons and the fast tracking of firearm users’ licences for women.
A release on Monday stated that the petition will be signed by the Randolph Bharatt, the father of murder victim Andrea Bharatt, and other relatives and then be opened to the wider public.
The Candlelight Movement was formed following the death of 23-year-old Bharath, a clerk at the Arima Magistrates’ Court.
Her death sparked candlelight vigils throughout the country and culminated with a massive one at Woodford Square in Port-of-Spain on the day of her funeral on February 12.
At the vigils, people complained about the high crime rate and remembered other women who were killed over the years in Trinidad and Tobago.
The petition states, “Our citizens are being slaughtered, kidnapped, robbed, on a daily basis, our women and girls raped, or worse, made to disappear, never to be heard from again.
“Our people are safe nowhere, not in our homes nor going about our daily lives. We live in constant fear and trauma.
“By our signatures we insist that this situation cannot continue. We, every creed and every race hereby declare to our Parliament that Enough is Enough, that our people have an inalienable right to safety and security of their persons, and that this can be begun to be addressed by implementing the following:
- Decriminalisation of non-lethal weapons for women including but not limited to tazers and pepper spray;
- Fast tracking system to obtain a Firearm Users Licence (FUL) for women;
- Registration and regulation of PH taxis to create a system that safeguards the travelling public;
- Implementation of a system of control for the issuing of official motor vehicle license plates; and
- A Commission of Enquiry into the Criminal Justice System.
Members of the Candlelight Movement includes talk show hosts, Stephan Reis, Inshan Ishmael and Ian Alleyne as well as activists Phillip Edward Alexander and Avonelle Hector Joseph, radio host Jodi Mohammed and director of the Citizens Union of T&T Felicia Holder. Its public relations officer is attorney Kandace Bharath.
The ceremony to launch the petition starts at 7 pm on Friday at Woodford Square.