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Aug 5, 2020

S.O.E. Extension Goes Before the Senate

The House on Monday approved a motion to extend the State of Emergency on the Southside for two more months. That extension went before the senate today where it was hotly debated and tonight the upper house also approved that those who are imprisoned will remain behind bars for two more months.  In the senate debate, the views varied – with some senators backing the extension only because of the current pandemic and pressures on policing resources. Here’s a look at how that went with some of the supporting voices.


Michael Peyrefitte

Michael Peyrefitte, U.D.P. Senator

“When I heard senators in this room would argue against this motion; would argue against locking up criminals simply because they have to criticize the government. Even this is not without its criticism of government. It makes me wonder if some of them would cry poverty and one f gunshots were to reach their door step. You talk about getting on the ground and hearing suggestions – none of you have to deal with a mother who is holding a baby in her hands and shots are fired; hit the mother who is holding a baby in her hands and shots are fired and miss the baby by a couple inches. You all can pontificate in here because you don’t have to deal with that.  Our constitution from which this state of emergency emerges – it is the constitution that allows us to put in a state of emergency to protect law abiding citizens from people who seem hell bent on causing trouble and committing crime. We didn’t detain everybody and we don’t believe that those who have been detained have gotten the message. So, the government has decided to extend by virtue of parliament for two months especially since we don’t know what COVID-19 will bring.”


Ashley Rocke

Ashley Rocke, Senator for Churches

“What we are dealing with right now is of our own consequence. We have created these monsters. So, how do we deal with it? I guess the best way we deal with it is to enact proclamation to make sure that the innocent are protected. I support this move not because it is unfair for innocent people who try to live by the law to be harassed and molested by these people who choose the institution of crime. I think it is unfair.”


Osmany Salas

Osmany Salas, Senator for N.G.O.s

“Locking people away for two, three months will not do it and it could actually be counterproductive because they will not be rehabilitated  they may come back to society more angry than when they went in and they will probably be feeling vengeful. So, it won’t solve it. In the long run it will not work. And I am not talking from the top of my head. I have read about what has happened in Jamaica and other countries. And In Jamaica the government has been taken to court for doing something like that as well. So, I don’t put it beyond a citizen’s group to do something similar if we continue to state of emergency as a tool to fight crime when it should not and was never intended to do that. But as I said, these are special times and I won’t stand in the way for this extension.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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