This article was added by the user . TheWorldNews is not responsible for the content of the platform.

#BTEditorial – Why the Powda invasion should frighten us

When the senior members of our society say Barbados is changing rapidly and that they are wholly uncomfortable with the normalisation of several negative behaviours, believe them.

The entire country has been absorbed in discussions and analysis of a brazen, well-coordinated invasion of the popular Powda fete, staged at the secluded Vaucluse Raceway in St Thomas.

It has been accepted that attempts at stowaway are common at entertainment events. Many people will concede that in their younger days they were successful or failed in their attempts to enter events at the National Stadium by stealth because they had no money to enter via the gates with paying patrons.

However, what took place in the early hours of Sunday morning was menacing on many counts. The sheer number of people involved in the illegal act was shocking.

The fact that hundreds of mainly young men were involved in a highly coordinated “attack” on the entertainment event has left us dumbstruck.

One can only assume that this was organised and coordinated by some person or persons online. Our law enforcement officials must find out who was behind this raid.

Assembling on a hill at a specific hour of the night, with faces covered to hide their identities, they descended on the enclosed event in a way that terrorised those who could not understand what was happening and if the invading group intended to do them harm.

In the melee, an off-duty police officer attending the event was stabbed as he attempted to intervene in a fight that erupted. A vendor lost a food stall to fire in the confusion and suffered burns, a truck was reportedly stolen, all this while those who paid to enjoy themselves were forced to abandon the event earlier than was intended.

One could only imagine the fear and trepidation of 12,000 people packed into an event and being subjected to what appeared to be a siege by hundreds of young men and some women.

One wonders what would have been the outcome if such a raid was carried out when the Powda event was held, for example, in an unused quarry, as was creatively done one year.

This was an organised crime. There is no other way to describe it. It reminds us of what has occurred in big cities in the United States where throngs of thieves gang together and carry out large “smash and grab” attacks on high-end stores.

With so many people involved, store owners and security are overwhelmed by the number of thieves involved and as a result, the culprits often get away with thousands of dollars in merchandise.

What should scare our law enforcement authorities and government, is the fact that such coordination can be used to carry out much more audacious and consequential crimes.

From all reports that was the second such planned invasion of an entertainment event, and this is still early days into the 2023 Crop Over Festival.

There can be no excuses. This matter should not be taken lightly. The fact that a similar incident occurred at the Damm Jouvert in late May, shows those who were involved were emboldened by the “success” of their last storming.

We endorse the strong statement of Diane Forte, director of sales and marketing at the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation, one of the corporate sponsors of Powda.

“We certainly do not support any type of deviant behaviour. That sort of rowdy disruptive behaviour was totally unacceptable. . . We certainly would hope that we don’t see a repeat of this, and everyone will do what they can to ensure security is even greater.”

With the images of what occurred at Vaucluse Raceway making their way around the world, there is need for damage control and firm assurances that Crop Over is a safe festival and these two acts of storming were aberrations, not the norm.

Read our ePaper. Fast. Factual. Free.