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Police, Womantra says: Don't listen to Machel

YOU might not want to be following entertainer Machel Montano's advice to fete goers to disregarding the police advisory that an unsolicited wine could be a crime.

Police Public Information Officer ASP Michael Jackman reiterated the point he made last week that it is an assault to touch someone without their consent and could lead to arrest.

He also cautioned anyone especially those who hold great influence over others to be cautious when saying things that can often mislead the public and thereby create disorder in society.

During his Carnival 2018 stage debut at Tribe/Red Ants' Stumped at Queen's Park Oval, St Clair on Saturday night Montano told the crowd: “They say yuh could get lock up for thiefing a wine. Allyuh forget that, find somebody to jam. This is Carnival. They will have to lock up the whole of Trinidad and Tobago”.

Jackman noted he was not privy to what was said by Montano, but cautioned anyone looking to incite disorder to breach our laws.

He said, “Gyrating on someone is also considered touching the person. Whether it is a Carnival function or any other function in or outside of the Carnival season, and that person says no by word or by action to a typical type of behaviour then the other person who is about to or is already engaged in that sort of behaviour should cease. It is an assault.”

Jackman said, “I want to make this clear that is important to respect any female's right to say no to any physical touching in or outside the Carnival season, and that is the position of the TTPS.”

Some people have said that they are opposed to this view, and don't mind.

Among the comments on social media: Well go an call d police for me after i thief a wine na.... see if i will be on d same spot when allyuh return. #jamming_fugitive”, “Ladies for carnival walk round with a sign saying permission to wine if no ones behind”,  “To all women who don't want to be touched or wined on for carnival...Stay home...” and “Lucky thing I don't go carnival again yes cuz I not asking permission to jam on no blasted bumper what I doing that for ?? To look like I begging to wine on u??? Noo sahhh”.

Irresponsible says Womantra

Founder/co director of activist group Womantra also condemned Montano's advice.

She stated: “It was completely irresponsible for one of our most talented and recognized soca artistes to use his platform not only to disregard provisions in the law that grant individuals protection from unwanted physical advances, but to suggest that a man's 'right to wine' is more important than a woman's consent.

It would be wise for Mr. Montano to remember his own brush with the law for physical assault before he advises anyone to seek forgiveness, rather than ask permission.  His own distaste for strangers approaching him at Carnival for wine, conversation, autograph or otherwise is also well known. We can no longer allow rape culture to masquerade as national culture. A woman's body is her own, on Jouvay morning and on Carnival Monday and Tuesday too. I have already committed to personally handing out Permission Slips when on de road for Jouvay this year. I've been inspired to add the title, “YA COULD GET CHARGE FAH WINING LIKE DAT, YOU COULD MAKE A  JAIL!”

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