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Soca artistes differ on police warning: Permission to wine

While police are warning people against gyrating on others without permission during the Carnival season, several soca artistes and band leaders shared different views on the police statement.

At the press briefing earlier this week, police public information officer ASP Michael Jackman said it was an assault to touch someone without their consent.

Soca superstar Fay-Ann Lyons-Alvarez is questioning how the police are going to prevent people from abusing the law. In an interview yesterday, Lyons-Alvarez said while she agrees with it, she questioned what is to stop a person from crying wolf.

“As much as it is good, we also need to let people know that abuse of this will not be tolerated,” Lyons-Alvarez said. “Then you will have to deal with a lot of women in the stations claiming that a man tried to wine on them and that may not necessarily be the case. I think my point is yes, I agree men need to respect women on the road and they need to be very careful that not every woman they see on the road is a participant of that style of Carnival revelry.”Neil “Iwer” George said people taking a wine in a fete or party is a tradition.

“It is normal. If you look at all the history about Carnival, we never had an issue with anybody wining on anyone,” Iwer said. “If I wining behind a woman and she moved, that is it, I just move on. If you go to any fete or soca party, it is always ram, people will be touching on others anyway.”

Kris “KI” Persad said although he understood TT’s culture, people should have discretion during the Carnival season. “We must make sure our women are protected and they feel comfortable as well.

“I understand where the police are coming from, but I don’t think a charge would be suitable. I think it is a bit too far.” General manager of Island People Colin Greaves said his group has always been an advocate for respect.

“Our take has always been to have respect for each other. It is funny that these things are now coming up because sometimes it don’t take an official word but eye contact, and that is all the approval needed.”

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