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On Saturday June 21st 2014, I attended the free Concert hosted by Pan Trinbago and the Deputy Mayor of the Port of Spain City Corporation [advertised in the Express Newspaper of June 17th on pg.44 – the final line of the article stated that the “public is invited”] in honour of the 83rd birthday of Steelpan Pioneer and Icon Anthony Williams at the St James Amphitheatre. I arrived at the show around 8.10 pm, greeted by the sweet sounds of White Oak Starlift. As I listened to Starlift, I greeted other friends and colleagues, among them, Owen Serrette, Past President of Pan Trinbago, a very respectable man and old family friend. I then walked around to see if my Pan buddies had arrived.
I was approached by Richard Forteau, Secretary and Keith Diaz, President [resplendent in African garb]. Richard Forteau in an intimidating tone addressed me saying “That’s the man!” to which Keith Diaz responded “Oh he is the man?!”

They both walked away from me and proceeded towards the entrance of the Amphitheatre. A short while after Allan Augustus, Trustee a.k.a. “Pablo” approached me in a very abusive manner, sticking his finger into my face saying, “You always writing terrible things about Pan Trinbago on When Steel Talks, for that, you must leave this function now!”
Allan “Pablo” Augustus, with his hands all over me, then proceeded to push, bully and physically assault me out of the St. James Amphitheatre, with his stated threat, “if I see you anywhere and at any Pan Trinbago function again, I will beat you up.”

I said nothing to Allan “Pablo” Augustus during this ordeal, as I realized then, the possible consequences of being there all alone. I calmly left the scene and walked into the St. James Police Station, located one building away from the Amphitheatre, making a report of the entire incident to the Police.
PC Telesford then suggested that we both take a walk back into the Amphitheatre where the incident happened, and after walking among the patrons for a while, Allan “Pablo” Augustus could not be seen or found.
We then returned to the station where an official report was written up on the matter and I was provided with my receipt [Citizen Report Receipt # A 037132, St James Police Station – Assault].

Summary Offences Act 11:02 clearly states that such actions as stated above, the persons involved can be prosecuted.

This is the second police report in as many months I have made in relation to these threats as an ordinary citizen of our Republic. All I do is write information in my articles as a Pan supporter/lover. My conscience is clear. You bully, assault and intimidate citizens of our country when they criticize and write the truth as they see it?
Why must members of the present Executive deny citizens of their right to freedom of speech?
My only hope is that one day we in Trinidad and Tobago can be proud of a world class Pan Organization that is reflective of a properly managed 21st century model.

Several questions can be raised arising from this incident!
[1] Does the behaviour reported above represent dignified conduct for any Executive Member who represents our nation under the umbrella of “World Governing Body for the Steelpan?”
[2] Is it right for any executive of the Pan body (at State expense) to be bullying and intimidating ordinary citizens of our Republic, for asking simple, direct questions of how our Trinidad and Tobago Tax dollars (not your personal money) are dispersed, spent on Pan culture and accounted for?
[3] Do they also believe that the outstanding payment of the 2013 Festival Prize Money to steel bands [now owing for over seven (7) months], despite the huge profits made from Panorama 2013 & 2014, that the “World Governing Body of the Steelpan” would earn world respect?
[4] Can the current Executive members truly claim to be “defenders of the Steelpan and the Pan Players of our land”?

I would like the present executive, especially Allan “Pablo” Augustus to know that I will never be intimidated, bullied or threatened into submission by them.
I am a law abiding citizen of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, and I am entitled to all rights under our Republican Constitution.
I love the Steelpan, our national Instrument, and most of all I love my country and I am prepared to die for it.

Bertel Gittens
Proud citizen of Trinidad and Tobago.

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In T&T???

My name is Leslie Michael Jordan I am a foundation member of St James North stars, formely Pan Am North Stars, now defunked, since 1958 and a "Protege of Anthony Williams" I'm at this present time the Ceo of S.N.S.E. (St James North stars Steel orchestra Enterprise), I believe that it would be in "Your best Interest", to retain an attorney to file a litigious Physical Abuse suit against these "Morons", the Ampritheater is public domain, they have no right to put their hands on U in the first place, and as for Pantrinbago President, he's not even suppose to be still in office, his 3 year term has expired, accordance with the Fifth Session Second Parliment Republic of Trinidad & Tobago, Act No. 5 of 1986, section (8) in the Constitution and Rules of

Pan Trinbago, his three (3) years has expired, he ceased to be in office only by"Election", injunction or not, he is in violation of the Constitution of Pan Trinbago...

Hi Bertel,

Been away from the forum for awhile ....truly sorry to hear about that unfortunate situation with executives of the steelband organization in Trinidad. Your alleged statements have been confirmed by a witness ...this puts more credibility in what you have stated. ......

Has there been any response from Pan Trinbago?

What are you going to do about this? ....any form of bullying is a crime against humanity.

It is hard to fathom that in 2014 we still seem to have ON behavior as regard  the steelpan activities ...and especially coming from the land of pan. ......this is not good for pan and in today's world of social media, Pan Trinbago should know that whatever they say or do ...the whole world is going to know about it.............Of course they will have their version of events.. 

We need to move beyond this type of war of we against them ...pan belongs to all of us.

Salah

Salah,

I think the "war of we against them" must continue until we have an election, we must not look lightly on the Dictatorship of the present administration.

Should they win the next election all pan people would give them their support but until then let the war rage.

Pan truly belongs to all and let it be known to anyone that leads the World Governing Body the world is watching their every move.  

I don't get this at all. The man physically assaulted you, you reported the incident! A police officer went with you back to the scene, but, of course, on seeing the police, Pablo "disappeared". He couldn't have gone far?! Why didn't you, and the officer, ask to see Diaz, and Forteau, who, instigated the bullying!? Pablo was probably hiding near them, somewhere!

Anyhow, you have 2 witnesses, and, as far as I'm aware, nobody is allowed to physically manhandle a person, unless, that person were seriously misbehaving, and disrupting the function!

IMO, you have a good case for assault, and that should bring some bad publicity to PT, who deserve it, ent?

WST members "share" this post on facebook, twitter, TT media, etc. keep this post going...TT public knows nothing about this incident - I read all the 3 dailies, spend quality time on facebook and I only know about this incident today 3rd July

I suggest that the original post/letter to WST (possibly edited for length) be sent as a 'letter to the editor' to a daily newspaper in Trinidad and the conversation continued in the media there! 

I think that all Trinis, even though they may not be ardent about Pan and so readers of WST, should know what is happening because, after all, Pan is part of the Trinbagonian contribution to world culture and what is happening in the organisation is important to all of us.

An Irish statesman said this a long time ago and it is still true today: "EVIL FLOURISHES WHEN GOOD MEN TAKE NO ACTION"!!! Trinidad people are known for talking the talk but not walking the walk.
It's time for pan men and women in T'dad to rise up and WALK THE WALK!!!!

It is alleged that Bertel Gittens was 'beaten up" on the instructions of Pan Trinbago officials.  This sounds very serious, could anyone verify this?

Patrick, It has already been verified by one of our members Gary Dee and his Wife, he has made Comments on this Discussion,

I am questioning the "beaten up" part of the assault. I am trying to avoid the sensationalism. Was he pushed around or was he "beaten up"? I am not in any way condoning the action (s) of the PT officials, but I would think that if Bertel was "beaten up", he may have some bruises etc. Don't you think?

Patrick,

An assault is an assault. If a man is 'pushed around' that is physical assault, punishable by law and reprehensible if done or instigated by the leaders of an organisation like PT. If he is 'beaten up' that is also assault and the charge is the same. So your anxiety to define exactly the level of the assault nay be used by defenders of the PT leadership to draw a red herring across the trail of the investigation. Because they can lead investigators into questioning details like 'was he hit with an open or closed fist? where was he hit: in the face? arm? back? belly/ ; How hard was he pushed? did he fall? And while debating all of this we forget the intention of the assault and the fact that an assault did happen.

I also think that if a man is pushed around in public at a major function, he has been 'beaten up' psychologically  and that is where the 'charge' against the leadership of PT comes into play. It sends a message and the message is: "Criticize us publicly and you are liable to be physically assaulted,"  A sort of 'tonton macoute' / 'badjohn' leadership style.

And this cannot be tolerated.

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