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Chapter 35 - Giuliani Declares War on Carnival

Why Blacks Fear 'America's Mayor'
Reporting Police Brutality and Black Activist Politics
Under Rudy Giuliani
by Peter Noel

This chapter appeared in a different format in the Village Voice. Republished by When Steel Talks with permission from the author - Peter Noel. Copyright © 2007 by Peter Noel All rights reserved. No part of this article may be used or reproduced by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping or any information storage retrieval system without the written permission of the author.

Giuliani Declares War on Carnival We have insisted and continue to insist that the uniqueness of the West Indian kar-na-val is one that has to be understood in its own cultural context. This is not a parade. We’re not marching. This is not a festival. We don’t put on cultural dances. This is kar-na-val.

—Pan Rebel steelband advocate Dawad W. Philip

PLAYING TO FEARMONGERING BY BILL O’RILEY and his ilk, the Giuliani administration unleashed an army of police, firefighters, and building inspectors who consistently raided a Brooklyn lot occupied by steelband players and masquerade designers preparing for Carnival 2000. The crackdown coincided with borough-wide raids, which disrupted or completely shut down some pan yards, mas’ camps, and backyard parties, and the Giuliani administration’s ban on the sale of alcohol during the nation’s largest ethnic gathering. “Why do we have to take medicine for someone else’s fever?” asked an irate Dawad W. Philip, a steelband advocate. “If people at the Puerto Rican Day Parade got out of hand, why clamp down on us? That’s not the way we behave.” One week before Carnival, a lawyer for the Pan Rebels, Metro, and Nu-Tones steel orchestras, acting on information obtained from Philip, filed a complaint in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn seeking to bar the NYPD from “proceeding with the threatened closure of their assembly and rehearsal location” at 660, 670, and 680 Parkside Avenue in Flatbush. According to the complaint, Philip and steel band captains Anthony Joseph and Anthony Trebuse allegedly had been “informed and instructed by high-ranking officers” that August 24 would be “the last night to practice and rehearse ... since [cops] would be closing down the block” between Rogers and Nostrand avenues. The complaint also named Mayor Giuliani, newly appointed Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, the fire department, and the Department of Buildings as defendants.

Lots previously occupied by steelbands on Parkside Ave. after suspicious fire - picture January 8, 2001 WST

Although the Parkside Avenue steelband players and masqueraders had grown accustomed to sporadic harassment from the Giuliani administration over the years, it was an unusual collusion between cops and Klyn Properties Inc., owners of the lot, that sparked a 10-night, tension-riddled standoff with authorities. Shortly before the new spate of raids, the landlord—bypassing legal proceedings in which he might have obtained a warrant for eviction—filed an affidavit at the 71st Precinct stationhouse, complaining that the steelbands, which occupied three buildings on the lot rent free since 1994, were trespassing. Instead of marshals and sheriffs, the revelers suddenly had to contend with the stationhouse’s private eviction squad. “The cops acted as surrogate marshals,” recalled Philip. “Once the landlord made the call, it became convenient for the police. More than likely they viewed the nightly congestion on the block as a nuisance—these natives running wild—and ordered the place shut.”

Pan Rebels as capture by Basement on Parkside Ave right before NYPD shutdown -  2000 Panorama

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Parkside Avenue today

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Giuliani, Bratton back next month—Griffith -- Trinidad Guadian

Two US crime fighters will be returning to T&T to help improve the dismal detection rate of the police service, says National Security Minister Gary Griffith. Griffith, speaking to the media at the passing out parade ceremony for the latest batch of police officers at the Police Academy in St James, said the foreigners were expected next month.


Trinidad & Tobago be careful what you ask for.


Bugs, this is so "duncy headed".

Why do they expect foreigners without a clue about Trini life , especially the lives of poor people , to have any ideas to offer to Trinis about  law enforcement? in Trinidad?

You mean all the years they've been policing in Trini and police like Valentine Young  and all dem Trini police didn't have a clue?

They need Yankee police, who have their own problems, to show them?

And they bringing Giuliani of all people !

For shame!

You are so right bro. Bugs

Why is it that T&T always look to foreign to solve their problems, all they have to do is look at the income of those committing  these murders then they would see what the problem is.

The problem with this picture is Trinis are always looking outside for validation, these are the same group of con men who are selling their security plan to any third world country that have money to spend.

Giuliani and his former side-kick Bernard Kerik who recently served 4 years in federal prison, knows how easy it is to fool Trini people. I know Giuliani and his security consulting firm don’t come cheap.

Wait till we see the security contractors retired from the NYPD on assignment in T&T executing their crime plans like they do in NY.

People get the government they deserve.

"I Can't Breathe!"

odw this is crazy.  Didn't these people check on who Giulliani is or is this part of a greater plan?


Boys, me too, "I can't Breathe"

This wake me up.  Are these people serious? -  yea boy I can't breathe too.

Merrytones what say you on this?



Nothing surprises me about these folks. Look the average 'Joe' can just Google their names and see what they are all about. This is the man who recommend the ex-con Bernard Kerik to become head of Homeland Security in the Bush administration. What is saddening, you can't teach them in Trini "how to think".

And I thought the Canadian whom the Trinidad government hired as the Police Commissioner had things under control; now they want input from the Americans. Hey, why settle for the imitation and you can get the real thing, right?

Ay Nutones, I guess Batman and Robin wasn't available. They would have been a much better choice.


Lmao @ Bugs!


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