The media has been trying to get Brian “Yellowman” Audinett banned from attending other hearings and a letter was sent to the Clerk of the National Assembly requesting just that. The letter was signed by all major media houses. While that request may be a long shot, today, COLA’s president, Geovanni Brackett, and Raymond Revers, found out that they are banned from attending the Seante hearings. You may recall that Brackett and Revers also had an outburst in a Sennte meeting when they shouted at Church Senator Ashley Rocke for voting in favor of Government in a controversial bill. We spoke to Geovanni Brackett today.
Geovanni Brackett, President of COLA: This morning a small contingency of us, 3 of us comprised of Raymond Rivers, Dr. Espat and myself came up to observe and support Miss Burgess. People want to hear what she wants to say so we were here. We were informed by police that there was an ongoing ban on myself, and a ban on Raymond Rivers from attending the house sittings. Now this is a surprise to us because I think that the House Representative knows exactly how to reach out to me to send a letter to say that there is an ongoing ban. That’s the first thing that we were never informed of such a ban. Secondly, after looking at the circumstances, what happened in the house with the attack on the media last week, I believe that there is no – if you’re going to ban members of COLA and president of POPERS for just making a sound or a couple noise in the house as a sign of protest. Then I think an assault on a journalist would warrant a definite ban. I would want to see what would be the reprimand and the disciplinary actions that will be taken against Mister August, chairman of the United Democratic party and Mister Audinett as the Mace Bearer. So we were very surprised this morning that there was an actual ban on us. It was something that caught us off guard, but we are not here to break up the house, that would be counterproductive to what we would want to achieve because we want to support the senate hearing.
We are not sure if the ban against Brackett and Revers is an indication that Audinett will also be banned from the senate hearings. Today, Chair Aldo Salazar started the session with a statement on disruptions in the hearings.
Hon. Aldo Salazar, Chairman, Senate Select Committee: Indeed any disruption, any activity which results, despite the intention – any activity which results in a derogation from the stableness of this chamber is indeed not to be countenanced. Be it as we have seen, in recent times, there has been a decay in the respect that we’ve had for this honourable chamber. Be it as we have seen, the shouting, slamming of documents in a fit of rage, or the hurling of threats and insults at a sitting senator in this chamber for exercising his constitutional and democratic right to vote as he seems fit. To the unfolding of events at our last hearing which caused the disruption of our serious work; such behaviour is not to be permitted and deserving of censure. We must, on both sides, allow our collective conscience to arrest this downward spiral into incivility. After all the majority of our people view such actions as unpalatable. Having said this, I now wish to say that, although as chairman I may not be able to determine the direction of this inquiry, I do have full control of the proceedings of this chamber. I am fully aware that any deviation from the highest standard of behaviour will deflect negatively on me. I am the person who is to take responsibility for what happens in here and I will not allow anybody to give others further opportunity to sully my efforts in this inquiry.
Salazar gave a warning that he would clear the gallery if he had to. There was a definite increase in security today. I n attendance today also was Hon. John Briceno who spoke about the disruption in the proceedings and the ban on Brackett and Revers.
Hon. John Briceno, Leader of the Opposition: Well I am very disturbed that the chairman of the senate inquiry, that the speaker of the house, that the present of the senate would allow a bunch of UDP supporters to come up in these bright red T-shirts obviously with the idea of trying to intimidate the senators and intimidate the witnesses. I don’t think that they should have been allowed to come in the senate with those types of T-shirts in this national assembly. I must also point out that I am very very disappointed that here we have a stop order against Raymond Rivers and Geovannie Brackett that they are not allowed to come into the National Assembly because of their so-called behaviour yet we have no other than the chairman of the United Democratic Party who believed in the most scandalous way along with Yellowman who we have not heard yet if he is going to be fired or not. To allow him to come to the house with his group of people that are here that are here to try and intimidate people. If these two gentlemen cannot be allowed in this assembly, then so does Mister August not be allowed here in this National Assembly.
Fortunately, there was no major episode in the gallery today.