As the country moves to bid farewell to murdered “angel” Andrea Bharatt, mobilization of candlelight vigils are continuing in some of the most far-flung areas of the country.
Already Guardian Media has compiled a list of 102 mass demonstrations and vigils which popped up over the past week in eight dozen communities across Trinidad.
At Quarry Settlement in Siparia, one such vigil was being planned for Thursday night, the day before Bharatt’s funeral.
Scores of residents, friends and family of Rachel Logan prepared candles, posters, banners and placards.
Speaking exclusively to Guardian Media, Logan’s sister Michelle Sinanan said she never received counselling after the trauma of seeing her sister’s bloodied lifeless body spread-eagled on her bed.
“Its not easy dealing with this. There are days and occasions- Christmas, birthdays- when the children will be calling because they need her and she is not there. The rest of the family who saw her dead are not functioning as normally as they should,” Sinanan revealed. Logan’s ten-year-old son was the only one who got counselling but he also is not the same.
She said when Logan died, they too planned to do a demonstration but COVID-19 came around and the restrictions prevented this.
“We wanted to protest to bring about change because a restraining order doesn’t help you anymore. If they bring back the hangman or corporal punishment, these abusive men will have fear. They will think if I kill this woman, they will hang me. If I hurt her I will be punished so they will have fear. Something has to be done because this situation is not nice,” she added.
As a survivor of domestic violence, Sinanan said she wanted to bring help to women. She explained that she too could have been killed because of domestic violence but in 2014 she also walked away.
Meanwhile, hundreds of people from the communities of Plum Mitan, Charuma and Biche staged a candlelight vigil and marched along the Cunapo Southern Main Road on Wednesday night.
The vigil was organized by the Biche Sports Club to highlight the recent spate of domestic violence, particularly against women.
The club’s president Cyril Jagdeo said it was important for citizens to support each other during this “terrible time.”
“Our hearts go out to everyone who has lost a loved one. We are totally against domestic violence. Women are supposed to be able to walk the streets as free as possible,” he said.
He also had a message to the men.
“Men you need to control yourselves. Women need to be respected. They are not targets, they are not prey. They are human beings like yourself and they need to be respected,” Jagdeo said.
Cathyann Thomas-Baksh, who also marched said she was concerned about the plight of vulnerable women and children.
“We just want to make a change. Anything that we can do to make a change we will do it. We just want a stop to all the violence against women and children,” Thomas-Baksh said.
A total of 21 vigils, marches and motorcades are scheduled for today to commemorate the life of Bharatt.
Among the community groups participating is the Caldrac Club which will hold a one-hour vigil between 6 pm and 7 pm, in memory of Anisa Ali, who was shot and killed in October 2016, during a robbery at the Club.
There is also going to be a rally to the Red House from 11:30 am. Marabella residents will be engaging in a national petition for the government to fix public transportation.
Pensioner Bhoopat Rampersad, a Retiree of Don Miguel Rd, San Juan is planning a Nationwide Walk against Crime for seven days starting today, the day of Bharatt’s funeral.