I left Trinidad several months before Abu Bakr and his dirty dozen staged their ridiculous coup attempt, but I had already realized he was a blowhard dummy with no real support.
Occasion was an incident in Woodford Square which I covered as a reporter for the Trinidad Guardian that was caused by the city barring off Columbus Square and evicting the vagrants and beggars who had started living there permanently.
The city said the square was for the public to enjoy and not as a residence for homeless people. This caused a truckload of anger from one Yasin Abu Bakr and I found him in the square whipping up a large crowd to go down and “liberate” Columbus Square.
Abu lashed out at the city and the government for various offences against the people. He singled out corrupt judges who were favouring members of their masonic lodges in court, and to my astonishment actually named several high court and appeal judges.
None of the policemen in the crowd moved to arrest him for contempt of court, again most surprising. Then Abu turned to the special branch cops busy taking notes of his speech and told them to write down what he was saying and take it to the Minister of National Security.
He declared he wasn’t afraid of the minister and told the cops he knew where the minister lived and where her children went to school. Well, mamayo, I say is lockup for Abu Bakr tail today, but the cops did not move to take him into custody.
The crowd of mostly black people was by now greatly agitated, so Abu called on them to come with him right then and there and go down to liberate Columbus Square.
He jumped down from the bandstand and moved purposefully in the direction of Columbus Square and the entire crowd surged along with him.
Sorry, the crowd did no such thing.
Less than two dozen young people from that crowd of several hundred moved with Abu Bakr. From their clothes, some kind of uniform, it was clear they were his Muslimeen followers. That was Abu’s total support base, his shock troops he had brought with him.
You didn’t need to tell an old reporter that this Abu was a boo, his numbers spoke his shame.
But it seems his mathematics was poor and he had no shame, as the events of 1990 showed clearly.
By then I was safely out of Trinidad with my family