An Emancipation Day event planned for Castries has the go ahead from the police, organisers say.
According to the Interim Chairman of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement here, Peter ‘Ras Ipa’ Isaac, the rally will be held in the area of Constitution Park.
He told reporters that the theme of the August 1, 2020 ‘celebration’ is : ‘Emancipation Day – Our Story Continues’.
Isaac said the organisers wrote to the Police Commissioner asking for permission to use the William Peter Boulevard and Constitution Park in Castries, and received the go ahead.
He said the organisers have a budget of some $64,000.
“We wrote to the Prime Minister to assist us because as you know, that particular event in our life has not been given the kind of attention it deserves,” Isaac told reporters.
He disclosed that so far there has been no response, but plans for the Emancipation Day activity are going ahead.
Isaac said the organisers have written to the Castries Constituency Council (CCC) and have received a good and positive response.
He revealed that Prime Minister Allen Chastanet and opposition leader, Philip J. Pierre have been invited to attend the Emancipation Day event which is set to begin at 1.00 pm.
It will feature music, poetry, drumming and other activities highlighting the contribution and sacrifices made by this country’s ancestors .
It will also highlight black awareness, black consciousness, Black Lives Matter, economic empowerment and social justice.
“We want Saint Lucians to realise that emancipation is not about a Rasta thing or about a political party – this goes beyond all those boundaries, so we want Saint Lucians to rally together as one people on Emancipation Day,” said the President of the Iyanola Council for the Advancement of Rastafari (ICAR), Aaron Alexander.
He made clear that the observance will adhere strictly to COVID-19 protocols, including physical distancing and the provision of hand sanitizers for those in attendance, while arrangement are being made to stream the programme live.
Laurent ‘Jomo’ Jean Pierre observed that this is a very crucial time in the history of people of African descent.
“It is important that we mark this point in history,” he told reporters.