Press Release:- STATEMENT BY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION HON. PHILIP J. PIERRE AT THE SAINT LUCIA LABOUR PARTY PRESS CONFERENCE SEPTEMBER 12TH, 2018
Let me once more express my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Botham jean who was fatally shot by a white police officer in Dallas Texas. Our Party wishes the family strength in these rather unfortunate circumstances and urges all Saint Lucians to remember them in their prayers. Let me say this is not a time for politics. Let us show support and sympathy with the family and friends. I knew the young man and know the family very well.
On Sunday 9th September nine years since the fire at St. Jude thousands of Saint Lucians flocked the Vigie Playing field to register their disgust and disagreement with the policies of the UWP government. The protest march and rally was organized by our own party but evolved into a gathering for all citizens and groups who wanted to send a clear message to the government.
The national protest was attended by Saint Lucians all over the island and from various interest groups including medical professionals, civil servants, teachers, farmers and the youth.
Participants and speakers at the rally expressed their dissatisfaction with the policy direction of the UWP government as it relates to the following:
- Failure to continue work on the St. Jude Hospital resulting in the near inhumane conditions at the George Odlum Stadium. Failure to commission the OKEU Hospital.
- Their total disagreement with the privatization of the OKEU Hospital- a gift from the people of the European Union to the people of Saint Lucia
- Disrespect and lack of consultation with local health professionals in the formulation of health care plans.
- The alarming state of health care in Saint Lucia and the callous and careless approach by the government in handling the situation.
- The intolerance of the government towards dissent by the targeting of individuals and groups e.g. National Trust for state sponsored victimization.
- Complete opposition to the proposed construction of a Dolphin Park at Pigeon Point.
- The proposed plans by the UWP government to demolish structures of historical significance e.g. Parliament Building and the Prisons without consultation and without regard for our patrimony.
- The awards of lucrative government contracts to friends, family and foreigners at the expense of the priority needs of the people of Saint Lucia.
- The abuse and illegal use of the CIP funds which is what is undermining our reputation.
- The gross incompetence of the UWP Government in handling the Range Development in Black Bay resulting in loss of jobs and Government having to pay tens of millions to Range.
The protestors demanded that the government should immediately halt its ill-conceived policies and move swiftly to continue work on the St. Jude Hospital to allow patients and staff to be removed from the George Odlum Stadium.
As to the next steps the opposition will at the earliest possible opportunity move a motion of no–confidence in the government of Allen Chastanet.
The Saint Lucia Labour Party will continue to reach out to the people of Saint Lucia regardless of their party affiliation and interested groups to come together to continue to pressure the government to reverse its policies.
The Saint Lucia Labour Party together with the local partners will continue to peacefully protest and agitate for change and the restoration of good governance to Saint Lucia.
Protest is a human and democratic right and to quote from the website https//righttoprotest – “protest play an important part in the civil, political, economic, social and cultural life of all societies …. Encourage the development of an engaged and informed citizenry. They strengthen representative democracy by enabling direct participation in public affairs”