Press Release:– With Saint Lucia’s current Prime Minister ruling like a king over a kingdom, Saint Lucians must expect, and must respond to increasing acts of high handed action in the days ahead.
Issuing the grim warning to a sea of protesters in Castries on Sunday, October 4, 2020, Political Leader of the Saint Lucia Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Philip Joseph Pierre, put citizens on standby for an uptake in persecution against the SLP Opposition following the successful march.
“This UWP will do anything to stay in political power, so I’m warning you, that next week you may hear something new about Covid-19 because we held our march this afternoon,” Hon. Pierre said.
Citizens defied an obviously coordinated scare-mongering blitz in Parliament and on social
and conventional media by the Government and ruling United Workers Party operatives and
trolls, who fell just short of wishing that the public activity would cause a catastrophic Covid19 spread.
However thousands turned out to register their dissatisfaction against the scary direction the country is taking towards a rogue government.
By their bravery, according to Hon. Pierre, protesters stood up against the government’s use of state power to harass MP for Castries South and SLP Deputy Political Leader, Dr. Ernest Hilaire, over false claims of improper importation of a vehicle; against allowing children to go to school without laptops (as a consequence of a decision to discontinue a free laptops programme by the SLP Government); and against the waste on the St Jude Hospital Reconstruction Project.
But the SLP Leader was grateful to protestors for behaving lawfully to bypass the UWP bait.
There were no known incidents with police, who were out in numbers to ensure the good order of the activity.
No doubt the police detachment was impressed with the proceedings.
Hon. Pierre certainly was. “I am happy that you obeyed all the protocols; I am happy most of you wore your masks because when they come, sooner than later, to say something about COVID-19, you will know that they are lying and they are not speaking the truth as usual,” he added.
Disaffected ruling party members and former members also appeared on the SLP platform to take the opportunity to publicly stand-up to the high-handedness of the Prime Minister and the outrageous self-interest which had alienated traditional supporters of the party, which was founded by a small group of businessmen and professionals, including Sir John Compton.
Mr. Pierre welcomed the disaffected UWPs, saying they should be applauded for standing up in defence of their conscience.
One of the disillusioned ruling party members, decked out in her party shirt to make the point of ‘country before party’, itemized the dictatorial tendencies and corruption that had made today’s UWP unrecognizable in the eyes of followers of the founders.
“Sa Pa Flanbo”, she declared in Kweyol, to a crowd which delightfully chorused the refrain “This is not Flambeau”- referring to the common name for the UWP whose symbol is the Torch or “Flanbo”.
This is how the SLP Political Leader urged protesters to keep the momentum for the long haul: “This struggle will be a hard one. It’s a struggle against the government that wants to have their way regardless of what the people say; it’s a struggle against a government that will do anything to stay in political power.
“And that is why we are inviting all men and women of good will. And that is why you had
this afternoon on this platform card-bearing members of the United Workers Party who stood up for justice and against what is happening in this country.”
The SLP Leader was satisfied that the large attendance at the October 4 march was a clear
manifestation of the determination by citizens to brave the increasing victimization and
vindictiveness of the ruling regime and put country first “by showing Allen Chastanet that you can stand up against him.”
Though he promised that the SLP would lead more public protests, the SLP Leader emphasized that marching alone would not bring about the end of this government.
Instead the people had to vote them out in the next general elections and so he urged all citizens of voting age to ensure that they register to vote and get their ID cards.
This is how they would win that tough struggle.