Lashley: What about the rastas?

What about the Rastafarian community who are vendors?

That’s what outgoing St. Michael South East MP Hamilton Lashley wanted to know today as the House of Assembly debated a supplementary resolution related to the Fairchild Street Market Redevelopment Project.

Lashley said the long-standing inhabitants of what was popularly known as Temple Yard also needed help.

“We look at the rastas down Cheapside that have their vending facility and I am calling for a concerted effort, let us have a modern designed area … for the rasta men, that we look at it, that we make all the necessary provisions available and we put in the necessary infrastructure to make sure that their businesses down Cheapside flourish,” he said.

“I was in Ghana three years ago and I saw a similar facility in Ghana where the poor people in Ghana were supported by government in such an effort.”

He noted that the expected cruise ship traffic in the coming years would greatly benefit Barbados and he wanted to see a link between the rastas and the cruise sector.

“Once we have that kind of modern facility where the rastas can ply their trade, where they could compete with the bigger businesses in Broad Street and Swan Street I am sure that when the cruise ship tourists leave that port that they could be shown directly to where the rastas are playing their trade,” he stated.

Lashley said there was “a distinct link between vending and also culture”.

“I always like to refer to the rasta men in Barbados … because they are a marginalised group, they have been from time to time ostracised, they have been profiled and they have become more or less the victims of this society,” he stated. (SC)

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