White march ‘not about politics’
The Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) is denying that tomorrow’s “white march” is about scoring cheap political points or making the country ungovernable.
Instead, Public Relations Officer Indar Weir has reiterated the BLP’s position that the protest march was being organized to demonstrate to a Government that was “out of order, out of control, out of connection” with the population that Barbadians were no longer prepared to tolerate its handling of the country’s affairs.
In a statement issued yesterday, the ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) roundly condemned the march, which is scheduled for midday tomorrow from Parliament to Bay Street, just outside the Office of the Prime Minister.
In the statement released by the DLP’s General Secretary George Pilgrim, who is also the principal political advisor to Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, the ruling party accused the BLP of seeking to make the country ungovernable, insisting that the march “should therefore be viewed with suspicion as this country is emerging from a period of ill health to one of recovery,” and that “attempts to disrupt the period of convalesce of a patient by anybody cannot be described as caring”.
However, Weir told the media at a news conference yesterday at the Opposition office that the walk was to draw attention to the suffering of Barbadians and the “dictatorial outrage” that citizens were being subjected to by the Stuart administration.
“It is about the suffering that is going on in Barbados, about the people who cannot afford to make ends meet in Barbados. People can no longer assure their children on mornings that they will get breakfast, people in Barbados can no longer find work, you have a situation in Barbados where unemployment is forever increasing, we don’t have accurate enough statistics to say the situation is improving.
“You have a situation in Barbados where Barbadians are being subjected to dictatorial outrage and therefore if you dare to speak out, you are either labelled anti Government [or a] spokesman for BLP,” he explained.
Weir said opposition leader Mia Mottley and her parliamentary team were prepared to engage in protest action in support of Barbadians to demonstrate that the BLP was willing to speak out on their behalf.
“We are prepared to take the streets to send a clear message that we can no longer tolerate the callousness, the dismissiveness, the rakish outrage at which we are being subjected to every time we seek to ask a question or indeed ask for some kind of clarity as to when those who are suffering will be dealt with, where there is confidence in the economy and when Barbadians will see Barbados back to the country that we know it to be.”
He said the BLP would not sit back and “allow this type of condemnation to ride on the backs of the citizens of Barbados while the Government continues to be out of order, out of control, out of connection with the people of Barbados and think that is OK for us to continue for us to endure, to bare and to sacrifice”.
In July 2014, the BLP took to the streets following its failure to get Government to repeal the controversial Municipal Solid Waste Tax.
Mottley and other Opposition Members of Parliament will address the protesters at the end of tomorrow’s march.