Barbadians gripped by ‘culture of fear’

Political activist Cheryl Moore says Barbados is firmly locked in the grip of a culture of fear which is preventing residents from speaking out publicly on issues that affect them.

Moore, a final year student in political science and international relations at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill, made the assertion in the wake of her participation in two demonstrations in the city, the most recent against the Municipal Solid Waste Tax.

She said attorney-at-law and political activist Robert “Bobby” Clarke, who organised the demonstrations, “is at the age where you say what you feel and think because you are almost fearless”.

“Generally persons in their late teens and early twenties are also fearless. Clarke and [David] Comissiong are both fearless and have the interest of the common man at heart. They actually believe in creating a better Barbados, which includes every person regardless of their station in life. I come from a very poor background. I do not have a godfather. I have basically done everything on my own. Under these circumstances it is difficult for me to align myself with any other world view,” she said.

Moore, who also goes by the name Oyo Ololara, said that being self-employed gives her a measure of freedom, though this does not protect against victimisation.

“Participating in protest action is a risk you take even as a self-employed person. It is unfortunate that Barbados is the way it is. It is unfortunate that you always have to be mindful of victimisation. People should be able to air their views or get involved in whatever movement. I believe that we have to change the system of governance. Under the Westminster system of government people are confined to minimal participation in the governance of their country.”

Asked about the non-participation of her schoolmates in the demonstrations, Moore said: “Initially, some of the students wanted to participate, but their parents told them ‘look you do not know why those other students are marching. They may have their bread buttered’. These were the warnings their parents were giving them. Their parents were afraid of losing their mortgages and the cars they were driving. Parents were telling their children do not engage in any protest action because it is not the thing to do in Barbados. Not willing to speak out in your own interest is a very backward mindset. It is also a backward mindset for society at large to condemn people for wanting better for themselves.”

Meantime, Moore said she would welcome participation from the opposition Barbados Labour Party or the ruling Democratic Labour Party once there was acceptance that the policies their parties may be backward and counter-productive to long-term national development.

“When a person supports something that basically goes against them, they enslave themselves all over again. That person should ask himself the question: ‘Am I on the right side of history?’”


8 Responses to Barbadians gripped by ‘culture of fear’

  1. Tony Webster July 15, 2014 at 8:31 am

    As de yutes say… Let me break- it -down fu yuh: yuh eider got back bone, or yuh ent got none.
    The old’-time wisdom, wuz de same: doan try to run wid de rabbits…an ‘ hunt wid de hounds too.
    No rocket-science. Just face-in-de-mirror commonsese 101.
    De price of freedom, does be eternal ….courage of one’s convictions.

  2. Rich Hughes July 15, 2014 at 8:55 am

    It is way past time to stop complaining to each other and to call-in radio. It is time to physically show this Govt. how hard they have made things for every Barbadian by their economic mismanagement and unbridled spending. Join the protests or make your own protest. And do what you can to make your MP understand how vexed you are with the present system and what changes should be made to allow more people participation.

  3. Frederick Alleyne
    Frederick Alleyne July 15, 2014 at 9:51 am

    So true. The sad fact is that this government has be able to enlist the support of the very people it is systematically destroying.

  4. Francine Cox July 15, 2014 at 9:57 am

    I so agree with you. I believe that the people of Barbados needs to let they voices be heard loud and clear, stop the talking in the shops and get together and form a people group. I am a bajan living in the USA and I credit this country for the courage it gave me, to speak, on any issue of interest me. It may not materialize with an outcome I expected but it leaves you feeling great, only because to let it out, bajans living in Barbados need open up with a voice. I may be wrong but what I can see, they are eating whatever is plated in front of them, without asking to see the menu.

  5. Elridge Dixon
    Elridge Dixon July 15, 2014 at 10:23 am

    Could it be that the populace is not comfortable with the organizers of the marches?

  6. jm July 15, 2014 at 11:03 am

    Tony… you are right.Google…4 little girls
    4 little girls were killed in a Bombing of a chirch in Alabama back in the 1960’s.MLK gave a speech.he said,”those of you who refuse to take a stand against the injustices committed against negros;because of the fear of losing your jobs or your homes,are just as guilty for this terriost act(the bombing of the church) as those who actually planted the actual bomb.
    God did not give us a spirit of fear.

  7. jr smith July 15, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    Dear lady, you will talk until you are blue, all you will get is excuses, they are waiting for someone from foreign to come and stick pins up they lazy asses to wake them up,
    But think, how could an island of people who have lost they culture, behave any different, what do you expect when they have gotten together and paid $300,000 to a mr benny hinn to bring his american god to pray for them.because the bajan god aint working.
    The praying goes on and on and on, Still the shootings and murders.


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