March Dem out – Comissiong
Political activist David Comissiong wants to march the ruling Democratic Labour Party (DLP) out of office hurriedly, and he is calling for a multi-sectoral people’s campaign in order to achieve this goal.
Comissiong told Barbados TODAY his recommended approach would prepare the ground for a new Government that clearly understood that it would no longer be business as usual.
“We the people of Barbados need to send a very strong message that henceforth we will be resolved to do everything in our power to hold Government ministers and officials accountable and to decry and prosecute all vestiges of corruption in governmental circles,” the social commentator and attorney-at-law said.
Comissiong, who participated in Saturday’s March of Disgust organized by the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP), said he did so despite the fact that he was not a member or supporter of the Opposition party.
He said there were thousands like him who simply felt they had to perform their civic duty and demonstrate that they had had enough of the Freundel Stuart administration.
“Like myself, they were there because our country’s Leader of the Opposition Mia Mottley in exercise of her constitutional responsibilities under Section 74 of the Constitution had requested the citizens of our country to join with her in sending a message of mass disapproval and disgust to the current Democratic Labour Party administration. I therefore congratulate all of those citizens who took their civic responsibilities seriously and turned out to march with, and support, our Opposition Leader.”
DLP General Secretary George Pilgrim had sought to ridicule the march, describing much of the estimated 10,000 protestors as a rent a crowd.
Without presenting evidence to support his claim, Pilgrim charged on Starcom Network’s Down to Brass Tacks yesterday that the BLP had paid people to show up, a suggestion that those who took to the streets of the capital were feigning disgust.
However, Comissiong today decried Pilgrim’s comment, saying it was an “insult” to the thousands of people who marched.
“I denounce and deprecate the egregious insult that was levelled at us the citizens of Barbados by Pilgrim,” the political activist said.
“What I experienced all around me as I marched with . . . my fellow citizens was a fierce determination and resolve that the DLP Government must go. There is no doubt in my mind that Barbados cannot, and will not go forward until it removes the broken, unaccountable and dysfunctional governmental administration that has weighed our country down and held us back over the past nine years.”
Comissiong contended that the broad-based support for Saturday’s march was an indication that Barbadians were on their way to removing the current administration from office.
However, he said the energy and determination displayed on Saturday would have to be maintained and intensified, broadened and deepened over the coming weeks and months.
Meanwhile, political scientist and pollster Peter Wickham also took issue with Pilgrim’s comments about the march, saying the DLP spokesman ran the risk of losing his credibility.
“I don’t know that he is able to present any evidence for the suggestion that the march was bought and paid for by the BLP. In a sense it is almost making a mockery of the fact that many Barbadians are concerned and valid concerns have been raised not only by Barbadians, but by Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s,” Wickham said.
He said while the BLP did not identify a clear objective for Saturday’s march, there was “an impressive showing in terms of the number of people in Barbados that are disturbed by the current situation”.