Beware the enemies of our democracy – warns Moore

General Secretary of the Barbados Workers Union (BWU) Toni Moore today hit back at Minister of Housing and Lands Denis Kellman’s charge that opponents to the proposed Hyatt hotel were “enemies of the State”, while warning that the island’s democracy was under threat.

Kellman issued the statement in Parliament last week, and while he did not call any names, it was a clear reference to attorney-at-law and social activist David Comissiong, who has taken legal action against the multi-million dollar project.

Moore told the annual May Day parade at Browne’s Beach that while the workers of Barbados have had to carry more than their fair share of the effects of the economic downturn over the past five years, “it is scary when in challenging times, economic forces seem to be positive only in the direction of a privileged few.

“And dare we speak out against the inequity even on the basis of wanting to verify the environmental integrity of certain decisions, we are deemed enemies of the State,” she said.

“Brothers and sisters we are deemed enemies of the state for speaking out, but the enemy that we should be aware of and be afraid of is the enemy of our democracy.  That which wishes to tell us that we can’t see wrong and speak about it for fear of recrimination.

“So, we must see backdoor methods being adopted in hotel construction and we must be quiet.  We must witness approvals to establish a new berth in the Bridgetown Port, and we must see attempts to introduce new ways of doing things down in the port so that port work is no longer for port workers, and we can’t say anything. We must not speak up and become enemies of the state. So we must know that there seems to be a concerted attempt, a deliberate ploy to run down the fleet of buses to make way for a new system to be justified, but shush General Secretary, don’t say anything if you are a friend of the state,” Moore charged.

Toni Moore

The union leader said that while the BWU believes that citizens must accept their fair share of responsibility for the future they want, the union could not accept that overburdening public servants was equal to giving them a fair share.

She pointed to the upcoming Budget, which is expected to be presented before the end of this month, in which she said Barbadians would be asked to make even further sacrifices.

“Public servants for almost a decade now have not received a salary increase but what makes this situation more unpalatable is that public servants will be asked to accept further wage restraint and brace themselves for some bitter pills all in the name of responsibility when at the same time the leaders in Government put back on a ten per cent [on their salaries], which was taken off as a show of identifying with the people, a show of bearing pain as the people have been bearing. . .

“So, we will not apologize to the leaders or as [late trade union leader] Sir Frank [Walcott] would have said, ‘the creatures of Government’ when we challenge that the Government of Barbados has failed to demonstrate leadership.”

In her hard hitting statement, she insisted that Government should not expect some of the lowest paid workers to sacrifice more, while at the same time “they are grabbing and brekkin’ fuh themselves”.

“Who then are the real villains of the economy?  Is the social justice when our leaders refuse to demonstrate the standards that match the circumstance; the standards that will assure our stability and our sustainability. The demand for a bigger pension is not the standard that matches the circumstance,” the BWU leader added.

30 Responses to Beware the enemies of our democracy – warns Moore

  1. hcalndre May 1, 2017 at 11:48 pm

    Dennis Kellman is what you call a Gadfly, have not heard him since.

  2. Sunshine Sunny Shine May 2, 2017 at 12:55 am

    It is impossible to justify an idiot, far less idiots. Everything that the DLP has done and is doing lloks so much like it is intended to benefit of the nation, when in fact it is towards a few including themselves. Their mission to provide facts as a means of winning the next election is just what the doctor ordered for their destruction.The fact of the matter is, you cannot hide the truth with lies as much as you cannot convince anyone of good when so much bad comes out from within them. The DLP is an insult to our democracy and a disgrace to our nations people.

  3. Keen Observer May 2, 2017 at 4:21 am

    Toni Moore is getting carried away in her effort to assert herself
    following Sir Roy’s departure. You can’t speak of democracy in an effort to defend someone like David Comisisong who has been a supporter of communist leaders and dictators. Shame on you Toni. Barbados is and has always been a democracy. Toni, people need jobs, David’s stance against the hotel has nothing to do with democracy, its about politics. Focus on increasing productivity and use technology to provide your members with the opportunity to access labour college training by offering courses online.

    • hcalndre May 2, 2017 at 9:55 am

      @Keen Observer, do you know anything about democracy? well I don`t hear of cracking heads from politicians, I know of Civil disobedience, I know that the KKK has the same rights to hold marches and have protection like anyone else, regardless of their belief. I don`t hear how many people that is allowed to participate and any citizen has a right to challenge any thing that he/she believes that there`s ground for. Your democracy was handed down from the Massa and the Slave masters.

    • Bajan May 2, 2017 at 10:18 am

      Democracy has many colours my friend. It just depends on which coordinates you are standing on.

    • Sherlock Holmes. May 2, 2017 at 11:27 am

      Well said Keen Observer i have watched this union leader and the other one over time and whenever they get an opportunity to speak it is like they have both read one book, and it has to be the Art of War.They both are desperately trying to make a name for themselves and it is amusing. Sometimes i wonder from their stances how will workers be represented if there is a change of government as i get funny feeling that their allegiances are more political than worker oriented. I will wait and see.

  4. sticks and stones May 2, 2017 at 5:06 am

    Democracy does not support communist or communist sympathizers they are fed with a long spoon, It is alright for Toni Moore to speak about democratic principles but she must also be observant that an enemy could be a friend for all the wrong reasons.

  5. Freeagent May 2, 2017 at 7:00 am

    The real enemies of our democracy are those union leaders and others who refuse to place their solidarity behind the government to seek ways of bringing the country out of its financial situation. Their adversarial attitudes/positions do nothing but to confuse workers and divide the country. While the government is trying to force development adversaries are blocking this development – the Hyatt hotel, the multi-purpose factory etc.
    Political campaigning should be done on the political platform.

  6. Greengiant May 2, 2017 at 7:06 am

    I’m actually surprised by her utterances, I would have thought her focus to be on job creation for hospitality workers, many of whom are single moms.

    Only the creation of additional rooms will produce those jobs, and needed foreign exchange. As said by others democracy and comissiong have nothing in common, so how can you associate them General secretary.

  7. NOLAN HALL May 2, 2017 at 7:12 am

    Keen Observer , why would you think Toni is defending Comisisong? Comisisong hardly need anyone to defend him. What she is defending is any citizen to have the right in our Democracy to hold their leaders accountable for their policies and their conduct in office. That Comisisong maybe a” communist sympathizer” is immaterial. Lest we forget, the developers of the proposed Hayatt resort are presently challenging the Town And Country Planning Department in court over another matter. The question is why is it ok for Mark Moloney to challenge the government but not David Comisisong. As for Clown Prince Denis Kellman, history has shown that “enemies of the state” are usually friends of the people – Malcom X, Martin Luther King Jr, to name a few , were all deemed “enemy of the State”. To David Comisisong i say continue to do what you are doing irrespective of who controls the reins of government.

  8. Natalie Murray May 2, 2017 at 7:52 am

    Toni Moore and Akanni mcdowall are a breath of fresh air to the Trade Union Movement in Barbados. We the people need more leaders that are prepared to speak truth to power on issues that affect the working class in this country.

    So many organisations and people are afraid to stand up to this current administration.

    Thank you Toni for having the courage to speak truth to power!

    • Sherlock Holmes. May 2, 2017 at 11:36 am

      Words of an misinformed sycophant ,if their words and actions constitute a breath of fresh air it is clear there is a need for air purifiers.

  9. Whitehill May 2, 2017 at 7:53 am

    This lady and Commisiong are not against the construction of that hotel on Bay street, they are as Ms. Moore pointed out, against the ” back door methods.” What is so difficult about this for you fools to understand?
    Foreign exchange seems to be the buzz word on everyone’s lips these days, hell, when these hotels collect their bookings abroad and only remit the pittance to pay salaries of SINGLE MOTHERS and the rum and coke mixers how is that gonna help us. Not to mention the duty free concession this administration love to dole out to those who wear only SANDALS allowing them to source their goods elsewhere.
    How many poor unemployed and SINGLE MOTHERS are losing out?

    I’ll tell you what Mr. Prime Minister, I went up to White Hill St. Andrew yesterday 5/1, its a shame how you’ve abandoned that road and the people. If you get started on repairs to that road maybe…LOL

  10. Tony Webster May 2, 2017 at 8:40 am

    Cheese on bread: when in short pants, my little Civics text taught me the the basics of human civilized behavior; the separation of the legislative; the executive; and the judiciary. Also the basics of a democracy of de people, by de people, and for de people. ( it din seh, WHICH people) more critically, it clarified the franchise; the duty; the responsibility inherent in all folks of leagal age, who ought to discharge their duties under universal adult suffrage. Cuddear, DEM was really giving us a glimpse into Dipper’s OTHER mirror-image: universal adult suffering: what you sow….so shall ye reap.

    For whom do the bells toll?

  11. Joey St
    Joey St May 2, 2017 at 9:07 am

    I think you and all the others who are making these statements are twisting the issue to meet your own political means. It’s a matter of which political side of the fence you sit. Of course you have a right to speak out, of course you have a right to oppose, of course you have a right to an opinion, but i also have those rights as well.

  12. Gearbox1964 May 2, 2017 at 9:07 am

    This current gov’t is full of arrogant and stupid individuals…and that is putting it very very mildly. But the jackasses who stand out the most among them are Dennis Kellman, Ronald Jones, and Chris Sinckler.
    I don’t think I’ll ever go back and patronize Moontown again, cause I’m pretty sure that if I see Kellman I would cuss he. Serious ting!

  13. Milli Watt May 2, 2017 at 9:56 am

    least we forget this from a union that retrench its own staff under questionable circumstances……. ‘a privileged few’ you need to look in the mirror Toni. I look forward to the day that these trade unions are dismantled and the likes a YOU scattered to the trade winds. The next time you send home your people don’t hide cause by the looks of it that might be sooner rather than later.

    • Sherlock Holmes. May 2, 2017 at 11:30 am

      Milli Watt i must say on this occasion i cannot fault your submission.

    • hcalndre May 2, 2017 at 4:12 pm

      @Milli Watt; it would be better if the work places in barbados with 25 workers and more should be union shops. If you want a job you will have to join the union. Most union workers support the party that has their interest, why in barbados every person has to support the DLP or you`re branded a communist. Is China a democracy? the PM said that they`re his friends.

  14. sticks and stones May 2, 2017 at 10:16 am

    David Comissiong being an active communist sympathizer doesnt matter? are you for real.
    I suggest that you do a good read of history and how such activism by communist activist who later became leaders turned people lives upside down you just have to look across the water at venezuela
    If barbadians are looking for wolves in sheep clothing to lead the way . Good luck but there would be a heavy price to pay

  15. Ras Unjay
    Ras Unjay May 2, 2017 at 10:46 am

    Like what u are doing now,making enemies

  16. jrsmith May 2, 2017 at 11:59 am

    Its easy to say , (democracy) but a whole lot of stupidness and foolishness by our people , who has allowed for decades our political parties to degrade us , ignore us , treat us as second class citizen , ruin our country expose it in every way possible to be downgraded economically and socially by the various recognize world organizations ……………………………….
    The people are the ones who ( enforces )(democracy) but if you dont unite to fight ,you will never win…….how many decades we see no shift in the 1% of our nation, just freely controlling the masses in barbados……… (Massa still in command )……… with the help from the people we bajans votes for ..
    When are bajans going to wise up ,stop the stupidness ,we need to control the politicians, but we need to enforce the laws to remove the wankers from office , one by one , bajans are not only scared of (Massa) they are also scared of our politicians……

    Our politicians has learnt from the white man , how to control our black people and they are doing it very well, give them the bibles and the churches, allow them to manufacture the various religions and they know they place as always as the losers…….

  17. tsquires May 2, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    I am not going to hide my head in the sand like an ostrich, so the thing about Democracy especially in Bimshire, is the mockery we see everyday; especially from our politricians in the house of privilege and the other tax free religious jokers.

  18. Lorenzo May 2, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    Keen Observer,sherlock Holmes ,GreenGiant Free Agent what has David Commisong being a communist symphatizer to do with anything?you all are catching at straws and trying hard to detract from the real issue which is all necessary regulations have to be followed.whatis so difficult to understand about that for you Dems.You all rememder the finger printing issue ,the cahill scam both of which Mr Commisiong and others successfully fought?No one I believe is against the Hyatt Hotel being built but it must be done in the correct way and as far as I know any citizen has the right to challenge anyone in Barbados.

    • Sherlock Holmes. May 2, 2017 at 9:29 pm

      Listen to me Lorenzo last time i checked free speech is not a crime unless slanderous or libelous.You are very fast in categorizing people are you a BEE? I don’t care much for political parties i say what i have to say about both and if you were someone who follow these mediums you would have seen that i often call a spade a spade it is provocateurs like you kool aid drinkers that get all twisted when someone mentions something that you consider to be in opposition to your agenda. Quite frankly Lorenzo i just do not care about what you think and by the way when you see Commisiong ask him his views on how Maduro is treating to the people of Venezuela.

  19. BimJim May 2, 2017 at 9:02 pm

    Wunnuh better be quiet, fore de elite send some yard fowls tuh brek off wunnuh foot, yuh… I done tell wunnuh long time, dese “Labour” Parties did born 50 years ago fuh proteck workin’ people, but is long time now dem did put dem self pon a pedestal, all is greed an self, all is hummuch dem could teif outta we pocket and how far dem could leff we behind.

    Well, Bosie, elections jess rung de cornah… so lemmuh hear yuh an see yuh now… you gine put back dem jackasses and parasites, or yuh gine tek a look at de outside chrilren dem same idjets did mockin all dese years?

    Lookah, fifth formers could do a better job dan dem bare jokes in Parliament – BOTH sides. But de yard fowls gine mek bare noise – just like one Donald Trump yard fowls – fuh mek wunnuh believe de Emperor gots nice new clothes… lemmuh tell yuh right now, de Emperor butt nekkid and gots a big bowgly wart pon he pooch.

    Time fuh change, boah… anyting would be better dan dis here political swamp – an I ent talkin’ bout no Graeme Hall.

  20. Carson C. Cadogan May 2, 2017 at 10:32 pm

    Worst May day speech in the history of Trade Unions in Barbados.

  21. Francis May 2, 2017 at 11:10 pm

    Seriously Carson Cadogan??
    The worse speech?
    Then again we all have an opinion.

  22. Frank White May 3, 2017 at 4:16 am

    I see how easy it is to brand Comissiong with all these negative names and comments. The DEMS needs this project to get off the ground because this is one that will create lots of employment which in turn will give them a shot at a third term in office. Barbadians are very quick to sell their birthrights’ in hopes of getting a promise job and only a handful really see the true picture of what is to come. Irresponsible comments from some about dismantling trade unions clearly shows that you all are really out of touch with what’s to come…

    While you defenders of these politicians are at each other, they are sitting on their terraces’ drinking Hennessy cognac brandy with the enemy of our ancestors and with an excellent view of the ships, sea and sunset while you drinking mauby syrup with pipe water and the best view you have is looking into your neighbour’s backyard, @ them taking a bath… Wise up people…

  23. Lorenzo May 4, 2017 at 6:28 pm

    CCC ,the worse speech ever?Why because she is attacking the government you worship,give me a break.Sherlock Holmes maybe you can point me to a comment from you critical of the Government as I have read your comments as soon as someone is critical of this government you along with CCC,Greengiant,Ras Unjay,Zeus and others rush on these boards to attack the person so don,t come with that,you are a Dem.On another note heard the hyprocrite Trini Dem on Wednesday ranting and raving again about Ms Mottley bringing solutions and again I urge her not to bring any until an Election is called.


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