“Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are people who want crops without ploughing the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning; they want the ocean without the roar of its many waters. The struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, or it may be both. But it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”
― Frederick Douglass
The Prime Minister of Barbados is dog paddling in some dangerous waters when he tries to deny the right of Barbadians to challenge any actions of the people they put in government to represent them. Who does Barbados belong to? Does it belong to a select few (politicians), or does it belong to all of us? If it belongs to all of us, as we know it does, then do we not have a right to challenge questionable decisions being made by the select few?
This article is in no way discussing the reason that Mr Comissiong feels he should challenge the government in the granting of permission to build a multi million dollar hotel on Bay Street. It is solely focused on the right of Mr Comissiong, a citizen of Barbados, to challenge the government. This is a serious issue that Barbadians should take serious note of as the denying of any freedom to one of us is a denial of freedom to all of us. We need to stay awake on this one people. The Prime Minister of Barbados should know that our democracy does not end at our right to vote. Every and any Barbadian has the right and should be encouraged to speak up loudly and confidently on matters he or she thinks is of concern to us all.
Barbadians always have had an opinion on government action or lack thereof if they feel it hinders the development of the island and its people. This has been done through media call in programmes, articles in the newspaper, in calypso songs, organised (orderly) protest and most recently through social media. One citizen has stepped up to include another form of protest to our methods of showing our dissatisfaction for perceived poor governance by taking a step to call for a legal review on a move being made by government that in his estimation and others could have serious repercussions on the island. As I said before, I am not writing this article to argue that point.
Young David Comissiong and family.... Citizens.
Should we as fellow citizens sit back and allow this assassination of our freedoms to transpire in this case? We should start to ask ourselves from now, do I really have any say in what goes on in Barbados or have I unknowingly become the slave of another master? What if I wanted to hold an orderly protest against the move of the Prime Minister of Barbados to dissuade a citizen of Barbados from challenging a decision made by the government? What if the said prime Minister was to say that it would not be allowed, what then should I do? This scenario is not much different from what is unfolding before our very eyes. One set of politicians have grouped to back themselves up in support of the denial of a citizen’s right to challenge government and we should unite as citizens in Barbados to uphold the right to challenge the government. This matter transcends party politics and the people of the island should in my opinion send a strong signal to the Prime Minister of Barbados that he was put there to serve the people to the best of his ability and that in no way gives him the right to overlook the concerns of the people.
A Trinidad calypsonian called Penguin sang a song called “Look De Devil Dey” and part of the song went, “yuh ‘fraid de devil, yuh ‘fraid him bad. Well look the devil right in yuh yard.” We frown on dictators in the world such as the Mugabes and Gaddafis; yet it seems we cannot see how the dictatorship is shaping up here. One politician even said the citizen challenging government and asking for a review of actions should be perceived as an enemy of the state. Even though I personally have serious reservations about the mental and political acumen of this politician, it is still concerning to hear remarks that can be likened to those made by Adolph Hitler and his Nazi party in Germany. We all know how that went.
We can’t sing this one away or even discuss it away. If ever a statement or action could be called political suicide this has to be it. The Prime Minister should be made to withdraw his application to block the application made by our fellow citizen. He owes this nation an apology and if he truly cares about Barbados he would step aside and leave office knowing he did his best.
“Democracy is not freedom. Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to eat for lunch. Freedom comes from the recognition of certain rights which may not be taken, not even by a 99% vote.”
― Marvin Simkin
If you agree that the Prime Minister of Barbados is wrong to try and block a citizen of the island from challenging a decision made by government, then let us try our best to get this article and its content on the lips of the nation. We need to use one platform of protest (Social Media) to empower another form of protest here (The Law Courts). It is said sharing is caring, so if you care about your liberty and rights as a citizen of the island of Barbados please share. I hope people from all over the world read this and share it and share your opinion.
The question is, “Should the government, especially the Prime Minister, try to stop a legal challenge made by a citizen on what is reported to be a serious situation that could have a negative impact on the lives of the people of this island?”
I want the Prime Minister to know, and I hope this is shared so much he reads it, that this move has made his initial actions look suspect. If everything is above board, why worry about one man and his questions? What is it about this move that would make you want to deny a citizen his birthright? Maybe a closer examination of what you are doing, Sir, is warranted.
Although you may think the people of this nation are fools, Mr Prime Minister, I assure you, we are not.
“I became convinced that noncooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good.”
― Martin Luther King Jr
As Martin Luther King Jr has said, it is imperative that we stand up and fight against this government’s tyranny. The alternative is……….