KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – Ernesto Cooke, public relation officer of the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) has called on Vincentians to picket the office of Minister of National Security, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves on Friday.
Cooke wants Gonsalves — who is also Prime Minister — to say what plans his Unity Labour Party (ULP) government has to put a “dent” in crime here.
“We, as a people, now have to get up, speak up with one voice, no matter which political party we support. Nice faces and nice words will not cut it anymore for any of us,” he said on radio on Monday.
“A husband has just gone to the grave, leaving behind children and a wife. A young lady in Bequia today is suffering cuts to her neck, not speaking — and we hope she survives,” Cooke said.
An intruder killed dental technical Ewarth ‘Ells’ King at his Pembroke home on Sunday while a Bequia woman, identified as Deverne Bynoe, 23, was seriously injured after being chopped several times by a male attacker Monday morning.
“And we sit down and say everything is fine and dandy?” Cooke said.
The radio personality, who last year wanted to be a candidate for the ULP in the December 2010 general elections, noted that the ULP government has promised us to be tough on crime and its causes.
He, however, said that while “the government cannot solve crime, … they can put a dent in it if they do something about it and if they bring serious plans and projections to deal with it.
“And we have not seen that in the last 10 years,” Cooke said.
Cooke said that Gonsalves “has to lay it out [his plans] to us (will-be protestors) and it must be a workable one where we can see a dent in the crime situation.
“And if they can do it, they must go; resign and leave. Call an election; go! People are tired of you all now,” he said.
“We will go down there, as citizens of this country and ask for that. … and we all should make a solemn promise to do so until the plans and programmes unfold and we see a dent in this country,” Cooke further stated.
“It is just about that time: the fruits are ripe and the harvest is ready and the labourers, this time, must be plenteous and not few. We cannot speak on your behalf day after day and you do not want to stand up for yourself and be counted,” said the radio personality who hosts several NDP programmes.
“It is time to drop the fear, it is time to drop the nonsense and get on with the business of this country, in making it better. It is time or us to make it better,” he said as he stated that some people are unwilling to join protest out of fear of losing their job.
“So, on Friday, those of you have been calling this programme for years about the situation on crime, those of you who support the Unity Labour Party and talking about it under your breath and in the street corner saying the government should do something about it, well I am calling on you on Friday, for all of us, with our placards, asking the government to bring their plans and programmes to put a dent into crime, to picket the office of the Minister of National Security of this country,” he further said.