Lecturer in political science at the Cave Hill Campus, Dr. Kristina Hinds, holds up a placard during Gonsalves’ lecture in Barbados on Feb. 22. (Photo: Barbados TODAY)

The University of the West Indies (UWI) lecturer who led three other women in protest against Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves at the Cave Hill Campus last month has received support from another lecturer.

Cynthia Barrow-Giles, senior lecturer in political science at UWI’s Cave Hill Campus, said her colleague, Kristina Hinds, who is also a lecturer in political science, took a principled stance when she led the Feb. 22 protest calling for “Justice for all! Justice for all!”

In her column in Barbados TODAY newspaper last week, Barrow-Giles said that Hinds is passionate about gender issues and abuses of political power.

“So we can cast judgement on them. We can call for Dr. Hinds’ dismissal as I have seen in some online postings sent to me by my students, we can use the opportunity to further castigate the young lady at the centre of the scandal in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, we can use derogatory language to describe the young lady at the centre of the scandal for having had an alleged affair with a married man and we can remain silent on the fact that young Gonsalves may well have had an affair with a very young lady whilst married,” Barrow-Gilkes said.

“We can circulate letters claiming to be the definite picture, painting the young lady as a villain and Gonsalves as a saint. We can choose to forget that the state has chosen to abuse a vulnerable and poor young woman,” she said.

Barrow-Giles said Hinds’ actions were not entered into lightly when she disrupted Gonsalves public lecture as a guest at the university.

The protesters there highlighted what they see as the Gonsalves’ government’s handling of the saga in which former model Yugge Farrell was charged on Jan. 4 with reportedly hurling an insult at Karen Duncan-Gonsalves, wife of Minister of Finance, Camillo Gonsalves.

Barrow-Giles said through their protest, Hinds and the three other women drew some much-needed attention to the ongoing silence and abuse meted out to women across the Caribbean.

She spoke of a situation in St. Lucia in which a minister of government still holds his ministerial post, whilst a young lady with whom he allegedly had an extramarital relationship has been charged with blackmail.

“As I have already said, that is the extent of the individual ministerial accountability that abounds around the Caribbean. I speak specifically to the issue of ‘amendatory responsibility’ and ‘sacrificial responsibility which ought to have seen, at a minimum, both ministers (Gonsalves and Raymond) apologizing to the parliament and resigning.

“But alas! No. In one case, the prime minister himself advised the minister (his son) to remain silent on the issue and in the other, the prime minister refused to address the issue because it was in the hands of the police, even whilst the minister’s naked photo went viral. Sad indeed!” Barrow-Gilkes wrote.

“So much of this is also bound up in the persistence of patriarchy and the subordination of women, and until patriarchy with all its ugly manifestation (including the open misogyny) is completely routed and dismantled, this treatment of women will continue. So perhaps yes, I can concede that the instrument could have been different, the four young ladies could have silently protested with their placards, but it certainly has widened the conversation and hopefully, just hopefully a “me too movement” will emerge in the Caribbean. Hopefully, yes hopefully, real change will come as we take a more critical look at those persons in whom we place our trust and our future.

“I, for one, will not judge the protesters, I applaud them for their stance and their bravery in the face of power and, in my view, a show of raw unwarranted force by the security apparatus of the state,” she said.

The prime minister has said that he was not embarrassed by the protest, saying that the lecturer was unable to get students to support her demonstration.

8 replies on “Lecturer who protested Gonsalves gets support from colleague”

  1. Today is International Women’s Day and so I take this opportunity to RESTATE:- “I, for one, will not judge the protesters, I applaud them for their stance and their bravery in the face of power.”
    L. H. Pearce CITED: “Breaking our silence is powerful>>> “Though it may start softly, we build in confidence and skills, we realise we do not need to wait for permission before we open our mouths. We do not need to wait for others to make space for us, we can take it. We do not need to read from others’ scripts or style ourselves in weak comparison. We do not need to look to another’s authority because we have our own. Down in our cores. We have waited so long for permission to know that it was our time, our turn on stage. THAT TIME IS NOW. OUR VOICES ARE BEING HEARD INTO BEING. THEY ARE NEEDED.”

  2. It would be helpful if father and son were both banned from lecturing at the University and until all sexual matters have been satisfactorily investigated and commented on by all parties. That includes the father who still has not been before a court to answer sexual allegations against him. The actions by the DPP in stopping the cases going forward does not mean he can’t be tried in the future.

    Ladies you are all very brave and it is a shame that women in SVG have been terrorised and lay dormant whilst suffering mental anguish.

  3. The fact that UWI, Cave Hill invited Ralph Gonsalves as a speaker,and the resulting calls for Dr. Hinds’ dismissal-for protesting his speech, points to a clear case of gender bias! […] Moreover, he [Gonsalves] has had harassment and assault […] claims made against him in the past, yet UWI holds him as a standard bearer (of what) beyond criticism and reproach?
    The time has come for people in the Caribbean, who profess love for their grandmothers, mothers, sisters, female relatives and acquaintances, to re-examine the perceptions and meaning of such relationships through cultural lenses! Women are and have been the framework around which the modern Caribbean has emerged, and sustains its existence.

    1. Good contribution Riijord. It is a standard practice for some in our government to get people’s jobs taken away from them if you challenge their authority. I know and everyone knows of many others in SVG that lost their jobs because they disagreed with certain people or policies. Sometimes other things happen to them. I can bet even Kenton Chance knows much more about this than I do. This is what many in our government of SVG call Democracy!
      I believe the reason for this practice is not only vindictiveness but to frighten the masses and make it look like we all agree with everything the government does and how it conducts itself. Luckily the “higher-ups” in the SVG Government have less power in many other countries and foreign institutions. I wonder if this woman will lose her job eventually after a certain person arranges threats of de-funding or such to be made against UWI.

      1. The Cybercrime law and the fact that SVG has some of the worst libel laws in the world is further evidence to demonstrate where we are going. Follow the trend and it will let you know what this government’s intentions for the future are. It is about time Anisia Baptiste weighed-in on this.

  4. What is most unfortunate and disappointing is that PM Gonsalves himself, I have no doubt; can attest to the feeling of suppression to the inability of “Breaking the silence” vs the gasp of relief and powerful encounters in “Breaking the silence,” irrespective of the jokily unrefined belief of the PM that ‘after nine days Vincentians forget about what transpired. It may be so on some topics but not that of “abuses of political power” and especially to ‘gender and children related issues’. I personally blame the PM for the poor decision he has made in advising his son to stay silent on the Yugge Saga especially during a time of the focus on the “Me Too” and other Women’s Right Movements creeping up daily international.

    1. But, but God appointed our Prime Minister, and, and and, his son is like Jesus! We all read that. He wants Yugge to go to the University, after getting out of the Mental Institution and having the “mark” put into her Resume. The Comrade loves the people, never makes mistakes. He is Papa! This must be true because so many vote for him. I think you yourself said that God made him our Prime Minister. God does not make mistakes. Are you meaning to imply that women should be considered “lesser” because that is how things are?
      Politicians are the experts at saying one thing but doing the opposite. Our PM is the “Poster Child” of this!

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