By Kenrick Quashie
If I ever had any doubts about whether or not fear stalks SVG, then the number of calls and messages I received after my last article cleared it up.
Many of my friends, relatives and people who care reached out to me because they were either concerned about my safety or wanted to ensure that I was out of the reach of the “regime”.
Thank you for your concerns.
It is this fear that has successfully kept this out-of-touch administration in office. It is taken directly from the manual of Machiavelli. In opposition, charisma and charm gained the trust of Vincentians. That approach has long gone out the window. People no longer trust the government, and, therefore, other strategies are employed to keep the masses at bay.
They understand how to use the state’s machinery to make you crumble. Among them is the use of the courts, where you are bogged down with long drawn out cases.
In some instances, you wait long years for a ruling, and where the government suffers crushing defeats, you have to wait years more for your just recompense.
In fact, no other government has lost as many cases as this government has.
When a ruling comes, however, even though you may have won against the state, you are still the biggest loser. Your energy is drained and financial resources depleted. Your character is tarnished and many years have been lost. I dare not comment on the number of years you are forced to wait for your winnings to be paid to you!
If you are a government employee, you are transferred. You don’t receive a well-deserved promotion. You are stifled and pressured.
If you are a businessperson, you don’t receive an equal opportunity to access government contracts, grants, concessions and the likes.
If you are neither employed by the government or do not have a business, your loved ones are targeted.
This administration has shown all of us that the hand of government is long and it will meet you wherever you are in order to pressure you.
Our people, therefore, remain quiet because someone close to us, if not us, will feel the repercussions.
All the examples of how this government instills fear in our people do not publicly involve a direct act by the key players. Nope, it is always some supposedly independent officer holder that gets in the fray. The administration is “blameless”. What we hear every so often is, “I can’t advise” this or the other.
As Vincentians we have to rise up and stand in the face of fear. To the Christian community, yes you church leaders, “God has not given you a spirit of fear”. Rise up!
Parents, think about the lessons you are teaching your children. If we continue like this, we won’t be able to recognize SVG in the future.
We need citizen-leadership! It starts with you and me.
I am compelled to return to the Ashelle Morgan saga to highlight how much we have slipped down a path that is dangerous and one that will have implications for future generations. We have to nip it in the bud now.
We watched partisan politics destroy Bigger Biggs. We know it is politics that made Marcus De Freitas lose his property and to date have not received a cent, even though the court ruled in his favour.
We know it was partisan politics that ensured the three teachers didn’t get their jobs back. We stood by and did nothing when poor people in our village didn’t get the little roadwork because they don’t support this ULP regime.
We see one set of people benefiting in our villages and have all the connections as if it’s them alone SVG belongs to.
In the wider society we either see each other as Labour or NDP, and that is all our people are reduced to.
What this Ashelle Morgan issue is also showing us is that even within the ULP camp there are those who will be protected at all cost.
Remember Cornelius John always supported the ULP and in many respects, he has done so longer than some of you, certainly longer than Ashelle Morgan! However, she happens to be closer and part of the higher echelon.
Ask yourself where you stand. Know that if you are not part of the high echelon, when your turn comes, you won’t be protected. Cornelius John was in the sanctity of his home. Trouble came right there to meet him, in the same way it can come right where you are.
The protest should continue to bring out our lawyers for justice, doctors for justice, teachers and nurses for justice, civil servants for justice and above all, Vincentians for justice.
This is citizen leadership. Your navel string is not tied to any political party so don’t let anyone hoodwink you into thinking that the protest is an NDP protest. See it as a protest for the soul of our nation.
Call for the resignations of all those who are complicit in this saga. Ten weeks and not “ah soul” has been charged. Yet we see other legal matters are treated expeditiously. If we allow the authorities to get away with this Ashelle Morgan issue, we will reach a new low. There is no telling how much further they will go. Only you and I can put a stop to it now!
Fight fear! Claim Justice!
The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].