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Vincentians will never be the same

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26.MAR.10

Editor: The march and protest on Thursday, 11th March, 2010, is one event that will be recorded in the book of remembrance in heaven as over a thousand of freedom loving Vincentians came out in solidarity to Anesia Baptiste and the fight for free speech.{{more}}

In spite of the many efforts to spread propaganda against Anesia Baptiste and the Thusians, these efforts have failed, the interviews with persons at the protest and march show the displeasure at the charges brought against Anesia Baptiste and the indictment from her work with half pay. Many see this as clearly political and as a warning as they realize that democracy and free speech are under threat in SVG.

In this article, I would like to take the opportunity to share with the readers some of the views of persons who were at the protest. Time and space would not permit me to share all but my video camera captured the following.

“Today is a day when people see their salvation.”

I support freedom of speech, always done so ever since I was a young man in St. Vincent, and I don’t think anybody should be blocked from making a statement especially in the context in which this thing developed, because it occurs around the time when the constitution debate was on. Everybody was invited to make their contribution and persons on both side of the aisle made commentaries, so I don’t think it is right to select one person and punish that one person because that person may not have said what you wanted. I don’t think that it is right on that basis. Generally, I support freedom of speech, and it is a fundamental right that you have to protect.

I am happy with the support of Anesia, that the authorities would understand that they cannot continue to treat people like if we are dogs. We are humans and we have a right in our country to speak.

I am dismayed at the actions taken against Anesia, hence my presence here today and I’m well convinced that the Prime Minister has lost it completely. I do not think that he is aware , that he has his thoughts together, something must be wrong with him, there is no way you attack somebody that way for speaking. Freedom of speech is in jeopardy in St. Vincent …

This is the first time I’ve come to a public demonstration in St. Vincent and I think it is about time. I think that Ralph Gonsalves should leave power. He has gone too far. He is getting into our freedoms and that is absolutely going too far. He has done much as he could but at this point he is going beyond where he should be going.

It’s a very simple statement, Ralph Gonsalves has this country and is running it as a dictatorship, as it belongs to him, I say to hell with that, that cannot happen. Everybody has their rights in this country, he does not own this country. People have a right to speak and especially on a constitutional matter and for him to do something like that, I see him nothing more than a terrorist to freedom, a terrorist to freedom that is what he is …

Karima Parris

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