(Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 7, 2013) The rain poured, the thunder rolled, and the lightning flashed. The skies were soggy, the ground sodden, and reasonable observers agreed that there would be no choice but to cancel the 2013 St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Day March.
But neither the old nor the young would hear of it. And in the pouring rain, with umbrellas, plastic sheeting, rain caps and rain coats for protection, people from throughout the country dodged puddles, tiptoed around mud, and sloshed their way through water-soaked ground to catch buses, jump into cars, or dash through neighborhood streets to get to the Patsy Allers Playing Field, the gathering place in Basseterre for the march. There, they waited for hours for the rains to hold up so they might follow the call of the St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party Leader, Prime Minister Denzil Douglas to “fall in” [the rallying cry of former Labour Party Leader Sir Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw] and march in solidarity with Labour.
When the downpour was finally replaced by light rain, the people, donned in “Labour-red”, streamed out of their sheltering spaces in order to start their four-mile march through Basseterre’s neighborhoods. And so they marched for about an hour – umbrellas aloft – after which the skies cleared and the sun shone through. And for the remaining two-hour trek, the mood and the weather were one.
In addition to the thousands marching with the Prime Minister Douglas, his Ministers, and the St. Kitts-Nevis Trades and Labour Union, thousands more lined the streets, creating a sea of humanity normally seen only at the time of the country’s annual carnival.
Reduced crime, reduced debt, government-funded health care for all, new benefits for the unemployed, major socio-economic advances and competent, responsible governance have clearly energized the populace behind the Prime Minister Douglas and his Ministers, rendering them unaffected by even the most gross and forbidding weather.