Charlestown, Nevis (Monday, October 14, 2013)- Nevisians marched in downtown Charlestown on Friday (Oct. 11) to protest the blatant victimization and poor governance which Nevisians have endured under the Concerned Citizens Movement (CCM) led Nevis Island Administration since Jan. 23, 2013.
The march took place while all elected government ministers were out of the country, including Premier Vance Amory and Deputy Premier Mark Brantley, and at a time when the Nevis economy is being described as comatose. Only, Minister Hazel Brandy-Williams was on the island when the marchers took to the streets.
Leader of the Nevis Reformation Party and Former Premier of Nevis, the Hon. Joseph Parry told the media, “the people of Nevis are fed up with the political victimization that is being meted out to government workers” – among them civil servants, cleaners, bus drivers, teachers and environmental workers.
“Nevis needs a government that should be about empowering the people not breaking them down. At the end of the day we are all Nevisians or residents of Nevis and we must all eat!” the Former Premier said.
Marchers who were dressed in the Nevis Reformation Party (NRP) color of green, chanted, among other things, “No more victimization,” and carried placards airing their grievances.
Other placards read: “I was fired”, “My children are hungry”, “Mark Brantley is the Lying King”, “CCM- Nepotism is at its best,” “NRP gave shelter-CCM take it away” and “Three Blind Mice in Government.”
The marchers left the A.L Evelyn Building around 4pm, and stopped at the old Administration Building where the police hurriedly locked the gates to prevent entry.
NRP party chairman, the Hon. Carlisle Powell said, “This is the first time in all these years including Sundays that I have ever seen the Administration gates locked!” Powell also stated that his organization had written permission from the police to march to the Administration Building, “not the street by the Administration Building.”
After the march, protesters, onlookers, party supporters and well-wishers assembled at the D.R. Walwyn Square where members of the Nevis Reformation Party addressed the large gathering. The speakers included senator in the Nevis Island Assembly Hon. Carlisle Powell, Federal Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs, Foreign Affairs, Homeland Security and Labour, the Hon. Patrice Nisbett, former Deputy Premier Mr. Hensley Daniel and NRP Leader the Hon. Joseph Parry. The Hon. Robelto Hector was at the time overseas, due to a death in the family. The meeting was chaired by party secretary, Mr. Halstead “Sooty” Byron.
Speaker after speaker stressed the apparent lack of preparedness of the CCM for governance, their ignorance of economic development, the absence of plans to create jobs and the blatant victimization of close to 200 locals, while paying a Guyanese national handsomely to sit at a desk in Social Services to scrutinize the voters’ list, and a wanton case of nepotism where a junior minister dished out an exorbitant contract to his father to complete a government building.
“This is a low-class, good-for-nothing government,” Hon. Powell said.
According to party leader the Hon. Joseph Parry, “the march was a success! On Nevis, where most people culturally refrain from participating in political protests, I am happy that Nevisians came out to march, and I am even happier to see the large number of people who came out in support of our rally.”