Caribbean Movement for Peace and Integration Leader Lambasts Politicians
Nelson Statue Remain Standing in Bridgetown
The President of the Caribbean Movement for Peace and Integration (CMPI) is accusing the Government of being afraid of what he has described as the white ruling class power in Barbados.
During a protest at Heroes Square, The City, this morning, Denny said he was upset that Minister of Culture, John King, announced yesterday that instead of having the controversial Nelson Statue moved from the square, to mark the end of this year’s Emancipation Season, Government would be officially opening the Rock Hall Freedom Park in St Thomas. King said a lack of available resources is the reason the decision was made.
However, an outraged Denny said in 1998 the Barbados Labour Party (BLP) administration that was currently in power promised to remove the statue from Heroes Square because they felt that Lord Nelson was not the people’s hero, particularly when the name was changed from Trafalgar Square.
He noted that Calypsonian Dr Anthony “Gabby” Carter also sang a song highlighting that the government, in 1998, promised to remove the statue.
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“Now 22 years later, the Government says that during the season of Emancipation, they will remove Lord Nelson. Now they have come with a lame foot excuse, but we know that this has to do with the white pressure that is on the Government of Barbados that has forced the Government not to touch Lord Nelson.
“So we as Pan Africanists and progressive minded persons will continue to protest and we will have to find ways to bring pressure on the Government so that Lord Nelson can be removed from our National Heroes Square because with this statue standing in our square is really an insult to the people of Barbados,” Denny said.
Denny told those gathered that he would not be attending the ceremony, which he said is an insult to the people of Barbados, considering that just last month, the Government promised to have the statue removed on or before August 23 and justified the decision by citing consultations by the National Heroes Square and Development Committee carried out approximately 20 years ago.
Prior to the Government’s initial decision, Denny led a series of protest actions focused on the removal of the controversial statue.
Standing in the square around midday today, Denny said he thought the Government would have been strong enough to stick to its word.
“Not knowing that the Government would wait until the end of the season and then openly say they cannot move Lord Nelson and that Lord Nelson would have to be moved at a later date. So to me I think we have been insulted for the last 22 years and we have also been insulted during our season of Emancipation,” he said.
When asked about the low turnout at today’s protest, Denny lamented that Barbadians who were hoping for the statue to be removed during the season, are now hurting after yesterday’s announcement.
“What has happened to the people of Barbados is that the Government had promised them after the major marches that they will remove Lord Nelson and then when the people were looking for it to be removed the same government came and said no they are not moving at this time. So I think the people are hurting inside and the people are losing confidence in the political systems and structures in Barbados because they see how the politicians operate. Politicians operate without any real respect for the people,” Denny said.
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[Photo – Barbados Today]