Submitted by Heather Cole
Dear Mr. Comissiong,
My mother had a saying, that “time mek a change.” I do not recall how old I was when I asked her what she meant by this. Her explanation was that something profound occurred from which there was no going back. It is that something that is always responsible for change. While I have been looking and waiting for a sign that change is about to come, I realized that one can be in the midst of change and never realize it until that something tilts the balance.
At every occurrence that has affected Barbados nationally, I wondered if it was the catalyst for which I was awaiting. In my watch, I believe that I may have almost missed that sign that was right beneath my nose until something that I read only yesterday resonated with me and caused me to stop and to think.
Yesterday I read an article about the Black Lives Matter Movement. My take away from that was that a movement, no matter how great it is will lose focus or disintegrate or become detached from the next generation unless there is political mobilization to activate change. Two cases that were mentioned were the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s and Occupy Wall Street. They had both reaped some measure of successes but then never went on to the next stage which is to become cemented into a body or institution. We refer to the civil rights movements as a historical occurrence while the occupation of Wall Street seems to have become almost forgotten.
While some persons speak out about corruption, Barbados does not have a protest movement. No group of people has publicly stood up against corruption. The closest thing that we have had in terms of a movement since the 1930’s was the activity that occurred on that Facebook page “Bajans against $700M Waste to Energy Plant.” I do believe that the group reaped some measure of success in preventing the plant from being built in Barbados. Sadly the group’s management never aligned with my point of view that the next step was to form a political party. The once vibrant and active page has become a group without a focus. The fight against the Cahill plant should have been the preparation for a full onslaught against corrupt practices in Barbados.
Number one on my watch list was for a leader to emerge. A leader in every sense of the word; confident, fearless who is more than willing to stand up for what they believe in, someone who is not easily swayed and someone who holds his ground and is not afraid to stand up to the government.
As we stood by and watched, you took the government to Court regarding the unconstitutionality of being finger-printed multiple times as a security measure. When you won we all cheered from the sidelines. Then last Friday, you wrote an article in the midst of Kadooment. It was an article that reminded me of a soldier’s valiant efforts to hold the old fort down against opposing forces. The only thing that was not written in that article was a call to mobilize. Yet the people heard the unwritten call and responded with a testament of over 1000 shares on Facebook from Barbados Underground blog.
I have dared to think that you may be the leader of a new movement for change in Barbados and that with a re-branded People’s Empowerment Party can become a viable third party option in Barbados. Are your actions and the response of the public my sign that “time mek a change?”