THOUSANDS converged near the Vigie Playing Field Sunday afternoon to participate in the biggest march to date against the two-year rule of the Allen Chastanet administration.
Initially a St. Lucia Labour Party planned event, a number of marchers claiming to be ‘non-political’ – as evidenced by the wording of their placards — walked the less than half-a-mile distance to the Vendors Arcade.
Another group of marchers claiming to be’ supporters of country and not the Labour party’ also attended, chanting and calling for ‘better policy-making decisions’ on the part of primarily Prime Minister Allen Chastanet.
But there was no mistaking the dominant element in the march which was Labour Party supporters, who came in their thousands with a clear objective that ‘Chastanet must go!’
Featured prominently throughout the march and the rally that followed were the heated issues of the day, like the uncertainty over the employment status of employees of Victoria Hospital when the transition to the Owen King European Union (OKEU) Hospital is complete, the job status of Customs officers in the government’s move to form a Border Control Agency, the failed Range Development deal in Black Bay, the prime minister’s constant travels outside the country, the DSH issue, St. Jude Hospital Redevelopment project, the current status of St. Jude Hospital, the transition to the OKEU Hospital, issues with the Citizenship Investment Programme (CIP) and a host of other issues.
From tested politicians like Therold Prudent (leader of the Lucian People’s Movement) to Richard Frederick (former minister of government in a United Workers Party led government) to persons representing groups and organization, the message was clear – Prime Minister Allen Chastanet is bad for the country.
Peter Alexander (leader of the barely remembered Organization for National Empowerment) said the struggle is about saving the country and not about the politicians.
Dr.Paulcus Lendor of the St. Lucia Medical and Dental Association (SLMDA) said ‘the government knows not what it is doing with health care and it had ‘lost direction’ in that particular field. He called on St. Lucians to ‘note what is happening in health care’ and ‘do what is necessary to protect their interest.’
Ras Bongo Wisely, a Rastafarian from the south, said the change St. Lucians wanted in 2016 when they voted the United Workers Party into office was a change for the better – but something they have yet to receive.
“This government is not representing the will of the people. That is not surprising because Chastanet said ‘I do not listen I only let the Jackasses bray,’” Wisely said.