POLITICAL Leader of the Saint Lucia Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition, Philip Joseph Pierre, Sunday, put citizens on standby for more demonstrations as the party gears up for a fight to remove the Allen Chastanet administration from office.
Pierre who was speaking at a rally following a march held by his party said his party will be persecuted following the march which saw the participation of thousands of Saint Lucians.
“This UWP will do anything to stay in political power, so I’m warning you, that next week you may hear something new about Covid-19 because we held our march this afternoon,” Pierre said.
According to Pierre, citizens defied a coordinated scare-mongering blitz in Parliament and on social and conventional media by the Government and ruling United Workers Party operatives and trolls, who fell just short of wishing that the public activity would cause a catastrophic Covid-19 spread.
“By their bravery, protesters stood up against the government’s use of state power to harass MP for Castries South and SLP Deputy Political Leader, Dr. Ernest Hilaire, over false claims of improper importation of a vehicle; against allowing children to go to school without laptops (as a consequence of a decision to discontinue a free laptops programme by the SLP Government); and against the waste on the St Jude Hospital Reconstruction Project,” Pierre said.
Pierre said he was grateful to protesters for behaving lawfully to bypass the UWP bait in that there were no known incidents with police, who were out in numbers to ensure the good order of the activity.
“I am happy that you obeyed all the protocols; I am happy most of you wore your masks because when they come, sooner than later, to say something about COVID-19, you will know that they are lying and they are not speaking the truth as usual,” he said.
Disaffected ruling party members and former members also appeared on the SLP platform to take the opportunity to publicly stand-up to what they called “the high-handedness” of the Prime Minister and the outrageous self-interest which had alienated traditional supporters of the party, which was founded by a small group of businessmen and professionals, including Sir John Compton.
Pierre welcomed the disaffected UWPs, saying they should be applauded for standing up in defence of their conscience.
The SLP Political Leader urged protesters to keep the momentum for the long haul stating that,
“This struggle will be a hard one. It’s a struggle against the government that wants to have their way regardless of what the people say; it’s a struggle against a government that will do anything to stay in political power.”
“And that is why we are inviting all men and women of good will. And that is why you had this afternoon on this platform card-bearing members of the United Workers Party who stood up for justice and against what is happening in this country,” he said.
Pierre said that he was satisfied with last Sunday’s attendance, which was a clear manifestation of the determination by citizens to brave the increasing victimization and vindictiveness of the ruling regime and put country first “by showing Allen Chastanet that you can stand up against him.”
Though he promised that the SLP would lead more public protests, the SLP Leader emphasized that marching alone would not bring about the end of this government. Instead the people had to vote them out in the next general elections. He urged all citizens of voting age to ensure that they register to vote and get their ID cards as this is how they would win the struggle.