Barbadians and the Opposition Barbados Labour Party will not be threatened into silence.
Leader of the Opposition Barbados Labour Party, Mia Mottley, made it clear this afternoon in the House of Assembly that she would having none of that.
As she called for Christ Church East Central MP Ronald Jones to withdraw his comments related to law enforcers having to “crack some heads” and “shoot some people” to “bring back law and order”, the former Attorney General said it was the “most stunning and amazing example of a loose tongue”, a “weak mind” and a “frightened spirit”.
She Mottley described comments as a “form of intimidation” which was “unworthy” of Barbadians and asserted that “you cannot be cracking anybody’s head for any reason whatsoever and you cannot be seeking to shoot somebody unless somebody has a gun or a knife that is threatening your life, not to restore order”.
Mottley said Jones’ contribution in the pre-lunch debate also included “Today is a Funny Night”, “multiple definitions of Mottley crowd” and “restore order”, were all “inappropriate” and Jones was “getting carried away”.
“Then we went Sir to notions of inciting and we were told that the Royal Barbados Police Force was a force and then sir came the unbelievable comments from an honourable member who has
acted as Prime Minister more … times than most on that side that to restore order, … and out of his lips came the words to restore order some heads would have to be cracked and a few people would have to be shot.
“Now sir, not even in passion, not even in jest, under no circumstances can those words be heard to be coming from no senior Government minister charged not just with the responsibility of education but a senior Government minister because the natural interpretation by those who heard it and I spoke to many at lunch time, because you would be surprised how many people listen to his debate…
“In fact, I had texts all the way from New York and all the way from Canada telling me that they cannot believe that those comments were made ’cause they saw them as intimidatory and they saw them as constituting a threat to people wanting to express themselves as guaranteed by the Constitution of Barbados,” Mottley said.
The St. Michael North East MP asserted that people had the right to express their feelings, including that business was down, they could not make ends meet and that the inaction and Government’s silence were killing them.
“When the Barbados Labour Party says that we will do what we have to do in this country short of bearing arms to be able to represent the voice and feelings of the people of Barbados we say so with all sincerity and we mean it with sincerity.
“And if the honourable member feels that there are things that are likely to happen on the Government’s part that will cause those noises and voices to get stronger, then he’d better tell us what it is the Government has in store for the country that might cause the population to become even more agitated than they are. He clearly knows what is coming and clearly fears that something is going to come that will cause people to become more agitated,” she said.
Noting that history was replete with circumstances of civil disobedience, protests or signing petitions, the Opposition Leader said that although this country was not at that stage the Freundel Stuart led “Government would have to have their heads buried in the sand not to know the feeling of frustration” and anxiety, and that people were finding it difficult not to make ends meet”.
She added that no initiatives were forthcoming from the House of Assembly either, which “we go on a six weeks Easter break and then we meet twice again and we go on a four week … May break … to allow Members of Parliament to travel”.
“As long as there is the will in our body to breathe, the Barbados Labour Party will offer hope, spirit of unflinching will to this country and we will work with whoever, wherever, whenever in accordance with the law to raise our voices, to express our opinions, to constitute protests if it ever comes to that as well in accordance of the Public Order Act …,” Mottley asserted. (DS)