Barbadians seem to have lost the nerve to protest the harsh economic conditions under which they are forced to live under the Freundel Stuart administration, and it’s time for them to stand up, says attorney-at-law, Robert “Bobby” Clarke.
Raising the concern today while addressing an hour-long public meeting in Swan Street, The City, Clarke encouraged his audience to show their disgust at the performance of the current Government, though stressing they should not resort to violence.
He advised: “The Government will use any attempt at violence to introduce martial law. This will give the Government an opportunity to rule without Parliament for a year or two years. You do not want to give the Government an opportunity to introduce martial law. It is very important to march to Government Headquarters peacefully. You can use placards to indicate what the Government should do or not do.
“The reluctance of the unions to call out its membership is an indication that they have lost their nerve at this time,” Clarke added. “When workers were laid off from the National Housing Corporation and the Drainage Unit and the Transport Board, the Barbados Workers’ Union and the National Union of Public Workers would not call a strike and ask the workers to march because they would be marching against a Government that they
Reacting to the presence of two heavily armed members of the Task Force at the meeting, Clarke, who at an earlier period of his political life was seen as a firebrand activist, said he was not surprised.
“I know that the authorities would have done that. That was part of the strategy they have always employed against me. They employ these tactics because if someone throws a stone and breaks a window they would say that
I caused it. They are definitely not going to put me into a trap,” he charged.
Clarke, one of Barbados’ leading pan-Africanists, condemned both the ruling Democratic Labour Party and the Opposition Barbados Labour Party, saying that neither was able to look after the interests of the poor because they depended on corporate Barbados to campaign financing.
Asked to explain why he held the meeting today, Clarke said he had been contemplating, for some time, coming out to speak to the people of Barbados.