Opposition Leader Mia Mottley will head a march from Bridgetown to Government Headquarters and deliver a note to Prime Minister Freundel Stuart protesting the Municipal Solid Waste Tax.
“I shall walk on Thursday, the 24th of July. I shall walk at midday . . . . If you cannot join me, wear something white,” she said to applause from the crowd at Carlisle Car Park last night.
“I shall walk from Parliament where I sit to Government Headquarters where this Government’s Cabinet sits, and I shall walk as your Leader of the Opposition to deliver to the Prime Minister a letter, setting out what we have heard from you in the last three weeks as we moved across the country, as we held town hall meetings, as we held spot meetings, and we will tell him in unison the country is speaking. They want the tax repealed.”
Mottley’s declaration at 10:50 p.m. climaxed an almost four-hour rally in which six of her Barbados Labour Party colleagues detailed the number of what they saw as wrongs committed by this Democratic Labour Party Government in its six years in office, culminating with introduction of the Municipal Solid Waste Tax.
In an address of just over 50 minutes, Mottley went within seconds of the 11 p.m. cut-off point as mandated by the Public Order Act for such meetings.
“And if the spirit moves you, you can join me at any point along the way. You may join me in Independence Square . . . by Bethel Church after you pray . . . at the Catholic Cathedral in Jemmott’s Lane after you pray, or . . . meet me there if the knees can’t hold you up. Let the Government know that this is the first walk in a long journey.
“Wear something white if you cannot join us,” she said to jubilant supporters and other Barbadians who spread across the car park and on to the boardwalk.
“Whether you home and you cooking for your father or mother who sick, wear something white that day; if you on the road, white bandana, white handkerchief, white shoes.
This Government must understand that the voice of the people is louder than their role and place in Government.”
Consistent with the theme of the previous speakers that the protest against the tax is a national issue as both Labour Party and Dems supporters are affected, she invited Barbadians to dress in their political colours along with white.
“If you want to wear white with your red, wear it. If you want to wear white with your blue, wear it . . . with your black, wear it. But understand, I want the Labour Party people to hear me, as well as the Dems: this is not about red or blue. This is about Barbados.
“It is now time for us to be good to the country that has been good to us . . . . Stand up for yourselves. Stand up for your children, and your godchildren and your grandchildren, and your grandmothers and your grandfathers.
“Stand and be counted. Walk with me in peace and in love . . . out of duty to yourselves and to this country’s future. Walk with me for love of country.”