Social activist David Comissiong is getting support from an unlikely backer in his ongoing legal challenge to the construction of the 15-storey Hyatt Centric hotel at Bay Street, The City.
Democratic Labour Party (DLP) candidate for St Michael South East Rodney Grant today applauded Comissiong’s activism, while suggesting that Government should have engaged the attorney-at-law on his concerns about the US$100 million property before it reached the courts.
Minister of Housing Denis Kellman told a recent sitting of Parliament that anyone who stood in the way of the multi-million dollar project “should be seen as an enemy not only of the state, but must be seen as an enemy to the people” living in the London Bourne Towers near the site of the proposed hotel, a clear reference to Comissiong who has obtained an injunction halting work on the project while he awaits a legal review of Prime Minister Freundel Stuart’s approval of the project without first conducting an environmental impact assessment.
In an apparent split from Kellman, Grant said if Comissiong’s position were representative of the public’s concern his voice should be heard.
“Any level of activism is healthy for society and it is important to always have opposite voices. I really don’t have a problem with opposite voices. I think it is important to engage those differences and those voices and it is unfortunate that this particular situation has gone to the law court. Maybe we should have engaged the voice before it got to that level,” he said as he responded to questions after delivering today’s DLP lunchtime
“What I would say if it is a legitimate voice of the people then let it be heard. If it is the legitimate voice of the people then we can’t just shut it down just for opposition sake. That is not what democracy is about. Democracy is something we have to protect, it is the last thing we have,” he added
Himself a social activist, Grant, the chief executive officer of Pinelands Creative Workshop, also put the Stuart administration on notice that he had no intention of allowing his new political life to overshadow his dedication to social activism.
“There can’t be no conflict of interest because there is only one Rodney Grant. I can’t be in conflict with myself; I could only be true to myself. So I can’t be one person today and a different person tomorrow. Those who would have known me from the time I was small growing up, my narrative has been the same and will always be the same,” he pointed out.