It was Ella Wheeler Wilcox who wrote, “To sin by silence when we should protest makes a coward out of men. The human race has climbed on protest. Had no voice been raised against injustice, ignorance and lust, the Inquisition yet would serve the law. The few who dare must speak and speak again to right the wrongs of many.”
Our people are becoming more and more conscious that we owe it to ourselves, to our children and grandchildren, as well as the country and the greater good, to speak out when we see injustice and abuse of power. We cannot sit idly by and not be concerned about what is happening in this blessed land Hairouna, and the dispensing of justice to the ordinary man.
It appears that justice is not only blind in St. Vincent and the Grenadines but also that it has two faces. It was Martin Luther King who popularized the adage, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere!’
The justice system
The distrust of the justice system (as oxymoronic as it may seem) is so prevalent in our country now more than before, it can breed a new kind of lawlessness, and a form of vigilantism (open or subtle) which, in turn, will threaten the undermining of the entire justice system, and erode the country’s trust in law enforcement, the very fabric on which justice hinges.
This downward spiral eventually corrodes the moral authority of law enforcement and creates widening rifts in the community. We are therefore, calling on all well intentioned persons, including all of your legal advisors, to address this vexing ordeal expeditiously and intervene now. Don’t let the anger of the people go unheard.
(Martin Luther cautioned, ‘Riot is the language of the unheard.’) We surely don’t wish blessed Hairouna to sink into further social decadence or unrest when it can be prevented. Our people are experiencing an unprecedented level of poverty never before seen in this blessed land. We are already experiencing the highest level of unemployment since adult suffrage and hikes in the prices of goods and services because of unjust taxation. In essence, we are facing our lowest standard of living of all times as a nation. Let us not provoke our people to further wrath.
Our organization – Association Of Writers Of SVG – is duty bound to join in the struggle for justice for Mr. Cornelius John, who was allegedly shot in the sanctuary of his home by a custodian of the Ministry of Justice and accomplices.
It has been almost two months now since that incident. However, no arrest has been made, no one has been charged, no one had been relieved of their duty or duties as would happen in any ‘civilized’ nation or democratic state, founded on the principles of, ‘No man is above the law’ and ‘Our nation is a nation of laws and not of men.’
The Association of Writers of SVG was established with the obligation to speak out for the voiceless, the marginalized, the victimized, the disenfranchised and the socially excluded.
Sir, I would like that you reflect on the aforementioned and be of good courage and fair in the pursuit of justice, fair play, ethics, integrity, equity and equality in the justice system, of which you are a prime executor.
On account of what has happened to Mr. John and the course that has ensured to address the matter, most right thinking Vincentians are asking, am I next?
We are kindly soliciting your intervention in this yet unfolding, disgusting matter so as to ensure that ‘justice must not only be served it must appear to be served’.
We want nothing but justice without fear or favour and that the process proceeds in maintenance of the rule of law. ‘Justice delayed is justice denied’.
We anticipate that you will take our call seriously and await your just action.
Dr. Chester Toney
President of Association Of Writers SVG