by JP Schwmon #SituationUpdates
“Time and time again when I expect that Vincentians would say ‘enough is enough’ we’ve seen for some reason we seem to be very docile. More than 500 Vincentians have lost their jobs; why don’t we have 500 Vincentians on the street protesting?
“They’ve lost their jobs, they’ve lost their pensions [and] they’ve lost everything. If somebody is taking away your bread, they are trying to kill you. Vincentians fight for your freedom, fight for your life.”
This, according to Charles Sampson, Rise Hairouna’s vice president, as he offered closing remarks at the 1-year-old NGO’s first media conference last Tuesday.
These sentiments, in part, were an apparent reference to the outcome of the government’s jab-or-lose-your-job COVID-19 vaccine mandate. A representative of another protest-based group also echoed them.
Lou-Ann Dover, a member of the Frontline, also expressed her reaction when she observed the notable absence of the dozens of dismissed civil servants. She said:
“I am so glad when Mr. Charles expressed – Charles Sampson – when he said 500 Vincentians lost their jobs but yet on the protest line last Friday we didn’t see them. And I do not understand what is going on.
“My concern is that the masses are not hitting the streets. Where are the public servants? Where are the teachers? Vincentians are suffering from mental slavery and we have to break the chains.
“There is a spirit of fear tormenting the nation and we on the Frontline strongly believe once we overcome that spirit of fear that we will be successful in overcoming the dictatorship government that is governing us. I want everyone to know and be confident that Frontline has a history of protesting.
“We protested for 365 days straight – I’m sure everybody remembers that. We have no fear, no backing down, no bowing to, no retreat, no surrender and we on the Frontline will continue to protest until we see the back of the ULP government.”
Asbert News Network understands that at least 130 teachers of varying qualifications from schools across the entire education system were amongst those dismissed for having failed to satisfy the government issued vaccine mandate. Twelve former staffers from the local Customs and Excise department, 46 former Health Ministry staff members, at least 10 former police officers and several other groups of civil servants were also numbered amongst the dismissed.