Thursday, August 23, 2018

Band Launch: Blyss Launches For Choiseul Carnival 2018

Choiseul carnival revelers had almost given up hope on the ideal band to play mas in this year. However, Choiseul Carnival 2018 will see a new band on the streets of Choiseul Village.

The band, BLYSS which is an amalgamation of Bliss and Passion will be launched at a grand festival at the Galvaro Bar, next to the Nicholas Gas Station on Friday August 24, 2018, from 4:00 pm .

You will no doubt recall the spirit in the revelry, organisation, road music and  band sections that the organizers of a previous band had years ago. Well, this spirit has manifested itself into a new and vibrant group of young men and women who intend to make Choiseul Carnival look like what CARNIVAL in Choiseul is supposed to be.

So head down to La Fargue tomorrow to join BLYSS CARNIVAL BAND. Registration forms will be available and you will get a peek view into what the band is all about.



There is already talk of this band providing the #BestCarnivalExperience for 2018.

Friday, August 03, 2018

Making Roblot Look Nice Again?

The Roblot Community which is part of “The Forgotten Communities” has had its fair share of being forgotten time and time again regardless on the political party in power.
Sometimes I feel pity for the residents – myself included, who put all our energies into voting for a candidate (SLP or UWP) only to be shafted after elections. This must stop!

One can very well make the case that there is nothing sustainable in the community and as a result there is nothing much that can be done. Point taken! The residents of this community in which I have lived for the past 33 years don’t appear to need handouts from any politician - they rarely go to the Rep’s office. All they ask is to keep their community roads, drains and roadside up to date and of course a personal visit by the Rep to the community off and on. Is that too much to ask?
Well, the feelings of the residents must have reached the present Rep’s office because from Monday this week two or three supervisors were selected with a crew to tidy up the Forgotten Communities. A stimulus program it is being called, to “block a hole” for the most needy parents who have children attending school.

Dedanier Jn Baptiste
This blog is personally impressed with the work done by the crew headed by Dedanier Jn Baptiste. Not only was their work of a high level but it is the passion with which they tackled the work. Their aim was to uplift the appearance of the community to make it look attractive again.

In spite of all this effort, what remains of the community centre is a real eye sore in the community. At the last budget debate the Rep, Bradley Felix, mentioned that works are in the pipeline for a new centre for the residents.

"Choiseul on the Move" followed with him recently asking him where are we at now in relation to the centre? He replied, “The sketches have been presented. The challenge with Roblot is based on the funding agency condition that all these centres must have access for the physically challenged. Based on the size nof the property available it would be a challenge to construct a ramp for the top floor."

He continued, "We are looking whether we can aquire additional lands or change the orientation of the structure. The matter is being discussed and when they get back to me I will call the community meeting.”

So while we wait crews are helping uplift the appearance of the community in spite of our poor road conditions.

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

What Should Emancipation Day Mean to the St Lucian Working Class?

A people without the knowledge of
their past history,origin and culture is
 like a tree without roots. ~ Marcus Garvey
The history of the New World since Columbus re-discovered it is one of conquest, pillage, exploitation and forced migration of a people. For more than three centuries millions of people were forcibly transported from their homes in Africa, across the perilous Atlantic Ocean to the New World, where they were forced to labour on sugar plantations for the rest of their lives.

This enslavement of a people continued until events in Europe changed the fortunes of the West Indian and North American colonies. Humanitarians started questioning the validity of slavery, there was competition from beet sugar producers in Europe, and the advent of the Industrial Revolution spawned the rise of a new group of influential men in the British Parliament who believed that slavery was no longer economically viable.

In 1833 Thomas Buxton presented The Emancipation Bill in Parliament. The Act was passed and came into effect on 1 August 1834. On that day, thousands of slaves in the British West Indies became free men and women. On 1 August 1838, enslaved Africans in the British Empire won their emancipation from slavery. Emancipation Day is now commemorated throughout the Anglophone Caribbean as a public holiday or national observance. 

One hundred and sixty four years later, on 1 August 1998 the government of St Lucia declared Emancipation Day a national holiday to commemorate the abolition of slavery.

Emancipation was not a gift from Britain or White abolitionists. It came from the accumulated covert and overt acts of resistance by enslaved Africans.

Emancipation Day sends a clear message to the St Lucian labouring classes that capitalism exploited their ancestors’ labour under chattel slavery and is doing the same to theirs under wage slavery.

Emancipation Day is a continued reminder of the need for British imperialism to pay reparations for the enslavement of Africans and colonial exploitation. 

Emancipation Day is a mocking memo to the African labouring classes that they live in societies in which they do not exercise political power over economic and social policies that impact their lives.

Emancipation Day is an annual announcement to the labouring classes that anti-African racism is still a source of oppression and exploitation in their their lives.

Emancipation Day is a painful reminder that working-class African women are still being clobbered by the (un)holy trinity of patriarchy, capitalism and racism. Slavery was a brutal regime of exploitation for enslaved African women.

Emancipation Day is communicating to the masses that they must organize to give birth to the Second Emancipation. This phase of emancipation calls for the elimination of racism, patriarchy, capitalism and other systems of oppression that affect the people’s lives. It also demands the self-organization of the masses.

While it is great for the people to commemorate Emancipation Day, this day must also be used to reflect, critique, assess, deliberate and plan for the next year of struggle.

August 1, 1838 or Emancipation Day tells us that humanity’s quest for freedom cannot be smothered by oppression.