Dr. Fraser- Point of View
August 20, 2021
Difficult times! Will our faith see us through?

(Continued from last week)

I ended last week with what was really a rhetorical question because security personnel around the PM are there to assess situations and to guide him accordingly. If it were otherwise, then all I can say is that this is SVG for you! Our country is definitely going down a slippery slope and if the situation is not handled carefully, it is likely to get worse. One of the things that is really disheartening is the reaction of some people outside of the country who had absolutely no clue as to what was going on and were prepared to comment before making an attempt to be better informed. The Antiguan Prime Minister blew his trumpet loudly, no doubt with an eye to what was happening on the ground in Antigua. Some saw it as a protest against being vaccinated while here people were hell bent on protesting against mandatory vaccination.

The issue of an assassination attempt on our PM made for good humour. The charges laid against the person arrested allegedly for stoning the PM and the amount of bail she was granted made a mockery of things. We have heard no reports of guns and ammunition being found at the protest, but some so-called activists’ homes were searched with police looking for among other things, guns and ammunitions. Hopefully when the matter gets to Court, we will get a better idea of what prompted the police’s reaction. Two persons were arrested but were seemingly not charged with assassination attempts.

The police claimed not to have been informed according to the requirements of the Public Order Act, yet police accompanied the protesters around town and had erected barriers around the Court House overnight. The Commissioner of Police was even among the crowd.  One gets the impression that having come out quickly and labelled the affair an assassination attempt, the focus turned on creating an atmosphere to make that appear feasible. Meanwhile Senator Morgan has resurfaced and made a statement which should remind us that the incident with Cornelius John being shot in his leg is what started the series of protests. What has come out clearly is the different sides of justice here. Searches were carried out at the homes of Opposition NDP activists looking for guns. In the Cornelius John affair, it is known that he was shot with a gun, and he alleged that the Senator put a gun in his face while making threatening remarks. It doesn’t appear that the Senator’s residence was searched. It might have made sense if the searches at the homes of the NDP activists were focused on finding stones. This whole thing is crazy! A good humorist is desperately needed. Do you know the book, “Under an English Heaven”?  When Anguilla revolted from the St Kitts/Nevis federation in 1969 a group of British bobbies was sent to calm the situation. They had no idea where the hell Anguilla was. They got off the plane and heard a sound like gun fire. They fell flat on the ground with arms ready to defend themselves. They realised soon after that it was the sound of a motor bike.

After two days when they realised how comical was the situation, they all went into the sea with all their clothes off and their bobby hats on their heads. That was the photo they put on the cover.

     How does our country get back to a state of normalcy?  Because we are a Christian community, eyes continue to be turned to the Christian Council or rather the bodies representing the different churches. But they are not doing themselves any bit of good! They appear ill-informed and are very selective with what issues they are prepared to comment on. I well remember the 1970s when the Christian Councils led by the Caribbean Conference of Churches took a leading role in affairs in the region, speaking about the ills in the society, regardless of the source of those ills. Dr Philip Potter of Dominica rose to become General Secretary of the World Council of Churches and was credited with putting progressive policies in place. He was a leading force in the struggle against apartheid. I worked in the late 1970s with CADEC an arm of the CCC. Those were good times!

     Will our Faith see us through? It depends on what faith means to you. If it means sitting back and depending on divine intervention you are on the wrong track. It should strengthen your resolve and make you determined to stand up for what is right. Our country needs serious help, and the task is ours.

l Dr Adrian Fraser is a social commentator and historian