Picket a waste of time says onlookers
March 12, 2010
Picket a waste of time says onlookers

“Shameful!” “A waste of time!” “Unnecessary!”

The opinions of persons watching last Thursday’s picket, of parliamentary proceedings, by supporters of the New Democratic Party (NDP), and the Unity Labor Party (ULP) were less than favourable.{{more}}

For the second consecutive sitting of parliament, supporters of both parties lined the street immediately in front of the Court House, (ULP on the side closer to the House, NDP on the side of the Kingstown Central Market).

They arrived early Thursday morning and took up their positions, with banners and placards, and some remained until the House adjourned late that evening.

The supporters heeded the calls of their leaders to rally behind their causes. For the NDP, it was allegations of corruption in government, the Anesia Baptiste issue among others; while, on the ULPs side, it was a call to support the leadership.

The actions of these supporters on the picket lines, which included dancing, singing religious songs, with some lyrics changed, to suit the relevant party, and hurling insults at each other across the street, drew criticism from persons who chose to look on at the spectacle.

Supporters, on both sides, were accused of behaving as though they were ‘clowns in a circus’ and ‘behaving like fools’.

“It’s a shame! I can’t believe St. Vincent come to this,” said one elderly lady, who refused to give her name as she passed the commotion on the opposition’s side of the street.

“They making the country look bad,” she said as she walked away shaking her head.

One lady, who clearly indicated that she was a supporter of the New Democratic Party, but opted not to picket, said that she did not see the need to “stand out in the sun like they ain’t got nothing better to do”.

She said that she would rather wait for election time to make her mark.

“Is when elections call that matter, it don’t make sense coming out here now, because to me it not changing anything.”

A debate between two persons on different sides of the fence was peacefully waged away from the masses, with the NDP supporter saying that she did not see why the ‘other side’ should picket.

“They already in power, so why they coming out here and making noise for? She asked. “It’s us who need to come and be here.”

Meanwhile, the ULP supporter indicated, that those in red were there to show support for their party and rallying around their leader, Prime Minister Dr. Gonsalves, and his Cabinet.

Both however agreed, that the way both sides were acting, was “not nice at all”.

Supporters first turned out in larger numbers in support of their parties on January 25th, during the 2010 fiscal budget debate.