Residents of Union island are continuing to voice their opposition to the recent acquisition by Government of 10.75 acres of beach front land at Campbell, saying they will not take it sitting down.
On Monday, December 26, 2022, a group of placard carrying residents staged another protest over the Government’s acquisition of lands on the island for hotel development.
“We are all standing here today in solidarity and say no land taking by the government. We stand against it and we will forever stand against it,” said Victor Hypolite, one of the protestors, who also lamented that the Government had acquired the land without any discussion with the community.
Another protestor, Stephen Thomas said he was displeased at how the Government disregarded the opinions of the people when making the decision.
“If the Government has to do things like this, it must be in order…you must have a sense of reasoning with the people and then we could take it from there.”
In the October 18, 2022 and October 25, 2022 issues of the Government Gazette, the declaration was made that parcels of land belonging to Bert Davis, Grenadines Development Co. Ltd., Apollo Knights, Witcliff Hutchinson, Minors and CWSA and “whom else it may concern,” would be acquired for “a public purpose, to wit, for hotel development” and would be vested “absolutely in the Crown”.
Fitzgerald Hutchinson, son of Witcliff Hutchinson, deceased, added “We do not appreciate what the Government is doing to us in Union Island, we are saying that we are not sitting down and allow the Government to just walk over us…”
Children were among the protestors, representing the new generation that the landowners believe should inherit the land.
“We have decided that we are not allowing this land to go freely, this is the land that we have been living on for generations and we decide that we are going to pass it on
to our generation… they are the ones who should inherit these lands, not to be given to foreign entities for development, for we, on Union can do just as much,” Hutchinson declared.
Nicolas Alexander chimed in with the question “How smart is a developer if he wants to exist in a hostile environment? It just doesn’t work…!”
The placards carried by the residents in the December 26, 2022 protest, larger in number than the group which turned out on December 4, bore such messages as: “No to land grabs;We not giving away our lands; and, Stop taking away our local lands.”
“The beaches and its tranquillity is our goodwill and it’s PRICELESS, what value is it on your books?”
Others carried placards which begged for the rape of the lands to cease ad asked the “colonizers” to get their hands off the lands.