Our Readers' Opinions
July 24, 2009
A happy PMC birthday

by Oscar Allen 24.JULY.09

Next week, the People’s Movement for Change, the PMC, will be one year old. Over the past months, very few people believed in the PMC for what it is, an important political organization which is not a political party. True, there were some who wanted what we called for, namely “One People, One Nation”, but they felt that we could not make a dent in the “Two Parties, Two Nations” politics that is strangling us, and so they stood aside. As the end of Year One draws close, the PMC is happy to have served our Nation so far and to look ahead.{{more}}

We have nothing to beat our chest and brag about. That is not our style. We organized no huge street marches, we had no massive political bashment, we made no administration frustrated, no government ungovernable, we organized no Shake Up or New Times or financial coalition for elections. You could almost say that we did nothing that political people look for to see if you are either a threat, or a nobody. We had a quiet year without tumult, without flailing at windmills or blowing up battlements. We were different.

Recently, the Prime Minister and the Airport Company (IADC) spoke about a new plan for airport support. They announced the setting up of measures for a “Contributory Fund” through which people could give money to help with the International Airport. “People are asking for that opportunity to help with the airport”, is how Ralph and Rudy put it.

When months ago the PMC called for the airport to become a national SVG project, rather than a Ralph baby, we called for an investment window for people to invest up to 5% of the airport cost as part of a bringing home the airport as a national – international collaboration. In fact, the contributory fund is still a token of appreciation, not an investment opportunity. What the Government and the IADC and the NDP need to do is to take the PMC statement on the airport and open a consultation on it so as to rend and mend the airport project and make it something, a beautiful and harmonious – one Vincentian people’s project.

When it comes to the opinion market place, during the year, even without having our own media supermarket, PMC members enriched the flow of ideas. We presented substance on the region’s financial i.e. CLICO falsehood, our medical mess, the Homecoming, Reparations, Africa. We defended initiative, banana industry reform, the question of s/heroes and awards, the quality of our young people, deconstructed our constitutional reform, theorized popular democracy and other valued items of discourse. We continue this week and next week on forms of organizing the bias of our constitution and the reform of policing.

Quietly, from our trenches, we have sent up flares that help light the way out of darkness, lest we stumble.

Of course, the PMC has used symbolic action to stir thinking, and strike at unwholesome and unacceptable behavior. We have designed a national award in honour of George A Mc Intosh. The Credit Union Movement is still contemplating whether they deserve it! More recently we sustained a small picket facing the central police barracks to call for an end to police brutality. It ended with a police blow out of questionable behaviour, followed by official platitudes. The PMC will place policing and politics under the microscope next week. The first year of the PMC has been a year of quiet and purposeful service. An accumulation of experience and organic critique, our birthday will be happy because we have begun to serve. We see new tasks in the year ahead, and people now have some experience and evidence that a social and political force does not have to be a political party in order to unite and renew a society.

Our party, our birthday party, will be on 31st July, DV. It will feature a discussion on “Our emerging democratic state”. All are welcome.