Protesting Marigot residents say they will not back down

By Dominica News Online,

Marigot today is experiencing one of fiercest protest since residents there have been demanding electoral reform before general elections.

On Tuesday, residents blocked roads and burnt tires, demonstrating their distaste with the sitting government’s decision to go to the polls on December 06th without voter I.D Cards and a cleansed list.

Marigot resident and brother of the Opposition Leader, Brian Linton, told the media this morning that villagers are not backing down.

This is the second day that Marigot residents have been protesting, braving teargas, barricades and bullets.

“We have police shooting live ammunition and the people of Marigot continue to stand and resist oppression and we want to call everybody to join the protest…” Linton said.

Linton said the protest is simply trying to push for a peaceful resolution to the residents’ demands.

“We are demanding free and fair election, reform, and a clean voters list in the first instance,” he explained.

Furthermore, Linton said the protest is also leaning towards the need for righteousness and justice.

“The young people who are in the struggle are unemployed youths who are qualified, who see a need for change and they have decided to stand up against all the police bullets and teargas,” he said.

Meantime, Psychiatrist Dr. Griffin Benjamin, a native of neighbouring Wesley, is supporting the protest, saying that the time has come for the people to fight for their rights.

“You have to fight your way into power. I would be disappointed if Dominicans don’t stand up today, tomorrow and the other days,” he said.

Benjamin said residents are fighting against a powerful force, mainly built on money.

“If a force is pushing against you and that force has millions of dollars and you just have your natural energy and your fight, then you can beat that force,” he added.

Benjamin said the prime minister is a “savage and as he is going out, he becomes this dangerous animal”.

He said what is happening in Marigot is not violence but resistance.

“Statesmanship has gone out the window completely, so you must engage them. We need people who are willing to lay on the roads and say no bus passing,” he added.

Looking back to when Roosevelt Skerrit took up office, Benjamin said the Dominica Labour Party died with its former leader Rosie Douglas.

“This one who took over the party [Roosevelt Skerrit] is a vicious character,” Benjamin said.

Benjamin said Skerrit has been able to destroy Dominica “in such a short time.”

“He’s aged in fifteen years. He’s no longer the young man who you can give a chance. He’s an old man who is desperate to hold on to power and to live a legacy that Dominicans cannot identify with,” he lamented.

The psychiatrist said he is also concerned about the mental stability of the prime minister.

Benjamin who has been a psychiatrist for over thirty years said he was always against the appointment of Skerrit as prime minister.

“In 2004 I stood up against him being prime minister. I was kicked out of his house when I said you are not going to head Dominica in any way shape or form,” he revealed.

However, Benjamin said Skerrit rose to power in an undemocratic manner.

“He has destroyed lives of innocent men and women. His intentions were clear from the beginning. It was for him and who he decided are loyal to him. Just challenging him made you a disloyal member of the party,” Benjamin explained.

Benjamin is also predicting a win for the United Workers Party at the upcoming general elections.