Permission initially granted for a rally to be held on Bank Street on Friday January 3, 2014 was revoked by police authorities. Dozens of displeased citizens made their way down to Port Zante in protest of the decision to place a band on the streets of Basseterre instead of allowing the Team Unity political meeting to be held. The presence of many citizens on Port Zante in protest made for minutes of intense discomfort for the Prime Minister who was in the company of several businessmen at a Port Zante business.
The face-off ended in less than one hour but not before threatening words allegedly uttered by the nation’s leader had been spewed at Mr. Clecton Phillip, a Team Unity supporter. Mr. Philip was arrested and charged for disorderly conduct just twenty four hours later when he and a group of citizens picketed outside the Marriott where the Prime Minister’s Gala was hosted.
Most news sources were able to confirm that arson was determined to be the cause of two fires on January 4, 2014, to properties that housed the Venezuelan Embassy and the OAS offices respectively.
On Friday January 10, a wooden building at Baker’s Corner owned by Mr. Lindsay Grant was also gutted by a fiery blaze. Mr. Grant still awaits word from the authorities as to the cause of that fire.
The Team Unity partners conducted a well-supported meeting at Five Ways on Monday, January 6 but four days later, following a successful demonstration in Basseterre, the lights went out during the early stages of a political rally held at Bank Street!
Rather than subject supporters to waiting around in the dark, Team Unity leader, Dr. Timothy Harris, via a vehicle mounted PA system, bid adieu to the large and supportive audience encouraging them to keep the faith, remaining vigilant yet ever focused on rebuilding, reshaping and redirecting the path of our sovereign nation
In the wee hours of the morning of Friday 17, January 2014, another suspicious fire found its way across the narrows as the building that was home to Nevis’s Treasury, VAT Office and Inland Revenue was destroyed by a fast moving blaze. Premier Amory, clearly shaken by the devastation declared Friday “a black day” for all Nevisians.
Amidst these strange occurrences, first the fires on St. Kitts and now Nevis, citizens are asked to remain calm while investigators try to piece together exactly how these unfortunate acts of devastation were committed.
With the political tone shifting as it has in recent times and given the damage to property in four separate instances in less than one month, it comes as no surprise that many citizens are in a pensive mood. “What next? some ask. “These sudden fires seem eerily suspicious,” others openly remark.
While this current state of affairs is the most opportune time to cast aspersions and lay blame on one political side or the other, Team Unity partners continue to enlighten the electorate and discourage acts of violence as it is well known that rebuilding that which is destroyed out of haste and hate is costly and difficult.
One young man recently suggested that Team Unity, in its role as a collaborative opposition, has already been a huge success as a 21st century political movement. He made the point that while the ultimate goal of the Unity partners may be to form a government armed with an entirely new political dispensation, just being a force for the current illegitimate government to reckon with spells success!
Although the Speaker of the federal parliament continues to ignore the MONC, the entire nation knows how heavily the incumbents are campaigning if for nothing else but to retain power. The entire nation now gets that initiatives such as PEP that typically appear close to election time yet suddenly die after elections are over are nothing shy of election ploys.
The nation knows that talks about highway building from Sandy Point to Basseterre and NHC homes to be built on land not even yet designated and the need to do so with such urgency has everything to do with the current political noose around the necks of the incumbents than with any long established “policy position”.
The nation now knows that the opposition’s constant poking at the post 2010 general election 17% VAT lead to government’s implementation of VAT free days which has brought considerable relief to consumers.
The nation now knows that the passport scandal haunting the current Denzil Douglas administration has long term damning consequences for all citizens.
Team Unity partners have not had to bribe citizens or make any false promises to their fellow citizens to support their efforts. The people of the federation who have given an ear of consideration to the concept of Unity have examined closely what has happened to the federation over the past eighteen years and “most” fair minded citizens see absolutely no benefit to the federation continuing on this present political trajectory. Willingly and in droves many have kissed the current DLP goodbye, setting a precedence of higher expectations from ALL political leaders and a true resetting of the political clock. Indeed, the Team Unity effort has made considerable inroads.
Elder George Washington “Washy” Archibald along with many other political visionaries have advocated for years that citizens of the federation should give a concept such as the Team Unity alternative a try. Today, despite his temporary absence from the political scene, Elder Washington’s vision has become a reality.
As millions the world over celebrate the exceptional contributions of the great civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, George Washington Archibald can also be lauded as a mover and shaker of this 21st century movement called Team Unity! Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.
Despite the unfortunate cloud of fear looming over the federation at this time, citizens should glean from Dr. King’s words: “Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protests to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force”.
The soul force of ordinary citizens of the federation of St. Kitts and Nevis breathed life into the formation of Team Unity and coupled with the commitment of its leaders and the “soul force” of the people, the dynamism and strength of this 21st century political phenomena continues to build.
The will of the people may be long delayed but it can never be denied.