We March to endorse a party other than PLP if it’s ignored by govt
JAYME C. PINDER
Guardian Staff Reporter
Published: Mar 20, 2017
Insisting that its two previous marches “made a difference” for Bahamians, the We March group plans to host its third march on April 2 to highlight a number of issues, including the problematic New Providence Landfill and what it feels should be a more responsible use of tax dollars.
If the march does not get the response the group wants from the government, We March will “publicly endorse another political party” in an effort to ensure that the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) is not re-elected, community activist and We March organizer Ranard Henfield told The Nassau Guardian yesterday.
Henfield did not say which party, but he said he has been in talks with the party for some time.
He had long contended that the We March movement is not political.
Referring to the march being planned for April 2, Henfield said, ”We are marching to the prime minister.”
Both the prime minister’s office and home are in the area and it was not clear what Henfield meant.
He said, “The reason we are organizing this march is for six issues.
“We think that [Bahamas Junkanoo] Carnival this year should be postponed and our tax dollars should be used more wisely this time, at the very least to promote our own culture and not another country’s culture.
“We are marching with respect to the dump fire and smoke.
“We think that it should be addressed immediately.
“It is unbelievable that you see persons in their homes who have no place to go and can’t afford to pay to move somewhere, and are stuck in their homes inhaling the smoke every day.
“We think the government should be compensating people in that community (Jubilee Gardens) for mortgage, rent, laundry expenses, medical bills, air filters and whatever they need.
“...We are also marching to continue our fight on the spy bill (Interception of Communications Bill). We think the delay for public consultation is a stalling tactic, so we want the bill to be gone completely.
“We are marching for the government to unseal documents concerning the sale of Baha Mar and to properly address rumors surrounding the ownership of the resort.
“We want a date for election to be set before May 7.
“Also, we need the government to stop playing party politics and to allow Commissioner of Police Ellison Greenslade’s plan to crush crime to be implemented immediately.”
Though all of the issues are important to the group, Henfield said, the group is focusing on matters concerning the continuous fires at the landfill.
In addition to the march, the group plans to file a lawsuit against the government for the pain and suffering endured by all Bahamians who have been affected by the burning landfill.
A major fire erupted at the site two weeks ago. Residents continue to complain about the impact of the smoke in the area.
The first We March was held on November 25, 2016, attracting several thousand people demanding more accountability in government.
There were also multiple other causes highlighted during the march, with labor unions, civic groups and some religious leaders participating.
We March attracted larger numbers when it marched on January 10, Majority Rule Day, to bring attention to those issues once again and to call for a deeper participation of more Bahamians in the democratic process.
The April 2 march will begin at 4 p.m. at Scotiabank in Cable Beach.
Henfield said more details on the march will be released closer to the date.
We March had planned to hold its third march on February 22 to protest the Interception of Communications Bill.
Prior to the march, Attorney General Allyson Maynard-Gibson announced that the government was putting the bill on hold to allow for a period of consultation.
We March then postponed its march.