BASSETERRE, St. Kitts (Friday 10th May 2019)- For yet another year, thousands of people, both old and young alike, took to the streets of Basseterre on Labour Day March (International Workers’ Day) on Monday 6th May, put on by the St. Kitts-Nevis Trades & Labour Union (SKNT&LU) in partnership with its sister organisation the opposition St.Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP).
With their outfits and displays, Curtis Crooke and Bougna were two well-known personalities at the march who had the attention of many spectators and their fellow marchers.
In speaking with this media house, they had this to say:
“People are showing their colours. This march could have been even bigger but…people are still afraid to come out because we see what’s going on with dictator Harris. You see people standing on the side in their plain red so that says something that people do not have on their actual Labour slogan shirt but they are wearing their red so you could see that it says something. This time around, I am marching for a special reason; it’s for the workers and I’m a worker. My situation at the airport you see… my ID was pulled with immediate effect and I’m a worker who’s representing the workers of this country. I couldn’t go to the Labour Department because we know what goes on at the Labour Department. It’s not fair that poor people have to always go to the court. What if you don’t have the money?, and so these are the reasons why we have to march for what our forefathers went through such as the Buckley’s Riot and we could go on and on so we have to march, we have to stand up. Some pope say it is a political march and the question must be asked ‘How did this become a political march?, How did this march come about? What is the reason? Who was oppressing who? Why the St.Kitts-Nevis Trades & Labour Union. People must talk the history and tell the truth about the march. The march is for everybody so why PAM keep segregating themselves.”
“My stuffed animal display dressed in different colours is representing Timothy showing heself with all kind of parties. First he was Labour and then he is PLP and then PAM and now CCM and Unity so this shows that he is really uncertain of who he really is and I is de doctor for him; ah pushing him in he wheelchair. De wheel chair is just he transportation”
Labour Day is a worldwide observed holiday which highlights the economic and social accomplishment of the working- class people.
There continues to be ongoing public debate that the Labour Day march has turned into a political one according to some critics while SKNLP supporters give a rebuttal of their position that the social and economic progress of workers is credited to the party, the sister organisation of the St. Kitts-Nevis Trades and Labour Union.
Marchers wore most people wore red Labour Party T-shirts and other red clothing items – red being the affiliated colour of the Labour Party.
Many partakers carried placards with messages such as ‘We want a new school but NOT on our aquifer’, ‘Thank You Leon Natta For Fighting For Civil Servants’, ‘Scandal Under Scandal Under this government’, ‘Where is My $500?’ and ‘Ready To Rebuild…Labour 2020’.
That morning, the march kicked off from the Patsy Allers play field with a procession of pom-pom girls moving along some of the traditional routes onto including Cayon Street, Central Street, Fort Street and Bank Street, and climaxed at its starting point where a rally was held.
On the road entertainment included Real Right Entertainment and the Kollision Band.
SKNLP officials present were Party Leader and Prime Minister Dr. Denzil L. Douglas, Parliamentary Representative for Constituency Six; Deputy Leader and Parliamentary Representative for Constituency Two Marcella Liburd; Parliamentary Representative For Constituency Three Konris Maynard; Dr. Geoffrey Hanley of Constituency One; Steve Wrensford of Constituency Four; Kenneth ‘Kenny’ Douglas of Constituency Five; Leon Natta-Nelson of Constituency Seven and Dr. Terrance Drew of Constituency Eight.
Among the SKNT&LU executive officials were First-Vice President Sydney Bridgewater and Staff Representative and immediate former Assistant General Secretary Mitchel Slader.
On the eve of this week’s march (Sunday), the traditional wreath laying ceremony was held which saw visits to the gravesites of fallen stalwarts of the Labour movement such as Clarence Fitzroy Bryant, Joseph N. France, Sir Lee Llewellyn Moore, Robert Llewellyn Bradshaw and Fidel O’ Flaherty.