600 march in Walk4Relief
UNION LEADERS SAID THEY EXPECTED 300 people to turn out for yesterday’s Walk4Relief.
Nearly double that number showed up, according to police estimates.
The marchers wanted to be part of the protest against Government’s latest set of austerity measures, including the 400 per cent hike in the National Social Responsibility Levy from two to ten per cent. The unions are demanding that there be a reduction in the levy and have given Government a two-week ultimatum to accede to their request or they will take industrial action.
People from both the private and public sector gathered in Queen’s Park long before the scheduled 11:30 a.m. start for the march to Independence Square.
Protesters came from Government agencies such as the Transport Board, National Housing Corporation and Barbados Port Inc., along with workers from several construction companies.
The march was a united effort organised by the Barbados Workers’ Union, National Union of Public Workers, Barbados Union of Teachers and the Barbados Secondary Teachers’ Union.
Armed with placards stating These Taxes Freum-hell Stuart!!!, Dear Salary, I Miss You Please Come Back . . . I Promise To Be Good and This Is A FACT – That Tax Must Go!!!, the marchers – young and old – loudly sang We Shall Overcome and Bob Marley’s Get Up, Stand Up, Stand Up For Your Rights.
The unions’ symbolic walk, with a police escort, filled the streets from Queen’s Park onto St Michael’s Row to Bridge Street, made a right by the Treasury Building, then left onto Chamberlain Bridge before climaxing in Independence Square.
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