Salute to progress
Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley and others gave uplifting addresses on Sunday to mark the Day of National Significance.
Mottley spoke of ongoing efforts toward economic enfranchisement, which she said would not happen overnight.
She was speaking in a pre-recorded statement, which aired on the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) as the Clement Payne Movement celebrated the Day of National Significance to commemorate the 1937 uprisings.
Golden Square Freedom Park and its significance featured heavily in Mottley’s speech. She said Goverment had chosen to lay claim to Golden Square so others would have a spot to celebrate those who went before.
“The era of Golden Square is not to be left in the 1930s but it is to be used forever as a platform to carry this country to a higher calling always.
“So over the course of the next few months, when we finish the wonderful work that will be done at Golden Square Freedom Park . . . may this be a space of peace and reflection, education, agitation and nation building,” the Prime Minister said.
Mottley said the space was key because of its proximity to the market at Fairchild Street and that vendors should be allowed to ply their trade in a dignified way.
Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Culture, John King referred to the key role of the riots led by Clement Payne. He said July 26 was significant because it set the stage for the struggle for basic human rights and paved the way for labour unions and political reform.
Barbados’ Ambassador to Caricom and head of the Clement Payne Movement David Comissiong hosted the historic virtual celebration, which was broadcast on CBC, as a result of efforts to limit the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
General Secretary of the Barbados Workers’ Union Senator Toni Moore and acting general secretary of the National Union of Public Workers, Delcia Burke made contributions and voiced concerns of the labour movement. (KG)