Petition submitted to Prime Minister’s Office
The petition against vaccine intimidation was finally submitted to the Prime Minister’s Office.
Yesterday social activist Winston Clarke told the Nation that the petition garnered 3 000 signatures from a wide cross section of people with varying religious beliefs, ethnic background, health concerns and from different social classes.
Clarke said the petition, along with a letter, was sent via express mail last Tuesday to Prime Minister Mia Mottley. However, he hand delivered another copy of it and the accompanying letter on Monday at her office in Bay Street, St Michael giving it to a receptionist.
Clarke said that he was hoping he would be invited to a meeting where he could discuss the concerns some of the masses had with taking the vaccine.
“I was trying to reach out to her for the past four weeks to no avail so I would like her to respond soon,” he said. “We need to hear her on this issue because not coming out and talking against employers intimidating their workers to take the vaccine is just like supporting them.
“People should be able to exercise their rights and they have the right not to take the vaccine because of religious and ethical reasons or health reasons. Some of us do not want to take it because it is not a vaccine in description; it doesn’t immunise and the adverse effects outweigh the advantages of taking it.”
Clarke said he was in talks with the opposition party – People’s Party for Democracy and Development (PdP) – and was told to give Mottley some time to respond.
However, Clarke said if she did not respond in an appropriate time he would send a copy of the petition to the Governor General and would consider taking legal action against Government as it failed to address the prospective orders of the people.
Clarke said this stance against vaccine intimidation was in no way anti-vaccine or anti-government but citizens had the right to safeguard their integrity, autonomy and security and therefore should not experience discrimination, prejudice, victimisation, ostracism or to be refused access to services and opportunities because of their choice not to take the jab.
“We are seeing what is going on in other CARICOM countries and we want to pre-empt that here in Barbados. What is happening is when you refuse to be vaccinated, they are trying to intimidate you by threatening you in regards to work and you can’t travel and that is a constitutional violation.”
Clarke added that February’s lockdown had a major impact on the small business industry while larger companies excelled. He said many small businesses were forced to close, which put a number of families on the breadlines.
Clarke said this was unfair and more consideration should have been given to that sector, as black people owned many small and medium-sized businesses in Barbados. (SB)