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I watch as the current disasters cripple our country, some human-made, and others by nature. As if the current scourge of Dengue and COVID-19 was not enough, then came La Soufriere reminding us all that God is in control, not man.
The recent allegations leveled against Senator Morgan and Assistant DDP Nelson have caused this nation even more significant pain.
The comments, however, made by the Prime Minister was even worst for me as I listened to him speak of persons who may run afoul of the law and open up themselves to lawsuits.
These utterances took me back to the year 1989, in which this letter appeared in the Vincentian Newspaper. Please permit me to share.
LETTER: “FEAR STALKS THIS LAND”
Ralph Gonsalves: The Vincentian, 3rd March 1989
“More and more Vincentians of all walks of life are heard to be whispering under their breaths that they feel gripped by fear in this the land of their birth. Fear, that painful emotion caused by impending danger or evil, is eating away at the fighting spirit of our people and is cowering them into submissiveness. To be sure a few persons are still courageous to have the possible consequences of resisting those who engender this fear. But, significant sections of the population are terrified about speaking or acting contrary to the opinions or dictates of those in political authority”.
“First, it is clear that many persons of authority in this country are attempting to use the law, its allied instruments and mechanisms not to maintain law and order by consent or by an inherent respect for the law or lawful authority. They seem bent on using the law as a hammer with which to beat people into submission. Attempts are being made to use the law to silence or perhaps emasculate newspaper correspondents who say uncomfortable truths (emphasis mine). Writs are used in an attempt to gag commentators. To be sure, the law of the land must be obeyed but one senses that attempts are being made to manipulate the law for less than desirable ends.”
“Democracy is hardly ever subverted into one fell swoop. Dictatorship tends to be a creeping kind. We must resist all dictatorship be they political, legal, military, or whatever else.”
The saying that silence means consent does not apply here, silence here shows fear, fear that if they speak out they will be victimised or even suffer a worst fate.