THE Desert Star Holding (DSH) project deal is a bad one and should be renegotiated immediately.
That’s the crux of the message conveyed to government by participants in a national protest march held in Vieux Fort last Sunday which attracted a moderate crowd.
The march, which was organized by the Vieux-Fort Concerned Citizens Coalition for Change (VFCCCC), was held to express its dissatisfaction with the DSH project as it relates to its Framework Agreement.
The participants, who included Dr. Kenny Anthony and Moses Jn. Baptiste — Parliamentary Representatives for Vieux Fort South and Vieux-Fort North respectively — marched along the main streets of Vieux-Fort, Bruceville and Sandy Beach with placards bearing messages such as: “Get Up, Stand Up, Join Us”, “Save Sandy Beach”, “Ching Ching in your pockets, Ching Chong in your town”, “7 x British, 7 x French and 99 x Chinese.”
As the protesters walked along the streets in a procession-like manner, they chanted words denouncing the project in its current form, as excerpts of the Framework Agreement were read to them.
Cynthia Satney, a member of the VFCCCC, said they were not protesting because they are party hacks but because they have a genuine concern which needs to be addressed by Prime Minister Allen Chastanet.
In an interview with Julius James, also of the coalition, he told The VOICE that he was satisfied with the turnout, adding that he would have liked to see “ten times more” people participating in the march. He said the fear of victimization is one of the main reasons why many more people did not turn out.
“They are afraid of making a statement. They don’t want their faces to be shown in public… Victimization is real in this country,” he lamented, adding that St. Lucians do not have a protest culture.
He called on the Prime Minister to come to Vieux Fort to explain the Framework Agreement to residents of the south.
“Let us begin a process of dialogue. This is critical,” James said.
He said it was the first national protest the VFCCCC has held and that protests will continue.