Es Ou Paway?

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

By Faye-Chantelle Mon­de­sir

With Therold Pru­dent padded up for ac­tion, the na­tion faces the big ques­tion: is the cap­tain of the Looshan Peo­ple’s Move­ment ready to score off the spin bowlers, red and yel­low? With so many claim­ing “we ready for change!” can Pru­dent and his team con­vince the pop­u­lace they are the change the na­tion has been pray­ing for?

The LPM’s demon­stra­tion march sched­uled for 8th Oc­to­ber is ex­pected (by or­ga­niz­ers, any­way) to at­tract suf­fi­cient num­bers of dis­en­chanted and suf­fer­ing cit­i­zens from all corners of the is­land, the plan be­ing to pro­vide liv­ing proof that the gov­ern­ment’s poli­cies have been for the ma­jor­ity of Saint Lu­cians dis­as­trous, re­gard­less of po­lit­i­cal af­fil­i­a­tion. Pru­dent in­tends to in­tro­duce an open-mic ap­proach to the demon­stra­tion by pro­vid­ing marchers the op­por­tu­nity to ex­press their con­cerns about the coun­try’s cur­rent po­si­tion and to of­fer re­me­dial al­ter­na­tives.

“Peo­ple are dy­ing for a chance to be heard,” the LPM leader as­sured me dur­ing a re­cent sit-down in­ter­view. He added that the party’s lead­ers are de­ter­mined to see a new day in lo­cal pol­i­tics, and an end to hum­drum pol­i­tics as usual. “The peo­ple have voices that must be heard,” he said.

Politi­cians must demon­strate a se­ri­ous and last­ing in­ter­est in “the proper man­age­ment of our coun­try” Pru­dent added, “and not only in what too many con­sider a cushy job where no one is ac­count­able.”

In the mean­time, said Pru­dent, the LPM has been as­sist­ing peo­ple to set up fran­chises. “Al­ready we have set up our own smoothie op­er­a­tion, in part­ner­ship with en­ter­pris­ing young peo­ple from the north of the is­land.” He also spoke of plans for a green­house at Beause­jour “for the green thumbed.” Then there’s the “vi­brant seed and plant dis­tri­bu­tion pro­gramme we’ve started, with the aim of en­cour­ag­ing cit­i­zens to grow what they eat, in the best in­ter­est of their health and the na­tion’s econ­omy.”

A one-time UWP mem­ber, the LPM leader says, “St. Lu­cia de­serves a fresh start.” And doubt­less the first steps will be taken on Oc­to­ber 8th. He re­vealed that from child­hood he had taken a keen in­ter­est in lo­cal pol­i­tics. Like so many be­fore him, he had taken him­self to the United States to pur­sue stud­ies not avail­able here at the time. He added that he had learned as much from the class­room as he had from real life on the streets of Brook­lyn and other Amer­i­can cities.

A for­mer ac­tive mu­si­cian, Pru­dent is de­ter­mined, should his party be elected to of­fice, to put the Cre­ative In­dus­tries Min­istry to bet­ter use. “We have so much tal­ent here that largely re­mains un­tapped,” he said. This he has dis­cerned from his Mon­day Movie Night pro­duc­tions for res­i­dents of Gros Islet, his pop­u­lar dance classes and so on, all with­out charge. He re­cently or­ga­nized ren­o­va­tion of an old colo­nial­style build­ing in Gros Islet that he plans to turn into a de­sign stu­dio and man­u­fac­tur­ing plant. He ex­plained: “Young men and women within the Gros Islet com­mu­nity will have the op­por­tu­nity to present their de­signs. For ex­am­ple, if there is a par­tic­u­lar de­sign of shoe they like and want to de­velop, we could help,”

Pru­dent re­mains con­fi­dent that the LPM will at­tract not only dis­grun­tled vot­ers from the two main po­lit­i­cal par­ties, but will also “reignite dis­ap­pointed and dor­mant reg­is­tered vot­ers who have not voted in years.”

The LPM’s Oc­to­ber 8th march is sched­uled to be­gin at 4 p.m. Cu­ri­ously, par­tic­i­pants are be­ing en­cour­aged to dress in the colours of the na­tional flag. The march will start at the Vigie play­ing field, pro­ceed down Peynier Street, then Mi­coud Street, fi­nally gath­er­ing at Derek Wal­cott Square where Pru­dent ex­pects lively dis­cus­sions to en­sue.

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