Tuesday, September 18, 2012

No union support for PNM march; Rowley depending on party support

Keith Rowley is hoping for a show of force for Tuesday's march to deliver a petition to President Max Richards demanding that the president fire Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, Justice Minister Herbert Volney and Attorney General Anand Ramlogan.

But he might have to rely on mobilising his own party since the unions and religious groups appear to have backed away from the event.

The opposition leader wants all citizens to join his People's National Movement (PNM) in the march and has called on religious groups and trade unions to participate. The march is to highlight the PNM's concerns about the controversial Clause 34, which was repealed in emergency sittings of Parliament last week.
Rowley and the PNM voted for it last year and also voted to repeal it last week.

One prominent political figure who plans to march with the PNM is Vernon De Lima of the Congress of the People (COP). However COP's public relations officer Mahendra Dhaniram told local media he cannot say if other COP members would march. COP is not officially participating in it.

The Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) has been discussing whether it should be a part of the PNM's march and the National trade union body NATUC said it remains independent. 

NATUC president Michael Annisette said the organisation won't align itself to any political party. “However, NATUC respects the rights of its members to respond to any calls by any political party. This stance is taken with the clear understanding that NATUC represents trade unions and its members across the political divide,” he explained.

Banking, Insurance and General Workers Union’s Vincent Cabrera was also cautious. He said while he personally supported the idea of the march, his comrades said Rowley hadn’t consulted with them and the invitation issued by Rowley was too short to organise participation.

The churches sent a coded message that they are not joining the march. On Monday the leaders of the Inter Religious Organisation (IRO) paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Kamla Persad- Bissessar.

Communication Minister Jamal Mohammed said, "People have the freedom to lodge their protest as they may within the law. It’ s a democratic country.'

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai