After months of lobbying against the draconian Electronic Crimes Bill passed into law by the dictatorship of the NNP, minister of legal affairs Elvin Nimrod announced to the press that the controversial sections 6, 16 and 25 will be repealed at the next sitting of parliament.
Despite the best efforts of Kem Jones, Randall Robinson, Vincentian Anesia Baptiste and the international press institute IPI, the pig-headed NNP administration stubbornly passed this piece of backward and foolish piece of legislation into law. It therefore leaves one to wonder how effective is the attorney general’s office. The attorney general should use his office to sensibly advise government and not just rubber stamp legislation for political reasons. It is things like this that I am adamantly against Grenada joining the CCJ.
The NNP administration had no genuine intention to repeal this ill advised law. It is as a result of both internal and external pressure and condemnation by ordinary people that the government has finally buckled. The electronic crimes bill was meant to 'muzzle' the young people who use the social media to openly express themselves on issues of national importance having put a 'noose' around the neck of the MWAG president Sheridan Noel and a large section of the print and electronic media, in order to have total dominance on the free flow of communication the NNP passed the backward bill.
The Grenadian media is foolishly toeing the NNP line to their own detriment. While many of these media personalities may be on government payroll, there are still folks like Kem Jones who refuse to be a stooge of any politician. This young political activist must be highly commended for his courage and fearlessness against the NNP establishment. Despite daily attacks against him by NNP cronies like Bobby Steele he stood up firmly and consistently against the electronic crime bill. He fought to ensure that participatory democracy triumph over NNP dictatorship.
By forcing the government to announced that the law will be repealed, Kem, Anesia, Randall and company have demonstrated people's powers. NNP dictatorship has been defeated in this first round. There may be many more rounds to be fought but the precedent has been set.
Under the NNP, Grenada joined the dictatorship of Egypt, Syria, North Korea, Iran and most recently Venezuela as countries who are using the power of the state to stifle freedom of speech and the free flow of information Having total dominance of the airwaves , and with only 20% internet penetration access to information is tightly controlled by government.
While in opposition NNP was a given access to the Government Information Services GIS by the Tillman Thomas a lead NDC administration. Today the same party and government is doing all it can to silence the voice of the opposition. This is shameful and anti-democratic. Miscreants like Bobby Steele and Hamlet Mark seem to believe that democracy is winning an election. Elections are just an aspect of the democratic process.
Having won the February 19 elections in 2013, the backward thinking NNP and their prodigal son Peter David is advocating for a one party state. Hamlet Mark wants to be senior communications adviser for life. While Peter David and his rebel faction want to inherit power. The era of dictatorship is over. NNP was forced to flip flop and swallow their own vomit. This is a major defeat for the agenda of the anti democratic forces. Their intention is the consolidation of power by intimidating the opposition! By positioning police officers who are supportive of the NNP in positions of authority within the RGPF the leadership of the NNP is hoping to secure the military power to control the masses.
The commissioner of police and his hierarchy should understand that the international criminal court in The Hague won't hesitate to prosecute them for crimes against humanity. They should take an example from the uprising in Ukraine where the elite police unit has been disbanded, with officers in the unit facing prosecution. The world is a much different place in 2014 than in 1999. People this world over are fighting for their human rights and freedoms. Arms and ammunition are no deterrent to people who are willing to die for their freedom. I am certain the commissioner of police Winston James and the hierarchy of the RGPF don't want blood on their hands. Their responsibility is to protect and serve and not be twisted by the whims and fancies of a politician. They need to maintain the integrity of the RGPF.
It appears that is it rather easy to buy the allegiance of persons of supposedly reasonable understanding knowledge status in Grenada. These individuals are willing to overtly or covertly support the dictatorial tendencies of the prime minister and his cabinet. They refused to condemn the electronic crimes bill even if they knew that it was a draconian and backward piece of legislation.
Senior police officers, trade union leaders, businessmen, pastors, priests, lawyers and doctors are apparently trading their integrity and principles like commodity. This is what Chester Humphrey referred to as 'Project Grenada'. A people who lack integrity is doomed to fail and hence the reason the NNP administration is failing so miserably. This administration is surviving because of the economic interest of the MPs. There are those that are not in agreement with many of the actions of their leader and government but refuse to speak out for fear of losing their portfolio.
In a case of follow the leader blindly, not a single government MP or senator voted against the electronic crimes bill. The repealing of this law show that their votes were 'stupid, ignorant and lack integrity'. How many more pieces of legislation will they have to repeal or amend in the future? Can anyone trust the wisdom of these MPs and senators to make sensible decisions in their best interest? I really don't think so.
As the government moves towards the process of constitutional review, the people must remain vigilant and demand hard answers the prime minister, his cabinet, the political leader of the NDC and the constitutional review committee led by Dr Francis Alexis. While I believe that there is a need for constitutional review, I don't have the trust nor the confidence in this NNP government. The rush to a referendum in my view isn't necessary. Government should instead be concentrating on facing the national economy. People can't vote on hungry bellies. The irony in all this talk about constitutional review is while Dr Alexis is doing his job there are those who are advocating for a one party state.
Finally the progressive and forward looking people of Grenada must be grateful to Kem Jones, Randall Robinson, Anesia Baptiste, the international press institute IPI for their vigilant stance against this draconian and doltish piece of legislation the NNP electronic crimes bill. With folks like these democracy will always triumph over dictatorship. Those with the DNA of dictators shall be put to shame and be rejected by sensible persons with integrity and principle.