Dear Dominican Brothers and Sisters,
We, the People’s Party of Dominica, are currently witnessing the most depraved actions of a regime hell bent on clutching onto the last straws of survival. The events of the last 72 hours are indications of, not a political party, but a desperate, despotic cabal. That tyrannical group is lost as to what route to embark on, in order to maintain power. Thus, the only option is now to intimidate the very people it swore to serve and protect.
The gathering of a people voicing, expressing their desires for electoral reform does not fit the definition of a protest. The very idea of seeking permission to hold a meeting in that regard, is absolutely ludicrous! The very idea of imposing time limits also curtails one’s right to exercise their freedoms. Have not political rallies gone past dusk in Dominica before? Have not some of those rallies contained so called inciting remarks made against the ruling government of their times?
The tear-gassing of a non-violent crowd gathered to voice their rights for constitutional reform would be unthinkable, even in the last days of Patrick John. A hazardous environment surrounded the select members of the Special Services Unit (SSU) when they shot their canisters of teargas directly at the Dominican citizens. It defies common sense when a petrol station is less than 20 feet away.
Many “what-ifs” can be presumed here. One may state that rolling the cans may have been more sensible – wrong! The police were on a hill, and the downward roll of the cans is not dictated in a linear manner. Well, what about tossing the cans in the air? Still wrong! There are cable/lines above, and no telling how much force could go into one can, thus colliding with a cable connection/junction.
The tear-gassing of a non violent crowd gathered to plead for electoral reform shatters the parameters of behaviour that we would expect, even from a border-line democratic regime. The gassing of women and children does not bode well in our eyes and the eyes of the viewing world. These actions speak of underlying intentions to intimidate, bully, and silence the masses, so that in the future any other constitutional infringements will be swept under the rug amidst a compliant population.
To demand electoral reform by any means necessary in and of itself does not incite violence. Electoral reform is a peoples’ right, and just as the citizens have the right to freedom of speech, they have a right to free and fair elections. Take that away from the people, and in effect you have a declared war against them. It is thus necessary that such rights are “re”-acquired by any means necessary.
Our Brothers and Sisters, dear readers from other parts of the world, we no longer have a police service. While we can say that the majority of police officers are seeking to do the right thing, the individual occupying the role as prime minister, Roosevelt Skerrit and others in his cabal have handpicked officers from the SSU to do their bidding. Within the SSU, a core of officers with a militant, death squad mentality now controls the majority of police operations in the Commonwealth of Dominica.
It is very sad to see police in camouflage toting automatic rifles at even the simplest of political gatherings. Please note that several tourists have inquired as to whether Dominica was/is under martial law. One of their reasons: “soldiers” patrolling the town streets. We have warned over and over of the subtle influence of the paramilitary donning of uniform, but now it is too late. The siege mentality adopted by the Roosevelt Skerrit sponsored SSU officers is one of no return. Power is a drug, and absolute power, an absolute addiction.
Where do we go from here? We fight on! We fight on never to give in to the face of tyranny; we fight on with our fellow patriots; we fight together with all seeking to bring a better Dominica for our children and our children’s children. This is not about politics, but about seeking to preserve the freedoms that our ancestors strived with blood and tears to implement.
As of this writing, news has reached us of Atherton “Athie” Martin’s arrest for incitement. The modus operandi by these despotic henchmen is to use attrition on the opposition and all freedom seekers — they will release Athie, but then plant the fear in other patriots that they will be next to be picked up.
This is the same tactic used in the early days of the Duvalier (Papa Doc) and Noriega administrations. Later, things lead to longer jail confinements and torture, and then active death squad activity. This, our dear Brothers and Sisters, is the route that the Roosevelt Skerrit-led administration is pursuing. But, the fight must and will go on! So, skyward we go, fearless against the barrage of fear and intimidation. If not now, then when?
People’s Party of Dominica