Mon 2nd Oct 2006

Statement of Ordan Graham

FOTC Public Meeting at Buccament

August 27th, 2006

People of Buccament and other surrounding areas, Goodnight!

As you can see, I am wearing a black pants. Today is an historic day and I am mourning for St. Vincent and the Grenadines. People of Buccament and the surrounding areas. I want to open your eyes this evening so that you in turn can go and open the eyes of the other Vincentians to see what is going on in our Country.

I ain't just come you know! I ain't just come! I went through the struggle in 1975 when Labour Party tear gas teachers in Kingstown. I had just start the Teachers College and they through me out of Teachers College as a form of victimization. So I ain't just come.

When James Mitchell, Sir James was walking Kingstown in a gunslinger... when Vincentians said that 'he could never be Prime Minister in this Country'. I called him Mr. Prime Minister. I helped him to be Prime Minister in this Country. I helped him to be Prime Minister in this Country. He made his mistakes like everybody else... and he made, he made some advancement in this Country.

Friends, this historic meeting will go down in our history as the beginning of the end... As the beginning of the end of the ULP regime in this Country. As the beginning of the end of the ULP regime in this Country. And take that from me. Take that from me tonight. Take that from me tonight. The people of this Country are being fooled by the ULP. The people of this Country had great expectations of good governance. They are being fooled and hoodwinked by this Administration... I can tell you that because I helped Ralph Gonsalves get into Government in this Country. I helped him. He used to meet me in Kingstown, that time I was living in St. Croix, when I come home on holidays. Comrade, give me a chance... help me. And I helped him. But the crux of the matter is, the entire lazy Cabinet is steeped in ingratitude and greed... Ingratitude and greed... and that's why they will fall. Gonsalves will fall. I will see to it in this Country... the back of that regime in this Country.

I was one of the farmers, I have seven acres of land in South Union. Seven Acres of coconut, dropping and growing, dropping and growing, Why? Because Mr. Hadley close down the coconut oil factory. After I bought lands from him, he close down the factory. So you can't sell copra to help pay for your land.

There is wickedness in high places in this Country. I was born in Lowmans, in the same vicinity of the Lauders Estate... And Friends I know when I used to work for two dollars a day on that estate, two dollars and men three dollars a day. Could you imagine working for two dollars a day from seven O'clock to four o'clock, and you have to make several trips with fifty coconut in a bamboo basket on your head? I know. And my father used to run a shop and I used to be in that shop... So friends, tonight, make up your minds to struggle. It will not come easy. Make up your minds to struggle.

There are a lot of things that happen in this Country of which I was a part of it... You wouldn't hear my name call. What is now enjoyed as the National Lottery. I was part of it. You remember when we had the NADO draw... which was the forerunner to the National Lottery? Cecil Ryan. Cheryl Johnson, Camo Williams... and myself and others. We were the ones who set the train up for the National Lottery. Comrades...six months this was in 2001 six months into the 2001 Administration... I went to Dr. Gonsalves a twelve o'clock Bastion Hackshaw and I... and I told him the economy is slipping away from you Comrade... I told him that I said.

Comrade the economy is slipping away from you. He say, how you know that? I say, man, you know I have a business on the road selling to shops... I used to sell up to five thousand dollars, turn over five thousand dollars per day. Six months into this Administration, my sales dip to three hundred dollars per day. So I say tell the shop keepers can't buy any more or me want me credit. You have to re-stimulate this economy... He say, Comrade me trying me best. I say, Comrade, your best is not enough, you have to do what is essential to turn this economy around. Create some jobs of employment so that people can get money to spend. When people have money, they don't go and trust. You know what he did?.......You know what he did? He give Hartley Henry a Contract to advise the Ministers of the Cabinet for fifty something thousand dollars...That was his response the next week.....That is what he did.

Now! I worked at the St. Vincent Marketing Corporation from the first of April, 1978... after I left teaching... And I was Contracts Officer for the St. Vincent Marketing Corporation. You remember we used to send a lot of carrots to Trinidad. We used to ship a lot of sweet potatoes to Trinidad. I used to travel this very road twice per week. Tuesdays and Thurdays, to go to Rose Hall to Belmont to purchase those carrots to send to Trinidad. We used to send peanuts, Portuguese yams, tannias, oranges, eddoes to England. We had a thriving farming community. Agriculture was alive in this Country. Today, we are mourning the death of agriculture, because of the stupidity of one man who calls himself our Prime Minister.We are mourning the death of agriculture. He has taken away the dignity from farming in this Country. He has taken away the dignity from farmers in this Country. Eh, Well, I, I, I, I wouldn't even bring up the minister of lands because there is only one Minister in the Government in this Country. Ralph Gonsalves. For me alone, I would keep the salaries of the others in the Treasury, because they not doing anything... He is the only one. Every night he is on TV. He speaks for Education. He speaks for Grenadines Affairs. He speaks for Energy... He speaks for everything... So he is the only Minister in this Country... He speaks for everyone. Why?....Because Ralph Gonsalves feels he is the only man with some savvy in this Country. We have to reverse that trend. Friends, if we do not reverse that trend in this Country, you know what will happen here?... You know what will happen?......Blood will run on the streets in this Country. And don't take that for a joke, because what will happen after all our lands are gone and we stand on the fence,, and we [ ] over and we are hungry, it is going to cause riots in this Country. It will start riots in this Country. So tonight I am sending out an SOS, Save Our state to the Prime Minister of this Country. To rethink his Policies. To rethink his policies... His draconian, wicked Policies that he imposes... that he is imposing on our Country. Dr. Gonsalves, I know you will get it straight, Ordan Graham is asking you, begging you to rethink your draconian Policies in this Country, otherwise, otherwise, blood will run in this Country. Blood will run in this Country.

Friends, when the farms are alive we do not have the domestic problems that we have because husbands can feed their children. They do not have to go home and argue over a five dollars. When banana was king in this Country. I used to be a banana farmer... When banana was king in this Country you never had the end of a banana day when somebody beg you. People used to ask me, man what you drinking? You want a Guinness? You want a Hairoon?.......But poverty has increased, ask Renwick Rose, since the ULP has taken the Administration in this Country. Poverty has increased. I know. I worked in Sandy Bay... I was the one who was chiefly responsible for the Garifuna Bakery. I was the one who was chiefly responsible for setting up the block making project in Sandy Bay for the elderly. So I know what poverty is. I have seen poverty first hand, and I tell you, poverty is not a nice thing. One of the worst things that can happen to the black man in the world is poverty. So friends, as I said before, this is an SOS.

Wake up!...Wake up!...Wake up! Get your sister, your brother, your mammy, your father, tell them about this issue because this will not be the last meeting. We are in solidarity with the Friends of the Tobago Cays one hundred and ten percent. And we are going to keep behind the issue, because we are not going to allow our lands to go into the hands of foreigners.

Good night. God bless you and thank you.

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