African Liberation Week: UWI Discussion
As part of the celebration of African Liberation Week, a discussion was held at UWI Open Campus, on Thursday May 23rd, to introduce the effects of the laws in Dominica on the liberation of Dominicans.
The panelist compared slavery days with present day, as it refers to the change in structure, dependency and social and economic changes of Caribbean countries.
Lawyer, Henry Shillingford, feels that Dominica is not liberated; in fact, he says it is under the thumb of colonialism.
According to Mr. Shillingford, legally and under law Dominica is an invalid country, and if we keep accepting others definitions of independence, we will get trapped in thinking we can change things.
He claims, Rastafarianism is the only way people can become liberated in the 21st century.
Mr. Kertist Augustus, Secretary Treasurer of Water Front and Allied Workers Union (WAWU), says, it was not until the trade union ordinance, that we started to see the acceptance of the legalization of trade unions form throughout the Caribbean.
He also made mention of the various Acts and the movements made toward their implementation in the early days. Mr. Augustus believes our present advancement, however, has not brought about and type of liberation.
Ms. Noreen John says, the basic structure of the Caribbean law is based on common law in England. It describes procedural rules and techniques but does not reflect what our Caribbean reality is, she added.
Representative of the House of Nyabinghi, Peter Alleyne, says, if the intention was for the laws of Dominica to possibly assist in the country’s liberation – then – there would be exposure in our educational system throughout our school life.
Various issues including, Industrial Relation, Protection of Employment, Labour Standards, and Protection against Domestic Violence were also addressed.