Many persons in affluent communities believe that the terror inflicted on families by the state in Gulf View yesterday would never have happened to them. There are now cries of abuse of power and infringement of constitutional rights by these affected persons.
What this experience shows however, is the danger which ordinary citizens can be subjected to if we are not careful of the laws being rushed through the Parliament by the Government. You would have heard repeated bleating by the Rowley Government that the UNC was refusing to support specific pieces of legislation.
In fact, it is a matter of record that the Attorney General removed the need for a special majority on pieces of legislation which infringes the constitutional rights of citizens to privacy and enjoyment of property.
The reality is that since 2015, the Rowley-led government has brought draconian legislation to parliament which have diminished people’s constitutional rights to privacy, property and freedom of expression. Yet when citizens have stood up against these laws they have been chided as obstructionist by the said population they have sought to protect.
I want to make it abundantly clear, again, that the UNC remains committed to GOOD law, we will not support legislation which we know can be used to deprive citizens of the protections of the Constitution without redress. We have repeatedly amended governments poorly or perhaps maliciously drafted legislation, from FATCA to Anti-Gang to Unexplained Wealth. The Rowley Government continues to rush bad law through the Parliament and we remain concerned about the potential for abuse, as these victims have experienced.
To be clear, what happened in Gulf View is happening to other persons in other communities.
When the state commits such actions in poorer, depressed communities, the cries of injustice, victimization and abuse are met with ridicule and are disregarded by the wider society.
Now that these unconstitutional laws have reached the literal doorsteps of some of the affluent in society, they may want to pause to consider that most persons living in poor or depressed communities are innocent law-abiding citizens who are struggling to make ends meet and not criminals. Our society must also consider their complaints with the same concern and alacrity as those from Gulf View residents yesterday.
In future we as a country may want to pay greater heed to the cries of injustice and state abuse by all persons irrespective of their social, financial and living circumstances.
The UNC remains committed to the rule of law and the protection of the fundamental rights and freedoms of all citizens.