As is becoming customary in this emerging culture of Belizeans protesting against social issues they deem unacceptable, close to two hundred supporters of the National People’s Movement marched alongside NGOs such as COLA and Belizeans For Justice in an effort to send a message to the government, by show of numbers, that they are not pleased with the proposed 9th Amendment to the Constitution and other issues affecting the country.
The march started at 11:00 a.m. at the Constitution Park on Cemetery Road and ended at the Memorial Park.
Other issues plastered on posters by the marchers, some of whom arrived in buses from towns such as Punta Gorda and Dangriga, were poverty and the unequal treatment of minority groups. The marchers were on foot, in cars and on bicycles.
COLA president, Moses Sulph, told us, “We are basically out here to let democracy reign; we are out here because the 9th Amendment will be significant in the negative bracket, rather than in the positive, so we are saying that we don’t want this 9th Amendment to be passed.
“We want it to be understood that we are not here to march against nationalization, but we believe that freedoms can be taken away from us, and as such, we want the clauses to be removed from that 9th Amendment.
“We don’t believe that any government or any national assembly should become supreme law of the land. We believe the Constitution should be the supreme law of the land.”
Orange Walk East area representative, formerly of the United Democratic Party, Marcel Cardona, spoke with us on the issues regarding the 9th Amendment, which he is also against.
Cardona explained to us that he was protesting as a citizen, since the 9th Amendment, once passed, will affect him as well.
Cardona told us, “Our democracy is now being challenged by our current government. The 8th Constitutional Amendment and now the 9th Constitutional Amendment, are serious challenges to the democratic state as we have known it here in Belize today.
“…You will now be banned from resorting to the courts for redress on any issues that affect you; it’s totally outrageous; [this is] something unprecedented, truly unprecedented.”
The march started at the Constitution Park and then went onto Woods Street, over the BelChina Bridge, down onto North Front Street, over the Swing Bridge, onto Albert Street and took a turn around back to North Front Street, before concluding at the Memorial Park.