Belizean journalist and social activist from behind the Zinc Fence, YaYa Marin Coleman said today that she will stage a 24-hour protest against the continued abuse of the MCC football field by the holding of concerts there. The MCC, already poorly maintained, is the traditional Mecca of Belize City football, and its playing surface can only be further damaged by the placing of bandstands and other heavy structures on the grass surface. The football community, including the President of the Football Federation of Belize, has repeatedly appealed to the National Sports Council to stop this practice. (See FFB press release on page 44 in this issue.)
The last time, about a month ago, that a big concert was planned by NICH at the MCC, they hearkened to the appeal from the public and the FFB President and moved the event to another venue. But this time, the organizers seem hell bent on trampling on footballers’ sacred turf.
YaYa says she plans to protest alone. She will walk up and down a portion of the sidewalk in front of the MCC from the corner of Calle Al Mar and Newtown Barracks Road.
“Jah will protect me,” replied YaYa, when we expressed concern about her safety through the long night hours alone.
According to YaYa, the public needs to understand that Assistant Commissioner of Police Elodio Aragon, Jr. has advised her that she does NOT need a permit as long as she will be alone in her protest walk. Much as she would welcome their support, she says she cannot allow a crowd to accompany her in her protest this time. But the next time will be different, if the powers that be don’t “get the sense.”
YaYa’s protest is scheduled to run from 6:00 p.m. on Friday, December 14, until 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 15. The concert being held at the MCC is scheduled to commence at 7:00 p.m. on Friday night.
At the sports desk, we fully support the cause for which YaYa has decided to take a personal stand. And we expect that our football community will find a creative way to ensure that no “football crowd” accompanies her during her protest this time, but also that she, nonetheless, will not “walk alone.”