“She’s Alive” is a must-watch video
In Barbados we’ve seen for ourselves what happens when corrupt politicians and their developer friends want to turn public lands into private profits: they just do it. If laws stand in their way, they change the laws. Look at what happened to the Graeme Hall Wetlands and two National Parks.
If citizens stand in their way, activists are marginalized by whatever means the government thinks it can get away with. Sometimes that means using tax audits and agriculture inspections to communicate the government’s displeasure to an environmental activist. A tax audit or threats to shut down their business usually shuts people up. If the activist has a lighter shade of skin then a Minister of Government can declare on television that the opponent should be ignored because they are “Caucasian”, “rich and white” or “white plantocracy”. Sometimes three cane fields mysteriously burn three weekends in a row. Just ask “Caucasian Male” environmental activist Richard Goddard about all that.
If some of the land the government and their developer friends want is privately held, the government expropriates the land and very often doesn’t pay the owner. Then the land is transferred to “private concerns” for development. By strange coincidence, sometimes a Government Minister ends up living on the expropriated and never paid for land. Just ask Gline Clarke.
I don’t think we’ve had any Bajan activists murdered or beaten over environmental concerns, but there have been threats, incidents, break-ins and arson over environmental, political and social activism. Just ask Adrian Loveridge, Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner and a host of other folks on this island.
The video “She’s Alive” is not only stunning and beautiful, it reminds us that standing up for a just cause can be dangerous when evil and powerful persons want their profits and don’t care about anything else.
Partial List of Assassinated Environmentalists
Chico Mendes – 1988
Ken Sarowiwa (Saro-Wiwa) – 1995
Dian Fossy – 1985
Joan Root – 2006
P.D. Majhi – 2007
Amit Jethwa – 2010
(Thanks to an old friend for suggesting this powerful video.)