Daily Archives: September 5, 2012

Campus Trendz deaths: What criminals allowed bars on the windows, no fire exits?

“The criminals threw the firebombs, but it was an irresponsible government, building owner and shop owner that made the firebombs inescapable death.”

Six died at Campus Trendz because there was no fire exit

by WSD

For the last few days the papers and the television focused upon the growing violence in our society as Barbados remembered the six young women burned to death two years ago at Campus Trendz store. That is natural because everybody knows somebody who lost a friend or a sister on that day.

The man who threw the firebomb is put away in jail for six life terms. No one knows what happened to his accomplice and speculation is that the court and government are waiting for the anniversary to pass before he is given a light sentence as part of the negotiated court deals that saw no trial.

The government authorities are happy with the press coverage because the focus is on the criminals who robbed and threw the firebomb, and not upon the other criminals who allowed our loved ones to work and shop in commercial buildings with bars on the windows and no fire exits.

The press does not discuss the fact that our six sisters died because our government, the building owner and the shop owner gambled these lives away. Nobody in government thought these women’s lives were important enough to pass a building code and laws that make fire exits mandatory. That is still true to this day.

The government, the building owner and the shop owner bet that no spark, no short circuit, no forgotten cooker would set an accidental fire. They bet others’ lives and the women lost.

Memories of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire – New York 1911

On March 25, 1911 the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory caught on fire in New York City. One hundred forty six workers lost their lives when they could not escape because the managers had locked the stairwells and fire exit doors to prevent thefts. The building owners were charged with manslaughter, but were not convicted because the prosecution could not prove they knew the fire exits were locked.

In the case of the Barbados Government, the building owner and shop owner of Campus Trendz, the case is clear because there was no fire exit at all. Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Disaster, History, Human Rights

Barbados citizenship still a whimsical process where luck and who you know count more than law

by a Bajan Citizen

I am a dual citizen (my parents were both Bajan born and raised) and have been trying to register my daughter as a dual citizen in order to make it easier for her to go to University in Barbados, a desire she has had since a small child. I started the process in 2008 – I continue to go to Immigration every few months and they keep putting me off.

In 2010, after discovering that they lost the original application, I successfully resubmitted the information and still do not have any idea of a resolution. I was told at first that all was fine, but whispers are in the air that now it seems that there are some changes coming to the laws that may affect this. I was also told that there are thousands of “Citizenship by Registration” cases that this will affect – and all of these pending applications are in limbo.

It seems to be a dirty little secret that Government is holding – maybe a party issue that will be raised in the next election? The people have a right to know! And for me, the laws of 2008 are what my particular application should be judged against. Why hold onto applications while you decided if you are going to change the law?

Barbados Free Press, please post this issue so that others like me can have some idea of what is going on – maybe a reader has some insight. My Bajan bloodline is one that my daughter and I respect with pride. It represents a legacy of my ancestors is one that I hope will not end with me (though she does plan to move back one day to have her first child to refresh our Bajan roots-by-law).

Immigration Reform: Another aborted DLP promise

Back in October 2009, then Prime Minister David Thompson placed before Parliament and the nation a paper “A Comprehensive Review of Immigration Policy and Proposals for Legislative Reform”. Thompson revealed that many immigration cases hadn’t been touched in 12 years and that the whole process was “whimsical” and dependent not upon law or rules, but upon the discretion of government employees.

Prime Minister Thompson said that the issue was “urgent”.

And in typical government fashion on this rock that was the last that was heard of that.

We must not forget though that the chaos of our immigration system was built by the Barbados Labour Party under Owen Arthur. The DLP merely carried on the fine tradition started by King Arthur.

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Filed under Barbados, Immigration