With Therold Prudent padded up for action, the nation faces the big question: is the captain of the Looshan People’s Movement ready to score off the spin bowlers, red and yellow? With so many claiming “we ready for change!” can Prudent and his team convince the populace they are the change the nation has been praying for?
The LPM’s demonstration march scheduled for 8th October is expected (by organizers, anyway) to attract sufficient numbers of disenchanted and suffering citizens from all corners of the island, the plan being to provide living proof that the government’s policies have been for the majority of Saint Lucians disastrous, regardless of political affiliation. Prudent intends to introduce an open-mic approach to the demonstration by providing marchers the opportunity to express their concerns about the country’s current position and to offer remedial alternatives.
“People are dying for a chance to be heard,” the LPM leader assured me during a recent sit-down interview. He added that the party’s leaders are determined to see a new day in local politics, and an end to humdrum politics as usual. “The people have voices that must be heard,” he said.
Politicians must demonstrate a serious and lasting interest in “the proper management of our country” Prudent added, “and not only in what too many consider a cushy job where no one is accountable.”
In the meantime, said Prudent, the LPM has been assisting people to set up franchises. “Already we have set up our own smoothie operation, in partnership with enterprising young people from the north of the island.” He also spoke of plans for a greenhouse at Beausejour “for the green thumbed.” Then there’s the “vibrant seed and plant distribution programme we’ve started, with the aim of encouraging citizens to grow what they eat, in the best interest of their health and the nation’s economy.”
A one-time UWP member, the LPM leader says, “St. Lucia deserves a fresh start.” And doubtless the first steps will be taken on October 8th. He revealed that from childhood he had taken a keen interest in local politics. Like so many before him, he had taken himself to the United States to pursue studies not available here at the time. He added that he had learned as much from the classroom as he had from real life on the streets of Brooklyn and other American cities.
A former active musician, Prudent is determined, should his party be elected to office, to put the Creative Industries Ministry to better use. “We have so much talent here that largely remains untapped,” he said. This he has discerned from his Monday Movie Night productions for residents of Gros Islet, his popular dance classes and so on, all without charge. He recently organized renovation of an old colonial-style building in Gros Islet that he plans to turn into a design studio and manufacturing plant. He explained: “Young men and women within the Gros Islet community will have the opportunity to present their designs. For example, if there is a particular design of shoe they like and want to develop, we could help,”
Prudent remains confident that the LPM will attract not only disgruntled voters from the two main political parties, but will also “reignite disappointed and dormant registered voters who have not voted in years.”
The LPM’s October 8th march is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. Curiously, participants are being encouraged to dress in the colours of the national flag. The march will start at the Vigie playing field, proceed down Peynier Street, then Micoud Street, finally gathering at Derek Walcott Square where Prudent expects lively discussions to ensue.