A few protesters rallied against St. Vincent’s Prime Minister, Ralph Gonsalves, at a lecture oragnized by UWI Stat at the Cave Hill campus, University of the West Indies (UWI) on Thursday, February 22nd, 2018. Mr. Gonsalves was the guest speaker at the lecture entitled “Helping Hands or Damaging Lands?: The Effects of International Relief On CARICOM Small Island Developing States.“
The protest was in response to the high profile case of Yugge Farrell, a 22-year-old model, who allegedly had an extramarital affair with Ralph Gonsalves’ son and finance minister, Camillo Gonsalves. Farrell was sent to a mental institution after appearing in court to answer charges that she called Camillo Gonsalves’ wife a “dirty bitch.” She is now out on $1,000 EC bail and her case adjourned until December 17th, 2018.
Reports by individuals in attendance at the lecture are that approximately twenty (20) minutes into his presentation PM Gonsalves was interrupted by the protestors with placards. The protestors chanted “justice for all women” and messages on the placards included “Not Mad, Just Vex. #GenderJustice” and “Helping Hands or Hurting Women.” Barbados Today named some of the activists as a lecturer in Political Science at the Cave Hill Campus, Dr. Kristina Hinds, Public Relations Officer of the National Organization for Women (NOW) Marsha Hinds and Luci Hammans.
One of the protestors is also heard in video footage of the incident stating “We do not like the abuse of power. We will not show deference to politicians or prime ministers because we are in solidarity with our sisters across the region because women’s lives matter too. We don’t just want to help with natural disasters. We want to help ensure our political system guarantees justice for all.”
After approximately ten (10) minutes of disturbing the lecture, the protestors were forced to leave but continued shouting their chants from outside the room.
In a question and answer section at the end of his presentation, Mr. Gonsalves was also asked about gender inequality in St. Vincent.
The Prime Minister remained calm throughout the ordeal and invited the protestors to talk with him at an “appropriate time.”
Photos courtesy Barbados Today.
Videos courtesy Facebook user, Rhyessa Joseph.