Friday, 01 March 2013 02:30
By Donna-Marie McIntosh
Antigua St. John's - A march will be held today in St John’s to signify the fight against violence and crime.
The event was inspired by the recent spate of gun-related attacks, robberies, and murders. It will begin at 3:15 pm at the Multi-Purpose Centre in Perry Bay and end in the front of Heritage Quay.
In full support of the march is Wayne Powell, husband of latest murder victim Susan Powell, who was gunned down on Tuesday at work in a downtown store.
Powell told Caribarena on Thursday, “I spoke to Gender Affairs and the march is a very good idea, but we have to continue, not just march one day. People often forget. The march is necessary, and I’m positive many people will attend.”
He added, “I work in video, and I am going to do a lot of work doing films etc to keep my wife’s legacy alive. The police cannot see everything. We as citizens in Antigua must report warning signs. These are the things that will help.”
When asked if he will be attending the march with his children, Powell said, “Yes. I will be attending the march. Susan would want me to. I’m doing everything from now on for Susan.”
A relative of the victim added, “Whoever did it must come to justice. I will be taking part in the march. We must keep thoughts of her alive.”
Wonetta Corbin, gang activist, humanitarian and founder of Dorcas Ministry, along with Callie Spencer and Anique Hillaire, collaborated to organise the march, and received endorsement from companies Chosen Sounds, and Ayoushe.
The Dorcas Ministry (Foundation), directed by Corbin, will also be endorsing the march. The foundation reportedly moderates every social ill and issue, from abused women and children to assisting with rescuing women from gangs.
Corbin said “A march is the beginning, a statement. We are also planning to do a candlelight vigil in honour of Mrs Powell. We want to bring Antigua back to a place where business people can make their money and take it to the bank. Police are there for our security, but it is also our responsibility. If you have information, share it with the police. Don’t criticise the police if you are going to sit on information. We want to raise awareness on eradicating guns, the misuse of illegal firearms, and the attacks on business people.”
Hilaire said, “What we are really trying to achieve is to mobilise people and touch the situation while it’s hot. What is happening right now affects all of us. The incident happened on Tuesday, and there was a rape two nights ago. We have managed to achieve this in two days.
The women have also co-founded a newl organisation, the Save Antigua for a Safer Antigua Foundation.
Commenting on security following the tragedy on Tuesday, owner and creative director at Chosen Sounds and the Yard, J-Omari Harrigan, said, “I visited town today [Thursday] and I didn’t see any police on patrol. I haven’t seen much change in St John’s. People need to be comforted by visuals. They need to see police on the street. I would feel comforted if finances were tripled on security.”
When asked why the participants should wear white, Corbin explained, “We don’t want it to be political. White is a neutral colour. It represents Antigua without blemish, scars, or spots. It represents purity. We must rip Antigua from the hands of the criminals. Antigua does not belong to you (criminals).”
Spencer said the march has received the full support of Senator Anthony Stuart, Dr Errol Cort, and several St John’s business owners.
Marchers will sign a petition to show support of the movement. Organisers would like to present this to Dr Errol Cort to prove that citizens and residents of Antigua are actively seeking to stamp out this trend of violence.