Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Purple Movement General Meeting

On Sunday October 21, 2012, youths from the Purple Movement held a general public meeting to inform the community of their status, structure, and goals. There were about 20 persons in attendance. The small number of turn out is linked to the heavy rains throughout most of the day. 

The Executive consists of about 15-18 members. One or two of them were unable to attend on that day. They have formed several managerial posts such as president, vice president, treasurer, public relations personnel, research committee, and entertainment committee, etc. 

To be honest, my perception is that the group is still in the process of taking shape and identifying it's most strategic goal. But one thing is certain, they want to do their best to make a positive change. I am of the opinion that the community is strongly discontented with the prevalent crime and that we as young people need to be that voice for the masses, and reinforce the idea that we deserve better.   

One central aspect to the executive appears to be to raise funds to contribute towards the establishment of an operational DNA Lab at the Forensic Lab, in Ladyville. At the same time though, this became somewhat unclear when they mentioned that they want to do a survey to ask people if this is something worth pursuing. I believe that this is a noble initiative but believe that Government should fulfill this demand without reaching into the pockets of poor people. Yet, I hope it works out. 


At the meeting, perhaps due to my own undiplomatic way of speaking, I was misunderstood, felt disappointed and decided to leave.They were very much on the defensive of my opinions. I was envisioning revolutionary changes and being mindful of the weakness and strengths of a movement based on my theoretical understandings and interest to drive change. I liked Ms. Ocheata comment which allowed me to better understand their defensiveness. She asked if I was a friend of Suzanne to which I replied no. She then said that the group of young people in the executive were her friends and that in a way  are still grieving, they want to see this pull through. But bygones being bygones, I have encouraged the young people to push on through.

Carmita, president of the executive expressed her desire to invite me to an executive meeting but I feel that it’s in the best interest of the group for them to proceed to strengthen their committee and allow it to take some shape.

I hope that they can capture the common interest of people and lead them to believe that they have the power to make change.

Most young people in our society don’t really care about crime or any social issues. Also, there are only a few genuine politicians who have Belizean interest at heart. Therefore, they are many challenges ahead, but with determination they are all surmountable. 

Always be mindful that our realities depend on our inaction and ACTIONS.

Here are some clips of the meeting. Please forgive the quality, I was taking notes as I recorded. 

by Rolando Cocom


8 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing information about the meeting for those who could not attend. It's encouraging to hear that a real organization is taking shape which may be able to have some lasting impact. I'm confused though about the DNA Lab proposal. Clearly this would be a big benefit to the community, but funding this is something that should be the government's responsibility, not the responsibility of a small ad-hoc community group. If the group is able to raise funds, they should multiply the effect of those funds by using them to influence the political process and achieve lasting reforms, not just a temporary fix.

    Thanks again for the post and please continue posting information about the movement!

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  2. I share a similar point of view. I believe that the movement should seek to raise funds to use in organizing, educational campaigns, events etc. Nevertheless, hopefully, they are much more Belizeans that are willing to support such initiative than we tend to think.

    Thanks

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  3. I figured out why Belize has such a rapidly rising crime rate:

    2010 Belize unemployment rate: 23.1%
    1990 Belize unemployment rate: 3.9%

    Getting a DNA lab isn't going to solve this problem.

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    1. That's a very very big part of it. I agree. It also includes other structural flaws to which I hinted in the article http://belizeanminds.blogspot.com/2012/10/people-on-move-for-justice.html *See section "Attack the System".

      Getting DNA Lab and even increasing the police/BDF patrol which was today referred to as "the solution" are but only necessary immediate responses. There are structural problems which most also be resolved which have been overlooked prior to independence and to date by policy makers.

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  4. You're on the Cayo Scoop! Great site!


    http://www.scoop.it/t/best-of-san-ignacio-cayo/p/3247522746/purple-movement-general-meeting-videos

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  5. It seems to me that the real solution is substantial investment by the government of Belize in infrastructure and education. Belize needs a self-sustaining economy, not one that is dependent on the whims of tourism. It also needs a fair tax system, not one primarily geared towards begin a tax haven for the rich. None of these things are going to happen without substantial pressure on the government from the citizens of Belize. However, it seems that most of the people in Belize are not interested in being politically active. I'm especially surprised that the Purple Movement is almost dogmatically apolitical. All of their public statements go out of their way to emphasize that they are not political. In other countries, it would be the opposite: the people would form a grassroots political group to address their grievances or support a candidate representing their issue. In your opinion, why is the Purple Movement so concerned with not appearing to be political (rather than just saying they are non-partisan)? Is it because 'politics' is a dirty word in Belize and they're worried about alienating participants? Is it because they believe there are actual solutions that don't require cooperation from the government? Is it because they are worried about being co-opted by one of the political parties? Is it because they fear reprisal from the government if they are seen as 'revolutionary' or 'anti-government'? Is it because the existing power-structure in Belize is so entrenched that they can only hope to change it through politely asking? Is it because they don't believe they have the resources and support to be a sustainable political group? Or perhaps a combination of several of these?

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    Replies
    1. Great question. And, in many ways, you have attempted to answer by the follow up questions. ;)

      My opinion is that as you have mentioned many Belizeans are afraid of being branded red or blue. Belize being so small, the consequences are life influential and maybe even lifelong. For instance, scholarship requests must get "stamped" by the Area Rep as do Land/property applications, and applications for employment in the public service.

      This is also beyond the individual level. There is a high chance that we all have a family kin who has benefited or is benefiting from the political party in power. There are certain social repercussions that are sent against those who want to be seen 'radical'. This is despite the fact that at some point in their lives, certain politicians such as S. Musa and Borrow appeared to fight for the masses.

      Also, it has to do with social context. The general context for Belizean youths is that we are not inspired or challenged to be open challengers of the status-quo. We are socialized that it is okay to fight against each other but not against social injustice. Therefore, the most radical of young Belizeans are the product of more specific contexts in which this worldview impacted them. The general rule is to not "rawk the boat”.

      Therefore, to understand their position will also require a background check of its principal members. Their desire as you have observed from their statements is to create positive change based on the altruism that is hopefully still existent the lives of Belizeans.

      Again, those are some very good questions. Time will tell. Time will tell.

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    2. You have great points... probably you should become an active member of The Purple Movement... Don't keep all that knowledge to yourself. Share it an become part of a movement that will make great things happen in Belize... Remember these words.

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