Mr. DeCouto of FreshieBlog commented on the attendance of the Friendly Societies March on Monday evening. I also attended the march, walking a few people behind Mr. DeCouto most of the walk. It was a very informative tour, detailing alot of the City’s important Black History sites. Of course, it couldn’t detail everything, and being billed as a ‘Friendly Society March’ alot of its focus was on the Friendly Societies, which although important, wasn’t, for me, as interesting as important labour struggle sites.
All in all though it was an excellent tour though, and its organisers should be commended for the idea. They did have a little trouble with the audio equipment and its operation, that made it a bit difficult to hear at times, but it was good all the same.
Mr. DeCouto also noted the very obvious different levels of attendance of the two Parties. I can’t lie, I also observed that the UBP (MPs and candidates) were very much in force while the PLP really had a very dismal showing. There were numerous PLPers there, but of PLP formal representation I recall only Minister Dale Butler, Senators Thaao Dill and Marc Bean, and Minister Walter Lister (who came very much towards the end due to understandable reasons). Those PLPers who were present definitely noticed the absence of the rest of the formal PLP. I understand there was a conflict with the CupMatch reception at Camden House for the respective CupMatch Teams, and it would be understandable that several wouldn’t have been able to attend anyway due to personal reasons, but one would have expected a greater turn-out for such an event.
As for the UBP’s turn-out, yes, it was good to see them there. They do have alot to learn afterall, and I’m sure many of them learned a thing or two on the walk. One must be careful hoever that they don’t continue to get stuck on a very superficial approach to race. Their turnout on a march like that is good and all, but I think they truly fail to grasp what institutional racism really is. The PLP on the other hand, its formal representatives at least, quite frankly disappointed a few of its rank and file in the decision of most of its representative to not attend.