Rod of Correction forms to add pressure on the current administration
Saturday, June 14th, 2014
The unions, activists and other social partners that have been agitating and championing Belize’s social issues have formed an alliance called the Rod of Correction (ROC). The coming together of the various organizations and agitators of social issues under one umbrella is meant to add pressure on the Dean Barrow administration in light of many burning issues affecting the country. The merger took place on June 5th at a meeting that lasted almost three hours and was hosted at the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) headquarters in Belize City.
Present at the historic gathering were representatives and leaders from civil and church organizations. They included Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA), the Belize Pharmacists Association, the Association of Public Service Senior Managers, The Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM), the Public Service Union (PSU), the Belize Energy Workers Union, the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB), BNTU, The Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association (BGYEA), the Nurses Association, members of the Belize Council of Churches, the Belize Evangelical Association and radio personality Mose Hyde and DJ Keegan Lord.
Following their private meeting, the group gathered for a picture to show a united front and via one spokesperson, Dylan Reneau, President of the NTUCB highlighted the main purpose of the ROC. “The truth is that each of these organizations has been trying to address their issues with little to no success and so we recognize the power of numbers and the power of unity… I can summarize them in very simple words ‘land rights’ [highlighted by] SATIIM, BGYEA, the health issue by pharmacy and nurses associations, we have COLA and the issue of Penner and all the other governance issues. The issue of democracy, having our system work for the benefit of the people and so those issues have brought us together, and I want to re-emphasize workers issues as well, because that is the focus of the unions. All of those issues have brought us together under the ‘Rod of Correction’ movement.” Reneau stated that ROC will be reaching out to other organizations in an effort to bring forces together. “That was agreed upon by the collective ‘Rod of Correction’ movement that we have to reach out to more organizations to build our collective power.”
The first action of ROC was to show support for a peaceful protest organized by BGYEA called “Plant Di Corn Rally” at Battlefield Park in Belize City on Saturday June 7th. The rally, which saw over 300 including union leaders and social activists, was organized against the government, who through the Lands and Survey Department has prevented the members of newly formed Harmonyville community from planting corn around the community’s buffer zone.
ROC is also planning to have a one day national shutdown and a national protest, but no details were provided as to when it will be done.
Please help support Local Journalism in Belize
For the first time in the history of the island's community newspaper, The San Pedro Sun is appealing to their thousands of readers to help support the paper during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since 1991 we have tirelessly provided vital local and national news. Now, more than ever, our community depends on us for trustworthy reporting, but our hard work comes with a cost. We need your support to keep delivering the news you rely on each and every day. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Please support us by making a contribution.Click to Donate