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Jun 5, 2014

ROC Formed to Tackle Injustice

In its second term in office, an organization called ACB, the Association of Concerned Belizeans brought pressure on the Musa administration. ACB dismantled soon after the government changed in 2008 and most if not all of their key players got contracts from the government. Today, a new organization was formed. It’s called R.O.C., for Rod of Correction. Now the proverbial rod of correction found in the bible is to drive foolishness from the hearts of children, but this something totally different. R.O.C. is an impressive joining of trade unions, associations and organizations from across the country. They’re all bound together by grievances…issues which they felt could no longer be ignored. And in every case, the source of those grievances is the Government of Belize. The members of R.O.C., formerly known as social partners, met at B.N.T.U. headquarters this morning. Mike Rudon was there and has the story.

 

Mike Rudon, Reporting

Before nine this morning the players strolled in. And they came from all over. From way down south, SATIIM was represented. Belize Action was there, as well as the Pharmacist Association, the Nurses Association, teachers, executives from the PSU, the NTUCB, BGYEA, COLA….they all came together to find a way forward, and ROC was born.

 

Dylan Reneau, Spokesperson, ROC

Dylan Reneau

“The trade union movement, in an attempt to bring the social partners together, called for this meeting and we are happy, joyful that we had the participation of so many organizations to this meeting. And out of this meeting we resolved to form a movement that we are calling the Rod of Correction, ROC, and one of the first decisions of that meeting is that we are going to support the protest march of BGYEA. That means the unions and all the other organizations that are a part of the rod of correction will support that organization.”

 

Where these organizations are concerned, there is no shortage of galvanizing issues…issues which each has tried to deal with…but with no success. The ROC, so to speak, is the birth-child of frustration and last resort.

 

Dylan Reneau

“I can summarize them in very simple words – land rights…SATIIM, BGYEA. We have the health issue – Pharmacy Association, Nurses Association. We have the governance issue – COLA – 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 reemphasize workers’ issues as well, because that is the focus of unions. And so all those issues have brought us together under the rod of correction movement!

The truth is that each of these organizations has been trying to address their issues with little to no success and so we have recognized the power of numbers and the power of unity. So to basically, pointedly answer your question, certainly. It has forced us to come together to use our collective power to address our issues.”

 

The first official ROC appearance will by this Saturday at BGYEA’s plant the corn protest, to be staged at Battlefield Park in the city.

 

Nigel Petillo, BGYEA

Nigel Petillo

“To have the support of the different unions, different organizations and concerned citizens…it’s about time. We want to push the idea that every Belizean should have access to a piece of land, every Belizean should be able to access certain resources that will impact their lives and have them able to survive in this country. So while BGYEA is pushing the idea of land ownership among our citizens…to know that we have the support of the different unions and organizations…I’m hoping that not only the government will hear and understand, but the citizenry of this country. The Belizean people need to understand the importance of owning land, what land can do for their lives, and the fact that we should make certain demands and have access to certain resources that can certainly develop us as a people.”

 

Most would say that where the birth of ROC is concerned, it’s about time…but organizations come and go…and this baby’s future will likely be determined by its showing on Saturday. Representation is all well and good…but when seeking to send a message to GOB and demand that it be heard – ROC will have to bring out the numbers.

 

Dylan Reneau

“Certainly the unions have to be more forthright. They have to start to mobilize and show the collective power that we have within our membership, and so I agree with you. We have to show our faces out there en masse.”

 

Reporter

But will you all be meeting with your membership before Saturday and before the national demonstration planned to get them out?

 

Dylan Reneau

“This is the first call being made to our members to be out there on Saturday. If the unions are supporting it we would want our membership to support this move.”

 

 

Nigel Petillo

“We plan to see how we can bring people out from all walks of this nation. Now that the PSU is involved, the BNTU is on board, different unions are on board…they will be doing their mobilization as well, so we expect to see a huge turnout at Battlefield Park Saturday morning from nine to one.”

 

ROC will be approaching the Chamber of Commerce in an attempt to bring that sector on board.

 

On the agenda of today’s meeting was a one day shutdown and a national protest, but no other details were provided. We note that a House of Representatives meeting has been scheduled for next Friday…the thirteenth.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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5 Responses for “ROC Formed to Tackle Injustice”

  1. Elgin Martinez says:

    Lets use this Rod of correction to lash some straightness into Caleb and UNIBAM.

  2. TheInquirer says:

    Were they not there or not invited? I would love to see the council of churches join in on this movement instead of just focusing on homosexuality! There are other issues that some of these unions won’t address but the churches can!

  3. This is... says:

    Cool…………..

  4. OH WELL says:

    I sure hope the leaders don’t get bought off and the movement move forward to get Belize away from these band of thieves. I wish I had more confidence in this but I’ve seen and heard this before. I will pray that God keep them strong and focused so they don’t get tempted with DOLLARS.

  5. StandUp says:

    Both the Evangelical Assoc and Council of Churches were invited and present to hear the concerns of the parties involved. The Church must be involved in social issues of the day. Govt is OF the people, BY the people and FOR the people, representatives are supposed to represent people! There has been a breakdown in that confidence and measures must be implemented by everyone involved that helps to solve the problems without disrespect. Govt needs to listen to the people who put them there, plain & straight. The statement the ROC came out with was addressing a “culture of not listening resulting in absolute abuse of power,” that needs to change. Both Political adminstrations have been guilty of this.

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