The “Save Camerhogne Campaign is taking to another level with members agreeing to hit the streets as part of Labour day celebrations at Sauteurs in St. Patrick’s on May 1.
The message to have the park remain as one of the country’s main “green spaces” will be highlighted during the annual Labour Day parade which begins at Mac Donald College school ground, passing through the streets of St. Patrick’s and onto Fond Playing Field.
Member of the committee, Vincent Roberts told a radio talk show programme that the group has received the blessings of the Grenada Trades Union Council (GTUC) to partake in the May Day activities to bring across its message to save the park.
The Keith Mitchell-led New National Party (NNP) Administration is said to be interested in relocating Camerhogne Park to another section of the Grand Anse beach in order to facilitate the construction of a hotel.
Two possible sites have been identified – one close to a popular bar, and the other area is within the vicinity of the Vendors’ market in Grand Anse.
Plans to relocate the park were first made known by Prime Minister Mitchell during his budget speech last November.
The Prime Minister told Parliament that during the design phase of the Riviera Hotel, the investors have agreed “to construct a new Camerhogne Park” nearby.
Roberts, the newly elected Chairman of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), said the committee is not asking for any favours from government or anyone else as Camerhogne Park belongs to the people.
“The ones who are asking for the favours are the developers and our government… They ought to be asking us for permission and we are saying no. We are not the ones who are asking them. Please leave Camerhogne Park alone, it belongs to the people, sovereignty rests with the people,” he added.
The Congress official spoke of the churches, schools, and workers of the country who are the ones that mostly use the park during their lunch time.
The lead person taking the “Save Camerhogne Park fight” to the Mitchell Government is Labour Senator, Raymond Roberts.
The NDC Executive member commended Sen. Roberts for being one of the persons who is on the beach every day receiving support from members of the TUC, social activists, as well as former and current Members of Parliament.
He said the support being received cuts across political boundaries and age.
Roberts said Grenada cannot pay lip-service to climate change and yet continue to place hotels right on the beach.
Meanwhile, the committee which is championing the call to save Camerhogne Park is satisfied with the public support it has been receiving.
The first undertaking of the committee was the launch of a petition, and according to Sen. Roberts who chairs the committee, they have been able to receive approximately 15,000 signatures which he regards as the main accomplishment to date.
According to Sen. Roberts the committee has not gone to any of the other Parishes, pointing out that the signatures were obtained mainly within the Parish of St. George’s.
“That is just a manifestation of the wide interest there is in the park,” he said.
The committee also wrote to a number of environmental groups making them aware of the struggle to have Camerhogne Park remain as a public “Green Space.”
Sen. Roberts disclosed that responses have been obtained so far from two groups, one being the biodiversity group in Canada.
The committee is taking its message to another level by participating in May Day Activities in St. Patrick’s on May 1.
Sen. Roberts also announced that he will be bringing to the Upper House of Parliament a Private Member’s Motion relating to Camerhogne Park for Senators to debate.
He explained that the objective behind the motion is to debate the pros and cons of giving the park to Egyptian Billionaire, Naguib Sawiris.
The motion will highlight a number of issues including the beach front that provides access to people to enjoy the world famous Grand Anse Beach, the origin of Camerhogne Park, the environmental survey, and the World Health Organisation perspective on the need for “Green Spaces.”
According to Sen. Roberts, the committee is not against investors doing business in Grenada as people want work but “all we’re saying, no to Camerhogne Park.”
“We are going to draw every iota of what we think is wrong to the public,” Sen. Roberts said.
“All we’re opposing is that the park must not be moved… Those of us in that committee will use every legitimate means to keep the struggle alive,” he added.
The veteran trade unionist indicated that on conclusion of the debate in the Senate, he will call for a divisional vote in Upper House in order for Grenadians to “see who are the people really in support of local people enjoying the park, and who are the people who would, perhaps, prefer to see them be removed from the park”.
Speculation is rife that the move is intended to see how the 1979-83 revolutionary figure, Peter David who considers himself as an advocate for the working class, will vote on the Camerhogne Park issue.