A small business operator from Victoria, St Mark staged a one-man protest in St George’s after he ventured too far onto the Silver Sands Resort beachfront and was chased away by security officers stationed there.
Kenson Phillip said as a result of the poor economic situation in his home parish of St Mark, he was forced to come to the city daily to sell the food which he prepares himself but now he is concerned that after years of selling food to patrons on and around Grand Anse Beach his small business might be in jeopardy because of development on the beach.
Carrying a wooden sign, Phillip took up a position on Halifax Street to highlight his experience on the beach as well as the lack of economic development in St Mark and two failed projects which had been hailed as employment generators for the parish.
The young man made an appeal to his fellow Grenadians to protest what he views as the marginalisation of locals, in favour of foreign investors and their interests.
Referring to two projects which had been promised to the people of St Mark, a poultry farm more than a decade ago and a shrimp farm two years ago, which never materialised, he said, “It’s about time we came out, as people of St Mark’s (to protest), especially as we know there was a fowl farm to be built there to provide more jobs for our community of St Mark’s”.
He went on: “Also here comes up another one, the shrimp farm and as we have seen over the years nothing has come about at all. It is time for our people to get up, come together and realise money was given and come together to say no, enough is enough.”
Phillip said when he was asked to get back by security officers in Grand Anse, he immediately complied as it was not his intention to trespass on any private property.
But he feels that as a Grenadian he should be free to walk along the Grand Anse Beach sand without having to worry about being arrested for trespassing.
He said he is a Grenadian, here long before the resort in question.
Late last year as the resort construction came to a close there was public protest when it appeared that the resort owners might be moving to control parts of the beachfront believed to be in the public domain.
Phillip said, “I was there before these things came along.
“As a Grenadian I deserve to walk on this beach wherever I want. Not into the building but where the beach is contained.
“For a security guard to tell me to get back, something has to be wrong.”