This country’s Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves said he was neither taken aback nor embarrassed by a protest last Thursday (February 22nd 2018), against his presence at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI) in Barbados.
PM Gonsalves, who was at UWI to deliver a lecture entitled, “Helping Hands or Damaging Hands — The Effect of International Relief on Caricom Small Island Developing States,” was disrupted by three placard-carrying women’s rights activists chanting, “justice for all”, among them a UWI lecturer.
The protest was triggered by the Prime Minister’s handling of a case involving former model Yugge Farrel who was sent to the Mental Health Facility for psychiatric evaluation after she was brought to court on a charge of using obscene language on Karen Duncan-Gonsalves, the wife of Finance Minister Camillo Gonsalves.
According to the news agency, Barbados Today, after completing the lecture, PM Gonsalves said it did not escape him that fewer than a handful of people had participated in the protest noting that they could not get any students to follow them.
According to Barbados Today, Lecturer in Political Science at the Cave Hill Campus Dr. Kristina Hinds, Public Relations Officer of the National Organization for Women Marsha Hinds and Luci Hammans, a member of the Life in Leggings Movement, hijacked proceedings at the Henry Fraser Lecture Theatre for close to 15 minutes and despite the best efforts of campus security, the women refused to cease their incessant chants, and it took a member of the Royal Barbados Police Force to remove them from the hall.
Hinds told Barbados Today she was offended that the university had invited PM Gonsalves to speak to students, despite the shadow hanging over his son, as well as the Prime Minister’s own alleged indiscretions.