Social Transformation Minister could be next on Disability protest list

Minister responsible for Social Transformation Samantha Marshall (photo courtesy ABLP)

The head of the disability movement is threatening to stage protest action outside the office of the Social Transformation minister, Samantha Marshall, if the group’s concerns are not addressed.

The president, Bernard Warner said, persons living with disabilities are being deprived of resources to improve their lives.

 On Thursday, Warner led a group of 19 people with disabilities in protest at the Woods Shopping Centre and Epicurean parking lots where the protestors placed walkers and wheelchairs in regular parking spaces in an effort to make motorists uncomfortable.

He had said that, this would have made motorists see what it feels like for a person with a disability, who is impeded from occupying a disability parking space because it is occupied by an able-bodied motorist.

“Marshall can look out for similar demonstration in front of her ministry if the call to look at the housing issue particularly among the members of the disable association, who has been turned down repeatedly for the Home Advancement Programme for the Indigent (HAPI) [isn’t addressed],” he said.

Warner added that the impending protest was not about him but rather, “it’s about the disable people who lack the  support of the ministry in providing them with equal provisions through the HAPI programme to improve their lives”.

The president said he will not disclose the date of the protest but when it does happen, he will be giving his members his full support.

“We are not going to inform them as to when we are coming, because they are not meeting with us to give us any commitments that our needs will be met. So, when the members decide they are going to do it, I will support them going forward, because it’s their right to stand up for what is right for them,” said Warner.

“When the time comes, when they line up in front the ministry of social transformation, the ministry wouldn’t say is Bernard. They will have to look at the community who is concerned about the fact that the ministry has not been ensuring that these people are given the support and resources to improve their lives.”

He added that Marshall can “look out” for an active demonstration in front of her ministry shortly, “if something is not done for the members of the disabled community”.