This week as I perused the local and national dailies I wished that Time Out Corner had a daily talk show which would allow for an “open-mic” day. I think the radio talk show hosts refer to it as having an “open line,” where callers can talk about whatever they want.
The topic this week that caught my interest the most has to be the one man protest orchestrated by Mr. Stephen Plakaris. His quiet demonstration drew the interest he desired as well as got him arrested and detained in police custody for a few hours.
According to news reports, Mr. Plakaris was charged for demonstrating without a permit and “disturbing the peace.” What is this peace about which the Police Officer speaks? There is certainly no peace for Mr. Plakaris or any other government employee who has had to wait months for money for which they have already worked.
Last year a number of government school teachers protested for not receiving their salaries in a timely manner. In fact, there were a number of teachers who, like Mr. Plakaris, had not received a pay cheque in months. Yet, one can be charged for “disturbing the peace?”
There is something called “peace of mind.” Perhaps it is this peace that has been disturbed. There must definitely be a lack of equilibrium in the minds of persons who have toiled day after day for months and in some extraordinary cases, years, and not receive any of their money, or the correct remunerations for services rendered.
These individuals would like to have peace as well as a piece of the proverbial pie that others enjoy each pay period. Isn’t it interesting that we have not seen any Members of Parliament demonstrating in front of any government buildings because they have not been paid their salaries for more than four months?
In a letter to the editor of The Freeport News, a writer remarked that he sincerely hoped this situation with Mr. Plakaris was not political. Like this writer, we too hope that members of the ruling FNM government would not stoop to that level and deny Mr. Plakaris or anyone else for that matter their just rewards because of a difference in politics.
Mr. Plakaris has not made any remarks that indicate whether or not he believes this financial dilemma is politically motivated, but of course the wave of speculation and perception are rising steadily. And, while Mr. Plakaris fights his cause silently, the transsexuals and cross dressers are voicing their concerns about being “disturbed” and victimized.
Members of the Christian Council in Grand Bahama spoke out about the drag queen show that was to be held in Freeport. Their remarks brought strong criticism from the event’s organizer whose peace of mind was also “disturbed.”
Alexus Braxton-Royale, an admitted transsexual, stated that she was disturbed by the implications that somehow the drag queen show would corrupt the nation’s youth since the shows were only open to consenting adults.
She also cited incidences where similar content could be viewed in shows at the Rainforest Theatre in the Crystal Palace Hotel and Casino on Cable Beach, New Providence. But such an event has certainly “disturbed the peace” of many Bahamian citizens, so will Ms. Baxton-Royale be arrested as well?
She and her band of transsexuals have definitely disturbed the peace in the minds and hearts of many Bahamians who are still living in la-la land believing that all is well with this world. The recurring disasters and mayhem of this and so many other societies have almost totally desensitized most of us, so we are lucky to still have a piece of our mind as we try in earnest to live with the remainder of it in peace.
About the author:
Joye Ritchie-Greene is an Educational Consultant, Writer and Martial Arts Instructor. She is the owner/operator of The Bahamas Martial Arts Academy; president of Time-Out Productions; and is also a columnist for the Freeport News. She has a B.A. in English and an M.S. in Human Resources, resides in Freeport, Grand Bahama with her husband and enjoys playing tennis. Joye can be reached at