And while the unions are taking industrial action and have given their 21-days notice to the Government, their demands and upset are not unique in Belize’s history. In fact, it was sixteen years ago today that the unions incited an uprising in Belize City that saw tires burning and downtown stores looted. Our News Editor Dale McDougall takes a look back to April 2005.
Dale McDougall, News Editor: It was 16 years ago today that the rally cry “Albert Street” rang out and was engraved in our hearts and minds for a lifetime. But it was more than just a ruckus that happened in Belize City’s main artery. It was the sense that the ordinary man and woman, the everyday Belizean worker , the dutiful public officers and teachers and the vocal opposition -the UDP- were all saying that the status quo desperately needed to change and fast. At that time people were upset with the Said Musa led PUP administration about a series of missteps and its management of the economy issues at the trade unions were all rallying against. Now as you can see also clamoring for change were students from primary school all the way to university and members of the police going head-to-head against them because their responsibility was to maintain peace and order. Even with the police’s mandate to keep everyone in line defiant union leaders and young people sat on BelCan keeping the evening traffic at a standstill but 16 years ago today some of us remember these images impressed in our psyche as night fell the first projectile fired and the tires set alight in their wake looting which extended from King Street to Vernon Street. Sadly in this case one man lost his life and at least one looter was charged. A number of others were originally charged but saw their cases dropped