At the launch of the Emancipation Day procession in Port of Spain on Thursday, Dr. Douglas stated that holding grudges against each other, only hampers a our ability to survive, and free ourselves from mental slavery.
Speaking on behalf of an absent Prime Minister, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, the Minister explained the importance of Emancipation to the crowd gathered at Independence Square. “We consider this an important festival, an important festivity and an important celebration for our people for many reasons. Number one, it reminds us of independence. As a matter of fact, we are on Independence Square so it is fitting that we are here and that we exercise the full component of our Independence.
The Minister called on the crowd to use the independence gained via the abolition of slavery to develop a unique sense of self and nationalism.
“We have moved away from dependency, from slavery, from the colonial system where we cannot make a nail or a horseshoe but continue to draw water, and continue to hue wood as dictated by Lord Acton. But today, we are free people to make and determine our destiny, our space and our country that is Trinidad and Tobago.”
He told citizens to invoke a spirit of love and caring, and foster a greater understanding of why life is important.
Minister Douglas and various cabinet colleagues such as Minister of Tourism Stephen Cadiz and Legal Affairs Minister Prakash Ramadhar joined hundreds of citizens who gathered along the Brian Lara Promenade, awaiting the annual Emancipation Day Parade.
Members of the Opposition were also present, Opposition Leader Dr. Keith Rowley, and Diego Martin Central MP Amery Browne.
The procession made its way from Independence Square to the Emancipation Village at the Queen’s Park Savannah, where the crowd was treated to a feature address by Professor Wole Soyinka.