UWP condemns political victimization of Gordon Henderson

Henderson at a performance in La Réunion
Henderson at a performance in La Réunion

The United Workers Party condemns in no uncertain terms the recent decision by the Roosevelt Skerrit Cabinet to deny music pioneer and cultural icon Gordon Henderson an award at this year’s 19th edition of the World Creole Music Festival (WCMF).

This award was intended to highlight the efforts of one of the pioneers of Cadence music and a man who gave so selflessly to the development and expansion of Creole Music across the Globe. It is important to stress his instrumental and pioneering role in getting the Festival established and organized.

We view with deep concern this naked political victimization and stress that there is simply no rational for this behavior. We therefore demand that the Skerrit Administration immediately reverse its decision and allow the organizers of the WCMF to honor this iconic figure. Indeed we cannot grow as a country and develop our cultural industries when the government so brazenly victimizes individuals whom they believe are not supportive of their administration.

Going forward and in the best interest of the continued development and expansion of the World Creole Music Festival we ask that the government cease from micro managing the event and allow the professionals, appointed within the Dominica Festival Committee, to take full control of the artist lineup and other arrangements for the Festival.

We believe it is not too late for the government to do what is right and reinstate Mr. Henderson on the line-up. Finally, we wish to thank Mr. Henderson for his tireless efforts over many decades in helping to bring to world prominence Dominica’s rich cultural heritage and its own music genre, that of Cadence music.

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53 Comments

  1. August 13, 2015

    I am calling on Dominicans overseas to boycot the event if Gordon is not reinstated in the lineup for the award ,I am tired of these damn nonsense politics have no place in cultural achievments

  2. Chief Jaco
    August 13, 2015

    My take on the matter minus politics, drama and excitement. A body authorized to do such maters identified to nominees for an award: Nominee X and nominee Y. The body went beyond its boundaries and informed Nominee X and the press that Nominee X was indeed the soon to be awardee. Nominee Y was labelled ‘the alternative’, and the list of nominees was sent to the body authorized to decide whether Nominee X or Y receives the award. The body authorizes to select the awardee decided on Nominee Y. We are jumping up and down shouting VICTIMIZATION because the final decision made by the body AUTHORIZED to make that decision goes against the decision made by the body NOT authorized to make that decision.

  3. August 13, 2015

    Skerrit must grow up ,but the stupid dominican that are putting him back in place for a toilet ,galvanize sheets ,plywood etc must realize that these things cannot satisfy them on the long run…

  4. push ministries
    August 13, 2015

    What are sad thing goverment going down so low shame shame :cry: :cry:

  5. Ras Shilling
    August 13, 2015

    What political victimization? Gordon is a national icon who has debased himself playing political hatchet-man for UWP. I applaud the Dominica Festivals Commission for holding of on any association with a partisan political hack who has sold out to political influence.

  6. August 13, 2015

    Really! What is there to condemn? Is there any statute of limitations as to when committees , groups, cabinet , our Government, or the PM, can bestow any commendations, plaques, coronation, awards, or recognitions to any group, or individual? Just because some of you loathe the PM some much, you have politicized this event. What is so special about this year’s WCMF compared to past years? Does it have to be this year Gordon gets his recognition/awards? Does he really want to receive his coronation under this Labour Party Government? Based on this article, I would have given Mr. Henderson his recognition/award at the inception of the WCMF for is tireless contributions. Yes! the very FIRST one – under the auspices of the right Hon. Edison James. But to choose this time to chastise the committee, cabinet or PM for not receiving the award/recognition, boggles my mind. Not everything has to be about victimization or partisan politics. Asking Waddix to step down in solidarity is ridiculous.

  7. 4-cars
    August 12, 2015

    Hi Dominica, whatsapp? You all got what you wanted – Now suck it up! You sow corn, you reap CORN.

  8. Real Dominican
    August 12, 2015

    I totally aggreed with you Mr. Emile Zapotos, that DNO should ban ( (GRELL ! )
    altogether from commenting on the media. Grell who ever he, is the worst troublemaker and a poison IVY to the NEWS MEDIA.

  9. August 12, 2015

    “We therefore demand that the Skerrit Administration immediately reverse its decision and allow the organizers of the WCMF to honor this iconic figure” —News Article

    I will never understand why these people think they can so rudely speak to the Government as if they are on the top and the Government is below them–but what an empty fantasy, which is all I can call it.

    To IMMEDIATELY reverse its decision, should mean DO IT RIGHT AWAY; who are these people to think that they have the right to make that kind of demand to the ruling Government; and who in the Government is going to bow down to that kind of rudeness? Well I never!

  10. lee williams
    August 12, 2015

    My brother u bigger than that, u larger than them, U dnt need their award, u dne travel the world recognized worldwide .Only small people wth small minds behave so, my brother keep on movin ,u dnt need this BULL CRAP, wicked set of people

  11. August 12, 2015

    So two names were submitted. But the one in second place, a woman, was chosen (ladies first I say). So why the commotion by UWP supporters. Was it a competition between the two parties and the blue party with green eyes lost. So find something better to make political mileage. Those who want to boycott go right ahead you have your excuse and it is your right. Every independent celebration the opposition always want to boycott. Maybe they think it is a new national drink. That’s an idea… “barman, can I have a double boycott with ice please, hold the soda”
    Or is it because a woman is chosen. They made the same fuss when a lady, Mrs Knight was chosen as President. So much verbal attack that she felt unsafe and declined. UWP felt that “First Lady President” would be too much for her. They gave her so much technical mapouis and degrading words, but they are “Honorable Men. Honorable gentlemen. She never hit back, she just take her abuse in piece. They are now members of the…

    • August 12, 2015

      members of the House where they are making their attack more formal, With total disregard and disrespect to the rule of law. They are also putting their stamp of radical misbehavior and disregard for law and order in Saulsbury even going to the USA to recruit law breakers. Putting Dominicans at the risk of being shot be white police. They want chaos for their terrorists plans. Their Caribbean Spring.

    • Anthony P. Ismael
      August 13, 2015

      Another mouth piece for the bizarre has spoken. Why not honor both of them simultaneously? These are two individuals who are deserving of the award. Furthermore, Mr. Henderson cancelled a prior engagement so that he could receive his award, then he was informed otherwise. I can understand why he would be upset. The entire decision making process is unprofessional. Who knows how much money he lost? Here we are arguing over honoring a deserving son of the soil. Our governance on this island is beyond reproach. A grown up would have simply apologized to Gordon for the faux pas and move on, but when you have “Petulant Children,” at the controls, you wind up with childish behavior.

    • Anthony P. Ismael
      August 13, 2015

      You must be talking about a different Mrs. Boyd Knight instead of the one that we have become accustomed to. I recall listening to parliament during the Eugenia Charles Administration. Marie Davis Pierre was tough, but respectful and professional. She had earned the respect of her colleagues in the “House,” based on how she carried herself. The speaker has slowed down now because of health issues and the passage of time. However, the venom that she had received in the past was because of her own doing. That woman is a tyrant!!

  12. August 12, 2015

    Why must Uwp always poke their nose in everything and turn it political. Most times they make matters worse by behaving in an imature and irresponsible manner. I wish that occasionally they would stop reacting to everything they perceive as wrongdoing by the present administration.

    • Youngwoman
      August 13, 2015

      Well know it all, they are a political organization you know! their job is to OPPOSE. smh

    • Anthony P. Ismael
      August 13, 2015

      This is not a UWP or Labor issue. This is an issue of blatant unprofessionalism and stupidity. Why not apologize to Gordon Henderson and mend fences? That’s what grown ups do in the real world. The festival committee now resembles a bunch of two-year olds playing in a sand box. They’re simply pathetic!!!
      Colin Piper has been silent while the fire continues to burn. The man stated clearly that he cancelled a scheduled event to attend this year’s festival and receive his award. Are we so ignorant that we forget how the real world functions?

  13. August 12, 2015

    Zor bon la avec Skerrit zor :-D

  14. Stop Press
    August 12, 2015

    Why this headline – This makes it political, because its only people on that side that is calling for bouycott and all kind of name calling funny eh, it have some people nothing to do, just waiting for a story to break or breaking news to talk and make things political I can count them on my figures, few of them , sinking ship
    persons on board

    • August 12, 2015

      By his own words Mr Henderson have received several awards and honors, and Mrs Marie one for the first time which is long overdue so why the anger and envy. If its that important to him wait for next time. He should just congratulate Mrs Marie and wish her well like the gentleman I know he is. He should not let UWP misbehavior influence his good character, and continue to make contributions to Dominicans without expectation. Just do it for the fun of it. If he thinks he does not have the support of the DLP government so be it, no big deal. Do not let anyone or anything prevent you from helping your people. That is your legacy. Helping political parties in power or in opposition is a thankless task.

    • August 12, 2015

      stop press, mr. skerrit made it political by his actions . what a shame and a disgrace.

  15. joe
    August 12, 2015

    Did uwp even inquired as to the reason behind the Cabinet decision?? I am of the opinion that the Cabinet decided this year we should recognize a woman because from inception only men has been recognized, from Jeff Joe, Chubby & The Midnight Groovers to Fitzroy Williams, Gordon Henderson would have been the 4th straight male, so it is only fitting that Ophelia be recognize this year.

    Gordon turn will come and who knows it might well be next year so i cannot get the Hue and Cry and all this big fan fair by the UWP, are they for real?? Ophelia is equally important to our culture as Gordon true say is has been around longer, but equally important none the less!!!!

    And Gordon NO IT WAS NOT IT IS NOT AND HAS NEVER BEEN ABOUT YOUR POLITICAL AFFILIATION AND YOUR FOOLISH BLOGS ON FACEBOOK THE CABINET DO NOT HAVE TIME FOR THIS CRAP!!!!! A statement will soon be published on the matter!

  16. August 12, 2015

    Let’s put politics aside, Mr.Henderson is an icon, He made me proud to be a Dominican and we should be proud of Mr.Henderson.He well known especially the french countries through his success in music, That’s a huge plus for Dominica we need to reward Mr.Henderson he is a successful man.Dominica became known lated 70s and 80s by those groups like Gramacks and Exile one, Mr.Henderson formed the group Exile one. Do not try to deceive Mr.Henderson because of political reasons it’s shameful, He deserves an award for his archivement.

    • MY 2cents
      August 12, 2015

      And he will get his turn. What is your point?

  17. natural
    August 12, 2015

    PlP need to protest about this outrageous behaviour.
    Where is the logic in this kind of victimisation.
    DA Plp are just sitting and taking TSOS everyday.
    Dominican’s are still hibernating.
    Plp emancipate you all selves. Pure mental slavery. So sad.

  18. At least there is a process where Awardees are recommended and accepted. The UWP is not the body that can tell people how to do thing the right way, when that is not what they are all about.

    None of this would be happening if those involved had followed the simple process. I cannot see the current UWP regime as a government; if in opposition they seem to know nothing of protocol. Instead of coming here and telling us that protocol was not followed, they are coming again as they normally do and make demands of the government.

    • X marks my spot
      August 12, 2015

      Shut the hell up with your nonsense dirty being

      • Kid On The Block
        August 12, 2015

        @ X marks my spot..no surprising how insulting you UWPITES CAN BE; Why can’t you ALL RESPECT peoples opinion? must everyone agree with you ALL ? Pathetic ignorant fool!

    • August 12, 2015

      doubting Thomas what are you really trying to say? best to keep your mouth shut sometimes than to prove to people that your tongue is really your brain.

      • Silver bird, if I had said hooray for the UWP statement you would have understood what I said. Let me see if I could make it simple for you.

        The UWP as our country main opposition and should be the party in waiting to become our government; wouldn\’t you agree? Then they should be able to act like people who believe they can do that very important job.

        However, time and time again, the only thing the UWP can do and have ever done is find fault with the government no matter what; as you said sometimes it is better to keep your mouth shut, maybe you were not actually referring to me although you seemed to be addressing me in your opening statement. I have to concede you were talking to yourself.

  19. Away
    August 12, 2015

    Maybe the high and mighty PM thinks that Mr. Gordon Henderson has political Ebola as a result he taken the decision to protect the Dominican population from getting infected.
    I believe that we as a people need to grow the moral fiber necessary to let the PM know that he is wrong on that one. If any of you had the opportunity to watch the documentary that B_World Connections did on the life of Mr. Henderson, we can see clearly that this man has always worked hard to put his beloved country on the map. In this documentary there is no kind of negative or political vibes at all.
    So please Mr. PM stop treating one of Dominica’s foremost tourism Ambassador in such a manner that is unbecoming of us as a people.

  20. Manup
    August 12, 2015

    Your behavior is despicable and CHILDISH! How many times in life we a passed over for promotion to a person who is less qualified than we are! Work towards an eternal award. Life is a +++++, when life hand you a lemon make lemonade and move on. The irony to this is so politically motivated. I live overseas so tell me what I must do with my $1000+ ticket. trying to make yourself a victim only makes you a victor. Work for the eternal award. Get POLITRICKS out of cultural events, please let me see another color besides red and blue.

    • jamesd
      August 12, 2015

      Nonesense. If the allegations of the behavior of the government is indeed true in this situation then the shame is theirs and this needs to be fought back. What nonesense about eternal reward crap that? It’s that same kind of nonesense they sold the slaves while they were whipping their lives and culture away. No wonder black people today cannot live their lives without relating everything to a european belief system

      • MY 2cents
        August 12, 2015

        IF ??? The million dollar question If it is true. But we so caught up in UWP nonsense and the fact that they just jump at any and every little thing someone opposes or complains about the government to exaggerate and add to it and turn it into a political thing. Is not like UWP care about us but they just doing it for personal gain. UWP don’t care if they bring the country to it’s knees just to get in. Stop bringing down our country with allu nonsense.

  21. 123
    August 12, 2015

    This coming from the hypocrites that victimized Johnson Jno Rose during their years in power (1995-2000). Sin cannot correct sin!!

    • Bagaila Bande
      August 12, 2015

      What about Jeff Scotland? They forget and listen to them talk about banana and agriculture!

    • August 12, 2015

      123, so it seems that you all are are having vengeance ,stop being childish

      • MY 2cents
        August 12, 2015

        It’s nothing to do with vengeance, but pot mustn’t call kettle black. Especially when they worst

  22. Referee
    August 12, 2015

    There can be no justification for this brazen and thoughtless victimization of a native cultural icon at a time when a festival that he pioneered is seeking to honour him.
    This is not just an attack on Henderson, but on attack on the arts and artists in general.
    Ophelia Marie can show her support for the arts and artists by refusing to accept the award that was intended for Henderson. She should also make a public statement condemning this shameful attempt to sideline one of the preeminent artist this country has produced. Not to do so would lend support to the shameful behavior of the Skerrit regime.
    I would also expect others in the Arts community such as Alwyn Bully and Raymond Lawrence to join in the protest action to protect the integrity of the arts.
    It is indeed an ominous sign when government stoops to the level of censoring the arts. This is exactly what Hitler did and it is perhaps no coincidence that the Skerrit regime is heading in this direction.

    • Stop Press
      August 12, 2015

      “Referee” a strange name to give yourself. A Referee is an official who watches a game or match closely to ensure that the rules are adhered to, one who arbitrate on matters arising from the play or a person willing to testify in writing about the character or ability of someone.

      I expect you to be nuetral or genuine in your comments. You are suppose to weigh your comments and not be bias. What you saying does not make sense. Did the Government ever stated they were giving the guy the recognition, In April 2015, the person made a suggestion before he discussed with Cabinet, in that case he was wrong to do that. Ophelia is an Icon we should recognise everytime at every occsision, so what if she deseserve what can you do, as a refreree support the lade. By the way what Alwyn and Raymond have to do in your comment. Do you know the meaning of integrity, if you do them rewrite your statement

      • Referee
        August 12, 2015

        A referee does not deserve the title of referee if he lacks the courage to call it as he sees it. It is indeed shameful for a government to politicize the arts by denying due recognition to an artist who just happens to differ from them politically. From my reading of history, this kind of behavior is more consistent with the modus operandi of Communists and Fascists. Hitler did exactly this in the early years of his rule.
        it is fitting and proper to call upon patrons of the Arts and prominent individuals in the Arts community to speak up because when the arts become politicized as they are, the art form is debased, cheapened and unworthy of public support.
        Some things ought to be viewed as sacred and above political manipulation. The Arts happen to be one of those, and if you fail to recognize this truism, perhaps you need a little education.

      • faceup
        August 12, 2015

        So you calling Gordon Henderson a GUY.. Yo it seems that I am a Dominican before you., child Dominican..

  23. grell
    August 12, 2015

    Boycott my people, Skerrit is a dictator,and he uses his ministers like little boys and girls.Words of our Reggae artis Nasio,Dominica is doomed.My people uprise against Skerrit.

    • Stop It - Too much talk
      August 12, 2015

      Sorry but the meaning of “Boycott” is come in large numbers, so please do not tell Dominicans to bouycott, Independence, Carnival, World Creole and other activities Dominicans Rally together to festival time so do try that. We all are little boys and girls of you – because right now you dictating to us to to boucott. Is the same thhing you doing

      • faceup
        August 12, 2015

        Yes BOYCOTT and teach your politricains a lesson 8-O

    • August 12, 2015

      DNO you should boycott grell .She/ he is a trouble maker a water poisoner who is not helping the credibility of your news media.

  24. Price paid 4 no being onboard neo DLP
    August 12, 2015

    If anyone disagres do not like it from the president to mammie they can go 2 hell.

  25. Visionary
    August 12, 2015

    This is such a bold and ludicrous article, or request. UWP, do really believe that the Roosevelt Skerrit administration is actually going to listen to anything you just said? Your intentions may be genuine but your approach is ridiculously poor. Apparently articles like this is the reason why you guys are in the opposition, you don’t demand and command people in highest positions of authority and power, you request and recommend.

    • August 12, 2015

      Visionary……..They do not even know their role as the opposition. You can see their lack of knowledge of their duty by their lack of knowledge of Parliament procedure or the rules of the House during the last budget session.. I would like to suggest that they all attend seminars and do research so next session the will be better prepaired. I think there are British Commonwealth association willing to help. There are also books in the House of Assembly library, a book by Irskin May come to mind. They can also google or search tuff on the net. And stop the crying and complaining. Soon the will be called the wee wee party that cant find their way home.

  26. Lucia
    August 12, 2015

    Boycott the show, from now on I will go to Cropover and or Jazz festival. Then people will tell me about development of Dominica. To hell with this, I’m fed up.

    • Price paid 4 no being onboard neo DLP
      August 12, 2015

      Tell Medard et AL : Go to hell go2 hell goto hell we don’t care what is ur position on the Commonwealth of DA;
      That’s an ej of what U get when you elect shit & air heads.
      Left2 me lone these guys would be rounded up ……………………the rest is History.
      Just don’t get it. How my countrymen continue to tolerate such madness.
      It is not laughable nor tolerable having SH like medard as P.M Blck & burnt Peepip as palimentarians.
      It does not indicate show or prove but tells us in no uncertain terms DA Finibat.
      Deggres scholastics oratory etc are not ideal in today’s DA to move forward as an individual but unwavering support to a rouge regime.

    • Stop It - Too much talk
      August 12, 2015

      Who stopping you. You have money II do have to know you can pay your passage to go Barbados or St. Lucia. Ride on my friend show off

    • Brutus
      August 13, 2015

      Who will miss you? Do you believe you are that significant?

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