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Corn can’t grow on Battlefield Print E-mail
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Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 12 June 2014 00:00

The Belize Grassroots Youth Empowerment Association (BGYEA) managed to bring out less than 200 citizens to support their “Plant Di Corn” Rally. That was a very feeble showing given they had the support of 10 other pressure groups who’ve decided to form a coalition. With this coalition, which has some of the most powerful unionizing machinery capable of mobilizing tens of thousands, the rally didn’t even bring enough people to match the 1040 lease applicants from the Harmonyville community.

BGYEA is now a part of the so called Rod of Correction, a new movement in which they are joined by the Belize National Teacher’s Union; the National Trade Union Congress of Belize; the Citizens Organized For Liberty through Action; the Belize Pharmacists Association; the Association of Public Service Senior Managers; SATIIM; the Public Service Union; the Belize Energy Workers Union;the Nurses Association, the Belize Evangelical Association of churches; and DJ Keegan Lord from Vibes Radio, who organized a failed protest against Shyne and NICH President Diane Haylock.

The protest was staged at the Battlefield Park on Saturday, June 7, supposedly with representation from each of these different groups, who all took the opportunity to take the platform to push their different agendas. But the flagship issue for the rally was to protest against the Lands Department for the injunction that the Government of Belize got against BGYEA to restrain them from illegally planting corn on the buffer area of that community.

The problem is that though the organization lobbied Government hard to get the Harmonyville Housing scheme approved, Government did agree. 1327 acres of land was granted to BGYEA to subdivide for the members. In that agreement, both BGYEA and the Lands Department agreed that 29 acres of that land would be designated as a buffer zone area, as a sort of road reserve.

The agreement was that no permanent development would take place in this buffer zone. BGYEA’s leadership now wants to change the terms of the agreement and strong-arm the Government to change them. They’re using the well-publicized issue of the equal distribution of land to citizens as their platform to try to force the usage of the land. They’ve tried to change the narrative to present BGYEA as a victim of the system where the Government is oppressing the will of the people, stopping them from “planting di corn.” The reality is that they entered into a business arrangement with Sam Patton to use those lands without the proper approvals, and the Lands Department had to issue a cease and desist order.

Even with the most powerful mobilizing machinery behind them, the “Plant Di Corn” rally was miniscule. BGYEA couldn’t even mobilize the 1040 lease holders they claim to represent for Harmonyville, to try to pad the numbers.