Patrick Jones reporting…

Yolanda Schakron - Activist
“We have unemployment, we have poverty, we have the crime situation, way out of hand, nothing has been done to resolve these situation.”

Under the mid-morning sun and with conscious music blaring from loud speakers, hundreds of Belizeans from all walks of life, paraded through Belize City streets on Saturday.

Moses Sulph – Activist
“We have groups, the Maya Leaders Alliance, we have Orange Walk East Upliftment Committee, we have Belize Can, we have Belizeans for Justice, we have COLA, we have groups from PNP, we have groups from the Opposition, everybody is welcome. We welcome the Ministers; we welcome people who voted UDP because this is not affecting only opposition or activists like myself, it is affecting the entire country.”

Organized by community groups Belizeans for Justice, the Committee organized for liberty through action and others, today’s march was designed to highlight various issues of national important, chief among them the proposed Belize Constitution, ninth amendment. Yolanda Schakron is one of the organizers.

Yolanda Schakron - Activist
“To us this is a dangerous situation. Today we want to show the Government that we will not allow this to happen because if we can’t challenge the Government in court then it seems like our democracy is in jeopardy.”

Moses Sulph – Activist
“We are asking that everybody put that party line aside and come out and stand up for your country. There is 23% unemployment, it is not only PUPs that are unemployed, it is not only VIP or NIP or PNP, it is a cross section of Belizeans, cost of living affects us all. This ninth amendment we see it as something that is very detrimental and we want the Constitution to remain the supreme law of the land.”

Schakron says numbers were not the driving force behind today’s march; but the organizers were upbeat about the number of Belizeans from north to south who journeyed to the old capital for today’s march.

Yolanda Schakron - Activist
“People had been calling us and they said we want to be part of this, our organization does not have money so people really came on their own. We did not contact the Opposition because we did not want politics involved.”

But one politician who came out with supporters is Corozal southeast representative Marcel Cardona.

Marcel Cardona – Orange Walk East Area Representative
“I am a Belizean and I am very concerned about the state of affairs in our country today, what is taking place in our country today. It is very frightening when you see the Government first passing that eight amendment bill which due to public pressure it has had to withdraw and now attempting to pass a ninth amendment bill that directly attacks the very pillars of our democracy, the right of the citizen to be able to seek redress from the courts of this country and when you are passing a bill that is now saying that when Government takes a certain action as it pertains to a constitutional amendment you cannot anymore resort to the courts because when you arrive there as the that Honourable Sedi Elrington explained on Love FM the other day, when you arrive there, the court is going to look at the constitutional provision which prohibits them from delving further into whatever constitutional issues and they are simply going to tell you sorry you are barking up the wrong tree, you have to take this elsewhere not through the court system. What is going on in essence when the rights of the regular Belizean citizens are being trampled upon, who are you going to go to, to defend you, no one.”