Monday, July 07, 2008

RIP Grace Dolsingh

Members of the anti-smelter community joined with friends and relatives of Grace Dolsingh last Saturday to say a final farewell to Grace Dolsingh, one of the elders of the Cedros community that stood firm against Alcoa and the government of Trinidad and Tobago and ultimately succeeded in keeping them out of their land.
Grace died from complications of two heart attacks. On Friday June 27, after suffering a mild heart attack, she was taken to the Point Fortin hospital, a woefully inadequate structure that laughably claims to serve an area of heavy industry. She was put on a chair and made to wait for 25 hours before she received medical attention. Friends and family feel that had she been attended to earlier she would have been spared the massive heart attack she succumbed to on the following Monday.
Grace's untimely passing is another indication of the strange priorities of those in power, particularly the Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, the Honourable Patrick Manning, who, two weeks ago signed a US$400 million loan with the Chinese government to begin work on the Alutrint aluminum smelter complex in Union. This despite the fact that there are currently four cases before the court regarding this latest manifestation of helter smelter development at the expense of our sustainability as a small island state.
We continue to ask, as we mourn a committed community elder, a mother, grandmother, friend, that the government reconsider its priorities and its promises to the people of this nation. We ask that the government reconsider its notion of development to include the needs of its people, particularly those most in need of care - the elderly, children, working mothers- many of whom populate constituencies like Point Fortin.
Eternal rest to you, Grace. We will continue your fight with all our strength and love.