“The Tobagonians only have a mouth for certain things”

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Tobago Youth Council President Janae Campbell. Photo by Ayanna Kinsale

Tobago Youth Council President Janae Campbell criticized the Tobagonians for not speaking out on the serious issues surrounding the island’s development.

Campbell was a panelist in a Monday night virtual chat examining the six-six standoff in the Tobago House of Assembly (THA).

The event, One People Together, was organized by Tobago CivilNET.

Responding to a question about how the electoral population might become involved in the mediation process if such action is seriously considered by the PNM and PDP, Campbell said Tobagonians rarely speak out on important issues.

“I know someone might be mad at me for saying this, but I personally find that we as Tobagonians are to some extent very submissive,” she said. “I think sometimes we as Tobagonians just have our mouths, to use the vernacular, for certain things.

“But when is the time to act and make your voice heard in a diplomatic way and in a way that would really pay off, sometimes we just don’t show up.”

To demonstrate his point, Campbell referred to a recent policy forum hosted by TV6 at Signal Hill High School. She said she knew young people who attended the event and were eager to attend.

“They expected an opportunity to make their voices heard and thought they would go up there and see a crowd of Tobagonians ready to ask questions of people from political parties. “

But Campbell said the young people were “totally disappointed” with the turnout.

She believes the opportunities are always there, but people, for some reason, don’t always take advantage of them.

“A lot of people comment on social media, but when is it time to do it diplomatically and step out of your comfort zone, we don’t usually show up.

“So the question should not always be what can be done or what those in power can do. The question must be asked: “What can we do as Tobagonians?” “

She believes the time has come to “rally our troops.”

“Let’s mobilize and demand things. We don’t have to wait for an organization to come and do it. We, as Tobagonians, must have this will. “

Campbell said some young people, due to the HAT standoff, are expressing an interest in politics.

“Young people are expressing their concerns about the impasse. But the majority of young people are not interested.

She does not blame them for lack of interest, because the elders do not encourage her.

“I firmly believe that the elders do not set an example for us … Sometimes it is difficult to enter this political arena because the elderly close you off, especially when you have a point of view opposite to their point. of view.

She said that while young people could have innovative ideas, “There are people who literally shut you down as young people, and that’s the raw truth.”


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