LETTER: Demanding Clarity on UPP’s Stance on Freedom of Speech Amidst Billboard Controversy

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room
Joseph billboard being destroyed by DCA

Dear Editor,

“When the DCA decided to remove that canvas from our billboard, we didn’t raise a voice of protest as a party, because our party is not responsible and our party would be concerned if any of these canvasses were to have defamatory language,” he said.

These are the words of the UPP legal advisor Leon Chaku Symister. But this is a lie. Not only did members of the UPP party “raise a voice of protest”, they were absolutely adamant that the removal of the suddenly-mysterious billboard covers was a violation of free speech and called for public outrage:

According to a report, from Antigua Newsroom, on a Snakepit Interview with Kelvin “Shugy” Simon on March 24th regarding the removal of the billboard covers, “Simon asserted, “I’m going to take DCA to court for trespassing and removing property from a property they have no right to remove.””

Further, “Simon reaffirmed [sic] his commitment to challenging what he perceives as injustices and ensuring that freedom of speech is upheld in Antigua and Barbuda.”

In what seems to be a complete about-face, Mr. Symister goes on to say “Whoever the campaigners are, they seemed to target UPP billboards, but this is not a task being carried out by the United Progressive Party…”

The word “target” implies you are a victim here. You mean to say that after defending the right for freedom of speech from this “campaigner”, you now claim you have no idea who it was? Compliance is as bad as the offence.

So, which is it? Are you still defending the mysterious billboard covers for freedom of speech, even though the content was indeed damaging to several parties?

Are you still insisting that people be allowed to say what they feel, displaying destructive inferences, despite no evidence to support the same?

Are you still encouraging the court of public opinion to rule guilty, even though there isn’t even a criminal investigation?

Or are you suddenly realizing the dangers that lie ahead with this course of action and washing your hands clean of any prior association?

If you had nothing to do with those billboard covers, why did you not report it to the police for vandalism?

If you had nothing to do with those billboard covers, then who did? Who the cap fit, let them wear it. But when the truth finally comes out, know that the blame will not rest solely on one man’s shoulder.

Sincerely,Fed Up.

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