Home News Local news Many Calls for Unity at St. John Rally

Many Calls for Unity at St. John Rally


Oct. 1, 2005 –– Although Mario Moorhead threatened to do harm to Cruz Bay businesses if no one is apprehended in the Esther Frett alleged rape case, many people preferred to focus instead on the unity message at Saturday's Virgin Islands Unity Day march.
"After the rally comes the work," the Rev. Charles Crespo said.
Crespo, who shepherds the flock at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church on St. John, said the island needs to address issues like its racial dynamics, insufficient infrastructure, land grab, and accelerated over population.
About 250 people both black and white marched from the Winston Wells Ballfield through the streets of Cruz Bay. A rally followed at the ballfield.
A motorcade to the Coral Bay ballfield and other events were planned for Saturday and Sunday.
Frett, resplendent in green African garb and flanked by Clema Lewis of the Woman's Coalition of St. Croix and event organizer Chenzira Kahina, said she stood before those at the rally with her head held high.
"Standing before you today is a reincarnated woman –– Queen Esther," she said, her voice rising.
Lewis said that since January, 46 women were raped on St. Croix, 30 on St. Thomas and two on St. John.
"That's two too many. There's going to be more lynchings like Esther," Lewis said.
Moorhead said that if the St. John community doesn't put its shoulder to the wheel to find out who raped Frett, the island's business community could be shut down.
"Don't let us have to stretch the limits of the law. We don't want to be oppressive in the business district of Cruz Bay," he said.
Moorhead said that the Crucian contingent came because it views itself as the big sister to the little sister St. John. He said it was the job of the big sister to look after the little sister.
"We came here to take care of business," he said.
He said he was there to exterminate the "rascals and scumbags" who raped Frett.
He said that although St. John may be 51 percent white, the Virgin Islands is "made up of people of color."
"This is the reality many of you seem to forget," he said.
St. John resident Bonny Corbeil, who is white, was tearful as she listened to Moorhead speak. She said his remarks made her feel excluded.
"But I'm trying to be optimistic," she said, calling the Saturday rally a beginning.
Twenty-seven people from St. Croix took the boat to Cruz Bay to join St. Thomas and St. John residents for the day's events.
"I'm here to show my face and hope for change for the better," St. Croix resident Augustus LeBruin said.
St. Croix resident Anthony Joseph called on government leaders to step down if they couldn't provide answers in the rape case and the arson that left Close Reach Imports in ashes.
Frett, who is black, reported on Aug. 29 she was raped. Additionally, Frett and her husband, Jerry, woke up on June 20 to find someone had written racial epithets on their car.
Early on Sept. 1 someone set Bob Sells' Jeep on fire in front of his Close Reach Imports store at Meada's Mall in Cruz Bay. On Sept. 2, the store went up in flames. Arson is suspected in both cases.
Frett, until June, rented the store upstairs from Close Reach Imports for her House of Dolls. Following numerous confrontations between the two, Sells was arrested June 3 for allegedly assaulting Frett. That case is still pending.
Delegate to Congress Donna M. Christensen told the Source that she and other government leaders were "slightly off base" in thinking that law enforcement officials would come up with answers as quickly as everyone would like.
"We want a thorough investigation. We want no stone unturned," she said.
St. Croix resident Myron Allick, who lived for many years on St. John, said more will be accomplished on many fronts if all three islands pull together.
Alvis Christian who helped organize the St. John side of the rally, also spoke about the community's coming together.
St. John resident Dr. Elizabeth Barot spoke about the unity that already exists on St. John.
"St. John is for everyone," the Philippines-born Barot said, laughing as she pointed out that she was one of the island's few brown residents.

Back Talk

Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here