UdeCott & POSCC asked to remove Christmas decorations covering Cipriani statue

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UdeCott & POSCC asked to remove Christmas decorations covering Cipriani statue


That’s how trade union leaders have described a decision by the Urban Development Corporation of TT (Udecott) and the Port of Spain City Corporation, to cover up the statue of captain Arthur Cipriani at Independence Square with Christmas decorations.

The unions are now calling on both parties to have the decorations removed.

Education and research officer of the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU) Ozzie Warwick, in a Newsday interview, said: “This is an act of great disrespect and disregard for labour and our history. The Cipriani statue, like all statues, is a recognition and reminder of something.”

“Cipriani’s statue was a reminder of the importance of the labour movement and the working class and its contribution to economic activity, especially during the Christmas season,” added Warwick.

He said, “To cover up this important symbol with decorations is simply to try and hide or cover up the fact that it is workers who make Christmas, and the economic activity that goes with it, possible. It also shows how far we have gone in the commercialisation and commodification of Xmas and losing the message of hope.”

“It is disturbing that those who took the decision to place the structure over such an important symbol of our history did not consider the serious visual implications and the message it sent.

“There is more than enough space on the promenade where the structure can be moved. The structure should be moved immediately. We can celebrate Christmas without hiding our proud history.”

President of the Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) Clyde Elder, shared the same views as Warwick and said, “Instead of doing more to educate the public especially the younger ones, of our rich history and the importance of labour and labour leaders’ contributions to our development; they chose to hide the statue.

“The government, the corporation and Udecott must have the decorations relocated immediately and respect the memory of Cipriani and the contributions of labour,” Elder said.

Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) political leader David Abdulah said the decision to cover the statue was in poor taste.