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Edwin: “We are ready for that step”

Attorney Jerry Edwin – added his voice to the movement for change

Any step that is possible to kick the English crown to the curve I think is a step in the right direction.

These were the sentiments expressed by U.S-trained Attorney at Law Jerry Edwin welcoming the changing of the oath and allegiance away from its royal affiliation.

As Grenada’s golden jubilee draws nigh, the attorney believes it is time for the island to embrace true independence away from the hands of those who have spewed nothing but pain and poverty to the West Indies.

Speaking to THE NEW TODAY, Edwin passionately expressed the value of equality amongst people and the shame linked to the time taken to steer away from the British monarch.

“I am the typical Grenadian. What beats in my heart, and I would say what beats in the heart of every citizen in Grenada and every citizen in Trinidad and Dominica, in the USA, Canada, Australia in the United Kingdom is a sense that and I think it’s universal that I am a free person and as a citizen of a free country, my allegiance is to the people I elect to be my leaders,” he said.

According to Edwin, the time has come for Grenadians to “swear allegiance to Grenada, the country of Grenada, and its institutions.”

“…When you reflect on it, there’s almost a sense of embarrassment that we didn’t do this before,” he said.

Attorney Edwin is among a handful of local lawyers who have joined with Dr. Francis Alexis, KC to advocate for the government to make the change from pledging a loyalty oath to the British monarch and move instead to loyalty to Grenada.

The idea was floated by Alexis a few days before Grenada celebrated its historic 50th anniversary of Independence.

Edwin said: “People of Grenada at this time, 50 years down the road deserve no more appropriate a gift than the one that Francis Alexis is offering us – we should take it, we should seize it.”

He added that Alexis’ proposal reflects the similar decision made by neighbouring islands.

“…There is no doubt that what Dr Alexis is proposing is in fact right down the middle of the road in the constitutions of every Caribbean country – Grenada, St. Lucia, St Vincent, Dominica, the Bahamas, Trinidad, Guyana. We are all saying that our allegiance belongs to the people we elect,” he remarked.

The American-trained Attorney contended that persons who are opposed to the change are clearly embracing the ideology of former plantation owners instead of the hardworking slaves who fought for their freedom.

Acknowledging the colonial past of the island, Edwin declared that Grenadians must accept the freedom that came with Independence.

“There was a colonial history out of which we freed ourselves, that’s our historical past. We cannot say it didn’t happen. What we can say is that we freed ourselves and it’s time that we act like free people. We acknowledge it, but we also adding on to,” he said

Speaking strongly against the prior actions of the British monarchy, Edwin reiterated the need for equality in the midst of independence and freedom.

“The King and the Queen are our oppressors. Well, that’s the historical fact. These are people who looked at the entire West Indies and gave us $1,000,000 to form a university, for all of the Caribbean.

“These are people who mandated even at independence that we sell them all of our raw products. These are people who enslaved us. I think I want to acknowledge that their exit is delayed from any governance over us.

“We have no problem with the people of England, the United States or any other citizen of this world who wishes to accord to us what every other citizen of the world deserves – Equality. There is no superior relationship, and I think that is the only way in which the Crown of the United Kingdom wants to be acknowledged.”

Edwin labelled some islands and their “lack of cultural confidence” as the major reason why they have not fully detached from the European superpower.

He is confident that Grenadians young and old will accept Grenada as a part of the oath of allegiance.

“… I believe here in Grenada 50 years on, we are ready for that step…Barbados did it overnight but certainly Barbados assured us, through the leadership of (Prime Minister) Mia Mottley the time is now, if not now, when?

“…This (oath change) would make it real. This would codify it by law, that we are truly free and independent. There are other steps we have to take and those I’m sure will come in the near future. I hope in the short term but by law, we will codify the fact that we are not subjects of the United Kingdom – No King, no Queen, no Prince, no Princess.”

Attorney Edwin told THE NEW TODAY that in time everyone attached to the three branches of the Constitution will be able to pledge allegiance to the island and not the monarch.

He said: “The Governor General is a symbolic and ceremonial figure. Yes. Yes, she will take the same oath. Everyone will. If you are going to serve as an official in Grenada, you will take an oath where you swear allegiance to Grenada – from the Prime Minister, Ministers of Government, Governor General, Judges in the court, Registrar, every single official will take an oath to Grenada.”

Like Dr. Alexis, the attorney-at-law emphasised that no significant changes will have to be made to facilitate the transformation.

“It’s a simple change of the law, the basic law. We don’t have to go through a constitutional change or referendum, and that is recognised by everybody in Grenada that oath of allegiance is not an entrenched provision that requires some high threshold to change it,” he said.

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