I hate to say I told you so but I wrote a letter to the media more than a year ago about the temporary straw market that has been reduced to a low class “flea market”. But the reasoning by the vendors caused the police and the government from applying the pressure to discontinue their illegal acts. We know that they were purchasing illegal merchandise and we ignored it. There are many other illegal piracy practices that we know will cause us a problem, but I guess we will wait for the international police to point it out to us first. The US is coming and modern day pirates will be caught. Copyrights must and should be respected, period.
The former president of the police staff association was on television expressing his concerns about the activity in the straw market. The sight at the market these days is insulting to say the least. Jamaicans and Haitians, who do give a hoot how we feel and have any allegiance to the Bahamas, are some of the main operators.
Foreigners have highjacked the market and few Bahamians are operating there now. The straw has been absent because the foreigners either do not know how to make them or do not see the value in it.
Sometime ago there was a raid on an over the hill business that sold knock-off items, but the police relaxed their position and the business was allowed to operate and the vendors were allow to purchase and sell the items in “our” Bahamian Straw Market.
Now the worst case scenario has become a reality. The US Customs has had enough and is now making the statement that the Bahamian police should have made a long time ago. This must be embarrassing to put it mildly, because we made an attempt to clean this up before and reneged.
Now the Bahamian police should save face and appear to be operating by the law and discourage the selling of illegal items in the Bahamas. We are embarrassed that our country is exposed to the international community for something negative again. This shows that there must be a market for the knock off here. The police know who they are and no arrests are made here.
The new straw market belongs to all Bahamians and we will have to pay for it. So we the tenants of the straw market should not allow anything that is not made in the Bahamas to be sold in the market. There should be a scrutinising like no other for the vendors. After they are selected then there should be a policing of the market on a regular basis and confiscation of all items that are not made here.
It is time that we stop mediocrity. We are too damn slack, too lazy and too fool. We have allowed other nationalities to infiltrate our national land marks and assisted them in destroying our culture, how stupid can we get, just for a few dollars.
When I visited the market the other day I heard raw Jamaican accent, I heard Haitians who could barely speak English, but they feel like they are immune because they are probably there with the blessing of some used to be politician. We must clean this up now. Taxi drivers are even some hotel personnel promoting the “Knock off market.” How unpatriotic?
The incident in New York must have opened our eyes, and right after we get over being embarrassed again, we must clean up the market before the international community comes here and embarrasses us on our own turf. Remember I told you so before, I am telling you again. Act now!
I fear Jesus Christ only and no one can intimidate me anymore, regardless of who they are. I expect some jelly-back to respond, especially someone who is profiting from these practices.
Ivoine W Ingraham
Nassau, The Bahamas