10 August 2021, Savaii Samoa. After showing their non-support and blocking an HRPP political car rally to pass through the village of Salelologa last week, Savaii held its own parade of vehicles on the Father’s Day public holiday, “to voice their support for the Chief Justice and the Constitution of Samoa”, according to one of the participants.
Parade participant Aveao Laumatia Tuitolovaa, told Samoa Global News most of them were supporters of the Faatuatua i Le Atua Samoa ua Tasi (FAST) party government.
“We wanted to show our support for the Chief Justice and the judges that are being attacked by the other side, and we want to thank them for upholding the Constitution of Samoa”, he said.
Vehicles from across the Big Island congregated at the township market area at 8am. Pastor Paulo Afa Mariner of the Salelavalu Seventh Day Adventist Church led a prayer service to bless the parade, and a high chief of Salelologa village, Taotua Ioane, was given the chance to speak to the parade participants before they headed off.
According to Aveao there were more than 200 vehicles from Salelologa but close to 500 took part in the parade. With up to four people in each car as well as vans and pickups, he said there were over one thousand passengers. Aveao said many cars would join and travel part of the way with them, and then veer off. He said there was a lot of support on the road-side with village youth seen waving flags and forming guards of honor to await their passing.
He said they went around the whole island, heading towards the Itu o Tane side of Savaii, through Falealupo-Tai, Salega and Palaui i Sisifo, before they returned from the other side of Itu o Asau, back to Salelologa.
“Sa matou taamilo atoa i le motu, ui i Falealupo Tai ma Tufutafoe, na amata atu i le Itu o Tane, taamilo ifo i le Itu Salega, ma toe faaiu mai i le maketi i Salelologa e fai ai le lotu faafetai.
“E silia ma le 500 taavale o le solo ae pe ma le 1000 ma ona tupu tagata na o ai tai toa 4 agai luga tagata, sa tietie i le taavale e tasi…”
There was a dominance of white taxis, most of them based at the township of Salelologa to earn their living. One taxi driver said they were in support of their faipule and woman MP who is now the Minister of Justice and the Courts Administration, Matamua Seumanu Vasati Sili Pulufana.
The secretary of FAST Va’aaoao Alofipo and supporters of the new FAST government were seen joining the parade of cars yesterday; their vehicles decorated with Samoan flags and banners.