Another protest is being planned; this time against alleged corruption in the British Virgin Islands government.
Businessman Floyd ‘Heritage’ Burnett said the march has been scheduled for Friday, June 8. He made the announcement during a radio programme on ZBVI last evening, May 29.
According to Burnett, the march will start at 2pm in the vicinity of the Sunday Morning Well and end at the Central Administration Complex in Road Town. He said a full programme will follow at the Breezeway.
Responding to the cries of the masses
Burnett said the march is a response to the cries of local residents.
“We have been listening to the cries and the concerns of the people for a long time. We have been saying we have certain domestic issues that definitely needs addressing. We have lost our transparency, we have lost our open dialogue,” he said.
“Last week we took to the streets and we protested the United Kingdom (UK) and myself and many others thought: ‘what better way to make a truthful stance by saying we don’t condone the leadership abroad from those locally?’ Now that it has passed, it is still left to address the issues at home.”
He said organisers have already applied to the relevant authorities to hold what he described as a ‘peaceful’ march to protest the various issues affecting the country.
“We basically want it to be a day of dialogue; a day for the public. There is no censorship here,” he added.
The government will have their say
Meanwhile, Burnett said government officials will also have an opportunity to speak to the concerns of protesters.
If they fail to address the people’s concerns, Governor Augustus Jaspert will be officially called on to intervene, “to open a commission of inquiry to our issues and seek justice” on behalf of taxpayers,” he further said.
A commission of inquiry is a systematic investigation that is often of a matter of public interest.
Not at war with Government
Burnett said he wanted to make it clear he is not against any member of the government.
“We are not at war with anybody. We just want to keep the democracy healthy and open. Have an open dialogue with the people. We are long overdue for a conversation on accountability, clarity, about the various misspending, the unaudited tax dollars. These are our rights.”
Burnett further said the invitation to protest is open to every member of the public including civil servants, students, and the religious community.
“We also will be calling on the Governor Augustus Jaspert. We want the civil servants to have the date off so they can express their constitutional rights even if it was the very mould in the building that they were subdued to; even if you feel you are underpaid, or your department could function better,” he said.
Similarly, Burnett said students should be allowed to get the afternoon off to join the march.
“Last week, they expressed their voice to the UK so I want every child to know that you have the right to march for the sewerage in the road.”
Importantly, Burnett said he hopes the protest will ‘send a strong and clear message’ that the people of the territory will not tolerate bad governance from the UK or our local authorities.
The May 24 Decison March
On May 24, hundreds turned out to participate in the BVI’s Decision March against the UK.
The march signalled the territory’s displeasure towards UK legislators for using what is being described as “constitutional overreach” to pass an amendment to their Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act — a law that is feared will cripple the BVI’s main revenue earner, the financial services.
Addressing protestors, Deputy Premier Dr Kedrick Pickering described the march as a declaration of war by the territory on the UK.
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