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One day till march | ‘Make the sacrifice, this affects everyone’

Patsy Lake (left) and Decision March organiser, Bishop John Cline.

Local activist and entrepreneur Patsy Lake wants the local business community to follow her lead and close shop early for the Decision March tomorrow, May 24.

“I want to appeal to all employers to make the sacrifice,” Lake said during the Honestly Speaking with Claude Skelton Cline radio programme on Tuesday.

“Like I said before, this is going to affect all of us,” added Lake, who compared tomorrow’s Decision March to the historic Positive Action Movement some 50 years ago.

March is the start of a revolution

Meanwhile, former Chief Education Officer Elroy Turnbull, who also spoke on the radio programme, described the march as a crucial undertaking.

“For those who say the march serve no purpose, I don’t agree. The march is the start of our own internal revolution,” he said.

“I see this march as the beginning of a consciousness that says we are starting our own internal revolution for change in terms of what we have been placed in and wherefore that march kicks off the start of other things to come,” he said.

“We have to look at British colonial history. We have to learn some lessons on what these people have done and we have to look in terms of where we think our strength lies,” Turnbull added.

The Decision March

The march is being held to protest the UK parliament’s recent order to impose public registers of beneficial ownership on the BVI and other British Overseas Territories.

The policy, which is an amendment to the UK’s Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill, was approved in the House of Lords on Monday (May 21) after first passing in the UK’s lower parliamentary house (the House of Commons) three weeks prior.

With support from both the upper and lower houses of the UK parliament, the controversial amendment is now expected to be given to Her Majesty the Queen for Royal Assent.

The BVI and other Overseas Territories have until December 2020 to comply.

The march will begin at the Sunday Morning Well in Road Town, into Fleming Street and Waterfront Drive, then culminate at Government House, where the Governor resides.

For persons interested in coming from the sister islands, chartered ferries will be made available.

The local business community, the organising committee, and private ferry owners will collaboratively foot the cost of the ferry service.

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26 Comments

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  1. The March says:

    Let’s continue the March to the airport to demand answers from our minister’s regarding BVI Airline and where our $7.5 million went.

  2. Pablito says:

    Let’s move this process forward. If you don’t want England’s oversight, stop replying on their handout.
    Develop your airport to bring in additional sources of income. Marching is simply an internalized feel good exercise with no potential $$ return.

  3. Hi says:

    There’s lots of talk regarding the upcoming march. At this late hour I’m still trying to understand the objection (with meaning) to the bill.
    I mean, why do we want to be a sanctuary and haven for criminal activity. Hiding money from the authorities is criminal.

    • Albion says:

      I think there are two points.

      The first (and biggest) point is that it is nothing to do with beneficial ownership of companies, and it is everything to do with the UK unilaterally taking back devolved legislative powers. If we don’t defend against this attempt to peel back and rescind our democratic rights, then we accept that they will be able to do it again and again. The freedom to manage your own affairs if you can only do what someone else tells you is no freedom at all.

      The second point is “you must be kidding”. Public registers of beneficial ownership has nothing to do with preventing crime. Law enforcement in the UK already has full access to this information. UK law enforcement does not want public registers (which it sees as less reliable and more likely to be falsified).
      This is all about allowing journalists to pry into the affairs of the rich and famous and publish more information about their private lives. People who talk about the BVI as a “haven for criminal activity” are people who have zero understanding about the current compliance and regulatory regime which, ironically enough, almost everyone agrees is superior in form to the UK’s own system (which requires no third party verification of company ownership at all).

      As someone in Jersey famously said: “The UK is trying to force through a solution that doesn’t work for a problem that doesn’t exist.” And they are doing it in a way that tramples on our political freedoms purely for their own political expediency. If we don’t stand up for our rights now, we may as well just roll back to the colonial era and be ruled by fiat from Whitehall.

      • Kinte says:

        It has nothing to do with been idependently ran. It does indeed have to do with criminal activity and the only benefit to keeping it is for the few in the B.V.I. who benefit from it largesse not the common people but a few families, so I actually agree with the British Goverment.

        And you mention that its an excuse to peer into the rich if they or you are clean then there is no need to worry.

      • QI says:

        @Albion
        Three points:
        So, you are a BVIslander and you care about our constitution this much? Or only when it affects your industry? I don’t normally see financial service getting behind grassroots political movements!

        Second, you think journalists shouldn’t be allowed to look into the affairs of the super rich – ie those with the power in this world? Corruption happens and the rich can afford lawyers and accountants to find holes in the law so that nefarious activities can become ‘legal’. We’ve specialised in that service for a long time and everyone in the industry knows it. The world has the largest wealth gap known in history with a tiny percent of the population controlling 90-something percent of the world’s wealth. Unless the money system is monitored, riches will only beget more riches, and power swings further and further from the mass of the people. It can’t go much further – hence the unique chaos of our times, just beginning, imo..

        Third, so you ……………, who came up with this march idea in a moment of political opportunism – are asking the poor and beaten up people of the BVI, many of whom barely understand this complex situation, to march for the right of the super rich to keep their wealth hidden, by us? I find that awkward, especially as it’s being presented to us as another turning point in an ancient, legitimate, anti-colonial narrative. Seems like a strange coalition of grassroots, super rich and libertarian financial people to me. Possibly even manipulative.

        ie This march stinks!

        • QI says:

          @Albion, they blanked out two names in 3rd paragraph. One est— and one past—, incline to play tricky in our local politics.

        • @QI says:

          Your comment shows your ignorance to the whole situation.

          • @@QI says:

            Not sure if it’s evasion or avoidance, but your answer is definitely dirty!

          • @QI says:

            Please do not forget QI why the financial services was diverted to UK OTs ! To allow for the Bilderberg group, who UK is in bed with, and the leaders they control around the world. This give the UK MPs and others who are free masons to lie to UK voters about how they spend the UK govt money and blame it on BVI and other jurisdictions while they themselves hide funds using BVI structures. These MPs know they have to report monies made to UK govt for tax reasons. BVI signed TIEA (tax exchange information agreements) with several countries to report funds held in local banks and also to inform holders that they need to report back to their respective mother countries. BVI has taken the lead for years whenever a new standard has been asked and MET IT and most G20 never compiled with. The standards are being changed by the larger countries who almost always never comply with !!! How is that for fairness. UK MPs stop lying to your UK voters and tell them the truth. The billions of dollars generated on bank accounts or invested through BVI structures are only flowed through BVI banks to banks in other jurisdictions around the world. People do your research !!! The BVI jurisdiction has worked hard on being transparent and provided information to other jurisdictions who are investigating possible wrong doing elsewhere. It is time for these international consortium of journalists, who are funded by G— S—- and others, to also tell the truth that their work is also a witch hunt to take back financial services from the former colonies of UK and others because they have become successful. G—- S— is a sub-puppet master of the B——– group that is responsible for controlling USA and other countries elections to ensure control over that government, economy, and their natural resources for the B——– group and the international bank cartel. The major players are the R———- and the R————- who also responsible for last two world wars, major strife in Africa, Middle East, Eastern Europe. It is all about ultimate control over humanity by a certain group who has a particular DNA, not one color over another color. That is a front ! Humanity that is just a front ! Racism is just a cover up for the control over humanity by people of a certain DNA. I hope you do more research and realize we are Pawns in the Game. Read this book by Guy Carr. Over and out.

  4. true says:

    This effects everyone on Tortola, well mainly. It doesn’t really effect the sister islands, maybe VG a little but only for people working and commuting daily.

    The reality is if the FS collapses property prices will suddenly be in reach available to local BVIslanders, the focus will be the tourist markets with fisheries and agriculture being focused on.

    To be clear the BVI will become beautiful again at its own pace without the FS but its linked to power families on Tortola and to all the riches its brought the people on Tortola, but remember Tortola is only 1 island of the BVI.

    March? What for it serves no purpose except to keep the pockets of the powerful lined.

  5. Time says:

    What time does the March start?

  6. Alowisus says:

    Where the free food station?

  7. bukra says:

    this is only unfair in terms of jersey and isle of man being exempted, if so. otherwise, it’s more likely that the rich locals are scared of being outed including politicians. for the average local, this is a manipulation of their patriotism. this industry is no more than ink on paper and can be gone tomorrow. focus on things that you have alone in the world . . beauty, 70 islands sprinkled in 80 deg water. clean your dump up and develop pride in services instead of connected locals with 10th grade math hoping on a bank job where they get paid to show up. develop the place into where people with skills and money want to buy a home or move to, then your wealth is foundational, rather than fleeting. But requires ending the lack of self respect and skill, importing it and letting it rub off like america did 200 years ago, rather than continue with a nepotistic fiefdom that helps 10 families while the naturally capable, leave for real competitive societies where merit is the driver, to make their mark . . .

    • Sam the man says:

      Spot on Bukra good for you – speak the truth but it won’t be appreciated!

    • Reality says:

      Well said Bukra agree 100% why March to continue financial secrecy and money laundering ? Let’s lead the way….total BS from many arm chair financial experts on here that just don’t like the fact the BVI must comply and be open, honest and transparent….it will happen and the Premier himself said a few weeks ago they had made plans for the new legislation ! Maybe his wife has had a word?

    • Wow says:

      You nailed it Bukra! So v true the wealthy few dominate the many and I can’t believe people are so gullible to blindly follow the infamous wolf in sheeps clothing….

  8. Who cares says:

    This so called March for the Bishop will have as much influence as a gnats fart

  9. Concern says:

    Ok, let’s march in the hot sun, because the U.K Parliament is watching us, as they are 5 hours ahead – oh wait – is BBC news covering it – NOPE. Yep, this will change an ENTIRE law that has already been passed, just need to be signed. RIGHT…

  10. Yolo says:

    If the bvi ain’t allowing criminal to register in here why are we marching for….the government say we don’t have no dirty money … why are we marching for …we need to march for answers….we want the information of the break down how much peri park cost ….we want information why Brandy wine bay cost 5 million and counting…..we want to know where is our airplane that is what we need to march for please share

  11. Blah says:

    @true,How does it affect Tortola but not the other islands? VG isn’t an independent island. The money made in Tortola goes towards the entire BVI. Financial Services brings more money to the BVI annually than tourism.The people that are so excited about the UK’s decision are naïve. How do we replace 60% of our revenue. This isn’t about protecting the wealthy. This is about protecting our revenue. You think we can pay back the UK loan, pay Civil servants, provide water, fix roads etc. without that 60% keep dreaming. Then you same idiots will talk about high cost of living when naturally new taxes are created and the tax exemptions are removed to increase revenue to run the territory.

    • Rubber Duck says:

      You may be right about tax. But if BVI starts putting up taxes then it’s one single advantage against other juririsrictions will disappear.

      And then it really will be subsistence farming and donkeys again.

  12. Education says:

    Kinte and Hi I feel such empathy for you. If you are a resident of the BVI please get informed. If you are not a resident, belonger and just here for economic opportunity I suggest you go back to your country.

  13. SENSE says:

    AMEN!!!! SAY IT AGAIN!

  14. Check her says:

    I ain’t marching for the kinda people pushing this whole thing- bunch of greedy, worth—s
    w—ed’ deceptive, people

  15. islandgirl says:

    I find it completely troubling that there is not a call to march for consumer protection, better telecommunications, better infrastructure, affordable housing, affordable food, protection of children from pedophiles, and a march against corrupt governing. However, a march, which no one will really care about, can be organized for a piece of legislation that has been inevitable. Comply for heaven’s sake. Sure there will be some loss of revenue, but we lose plenty of money to corrupt politicians and their club friends anyway. March against that!

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