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Victimization fears caused low turnout for anti-gov’t protest — Fahie

Opposition Leader Andrew Fahie was among the small number of protestors who marched against the NDP government on Friday, June 8.

Opposition Leader Andrew Fahie has suggested Friday’s march against local government saw a low turnout because would-be protesters feared retaliation from the National Democratic Party (NDP) government and/or its supporters.

Fewer than 100 persons turned out for the protest, which began at the Sunday Morning Well and culminated outside Premier Dr D Orlando Smith’s office at the Central Administration Complex in Road Town.

“I am not surprised by the crowd because, in the BVI, we have to understand that it’s a very small community and whenever you have to stand up against what would be termed as the ‘higher-archy’ in the country, you are opening yourself and your family towards victimisation, towards vindication, and nothing that is nice,” Fahie told journalists at the event on June 8.

But, the Opposition Leader said despite the miserable turnout, ‘a lot of heart’ was put into the protest.

He said he believed the protest would still yield results. He further said, historically, few ‘great’ accomplishments began with large crowds.

He said that reality has been the status quo “from the bible days to any historical event that made a difference”.

“Even with Noel Lloyd. He started [the Positive Action Movement of 1968] himself. It was when everyone understood what was happening they chimed in,” Fahie said.

Protesters marching against government.

Fahie, Opposition member Julian Fraser, and Deputy Premier Dr Kedrick Pickering were the only legislators present at the event.

And while giving remarks, Dr Pickering said Premier Smith was on official business in Asia. However, Dr Pickering said he plans to relay the concerns of protestors to Premier Smith.

The handful of protestors had marched the streets of Road Town calling for greater accountability and better governance from the NDP administration.

Among the speakers at the protest were Virgin Gorda resident Shereen Flax, outspoken resident Sam Henry, and political aspirant Julian Willock, among others.

Floyd ‘Heritage’ Burnett organised the protest following the May 24 Decision March against the United Kingdom.

Friday’s anti-government protest has been dubbed ‘The People’s March’.

Below are scenes captured at the march:

 

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30 Comments

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  1. Albion says:

    Everyone always has an excuse for their own failures.

    18+

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  2. Foolishness says:

    Absolute rubbish! People didn’t march because it was a waste of time. The organizer only started talking about a march when the decision march was being planned and he even tried to piggy back off that march by fooling people into signing his petition as opposed to the one they circulated. What was the March about last week? Can anyone tell me? Political pandering as usual.

    24+

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    • Not2Sure says:

      Those pictures are like a list of the f—– political w———- in BVI: Donald Decastro, Natlio Wheatley, Floyd Burnett, Doug Wheatley. Not a one of them ever managed to get themselves elected to anything. The only “social commentator” missing was Claude Skelton-Cline.

      17+

    • Political Efficacy says:

      I differ in opinion. The march was political efficacy in operation. People marched because they felt they had something to say and hoped that saying and doing their piece would effect positive change. The same of the “decision march”. While there were several messages coming from the decision march and persons marched for their own convictions and others simply to follow the crowd, persons wanted their voice to be heard. So they used a tried and true form of political demonstration. This particular march was very specific, the people of the BVI deserve accountability. That rang out loud and clear.

      12+

  3. FLOP says:

    Callwood had the best T shirt of all time.

    4+

  4. Oh says:

    If what Fahie is saying is true, then why do people show up at political rallies with their Tshirts on showing who they support? Just admit the march failed because it was a failure from the beginning and poorly organized. The BVI people are a lot wiser than you think and won’t be played as poppy shows for hidden agendas.

    17+

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  5. Spell check before protesting. says:

    Righteousness

    4+

  6. Rubbish says:

    The polling booth is the correct place to express these sentiments. Vote.

    9+

  7. Destiny says:

    I believe there were several reasons for the low turn out.

    Organizer himself
    Poor organization.
    Fear of victimization.
    And the fact that people plan to make their voices heard on election day.

    6+

  8. Political Observer (PO) says:

    The 5/23 Match was large (5K) relative to the 6/8 People’s March(100<). Nonetheless, this was no surprise, for the 5/23 March was against the UK for passing the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill that required Caribbean OTs to establish registers of beneficial ownership; the 6/8 March was against the the Government for a myriad of issues.

    Government is a major direct and indirect employer. All of us act out of self interest. Victimization is alive and well in the public sector. And though despite the Deputy Governor’s urgings and assurance, few, if any, public sector employers will march and risk their employment, jeopardizing they and their families well-being.

    Moreover, though the turnout was small, the significance of the myriad of issues is still real. The March should be just the first step in getting answers and solutions to the myriad of issues.

    5+

  9. BoyBlue says:

    As usual, blame the Government.

    I must have missed the poll which results concluded the blarney about victimization.
    The only victimization in this is the naivette of those who swallow and follow the mush put forward by —— and the self appointed diety calling himself ——- jumping on opportunity to ride idiocy to the finish line.

    0

  10. My take says:

    I agree with Fahie

    1+

  11. People says:

    Whether you are for the march or not the question is how can we as a people sit back and let a government be so unaccountable like the NDP has and continues to do.

    11+

    • Prayer didn't help with Irma says:

      And yet we are talking about going Independent? We are afraid to March because of blatant disrespect for our constitution and lack of Transparency and accountability with our Finances.
      Imagine being Independent and having the same issues. I can imagine reading the sign: “Absolutely, NO MORE MARCHING. ONLY ALLOWED BY THE POLICE.”

      Silence gives Consent

      6+

  12. No Way says:

    I sorry but for me to use my strength to protest the Premier and Cabinet during the Premier`s absence,behind his back,was not in keeping with how I was raised.Instead I use the time to meditate and focus on good vibes for this aged man in strange lands with foreign tongues battling theforces that are determined to destroy our economy as they have done to others across the globe. Besides from what I could see the March was really an underhanded way of proporgandering for those who are desperate for power.
    The victimization was making puppets out of grown naive folks for personal and selfish reasons.
    Besides making the country look chupid smart.

    2+

  13. Hah says:

    I did not attend the march but I agree with the points brought up at the march 100%. Only a criminal or someone benefitting by the actions by the Government would be against the issues that were highlighted. We BVI people have always accepted the poison that we are fed by politicians with little resistance. It’s just in our nature. You dont have to take my word for it just look at the people that will forever receive a pension for serving 2 terms. Rewarded for popularity while their districts look and smell like rotting seaweed all year long. Protest marches have never been well attended other than the decision march and even that should have had many more attendants. Most NDP supporters would bring up the Biwater deal as a bad thing but the protest that year did not reflect that by looking at the number of participants. It’s not even limited to politics, we dont stand for anything.

    4+

  14. Wow says:

    First of all stop always talking about victimization. People had many reasons they didnt march like myself. We will vote election day. Hon Fahie seem to forget he is apart of the government now and then of questions to answer, lets not forget all your wastage too.

    1+

  15. VG68 says:

    Flabbergasted that the people of the BVI are content to accept the known facts of the overspending of the government. ($7.2 million for BVI Airways – where are the plane(s) – WHERE IS THE MONEY ? Pier Park – $30 million… FOR WHAT? Just a sad state when people do not hold their ELECTED officials responsible.

    10+

  16. voiceofthevoiceless says:

    I marched and am happy I did! This was to send a message to this and any other Government that some of us were not fearful of speaking out against mismanagement and alleged corruption of the people’s purse as this takes away financing from other more critical projects and programs. Yes they were politicians there and we know their motives but for the most part it was average people who just about had enough of the gross mismanagement of our purse. Kudos to Heritage and the program after was pretty well organized. I am ready to march again in 30days. It only takes a spark. Don’t mind the numbers…Jesus and his 12 disciples accomplished a lot…

    I hear some people say wait until elections but if we have to wait for every 4 years to let our voice be heard then we are seriously missing the point! The damage would have already been done.

    You see they thought that after the first march that we would just go home and all would be forgotten but they did not realize that they may have started a new era of social and political activism where people would keep the pressure on the government by being vocal publicly rather than just talking behind people back and on blogs.

    OH BTW I marched in the first March but that was us against them but now we need to clean house as this is part of the reason why we are where we are now. This march as small as it was felt more grassroots…More authentic… Less political…Than the first March…

    7+

  17. hmm says:

    roadtown smells like a politician. fix these damn roads.

    0

  18. Matters says:

    This was the march that mattered. But it was the march of the little people.
    Last march was organised by slick lawyers with a lot to lose. That’s incentive to get the old folks down to the Well!
    This one was too general but it was the one that really, really mattered. The one asking – why, if financial services has been so great for us for so long, do we live in a territory that is almost entirely dysfunctional? Why is OK for every single thing the govt. does to have slices of dollar taken off it from the top down, until we the people get 4th rate everything?
    4th rate roads, sewage, electricity, water, garbage, civil service systems like Labour, Immigration, etc., terrible tourism interface (Immigration, BVITB etc), low bar education system, pathetic environmental controls – EVERYTHING you can think of, the BVI has come to accept low low standards because somewhere along the way someone either wants to slice a little from a budget, or protect themselves, family, friends from offence or consequence.
    We BVIslanders are so proud, but when I look around I think we just proud because we are alive and our hearts beat. We aint done a damn thing to be proud of in terms of the way we run our territory, not in almost 50 years since Noel Lloyd and dem.
    We marched for the money but not for the right stuff – says it all.

    5+

  19. Tru dat says:

    @ Matters, I am in total agreement with you. Couldn’t say it better.

    1+

  20. Online Now says:

    The majority of the working population has no vote. Why would they march about internal politics when they are already disenfranchised and one political party as bad as the other?

    1+

    • @online says:

      We have to start somewhere or it will only get worse because currently our acceptance of the current system or the status quo is all but guaranteed.

      0

  21. Rubber Duck says:

    i thought it was a gathering of the BVI Crazy Gang.

    0

  22. Brad Boynes says:

    And who is that gang comprised of Rubber Duck?

    0

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