Letters to the Editor

The stench of apartheid on the streets of Bermuda

  • Police and protesters clash outside the House of Assembly on December 2 (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

Dear Sir,

I am writing about the people protest on December 2, 2016. It was a day that would live in the memory of many Bermudians for the rest of their natural lives and go in the history books.

That day drew parallels for me of South Africa apartheid — being practised by the Bermuda Government. As you know, it was a peaceful gathering, yet somehow 29 riot squad members of the police department showed up at the House of Assembly grounds, sent by Mr Nobody. Now what were 29 going to do with that size of a crowd?

The pepper spray was the substitute for the guns used in South Africa. Apartheid was so bad there that the people were shot in their backs while running away from the army/police in Sharpeville township.

Commissioner of Police Michael DeSilva, I wonder if you violated the rights of the citizens to be able to gather on the grounds of the House of Assembly on February 10, 2017. What does the law state about that?

The law states we cannot block the entrance to Parliament; we must allow the politicians to enter to do the business of the people. I agree to that, but I don’t agree they cannot enter the grounds as peaceful protesters. I would like a lawyer to call me at 293-8148 to give me the interpretation of that law, please.

In the past, ZBM had a radio talk show twice weekly narrated by Everett DaCosta. It was an election year and the talk show got “hot” about political talk. The United Bermuda Party didn’t like it, so the radio show was ordered by the Government to be shut down.

A brave lawyer — I don’t know his name — took the matter to the Broadcasting Commission as a complaint, was not satisfied with the interpretation, so he took it to court. The court ruled in the favour of the lawyer because it was a violation of free speech. Now the talk shows are here to stay.

Now that we have only one radio station giving news, one television station giving news and one newspaper keeping us informed, I’m wondering if we are a Third World country, considering we are an international business-oriented island.

I would also like to voice my opinion on the LF Wade International Airport. All I see are contract planes landing and once in a while an odd plane would land. What makes the airport “international”? I agree that lots of work needs to be done and a new terminal built. To renovate the old one will be too costly.

Some time ago the new roof was done under the then-minister Quinton Edness. The cost of the project was estimated at $15 million to $18 million, but ended up at more than $29 million. When Edness was asked about the cost running over, he stated that he didn’t need to give an explanation. That is how arrogant the ministers are in the One Bermuda Alliance/United Bermuda Party.

I disagree with the vote on the outcome for the airport, but there is nothing more I can do. I hope this incident doesn’t happen again; next time be more open with what you are doing.

Watch out for the next election. I know there will be no calling of one until after the America’s Cup because your government wants to take all the credit.

Finance minister Bob Richards, I am not happy with the way you administer your ministry. You may hear what is being said, but you don’t listen to what is being said.

Mr Richards, you told seniors that money doesn’t grow on trees. However, you must have visited Mr Dunkley’s garden and found a money tree growing especially for the America’s Cup.

Grant Gibbons, you said the America’s Cup will benefit all of Bermuda. Yes, it will benefit some of Bermuda, ie, Front Street, Church Street, Queen Street, Reid Street, Bermudiana Road, Pitts Bay Road, etc. But authorities will advise visitors not to go back-of-town, especially after dark; that has been a practice by the UBP/OBA for years.

Taxi drivers, be alert because 90 limousines are arriving here for the event. The vendors of lunch carts and small restaurants are not in the pickings for catering for the America’s Cup. I hate to be negative, but pay attention. It will be a happy time in Bermuda for some and an unhappy time for others. I am one of the others.

The OBA Government needs to think of their fellow men and lend a helping hand. Put some love in their hearts.