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'Back off UK!'- VI residents drumming up support for public demonstration

- March scheduled for May 24, 2018
In reaction to the UK’s decision, a group of individuals have decided to put together a march in an effort to send a message to the UK government, while Premier Smith expressed that he is in support of the march. Photo: Facebook
Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL), strongly stated that his government will not comply with the Bill until it becomes a 'global standard'. Photo: VINO/File
Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL), strongly stated that his government will not comply with the Bill until it becomes a 'global standard'. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – In what is considered a most controversial amendment and one that forces the Virgin Islands (VI) to implement a public register that reveals the names of its beneficial owners of offshore companies registered in the British Overseas Territories, Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr The Honourable D. Orlando Smith (AL), strongly stated that his government will not comply with the amendment to the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill until it becomes a “global standard."

Many residents too, despite their differences with the National Democratic Party (NDP) Government, are putting aside politics and disagreemnts, and have been rallying support for a march on May 24, 2018 to protest the move by the UK House of Commons to vote for an amendment to a law that could derail the Territory's legitimate financial services sector.

March against injustice!

Following the announcement of the scheduled march against the decision by the UK, many residents have been expressing their thoughts via social media and to our newsroom.

According to VI resident Bennet Smith, “Why must we run barefoot on the rough ground when everyone else is wearing shoes?”

Another resident who is in support of the march commented, “BVI presence can be felt. We are not your door mats and we have earned global respect in the financial industry. In addition, we have supported and met every global request so back off.”

And Kareem-Nelson Hull, businessman and Marketing specialist, expressed that he is marching because he believes that the decision is an “injustice” and the VI community should come together to fight for what they believe in.

Mr Nelson Hull said, “When history is recorded, I will be on the side of those who tried to do something to help my territory. I’m marching because it’s not okay to take all things lying down. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. If the UK could do this to us. What else could they do? And you allowing your crown dependencies to keep their registries closed, hoping they’ll change it as a moral obligation?”

He continued, “It’s important that we as BVIslanders come together to prove that we’re not as quiet and punkish as people think we are. If we can come together for this then we can come together for other things like government decisions we didn’t like and we said nothing about. If this decision means that two residents here will lose a job, which will automatically transfer to Jersey, Guernsey or Isle of Man. That’s one too many.”

Meanwhile, some persons also had different views about the march, including a Mr Jamal S. Smith, who asked: “When Virgin Islanders were being victimised, where were they asking for us to march? When our money was being squandered to support cronyism and nepotism, where were they asking for a march? However, there are some great solutions to this current crisis, but marching isn't one of them.”

17 Responses to “'Back off UK!'- VI residents drumming up support for public demonstration”

  • wize up (11/05/2018, 22:24) Like (20) Dislike (1) Reply
    in 2018 and we still marching(when will we overcome).....I personally witnessed my first march in 1972-2018(almost 50-years later and we as developing people still pounding pavement)...I personally have nothing against the “march” but we have small businesses and some of our own people encountering hardships(who marches for the little man) go ahead and say what you desire.....same sex conduct being forced on us by the same United Kingdom but who have organized a march: I guess once the issue surrounds money we will fight to the hill other than that all other matters is alright(keep the faith).....
  • guy hill (12/05/2018, 03:17) Like (29) Dislike (3) Reply
    "It’s important that we as BVIslanders come together to prove that we’re not as quiet and punkish as people think we are. If we can come together for this then we can come together for other things like government decisions we didn’t like and we said nothing about."

    Interesting quote Mr. Hull. Ever study the history of protest/marches in these Virgin Islands? What I recall through reading and personal experience.
    1949 =Against foreign interest.
    1968 Positive Action= Against foreign Investor
    1970's= Against a Governor Cudmore foreign interest
    2000's= Against BiWater foreign investor
    2018= Pending Against the United Kingdom's Antics?

    Why were/are we not in the streets after $7M of tax payers money was literally thrown away? And the other "Ills" this government has done to the people of these Virgin Islands? Willie T is the latest injustice bring dished out. Seize the time.
    Not political but I will have my say in these Virgin Islands
    • wize up (12/05/2018, 08:01) Like (12) Dislike (1) Reply
      @ guy Hill: nice reflection and I say if you prepared to march for one issue, let’s unite and march for all the conditions that duly effecting us a progressive people...let me say this we still love each other but the unity gone: one of the factors that is killing unity in this little paradise is victimization: ask the bishop because 24 hours after he gave his personal opinion on a matter poor fellow was sent packing(you ever hear more)...remember a substantial number of our own people working for government and the stroke of the pen you can be on the unemployment line: intimidation is another factor stopping the unification of our people on certain matters....keep the faith
  • fish (12/05/2018, 04:25) Like (21) Dislike (2) Reply
    MArch against corruption too
  • Kelvin Thomas (12/05/2018, 07:29) Like (4) Dislike (6) Reply
    The $ 7m is the small picture in this fight. People of the Virgin Islands we need to see the bigger picture which is what will happen if we lose the revenue from the financial services industry.
    Government will not have money for:
    1. Health care
    2. Education
    3. Salaries
    4. Infrastructure
    5. Can’t pay for services
    How will this affect us:
    1. Doctors will leave
    2. Teachers will leave
    3. Banks will take our homes
    4. Businesses large and small will go out of business
    5. Apartment rentals will be a thing of the past
    Think we don’t need to march think again.
  • Law Abiding citizen (12/05/2018, 08:13) Like (16) Dislike (3) Reply
    Waste of time! You need to march against your corrupt government before marching against the U.K. What ever happen to us, is All self-inflicted.
  • Eagle Eye (12/05/2018, 08:17) Like (9) Dislike (1) Reply
    I will march to get back our 7.2 million BVI air ways deal money
  • ? (12/05/2018, 09:04) Like (5) Dislike (2) Reply
    What I want to know is will Virgin Islanders be hiring Santo Domingans to do the marching for them?
  • Hmmm (12/05/2018, 09:38) Like (7) Dislike (3) Reply
    Right or wrong reason for Marching? Some people are just anxious to get into BVI history books. So anxious the stated who will go down in history for organizing the march.
    The facts are:
    - marching here won't do squat. Marching there might.
    - BVI is no where near ready for independence. But the people who through favoritism and groupings have accomplished comfortable livings will call for it. While everyone else is left behind.
    - when people tell a story they should be honest enough to give BOTH sides. More than 50% of the money made is ny top managers in private sector and they DO NOT circulate even 10% of their earnings in the BVI economy. BVI must do more to ensure that its NATIVE people benefit from its bounties.
    - Another truth is that BVI and other OT money will not go to the British Isles and the rest for they are in the same boat too.

    Instead of trying to make selfish history try to work with the others in the same boat to come to a strategic way forward.
  • Just Curious (12/05/2018, 10:24) Like (7) Dislike (2) Reply
    What about we have two separate marches? Let us march against the UK dictatorship as it relates to what they want us in the BVI to do, and secondly let us march against the NDP for all its corruption and inability to account to the people of the BVI when they squandered our money. The NDP find it fit to march because WE are being affected by the UK decision, but when they (NDP) make decisions that affect the citizens of the BVI, then it business as usual. We need to pick the beam out of our own eyes before we start picking beams out of the eyes of others. The NDP is a failed government and worst of all they LACK TRANSPARENCY.
  • Bull (12/05/2018, 11:15) Like (9) Dislike (2) Reply
    The so call 1 % rich people their family and club members will be marching and who ever they pay to march.
  • my two cents (12/05/2018, 11:39) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    For those who saying why there isn’t a march against the corruption. Why don’t you organize the do you think Government is going to have a March against themselves really.
  • LeaveyourMothershouse (12/05/2018, 18:34) Like (1) Dislike (2) Reply
    All who talking negatively about this march are people who do not understand our past history. The UK still see us as slaves who they can whip into subjection. Let us remind the UK that we are growing up and we can leave our Mother and fend for ourselves...
    • bvi (12/05/2018, 20:44) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
      Just like for everyone who talking about subjection have a passport to their Island still
  • wize up (12/05/2018, 21:14) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    just a question because I am so eager to see this march: will the key operators within this sector of our economy join the locals in the march(are we the defense attorneys for this group of companies) just curious!!!

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