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Peoples' March: Crowd small but issues weighty-Julian Willock

-around 50 turn out for the Peoples’ March on June 8, 2018
Protesting perceived wrongdoings perpetuated against the people of the Virgin Islands (VI), by the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) government. Photo: Team of Reporters
Scores of residents of the Virgin Islands (VI) on Friday June 8, 2018, marched in a procession from the Sunday Morning Well to the Government Administrative Complex, shortly after 3:00 PM for the 'Peoples’ March.' Photo: Team of Reporters
Scores of residents of the Virgin Islands (VI) on Friday June 8, 2018, marched in a procession from the Sunday Morning Well to the Government Administrative Complex, shortly after 3:00 PM for the 'Peoples’ March.' Photo: Team of Reporters
Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1) was among the Territory's Leaders to support the Peoples' March. Photo: Team of Reporters
Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1) was among the Territory's Leaders to support the Peoples' March. Photo: Team of Reporters
 ‘Peoples’ March’ organiser, social activist Floyd Burnett, aka ‘Heritage’ addresses supporters outside of the Government Complex. Photo: Dean H. Greenaway aka 'The Sportsman'
‘Peoples’ March’ organiser, social activist Floyd Burnett, aka ‘Heritage’ addresses supporters outside of the Government Complex. Photo: Dean H. Greenaway aka 'The Sportsman'
Residents bearing placards during the protest action. Photo: Team of Reporters
Residents bearing placards during the protest action. Photo: Team of Reporters
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Scores of residents of the Virgin Islands (VI) on Friday June 8, 2018, marched in a procession from the Sunday Morning Well to the Government Administrative Complex, shortly after 3:00 PM for the “Peoples’ March” —organised to protest perceived wrongdoings perpetuated against the people of the Virgin Islands (VI), by the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) government.

The less than anticipated crowd at the beginning—about fifty persons—more than doubled in size as the demonstration reached its destination, having been joined by others, including some in cars and onlookers with a vantage point from their office windows.

Justice Now

 ‘Peoples’ March’ organiser, social activist Floyd Burnett, aka ‘Heritage’ said he was not worried about the numbers, since “we need justice now.”

Leader of the VI Political Opposition, Honourable Andrew A. Fahie (R1) was among the speakers addressing the gathering, and used the occasion to again call on the NDP government to embrace the principles of accountability and transparency.

Hon Fahie also reiterated  the need for someone to be held to account for the $7.2M out “of our Treasury for BVI Airways that is yet to fly and no one can say where the planes are, while some walk around like everything is ok, and others have went to jail for less than that.”

Time Right

Former Permanent Secretary in Virgin Islands government, businessman Julian Willock was also among the high profile Virgin Islanders, to defend against the critics of the march and its timing.

He was adamant “it’s always time to make real, the promises of our democracy, it’s always the right time to fight for justice and to treat our brothers and sisters from the other Caribbean islands right.”

The businessman said further, “it’s always the right time to stop discrimination against locals, where they can’t even find a job in their homeland, not even in the public sector from the Hospital to the Airport and the Prison Services.”

He later told our newsroom in an invited comment, that while the crowd may be perceived as small –compared to the recent demonstration against the UK Government in the streets of Road Town, Tortola—“there was a cause to march, and the issues that we marched for are weighty and important.”

Sister Islands Concerns

Historian Dr. Quincy F. Lettsome, speaking to the enthusiastic gathering,  gave a brief history of slavery in the islands while another of the presenters, was Ms Shereen Flax-Charles of Virgin Gorda.

She used her time to speak primarily to women empowerment, among other concerns shared by those inhabiting the sister islands.

Peoples’ March organiser, ‘Heritage’ Burnett, presented a petition to government with over 70 grievances which he had read aloud.

The petition was received by the acting Premier, Dr the Honourable Kedrick D. Pickering (R7), since Premier, Dr the Honourable D. Orlando Smith, was on overseas duties in Asia, along with Health and Social Development Minister Ronnie W. Skelton (AL).

Snubbed?

The ‘Peoples’ March’ saw support also coming from Honourable Julian Fraser RA—Third District Representative and Opposition member.

Other elected members in the House of Assembly however, snubbed or likely boycotted the event since the ‘Peoples’ March’ was in fact a demonstration against the NDP government.

Mr  Burnett has since handed the administration an ultimatum of “30 days, to address answers to the issues raised.”

Failing this, he said, “my organising committee and I will decide what other actions to take.” 

The petition filed on behalf of the demonstration was copied to the United Kingdom appointed Governor Augustus J. U.  Jaspert.

The peaceful march ended just after 5:30PM and was shadowed along the way by a heavy police presence. 

13 Responses to “Peoples' March: Crowd small but issues weighty-Julian Willock ”

  • tola (09/06/2018, 19:24) Like (23) Dislike (5) Reply
    That should have been the first match
  • NezRez (09/06/2018, 19:50) Like (12) Dislike (7) Reply
    No heavy police presence was needed, we always march, but never violent.
    • doesn't matter (10/06/2018, 10:54) Like (9) Dislike (1) Reply
      @NezRez, get use to it. I have been a specator at marches and rallies in other Countries and States and there is always a large police presence. Maybe this is new to you but the police is there to protect the marchers.
  • ABC (09/06/2018, 20:11) Like (11) Dislike (4) Reply
    March on them crooks yes
  • Observer (09/06/2018, 20:52) Like (8) Dislike (3) Reply
    never heard back from current governor or premier. but your march shadowed by police presence while they
    do nothing about behaviour and threatening behaviour on the road on tortola. someone in the government
    here or england is asking for miitary intervention, if the bvi and uk gov can't deal with peaceful events and at
    the same time won't deal with aggressive behaviour here, even life threatening behaviour - then some use of
    foreign force is appropriate. this commenter is in favor of the vi people and their self governance but been
    repeatedly toyed with and violated. where i come from everyone has quite a number of guns for defence.
    i see why you outlaw that here - so bad people can have their way. stupid.
  • ccc (09/06/2018, 21:34) Like (35) Dislike (16) Reply
    I heard NDP feel good because no one turn out, so they think they getting back. But we got news for them
    • voter (10/06/2018, 08:34) Like (26) Dislike (2) Reply
      feel good some of them will feel bad after June 23, 2018 you watch!
    • Organized (10/06/2018, 08:52) Like (14) Dislike (18) Reply
      I think that march should have been planned and organized better than that. A better time like maybe 4pm or 5pm may have been a bit more suitable for people who get off work around that time.
  • where is the governor (10/06/2018, 11:59) Like (23) Dislike (2) Reply
    WHO IS GOING TO INVESTGATE THESE CROOKS AND THIEVES
  • school children (10/06/2018, 17:52) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply
    This March was for us the real deal
  • Willock (11/06/2018, 10:19) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Boy Willock I was looking for you in the march but I did not see you. Looks like you were invisible.


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