Your Democratic & Human Rights

I am led to understand a rumour (and that is all it is at the moment) is going around, mostly through Hott radio. This rumour is that businesses have advised their staff to attend the demonstration tomorrow, with the implication that there may be repercussions for staff who do not attend.

I find this particularly bizarre.

Every citizen and resident of Bermuda has various democratic and human rights as outlined in the Constitution and the Human Rights Act. Amongst those are the right to freedom of expression, freedom of opinion and freedom of assembly.

NO ONE CAN TAKE THESE RIGHTS FROM YOU.

Anyone who attempts to interfere with your democratic and human rights are committing a crime, and should be fully investigated. If there is any proof to this rumour, it is a very serious one and needs to be investigated. It is notable however that so far it seems to be nothing more than a rumour, as no businesses have been named and it seems to be mere hearsay. At this point some wouldn’t even be surprised if this is a direct attempt to smear the demonstrations tomorrow and INTERFERE with people’s democratic and human rights.

It is important that this issue is investigated fully. If there is something to it, then the businesses and people involved need to be fully persecuted. If it is found to be false, then those who are actively passing on the rumour, which in this case is Hott, is guilty of interfering with YOUR democratic and human rights and should be investigated accordingly.

At the end of the day, NO ONE can legally interfere with your right to demonstrate or not to demonstrate. The law is clear on this one, there is absolutely no ambiguity. If you want to attend the demonstration, go and attend it. If you do not want to attend it, don’t go. If you want to organise a peaceful counter-demo, go ahead. Its up to you and no one, NO ONE, has the right to stop you.

If you have proof of these threats, let the police know now. And Hott should not be broadcasting this unless they can similarly prove that it is the case. One hopes they have such an ability.

Again, if you are demonstrating, have fun, keep it civil and enjoy. If you’re not demonstrating, well, thats fine too.

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59 thoughts on “Your Democratic & Human Rights

  1. Johnny,

    In some ways, this is an academic comment, as I know where you are coming from on this.

    The reality is, we don’t really have rights at all. Why – because they can indeed be taken away from you and we have seen Governments do that time and time again across the world.

    At best, we are ‘permitted’ to do certain things.

  2. Jon,

    Please apply some critical thinking. You should know that this is a lie. It has not happened. Because anyone who actually would have received such an email could have gone to the real press, and that company would have been rightly pilloried, soon to be going out of business. It’s nothing but an attempt to keep people away.

    Please, have you lost all sense?

  3. I am indeed of the opinion that it is a lie. My point is that if they have proof then they need to name and shame and take it to the authorities. If they don’t have proof, then I believe they are committing a criminal offense and should be prosecuted accordingly. As has been repeated several times over at another blog, ‘the burden of proof is on the accuser’ LOL!

  4. yeah – it’s not like white bda has ever used economic terrorism to keep blks in line – starling did u read the history of the BIU – do u know what the stevdores, belco etc have done to keep the status quo? why would u doubt it now.

  5. And if there is evidence for it, as I have clearly stated, then they need to take it to the authorities. Without doing so, it looks like a scaremongering misinformation attempt, and likewise needs to be prosecuted accordingly.

  6. no what i’m saying is that sadly bda has a history of doing this sort of thing – and i bet that some places are putting pressure on their employees to attend – this will end badly –

  7. Jon, there is no proof. It is a figment of a fevered imagination.

    You are right, there’s no way anyone cold get away with it today, especially in the form of an email.

  8. “I doubt that this could get away in Bda today. And where is the proof?”

    during the last election – which wasn’t that long ago a young woman talked about her dad’s boss pressuring him to vote ubp – was she lying – don’t be naieve starling – if i told you last year that a german man was keeping his daughter in the basement for decades as a sex toy – would u have believed it? then how is this hard 2 believe

  9. Hi Steve, and the same can be said for the PLP and generational pressure.

    But I find it hard to believe that, with a PLP government in power, strengthened legislation, email and strengthened telecommunication technology, this is highly unlikely. The claims are that emails were sent around – as RenMan states, do you really think that this would not get out to the press? If so, where is the proof?

  10. just so i get this str8 about this march:

    dr. brown won the leadership race for the plp

    then the plp won the leadership race for the country

    a small minority of mostly anti plpers who don’t like him march and ask for him to be removed

    isn’t this what elections are for

    if that’s the case are we just going to skip elections and pick and choose who we want irregardless

    so – people who are mad that dr. brown didn’t follow the rules want to have him removed with no respect for the rules that dictate that he be in power – wtf

    this some b/s – if u don’t want him in power get ur delegates not to vote for him – better yet get ur party elected – if not – tuff shit – it is the law right 🙂

  11. Jonathan,

    A friend suggested to me tonight that his employer was encouraging employees that they could leave work and attend the rally, though he didn’t say anything about negative implications for not doing so. It could be a case of employers forcing employees to go or a case of employers encouraging them to do so but without evidence it is simply hearsay.

    The problem is this isn’t the first time the boy has cried wolf. You suggest “It is important that this issue is investigated fully.”, sure it is, just like the bullet sent to the Premier prior to the election. The perpretrator has most certainly been found and brought to justice hasn’t he? How about the people who mugged Thaao Dill? How about the people who forged the cheques?

    The problem is this song and dance has gone on so many times it just doesn’t hold weight anymore. Sure it’s a mass UBP conspiracy… that is unless it’s dispicable manipulative politics by the PLP because they couldn’t possibly win on their own merit.

  12. Jon,

    The great thing about outlandish claims is that they could seem believable without the burden of proof. The “big lie” strategy.

    Even though this scenario is about as likely as a full solar eclipse at Parliament tomorrow, someone could possibly see it being true. And then that person, who seems credible, tells another, and so on, and it snowballs into the realm of urban legend.

    Produce one email to back up the claim. Make sure the internet headers are intact. What’s that? Oh yeah, it can’t be done because it didn’t happen.

  13. Have these businesses “pressured” their staff to attend the demonstration or merely clarified that they were free to attend should they so choose? There is a difference.

  14. Steve, you’re getting desperate. That’s one of the more pathetic of your bizarre rants.

    Election isn’t the only method, nor should it be.

    Just because you disagree with what they’re protesting, it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be protesting.

    You’re sounding more and more like a redneck in a bad movie about the 50s.

    Next thing, you’ll be throwing around racist epithets. Oh… wait… too late.

  15. Election isn’t the only method, nor should it be.

    that doesn’t make any sense – should we just be able to invalidate election results on a whim?

  16. “that is unless it’s dispicable manipulative politics by the PLP because they couldn’t possibly win on their own merit.”

    so dale butler, the listers, paula cox, ottie simmons, alex scott, jen smith – all won due to manipulative politics?

    and how did smack dealing shawn crockwell win –

  17. the plp govt has allowed civil servants and ministers to break peoples rights before…..especially if they have been speaking out against the govt or have been a watch dog against the govt.

  18. Desperation makes people do funny things. If Dr. Brown is ousted that’ll leave these sycophants with nothing. Don’t think those within the PLP will forget their backstabbing ways.

    I know Dr. Brown is going to try and load up the agenda today (after virtually bugger all up til this meeting…funny that) and push the debate on him back as late as possible. Because that’s the kind of honest, transparent governing for the people kind of guy he is. Hell I’m sure he’s going to just get up and lie and say that the motion on the floor is about the PLP, not his leadership.

    I’m 100% sure this no confidence motion will fail. But I just hope it won’t be forgotten that he was so bad that it happened in the first place.

  19. Steve,

    Though your post does unwind into a rather smug rant – (why else would you end with a sarcastic smiley?) I think it is quite telling of your understanding of how the political system works.

    I do not believe you are alone in your understanding either. You have been lead to believe that the only important part of the political process is the elections, and that in between elections public opinion counts for squat.

    However politicians have a duty to act responsibly and respect those very same people that voted them in in the first place. When they step out of line, they should expect to be called on it.

    Lying to the public is not cool.

    Look at the situation in the UK. MPs are stepping down left right and centre due to the expenses scandal. While technically most have done nothing wrong, the public are so outraged by the situation that the MPs have no option but to do the honourable thing and step down. Those that don’t face sanctions from their party.

    The protesters are showing their outrage at the way this affair has been handled.

  20. I was told by someone that the white people at his job have come to him encouraging him to attend the protest, “because they need more black faces”.

    There was no threat of employment etc, but i believe that is inappropriate. I am sure if he felt the need to protest, he would do so.

  21. CO,

    Personally i dont think these business should even be mentioning the protest. It is happening during lunch time and politics should stay out of it. Just the very mention of the protest and that “staff can attend if they want” is basically saying we support it and we support you if you go.
    ANd i think that is highly inapproporiate and mischievious.

  22. In the RG today Ms Cox is quoted as saying “The PLP has a constitution which is our governing document and we will govern ourselves by the rule of law and the road map is clear as to the template to be followed for any change in party leadership, irrespective of any censure motion.”

    NOW they decide to follow a constitution??? Is the Constitution of Bermuda second to the PLP constitution???

  23. Steve,

    Jennifer Smith and Alex Scott were ousted by their own party. Nobody cared back then, so why is it any different with Dr. Brown. He is not above the others that were ousted. As a matter of fact Dr. Brown has done a far worse blunder than Jennifer or Alex ever did. Just think about it. Why does Dr. Brown think he is above the law? He is a danger to Bermuda’s democratic government. Surely even an unbiased individual would see this.

    This new rumor going around is probably another lie.
    Bullet in mail, fraudulent government checks, Thao Dill’s knife incident @ 5:30am?

  24. Steve Wrote:

    “during the last election – which wasn’t that long ago a young woman talked about her dad’s boss pressuring him to vote ubp – was she lying – don’t be naieve starling – ”

    Name names and I will forward this to the police myself. You seem to be a man of convictions, prove it. Otherwise your a spineless jellyfish bowing to the currents of your own deep seeded racial tendencies.

  25. Steve Wrote:

    “that doesn’t make any sense – should we just be able to invalidate election results on a whim?”

    Yes, actually. Most constitutions have alternate methods of ousting someone from power or by ways of a referendum (The truest form of democracy). The reason for the first point is to ensure that there is a way to take down someone who is not acting in the best interest of the country/nation/Island. The second is for situations that require a decision from the public immediately.

  26. Ok, “Steve”? Your first response? Yet another example of your disgusting racism. You make me sick. “Too late”? Too late for what? Has there been a lynching that no one’s heard about?
    Or are you trying to push this “lynch mob” line that your mothe… I mean Ms. Furbert… has started?
    Lynchings are illegal. This demonstration wasn’t.
    If you think that calling a group of people a lynch mob simply based on the colour of their skin is ok, then you are, in fact, the only racist in this particular conversation.

    Your second? Yet another example of your incredible ignorance about… well, anything to do with anything.

    This new track of yours, the “The only way to do things is an election” is tired, pathetic and just plain wrong and shows that you a) have no idea what you are talking about and b) are so desperate to defend the indefensible that you’re willing to say any bizarre thing that pops into your head. I shouldn’t be surprised.

    These posts are vile. As usual.

  27. Just to clarify, Alex Scott was not “ousted”.
    His term was up and anyone could have challenged his leadership. Dr brown did so legitmately and won. Fair and square.

  28. the silent majority as usual will prevail:

    Brenda White Premier
    My husband and I want you to know that we will be praying for you today and it so not necessary to throw away the baby with the bathwater. You aren’t perfect and there will be mistakes but we feel you are the man for the job right now at this time. Stand tall. PLP all the way and all the way PLP.

    Shari-Lynn Pringle
    Shari-Lynn Pringle at 06:47 on 19 June
    Aunty I think I made that exact same comment about the baby and the bathwater several days ago. In order to make mistakes/mis-steps you have to actually be in motion and doing something and no one can argue that the Premier isn’t doing. Some dead and negative weight needs to get caught in that bathwater.
    “The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.” (John Powell)

  29. these old negro trx will hopefully not work – i suggest people watch the documentary Patrice Lamumba: Death of a Prophet – by raoul peck – it shows what happens to a country when they don’t choose the progressive leader but rather than pawn of the colonial masters – kim swan was just whining about how one of the old governors was “nice” to him – oy vey

  30. Thanks for clarifying Ken. I got it wrong there. It was a leadership challenge. My point being that the PLP felt they were not good enough to keep around. So why is Dr. Brown good enough to keep around if he is going to undermine the constitution. If he stays, it will send a powerful message to all that the constitution no longer has to be upheld. He is setting an example for the rest of the PLP MP’s. Is this the type of person that should be leading Bermuda?

  31. After hearing the news on hott 102.7, its good to hear that the United States approves of Dr. Brown undermining the constitution. Typical U.S. to not give a damn about what happens to other people as long as they get what they want out of the deal

  32. that doesn’t make any sense – should we just be able to invalidate election results on a whim?

    But it’s not invalidating election results. The Bermuda Constitution provides a formal mechanism for a non-confidence vote. By law that motion is actually a vote against the Premier of the day and does not require removing the government of the day, only the individual in question.

    And, as you point out in Sux this is a democracy – strictly speaking a Representative Democracy but a democracy nonetheless. All anyone is asking their elected representatives to do is to vote for their constituents.

    That’s hardly invalidating election results.

    With respect to Ms Cox’s statement:

    “The PLP has a constitution which is our governing document and we will govern ourselves by the rule of law and the road map is clear as to the template to be followed for any change in party leadership, irrespective of any censure motion.”

    The non-confidence motion relates to the Premier, it does not relate to the leadership of the PLP – the latter is an internal matter for the Party to address. The Premiership is a different matter and is subject to the Bermuda Constitution, not that of the party.

  33. … and if you’re a politician and can’t tell the difference then… maybe you shouldn’t be a politician…

  34. Today’s demo was well attended and went peacefully other than one or two shouts of “Brown must go!” Kudos to the organisers for their guidance to the crowd.

    The most extraodinary thing happened as the crowd was dispersing – the Premier surrounded by 6 or 7 police officers marched through the crowd around the south front of the building to the west side. There were a couple of boos but most of us were unaware of what was happening because our backs were to the group as we were heading in the same direction to exit the grounds; in my case I only saw what it was when the group passed a few feet away. The police accompanied the Premier across the road to Gregs Steakhouse and then hung around the door to the restaurant looking somewhat at a loss.

    If the police were truly concerned about the Premier’s safety they should never have taken the route they did (there are plenty of other exits from the House). I think it was another stage managed event to get a picture of the Premier in the paper in a pose intended to make him look “heroic”.

    Having said that, I absolutely believe the Premier could have walked out on his own without being threatened in any way.

  35. everyone who is protesting this great act by a great man is on the wrong side of history

    starling u must no from ur history that during the atrocities of apartheid despite calls from many bdans – the ubp govt. chose not to officially condemn the sa govt. nor did a thousand “cross section” of people come out during those ant apartheid protests in bda nor any of the amnesty int’l meetings that i attended – this is all nonsense and has more to do w/ white entitlement in bda then anything positive

  36. JMac, while what you have said about the Premier being perfectly safe is completely correct, that’s not how it will play coming from the usual suspects.

    There’ll be some more outlandish claims later today. Keep listening to Hott107.5 to get the latest ones.

  37. part of the problem of why bda will not move fwd:

    hott is outlandish
    the gazette is even handed

    just another way of saying blk is bad white is good

    which is the problem to begin with

  38. everyone who is protesting this great act by a great man is on the wrong side of history

    We’ll see. Meanwhile we have an individual who took it upon himself to violate the Bermuda Constitution, lie to Parliament re the police review of the four, etc, etc, etc.

    Lets not forget that Tourism arrivals have been declining continually since at least the beginning of 2007 (well before the global economy began its meltdown). Humanitarian issues aside, this is going to seriously damage Bermuda’s tourism industry. Whether or not you think that people are being unfair in their assessment of the Uighirs, fact is, tourism is about getting bodies to Bermuda. Head in beds if you prefer. So anything that causes people to stay away has serious implications for those people that work in the tourism industry.

  39. No, sir, you are incorrect.

    We are in the right, calmly and LEGALLY protesting misconduct by the Leader of Bermuda and, as an addendum, an outright lie to the House and to the people of Bermuda.

    He lied. There is no doubt about that. What he said was untrue.

    That is NOT acceptable.

    As for the Hott vs. Gazette thing, are you actually implying that Hott ISN’T outlandish, biased and uneven-handed?
    Take the gazette out of the formula. Is this what you’re saying?

  40. other men who have violatyed laws etc:

    On 21 August, 1977, stephen Biko was arrested at a police roadblock violating the law; Terrorism Act No 83 of 1967

    Nelson Mandela and 150 others were arrested for violating the law on 5 December 1956 and charged with treason.

    On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested for violating the law by refusing to give up her seat for a white man

    The civil rights movement engaged in nightly marches in the city met by white segregationists who violently assaulted them. Hundreds of the marchers were arrested and jailed for violating the law.

  41. Are you actually comparing Dr. Brown’s actions in this, as the leader of the country, to Steven Biko, Nelson Mandela and Rosa Parks?

    Are you ACTUALLY doing that?

    Seriously. Are you doing that?

  42. “As for the Hott vs. Gazette thing, are you actually implying that Hott ISN’T outlandish, biased and uneven-handed?
    Take the gazette out of the formula. Is this what you’re saying?”

    i’m saying that hott sez what its listeners want to hear and that the gazette sez what its readers want to hear – they are equal in that regard.

    most blk listeners to hott take what is said w/ a grain of salt but most white bda thinks that the gazette is just being str8 honest

    bill zuill is racist and so is his paper

  43. And so are you, sir.

    So… whatever.

    I’m still reeling from your comparison to Messrs. Biko and Mandela and Ms. Parks.

    Unbelieveable how you are.

    I love how you can speak for white Bermuda. Brilliant.

  44. “I love how you can speak for white Bermuda. Brilliant.”

    most of the bdan blogs are populated by white bdans – everything that i read them say about the gazette is that it is being honest and true – so from that sample study i can only deduce that that’s a common belief for that demo

    when the gazette asks a handful of white readers do the hate dr. brown and 99 % say yes and then the gazette prints said poll as if it was science – isn’t that what i’m doing

  45. steve said
    June 19, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    everyone who is protesting this great act by a great man is on the wrong side of history

    starling u must no from ur history that during the atrocities of apartheid despite calls from many bdans – the ubp govt. chose not to officially condemn the sa govt. nor did a thousand “cross section” of people come out during those ant apartheid protests in bda nor any of the amnesty int’l meetings that i attended – this is all nonsense and has more to do w/ white entitlement in bda then anything positive

    Sara:

    Just so you understand, THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE ISSUE AT HAND. Your comparisons are so far off it is a bit concerning. This was a peaceful protest. Remember, it is the right of people to do this, it is not the right of Dr. Brown to undermine the constitution. I think you don’t get the real issues because you are stuck so far in the past, you can’t seem to grasp the present.

  46. I think you don’t get the real issues because you are stuck so far in the past, you can’t seem to grasp the present.

    if we don’t heed history we are bound to repeat it

    when u go to a doctor these days – the first thing they ask is about ur HISTORY – because ur pas t dictates ur present and ur future

    if there is a law in 2009 that sez that as MEN/WOMEN we have to ask an ex geology student how to do the RIGHT THING – then its a bad law

    just like laws allowing slavery and apartheid were bad laws

    get w/ it “subject”

  47. Nope. It’s not what you’re doing.

    What you’re doing is lying, yet again, to advance your own political agenda, using your own racism as a weapon.

    That’s about ALL you EVER do.

  48. I suggest that you guys do to Steve et al as you did too me. Ingore him and eat the bait.

    I was having fun. Their trying to tear assunder the Country.

    Happy Fathers Day too all that relish in their children.

    Rummy.

    And to the ones that don’t, it’s such a wonderfull experience.

  49. Steve says:

    if we don’t heed history we are bound to repeat it

    I understand that Steve. It is so true. However, we can get so caught up in what used to be that we fail to see that generations can change. You can’t make me believe that every white person that was protesting is racist. That is ridiculous. Maybe some are, but you don’t know. You are generalizing and frankly bordering on claiming to be a mind reader. You see, just because Bermuda has a black government doe not mean they are not accountable to the white Bermudians.

  50. You can’t make me believe that every white person that was protesting is racist.

    not every white person marching is racist – yes obviously – but i do believe that the whole thing is racial – there is a reason why when rumours circulate about dr. brown – u believe it – but when rumours circulate about dunkley – u don’t – when people say the gazette is racist – u don’t believe it – but when people say that hott 107 is racist u do — its so ingrained – on both sides

  51. No, sir. That is incorrect and you have nothing to back that up except for your own racist bias.

    Nothing at all.

    This has NOTHING to do with the colour of his skin. Nothing.

  52. Me personally, I think that there is a racial element involved, as I have written elsewhere. However I think it is a huge mistake to characterise the anger that this incident and the ensuing spin has had even on Party supporters. I think the results of the poll in the papers is indicative of that. It is a mistake to say that the demonstrations and anger are motivated by race, but at the same time it is a mistake to say that race is not a factor. These are two very different things, and I feel the Party and its spinners have woefully confused the two.

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