Boiling Over

Well, it looks like the gang violence has begun boiling over now, with two shootings (one dead, one injured) last night and reports of shots in Court Street about an hour ago. To be frank, I doubt many of us are going to be all that shocked about these incidents. We are now all too familiar with the downward spiral of gang violence, with revenge on revenge on revenge.

We’ve had a record number of shootings this year, and with the unprecedented shootings at the Southside Cinema just a few weeks ago, we all knew that things would be coming to the boil soon. And it seems that we have just that situation right now, in stark contrast to the supposed ideals of the holiday season.

I don’t know if this bout of violence will peter out by itself, or if this is just the prelude to more. What I do know is that we need to break this cycle, because even if there isn’t any more immediate violence, it does set the stage for more actions later.

I hope that the peace rally being called for this Friday has a much larger turnout than the small ones organised last week. If Bermuda can mobilise as many people and as quickly as they did for the Uighurs of the June days, I don’t see why we cannot mobilise even more people for this Friday. Or even to have a spontaneous symbolic action of everyone wearing black for mourning or something.

Now, these rallies, they are purely symbolic, yes. But they are a start, something to build on and to send a message that society is not going to tolerate such behaviour. It can also help put more political pressure on our so called leaders who should have and can do more here. By that I am referring to the problems with the Alternatives to Incarceration program which is supposed to cut down on recidivism, as well as issues relating to monitoring of parolees. The intentions are good, but these programs seem to be chronically underfunded and under-supported. All this while the public sees apparent misspending of public monies on overrun costs of major construction projects or other increasingly wastes of monies (ridiculous travel expenses for some Ministers for example).

I don’t know if the people involved in this recent outbreak of violence are indeed ex-prisoners, but I wouldn’t be surprised either. And yes, there are other issues that need addressed, and are being addressed (albeit a dollar short and a day late in many cases) in the sense of education and drug rehabilitation and prevention.

The biggest concern for me is that people don’t overreact and start building fortress mentalities, changing the way they enjoy the island, as a result of this. People must continue on and show that this violence will not win, that society will not bow to it, but will instead resist it, and will help fix the problems. My other big concern is that people will start calling for a return of corporal or capital punishments, which do not deter violence, but instead satisfy societies base desire for revenge, and in so doing simply perpetuate the problem.

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55 thoughts on “Boiling Over

  1. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Bermuda: Of Crime & Injunctions

  2. the bottom will be in sight when the people put the country n the future of the youth above political parties.

    the bottom will be in sight when the community shows a united voice of no confidence in local politicians to bring the long long long awaited solutions to the core issues. and take their collective solutions to the GOVEnor to implament.

    the de construction of the under class and the resdistribution of wealth

    any thing short of that = u all are only kidding ya selves into thinking the problem will go away

  3. Pingback: My blog » Blog Archive » Bermuda: Of Crime & Injunctions

  4. If anyone wants some light relief from the dreadful events of the the last few days then I suggest they read an “op-ed” piece in yesterdays RG by David Chapman. I assume young David is at school on the island and won the op-ed as part of an essay prize.

    After wading through the plagiarized anachronisms (paging Darcus Howe!)and ill-informed diatribes against the monarchy I was comforted to know that in these dark times that someone could vent their spleen on an event that brought such favourable publicity, genuine tourist revenue and pride to the island.

    Compare and contrast that with multiple gun slayings, the Music festival, the PGA etc and so on.

  5. My favourite line from Vanz’s brother was this:

    “To insinuate that locally or any in the Commonwealth should identify with the British monarch as “mother”, symbolic or not, is even more ludicrous. No loving mother treats her children as subjects, usurps their land or takes away their freedom to self-govern. No loving mother treats her children as subjects, usurps their land or takes away their freedom to self-govern. ”

    None of the last sentence applies to Bermuda of course.

    Those Chapman’s/Furbert’s never cease to amuse.

  6. dr brown is with the other politicians avaoiding accountability for how their collective governments mismanagement of resources and the 20 plus years of ignoring the imbalances in bermuda have created the under class…and now the beginnings of the social backlash.

    this is just the first steps

    wait for the rest

    The chickens have come home to roost

    and since the politicians have been getting fat and rich all these decades while the chickens were chicks

    its now up the the bermudian people to fix the unequal social system that these politicians have been so unwilling to change for us while claiming to be working on our behalf, and getting paid by us.

    the question now is will it take a full scale riot to bring equity or will the collective voices from who demand and support the various reforms to how bermudians are treated in bermuda be enough?

    time to go to the govenor!

    ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE BY ALL MEANS NESSICARY

    edited for dirty language

  7. Conspicuous by his absence all week whilst the island goes to hell and a handbasket, and David Burch calls for Christmas to be cancelled, where does EB surface? He and Wanda are delighted to be at Hunts tomorrow to hand out turkeys to Constituents of 26. I guess it will give his bodyguards a well earned break, as I doubt there will be much trouble from 120 frozen turkeys. Way to go EB, always on an election footing, and away from the problems he has had a major hand in creating.

  8. Hey Robert Bryce,

    It’s not too late for you to get one of those turkeys. I think the good doctor would make an exception for you even if you don’t live in Constituency 26. But then again knowing Ewart Brown, he really doesn’t have any turkeys to give away. He’s just trying to deceive the people again.

  9. Red party, why don’t you take some turkeys to Middletown. For once, put your money where your mouth is.

  10. Game over, time for England to step in!

    Grandma shot at, the latest man shot feared for his life! (per RG); people should not have to put up with this, no right to bear arms!!!
    Should be a State of Emergency!

    Dear Bermuda government, governor, and England,

    “it’s not a river in Egypt, it’s denial” Time for PLAN B!!

    Pleading with the public is a joke, obvious it’s well beyond change of hearts!!!!!

    I am truly saddened for these families possibly living in fear, not f…..g fair to them. They didn’t all ask for this. England needs to step up!

  11. Sara,
    Whilst your request is very pertinent, do you really think that The Premier would allow the British Gov to intervene? Just listen to his recent announcements about his plans on how to handle the situation, words of encouragement, how to bring these gang members back into society and prevent more joining, in other words demonstrating his strong leadership skills. What is the Government doing to solve the problem ie the reason for these gangs? Oh, seems he is not prepared to do this but make David Burch and others show who is in control. Just wait until a tourist shows up – he’ll be right there on the front page of the Gazette then.

  12. As if on cue Ms Furbert turns up with a fatuous comment. It is the job of the Government to lead. Her comments have clearly shown she doesn’t think they can. What should they do – request another report into black males?
    What have we had? 11 years of a PLP Government spent slagging off the UBP, partying at taxpayer’s expense and throwing money at friends and family. The seeds were sown from 1998 – they are now maturing. Enjoy.

  13. dr brown is with the other politicians avaoiding accountability for how their collective governments mismanagement of resources and the 20 plus years of ignoring the imbalances in bermuda have created the under class…and now the beginnings of the social backlash.

    this is just the first steps

    wait for the rest

    The chickens have come home to roost

    and since the politicians have been getting fat and rich all these decades while the chickens were chicks

    its now up the the bermudian people to fix the unequal social system that these politicians have been so unwilling to change for us while claiming to be working on our behalf, and getting paid by us.

    the question now is will it take a full scale riot to bring equity or will the collective voices from who demand and support the various reforms to how bermudians are treated in bermuda be enough?

    time to go to the govenor! the plp is just as bad as the ubp and only the govenor and the uk can redirect this country like the turks islands…bermuda politicians have failed. the people have to now pass a no confidence petition to the govenor so he can act.

    the people r slowly waking up to the political games being played by supporters like ms furbert….peoples lives r more important that a party….the country is more important than a party

    ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE BY ALL MEANS NESSICARY

    edited for dirty language

  14. LaVerne,

    It’s called the national guard, Bermuda doesn’t have the resources to tackle this problem!!!! This is so freakin serious I don’t think you quite get it.
    Innocent grandmas and girlfriends being shot at and fearing for their lives with no right to bear arms!!!!
    STATE OF EMERGENCY!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    GET YOUR HEADS OUT OF THE SAND!!!!!!!!!! This includes the governor, police, PLP, UBP, and England!!!!1

  15. So Sara, are you suggesting that Britain send their “national guard” to Bermuda?

    Why would you think you get it and I don’t? I live in the same country as you, listen to the same news and read the same newspapers.

    I’m probably closer to the situation that you are. But from reading what you’ve had to say, I don’t think I’m as alarmed as you are.

  16. Of course your not alarmed LaVerne. Your an inspiring member of the HRC……………………….

    Does that include membership to the Hamilton Rifle Club. It’s a great sport and supported by other Rifle/Gun Clubs in Bermuda.

    The vetting process is not that arduous as long as your not a confused person.

    Wow!!! Maybe Phillip Wells could be on your committee for truth.

    Used to be a real cool area called “Walkers Arcade”…….now it’s called Runners Archaic…………………….

    Gonna by the book comming out in a few mothns dear?

  17. I guess your okay with people living in fear of their lives with no weapons to defend themselves against these killers with guns!!
    STATE OF EMERGENCY
    It’s no longer an isolated incident with only “gangsters” being shot at. Anyone could be fair game at this point.

  18. Sara Sara Sara,,,,,ease up chile………………………

    Since when did money jars have sand in them……………………

    I mean these the bottom of the barrell but Shelly Bay Beach……………………

  19. Tell me Sara, what would you suggest that the British National Guard do to fix the problem? Also tell me why you are suggesting that I have my head in the sand. And what other people have their heads in the sand?

  20. One certainly doesn’t have to be an expert it they are restating facts/quotes; particularly when it comes to reminding all of us how the PLP made a serious error in judgement by not getting tough on crime. Then again, when facts get in your way it’s always easier to blame the messenger, isn’t it?

    The hypocrisy of Col. Burch and others (who mistakenly accused the UBP’s 2007 proposals as draconian) is clearly evident as efforts are (only now) being made to adopt equivalent (and perhaps even harsher) measures.

    From: http://www.plp.bm/node/1206

    “A PLP government will not spare the rod on crime, and will continue to pursue avenues to stem unlawful activity, the flow of drugs, and ravages of violence in our communities. ”

    – Exactly what has been done to “spare the rod on crime” again? What avenues have been pursued? This is just electioneering bumpf devoid of any real policies.

    “However, we believe that the proposed “Three Strikes” law and “preventive detention” are draconian, inappropriate and unworkable in Bermuda. The criminal offenders we are talking about with these laws are our children, our nieces, nephews, and cousins.”

    – Yes. The same ones who are indiscriminately shooting guns in neighborhoods with innocent children, nieces, nephews, cousins, grandparents, etc.

    “Yes, many of them are undesirables, but they are our undesirables.”

    – Which 11 years of PLP governments have made even more undesirable. One need look no further than 7 different Education Ministers during the same period to affirm the Government’s lack of commitment to improving the singular most important aspect of our community that can provide all Bermudians with an opportunity for equal advancement.

    “We must punish them to the fullest extent of the law, but we must also try to help them.”

    – An underfunded BPS and over funded pet projects (Love Festival, Music Festival, Dockyard Pier, frivolous BAS/ASB legal action) are in no way reflective of supporting the “fullest extent of the law”.

  21. Laverne,
    Although you dismiss Christean Dunleavy, I’d be interested in your thoughts on his comments.
    Let’s go back to just over two years ago, just before the last General Election. I seem to remember that the UBP was claiming that Bermuda was facing a rise in crime and needed to tackle the issue with tough measures before it escalated – the three strike rule, that kind of thing.
    The PLP countered that this was draconian, fascist, racist, that the UBP wanted to “lock us all up”.
    Two years later Government is talking about drawing a line in the sand, curfews, bringing in NYPD gang squads, in short, getting tough.
    With the benefit of hindsight, who do you think was more on the ball in December 2007?

  22. As of LaVerne Fubert is an expert on anything?

    Rummy, didn’t you know? LaVerne is an expert on a number of things. Most importantly she’s the foremost authority on the “fact” that the PLP are never wrong. Never have been. Never will be. So if LaVerne says it’s so you’re not allowed to challenge it.

  23. One thing I can say about LaVerne Furbert that I can’t say about about many other people who blog in Bermuda, she has the courage of her convictions.

  24. she has the courage of her convictions.

    Absolutely true. Even when presented with video proof that she’s lying through her teeth “incorrect” she sticks by her original statement.

  25. Great to her LaVerne. I ‘ll check with criminal records office just to make sure that you wer’nt convicted on a charge of ‘courage’.

    Would’nt want that hanging over your head.

    How much yah cousin paying you?

  26. Forgot…..Glad to hear you are eligable for the HRC. I sthat the same as ‘Human Recycling Centre’….bawahahaaaaaaaaaa

  27. So Laverne,
    Back to my original question – do you think that the Government has done a 180 degree turn on its position on crime since December 2007?
    If not, do you think its policies on crime since December 2007 are working to the benefit of the community?

  28. Just mising on a Friday and thinking of experience of Cabinet members and their responsibility. Fortunate for them, that there is no test or requirement of competency. Premier – US trained and US pledged medic; Deputy and Min of Finance – lawyer; Works and Engineering – door man; Min of Tourism -see Premier; Min of Transport – see Premier; Min of Home Labour – unelected Military man; Min of Education – who is it this week?; Min of Health – banker; Min without portfolio – pot washer. Can’t be bothered to go on.
    A rather sad state of affairs really, but pretty well sums it all up.

  29. Bryce..yah sum buy. I had a real good laugh reading that.

    The only thing you left out was the Governor.

    It’s all his bloody fault……………..

  30. @ Robert – I’m not really sure what your point is concerning the past occupations of current Cabinet members. Every citizen, regardless of their occupation, has the capacity and potential to run our government. The current government governs no better or worse than the previous UBP governments. That they should govern better is a different question however.

  31. correction starling……this government has not done any better and has done worse….this is because of the foundation that the plp was built on.

    that foundation has been thrown out the window by ALL in the PLP based on the fact that history shows us that these people entered into politics from the grass roots and lied to the people when they said that if they get into the seat of power they will make change to the system from within.

    they brag about their past as far as black power etc etc….but have done nothing but protect the white status quo they used to complain about while in opposition

    no reform on the work environment to close the poverty gap….no work force equity bill …no minimum wage…no mandiroty over time pay

    no affordable housing for the 500 families who are homeless

    …they have done nothing to change the social structure that has spawned the underclass who have now embarked in this social backlash via the gun violence.

    they have contributed to the plight of the under educated by allowing a crap education system to go unreformed for the majority of their time in office…IE jennifer smith had the opportuniity to reform education when the teachers came to her and asked 4 an education review n reform…she ignored them to buy more hats n take trips.

    they have wasted over 200 million dollars they we could now use to spend our way out of the recession

    all the games played with the constitution

    with all these things how can u in good conscience say “The current government governs no better or worse than the previous UBP governments”

    who are u attempting to fool with your spin comment starling? has lavern made u change ya tune by gettin the central comitee to revoke ya membership if u dont talk nice?

    history will show that both governments have been crap for the working people of bermuda

    the plp has sold out the workin man…none of u have the abiliity to hold ya party accountable 4 anyting.

    n history has proved the ubp was not accountable

    so we cant trust the ubp cant trust the plp

    only solution left is to collectivly mature politically and go to the Uk directly in order to achieve proper governance of bermuda

    ALL BERMUDA POLITICIANS R INCOMPITENT

    ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE BY ALL MEANS NESSICARY

    THE GANGS HAVE BEEN SHOOTING THE WRONG PEOPLE

    (as per usual edited for fowl language cause its no freedom of speech on tha internet)

  32. Jonny,
    Your last comment hit the nail squarely on the head. Without wishing to take this to a debate on governence, Government is ideally managed by that group of Civil Servants who carry out policy enacted by the Cabinet. How much large company experience do the present Cabinet members possess? If you don’t have it then let the people who do run the Government. If they knew their limitations and let those who are trained and with experience run the country, especially in Tourism, imo Bermuda would not be in such a mess. Unfortunately the PLP have micro managed and interfered so much that the Cabinet has taken over, to the demise of Bermuda. Since you brought up the UBP, why were they voted out if the PLP is no better, or worse? At least the UBP left a surplus in the Bank, squandered by the PLP who are now in effect borrowing to pay off their credit card debt, whilst borrowing more.

  33. Ok Johnny. Whats the differance between a ‘Gang’ and a ‘Gang’.

    Very well thought out Bryce and really well stated. As we all know this is Crymson’s show and he will defend only because of his beliefs in the Socialist regime.

    It’s not the ones that are ‘close and or in home’ it’s the ones that are not on the ground that one should worry more about (rummy circa 1969 as read with Osama circa 2010)

    History is repeating itself everyday. We may be lucky and someone will produce a record of the past 20 years and the next 10.

    I’ll get back on the appointment of LaVerne Furbert to the “HRC” later.

    I think it’s a wise choice. But for security reasons I won’t post my thoughts and comments until…………………………..

  34. Jonny —

    I’m not really sure what your point is concerning the past occupations of current Cabinet members. Every citizen, regardless of their occupation, has the capacity and potential to run our government.

    Jonny, as Robert Bryce points out there is a very big difference between “running” the government and “setting policy”. Absent the relevant knowledge and skill sets coupled with appropriate experience it’s difficult to see how any individual can “run” things on a day to day basis.

    How many Ministers could actually function as the CEO with day to day management responsibilities of a private company with 2,000 employees (thinking of the civil service alone_ let alone an entity that’s as complicated as a country.

    It’s extremely unlikely that a private corporation would hire a doctor with no management experience as CEO, or appoint that same doctor to run their advertising arm (aka tourism), or appoint a lawyer as CEO, a miltary man as head of their Human Resources department, and so forth.

    However, those same individuals could function as members of the Board of Directors where their job is to set corporate policy as opposed to being involved in the day to day operations of the company.

    The current government governs no better or worse than the previous UBP governments.

    Jonny, after 11 years of PLP governments the use of The UBP did it too is getting a little shopworn to say the least. After all this time I’d hope you could say something positive about the PLP rather than something negative about the UBP. It’s actually pretty sad that people (not just yourself) keep using this as a defense of the current government. Besides, it’s not even true – at least the UBP left a surplus in the bank. The current government has spent that and more – their continued borrowing is analagous to using one credit card to pay off another.

    That they should govern better is a different question however.

    Wasn’t that what they’ve been elected to do? And if all we see is more of the same (as embodied in the phrase “the UBP did it too”) …

  35. @ Blankman – The point however is that Bermuda is a democracy, not a corporation. MPs are elected to represent society and every citizen has the potential to become an MP.

    You should also reread what I said concerning the UBP and the PLP. I do not think I have ever used the argument that ‘the UBP did it too so its okay’ argument. My point was that the PLP wasn’t elected to repeat what the UBP was doing but rather to do better. In my opinion the PLP has not done any worse than the UBP, but that is hardly a glowing endorsement.

    That the UBP left a surplus in the bank is one thing, yes. However they also largely ignored the social infrastructure in the sense of education and housing. Its true that the PLP should have done more in all this time, but it is also true that the UBPs failure to address certain things means that it costs more now (socially and economically) to correct certain things. The PLP however is guilty in my opinion of misspending on some things (ProActive Berkely School, travel expenses, etc.) and underspending on other areas (the alternatives to incarceration for example), which has certainly contributed to our current situation.

    The PLP should have done more in preparation for the economic crisis, which many, mostly dissident or far-sighted economists did predict, however it is also true that most orthodox economists insisted the global economy was going fine. The PLP, like most governments in the world, went with the orthodox line, and will again after the current situation corrects itself. They never learn.

    Under the current economic situation however I personally would support, if not socialism, then at least Keynsianism intervention, where the Government does borrow and initiates public projects, partly as a form of welfare and partly as a sparkplug for the economy. Somehow I doubt the PLP are going to take the socialist option, but they may well adopt Keynsianism rather than pure austerity measures.

  36. “Keynsianism”…………………………..

    That the dumest thing you ever said………………..You want us to borrow from people of expolitation, where we get cheap products and still be subject to thye cicle and hammer…………………..

    Back to square one……………………

    Your good Jonny……..I’m too old for your crap………….

    How much they pay you and LaVerne……………….tink about what you just typed……………..

    I HOPE others do………………………………

  37. Blankman,

    I would suggest that you obtain resumes of the Cabinet Ministers and see skill sets they possess before you spout off at the mouth.

    In spite of what you think about this government, Bermuda still remains the envy of many countries.

    You are correct, “It’s extremely unlikely that a private corporation would hire a doctor with no management experience as CEO”. It is also extremely unlikely that a private corporation would hire a former golf professional with no management experience as CEO. Neither would it hire a dance teacher to head its health care programme.

    By the way, the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis is (or was) a medical doctor. The Prime Minister of Antigua was the president of a trade union prior to becoming leader of that country and Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister of England was a television journalist. And Barack Obama, the President of the great United States of America was just a lawyer before becoming president of the “greatest nation on the planet”. So what’s your point?

  38. Ms. Furbert,

    The issue is not so much of their skill sets (or apparent lack thereof), but that politicians are often guilty of interfering with the people whose exact job is to run those divisions.

    Most politicians are guilty of this infraction, it is certainly not the PLP alone.

    What has been forgotten by the politicians, including the other examples you cited, is that the management of these specialised areas is NOT their remit. Policy is their remit. And that is what they should focus on. Leave these areas to the experts.

  39. Well, good to see there’s lots of constructive comments on here. I think the thing that everyone would like to see is simply this:

    Ms. Furbert – what would you like the PLP to do to curb our gang violence problem?

    Because whatever they’ve done since being elected, since the shootings started, since they escalated and now into the new year has not worked at all.

    It really is that simple for me. Just another situation where if you did your ‘real’ job the way the PLP cabinet members do theirs, you’d be searching for gainful employment at the moment.

    But we get what we vote for. We have the government the Bermudian public deserve.

  40. Not just a lawyer, and elected Senator.

    And Ronnie was a cowboy……………………….

    And Bill ran a dry cleaners

    And Bush pumped all day

    And Arnold wants the law changed…………………………….

  41. I would suggest that you obtain resumes of the Cabinet Ministers and see skill sets they possess before you spout off at the mouth.

    Please do so. When you’ve done so please let me know so you can tell me where I’m wrong.

    But if the various Ministers restricted themselves to setting policy and let the people with the necessary knowledge and skill set implement those policies they might actually be able to accomplish something. Instead they want to micromanage things. Sad really.

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