Photos & Video: Protesters On East Broadway

March 1, 2016

[Updated] Protesters descended on the East Broadway area early this morning [Mar 1], with a group of people holding signs about the proposed immigration reform and holding a protest that lasted to just past 9.00am.

With police officers on scene directing traffic, the protesters spent a portion of the morning in the road, causing traffic delays for commuters coming from the west, however by around 8.30am, the protesters moved to the sidewalk, and traffic began to flow better.

Short video of part of the protest this morning:

The captions on the signs carried by protesters included “We Need Bipartisan Comprehensive Immigration Reform,” “Jobs/immigration reform Bermuda, Pray for Government to listen to the people,” “We are not anti-foreigner. We are Pro-Bermudian,” and “Honk if you support us.”

Audio of one of the protesters speaking with Bernews:

One of the protesters told Bernews — audio above — “We are a group of concerned Bermudians who believe that the Government should step back from its position on immigration reform.

“We’re just asking for a bipartisan approach to this matter to ensure the rights of all Bermudians. We’re not against immigration reform, we’re not bashing ex-pats; we just want an inclusive conversation that all of us can partake in.”

20-minute live stream replay of this morning’s protest

This morning’s protest follows after the Government announced they plan to amend the law, with changes to include any person who is ordinarily resident in Bermuda for 15 years becoming eligible to apply for permanent residency, and any permanent resident who is ordinarily resident in Bermuda for 20 years becoming eligible to apply for Bermudian status.

Slideshow of photos from this morning’s protest:

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This marks the fourth protest since the announcement was made, following after the chanting in the public gallery of the House of Assembly, the protests at the information session which resulted in the event being closed down, and the gathering in Hamilton last week, which saw hundreds of people outside the Government Administration building.

Update 1.51pm:
Some of the “behaviors demonstrated” this morning “may constitute the offenses of unlawful assembly or obstruction” and “we are preparing a file for submission to the Director of Public Prosecutions to decide whether any charges should be laid,” Commissioner of Police Michael DeSilva said today. Watch the full video of the Commissioner’s comments here.

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Comments (48)

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  1. oh dear says:

    If as the protesters say, they are ‘pro Bermudian’ and ‘are not anti foreigners’, then they should support the proposed legislation which without doubt will lead to more jobs, more foreign investment in and movement of capital to Bermuda. Get real folks!

    • Ally says:

      Agree fully. Nobody believes this “we are pro-Bermudian” bile.

      I am British and have lived here respectfully, brought a family up here for 11 years. I have asked for nothing, and always promoted Bermuda in business and as a great place to live. I was driving my kids to school this morning, drove past the protest (they were late for school obviously) and had to explain to my children what this was all about.

      My 10 year old said, ‘do they hate us Mum?” He was born here.

      Please think next time.

      • Coffee says:

        Perhaps the response to the young lad should have been , ” no son they don’t hate us , all they want is their government to be responsible !”

  2. Family Man says:

    This is what happens when Bermuda doesn’t add to the gene pool. It doesn’t take long before you’re left with a shallow pool of bitter coffee and stale onion juice.

  3. Yahoo says:

    Same old group of xenophobes who can’t argue against the proposed legislation with facts and reasoning so they resort to childish tactics like yelling at a town hall and stopping traffic.

    It’s pretty simple – these long-term residents already have jobs so they aren’t going to take any from Bermudians and, if you take their right to live here away, their job will likely go with them to the USA/UK/Canada, etc. Let’s pave the way for them to stay even longer and continue to spend in our local economy.

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      This is an example of both democracy at work, but also democracy broken. As you said, they are protesting against reason and logic with emotion, and any policy based on emotion, is a failed policy. And further to them raging against reason and facts, have any of theses people actually requested a meeting with the minister or premier to present alternatives, do they have any alternatives to what the minister is proposing, they haven’t presented any alternatives? Yet they are saying they aren’t against the granting of status, so what are their suggestions, do they have any? When you listen to them, there is no one message, you have people wanting collaboration, but then you have have people in the same group saying they want Bermudians first, which is synonymous with denying status. And if they want bipartisan collaboration, why don’t they protest outside of Alaska Hall to demand that Mr. Bean agree to collaboration, he is after all the one who has said there will be no collaboration with the OBA.

  4. ALVIN WILLIAMS says:

    Oh no this immigration law is not in Bermuda’s interests; this government is putting the Bermudian behind the interests all others. If this government is concern about Bermuda’s falling population than they should be encouraging all those hundreds of Bermudians many with degrees to return home; instead they want to boost Bermuda’s population by bringing in people; instead of looking to our own people first which proves this is a government that looks out for everybody else but not the Bermudian.

    • Truth is killin' me... says:

      Maybe those people don’t want to be here putting up with your sh*t. Thought about that!?

    • hmmm says:

      You are way off base and so misinformed Alvin.

    • Noncents says:

      @ ALVIN,

      You really don’t get it.

      This isn’t about bringing in people, these are people that are already here. The PLP like to blame the OBA for the “Bermudian Exodus” but in reality those people have left this island for many reasons..

      Employment opportunities are not as abundant as they once were. This is the PLP’s fault, not the OBA. Just look at the stats of how many jobs disappeared between 2008 and 2012.

      Broadening Horizons- many highly educated individuals want to live elsewhere to see the world. I love this island, but it is only 21 square miles. There is much more to the world.

      Fear of living their lifestyle openly in their country-Gays have fled the island to avoid persecution. Many of them highly educated.

      Point being, many of the people that have left the island dont want to be here and that is their right. Getting rid of those that actually do want to be here is not the answer. In fact, it will only do more harm than good as it will drive even more money out of our economy.

    • hmmm says:

      Nothing is stopping people with degrees moving back here, but themselves.

      Whilst away they should be getting good experience to help them back into the job markets.

      If you are talking about people getting a degree and then expecting to be paid for that, then you do not understand how the world works and has worked for some time.

    • jim hill says:

      Dumb a$$. The government isn’t ‘bringing people in’, they’re attempting to offer some well deserved rights to people who have lived and worked here, contributing to our country, for 15-20 years!

    • Luis says:

      Its a big world out there Alvin.

      But you wouldn’t know about that.

  5. OK says:

    People need awareness…

    Fact – In 10 years over 65% of Bermudian workforce will be over 65 ( retirement age)

    so unless you believe in child labor…you won’t have enough young adults to fill up the jobs….

    Not to mention all the young adults that have moved to England, and all the unqualified ones here….

    Who’s going to be left to work? These people hate foreigners but….Your TWO MAIN sources of income are directly sourced from “foreigners”….re insurance….and Tourism. And how do tourist get here….planes, boats all which are owned by foreigners. Your tv is American, clothes, foods are from ” foreigners”…Even goslings has part of its black rum done in the US….Gas is from foreigners, your education system was made by foregners…Jamaicans are foreigners right? Well you use their language, listen to reggae and dancehall….most Bermuda musician are reggae artists…even Trinidad has its OWN music style and is actually in the Carribean .look at Collie Budz? Why does he sing in a Jamaican voice? But do you see Jamaica outraged? No. Because Bermuda is PART OF THE WORLD. There’s no factories or production and like I said your main export (goslings) is partly finished in the US. Could Bermuda survive without foreigners? Lol the irony is, you have a Governer….who is also a foreigner. On you money is the Queen….I mean this outrage at foreigners is a joke. Someone posted stats that when all the expats left, you economy dropped. Sigh. I guess ignorance is bliss.

  6. Cow Polly says:

    Police directing traffic?????? Why weren’t these people told to move onto the sidewalk or arrested?
    I was bloody well late for work this morning and I had an important meeting at 9am.

    • Turtlegirl says:

      I agree with you Cow Polly. They were right over in the lane, blocking the one lane completely. Why were they not MADE to move onto the side walk right away ?? Here we are, trying to get to work on time and like many, I was late as well. Good thing my boss got caught up in that mess as well. SMH

  7. LiarLiar says:

    Why can’t one of the protestors, or their supporters, explain as to why more Bermudians are not employed given the fact that between 2008-2014 the number of work permits issued fell by more than 3,300?

    This is a pertinent question as over the same time period more than 3,300 Bermudians became unemployed.

    So by these objectors’ logic the decreasing work permit issued should have resulted in a correlated rise in Bermudians attaining these jobs.

    Please explain.

  8. the Ridiculist says:

    Xenophobia is a label put to Bermudians… ..well all you Bermudianaphobians PLEASE Leave…PACK YOUR $HIT and Disappear….We have had enough..Seriously. ..

    • My 10 cents says:

      Oh for Fk Sakes.. really? give me a break.

      So We all agree tha tour cost of living is high NOW, yes? (256% higher than that of the US)

      What you think would happen with the exodus of all that Expat $$ that is being pumped into an already struggling economy. Bermuda would soon resemble Jamaica, the DR and other poor countries REAL FAST.

      How about you get a brain and then comment with some intelligence.

    • Bermyman says:

      No one is calling Bermudians in general Xenophobes, they are calling the people protesting in the ROAD xenophobes. Clear difference. Just because someone opposes the ideals of a group of Bermudians, does not mean they are against Bermudians as a whole, especially when the majority opposing those ideals happen to be Bermudian themselves.

      This line of deluded thinking is the mantra of the PLP/BIU at present and it is highly divisive as it seeks to ostracise Bermudians from their own people for believing one way or another. The OBA government is not the messiah by any means but it is completely and utterly counterintuitive to believe they are against Bermuda and Bermudians, especially when all of their voters and members are Bermudian themselves. But because people don’t talk a certain way, look a certain way and were not raised a certain way doesn’t mean they are not Bermudian, that in itself is prejudice against your own people.

    • hmmm says:

      Who is a (sic) Bermudianaphobian? I think that is in your head !!!!!!!

    • Ok says:

      Lol…come on now use your brain. What’s your favorite tv show? What’s your best pair of sneakers? What music do you listen to? All foreign….but yet you become racist when it comes to people??? Ok….really if it came down to it….does the World rely on Bermuda? No…not at all…you guys mostly help the already rich 1% evade their taxes… Bermuda relies on the World for EVERYTHING…but can’t accept foreigner? Name me a Bermudian tradition that hasn’t been influenced directly from ENGLAND, USA OR CARIBBEAN….please…..

  9. Jus' Askin' says:

    :-D

  10. I see you! says:

    A well known and already named protester was there,she is NOT a REAL Bermudian but a paper Bermudian that is known for renting apartments only to ex pats!
    oh…and she has a good job too…
    she and the rest of this motley group should have been arrested and hauled before the magistrates.

  11. Bermyman says:

    Next time anyone has a problem with anything just block the road, clearly it is not Illegal!

    • hmmm says:

      I have a problem with people blocking the roads, I’m going to block the roads to protest !!!!

  12. Happy says:

    are we allowed to block roads now?

  13. Frank says:

    RACISM: ” The only thing that white people EVER invented… But they NEVER want to take credit for it.”

  14. hmm says:

    Bermudians get FIRST pick in job selecting. If you have a foreigner and a Bermudian with the same level of experience and qualification, who do you think gets the job? The Bermudian. A foreigner gets the job if there is NO qualified Bermudian to do it. Foreigners spend money here. They pay rent and keep landlords happy. They shop in supermarkets, go out to restaurants and stimulate the economy. They provide business. If someone has been here for 20+ years, they have well contributed to the economy and deserve to be here. You really think after being here for over 20 years and getting status the individual is just going to up and leave? Possible but I highly doubt it. What is a native Bermudian anyway? Last I checked we are all descendants of other cultural groups that have immigrated here. Get with the program you close minded daft people. Tired of seeing this in the news everyday.

  15. mmm says:

    There needs to be a break-down of the 14,000 work permits category by category i.e. teachers- 400, accountants – 800, nurses/doctors/specialists – 1200, waiters/front desk receptionists – 900, mechanics airconditioning and vehicles – 300, grocery store mangers- 150, insurance and re-insurance- 2000, landscaping – 700. Also give the number of years i.e. 150 nurses with 15 years service, 85 nurses with 10 years service, 250 nurses with 5 years and less service…and how many Bermudians have entered that particular category in 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995 2000, 2005, 2010, and remained or retired. And how many are in nursing and medical school, and slated to return in the near future. If you give a person status in 2016, after having been here for 17 years, when my son graduates in 2018, he can not go into that post cause it is now filled by a bermudian with status. That person having acquired bermuda status in 2016, while my son was in college. That is the picture. Yes we do need people from over-seas, but we don,t want to displace born bermudians who are in school at this time, or may go to med school in the next 5 years or so.

    • Lois Frederick says:

      There are not 14000 work permits…that was so 2009. As of 2014 it is 9000+.

  16. Rhonnda says:

    This was just all kinds of wrong.

  17. True Lies says:

    I had to walk by these clowns on my way to work this morning. Of the dozens of cars that passed, I only heard one honk in support. I guess making people sit in traffic is not the best way to garner support!

  18. Hmm says:

    So a vehicle driving in their lane, minding their own business, strikes a protestor standing in said lane, who exactly is to blame? And since we are talking about Bermuda here, suppose the driver is the one dragged into courts and has their lives turned all upside down in a court case, what of the person struck? If they survive, was that worth it?
    To the disliker of this post, don’t even get it twisted. I am in no way against protesting, but this is moronic, selfish, and not the way a civil nation moves forward! Do better. You don’t make something better by behaving worse than the entity being protested against! Good thing Police were on scene.

  19. be realistic says:

    You can’t argue with stupid…..

  20. just me says:

    How is it that 30 or so people can bring traffic to a crawl and make hundreds of people late for work and school and nothing is done to stop this craziness? Ok protest if you must, but stay on the side walk and Police, enforce the law. If I suddenly walked out into the street and stopped traffic and made it go around me, I’d be taken to MAWI………
    I totally agree that the tide pools are getting very stale. Only glad that my kids married outside of this tide pool and bought new genes to the island. I’ve done my genealogy and I’m related to most of the Bermudians on this island…….my genes came here in the mid 1600′s.
    The government of the day is simply trying to help us all and to clean up the huge mess that the last leader of the island created. YES, he did create this mess and YES he is living in luxury on our $$$$ and some of you out there simply refuse to see it.

  21. Anon says:

    My 6 year old child wet her pants sat in traffic this morning and had to go to school soiled and massively embarrassed.

    The police allowing this to happen are a total and utter disgrace.

    The simpletons who don’t understand why these pathways to reform are required are never going to understand, but the police should do their job and not make the rest of us have to suffer.

    Honk to get the idiots off the road, not to support their stupid ignorance.

  22. the truth will set you free says:

    Frederick Douglass – If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.

    • Double S says:

      Unfortunately for you, Mr. Douglas and others, such as Dr. King, acted out and protested in support of human rights and equality.

      You lot are agitating for the very opposite based on the color of one’s skin.

      And as such you should refrain from quoting people such as Mr. Douglass.

  23. Christina says:

    MOVEEEEEEEEEE PROTESTORS, STOP TRYING TO PUT FEAR INTO PEOPLE AND BLOCKING LANES. THE SIGNS WERE RIDICULOUS AND YOU CAN’T EVEN SEE ANYONES FACES. You are just angering people and it isn’t working. I even see that woman from Curb barely showing her face. Wow next time do it in a better way!

  24. Suggestion says:

    I don’t quite understand why those in opposition to the immigration policy, suggested by the current government, don’t make a list of their immigration proposals under their call for a reform. Surely the way to counter any proposal is to precisely list and categorise the terms of acceptable reform. I don’t think it is acceptable to simply say, at this early stage, let’s sit round the table and discuss. To reach a discussion between parties it is eminently more sensible to consider the topics prior to a meeting. So I say to Mr. Brown and others, put your ideas on paper NOW and let the people of Bermuda and the government see what you have in mind. Stop hiding behind an agenda that is so transparent.

  25. Yo yo big nuts in da bag says:

    Welcome, to the face of stupid.

  26. wahoo says:

    Couldn’t they have done this at 3am when it’s not so busy?

  27. jahstice says:

    Sheer IGNORANCE!

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