Column: If We Forget, We Are Doomed To Repeat

December 5, 2016

[Opinion column written by Liana Hall]

There is a picture of my father, Julian Hall, that was taken on December 1st 1977 outside the Supreme Court. He had been arguing, alongside Opposition PLP Leader Lois Browne-Evans, in the final appeal against the death sentences for Larry Tacklyn and Buck Burrows.

Despite being Secretary for the United Bermuda Party he strongly condemned the Government’s position on the death penalty. He aggressively rallied against the hangings along with thousands of Bermudians who signed petitions.

When their requests to recall Parliament were not answered, Bermudians held their own “People’s Parliament” in Victoria Park and invited both sides to hear their concerns. The Government of the day never showed up.

Back to the picture. The hours ticked by whilst the justices deliberated. After returning inside to hear their judgment delivered at 10:10pm, my father emerged from the court and a voice called out from the enormous crowd, “What’s the verdict?!”

He responded with a simple action: thumbs down. They had lost the appeal. Hours later, at dawn on Friday, December 2nd, Larry and Buck were hung from the gallows. The last hangings on British soil. The people rioted, Bermuda burned and more people died.

39 years and 15 hours later, I stood fifty metres from where my dad emerged from those courtroom doors. Many of us protesters recognised the significance of December 2nd 2016 and drew parallels to that dark Friday, decades ago, when Bermuda voices went unheard.

Liana Hall Bermuda TC December 5 2016

Many others are questioning why we, black Bermudians, felt it necessary to draw attention to this, to talk about the past, to reveal our 40-year-old wounds. We should not have to make apologies for acknowledging a date that has shaped our history and our people.

Recognising the legacy of this date does not mean we wished to incite a riot or “take this country to the brink of anarchy” as the OBA has accused. Demanding our concerns be acknowledged is not a threat. If we do not admit the injustices of the past, history is doomed to repeat itself.

On Friday, I stood steps away from police officers indiscriminately pepper spraying a crowd of unarmed, non-violent protesters. Our harmed seniors were taken back to a Bermuda of the past they thought they’d left behind and one they hoped the youth would never experience. However, when violence happens to us, we are expected “to forget”. Forgetting is exactly how we got here.

Days after the riots ended in 1977, Dame Lois Browne-Evans addressed members of the international press saying, “We have swept a backlog of sociological, economic and political inequities under a manicured façade to fester.” It seems the façade’s 39-year maintenance deal is expiring at a huge cost to us all.

So, why all this talk of race and riots when we’re meant to be protesting the airport deal? There have been claims that most us did not know what we were protesting; that we were merely sheep at the mercy of others who put our seniors in harm’s way. Seniors who have served this country for decades, who have earned the right to say, ‘We’ve done enough, leave it to the next generation’.

Instead they stand with us to protect the legacy of the rights they won for all of us. “Well led rather than well read” reads a certain editorial opinion. This is a false narrative that discounts our collective intelligence. Teachers and parents were protesting in Warwick over the health and future of their children. We were protesting over the health of the economy and future or our country. Disagreeing with either stance is fair. Justifying aggression by police officers is not.

For those who believe there is no injustice, inequity or unfairness in Bermuda, know that for us there always has been. To explain all the reasons, historical and current, why large swathes of black Bermudians feel disenfranchised would need far more space than this piece would allow.

I know you might not hurt like we hurt. I acknowledge you may not feel what we feel. This has been made clear by the division of responses to the police actions predominantly along racial lines. It’s not purely black and white, of course. Not in that regard. Some whites feel that the police were wrong in their actions; other black people believe that they were entirely justified. Social media does not account for everyone, nor do discussions in the grocery store or attendance at cocktail parties.

But, if you’re a white person who wants to know more, start with the obvious. Look at the data that has already been collected. Who earns the most? Who earns the least? Who are predominantly blue collar workers? Who are the most educated? Whose children are murdering each other? If you accept that blacks are equally human as you and not the “savages” with “looks that could kill” as some would have us believe, then surely inequality exists and there is an underlying cause we must examine.

Why, then, are we scolded for bringing up racial issues, as though they don’t exist? Why are we accused of playing politics with people’s lives when politics has always played with ours? Why are we not allowed to express hurt at seeing our family and friends subjected to violence? Because when we do, we’re victim-shamed and victim-blamed because we deserve everything we got. Especially when we received it by speaking up and standing strong.

Before you verbally attack us for being rightly traumatised and saddened from Friday’s events, remember one terrifying fact for us: we always feel under attack. Because for generations, we have been. And yet we did not retaliate on Friday afternoon. We neither fought nor fled.

Being physically violated or watching that happen to our loved ones should trigger such a human response. But even “wide eyed” and “foul-mouthed” reactions make us “raving lunatics” and, therefore, far from human. The only permitted response is to cower like wounded animals and apologise if we don’t.

As for the arguments on the legality of the protest or the police actions, hanging Buck and Larry was legal; it doesn’t mean it was right. These two events, 39 years apart, each served to dismantle the façade and reveal what’s been festering underneath all along: an unjust Bermuda. This time the foundation must be rebuilt with the bricks of equality.

We may be tired of carrying our heavy hearts, but we will always march forth.

- Liana Hall

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  1. watching says:

    #dropsmic
    Liana, there are no words to describe. Brillant, superb, on point, perfect, all fail to give the proper compliment.

    • SWING VOTER 50/50 says:

      Someone young with energy like Minister Jeff Baron needs to take on Opposition Lead Burt head to head because the PLP voters are gaining ground fast.

      Premier Dunkley aka OBA Leader is a rich white guy who owns a monopoly, and whose major achievement is smiling and taking photo opps.

      With that said I’m pretty sure Minister Baron would have advised a different set of rules when the police pepper sprayed the seniors. :(

      According to the polls taken by a local media the PLP is leading for the first time. All this was taken November 18 -25. I’d hate to see the results after last week’s spray down.!!!

      • watching says:

        Umm, the same Minister Jeff Baron who is the Minister of National Security, who has remained silent in the wake of Friday’s pepper spraying of senior citizens, and whose remit the police come under.
        Yeah right, me thinks he is the one!

        • WarwickBoy says:

          Bermuda Constitution Order 1968 Section 62(1)

          Governor’s special responsibilities

          The Governor, acting in his discretion, shall be responsible for the conduct
          (subject to the provisions of this Constitution and of any other law) of any business of the Government, including the administration of any department of government, with respect to the following matters—

          external affairs;
          defence, including armed forces;
          internal security;
          the police.

          ———————————————

          Seems pretty clear as to who is responsible for the management and conduct of the Bermuda Police Service. The responsibility of the legislature and its members (ie the Cabinet) is limited to the appropriation of funds to cover its operation.

          • Question? says:

            So OBA voter aka WarwickBoy are you saying the Acting Governor gave permission for the police to perform such harsh actions against the people?

            You expect to WHITEWASH what actions were taken by the current Government?

            I personally know the Acting Governor and that’s not her style!!!!!

            The truth will never come out just like the famous JETGATE REPORT, which cause the last Premier to step down in disgrace.

          • ReaLLyReally Bettty says:

            Excellent Outstanding the Best piece yet!

            Well done Liana. I will encourage many to read, particularly our young people.

            This is best article I have read so far, in regards to the recent historical day of December 2nd 2016.

            Thanks Thanks thanks!

            Love you

      • Dumbion says:

        He owns a monopoly on what, local produced milk. THere is nothing stopping you or others from doing the same or importing milk. In fact there otre other options and other competing milk brands and milk substitutes. The Marketplace had its own brand, there was Belvedere and others as well. Is it his fault they failed?

  2. Auntie Zuzu Bouche says:

    Thank you! As always a cogent, reasoned, well written and honest piece. Liana, your voice needs to be heard during this time, continue to speak and walk confidently in your truth. March Forth [B3]

  3. wassup says:

    Totally agree: “Well led rather than well read” reads a certain editorial opinion. This is a false narrative that discounts our collective intelligence.”

  4. sandgrownan says:

    “On Friday, I stood steps away from police officers indiscriminately pepper spraying a crowd of unarmed, non-violent protesters”

    Right there you blew a perfectly good article. That’s plainly false and you know it. Shame on you.

    • bdaman441 says:

      And just like that…because you dislike one aspect of this piece you have turned off. One thing that you feel is untrue. Were you there…she was ‘steps away.’ Get over yourself and take in the overarching message of the whole piece rather than focus on one sentence that doesn’t go with your narrative.

      • WarwickBoy says:

        It does rather undermine her credibility.

        • bdaman441 says:

          Her credibility goes out the window because of one line….nevermind the thought, research and emotion that makes up the whole piece? (or that she was steps away)

          Less than 20 words out of est 1000+

          Shame, how you zero in on the description of actions and reactions of the police and protestors and disregard her ‘credibility’ on the whole piece because (let me guess you saw the video)….while the response of others here indicate how the WHOLE column touches them to the point of tears.

          • sandgrownan says:

            It’s because she’s lying, and the 1977 argument is a straw man. We all know that.

      • sandgrownan says:

        Hold on – it’s a well written piece with a blatant untruth in the middle. While there’s much bleating about Police over reaction, the fact remains that some protestors prevented people from going about their lawful business and worse, prevented the government from the doping the work of the people who elected them to do that work.

        Dragging up 1977 is only tangentially relevant. The protestors initiated the violence (watch the video) and were met with a proportionate response. It’s got sweet f*** all to do with racial injustice or white supremacy, as Derrick “issues under oath” Burgess likes to rant.

        Do we want to go on about Friday’s illegal wild cat strike too? Fire them all, and if protestors stop people going into the House this week, they need to be arrested. We cannot be held to ransom every time the PLP doesn’t like the democratic process.

        • I can't believe it. says:

          It is true because I was observing the whole situation myself. I am sure if those seniors who got pepper sprayed were white, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. This country is definitely divided racially. The Royal Gazette reported that two members of the OBA are on the verge of resigning because of the bad tactics of their party. It is my humble opinion that the OBA has destroyed their chances of returning as the ruling party. Most black Bermudians detest th OBA after what happened on Friday.

        • bdaman441 says:

          The video…do you mean the video that shows police marching from Victoria Street Headquarters in riot gear and formation to address protestors and seniors who were blocking democracy…and so on.

          When the actual riots took place which would have warranted riot gear, curfews were also in place. Citizens were encouraged to get off the street because they were not safe. On Friday business was being conducted as usual across the street and traffic was flowing as per normal in front of the protestors, so from the outset riot gear was overkill.

          God forbid there actually be a genuine need to show such force…what then?

          But lest we forget the point of the article and not harp on the ‘blatant untruth’ in the middle of it.

          I appreciate you saying it’s a well written piece and the point is…take in the whole article and not be put off by the ‘blatant untruth’ There’s so much more to take in…for us all.

        • iug says:

          Prevented government from ‘doping’ the work of the people who elected them to do that work?

          Second look at blockading Parliament?

        • Mike J says:

          How dare you make your assumptions from viewing 10 minute video when the protesters encountered, most of the day, police bullying and enciteful tactics!
          YOUR CREDITABILITY IS ALWAYS IN QUESTION especially when YOU WERE NOT THERE!!! SHAME ON YOU COWARDLY KEYBOARD COCKROACH…. DIDNT EVEN HAVE THE B ALLS TO GO AND SUPPORT YOUR GOVERNMENT!! TYPICAL OF YOUR PEOPLE!!! COWARDS!COWARDS!AND COCKROACHES!!!

          • sandgrownan says:

            crikey…the hate flows strong in this one.

          • Point boy says:

            The whole thing, over eight hours is on video!! It’s not just 10 minutes.

            Secondly: perhaps the other 60,000 of us have no issue with progress and certainly job potential. That is why we went about our business. Unlike, obviously your self. Who went out to deliberately to disrupt the PEOPLE’S business.

            It’s got nothing to do with (race). We had over a decade of plp rule. Which then turned to ruin. Now they are so hell-bent about power, (at any cost) they are willingly destroying our reputation and democracy..

            Greed not Race!

        • sage says:

          “Doping the work” is right^.

      • Jim says:

        It’s a blatant lie that is intended to incite anger and emotion..so yeah I think it pretty much ruined the article.

        It’s simple to understand: people BROKE THE LAW (read the articles by the Centre for Justice for proof if you choose to dispute the facts) and did not obey the instructions of the Police who are paid to enforce the law. When they say ‘GET OUT OF THE WAY, YOU’RE ILLEGALLY BLOCKING THE GATES’, then either you get out of the way or they FORCIBLY MOVE you out of the way.

        If they stand by and watch you break the law, then what is their purpose???

        • sage says:

          There is tactic called diffusing a situation, unknown to the police and the stiff-necked “rule of law” crowd. Heavy handed police action should be the last resort, unless causing unrest is the aim.

          • Davie Kerr says:

            OK, Monday morning quarterback, how would you have done it?

          • Point boy says:

            The protesters caused the unrest. I don’t know the true numbers but let’s say 500 (protesters) out of say 60,000 (voters) =0.008333333.

            No need for a survey!!

          • iuj says:

            Pepper spray isn’t heavy handed when faced with a crowd that doesn’t want to move. Batons, tear gas and physical ejection are rather less pleasant alternatives in the vast majority of instances.

        • jim bob says:

          What about the people who were pepper sprayed and didnt break the law?

          • Just the Tip says:

            If they didn’t break the law then they wouldn’t have been any where near the spray since they would have obeyed the order from please to clear away from the gate.

            • hmmm says:

              Pepper spray did not come out because they wouldn’t move…it was in reaction to physical aggression against the police.

              It was a shame that the spray then reached some others who weren’t being as aggressive.

      • serengeti says:

        If that part of it is untrue, which it is, then the rest of the article becomes an empty whine.

      • onionbie says:

        it’s not their narrative, it’s the truth. and yes you have to have all the parts factual, despite the pervasive use of trumpian tactics to infer different ‘truths’ and cherry-picking the parts you want to use.

        the video footage clearly shows a group refusing entry in the parliament grounds despite many attempts by a calm and collected group of police who were being ridiculed by the protesters. the police were fully entitled to disperse the crowd from the entrance, and any in the road obstructing traffic, for that matter.

        and any claim of ‘peaceful’ is bogus as the video clearly shows a man violently hit a police officer on the head with an umbrella.

        how do we have a thriving democracy if instead of healthy debate we have small fringe factions shutting down government time and time again?

        also for the record the police are under the remit of the governor not the OBA.

    • Eyes wide open says:

      The way you blog on here about the PLP I’m willing to bet you received you’re Bermuda Status from a Minister’s signature and you flew home last month to vote for TRUMP.

    • Nikki says:

      You’re a joke! This lady is not lying! I was in the mix of this madness & it WAS peaceful until the Riot Squad marched to their own beat. Do you not expect one to defend themselves when being attacked?! Surely you would!!

      • sandgrownan says:

        Did you block someone going about their lawful business? Then you ought to have been pepper sprayed too.

      • Point boy says:

        Yea until the police says move b!%@h

  5. Shari-Lynn Pringle says:

    No more words needed other than THANK YOU Liana!

  6. Touched says:

    Excellent! Brought tears to my eyes.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      What brought tears to your eyes ?
      The fact that 5 innocent men (and one large gentle dog) were murdered in cold blood or that (only) 2 men got the punishment they deserved ?

      Sorry , but my eyes do not tear up that easily at articles written by people who weren’t even born yet when the event they’re writing about took place.

      • sandgrownan says:

        What brings tears to my eyes is that the “third man” is still at large and we all know who it was – and so do the PLP/BIU.

      • Islander says:

        What should bring tears to your eyes is the numerous killings of our black men by their own, not at the hands or the laws of the OBA or the law books of this Island, not at the hands of White people. There are reasons to remember and be respectful about it and there are reasons to storm the streets in objection to the above mentioned murders. Memories of the past at times brings back memories of hurt, pain and anger which most time brings out hatred, which we do not need in our time of regrowth. TODAY, start remembering the children who live daily without Fathers who would hold their hands, fly kites, teach them to ride, who this Christmas will remember their dad’s and how a cousin, uncle, friend, neighbor took his life and how their lives were changed, perhaps forever. Many are leaving Bermuda on their own accord to protect their families, some have left and met their fate by the hands of “Bangers”. How will you spend your Christmas. Will you go to the homes of these fatherless children to take gifts, food, clothing, to Church, Sunday School, help them with homework, paint their homes, mow their grass and other things. Stop and take time to think about their lives because their Lives Do Matter.

  7. Swing Voter says:

    for ever action there is a reaction. sometimes its good, and at times its bad, nobody wins. The entire island looses. The action to block access was not legal, and it encouraged, invited, and initiated the reaction of police stupidity.

    we all lost

  8. Noncents says:

    Liana,

    No doubt a well written piece- you have obviously inherited your father’s intellect.

    One question- what is your position on the comparisons of the airport project to the hospital project that was agreed to under PLP leadership. Do you think that if OBA supporters broke the law by prohibiting access to parliament when that was debated, the leaders of the combined opposition, PLP/PC/BIU/BPSU, would hold the same position they do today?

    • watching says:

      all hypotheticals. The then opposition didn’t, so therefore it can’t be compared.

    • OBA Politrix says:

      There was no debate on the hospital as the hospital was not privatised.

      The airport is being privatised and that’s why it’s gone to parliament.

      • LostinFlatts says:

        I just…that’s literally not true. I know there are some paid PLP plants on these forums, but if that’s not one of them, it’s so scary how well Burt’s campaign of misinformation has worked.

        • Mike J says:

          Paid PLP plants? That’s laughable especially when it was proven by that man who was running the Oba campaign that they paid people to post….you have it wrong but believe what you want!!

          • LostinFlatts says:

            I don’t believe what I want. I bothered going to one of the presentations, and also know the meaning of the word privatization.

            It means transferring ownership of assets from the public sector to the private sector.

            The airport will remain an asset of the government of Bermuda for the full 30 years and beyond. It will remain on our balance sheets, I’m not sure how else to be clearer. The airport is NOT being privatised, despite how many times the PLP use that word.

            Truth not narrative.

      • serengeti says:

        The airport is not being privatized. That’s a flat-out lie being spread at great expense, by an unknown well-funded advertiser, on youtube.

        Who is funding those adverts, by the way?

      • ct says:

        The airport is not being privatized. It is a public private partnership. Privatization is what happened under Margaret Thatcher — the selling of British Gas, British Telecom, etc to the private sector. The airport is not being sold; a concession is being granted to build and operate, not own.

      • ct says:

        PS: if it were being privatized, why would there be a government-investor profit sharing arrangement? Profit would entirely be going to the investor if it was being privatized.

    • Nikki says:

      They didn’t!! So your question is irrelevant!

  9. Sheep's Clothing says:

    Liana you are only writing on behalf of the Party, just like your father served the Party that agreed with him on the day.

    Can’t believe that you and others are making comparisons to 1979 as if Larry and Buck had never assassinated the Governor and killed 2 others. No one died on Friday, stop walking with blinders on.

  10. Community First says:

    “This time the foundation must be rebuilt with the bricks of equality”.

    Time to get to work on this rich invitation for all of Bermuda. Thank you Ms. Hall.

    What process and /or processes will hold us accountable to an transparent track of diversity, inclusion and power sharing?

    How will our tightly held power and privilege hear and respond to this invitation to rebuild with equality at the center of our Bermuda?

  11. Andrew Outerbridge says:

    Liana, your Dad would be very proud of your opinion, and I think it was very well presented and reflects a deep and well thought out position from deep conviction. As whole I accept that everything you said is deeply rooted in both belief and fact as to peoples true sentiments. I also would say that most people in Bermuda do and are believers in equality fairness and justice for all with equal hand. However your position fails to be sensitive to the many people on the other side of this coin who feel and see politics as being the very vehicle that continues to divide Bermuda…and I emphasize that the PLP are on the forefront of divisive rhetoric and intent. I also see an island where the very people that the PLP Government promised to serve were left wholly abandoned and the island left crippled with billions in debt. You must also understand that the unfortunate events of last week were not entirely without fault from the crowd. As I mentioned to you on another thread, those police who went to clear the gates after multiple times being ignored were not there to engage the crowd but to open the right of way as is generally accepted by International Law as the standard, they did not go there to spray pepper spray at our people, I refuse to believe there would have ever been that intent or ordered mission instruction. Rather the Commander was put in the unfortunate position of being surrounded, pushed , grabbed, shoved, hit and a crowd that refused to back away when ordered.That in the situation is not an acceptable risk to take for his men, and he has a duty for their safety The deployment of pepper spray was a defensive move because the commander felt the safety of his me was at risk,[right or wrong] and made the unfortunate decision to deploy to deescalate. It is my resolute belief that if that very crowd were entirely white with the same conditions…it would have ended up with the same result. Of course elderly people being within the zone of danger was entirely saddening….My wish would be that all Bermudians work as a team to rebuild a very fragile Bermuda, and now is the time.

    • Johnny says:

      He felt unsafe behind the locked gate that nobody was trying to get into? You fools can talk your double talk all day, but the look in that officer’s eyes as he peppered people who had their backs to him says it all. He wanted to pepper spray those people and he enjoyed doing it!! Nothing you can say will make me or thousands of other Bermudians think anything else.

    • Point boy says:

      @ Andrew: Very well written! I couldn’t agree more!

      I read it over a few times, I can’t find one argument.

      Not (race). It’s lust for (power)

  12. Off De Rock says:

    Amen!!!

  13. Justin says:

    I suggest we surround the BIU building and refuse to let them in and out of their place of work, and see what the response is.

    • Yea ok says:

      You’re a coward and we all know you wouldn’t# shut up.

    • Noncents says:

      @ Justin

      They are used to not working. Wouldn’t bother them one bit!

    • VIP says:

      I can see you doing this by hiding behind a keyboard. Just like the nameless coward who sent the police in to pepper spray the senior citizens.

      • Justin says:

        You mean the nameless coward like yourself? lol

      • Earth watch police says:

        Yeah those cowards who ducked behind those grannies when the police showed up .

    • I would LOVE to see that.
      Bring it on.

      • hmmm says:

        Why, what would you do onion Juice? If I stopped you and your cohorts from entering the BIU building, what would you do about it?

        • Mike J says:

          ALL THE WHAT IFS!!lol coming from tough guy keyboard cockroaches like yourself. You know damn well you are a coward that wouldn’t even entertain the thought of trying to prevent people from entering the BIU. You are a coward like the rest of your people! Stay behind your keyboard with your fake screen name you cowardly cockroach lol

        • hmmm says:

          C’mon Onion Juice what would YOU do ?

          C’mon, let’s hear it …You’d do nothing, absolutely nothing isn’t it.

      • Justin says:

        But it’ll be peaceful so I expect no violence to occur. Would you call the police to remove us? lol

      • Anbu says:

        And the outcome would be nothing like what you expect mate. You can bet your bottom dollar on that. Bring it on?! Lmao bah. Youd prob be the first one to hide under a table. Much like what burt and furbert did on friday. Keep on it tho.

  14. bdaboy says:

    “Can’t believe that you and others are making comparisons to 1979 as if Larry and Buck had never assassinated the Governor and killed 2 others.”

    By killed two others, you mean violently tortured and then murdered.

    I’m glad they were hung.

  15. Carpe Diem says:

    Very well argued, but Ms Hall does not tackle the central question; what was the justification for physically preventing democratically elected representatives from entering the House and debating the measures that were being protested?

    • FML says:

      OMG… Seriously? ‘physically preventing democratically elected representatives from entering the House and debating the measures that were being protested?’ YES when all other avenues were exhausted. You have a majority of people of this island who are against or unsure of this deal 75% since last counted. They released the information 2 days ahead of the debate. A 750 page report nonetheless. Who will be able to digest all that in 2 days and ask pertinent questions. You are also using the ‘WHIP’ to get your party colleagues to vote unanimously on policies and information they had not seen or barely had a chance to digest.
      More to come.

      • sandgrownan says:

        Er no…the fundamental fact is that we cannot borrow money because of PLP incompetence or something worse (take your pick) so you need to get ingenious for capital projects.

        So, really you cannot prevent people going about their legal business. And frankly, the protestors got an exactly proportionate response.

        • Johnny says:

          But Bob has borrowed more than a billion dollars.

          • sandgrownan says:

            well he hasn’t borrowed that much, but he had to borrow to keep the wheel on the bus because the f#@%ing PLP are incompetent.

      • jim bob says:

        Does anyone notice that the OBA only put things to a referendum that they don’t care about? If they are really doing the will of the people then put this to a referendum. I am unequivocally certain they wont.

      • .am says:

        750 page? Two days? Wasn’t it ~250 pages and two weeks? For most people that’s about an hour-hour and a half. Certainly less than they spend on the hill.

  16. bdaboy says:

    “If We Forget, We Are Doomed To Repeat”

    Many of you have forgotten the violent, indiscriminate torture and murder of innocent people, by tacklyn and burrows

  17. Steve says:

    So you are saying that celebrating the anniversary of the race riots over murder convictions means that you should break the law and incite yet another riot!?

    If someone is convicted of murder and tried then they meet the consequences of the laws of the land at the time of conviction. If you murder someone you would probably have known that the consequences were hanging ! Surely! So to plead ignorance before the law as the protesters have done, they are breaking the law, you can clearly see from video footage people hitting and attacking the police. That is not peaceful.

    Well written piece, but missing the key points of why the police acted in the way they did.

    • FML says:

      If you honestly think that this was a time to send in RIOT Police? RIOT Police are sent if there is a riot or a potential riot. None of which warranted them in sending in Riot Police. Furthermore, even after spraying the crowd with Pepper Spray…there still was NO RIOT!!

      • Steve says:

        The Police are outnumbered, people are clearly attacking then as seen in camera footage. You move out of the way of police officers even if you are a protester, especially if you have been told numerous times that you are breaking the law.

        If I went to the police station and blocked the entrance with 100 of my mate over a speeding ticket I disagreed with, what would the outcome be?

        • Real Deal says:

          Your Work permit will probably be revoked.

          • Terri says:

            You’re ridiculous. Just because someone doesn’t agree with your view of the situation and video clips etc, doesn’t make them a foreigner. Get a grip with your prejudice. I’m Bermudian and if I was one of those cops, I might have felt threatened enough to deploy pepper spray too! It’s unfortunate that innocent people may have been hurt but people here don’t respect authority anymore and this situation just proves it, regardless of whether the airport deal is right or wrong for the island. Why go crazy yelling and verbally abusing the cops? This isn’t their fault.

        • Johnny says:

          Everybody is talking about laws being broken. If laws were broken why were people not arrested? Is it a new police thing to pepper spray people when they break the law instead of arresting them?

          • Point boy says:

            I agree, spray their disruptive selves, then charge them!

            I pay for services that are not met! I Dare Say, that the leaders of this uncivilized action, be charged with obstruction.

            Everyone talks about blocking the gate. What about Bus Ferry Trash collection. This is illegal!!!

            Where are the warrants

      • serengeti says:

        They used pepper spray. The effects of it wear off in about an hour. It is a nonlethal way of dispersing a mob. It’s about as gentle as it gets.

      • Real Deal says:

        As I have said in other Post “it takes a lot to make a Bermudian snap they have to be driven into a corner but when they snap brah you better be ready” I think it has to do with calming effects of growing up on an island. looking at and hearing water is very relaxing

  18. Real Deal says:

    Beautiful and Smart. I felt every word of this. Bermuda needs all her people to wake up and stop micen.

    • hmmm says:

      Beautiful and totally manipulative more like it.

      Drawing parallels between a contract v an execution, trying to attach emotions surrounding murders and hangings, trying to attach emotions of people from of life and death justice on a construction and management contract is MANIPULATIVE.

      Liana, I know you only too well. Perhaps you need to know yourself better.

      • Real Deal says:

        manipulative?
        Not everyone can put two and two together and make four. For me it is simple to see that this is about the disregard. And that is very much the same as back in the past. I will pray for you that your eyes be opened.

        • bdaboy says:

          “Not everyone can put two and two together and make four. ”

          Really? that’s sad. Perhaps you should take advantage of the free education available to you, then maybe you’d understand the big words, like what privatize really means, and how it’s not happening with the airport.

          • Real Deal says:

            Thanks for the advise but you my friend need to learn how to play chess

        • hmmm says:

          explain to us all Real Deal…how torture and murder of innocents and then Capital punishment = breaking the law and blocking democratically elected government for doing its job.

          • Real Deal says:

            There is a book that came out about the pass that you can read. But before you read it you need to look on the interweb for a few exercises you can do you build you reasoning skills. Maybe reading a few mystery/solved cold cases novels may help you to learn how to piece things together. abstract thinking is not easy for everyone but it can be learned.

  19. JohnBoy says:

    Nice piece although those two guys were HANGED from the gallows not hung.

  20. Long Bay Trading Co. says:

    How has such a straight forward gutter and mob behaviour witnessed on Friday, that was sooooo transparent in its intent, suddenly become clothed in such lofty rhetoric as now being spewed? Friday was not such a lofty event. Lets not pretend or try and dress it up as otherwise.

  21. DontGetIt says:

    Every time I ask – there’s always a “deeper story” well – explain it!? How is is that there’s a march over the airport? Why not look at the actual reasons there are these social issues in the black community.
    Let’s talk about education! I’d march for that. we need to seriously fix it! How is it that as such a small community, we just cant get it right?
    And let’s talk about the breakdown in families? SO many single mothers with SO many children. It’s no wonder it’s a mess, because I have 2 children and a husband, and a job and a support system and I struggle to make it work every single day. So it’s no wonder some children who don’t get that family support are failing. Why are we SO afraid to talk about these issues? Why?
    Because it’s easier to blame someone else? Oh yes.. there’s that sense of entitlement/it’s not my fault attitude peeking through…

    • bdaboy says:

      They also marched in protest of legalizing homosexuality!…the community in Bermuda marched in protest of human rights legislation! That speaks volumes about some of them, they are selfish, ignorant and hate filled.

  22. LostinFlatts says:

    This is well written and obviously well-informed given Liana’s background and intellect, but I’m not sure I see the central thesis or comparison that she is trying to make.

    The argument that Bermuda is built upon very questionable foundations particularly with regards to race is unassailable. It is. The argument that each of us should do more to not only internalize what this means to today’s society but also do our part to improve that foundation is similarly unassailable. But who is questioning these points?

    Friday was not about recognizing Bermuda’s past. David Burt did not call the protest to symbolize the hardships and shameful acts of the past, nor some oddly chosen 39-year anniversary. This protest was called for one reason and one reason only: to increase Burt’s chance of winning himself power.

    To ignore that – indeed to willfully attempt to tie this clear political gamesmanship into tragic and highly emotive events of the past – will only serve to increase conflict and escalate the tension in our community.

    At a time when we should be looking to resolve our differences, to make the right choices for all Bermudians there are some that clearly do not want that to happen.

    What I don’t understand can be summarized in these 3 quick questions:
    “Why, then, are we scolded for bringing up racial issues, as though they don’t exist?”
    I’m unaware of anyone denying racial issues, particularly with regards to the very troubling, very ongoing race and policing issues around the world.

    “Why are we accused of playing politics with people’s lives when politics has always played with ours?” Because Burt is. And it is wrong, just as when it was wrong when it was done to Bermudians in the past.

    “Why are we not allowed to express hurt at seeing our family and friends subjected to violence?” You and everyone else should absolutely be horrified at seeing our citizens – many without blame, but not all – being harmed.

    This feels to me like a well-written attempt to fit reality into a narrative – regardless of the reality. The reality is that there is plenty of blame to go around on all sides, and attempting to absolve the organizers and instigators of violence because of past events does little to help our current situation.

  23. the truth will set you free says:

    Liana speaking truth to power

  24. Serious Though says:

    Signed , Thank you and AMEN

  25. Truth says:

    This is totally missing the point. Why do we have Donald Trump Burt telling his people to blindly block the House when in all other demonstrations the “leaders” have informed the protesters of the rights they have, how not to break the law and how to be safe. This time, the “leaders” put their people in harms way by stirring up emotions and trying to get everyone to act out without protecting them like previous decent leader of the PLP past. The law is pretty clear and TrumpBurt wanted them to miss behave and actually didn’t care enough about them to save them from the consequences. They could be heavily fined (which would have meant financial ruin for many), they could have been jailed (ruining families) etc for breaking the law. These “leaders” wanted trouble and incited violence. This has nothing to do with the hanging of two men for murder.

  26. its an airport that will give Bermudians jobs, not a hanging. the ignorance is deafening.

    • Say Whaat? says:

      Actually the loss of jobs from the takeover will be more than what they hire. Plus it’s not new jobs. Simply those who are working there now, will need to reapply for jobs. SO this doesn’t count for new jobs.

      • Just the Tip says:

        Sorry but where will the job loss come from?

        the staff that are there will have to reapply but Gov made it part of the deal that they would all get their jobs, so no loss there.

        As for new jobs there will be new jobs as far as construction, then new maintance people as the place will be bigger, then there are the “stores” and restuarants that also being included in the building’s make up, so new jobs should be there as well.

      • Say Whaat? so they arent going to hire anyone to build the airport, its just going to magically appear? the amount of work is endless. So if someone puts their own money out to build something shouldnt they at least get something in return?

        • Say Whaat? says:

          Thought they were bringing in foreigners to build it. You tell me.

  27. Unbelievable says:

    So how does the PLP spokesperson respond to the fact that protestors ignored requests of the police to allow onto the HoA grounds?

  28. Jrsmith says:

    Thank you Liana Hall…

  29. wondering says:

    sad thing is that as black people we have gained no ground despite holding political power for a number of years!!

    we squandered an opportunity trying to ‘beat’ someone at their own game and never realizing that levelling the playing field does nothing more than what the ‘oppressors’ had been doing all along

  30. Smile says:

    I understand the struggles many Bermudians feel. I am a black Bermudian and am aware of our islands history but choose to move forward in the present while still respecting the struggles of those who came before us.

    However, this Airport isn’t about Black and White. This airport deal isn’t about oppression and the haves and have nots.

    It’s about finiancing a much needed airport for this island!!

    I wish I knew how to make life more FAIR for everyone but I do know this Airport deal has nothing to do with oppressing Me as a black Bermudian.

    Burt and friends are stirring up strong emotions and telling non-truths to score political points and threaten our Democratic way of life.

    We know our history…. but really, learn the facts around this deal.

    • bee says:

      AMEN! repeat and repeat

    • jim bob says:

      It is about haves and have nots. The revenue that is being given away to AECON could be used to keep our current airport up and running and also to support public education needs like the current situation with TN Tatem.

      • Bermy says:

        I too am a black Bermudian and I agree with Smile’s post wholeheartedly. How is this about haves and have nots??????? You’ve made an empty statement with no backing or explanation.

        This is about financing. It is about using FUTURE revenues to finance and capital project TODAY. So to say that those FUTURE revenues can help pay for education in the future is possibly correct. However, how does that solve the issue of needing a new Airport today? In case you haven’t looked at a map lately, an airport is a fairly important piece of infrastructure for Bermuda… However, i’m no expert.

      • bdaboy says:

        “It is about haves and have nots. ”

        You’re correct, it’s about those who have the intelligence to understand that a new Airport, that complies with international security standards, is required, and those of you who seem to have all the time in the world to protest, because you don’t understand that Bermuda doesn’t have the money to build this locally. Bermuda doesn’t have the money Because the PLP government bankrupt the Island. An Island that once was in the position to lend money to the world bank, is now bankrupt!

      • hmmm says:

        27 million guaranteed revenue… 250 at 7% interst is 17.5m interest expense for the BDA Govt at current financing rates for us. Once you bring in the costs you’ll soon realize that Bermuda would be losing money hand over fist , which would be draining resources for other things.

        This only works because backed by Canadian Govt ratings, meaning debt is much cheaper.

    • Say Whaat? says:

      So the biggest revenue maker for the government will have no affect on you? You have children in school? You know anyone on financial assistance? The profits from the airport ran over to help other government programs.

      But then again, why would I believe that you are a Bermudian simply because you can type.

    • Unbelievable says:

      @Smile…..

      THIS RIGHT HERE!!!!!!! Put this on BLAST!!!

  31. bee says:

    Liana, i love you but you got this ALL wrong. first, Larry Tacklyn and Buck Burrows TORTURED and murdered people. that’s right. second, that has NOTHING to do with a bunch of rabble rousers posing as concerned citizens who have NEVER even read the airport bill and disobeyed Police instructions to step aside and let people go where they want to go. imangine someone stoppeed you in the street and prohibited you from going to work? wouldn’t you pepper spray them? yes, you would. go back and THINK about why this rent a crowd were REALLY there (give you a hint: C–I–O ) i know your smart so you can connect the dots.

    • Say Whaat? says:

      You know for a fact that they never read it? how? do you spy on them? You don’t know anything but privilege. Sit down and shut up!

      • sonso says:

        So the plan is to take away his privilege so you can have it?

        Makes lots of sense to me… ?

        • Say Whaat? says:

          And that right there is really where the anger is. You think people want to strip your privilege, but really we just want it to be fair for everyone.

  32. TB40 says:

    Liana
    Well said. I hope Bermuda can pull together.
    “This time the foundation must be rebuilt with the bricks of equality”.

    Bermudians have far more in common than in many countries. Your DAD was a good friend to me and helped me out plus educated me when I said the wrong things. Jules was one of a kind.
    We are all subjects of our own realities, upbringings, prejudices BUT we have the power to make right what is not. That takes humility and forgiveness over blame & shame.
    Equality of opportunity, equality of education, equality of justice, equality of love. May that come for all Bermudians.

    May Bermuda pull together. May both political leaders find a path for all Bermuda with dialogue and fairness.

  33. Mike J says:

    it amazes me all these opinions from people WHO WERE NOT THERE!! NOR WHERE THEY THERE(here in BERMUDA) IN 77 UN FLIPPING BELIEVABLE!!!

  34. Say Whaat? says:

    “The only permitted response is to cower like wounded animals and apologise if we don’t.”

    This is so true it’s heartbreaking. Thank you for this piece Ms. Hall.

  35. Terry says:

    More PLP propaganda written by her

    I knew Julian very well. Very gifted person but radical.

    Many people doing silly and unlawfull stuff now are being radicalized.

    Won’t be long.

  36. Rocky5 says:

    Police Commissioner George Duckett was shot and killed outside his Devonshire home on September 9,1972. Six months later came the murders of Governor Sir Richard Sharples and his 25-year-old aide-de-camp Captain Hugh Sayers and the pet Great Dane. Both were shot dead in the grounds of Government House. Soon after that Victor Rego and Mark Doe were murdered in an armed robbery at the Shopping Centre in Hamilton.
    Erskine Durrant (Buck) Burrows was convicted of the murders of the Police Commissioner, Governor, Capt Sayers, Mr Rego and Mr Doe. Larry Tacklyn was convicted of the Shopping Centre murders but cleared of the Government House killings. During his trial Burrows sent a written confession to the prosecutor in which he admitted killing the Governor ‘along with others I shall never name’.

    • bdaboy says:

      ” Soon after that Victor Rego and Mark Doe were murdered in an armed robbery at the Shopping Centre in Hamilton.”

      They were murdered after hours of gruesome torture….read up on what was done to them, I won’t repeat it here. It was disgusting, A hanging was too humane for those panthers, for what they did to these two men.

      Comparing this to an illegal protest about a new airport is f’n disgusting.

  37. mixitup says:

    Excellent read!!! that about sums it up.

  38. Jahstice says:

    More garbage from a PLP puppet.

  39. Liana, There are real problems in Bermuda , that can only be resolved if we continue to talk to each other, but who’s listening ? Neither party listens to the other .It would appear that someone /party benefits by keeping us apart .Beyond the fighting, and people love a good fight , ” Can’t you hear what I’m saying, Can’t you hear what I’m not saying, Can’t you hear what I’m trying to say ?” The OBA have been in power for 4 years , and are being challenged by PLP supporters about issues that the PLP never address. The PLP had 14 years to do whatever it wanted .It wasn’t “The Man ” , who stopped us. It was US. The PLP , was made up of our brightest and best , but yet still was voted out by a black majority electorate. The fight is just not amongst us, it is also Between us .Our community is divided by race . It seems to not had had to heal, no matter which Party is the government. Let’s start the conversation.

    • Just the Tip says:

      Mr. Smith, I have to admit that often I have rolled my eyes at post you make. But this one I can very much agree with, I think that you are right that no one is listen to the other and this is leaving the wounds of the past to fester.

      The one thing I would disagree with you on is that PLP was made up of brightest and best. Simply for me if they had been the best and brightest this island would be in a much better place on all fronts, but this is mearly my view.

      I look forward to a conversation, it is hard for me to see how to fix things within our society without the view from the otherside.

      • Zzzz says:

        I agree that a conversation needs to be had. Having read the article by Liana Hall and the subsequent comments it seems that if the opinion or view of another party does not match one’s own it is dismissed “garbage”, “propaganda” etc. We are all overly cynical!

        We all have our opinions and those opinions should be respected by others even if they seem outlandish at first glance. Every one of us has, to a degree, a unique background and upbringing which has formed that opinion.

        We need to spend time building consensus around the islands major issues such as education, the shrinking population and balancing the budget. One parties view is most likely not correct based on past performance and the correct course of action for Bermuda and her people is most likely some ware in the middle ground. We need to recognize this as individuals and demand the same of the government and opposition.

        Further thought, for Bermuda to be successful in the long term we need a big and strong middle class. The best way to build this is world class education. In general the government education system seems to produce substandard results regardless of which party is in power, who the minister of education is or who the education commissioner is. I suggest over time we move towards an all private education system with the cost subsidized by the Bermuda government. The size of the subsidy per child depends on household income from 100% at the very bottom to 0% above a certain threshold. The private schools already work and in time as the infrastructure develops every child could get the education they deserve and the demographics would open up with obvious social and professional benefits. Remember the inputs for both the private and public systems are the same, kids!

        If anybody is interested the June 11-17 2016 issue of the Economist has an excellent special report on education which is applicable to Bermuda.

      • You have heard that the , ” Dumbest farmers grow the biggest potatoes . ” The first lot of PLP leaders ( 1998 ), where amongst our brightest and best. I say that because I want you to see what they done with Bermuda . They all went to BERKELEY .????

    • bdaboy says:

      “There are real problems in Bermuda”

      To which you are a contributor

  40. Riley says:

    I know this lady is every bit as honest and forthright as her father. Indeed, I know exactly how much integrity runs in the family.

  41. Kathy says:

    Although I can sympathise with this lady and most black Bermudians today, let’s face it, white Bermudians just want to keep the status quo…however, let’s not forget that Buck Burrows did kill the Governor and was found guilty.

    Erskine Durrant “Buck” Burrows was arrested. He confessed to shooting dead Sharples and Sayers. At his trial he was also convicted of murdering the Bermuda Police commissioner George Duckett on 9 September 1972 and killing the co-owner and the bookkeeper of a supermarket in April 1973.

    Did his hanging make it right? NO. Did spraying the people with pepper spray the other day make it right? NO. What is the solution for Bermuda? DISCOURSE….REAL DISCOURSE…SOLUTIONS THAT WORK FOR ALL BERMUDIANS!!

  42. bdaboy says:

    “, let’s face it, white Bermudians just want to keep the status quo”

    …as much as black Bermudians want to keep the racial divide strong, so they can continue their hatred, never growing up, and continuously playing the victim.

    • Say Whaat? says:

      Do you tell holocaust survivors to grow up? Boy, you better go back to school and learn compassion for the mistreated.

      • bdaboy says:

        Compassion? Like the compassion you have for the LGBT community?

        You need to stop being so hypocritical, boy.

  43. Ben says:

    Finally, a voice of decency amidst the jackals.

  44. Edmund S says:

    “39 years and 15 hours later, I stood fifty metres from where my dad emerged from those courtroom doors. Many of us protesters recognised the significance of December 2nd 2016 and drew parallels to that dark Friday, decades ago, when Bermuda voices went unheard.”

    Yes, like when a small group of people silenced the elected MP’s, all the people who favored the airport development and all the people who still weren’t sure and wanted to hear the debate and made sure those voices weren’t heard.