OBA: ‘Govt Prevented From Doing People’s Work’

December 2, 2016

“Today is a sad day in Bermuda. The democratically elected government has been prevented from doing the people’s work,” OBA Chairperson Lynne Woolridge said, adding that the “PLP has taken this country to the brink of anarchy.”

Senator Woolridge said, “Today is a sad day in Bermuda. The democratically elected government has been prevented from doing the people’s work.

“Everyone wants change until it actually starts to happen! This government was elected to turn around and stimulate a faltering economy and it’s now happening.

“All economic indicators are improving and people are visiting the island again. Unfortunately if they visit by commercial airline they see evidence of our past neglect.

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“The purpose of today’s debate in the House of Assembly was to reveal to all who will listen the benefits of the plan to redevelop the airport, which most people agree needs to be done. It makes no sense to throw good money after bad by fixing the terminal in its present location as the issues will just keep reoccurring.

“The Progressive Labour Party has steadfastly, for more than two years now, refused to pay any attention to the mountain of facts and relevant documents the Government has put out about this project. We have bent over backwards to explain and reason our way to acceptance with our critics.

“The fact of the matter is, we have concluded, that the PLP couldn’t care less what the facts are, they simply want to defeat the OBA and wrest back control of the government by any means necessary.

“That’s not democracy, that’s government by force. That is Government by bullying. The PLP has taken this country to the brink of anarchy.

“We are still a democratic country so let MPs from both sides of the House get on with doing the work they were elected to do – revitalize our country so that Bermudians can have jobs and look forward to a secure future.

“I urge all Bermudians to look at what the Opposition and their supporters are doing, and understand this cannot continue. We must respect the rule of law in Bermuda and the right of the elected government to move legislation forward for the benefit of all Bermudians.

“Today’s events were not representative of who we are as Bermudians and it is most unfortunate that some of the protestors were injured. Physical confrontations are never the answer in resolving a disagreement.

“We have overcome our differences in the past, and going forward the OBA is committed to fulfilling our responsibility to the people of Bermuda and we will not be swayed by these politically motivated protests.”

We will have additional coverage of this matter as the evening progresses, and in the meantime you can see our live updates here, and all our coverage of today’s protest here.

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Comments (37)

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  1. What went wrong says:

    PLP don’t control the police lady. Why you pepper spraying grannies!

  2. SOS says:

    All I want to know is who told the police to show up in riot gear. The police were only doing their jobs. Someone told them to march on the crowd.

    WHO??? What clown in the OBA?

    • Noncents says:

      @ SOS

      Protesters were breaking the law by prohibiting access to public property and stopping individuals from doing the job that we elected and pay them to do. Furthermore, when the police ask you to move, you are breaking the law by not moving.

      What people fail to realize is that the powers that be in the PLP foresaw this conclusion and actually wanted the police to behave the way they did to help their cause. It is unfortunate that events unfolded the way that they did, but to suggest the protesters were within their rights to demonstrate peacefully is nonsense. They were infringing on other people which is illegal and the police had to take necessary, albeit unfortunate, action.

    • Truth in Advertising says:

      Watch the Police Commissioner’s video here on Bernews. All your questions are answered.

    • Purple Cuff says:

      Actually a fine member of the Opposition by the name of Derrick Burgess said TO POLICE:

      “I would like you guys to retreat — this is going to get dirty.

      “You don’t want to mess with us. There are people with ammunition; they may come here — that’s what they told me. I tried to calm them down; they will shoot. They will come.”

      And you don’t think that the police were in the right show up in riot gear – as they should have – to protect the people who are not only rioting, but themselves? Our police force, for the most part, is a respectable bunch. This stigma attached to the police force being against ANY people is just outlandish and crude. They did their jobs, unlike the folks who went out and protested based on what seems to be a lack of knowledge and understanding.

      I personally don’t support either the OBA or PLP right now and it’s a difficult fact to swallow, that both of our governments seem to be up to some shady stuff. But if you are going to claim people are bringing guns, you don’t let that go down easily.

  3. Point boy says:

    Please OBA! Don’t lose faith!

    • To late for that, do the people’s work, and polls showed 75% of Bermuda are against it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Doggystyle says:

        Yea just like the polls in the US had Clinton winning by a land slide polls f them polls bull

  4. Point boy says:

    We don’t stand for bullying of any kind. Let it bein schools or politics.

    Bermuda is a democratic island!

    You lost!
    Get a job. Good luck. Who in their right mind will hire those people? I mean, is it just me?

    Not a high school graduate. (But worked every day since)

  5. Common Sense says:

    Why do the PLP think that destroying our economy is the way for them to get back in power? Why are they afraid of debating the airport project?
    Where were these protesters when the disasters of Berkeley, Heritage Wharf, Lois Browne Evans Building, TCD, Hospital and Grand Atlantic were happening?

  6. ian says:

    Lynn stop with the foolish talk and done ever come to my house

    • JT says:

      It’s “don’t ever come to my hous”, not “done ever come to my house” dummy! Learn the English language correctly before you comment trying to be s smart ass! #epicfail #dumb #cantwriteEnglishcorrectly

      • Purple Cuff says:

        You know ‘house’ is spelled with an ‘e’ at the end, right?

        “Learn the English language correctly before you comment trying to be s smart ass! #epicfail #dumb #cantwriteEnglishcorrectly”

        smh

      • Sweetie says:

        Neither can you JT
        It is spelled house not hous

      • JAWS says:

        ARE YOU ALWAYS THIS DUMB OR ARE YOU JUST MAKING A SPECIAL EFFORT TODAY?

        LEARN TO SPELL HOUSE DUMB & DUMBER!!! :)

  7. Portia says:

    Be real Lynne. If you aren’t listening to the people on your steps (and not just those yes-man who adamantly support you no matter what) and if you can fight tooth and nail to keep the details of this arrangement under wraps (and only doing so when your hand is forced) you can’t really say you’re doing the “people’s” work, can you?

    No, you don’t have a “right” to move forward with any legislation you choose; you serve at the pleasure of the people! Don’t expect to never to be challenged and don’t think you cannot be shown the door.

    But it seems some people never learn. You party’s bullish-ness at trying to ram bad legislation down the electorate’s throat is only going to damage your credibility and leave you with even more egg on your face than you had in March when you finally had to concede then too.

    • portia says:

      You are forgetting something. The government of the day is elected to make decisions. No one is forcing anything down anyone’s throats. They have the majority vote and can pass legislation based on what they feel is best for Bermuda. The problem is there are those who want it their way or the highway. That is not right and you know it. Continue to hold your head high Senator Woolridge, you know what you believe to be right and stick to it. Bermuda is progressing and do not let those with their own agendas bring us down.

    • jt says:

      Can’t justify lawless high jacking of the democratic process. Which is different from protesting.
      If you’re looking for poorly conceived and badly written legislation check the PLP vaults. I guess it wasn’t rammed down your throat though, you just opened wide and swallowed.

    • Bermyluv says:

      If a group of protesters were preventing me from going to work i would expect the police to intervene with a response that was measured against the actions of the protesters. I sympathize with the protesters concerns but don’t condone their actions.

      • Rockfish#and#2 says:

        The BPS did what they were quite rightly instructed to under the circumstances.
        However, the Commissioner may wish to revise their tactics……..there will be a next time.

  8. Truth says:

    The truth is that the government have a right to debate and get on with the business of the day. Those against certain decisions cannot keep stopping the progress of the business of the day. Have respect and let the government do what they were elected to do. Plp stop the political war before you bring Bermuda to its knees! We are finally making progess!

  9. Ben says:

    “The people” didn’t order a damn riot squad to show up and start pepper-spraying senior citizens.

    Sorry, OBA. Twist and spin this mess in any direction you like, but this one’s entirely on you.

    • @Ben says:

      Stop politricking! Shame on you for using the protesters as ponds in your quest to win the government! Shame! To try and blame things on the OBA in order to secure your own votes.

    • Not exactly says:

      Neither did the OBA. Stop framing this like Dunkley himself was out there pepper spraying guys’ grannies. The Speaker told the police that the House was opening for business and they had an obligation to ensure that MPs could access.

  10. Vote for Me says:

    A dangerous narrative that is developing from comments attributed to the Deputy Governor, Premier and Police Commissioner is that the protestors caused the escalation. I hope that does not form the basis of their preparation for next Friday!

    To paraphrase MP Crockwell, today’s events should have been foreseen and therefore prevented.

    It is clear from any objective review of the various recordings of today’s events that the deployment of the riot police caused the escalation. To his credit, Chris Furbert firmly rebukes any protestors that ‘act out’ at protests.

    Let me hasten to add that there was a natural conflict with the protest because Speaker Horton, and by extension Premier Dunkley, has a duty to ensure that the weekly sitting of the House proceeds as scheduled. In that context, an agreed one week recess might have helped to calm the situation and provide more time for constructive discussion with MP Burt.

    In the words of Larry Burchall at the conclusion of the Thursday forum, in times of need, Leaders Lead! Bermuda needs the Premier to demonstrate more appropriate leadership at this pivotal moment for Bermuda. Ironically, former Premier Cannonier might be a good resource for the current Premier.

    A lesson from today is that relevant Officers need to rethink their crowd control strategies. To start, the call for a demonstration was obvious after Thursday’s town hall meeting. A basic preparation would have allowed for at least one ‘safe passage’ into the House grounds, using barricades and manned officers. This would have then been a secure access for politicians and any necessary staff.

    Given the likely racial makeup of the demonstrators, more thought can also be given to the officers assigned to secure the grounds, especially the senior officers. Familiar faces tend to be more successful is resolving disputes.

    We have 7 days to learn from today’s events!

    The ‘authorities’ cannot take the easy way out and blame the protestors for the escalation. Instead, they have a duty of care to the protestors, attending officers, MPs and Bermuda at large to be better prepared.

    Assuming that there will be a similar protest with potentially double the numbers next week, is the answer to deploy the Regiment in addition to the riot squad? CLEARLY NOT!!

    • Doggystyle says:

      Hand out pamphlets letting the protester’s know what the law is for public Assembly read before you act and prepare for action if you break the law simple

  11. pardon says:

    So you are suggesting, that everytime, people disagree with government, and want to block debates and business being conducted, should continue to do this because they have a right , and the government and MPS should just sneak into the house of assembly , through the back door and get used to that or risk being seen as against the people. That is insane, no matter how eloquently, you try to put it !

  12. swing voter says:

    its not rocket science. PLP did a financial pack of shady ish. Remember the ‘brown must go’ protest? I voted for that lot so I couldn’t say much against the government I voted for. Now the OBA are screwing up. But look at the response yesterday compared to the anti brown people. yup we’re not that smart after all.

  13. Dontworryboutathing says:

    If this airport deal would of been the PLP’s idea everything would of just been fine. We never had any marches or discontent when Berkeley or Port Royal or TCD or Dame Louis Building or Kings Wharf or the Hospital were being tendered and built.

    The PLP need to get back in power so we have no more problems and everything will be great again. Can you imagine and island where we would not have to worry about anything!

  14. watchfuleyes says:

    Deploy the regiment all they want. They are our relatives.they may just stand down too if any stupidness happens to their family members! Let’s see how that goes.

  15. Zen says:

    Why is it that every time there is a crisis our” fearless ” leader ” aka MD, is nowhere to be found! Why not come out to address the people ( like other past Premiers have done ) like a man, rather than cowardly hiding away, only to later reading a prepared statement, surely written by someone else. Craig and Bob must be laughing their heads off.

  16. truth be told says:

    The OBA have failed as a government. They failed to address the people’s concerns, they failed to consult and be transparent. The events of December 2, 2016 are as a result of a deceitful government who doesn’t care about Bermudians and moreover black Bermudians. Black Bermudians have suffered the most under the OBA administration. Senator Woolridge take off your blinders and understand the people’s frustrations. Imagine if years ago every protest was done lawfully and to the OPPRESSORS laws; WE WOULD STILL BE SLAVES PICKNG COTTON! #obaepicfail #youfailedthepeople #lynnesitdown