Ministers Condemn Graffiti

November 8, 2011

Walter Roban, Minister of Public Works and Derrick Burgess, Deputy Premier and Minister of Transport today condemned the continued defacing of public property across the island.

In a joint statement, Ministers Roban and Burgess said the anti-social and illegal behavior must stop immediately and those caught participating in these acts will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

A statement issued by Government said, “Minister Burgess recently met with a group of guest workers at their residence where one of their motor bikes had been set on fire in an intentional and xenophobic act of arson.

“The Minister expressed his displeasure at such an act and reinforced the fact that this type of behavior is not the way Bermudians in general behave.

“The Minister was met with representatives from Belco to ensure the installation of a street lighting pole was planted thereby providing additional illumination in the area as a matter of priority.

“Other recent incidents include:

  • The defacing of a public bus stop in St. David’s in apparent tribute to a recent road fatality victim
  • Continued anti-foreigner graffiti targeting a particular segment of guest workers
  • Continued gang ‘tagging’ of bus shelters and other public and private property”

“In addition to creating an eyesore for residents and visitors, Public Works staff will have to postpone regularly scheduled work to repaint the bus shelter, utilizing valuable time and resources that should be spent on other work for the public benefit.”

Minister Roban said: “The latest incident of a bus shelter in St. David’s being covered in graffiti in tribute to a road fatality victim is not only illegal, but also in very poor taste. While sympathetic to the friends and family of the victim, and their desire to display a public tribute, spray painting a public bus shelter is not appropriate in any way, shape or form.”

Concerning the anti-guest worker messages being scrawled across the island, Minister Roban said: “These despicable acts of racial and ethnically charged graffiti being plastered in public places are the latest in a string of xenophobic defacing of public property, obviously intended to be seen by the individual or individuals responsible.”

“These are acts of ignorance – ignorance of the struggles of people in Bermuda and from all over the world to free themselves of racial and ethnic hatred and persecution, and to live in a free and just society where an individual’s rights are enshrined in the constitution and which applies equally to all – locals, residents, foreign workers, visitors – everyone. We in Bermuda, all who live, work and visit here, deserve no less.”

Wherever such graffiti occurs Public Works staff will remove the offending graffiti at the earliest opportunity and anyone who sees any incidents taking place should contact the Police.

Minister Roban added: “I would urge whoever is responsible for these reprehensible acts to read some history of the struggles of some of those they have insulted, offended and made threats against. There is never any excuse to promulgate racial or ethnic hatred and if those responsible are caught they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

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Comments (45)

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  1. just wondering says:

    why dont they make the prisoners paint and clean up instead of wasting W&E resources??

    • Yup says:

      Get the CCTV cameras in there and start prosecuting those a$$holes. Oh, am I sorry, was I being out of line by suggesting that we punish our young men? If you have any love for’em give’em a good whopp’in!!!!!

    • Watching says:

      Why don’t they make the people doing this PRISONERS

  2. Sorry but says:

    These young people are so stupid that they complain about lack of jobs, no tourists, no future yet they blatantly vandalize the supporting infrastructure of THEIR island.

    Funny how guests and guest workers show more respect for Bermuda than Bermudians. And no I don’t want the prisoners cleaning up this mess, I want the non-imprisoned criminals (those vandalizing) to be thrown in jail and a$$-raped.

    This is another problem of the black community and I have no problem as a black person putting the blame on ourselves. It doesn’t take a village to raise a kid, it takes people who cannot support children or be a suitable parent to say, “I am not worthy of reproducing because my kid is going to grow up and become a nuisance to society!”

    You lot disgust me more and more every day.

  3. doomed says:

    until someone escapes


    You are so right they cud make the prisoners do alot round this little island stop wasting tax payers money. Get to work chain gang!!!!!!

    • Wondering says:

      So who would decide which prisoners would be on the clean up/repair gang – you have many who would rather stay behind the bars for fear of their lives and then others who would love the freedom – come on. WOuld they put names in a hat or pull straws?

      You can be behind bars or outside of the bars and still be a prisoner…

  5. 80's Role Model says:

    R.I.P. DRO “H.W.F”

  6. Bella says:

    What amazes me is, no one saw this ‘work of art’ while it was in progress? Actually, I take that back, nothing amazes me anymore!

  7. Friend says:



    R.I.P. CUZ DRO – this tribute to landro shouldnt even be an issue for these politicians – Looking to tear down something positive for a lost friend shouldnt be looked upon as trouble – I do agree about the foreign remarks ” philipinos get out ” thats not right – but to use this bus stop as message for others is just shallow – say what you want “sorry” and others who share the same mindset – besides helping youth deal with issues – u come online and have so much to say – Thats why PLP aint going nowhere = REAL ISSUES they dont address and spray paint is something drastic

    • Family Man says:

      Wow, his family must be so proud of him to see all those touching, thoughtful tributes.

    • BTW says:

      I sympathize with the youth who are hurting from the loss of their friend. Perhaps another way to honour Landro would be to paint tributes on a sheet that could be given to his mother at a later time. That way, people could express themselves and his mother would have a keepsake, without creating a public concern.

      Just a thought.

      My sincere condolences to you all.


    • Wondering says:

      hmmm- compared to buildings like John Swan’s – what the dingle berry??? By the way Mr. Spanswick – have you noticed the beautiful artwork on the bus shelters there to Grotto Bay have been white washed – hmmmm????? I guess that was graffit 2 and not a work of Art!

  10. Contractor dave says:

    If the youngsters want a tribute to their friend then they should get together and create something positive, not deface the property I pay my taxes to maintain! Agree with the chain gang idea, they could also take care of the railway trail and other public spaces and gain a qualification whilst doing it.

  11. Tommy Chong says:

    Though I don’t condone defacement of public property I must disagree with the statement that the anti-guest worker messages are xenophobic. Xenophobia is an irrational fear of foreigners and with the latest of the reefs making locals redundant while guest workers doing the same job are allowed to stay on making this fear is very rational. Also I’ve seen the messages and they are directed towards certain guest workers not all and even if the person can’t spell they still have a point since there are over a thousand Bermudians jobless while over a thousand of these specific workers have positions that many out of work locals are able to fill. If employers gave Bermudians the jobs they deserve without expecting them to work for slave wages at slave hours while the boss makes a mint and employees struggle to pay their necessities then maybe this type of graffiti will stop.

    The rest in peace type graffiti should have been stopped when it started. I’ve seen this graffiti in many different accident fatality spots but nothing was said to the people doing it. Maybe this is because they are seen as mourners so they are let be. I’m sure if these people were explained when first seen doing this that this was an illegal and inappropriate way to show condolence they would stop but it was left alone and now has become an unwanted trend. Its kinda of like how bermudian society has treated offensive language and smoking in public. Its harmful to society and frowned upon but is still allowed to happen.

    As for the gang graffiti happening the solution is simple. Post no loitering signs up with warnings of prosecution and have police patrolling and enforcing these warnings. This would also deter drug sales and gang activity in these areas.

    • Rick Rock says:

      Tommy, Graffiti aimed at guest workers is disgraceful and racist. It’s also disgraceful to defend it by saying some Bermudians are unemployed.

      If those Bermudians are unemployed, that is no reason for hate messages against foreigners spray painted in bus stops.

      Linking the two and saying “they have a point” is ridiculous. You should be ashamed to do it.

      • Tommy Chong says:

        Rick, firstly how can you call the graffiti aimed at Filipino’s racist? Filipino is a nationality not a race. The graffiti does not say get out asians which would be racist. The person or persons putting this graffiti up is distinctively pointing to one group of guest workers for a reason. What is racist is when a black bermudian gives a resume to an employer hoping to get a job & the employer chucks it in the trash because they feel all black bermudians are lazy good for nothings which happens many times in many different businesses in Bermuda. I know for a fact that in many instances Filipinos are entering the island as tourist & somehow employers are pulling strings for them to stay as workers. This is unfair to Bermudians & even though I have a job I feel for the person putting the graffiti up. I would be just as p’d off if I lost my job because my Filipino coworker cut a deal with my employer to pull strings to give his vacationing cousin my job. What’s a disgrace is that there are MANY not some Bermudians unemployed (over a thousand) & employers are hiring Filipinos to wait tables, as cashiers, as retail sales and so on & hiring a full staff of Filipinos at that. Employers pulling strings to go around the immigration system should be ashamed & Filipinos suggesting their family members to take a Bermudian’s position should be ashamed. This graffiti writer is just venting their frustration because they feel helpless & do not have the power to change the minds of the racist employers in Bermuda or the immigration officers that approve these illegal work applications.

        • Mad Dawg says:

          Tommy Chong, (interesting name by the way…are you trying to take the piss out of asian people?).. graffiti saying someone from a particular country “should leave” or whatever, is racism. You know it and we all know it.

          Your justificication (I use the term loosely) is childish. If you think that qualified Bermudians apply for jobs, but work permits are nevertheless given to foreigners, then direct your blame to the department of immigration. It isn’t the fault of the foreign individual, whether he comes here from the US, the UK, or anywhere else. You’re blaming the wrong person based on a completely irrational prejudice. If you think it’s a ‘disgrace’ that so many Bermudians are unemployed, blame the government for the inept handling of the economy.

          But you defend graffiti writers who vandalise property while attacking people based on race and national origin, and who have little means to defend themselves. It’s Bermudians that issue all the work permits, right?

          You are an outright racist.

          • Tommy Chong says:

            Tommy Chong is just a screen name I chose from a actor/activist who name is Tommy Chong because I admire his work not because I’m taking the piss out of because he’s asian. Your definition of racist is bogus and its to bad you did not do your research before name calling which I might add is quite child like.

            rac·ist  [rey-sist]
            1. a person who believes in racism, the doctrine that a certain human race is superior to any or all others.

            2. a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race

            Since being racist is based on the idea of being superior to that race simply telling a nationality to go home cannot be racist as no idea of superiority was conveyed. If this was the case all the people who protested the immigration of the Uighurs should also be pegged as racist. I have no problem with asian in fact I have asian friends & family.

            If you had clearly read my post you would see that I mention individuals in immigration pulling strings along with employers to get their foreign workers in. I cannot blame the whole of immigration as I cannot blame the whole of government as you expect me to this would be a fallacy. I also stated in my first post that I do not condone defacement of public property but realize that when someone’s back is against the wall they lash out & the graffiti is the product of that. It’s Bermudians that issue all the work permits? WRONG! Its people who work in immigration that issue the work permits after employers tell them they cannot find a Bermudian out of the thousand plus unemployed who is capable of punching numbers into a cash register, writing down an order of food, serving a costumer in retail… This is all a load of croc & if this Bermudian worked in immigration I would tell these employers to go try harder because I know there is someone out of those thousands that can do the job. I would probably get fired the next day by the mate of the employer who holds a senior position to me in immigration but at least I would not be a sell out.

            How can you blame the government for the unemployed Bermudians when the government didn’t layoff these people. When a position is made redundant it is supposed to be because the position no longer exist not because someone else who has no ties to the country will work for cheaper wages in that position. If an employer is willing to charge $8 for a burger they can afford to pay decent wages.
            These employers that have hired cheap labor over Bermudians are not hurting they are just greedy. I used to feel sorry for these guest workers that had jobs with unreasonable pay. Now when I look closer at the situation I realize that without all the expenses locals have to pay they are really better off because in a few years they are able to afford house & goodlife in their country while Bermudians still struggle with the high price of living here.

            • Rick Rock says:

              You are defending highly offensive hate graffiti against people from a particular country.

              According to the United Nations conventions, there is no distinction between the term racial discrimination and ethnicity discrimination. So I, and Mad Dawg, apparently have United Nations Conventions on our side, in our assertion that hate speech against Philippinos is definitely racism.

              A bit like if in the UK there is ‘Jamaicans go home’ or ‘Indians go home’ graffiti. It’s racism, even if it’s a country mentioned rather than a race.

              The fact that this needs to be explained says something about you.

              You would have done fine in pre-war Germany. Lots of the SS justified hate speech against Jews on the basis that there was unemployment among ethnic Germans.

              Your language displays the fact that you regard foreigners, or some of them, as inferior to you. Another display of racism.

              This country is reaping what it has sowed for the past decade or so. The government has led the hate speech against expats, and now it’s socially acceptable to be a complete racist. Sprawl hate speech all over bus stops, and people will defend you. Set fire to bikes belonging to expats, and no-one will say a word.

              Tommy, if you have disagreements with illegal hiring practices, go after the people who’s fault it is. The specific employer, or the people in immigration who you allege are corrupt. Unless you’re making the whole thing up. It’s Bermudians issuing the permits. Bermudians. Your logic in sweepingly blaming employees here on a permit from one country is ridiculous, and your defense of racism is shameful.

    • Changing Status says:

      i agree with Rick Ross, for the most part, Bermudians aren’t willing to work hard and still want things handed to them on a silver platter. Look at those workers at the Reefs who boasted that they had to be forced to do a certain job with the threat of their jobs, who is proud of that?! Bermudians need to know that yes, sometimes foreigners are brought in wronglfully when there is a qualified Bermudian ready and willing, but they also do the jobs that Bermudians don’t want to do. And even worse, they do it with a smile on their face.

      We as Bermudians have become too comfortable in ourselves. We disrespect ourselves, our island and our families and it is allowed from young. This is why the tourists will stop coming. Who wants to see a graffitied up island with little wannabe gangsters shooting up the place and stealing purses. where theres nothing for entertainment, and what was once a classic design of frontstreet is defaced because of greed.

  12. stop whining over miner issh says:

    its a tribute to someone who passed from friends and loved 1s….cheesh simple passa RIP Dro

  13. THE HELL!! says:

    This is a classic example of our people young and old not knowing any other way of showing their emotions other than violence and destruction…And a don’t give a dam attitude. That is why this country continues to go down the drain..

  14. Whistling Frog says:

    Please! This is all about parents not knowing where their children are and what they are doing… Children left to their own to destroy public and Private property… How stupid to be destroying your own neighbourhood to look like a rat-race

  15. ESC says:

    This is a tradition what everyone does in Bermuda when they lose a young person to unforseen events. So don’t act like you don’t kno whats going on. Thats why Bermuda has no love because the weidos that complain have no one to love them. Get over it and paint the sh@t later on down the road. The so-called Ministers have nothing else better to complain about. RIP LITTLE CUZZY DROSKY

    • THE HELL!! says:

      Just because its tradition doesn’t make it right…We had the tradition of Guy Fawks Day and that got out of hand and had to be stopped. Because of irresponsible people..Think about it.

    • Whistling Frog says:

      Your parents should have made it a tradition to smack your azz every time you made a stupid statement and maybe, just maybe, you won’t sound so stupid… We didn’t do this shyt back in my day. But I don’t blame the youth, It’s about time the parents take the licks for their kids acting up….

  16. Soooooo says:

    Hell, there’s a W&E trailer parked by Maxi Mart that’s had graffiti on it for months! It’s been moving around west end job sites without a hint of cleaning…..

  17. GPS says:


  18. William Williamson says:

    The graffiti about the expats is completely ridiculous, n the fools who did it need to look no further as to why they were overlooked for a job. As for the bus stop it’s become a tradition to mural Walls n bus stops in the area for that person who died. 9 times out of 10 it’s covered up in a week or 2 usually by the same ppl who did it. (that was the case in my area anyway)

  19. You said it says:

    So, after over a decade of publicly decrying foreigners, these MPs are now shocked that the youth are following their example with the only public expression they know. Sheesh. You reap what you sow

    • 80's Baby says:

      The man is resting in peace an you people worrying bout a spray painted bus shelter like it is the first time it has happened. What you ministers need to do is take a pay cut n worry bout your people suffering not a painted up bus stop. Family’s are suffering n you worrying bout a bus stop smfh T I B this is Bermuda ha ha funny

      • Um Juss Saying says:

        80′s Baby- you truly sound ignorant and I wonder if it’s just regular stupidity or if it’s chemically induced!! I know for a fact that Landro’s true boys- his diehard bonafides- had nothing to do with that graffiti. And yes I know because my brother was one of his best friends! I think that people grieving for him could have expressed their grief by spraying a sheet, hung it then given it to Aunt Tanya when it was taken down. This is not a small issue- it’s deplorable!!

        • Wondering says:

          You do it your way, we do it our way and yes, we will clean it up. ONly the grumpy would complain and cold hearts will be stiff necked. If we have broken the lay as so many other parishes have done – who the heck will be charged? We are a peculiar people, we are united in all of our ways – there are many people who have talked about as you have, called us names, written about us, printed stories about us, people go to court and they are readily noted as being from Sst. David’s – no poppa, put them from where they lived when they were arrested for their crime – many many of you trying to figure us out We are – LOVING, CARING, CONSIDERATE, KIND, ENDURING, PASSIONATE, FRIENDLY, TRUSTING (not so much since Uncle Maxi and Lil Freddie, UNITED, RESILIENT, PROUD and the list goes on. You show your feelings your way and we have our own way – we don’t bother or trouble anybody else, so why now. Perhaps the Minister was flexing his muscles in his new position – I don’t think Mr. Burgess would have troubled us – he likes St. David’s Warriors.

    • 80's Baby says:

      Just ignorant and tierd of the dumb crap no chemicals involved. Droski was a good friend of mine as well so what…

  20. Molly millers says:

    Be better to promote their friends to slow down drive safer and not drink and drive

  21. Expat says:

    Anti-expat graffiti is not limited to bus stops. Once a week, when I come home, the gate to my house is repainted, or markered, with ‘Don’t need you,’ ‘Get Out,’ etc. I’m not Filipino, but I am an expat. It is scary to state that this is acceptable because Bermudians have lost jobs. I have not taken a Bermudian’s job, and if this is the feeling, maybe you should protest to my employer, not me. I work hard everyday, and I contribute to the community (charity donations and charity work.) Is this really an acceptable thing to come home to?

    • Changing Status says:

      Agreed. it truly isn’t the fault of the people who recieve the job, its the fault of the employee. if there truly is a need to look elsewhere for an employee, let them justify it.

      i do apologise though for your treatment. i, myself being a bermudian, would like to get experience working elsewhere and would like to think that the natives will treat me better than our locals are treating you. x

  22. PH says:

    @You said – You said it best so I will repeat your message.

    “So, after over a decade of publicly decrying foreigners, these MPs are now shocked that the youth are following their example with the only public expression they know. Sheesh. You reap what you sow”

  23. Tolerate says:

    Don’t even wish to comment on the anti-Expat graffiti, this is just a bunch of morons making excuses for their short comings. While I do agree, I see more and more jobs (truck-drivers, etc.) being done by Expats (why not take a Bermudian TCD to get his truck license, I’m sure you did the same for the Expat) it all boils down to presumption of the average (not all) Bermudians lack of time keeping, reliability and demand for an increased wage.
    On to the graffiti in St. David’s and YES I am a resident. As previously mentioned, this is happening everywhere and has been happening for some time now. To make a court case out of it now is a little late and immature. I respect the promise made to repaint the message later down the road, at least they had the common sense to acknowledge this. As I travel over Bermuda, I don’t see the same from other communities. However even with this promise, they are still being hackled which is something we from the East have become more than accustomed to. We have tougher skin than this so your moaning and groining with only account for just that… Groans and Moans……
    R.I.P. Landro,
    God Bless you, your family, friends and the great community of St. David’s

  24. noneya says:

    @ Sorry… You and the rest of you hating bermudians get a life and stop worrying bout others and what their doing worry bout your own that’s why bermuda is the way it is cause its people like ya’ll in other peoples business and so quick to judge typical boring ass bermudians

  25. @(&Rip DRO says:

    Big up DRO, real fren to the end……..stop stressing over nfn, just be ez n leave us alone