Photos And Videos: Immigration Policies Protest

March 26, 2015

Crowds of people gathered on the Cabinet Grounds last night [March 25] to protest immigration policies, eventually making their way into the Senate chambers.

After asking people to sit down and keep their voices down, Senate President Carol Ann Bassett adjourned the Senate for two hours, and the Senate sitting got back underway at just past 8.00pm, and concluded at around midnight.

Speaking to the crowd outside, Shadow Minister of Immigration Walton Brown said “We cannot continue with the divisions that we have had for 50 years over immigration policy. I am hoping the Government will listen. I am hoping we do not need to step this activity up. If we have to, we will.”

Mr. Brown added, “When we were in the Senate Chamber we were asked to leave because the Honourable President indicated that no one is allowed to stand in the public gallery.

“Myself and my whip here, when I say whip I mean Parliamentary Whip, we had never heard of such a rule before that one that wasn’t able to stand in the public gallery, so we continued to stand and because we refused to sit or to leave, the Senate President closed down the Senate for two hours. So your presence achieved that.”


In response to the protest, Home Affairs Minister Michael Fahy told Bernews, “We are very proud with the OBA Government about what we have managed to achieve with our immigration reform and the approaches that we have taken.

“Obviously today, people have a legitimate right to protest whatever they think they need to protest; we have no issue with that. Where I have a severe concern, is that some of these protests are not based within fact, and the allegation has been made that we have not been collaborative in our approach; I fundamentally disagree with that.”

“We had a very open and collaborative approach in respect to all the work permit policy reform we made. We made it very well-known to the community in terms of what we have done and achieved with immigration law to increase penalties for employers that breach immigration policy and law, and the same with employees.

“We increased the penalties. It is this government that has put in place a national training plan to see opportunities for our Bermudians.

“It is this Government that is going to be bringing $930 million in inward investment to make sure that we have opportunities for Bermudians in terms of tourism jobs and construction jobs,” added Minister Fahy, who also spoke on the topic during the Motion to Adjourn, saying that protests should be done in a “respectful manner.”

Last night’s protest followed after the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Act Amendment Bill was tabled in the Senate, which lowers the minimum ARV from $177k to $153k for house purchases for non Bermudians and non PRC holders, permits PRC holders to p‎urchase homes or condos of any ARV and removes parish restrictions on acreage ‎held by non Bermudians while keeping the cap island wide of 2500 acres.

Walton Brown Addresses Crowd At Senate Chambers

Crowds Sing At Senate Chambers

Walton Brown Before Crowd Enters Senate Chambers

Walton Brown After Crowd Leaves Senate Chambers

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Comments (46)

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  1. Thank goodness!
    I take this opportunity to extend my appreciation to all who’d supported the Immigration Policies which may I say, had been introduced some years back by the former Bermuda Government, that’s correct the Progressive Labour Party so why so much noise? Envy and jealousy and nothing else…

  2. Mockingjay says:

    We shall not be moved.

    • C James says:

      Yeah Mockingay – stay still – that’s a great plan.

      The simple act of moving might imply that you are doing something useful.

      • Black Soil says:

        I bet not ONE of those “protestors” even read the Bill. They just want to bully the OBA. The irony is that the people are only seeing why they should NOT vote PLP.

  3. Coffee says:

    I’m sorry but , it is time for the some Bermudians to stop protesting and raising awareness to the failed immigration policies of the OBA . Let it happen . At some point , of course when it’s to late , the other community will start to feel resentful . Especially when the PRC ‘s who once rented their homes start to buy their homes !
    Some Bermudians only understand money !

    • What policies? says:

      What failed policies are you referring to? Term limits? Oooops … those were implemented by the PLP and only succeeded in moving jobs off island?

  4. swing voter says:

    Well done Mrs. Bassett.

  5. Truth Hurts says:

    Do these people not realize that a healthier real estate market and more people to fill their homes is of benefit to them?

    This particular class of Bermudians seems intent on destroying their own wealth and island.

    • Sickofantz says:

      I thought that this was about work permits and Jobs? With regard to enlarging the property stock that PRC’s can buy, I think that’s a good idea in principle. But I am unconvinced how this policy will benefit the less well off?

    • Charlly X says:

      Lol these people that class them those ? The tale of TWO BERMUDA’S !
      I’m Not them , those or these ! I’m Bermudian!

  6. Bermyman says:

    So much confusion, so much misinformation spread via PLP propaganda channels. The Xenophobes have been riled, the intention has nothing to do with the people and everything to do with the PLP’s agenda of disruption and emotion.

    If these people were actually concerned with ‘immigration reform’, then why do we see signs saying. ‘OBA must be Removed’! What does that have to do with the subject? the answer is nothing, it is a shroud that the PLP use to cloak their coup for power.

    Likewise, what does the development of the Airport have to do with ‘Immigration Reform’, the answer is nothing again! This project could provide many jobs and economic opportunities to bermuda at a time she needs it most.

    The PLP don’t want new jobs for Bermuda.

    The PLP don’t want the Government to wrestle our finances under control.

    The PLP don’t want things to improve, they want failure so they can try to seize control through any means.

    The infamous person with the signs says it all! These people are deluded and delinquent.

    • WhistleBlower says:

      The OBA must be removed! What does this have to do with the subject?
      1. It is their policy people are protesting!
      2. The OBA has done very little to support and promote the lives of the PEOPLE of Bermuda!
      3. 1,000′s of returning qualified students are being looked over for jobs while guest workers are having permits renewed!!
      4. 1,000′s of Bermudians have lost jobs and homes are now living off Financial Assistance!!
      5. This Government cannot afford to maintain Financial Assistance for another 3-5 years.
      6. They have yet to place measures with the banking sector to assist with Bermudians who have lost/are losing homes and businesses!
      7. The Immigration Department needs an overhaul to better process and investigate claims – fair and bogus!

      • Onion says:

        What policy? The OBA has only slightly changed the prior policy of the PLP.

        There’s not a single specific complaint that the PLP seem to have.

        • Regina says:

          You are absolutely correct – they have no specific complaints. They are just hell bent on not having the OBA as their government no matter what good they bring to the island. These people have no clue. They only see that their beloved PLP is not in the driving seat. Why do you keep trying to destroy Bermuda? Let the OBA do the job that the PLP could not do.

      • C James says:

        Your whistle obviously takes hot air only.

      • Lois Frederick says:

        Ask yourself why the OBA are having to make these decisions. To stimulate a very depressed economy, that they did not create. They are fixing it for all of us, but some will never understand that until it is fixed maybe. Does $930 million inward investment mean anything to you? It will when you see the effect on our economy over the next few years. Remember when the Bank of Bermuda sold out to HSBC? That put $1billion into Bermuda’s economy in the same way back in 2005/6. It will have a similar effect this time except this time we actually need the stimulus, back then it overheated the economy. No chance of that this time, we need everything we can get after 6/7 years of negative growth.

      • SMH says:

        …and how do you think we all got here. How did driving 5000 people out of Bermuda work out for us? Regards to Financial Assistance, the $5M cut that had to be made in lieu of furlough days because the unions didn’t want to lose their disproportionate benefits packages, that’s what we can’t afford to maintain. Wow..I’ve got a bridge to sell you

        • TonyC says:

          Send it to structures – they can’t afford one of their own.

      • serengeti says:

        So why doesn’t the PLP insist that people who aren’t indigenous Bermudians resign as MP’s. Let’s say that anyone who’s grandparents weren’t all born here can’t be an MP.
        How does that sound? Run it by Lister, Scott, Horton, etc.

        • It’s a fact!
          “When two opposite points of view are expressed with equal intensity, the truth does not necessarily lie exactly halfway between them. It is possible for one side to be simply wrong.” -Richard Dawkins, biologist and author (b. 26 Mar 1941)

      • Bermyman says:

        @Whistleblower: How do you suggest the Government magically create jobs for Bermudians if they do not have the money and the means to do so? You have to change your mentality from the idea that the Government is the provider of all things for the people. The Government’s role is to govern and facilitate not to legislate people into prosperity. Some may argue that the most prosperous times for all were seen some 10 years ago under the PLP Government but the cracks were forming at the seams of an over inflating economy that had in fact legislated people into wealth without the means to do so. The fallout from this poorly thought out scheme has a lot to do with why 1,000′s of Bermudians are unemployed. These people are unemployed because there is not enough economic activity, generated almost entirely from foreigners. You can harp on about putting Bermudians first, but the fact of the matter is that there is no where to put them!? You harp on about the banks, the banks are up to their eyeballs in foreclosures and bad debt, by enabling foreigners to purchase homes it stimulates the housing market which in turn means bank lend and Bermudians can sell properties they need to sell. The economic principles are so basic, yet the logic from those like yourselves is so tainted. You cannot understand how your bread was buttered or how it has always been buttered. A few 100 people making noise does not constitute democratic movement it is just disruption and that is it. To publicly state that your aim is to remove a democratically elected government on the other hand reeks of of political coup with the aim of destabilizing the country and that is worst thing that could happen.

        • Noncents says:


          Very well said.

          Sadly it will land on deaf ears- they don’t understand BASIC economic principles.

      • Sickofantz says:

        I agree with Onion below please tell us what policy you are protesting?

        The reason their are less jobs and less money for financial assistance is because the PLP spent so much money they created a huge debt which needs servicing.

      • Northshore says:

        For real WB`R, ALL 7 ITEMS ARE THE FAILURE OF YOUR PLP,, PERIOD ! What an awesome short memory you have , don`t you remember 1998 to 2012???????????????

        • Here is a thought for today…It’s a fact!
          “When two opposite points of view are expressed with equal intensity, the truth does not necessarily lie exactly halfway between them. It is possible for one side to be simply wrong.” -Richard Dawkins, biologist and author (b. 26 Mar 1941)

  7. This is serious business and we can’t allow the scare-mongrel techniques to continue…There are Laws and the Government / authorities must put their proverbial foot down a.s.a.p. to avoid, (God forbids)up-rising of the few people i.e. riots!

    “A mob enters the hallowed grounds of the senate of Bermuda and the senators have to run and take cover via a side door. Escorted by the police. Have we seen the the end to democracy now…What next?”

  8. Ann says:

    Bermuda is on it’s way to bankruptcy because of the PLP, how can we continue to listen to them stall every positive measure that the OBA is doing to try create. DO THEY not understand that there is no money tree. The OBA has a very creditable presence, that can obtain business, whom in this day and age would do business with anyone in the PLP, they are a joke to people!

  9. enough says:

    Remember he siad he would bring Bermuda to it’s knees, well he is still at work whether you want to believe it or not. Adny we all know who “He” is

  10. jim says:

    How does one organize a march/protest on such short notice?
    How do ‘the people’ get together so quickly to gather and have their voices and opinions heard?
    They don’t.
    These so called protesters are much more likely to be die-hard PLP supporters who simply received a ‘phone call telling them to show up and protest!
    We are not witnessing the will of the people.
    The will of the people put the OBA in power.
    The will of the people will either return them to power, or kick them to the curb come the next election.
    We are witnessing the will of a disgruntled PLP, backed up by PLP stalwarts who are simply doing what they are told.
    I support the peoples right to protest, but that right is being abused by what appears to be a group of ‘professional’ protesters.

  11. jt says:

    Walton, it was not the presence of the protesters that shut down the Senate for two hours. It was their behaviour.

    Walton, how did the independent Senators vote and what comments did they have on the policy?

  12. Truthhertz says:

    Keep going OBA.

    These protesters will always hate you no matter what.

    Only people of limited understanding would promote isolationist tactics in a globalized world.

    Bermuda is no longer another world where people want to flock because of our pink sand and friendly nature. Well at least one still remains.

    Our competitors know that and have taken advantage of our unwillingness to adapt to the times.

    Very strange that people want to carry on with the status-quo, despite all of your issues for doing so.

  13. Future Alliance says:

    I am curious, the contributors to Bermuda (i.e. PRCs, LTRS etc etc) who Minister Fahey last night in his address said “Contributed to and Love Bermuda” will all 4,000 come out and support Bermuda at the next football game at the national stadium, if only because the $5 admittance to the game is cheaper than the $7,500+ in legal fees being paid to gain Bermuda Status to these Somers Isles we all Love so much

    • Double D says:

      Tickets are actually $30.

      • Islander says:

        don’t forget parking fee $10 and then you have the food to buy from Buzz which isn’t cheap

    • jt says:

      I agree. $5 would have been a better fee for status.

    • ..... says:

      @Future Alliance

      How does showing up to a football game prove anything? I’m 4th generation Bermudian born and raised. I don’t care for football. Does that mean I’m not Patriotic? SMH

    • Well then says:

      Are all 50,000 bermudians going to come? Your point is SO irrelevant and stupid that it hurt me to read. Please, don’t be so pathetic.

  14. Chingas says:

    LOL…They were yelling “we shall not be moved” and they end up heading home by 930. FAIL….GET REAL

  15. longbay trading says:

    PLP rent a crowd. Same faces different so called protest. PLP @ its best. BANKRUPT THE COUNTRY THEN KEEP BLOCKING ANY and every chance of recovery.
    Do these dear folk even know WHY they are there?
    Every single time the same rent a crowd PLP die hards play follow the leader without even thinking is yet once more clear evidence of PLP/BIU/PC true agenda. DESTROY. DIVIDE. GET BACK POWER AT ANY COST.
    Shame shame. Shame PLP.

  16. swing voter says:

    Rules don’t matter. Using a bull-horn and singing may be okay in the streets, but disrespecting the Senate Proceedings and shouting at the President is just plain wrong

    • Regina says:

      Yea, but this is the intelligence level of the people that we are dealing with.

  17. aceboy says:

    Totally ridiculous.

    The PLP has gone from the People Love to Party to the People Love to Protest.

  18. Ian says:

    I swear the OBA is well on track to building a Bermuda that is just as divided as it was in the 60′s.

  19. Gorgam says:

    Did Wayne Furbert say to anyone, “Do you know who I am?”

  20. Rasta says:

    lets get those status applications processed, those PRC holders deserve a say for what they contribute.

  21. Charlly X says:

    Where were the UBP When you needed them ? Instead they took their marbles n ran ! The PLP had to device you n the OBA had to blame it on some other party ! Insanity Unsanitary Political Tricks . . Let’s not recognize our mistakes , not recognize our own home grown . Every time we have a problem look overseas for a solution instead of going over the data we’ve already collected on our own problems ! Insane but Bermuda smh ! Then act like crabs of different colors all in d same bucket ! Themtthosetheythesethat all in 21sq miles !