Demonstrations “Not Permitted” In Chambers

February 19, 2016

[Updated] In the House of Assembly today [Feb 19], Speaker of the House Randy Horton spoke regarding the protest chants from the public gallery in the House last Friday, noting that demonstrations in the Chambers are not permitted, and “any member of the public who willfully disturbs the House of Legislature while in session commits an offense” which is “punishable by the courts.”

The protest in the House last week followed after the Government announced they plan to amend the law, with changes to include any person who is ordinarily resident in Bermuda for 15 years becoming eligible to apply for permanent residency, and any permanent resident who is ordinarily resident in Bermuda for 20 years becoming eligible to apply for Bermudian status.

Brief audio of the “no” chanting in the House last Friday:

Speaking in the House today, the Speaker said, “While I know Members know this, inside these Chambers, demonstrations of any sort are not permitted.

“Our rules are clear on this, as well as the governing legislation of the Parliament Act 1957, which provides that any member of the public who willfully disturbs the House of Legislature while in session commits an offense against that Act which is punishable by the courts.

“Secondly, members of the public shall also be assured that I have spoken with the police, who are responsible for the security here at the House of Assembly, to ensure that there is better control.”

Audio of Speaker Randy Horton speaking about the matter today in the House

“And finally, and most importantly, I take this opportunity to put the public on notice that any attempt at future disruptions inside the House of Assembly will not be tolerated,” added the Speaker.

“These chambers are the place for debate and not of the demonstrations. The place for demonstration is – as it always has been – outside our building and these Chambers.”

Update: The full Statement to the House of Assembly follows below [PDF here]:

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Comments (58)

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  1. Triangle Drifter says:

    The House has reached a new low in decorum when The Speaker has to warn the public gallery to behave itself. It is like warnng a visiting nursery school class.

    • ReaLLyBettty says:

      The People will Stand and will do what they must….

      The HOA belongs to the people. ….I understand Horton has to follow and hold the line like a good Speaker. …

      The People have the Power….

      • jt says:

        Standing strong. Yeah. We know.

      • Unbelievable says:

        Oh please Beatty…..where was your demonstrating when your party was running up the debt? Hoping it would all work out?

        • aceboy says:

          Running along behind hoping to peck up a crumb or two.

        • mixitup says:

          I think you have to differentiate ….is it the OBA running up Debt? or Was it the PLP??

          • Zevon says:

            The increase in debt has been reducing. Under Paula it increased by 8x in four years. The PLP was a disaster.

          • Navin Pooty Tang Johnson says:

            any debt run up by the OBA is to pay the excess public servants that the PLP hired in their quest for votes and now the OBA is not permitted to do the right thing by getting rid of the slackers…

        • mj says:

          its unbelievable how memory is selective, there were many demonstrations during PLP reign and lots of objections to overspending, however oba is outdoing the plp in spending and ignoring the voting public..They are not deserving of any respect. The members are not up to date on their individual portfolios and are not communicating effectively with the public.Regardless of the past governments failure, this present government leaves a lot to be desired and I cannot see them making it any further, one hit wonder is all they are! Empty promises, overspending, looking out for outsiders,.This is beyond ridiculous and the blind will never see if they are stuck on stupid. Politics has lost its zeal, appeal and delivery. Time to take a stand and show people POWER!

          • mixitup says:

            Oh they don’t want to hear that MJ… But this OBA party will be eliminated in the next election and I hope to never see them again…. My stomach turns thinking of another 4 years of them at the helm…

            • Toodle-oo says:

              And what or who would you like instead ? The same people who got us into this mess who have no idea how to get us out while at the same time chasing away foreign investment ?

              What do you suggest ? Who would you like , because it would have to be a totally new political party made up of geniuses who you would no doubt hate anyway simply because they aren’t the plp .

      • Hair says:

        Do the people know the law, guess NOT!!!!

      • Peggy Burns says:

        ReaLLyBettty, you can tell in which gallery the 65 Dislikers squat. As a matter of fact, it is always clear who the staunch Dislikers are. Oops! I almost called them out. They know who they are and we know who they are. Tsnondfmetptoasgnx ivbncrsdenf\

        • Zevon says:

          Still making those racist signs? Or has the politbureau told you to cool it?

        • Tolerate says:

          I think for starter you have to come to terms with the idea that NOT everyone who speaks towards the PLP are in any particular gallery.
          It’s OK to have your own opinion without being categorized in any way.
          If today I disagree with the new Airport deal; but tomorrow agree with the new Immigration changes, where do I squat?
          We are still allowed to have our own opinions and thoughts right?
          After all; as I am constantly reminded, it was thanks to the hard work and sacrifices of our past freedom fighters that afford me that.
          Are we now living in a society in which the new oppressors are our own people, and we have to fall in line like sheep or be labeled surrogates or house ******.
          WE talk about the way a certain race treats us; but we do a good job of doing it to ourselves.
          IMO (while I’m still allowed to have one)

          • Onion juice says:

            Its always been like that, every generation since Freedom Fighters were fighting for the People,Surrogates and House ******* were being used.
            Damn even Jesus had one.

            • Daylilly says:

              Wow.. What language!

            • Tolerate says:

              Kind of glad you responded (if indeed you actually did to my above comments) as these vile words actually came from your earlier comments on another topic. It’s always the same with you. If a blogger does not see things 100% how you do; you regress to the above language.
              It’s always been like that you say? So I guess we don’t strive to be better; but instead use mistakes of the past to justify out disgusting actions today?
              Carry on….

      • Terry says:


      • Its me again says:

        I guess those who disliked this must not believe the power to be with the people.

    • Onion juice says:

      Well said Mr. Sell Out… I mean Speaker.

  2. It is vibrant and diverse…

  3. That is absolutely correct, the only ones that can act like children and throw tantrums in the house, is the politicians when they can’t have their way. Overall they can’t stop us when the time comes, to stand on the outside of the building in numbers and chant the house down!

  4. Raymond Ray says:

    Speaker of the House, Mr. Randy Horton Sir, I take this time to thank you for, “placing all cards face up” and informing everyone there are consequences…

  5. Sara Sargasso says:

    T’would be nice if demonstrators were not allowed to disrupt and shut down public information meetings either.

  6. mmm says:

    I have witnessed parliamentarians verbally abused each other terribly and handle the people,s business with indifference, and now some politicians are up-set that some members of the public wish to voice their displeasure. There are two rights that under a microscope .. freedom to speak, and freedom to assemble, there are other rights that we have as well. We just have to balance it with reasonable respect for others.

  7. Trisha says:

    Fair enough but Bermudians have still the right to go against any wrong decision the government does. It is a free speech country.

  8. bluwater says:

    Wow,Walton sure knew where to recruit these twenty drama queens to get him in the media….

  9. Need Peace says:

    Why does everyone have a selective memory??? This action is a result of the fiasco last year in the HOA! Me. Horton you ALLOWED the OBA to vote on this same Immigration Policy without debate then you, after being told by Mr. David Burt that you were not following House Rules, had Mr. Burt tossed out of the HOA with the rest of the PLP leaving as well. You later apologized, stating that you erred. The action was not retracted! Somehow I find that wrong on so many levels!!

    It has been made very clear from the HUGELY ATTENDED MARCHES LAST YEAR THAT THE MAJORITY WANTS COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM!!! The people have spoken!! Failure to heed will further add to the degradation leveled by the government! This novice government think they have all the answers but only APPEAR to be a bunch of gangsters They have been wrong on a number of issues, what makes this one different? Mr. Horton, this issue SHOULD HAVE BEEN DEBATED IN THE HOUSE LAST YEAR!! Your inexplicable action has inflamed this very serious issue facing all Bermudians! I hope you are proud of yourself! Smh!

  10. Need Peace says:

    To set the record straight AGAIN, I attended this last meeting and am happy to report that majority of the attendees were in favor of this action!! The People have no other recourse and are being bullied by this government!! SOLUTION: Debate this issue in the HOA, like it should have been from the beginning! Members of the OBA would do better to vote with their conscience and not their Party because their constituents will be watching!

    This interruption of this meeting is a win for democracy and sends a message to both sides, the government and opposition, that the People will no longer tolerate policies that will not benefit them!

  11. some beach says:

    Have them arrested nextime…show some hootspa…

  12. Takbir Karriem Sharrieff says:

    Rules are rules,Proper procedures,are proper procedures.If there are meetings called for legitimate business and rules are broken or proper procedures are not respected, then consequences are applied.Just come into one of our Board Meetings at Masjid Muhammad that I am attending as a member ,then act up,and watch your own backsides sliding out the gate down the hill into the street with my boot behind it.Guaranteed.Peace.

  13. G Be ready!! says:

    You all sound so hateful and mean .
    What happened to BERMUDA.

  14. Good Guy says:

    Full Definition of democracy. plural de·moc·ra·cies. 1 a : government by the people; especially : rule of the majority b : a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections.

    Full Definition of dictatorship. 1 : the office of dictator. 2 : autocratic rule, control, or leadership. 3 a : a form of government in which absolute power is concentrated in a dictator or a small clique b : a government organization or group in which absolute power is so concentrated c : a despotic state.

    By definition we clearly we have a Dictatorship Government at this point.

    • planeasday says:

      I would have to agree based on empirical evidence…this, and the past administration have been mostly dictatorial according to the above definitions…

      The problem is we were foolish to think we ever had a democracy in the first place – the last thing the establishment wants is a democracy – even the founding fathers of what was once the great “These United States of America” recognized the superiority of a “Constitutional Republic” versus the mob rule a “free Democracy” can quickly degenerate into…

      My favorite definition of Democracy is “two wolves and a sheep voting on what is for dinner…”

      Please do not mistake my words for an endorsement of a dictatorship however…

    • Mr Sparkle says:

      Oh please …. stop the drama

      There is protesting and than there is political incitement which is what this childish behavior is.

      I suggest the police either start arresting people that cannot behave in the public square or set up “free speech” zones “around the corner” like they do in the USA.

    • Bluwater says:

      OMG. You don’t even understand your own quotation!

      The Government was ELECTED by the PEOPLE. 20 bullies are not the people.

    • Zevon says:

      No. By definition you are an idiot.

  15. Bermyman says:

    In reality, the closest thing we have had to a dictator was Dr.B. There really is no disputing that!

    If we do in fact live in a dictatorship then why did we just have a by-election? Why do we currently have voting in the house with elected members?

    I think you may not understand the meaning of the definition, which is undertandible as you had to post it on here in the first place in order to garner a basic understanding for yourself. Most do not need to quote the dictionary when making arguments based on political science.

    What can be said is that the Plp leader is closer to Donald Trump in terms of his ideology and his party of followers closer to the Republicans in their ideals, especially when it comes to immigration.

  16. some beach says:

    Hatefull and mean is what people are when being possessive to what is a share and meant for all item…see covet…

  17. some beach says:

    We used to welcome our guests… All I require is that they have something to offer and are of good nature…if you are child molester,rapist or thief or racist you should be deported to country of origin regardless of spous or child!

  18. Foreign worker says:

    Less than 0.003% of the people in Bermuda demonstrating is not the ‘voice of the people’ and should in no way alter what the government decides to do. It is obviously not that big of a deal if this is the only amount that are openly against this potential amendment to the law.

    And for this 0.003%, I would remind you that you are being very selfish indeed. For you have the right to own a British Passport which then allows you to relocate to Britain and receive free handouts including a house, cash, health insurance and other benefits.

    Whereas before even being allowed to apply for a Bermuda work permit I had to attend a technical college for 3 years to earn a qualification, and then earn 5 years experience in my field of work, then produce a clean police record and an x-ray confirming that I did not have ‘TB’.

    Once I was ‘given permission’ to ‘work’ in Bermuda I then provided professional and efficient service to the people in Bermuda, and also teaching and guidance to Bermudians that I work alongside who have not received the level of training and experience that I have. I did this whilst being uncertain about my own future here not knowing when my next ‘work permit renewal’ would be denied.

    I could not ‘purchase’ property let alone ask for it for free, I receive no ‘cash’ handouts and have to work for my health insurance. Meanwhile I have to endure hearing about demonstrations telling me that I should not have the same rights as the people that I live, work and socialise alongside.

    Very selfish indeed, but at least it is only 0.003% of you, the rest are cool ;)

  19. ALVIN WILLIAMS says:

    Holding a work permit in a country does not give you the right to hold a privilege over and above the native people in that country; not in America; not in Canada and not in Britain whose recent hard demands of the EU as a prerequisite for it’s continue membership on the periphery of the European community including stringent rules before non-British citizens can enjoy the benefits of the British social system; would appear that Britain is turning off the tap in regard to who can take advantage of social benefits in Britain.

  20. Bluwater says:

    You’re just a guy who isn’t happy unless he’s got a beef with someone. IF you’re not getting something out of this, it can’t happen.

    You really shouldn’t talk about Canada and the US, because you also obviously have no clue what the laws are there.

    You know why young people are leaving Bermuda? Because they want to. They want to get away from codgers like you that can’t get with a diverse, inclusive society.

  21. Need Peace says:

    @Foreign Worker,

    If you think it’s only 0.003% of demonstrators, you perhaps missed the marches last year on this same issue!

    You actually sound jealous that Bermudians have the ability to hold British Passports!! I am a fourth generation BERMUDIAN who DOES NOT DESIRE TO LIVE ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD!! Who are you to make such a statement!!! You HAD TO do this and do that to obtain a work permit??? So you can what.???? Show just how privileged you think you are to basically state that you have a RIGHT to be here???? Suggesting that we can go live somewhere else!! The content of your comment clearly indicates why we need Comprehemsive Immigration Reform!!! Can you go into someone’s house and because you love this house, suggest the owners move cause they can find a better house cause you keep their yard immaculate and get paid handsomely for doing it, then somehow demand that it should be yours??? You my friend are delusional on all points!!!! 0.003%? you wish!!!

  22. some beach says:

    That was pretty rude ennit?