CURB Dismayed & Shocked By Events On Friday

December 7, 2016

Saying they are “dismayed by the events that occurred on Friday” and “shocked that orders were given to deploy the riot police against non-violent, unarmed individuals,” CURB said the use of the ”riot squad, force, and pepper spray” has “taken this far beyond the airport project and escalated the tension in our society.”

CURB said, “Social justice and the constitutional right to protest go hand in hand. It is likely people will protest again at the House of Assembly on Friday.

“Many who choose to protest will now do so for other reasons than the airport project, and will be demonstrating against the use of force against non-violent, unarmed protestors.

“There is a difference between law and justice; law being the body of rules that govern society, while justice is a standard of morality that determines what is right and what is wrong.”

CURB Bermuda December 7 2016 TC

“We are on the brink and we must be willing to listen to each other,” CURB continued. “The focus must now be on a resolution to the increasing tensions. There can be a resolution but it takes people stepping back from their current stances, listening to each other, and finding a middle ground.”

CURB recommended the “postponement of the current airport legislation due to be put before the House on Friday,a mediated resolution to the current impasse, the promise of a full and proper investigation of social conditions in Bermuda, and a full and independent investigation into the pepper spraying incident.

The group also recommended the “immediate publication of all police protocol/guidelines with regard to the use of riot police, force and/or weapons on unarmed people.”

The full statement from CURB is below:

CURB is dismayed by the events that occurred Friday 2 December and are shocked that orders were given to deploy the riot police against non-violent, unarmed individuals.

We further deplore the indiscriminate use of pepper spray, the first time in our history against demonstrators, which was a violation of their right to protest and showed both disrespect and contempt towards Bermudians demonstrating. We express our support for all those injured, and wish them a speedy recovery from both their physical and emotional trauma.

Pepper Spray

BPS protocols refer to pepper spray and other such weapons, as officer safety equipment, and that it is only used when there is an immediate and serious risk to the safety of police or members of the public.

The officers who used pepper spray were above the crowd, protected inside the walls of the House of Assembly; many of the people sprayed had their backs to them and were trapped between the gates and the oncoming riot squad. People had nowhere to go.

There are many arguments against the use of pepper spray:

  • 1. The danger to life by the use of pepper spray is well documented;
  • 2. It sets a dangerous precedence for future abuses;
  • 3. It escalates the tensions of the protestors/community;
  • 4. Bystanders are often hit, as demonstrated on Dec 2;
  • 5. It is 6 x more powerful/painful than the hottest pepper you can find on the market.
  • 6. The more oppressive the force used, the more resistance there will be;
  • 7. It violates people’s constitutional rights to assembly and free speech;
  • 8. The use of force/pepper spray is a quick fix, and denotes lazy police work. Other tactics could have been used;
  • 9. The use of force doesn’t deter people, instead it solidifies their cause or opinion, counter-productive to the BPS’s long term goals;
  • 10. Society’s normalization of the use of force/pepper spray, means we are modelling behavior to others, i.e. violence begets violence.

The photo of the two police officers using pepper spray against non-violent, unarmed individuals, many of whom were women and elderly, is a day that will not be forgotten for it has traumatized our society.

History has shown that unjust laws and actions by governments result in people breaking the law seeking change. Slavery was legal. The Pass Laws in South Africa was a part of a legal system known as Apartheid. The Jim Crow Laws and Segregation in Bermuda were legal. Nelson Mandala, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King all engaged in illegal protests and went to jail as a result.

The Progressive Group went underground to avoid being arrested. Reverend Kingsley Tweed, a member of the Progressive Group, received death threats and fled Bermuda. All were protesting against unjust actions of governments.

Thomas Jefferson, making a statement in the Declaration of Independence wrote: “whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it…”. Nelson Mandela went even further, “It is an ideal for which I hope to live for and to see realised. But, My Lord, if it needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

It is the people’s democratic right to object to, and protest against, any law which they feel is detrimental to them. CURB believes if the government had listened from the beginning, if democracy and transparency had taken place at every juncture, there would have been no need for people to engage in civil disobedience.

Sadly the use of the riot squad, force, and pepper spray, the threats of taser use and the carrying of batons, has taken this far beyond the airport project and escalated the tension in our society.

From social media it is obvious that many in the community, both black and white, are horrified, pained, dismayed and angered. We urge those who decide to continue to protest to do so peacefully. We urge the police to show the restraint they displayed during the protests in March 2016.

Social justice and the constitutional right to protest go hand in hand. It is likely people will protest again at the House of Assembly on Friday. Many who choose to protest will now do so for other reasons than the airport project, and will be demonstrating against the use of force against non-violent, unarmed protestors.

There is a difference between law and justice; law being the body of rules that govern society, while justice is a standard of morality that determines what is right and what is wrong. Those who protest are looking for justice, they believe they have a moral responsibility to protest because their viewpoints have not been listened to or taken into consideration and they believe they are being marginalized.

We are on the brink and we must be willing to listen to each other. The focus must now be on a resolution to the increasing tensions.

There can be a resolution but it takes people stepping back from their current stances, listening to each other, and finding a middle ground. Steps must be taken by those in power to respond to the voices of the protestors.

To that end CURB recommends

  • Postponement of the current airport legislation due to be put before the House on Friday;
  • A mediated resolution to the current impasse;
  • The promise of a full and proper investigation of social conditions in Bermuda;
  • A full and independent investigation into the pepper spraying incident;
  • Immediate publication of all police protocol/guidelines with regard to the use of riot police, force and/or weapons on unarmed people

click here Bermuda protest on Dec 2nd

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Comments (92)

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  1. Justin says:

    If you’re shocked now just wait till 2,000 people show up and surround the BIU building.

    • Mike PLP says:

      I would love to see you do that. Wear Justin OBA on you’re shirt and I’ll wear Mike PLP on mine so I know who to remove first.

      • Parlament(hicup)

        • wahoo says:

          I would “dislike” but I don’t understand what the F**k you are trying to say.

      • Jus' Wonderin' says:

        Big man behind his computer lmfao…

      • Starting Point says:

        But then you would be endorsing the police actions from Friday. In fact, unless you are a hypocrite, you would allow Justin OBA the right protest and to block access to the Union building.

        Which is it Mike PLP? are you a hypocrite or simply not smart enough to understand your own ignorant post?

    • RIP oba says:

      One thing that is true whenever a person or organization doesn’t support the ubp/oba they say the individuals have lost their credibility.

      This is pure whitewash now click Dislike clowns.

      • wahoo says:

        Wow you got 82 likes you must be right!

        • jt says:

          Wondering if anyone has ever had the pleasure of sitting through an LW and CR CURB presentation at their place of work?

  2. Yahoo says:

    Took you 5 days to draft that nonsense? Go back to sleep curb.

    • Sorry Sir says:

      I know…

      Postpone until when? The next election?
      Seems that’s PLP’s incentive these days. Stall, stall, stall!

    • Yahoo says:

      Looks like the Alaska Hall groupies have gotten out of bed and started disliking everything that doesn’t support the clowns protesting an airport deal they don’t even understand.

      • bdaboy says:

        They think they’re actually voting for something.

      • OBA Oponent says:

        It really hurts you girlz when you comments are disssed! Oh welll get over it girlies

  3. leftwingpolitics says:

    I love CURB. They are the only unbiased organization in Bermuda that only looks at facts.

    Thank you for your commitment to Bermuda.

    • what man says:

      Please please please tell me this is a sarcastic remark?

      • Riley says:

        Indeed, that’s why it took them a few days to respond.

        • the truth will set you free says:

          Riley: There are some people who do their research/due diligence unlike you.

          Better to Remain Silent and Be Thought a Fool than to Speak and Remove All Doubt

    • Yahoo says:

      Curb is a joke, and a bad one at that.

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      Fact like ‘non-violent, unarmed protestors’ when there is video of protestors assaulting police, even before the riot squad tried to wedge an entry into the HoA using non-aggressive tactics.

      Understand the tactic used by that team is considered non-agressive, in that they use momentum in a wedge formation to force apart such blockades, rather than an aggressive force, such as batons. Video also show that protestors who got aggressive with the police and struck out at them were warned before pepper spray was used. It was also not indiscriminate, but was targeted at those being aggressive. The trouble was, it was windy, and for multiple reasons, using pepper spray is not recommended for use in such conditions… one of those reasons being overspray being carried to others than the intended target.

  4. serengeti says:

    “1. The danger to life by the use of pepper spray is well documented”

    Pepper spray causes the eyes to water for about an hour. There is no ‘danger to life’ at all, whatsoever.

    It is a benign and nonlethal way of dispersing a mob.

    • bdaboy says:

      “The danger to life by the use of pepper spray is well documented”

      Quick, get the Tabasco sauce out of the supermarkets!

      • Someone can get pepperspray in their eyes, stumble and hit their head.

        • Raw Onion says:

          Then it would be the fall that killed them and not the spray.

          • Ringmaster says:

            @ OJ Much more likely they’ve had too much rum. Give us a break

    • Say Whaat? says:

      It gets into your respiratory system and that is a hard irritant to get out. Spoken like an uninformed person, OBA blogger.

      • DJO says:

        not lethal however dopey

      • Hmmm says:

        So why did you not protest when the PLP passed the legislation to permit use of it by the Police?

        • OBA Opponent says:

          Why did you and the rest of the clowns questioning others reasoning?????
          Oh I forgot cowards hiding behind a screen name!!!!

      • Zevon says:

        It is a temporary irritant. So where is the “danger to life” that is “well documented”? CURB are full of sheet aren’t they.

      • bdaboy says:

        “It gets into your respiratory system and that is a hard irritant to get out.”

        Then learn to behave yourself and you won’t get sprayed. Maybe the police should switch to tazers, would that be better for all you whiners who got hot sauce in the eye?

    • sage says:

      Why is it illegal then? If protesters use it on the uniformed mob, would it still be considered benign?

  5. Bermuda Police says:

    Again, if the police tell you to move because you’re invading people’s rights, what actions are the police to use to get the crowd to comply with the law?

    • sage says:

      Well a riot squad of 10 led by a 5 foot tall woman surely didn’t work and they pepper sprayed people who were trying to get onto parliament grounds at the Reid St. gate, NOT the ones who blocked the way in and also forced the riot squad to retreat lol. The over exaggerated outrage calling for martial law or Britain to take over is hilarious, one cop hit with an umbrella on his riot helmet, and David vs Goliath with a walking stick is an insurrection, politics really creates some idiots.

      • Build a Better Bermuda says:

        And a mob rule trying to prevent democratic debate isn’t any more idiotic, especially given that those inciting people to break the law and govern by mob rule, are those that are supposed to be the highest officers of democracy and are paid by the taxpayers to engage in debate.

  6. San George says:

    This is how people behave when they have nothing to lose. Who has more to lose? The elites sit by and watch the middle class being destroyed – there is no longer a middle. Parliamentarians facility the destruction to their personal benefit.

    Quo Fata Ferunt

    • Steve D says:

      Actually the middle class were all at work when this nonsense went on- in the private sector.

      Give people everything and then start taking things away, well that leads to toys getting thrown out of the pram. Just like we see here!

    • Onion says:

      No, that’s the PLP. They are doing incredible damage to Bermuda by organising protests AGAINST JOBS and AGAINST A GOOD DEAL.

  7. Warlord says:

    I was wondering how long it would take TURD to bring out an official statement.Usual pro bias BS .What do they actually represent

    • Hmmm says:

      They represent their sown personal agenda. When Curb started out they were good, now they are just trying to stay relevant, but failing miserably because they are no longer relevant. This protest has nothing to do with race.

  8. Steve says:

    Seriously! Break the law, no matter what color you are then the police are getting involved.

    A person was arrested at a football game in Manchester yesterday for throwing a hamburger at a police horse, beating people with umbrellas and ignoring police commands, pushing police back, grappling with them and blocking a road and an entrance to a public building are all illegal. On top of that it is illegal to block the legislative process. So how many laws do you want to break?

  9. Revelations says:

    CURB have lost so much credibility over the past year it’s literally impossible to hear anything they have to say.

  10. Paradise Reclaimed says:

    Uprooting racism here, are we? Pot stirring with blinders will help. Not constructive CURB. Sounds like pure Peoples Campaign dribble. What happened Friday was shameful, and started by law-breaking protesters blocking access. Blocking access to Parliament is not peaceful protest, it is obstruction of government. It all went to hell fast from there, and some got burny eyes and other minor injuries as a result. How untidy!

    • So why do we only see white people protest when P.L.P. were in Government?

      • Raw Onion says:

        I can answer that. Its becuase us black folk are afraid to go against the grain for fear of repercussions by people that look like us. Be black and stand up in a public arena against the PLP and you will set on by your own.

        • Ringmaster says:

          @ OJ, Total rubbish as usual. Name a demonstration during that time? The only one I remember was when the then Premier smuggled in 4 Uighurs overnight. Not only did the most of PLP Government show their disagreement, but many Bermudians of all shades took part. I do however agree with Raw Onion that blacks are afraid to protest because of the repercussions. The PLP cannot stand for a black Bermudian to have a mind of their own. Talk about fear and intimidation – the mafia can learn a lot from the PLP.

          • So we NEVER protested when P.L.P were in?
            Tic Toc

            • White people dont support P.L.P or Union because they are afraid to be kicked out of de undeserved white privileged club.

            • Ringmaster says:

              Did you read what you first said? Quote “So why do we only see white people protest when P.L.P. were in Government?”

  11. sandgrownan says:

    What a f****g joke. 5 days to come up with that?!

  12. Smartest Guy says:

    Aecon builds and runs the airport. What’s there to complain about? How much money is being earned from the currently?

  13. Wow says:

    I don’t understand why this is an issue. The POLICE told them to MOVE. They didn’t, not only did they not move someone swung an umbrella at a police officer. That’s ASSAULT on a cop! These lot were lucky it was only pepper spray. In any other country they would have been tackled to the ground and arrested. They were acting like children on a tantrum…can’t get what they want so they throw tantrums and act out. Those elderly people who were so called victimized shouldn’t have obstructed members of parliament from doing their democratic job and should have compiled with the order of the police force.

  14. Barnacle says:

    CURB is an irrelevant group of virtue signalers who chime in every now an then to make themselves feel relevant – Yawn fest.

    • Ben says:

      Sadly, racism is more relevant than ever now, and it’s all thanks to people like you.

      • Neb says:

        @ben, not sure how you can justify that comment. You have no idea who Barnacle is and you seem to be virtue signaling with your comment.. You are sad.

  15. hmmm says:

    How about you appeal to the protestors to not break the law and block the government and the sessions in the house.

    If they had not broken the law, then the spaying incident would never had happened.

    Why did they protest, because Burt mad a public appeal for people too.

    If Burt had not made a public appeal to protest then people would not have broken the law and the pepper spray incident would never have happened.

    So how about you chastise Burt.

    ps What a construction project that benefits all Bermudians has to do with racisim I don’t know. Perhaps you need to CURB your own divisive agenda CURB.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      Ouch ! Too much common sense and reality (fact) in that post.
      Wait ’till the paid/serial dislikers see it .
      Mark my words .

    • If O.B.A. tried not to pull a sneak move to push this Bill then we wouldnt have this, start wrong you end wrong.

      • Wow says:

        I’m sure you said the same when Brown snuck those Uighurs through in the middle of the night right?

      • See it coming says:

        Paying foreign owners of the hospital for the next 25 years is ok with you lot !

        How you lot going to handle losing the election?? Cause you will lose with the loser of a leader you got! !!!

        • Well you definately need a GOOD surrogate leader to get the brain damaged Black votes, cause stale milk wont work.

          • Ringmaster says:

            There you go again. “Brain damaged Black votes”. So black Bermudians who don’t vote PLP are brain damaged? The same name calling against black Bermudians who don’t comply with how they should think and vote. The continuing insults but with a different name. You need to sign up with CURB and perhaps they can help you.

      • iuj says:

        Point: The government is (sneakily!) trying to push through this sneaky Bill, maybe we could highlight this sneaky sneaking by the OBA and win over moderates

        Counterpoint: Street Theater

        • Hmmm says:

          No it is not , everyone in Bermuda is aware of it, only a few have made the effort to actually read it, and the ones who haven’t include the small group of law breaking people.

      • Build a Better Bermuda says:

        What sneak move, they announced it, they put out all information available that describes this deal, in more detail than any other before it, more than enough to say what the deal is and how it will impact us and AECON, gave everyone enough time to go through the new information and formulate any arguement for or against. And what did the PLP do with that time, spent it whining and moaning about it not being enough, while behind doors, collectively figuring out with their party extensions the PC, BIU, CURB, BTUC about how they can override reasoned debate with emotional exaggerations; all to prevent supporters from seeing through their faltering misinformation narrative in the face of this further release of information. Seems the only ones sneaking around are the PLP & co. as they see how they can use seniors as human shields for their failing narratives.

  16. Riley says:

    My little fly on the wall who I fitted with a microphone tells me there is a serious rift over at Alaska Hall about this whole thing, especially now that it has been usurped by yesterday’s man, Derek Burgess. I am a little disappointed that Mr. Burgess did not buy everybody (including the Police) lunch because I’m quite sure a man of his means could afford it. As for CURB, who cares?

  17. Noncents says:

    so you are telling me CURB share the same position as the BIU, PLP, BPSU and the People’s Campaign? I am shocked!

    All they care about is getting back the power they once had and ensuring that the OBA don’t succeed. Bermuda and her people be damned.

  18. JohnBoy says:

    Let’s just move on please. Next time follow instructions!

  19. Know it All says:

    CURB should be promoting the free right of the democraticly elected government to do the people’s work. Supporting an unlawful blockade that willingly disregarded police verbal outlines all morning will result in a use of force. That was definitely not a riot squad, they had protective equipment on just in addition to the vests that most officers wear. Not one shield, batons or other true riot gear involved. The use of pepper spray was far better than open hand techniques, which would have resulted in far greater injuries, so if anything, the use of pepper spray was a far more constrained approach.

    CURB, please grow up, step up and protect all rights. Everyone quickly relates everything to race, but when the facts of the day are stepped through, a very logical explanation of the escalation to the use of force is easily seen.

    1. Protesters willfully blocked members of parliament early in the morning, despite pleas by police to allow free passage. Non compliance.
    2. Senior officers warned the group about their breach of laws, including PLP MPs and Union Leaders, and rather than listening, started singing. Non compliance.
    3. As all verbal avenues were exhausted, use of force would have been deemed necessary (which is outlined in laws of Bermuda), which resulted in officers in protective gear trying to make a safe passage. However, the crowd did not disburse and obstructed the officers further. Non compliance.
    4. As the basic use of force was unsuccessful, additional use of force was required, resulting in pepper spray being deployed to gain compliance.
    5. Blockade leaders warmed their protestors before 12 to be prepared to go to jail today, and then show outrage about the police actions? They escalated the tensions knowing what would happen, to gain political leverage.

    • Ben says:

      “That was definitely not a riot squad, they had protective equipment on just in addition to the vests that most officers wear.”

      It was a riot squad. They were wearing riot gear. You are a liar contributing to a mountain of lies.

    • We the People (1st!!) says:

      Your points 1-5 do not justify the use of force or pepper spray by the police against peaceful protesters. Protesters were not violent. Period! The use of force and pepper spray against non-violent people gathered to protest is unjustifiable.

      Historically, before pepper spray was allowed to be used by the police and as protection for citizens in the US, it was used as a form of torture. Unfourtanely around the world, the police are quick to use pepper spray – not as a way to preserve peace, but a means to break up peaceful protesters.

      You say, “pepper spray was far better than open hand techniques,” whatever that means. According to the department of justice, pepper spray can lead to fatalities. Yup, dying is much better!

      They may have broken the law, which is debatable, but in no way did the protest warrant the riot squad and the use of pepper spray against peaceful protesters.

      I remember the occupy movement on wall-street, college campuses, and other government and private properties across America. These people pitched tents and tarps and took over the property and these people lived there for months. Their protest is far more extreme than a group of people blocking and therefore preventing a rogue government from entering the people’s house. Even though their OCCUPY was more extreme and broke many laws, and yes people were taken to jail, the cities in which the occupy movement was taking place, NEVER justified the use of pepper spray and force against peaceful people.

      There was a case in NY where a cop was caught on video pepper-spraying people. A lawsuit was filed against the officer. New York City said they would NOT defend the officer for the use of pepper spray against peaceful occupy protesters.

      On one of the college campuses where students were pepper sprayed, they won a lawsuit against the cops.

      You can argue that the law may have been broken. But there is no way you can justify the use of force against seniors and the use of pepper spray in this case. It is very concerning that you and others will try to list many reasons why the actions taken by the police against seniors and peaceful protesters is justifiable.

      I encourage those who were pepper sprayed to not only file a complaint against the police but if the law permits to also file a lawsuit against the city, government, or governor whoever is responsible for the police.

  20. Dismayed & Shocked says:

    That CURB only seems to have an announcemnt that is in line with political situations.

    Thre are alot of incidents that happen each day to people of all races/nationalities that don’t seem to get the ire of CURB.

    Makes you wonder…….

  21. Dismayed & Shocked says:

    that CURB only seems to have a position or gets exercised in respect of political situations.

    There are many incidents that happen each day to people of all races and nationalities here in Bemruda that CURB never seemsto notice.

    Makes you wonder……

  22. iuj says:

    “We want people to step back for a minute, listen to each other, and seek middle ground.”

    Haha just f*cking with you, let’s shut down Parliament

  23. Ringmaster says:

    Maybe CURB has forgotten that the “Riot Squad” and pepper spray were measures introduced in 2001 and 2006 during the PLP’s administration. What did the PLP intend their use to be? Who did the PLP expect to rise up and create the need for these measures. Now they have been used, by a predominately black police service against predominately black people, where is the racism? Friday had nothing to do with racism, or “white privilege”, merely a number of hot heads wanting confrontation unrelated to the airport deal. If you listen to tapes you can hear people shouting “don’t be afraid to be arrested”. So they knew what was going on was unlawful yet egged others on.

    CURB needs to butt out and concentrate on being CURB and not another part of the combined opposition.

  24. Rocky5 says:

    Many people thank that if PLP get back in David Burt would simply “wave his magic wand” and “EVERYTHING would be good again in Bermuda”! Debt – gone. New hotels – everywhere – jobs galore – tourists & new International businesses would come in droves through the old decrepit airport because they want hang out with “all us friendly Bermudians”. Pensions would be increased, wage increases & lower hours for all Govt. employees, lower rents & property prices, all the Govt. schools and would be in perfect mint condition, the gangs would disappear, no SSM, Independence from the UK, Bermuda’s football team would win World Cup, Almost everything is free if you are a born Bermudian! Then they wake from the nightmare and nothing is true except we still have the decrepit airport………

  25. wahoo says:

    How have CURB managed to come to any conclusion about what happened? Has the “investigation” been completed? Did I miss that? Who ordered the pepper spray? Were the police concerned for their personal safety? Who was coming with weapons and ammunition? Why were there small children there? Why was anyone there? Why don’t we get the AG to look at the BIU’s financial statement?


  26. Politricks says:

    Where was CURB during the illegal blockade of parliament in March when the protesters spat and cursed at white people while Chris Furbert had to condemn his own protestors for chasing away white school children from the ‘peaceful protest?’

    CURB is the furthest thing from anti-racist.

  27. Not Naive says:

    “Dismayed and Shocked” I would have thought that CURB would have been delighted. This was exactly what the PLP planned and hoped would happen. Block the entrance and deny lawful entry, provoke and assault the police, and then accuse the police of indiscriminate use of pepper spray. Takes the attention away from the COI>

  28. O.M.G says:

    As far as I am concerned CURB is a joke. I hope they don’t come on the street asking for donations. Won’t get a thing from me. Right now it’s all one side. It amazes me how on one side you people say we need to help our young black male from shooting each other and there you are at a peaceful demonstration lol telling the police we will bring our admonition next time. Out of the mouth of so call MPs. I think you lot really need to get your selfs sorted out. Your leader has taught you crime. Great job.

  29. Will says:

    Oh look curb has something to say on the matter, how cute.

  30. Kim Smith says:

    I would be interested in knowing what model CURB is following or what informs and inspires them to direct Bermuda in the healing of our racial divides.

  31. Triangle Drifter says:

    What does CURB have to do with airport redevelopment? Why is CURB even making comment?