Marshall: ‘Conscription Needed To Be Abolished’

July 2, 2018

“Conscription finally was abolished bringing to an end a system that had brought immense suffering to an innumerable amount of young men and their parents since 1965,” Larry Marshall Sr said.

Mr Marshall’s comments follow after the Defence Amendment Act 2018 — which seeks to abolish conscription — was passed in the House of Assembly recently, with the Regiment set to officially move into an  all-volunteer organisation.

Larry Marshall Sr — who has long campaigned against conscription with the ‘Bermudians Against the Draft’ group — said, “On June 22, 2018, conscription finally was abolished bringing to an end a system that had brought immense suffering to an innumerable amount of young men and their parents since 1965. The damage is literally incalculable.

“Yet there are those who instead of celebrating this historic victory for human rights inexplicably maintain support for that most unjust system.

“And it is indeed unjust as well as unfair primarily because the 1965 Defense Act allowed the Regiment to literally trample upon many fundamental human rights and individual freedoms. Actually seven in total which is quite astonishing when considering there are fifteen in total. So that is about half. Incredible!”

“This can be substantiated by looking at the relevant section of the Bermuda Constitution entitled ‘Protection of Fundamental Rights and Freedom of the Individual.’

:The articles violated are as follow:

  • 3] Protection from inhuman or degrading treatment
  • 4] Protection from slavery or forced labor
  • 8] Protection of freedom of conscience
  • 9] Protection of freedom of expression
  • 10] Protection of freedom of assembly and association
  • 11] Protection of freedom of movement
  • 12] Protection from discrimination on the grounds of race etc. [ Applicable if you were black ]

“The above is not an opinion but a factual analysis based on our Constitution graphically illustrating that conscription is wrong and why it needed to be abolished. The operative words are protection and freedom. Once the Government was allowed to violate these articles then both were lost and the inevitable result was abuse.

“Young men were then subjected to forced cheap labor under deplorable conditions in a most toxic environment,” Mr Marshall added.

“That is just wrong! And to contextualize just how wrong ask yourself what other institution would be allowed to treat its employees so deplorably. The answer of course is none.”

“So on June 22,2018, because of a long campaign launched by the Marshall family and Jamel Hardtman conscription finally came to an end. To God be the glory for the great things he hath done.“

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Comments (19)

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  1. Southampton says:

    Do you mean these poor little boys were beaten so that they would behave for the BIG BAD INSTRUCTORS?

    Get a life Marshall.

    There was no IMMENSE SUFFERING. If anything their experience in the Bermuda Regiment made them GROW UP TO BE MEN!

    • Paget says:

      Southampton. I appreciate that the regiment is supposed to be a character building experience and not a summer camp. Perhaps your experience there was a positive one. That’s good.
      My experience was okay and I did what I needed to , to just get thru it. I would even say that some needed the discipline that the regiment offered. However, for some the experience was a nightmare, if you were not liked by someone of a higher rank, for whatever reason you would endure suffering as described by Mr Marshall. At the same time if someone really “liked you” you could either play the game or suffer the consequences.

      I cant believe that nobody has come forward to publically speak about some of what took place there back in the day. Southampton, don’t discount the experiences and beliefs of some because you had it easier than others.

      • Zenji says:

        Exactly…..not to mention the sexual harassment, abuse and molestation. Bermuda has finally joined the rest of the world in abolishing such a violating and archaic practice!

  2. Karen says:

    Bye Bye Bermuda Regiment

    • PBanks says:

      As long as the recruitment drives are successful, or the Regiment adapts to the times, then it’ll remain in place. No fearmongering please.

    • Mike says:

      Good riddance.

  3. Kim Smith says:

    Probably the best result is that soon we will be able to see the impact… whereas prior to getting rid of conscription it was just conjecture.

  4. What? says:

    As as male that served his three years with disdain for the regiment I’m having a hard time figuring out wtf Marshall is going on about? The hardest part of regiment was having to do patrol rotations for a few weekends. A far cry from human rights issues he’s stating.

  5. Mm says:

    In this part of the world it is not likel y we will face actual combat however a number of small countries have wondered how they will have sufficient numbers to fight in any conflict. There are many pro and cons positions , and often times hum an rights are gonna be violated to win a war. In the context of peaceful times, we will have to do what we have to do with what we have. I must really applaud the Marshalls for opening up the matter, It has caused many to examine whether or not there are violations of one kind or the other happening at work , in the legislative halls, in financial institutions , nursing homes, etc etc so yes, we owe them at the very least a round of thanks for causing us look quite seriously at situations on the home front. Thanks.

  6. Larry Marshall says:

    ‘As as male that served his three years with disdain for the regiment I’m having a hard time figuring out wtf Marshall is going on about?’

    So you served with ‘disdain’ and don’t know what I’m talking about?

    • Kim Smith says:

      Might he be saying that the worst part of the Regiment was the way he was thinking about it… versus the reality of his experience?

  7. Southampton says:

    You people have no idea what it is like to serve in a military organization.
    I served 3 years with the United States Army from 1966 to 1969.
    I trained to fight in Vietnam.

    You guys have no idea what it is like to train to go into a war zone.

    • PBanks says:

      Are you suggesting that the Regiment needs to beef up into a full-time organization with enhanced war situation capacity?

  8. cpm says:

    Mr Marshall
    You got your way so why are you still complaining?
    How will you feel when we have disaster and have to beg others to help us?

  9. merc says:

    Lets see what he says if we have a bad storm or some form of unrest takes place and not enough support to stop the situation 22yrs of service and proud to have served my country you make it hard you suffer the consequences do rite thing and every things ok and to note tried to go full time after 77 riots and the then Government turned it down you need more research it ask that but you got your way as usaul

    • PBanks says:

      Hi merc, so what happened to dissuade the powers that be from making the Regiment full time? Did they try to increase the numbers from the conscription lottery?

      Was it a money thing?

    • Not Adding Up! says:

      They banned conscription, not the regiment.

  10. lets abolish school too! says:

    I fink we shood awl abowlish skool too! It ees sow inumain dat keeds dat don wont to be in de class room awl dae wif de teecha are subjacted to awl the discipline awl dae! I jus wan to sit on de wawl not contirbutin nofin to de island I cawl home jus like my beeg bra who don do noffin yousfull acept sit on de wawl since he got out of goin to de regiment.

    Lets see, my experience in the regiment was forced, but I saw it as giving back to my country for all the blessing I get from living here.

    I wonder how long before someone thinks that school is unduly hurtful for their little darling who would be more happy just not going. True, school is not for everyone, but some find life paths once out of school because of time in school. (Just like the Bermuda Regiment did for quite a few Bermudians in times gone by).

  11. craig says:

    Make it fulltime. I would join as soon as I could. if they provide bunks and food they can pay a lesser salary.