CedarBridge Students Hold ‘Politics & Pizza’

February 6, 2024 | 7 Comments

[Written by CedarBridge student Leeya Jeremy]

The issue of land grabbing has and continues to be a major concern in various jurisdictions and has negative consequences on land owners as some governments seem to manipulate the laws to acquire prime lands from the owners.

It is with this in mind that the Social Studies Department of CedarBridge Academy [CBA] in collaboration with the activist group, Citizens Uprooting Racism in Bermuda [CURB] met with students and teachers of CBA and Berkeley Institute on January 24, 2024 in a Round Table Discussion, dubbed “Pizza & Politics” to discuss the historical and current issue of imperialism and annexation.

This session’s topic was “Scramble for South America – Business Land Grabbing Parallels in Bermuda,” with the main point of discussion being the country of Guyana and its conflict with Venezuela, a bordering country.

The session’s presenters, Social Studies teacher, Ms Shimaine Furroze and members of the activist group, CURB, brought to life powerful discussions that focused on the issue at hand, ‘land grabbing’ and made parallels between Bermuda and Guyana to show the impact of such phenomenon on the defenseless and nation by extension.

In her deliberations, Ms. Shimane Furroze, focused on Venezuela’s claim to annex Guyana’s territory, more specifically the oil rich Essequibo region which borders Venezuela. The discovery of oil in Guyana was welcomed news as it has the potential of making a positive impact on the country’s economy and citizens. It was that discovery that propelled Venezuela’s sudden interest in the Essequibo region and its desire to claim that portion of Guyana.

Since then, Venezuela has publicly shown its “redrawn” map of South America, with two thirds of Guyanese territory going to them. In December 2023, Venezuela put out a referendum to observe the opinions of their people and 95% of those who participated supported Venezuela’s desire to annex the Essequibo region. The current feud between Guyana and Venezuela is synonymous to present-day David and Goliath.

The CURB presenters focused on the uprooting and relocation of Black Bermudian citizens from their homes in modern day “Tucker’s Town” to the Devil’s Hole area through a government special development order [SDO]. These residents were moved against their will in the name of economic prosperity for Bermuda yet, workers were recruited from overseas to work in Tucker’s Town.

Having listened to both scenarios from Guyana and Bermuda, students were allowed to share their perspective on land grabbing and its effects on citizens and the nation at large. An insightful and brilliant discussion on the history of this present day conundrum ensued, and allowed students to reach out and give their thoughts on the matter. Students were able to identify the impact such moves could have on culture, language, socioeconomic status, and socialization.

On the light side, Ms. Furroze serenaded those in attendance with a patriotic song from Guyana, “Not a Blade of Grass” by Dave Martin and the Tradewinds. Students physically present at CBA enjoyed several servings of pizza during the presentation.

Mr. Romel McDonald, Social Studies Instructional Leader has indicated that sessions like these will become a monthly event at CBA as students are provided with the opportunity to learn and discuss extra and intergovernmental politics of the world and its consequences on their lives. Overall, the Round Table discussion was a success and appreciated by the participants.

- Leeya Jeremy is a CedarBridge Academy student | Photos courtesy of Romel McDonald

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Comments (7)

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  1. Hmmm says:

    Not sure why Curb involved. Happens all over the world. When new motorways, highways, railroads, railway trails, airports, docks, bridges built and were resources to mine found.

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      This is 21st century Bermuda. These days there can be no discussion of politics without mentioning race.

    • Portia says:

      CURB is involved to indoctrinate the next generation with propaganda and untruths to further solidify Bermuda’s racial divide, that’s why. They should not be allowed near a classroom of impressionable youths.

  2. Dale Butler says:

    Not one student in that group has read the foundation for such behaviour which means the subject of Tuckers Town threw them into deep water. Second, had they been asked to sing one native song they would have just one . Bermuda is another world because bda music is ignored. No work there. To really prepare them, for such a subject, presented, they should read: Choir Number One and Choir Number 2 by the late Hiton Gray Hill M. P.who was a major producer as a travel agent pushing black tourism in the late 40s and 50s. Face the facts with a foundation for such studies and guest.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      Why is Tucker’s Town considered ‘the deep end’ ?
      How about all the land that was requisitioned from Bermudians for the naval bases , Dockyard -Boaz Island , Tudor Hill- Morgan’s Point , large swaths of Devonshire , St George’s and St David’s Island ?
      People had to sell out and move from those areas as well just as the residents of T Town had to.

      • Joe Bloggs says:

        What about Longbird Islanders?

        • Toodle-oo says:

          Sorry , can’t forget the Longbirders too . Amazing little island all of its own with an interesting history .

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