Bahamians know who the oppressors are and no number of false promises, deflection, threats and lies can save this government!

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The Hitler Nazi Regime operated just as PM Hubert Minnis is operating now – And Civic Leaders sit quiet as freedoms are curbed by the day!

Protesters clash with riot police in Rawson Square back in 2011. Police in riot gear along with dogs entered the square. file photo

The Editor
Bahamas Press 6th June 2021.

Dear BP,

History shows that during times of crisis, politicians tend to reach for more power. This appears to be happening in the Bahamas and its citizens and lovers of democracy should be wary of the danger. In a properly functioning democracy time limits, usually six months, is placed on any
emergency declaration (ED).

This is to allow parliament to review the actions during the ED of a government and to see if its aims were achieved and if the ED threatened the Rule of Law. In our context the ED has lasted over seventeen months yet the FNM government refuses to have an open, and frank discussion of its actions, monies spent and other actions which appears to undermine the Rule of Law.

In extreme cases of an abuse of ED like the Nationalist Socialist German Workers Party (Nazi) regime of Adolph Hitler, the citizens’ rights were so restricted that millions of Jews, political opponents of the regime, “contaminants” and other persons were jailed and, in many cases, murdered. Much but not all this thuggery and violence took place in secret and under the cover of law.

Indeed, the Nazi regime acquired such vast powers under the pretext of fighting an emergency that many of these abuses became normalized. Even some articles of the German Constitution were suspended until further notice as Hitler’s collaborators and devotees in the judicial system did nothing.

Suspending the constitution made it permissible for the Nazis to: restrict the rights of personal freedom [habeas corpus]; freedom of (opinion) expression, including the freedom of the press; the freedom to
organize and assemble, the privacy of postal, telegraphic and telephonic
communications.

Warrants for House searches, orders for confiscations as well as restrictions on property, were also permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed. In other words, authorities and police were permitted to legally assume extra-judicial powers.

So, the eleventh-hour refusal by the FNM to allow our traditional Labor Day parade is yet another indication that the FNM intends by any means necessary to continue displaying its disdain for labor unions, the Bahamian people and abuse our constitutional rights.

In FNM world any person who they believe does not support them is the “other” and a person or group to be targeted and suppressed and we are weary of their abuses.

Yet despite a suffocating police presence and our knowledge that a Police Force which killed 29 persons in 2020 may harm us on orders from their political masters, many Bahamians exercised their constitutional rights and paraded.

In the aftermath of this latest abuse of authority which will become the death knell for this government Bahamians stayed calm and cool; only police appeared as usual to be hot, bothered, overly aggressive and unprofessional.

And of course, no report in the media will be complete unless some slimy subterfuge is found to link the PLP to the goings on. The Tribune did not disappoint when it reported “SCORES of Progressive Liberal Party supporters as well as union members and leaders gathered at the national stadium on Friday morning despite a notice from police a day earlier that no motorcade had been sanctioned to take place on Labour Day implying that 1) It was a PLP political rally, which it was not; and 2). That the PLP were habitual law breakers and by this twisted reasoning the government was fully within its rights to deprive us of our constitutional rights to
traverse our streets.

Mr. Obie Ferguson put it this way. This is very vexing,” I’m aware, I think I’ve been practicing law for 27, 28 years, my specialty is employment law. You explain to me how a government or how the police officers can stop me from driving from my house to my office, from my office anywhere, if I comply with the law? This is purely disrespect.”

Bahamians also witnessed a shameless display of political partisanship by a former labour leader who suggested that in future we will have to find other ways to celebrate Labour Day; exactly how was left for us to figure out.

What we do know is that this opinion was not held by her in the aftermath of the tragic traffic disaster during the 2019 labour day parade which she attended. Not to be left out in a recent letter to the Guardian Editor a writer stated “The Burma Road Riots were eerily like the 1992 Los Angeles riots and the George Floyd protests. Indeed, the riots are a dark stain on Bahamian history, spearheaded by irresponsible elements with extensive criminal rap sheets. The time has come for Bahamians to stop romanticizing the Burma Road hoodlums”.

This blatant revisionist telling which justifies the ongoing oppression of Bahamians, distorts our achievements and perpetrates an historical falsehood, will take an exceptionally long time to correct.

Both persons willfully ignored the struggle of Bahamian workers over the years to achieve some modicum of human rights and the ongoing struggle to retain these rights. The underlying theme is that Bahamians are irresponsible and cannot be trusted to march and participate in motorcades responsibly despite our long history of marching.

So, you can expect nothing less from them [ marchers and motorcades] because deep down they are all hooligans or descendants of them. This is an ancient UBP smear against black Bahamians used by Donald McKinney to explain why the riots took place. And of course, these opinions confirm what we all thought was the motivation for cancelling the motorcade. We as the descendants of “irresponsible elements and hoodlums who have extensive criminal rap sheets” need to be suppressed and deserve not one scrap of the Bahamian economic pie or social advancement.

But what does historians say about the causes of the riots? Even the
sanitized historical version of the event tells us “The 1942 riot in Nassau was a short-lived impulsive outburst by a group of disgruntled labourers occurred against a background of narrow socio-economic and political policies. The events of the Burma Road Riots came as a result of the agitation by natives wanting equal pay for equal work, regardless of colour or nationality”. Thus, a farcical and simplistic version of this pivotal event has been propagated for years to diminish the beneficial effects of this event on our country and the social, political and economic advancements which followed.

The denial of the right to march on Labour Day was fully intended to cause
a fragmentation of trades unions, intimidate us and spread even more despondency amongst the workers.

At least that was the plan, but that plan did not work. The forces unleashed by the experiences of Bahamian servicemen during WWI when for once they experienced freedom, democracy, no racism and personal empowerment was an eye opener to many Bahamians serving overseas.

They realised that the social order and the limitations placed on them in the British colony of Nassau was a political construct designed to keep them in subjugation. Stories of their experiences of their first taste of true freedom inspired and gave hope to their offspring.

When reading Bahamian history, one would think that the Burma Road Riots was the first instance of Bahamians revolting against an oppressive power; you would be wrong.

There were major uprisings in the Bahamas during the 1920,s as well as labour unrest. Prior to 1942 Bahamians had protested, marched and this agitation came to fruition in 1958 with the general strike which saw an occupation by British troops some of whom still have families here. But no matter how much force and violence were directed against these freedom fighters and patriots by British administrators, their historical lap dogs the UBP and self-absorbed, self-hating black lackeys more interested in genetic snobbery than assisting fellow blacks, our forebears persevered.

Now in 2021, we are almost back to where we were in the 1940’s because of this incompetent government who only care about themselves and their benefactors; not the common man. It will seek to use all measures fair or foul to suppress the will of the people and lie to us about how much they care and how much of our taxes they have spent on us.

But do not despair my brothers and sisters. They can lock us down, arrest young men selling coconut water, old ladies crabbing and use the
police more as an occupying force that civil police to deprive us of our rights. It did not work in the past, and it will not work this time either.

Bahamians know who the oppressors are and no number of false promises,
deflection, threats and lies can save this government. We see based on their past and current actions, land leases, massive hiring of cronies and FNM devotees across government ministries, lucrative contracts for the boys and uncontrolled borrowings and spending, that the FNM intends to make our Bahamas virtually ungovernable by a new administration. That demonic scheme is doomed to failure too.

The group of young technocrats and professionals and members of the Bahamian diaspora assembled by the PLP has more intelligence, expertise and top-level experience in their little toes than this band of political operatives, propagandist and persons with dubious professional qualifications who now mismanage the country.

These young professionals have the ability and training to reverse the disastrous actions, miscalculations and massively poor decisions of this incompetent, evil, wicked and vengeful FNM government and make things right.

When they get to work, our Bahamas will be truly dragged back from the brink of disaster.

Sincerely,

The Observer