Protesters clamour for Premier’s resignation

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A crowd of more than 200 protesters braved the midday sun Tuesday to demonstrate outside the Legislative Assembly. 

Most attendees marched or rode buses from the initial meeting point at the George Town Cricket Pitch to gather in the centre of town. 

Leader of the Opposition Alden McLaughlin explained to the crowd that the original plan was to protest on the steps of the Legislative Assembly, but that Speaker of the House Mary Lawrence had forbidden the group from assembling there. 

“The Speaker forbade us and forbade you from being on those steps,” he said. “That is the kind of arrogance … that is part of the UDP regime.” 

Calls for resignation 

In addition to concerns regarding proposed development projects, many protesters also called for the resignation of Premier McKeeva Bush as a result of recent reports he is under police investigation. 

The crowd chanted “McKeeva must go” and carried signs that read “Bush resign now,” “Push back when Bush comes to shove,” “Chicken cut teeth today bobo” and “What happened in Vegas didn’t stay in Vegas,” among others. 

“We are only halfway through the term,” Mr. McLaughlin said. “Lord help us if this continues for another two years. Cayman cannot survive.” 

Many protesters said they were concerned with the direction the country was heading. 

“I feel that the Cayman Islands is being dragged down the drain, you know?” said protester Esther Ebanks. “We are going to destruction under the leadership of the Premier, and we feel that what he is doing is hurting our country and we must now stand up against his deeds.” 

Environmental concerns 

Many protesters were in attendance chiefly to protest proposed development projects. 

“I do not agree with the dredging of the North Sound … and I do not agree with the dredging of the East End district,” Ms Ebanks said.  

“I think it will hurt many aspects of our country: Our agriculture, our wildlife, our water lens … I think we as Caymanians must now stand up against these things.” 

The North Sound dredging, the East End seaport, the Dart deal, and the oil refinery were all topics of concern for protesters. 

“McKeeva gave Dart this country,” Lurline Bodden said, expressing her discontent with the proposed agreement between the government and developer Dart Group. 

Several demonstrators also had attended the Saturday protest against the proposed East End seaport, and continued outside the Legislative Assembly to protest against what they have labelled a mega quarry. 

“I guarantee you there will be no mega quarry in East End,” promised Mr. McLean, vowing to be the first person lying in front of the bulldozers. 

“McKeeva cannot flatten us. He has a formidable battle on his hands and I guarantee him that he is going to get it,” Mr. McLean said. 

Government response 

George Town MLA Ellio Solomon, a government backbencher, recently decried Tuesday’s march as “vulture politics” organised by opposition politicians.  

“What they’re engaging in is nothing more than a malicious and disruptive campaign of misinformation,” Mr. Solomon said to a group of United Democratic Party supporters Saturday.  

Premier Bush told supporters the protest leaders were merely using their followers to try and destroy his government.  

“The country must suffer so they can get at me,” the Premier said.  

“[The protesters] criticise Mr. [Kenneth] Dart and they curse Mr. Dart, but [George Town MLA] Kurt Tibbetts want to sell him his rum shop,” Mr. Bush said. “That is the hypocrisy that exists.”  

Compass journalist Brent Fuller contributed to this report. 

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Esther Ebanks was concerned with many of the planned development projects. – Photo: Hannah Reid

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10 COMMENTS

  1. People have the freedom of speech and the right to protest a government greviance. But CayCompass and other news outlets should bear in mind that the world is seeing what is happening. Be careful on the topic of corruption and allegations against the Premier. Thhink about what message that is sending to foreign investors in a time when our economy is weak. CayCompass, let us not sensationalize the wrong news items.

  2. Bodden – so what you are saying is that it is ok for people to have freedom of speech but not for the media to have freedom of the press. Umm…both are necessary fundamental rights which go to make up a healthy and accountable society. I was always taught that actions have consequences. Why is reporting the news of itself sensational? It is a two way street.

  3. This protest and call for resignation is organized by Ezzard, Alden and Arden. There is nothing grassroots about this. A real grassroots was something similar to what Mr. Capt Ebanks did. Agree with it or not it was grassroots. This is why Ezzard was begging to man to inject and join Ezzard’s self aggrandizing phony campaign against the EE seaport because that an ARTIFICIAL campaign and needed an image that’s its people driven. When in fact the EE seaport campaign is an Arden and Ezzard campaign designed to insure no significant and noticeable progress is made under this administration. The EE seaport would create very visible change that people would be significantly impacted by and recognized. No more cargo dock in town? That’s a big impact. Totally new jobs and markets and demand in EE? Fuel, boat provisioning (can be hundred of thousands per boat) new companies, stores, port authority jobs, etc etc etc.

    Arden knew that’s a killer for him, and this would end Ezzard’s chances at being Premier (not that he ever really had any chance). So, why let that sort of possibility of new opportunity arise and the Gov get all that credit!

    So they have been destroying anything that supports it, including people characters and organizing protests FUELED by Ezzard (Unlike the NS channel protest). Nothing stops them and shame certainly doesn’t either.

    The point that Ezzard is a political hack, Ezzard goes on the Rooster and says the country made history on the protest because its the only time a protest was organized against a protest. i.e. protesters protesting the protesters as if somehow that was undemocratic.

    So let me get this right Ezzard…. What you’re saying to those people who protested YOU, saying they want JOBS and OPPORTUNITY!…., CANNOT BE LEGITIMATE or REAL PROTESTERS because they DON’T SUPPORT YOU??? So there fore we must ignore those citizens and view them with some sort of disdain or as illegitimate in their cause? What an incredibly hypocritical and phony stance!

    To me this only further highlights the fact that you’re a disingenuous selfish fraud… And it sickens me to continually hearing you on the Rooster (Every Tuesday) peddling your destructive, polarizing divisiveness on just about every subject.

    What a an incredible disappointment you turned out to be.

  4. I have been closely following this whole campaign the PPM is waging against the UDP Government and Bush and it seems more a personal vendetta that anything else. Listening to Alden and Miller speak, it’s obvious that they have a personal and direct hatred for the Premier and I do believe that they are using their followers to try and destroy the current government to achieve they own agenda. Which in my opinion will be very detrimental to the reputation of the Cayman Islands. The world is watching and what they see is Civil disobedience and uprisings in the Cayman Islands especially with everything going on in the Middle east people are very leery of any type of any kind of political unrest. I watch a small piece on CNN which mentioned claims of a corrupt government in the Cayman Islands comparing it to Turks and Caicos.
    These folks are obviously not thinking of what’s best for the Islands at all with all this drama, if they disagree with decisions the current government is making there are different avenues to go in lieu of rallying the islands people to rise up against the current government such as offering alternative solutions and ideas for helping the economy gain ground. Trust me no good will come out of this and the bigger it gets the more likely it will turn to violence, all it takes is one person to act out. And once that happens what you will see is people quickly backing out of any investments they have committed to and making efforts to liquidate whatever investment they may currently have, in addition you will see how quickly the tourism market turns it’s back on the Cayman Islands.
    This may be what a lot of people are hoping for in other words to leave Cayman for Caymanians, but I implore you to be careful what you ask for. Do you really think Cayman can prosper if they decide to go it alone or do you really think the Cayman people will be better off under British rule ?

  5. What mud slinging. So what has Kurt’s Rum Shop going to do with what is happening and what you’re doing to the country? Mac you got this bright idea that you personally own this country and that when we elected you that are now licensed to SELL EVERY SQUARE INCH OF THIS ISLAND! No you won’t We’re putting a stop to this madness. Grow up will you Mac!

    Who do you think you are? GOD?

  6. AJ,
    My God, calm down.You sound very much like the filtered voice of Bodden! Still raging against Ezzard Miller and the PPM. You are in no position to predict whether Ezzard Miller is going to be the next Premier or not. I am most certainly convinced that you and Bodden or you Bodden and Bodden are some what or maybe a whole lot convinced that Mr. Miller is indeed equipped and qualified to be Premier of the Cayman Islands and that is a great bother to you! Lets not go into the reasons why. That’s your own personal business.
    Now, Being loyal to a premier that is a tyrant at large and criticizing people being led by Ezzard and Alden or someone like yourself/yourselves is another story. You are unscrupulous in your conclusions, the people will decide who they want for premier and your smear tactics spelling gross hatred for Mr. Miller is only going to make things better for him and in fact heighten his chances to fill that seat so be careful what you don’t want may be exactly what you wind up with because you are way too anxious and showing a lot of anxiety concerning this whole matter surrounding the premier and his investigation. Its personal with you and you know it. Get over yourself.Or yourselves!

  7. AJ,

    Your comment put a new twist on this. The idea that these guys would want to stop anything good from happening during UDP rule is a good point, it would weaken their chances on regaining power. They obviously have selfish motives and could care less about the welfare of the people as long a s they get back in power, when I sure they would do their best to pursue some of the same projects and try to take credit for them Sooner or later more people will start to realize what they are up to..

  8. @Onwards and Upwards – Yes, I beleive in freedom of the press. But your trust in the media worries me. The media here has already sensationalized certain news. They have even put out the wrong information. If you follow the press and take everything they tell you as true, you will be deceived. Hence, that is why I admonish CayCompass not to sensationalize on a news item that if repeated, can ruin the reputation of these islands. And that is not only CayCompass. That goes for Cayman News Service, which I know there is some manipulation, some control over the thumb-up/down rating system on their site. Remember the Premier has wrongfully attacked CNS and they have in return put out some articles that are worth questioning. My friend, you would be a fool to believe everything what the news media tells you.

  9. @Bodden – just curious… what do you know about the CNS thumb rating system? If there’s one thing we all expect, it’s a good honest thumb rating setup. The voice of the silent masses! 🙂

  10. I have to agree with Bodden on one thing the CaymanNewsService definitely manipulates their posts. I have personally noticed that a lot of the comments I post there never make it to print. And it seems to be the ones that are pro UDP or things that don’t seem to fit into what seems to be their views. You can also see that they are far from neutral just by the way they word their articles, which in my opinion are clearly written in a way to sway the reader’s feelings which is why I prefer to read the Compass.

    Any stranger reading the CNS would get the impression that the whole population of the Cayman Islands is against the Seaport and most of the development ideas that Bush has recommended and against Bush himself for that matter.

    From reading it I get the impression that the editors, staff and owners are PPM supporters.