The peaceful protest will coincide with the beginning of discussions by UK Minister for Overseas Territories Hon Amanda A. Milling with Acting Premier Dr the Honourable Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) and political party leaders in the House of Assembly, regarding the recommendations of the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) Report.
According to the Report, serious dishonesty may have taken place in Government and by Members of the House of Assembly (HoA) over recent years and recommended a temporary partial suspension of the constitution. This means that there would be neither ministers of government nor elected representatives and the VI would be run by the Governor.
While many in the Virgin Islands have condemned the alleged criminal involvement by Premier Andrew A. Fahie (R1) and also acknowledge there is lots of work to do to achieve good governance, they do not believe a suspension of the House of Assembly and the VI Constitution is necessary at this time.
“In terms of what we can file to stop that decision [to suspend constitution], our options are very limited at this point so it is very important for us to make our voices heard. Now is not the time for us to be afraid to speak up. If we are against the suspension of the constitution, now is not the time to second guess, now is not the time to be divided on any aspect,” local businesswoman Amberly Crabbe told a large gathering of persons at the Althea Scatliffe Primary School on May 1, 2022.
The public meeting was held to demonstrate the masses’ objection to direct rule and information was shared as to why the VI should not be in favour of it.
“We have some events that are going on and we would like for everyone to support in great numbers because the only way we can get our message across is that we the people of the Virgin Islands are not in favour of the suspension of the constitution.
“We do not understand why it is necessary, we do not understand why it is just and we are taking a stance on our behalf. We are speaking up and we demand an audience. We demand to be heard and I think now is the time,” Ms Crabbe stated.
The public meeting was chaired by Reverend Dr Michael A. Turnbull and members of the panel included Ms Crabbe, Shaina M. Smith-Archer and Julio S. Henry aka ‘Sam’.
The auditorium of the Althea Scatliffe was packed to capacity and many persons used the opportunity to voice their object to a UK takeover of the VI.
Among the elected representatives present were Minister for Health and Social Development Hon Carvin Malone (AL), Minister for Transportation, Works and Utilities Hon Kye M. Rymer (R5), Junior Minister for Tourism Hon Sharie B. de Castro (AL) and Junior Minister for Trade and Economic Development Hon Shereen D. Flax-Charles (AL) and Sixth District Representative Hon Alvera Maduro-Caines.
Local businesswoman Amberly Crabbe told a large gathering of persons at the Althea Scatliffe Primary School on May 1, 2022, that the people of the Virgin Islands must turn up in large numbers to demonstrate they are not in favour of suspension of the constitution.
A resident of the Virgin Islands addresses the gathering at the public meeting at Althea Scatliffe Primary School on May 1, 2022.