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‘People of the BVI stand up, speak up & show up’- Bishop John I. Cline

‘People of the BVI stand up, speak up & show up’- Bishop John I. Cline

With the prospects of direct rule by the United Kingdom (UK) still looming over the Virgin Islands (VI), local activist and clergyman Mr John I. Cline has called on the people of the territory to stand up and speak out against the possible draconian and undemocratic action.

The Bishop in a June 2, 2022, social media video, illustrated that it is clear the Governor, H.E. John J. Rankin, CMG is listening to some sections of the VI and no doubt passing information to the UK.

The Bishop in a June 2, 2022, social media video illustrated that it is clear the Governor, H.E. John J. Rankin is listening to some sections of the VI and no doubt passing information to the UK.


Smell the Coffee - Bishop Cline


He referenced statements by the Government saying the ‘small number' of people who turned out to the two demonstrations against direct rule is not a representation of the wider community and called on the VI to stop the pettiness and fight for their right to have a country.

“UK don't deal with petty stupidness, they have a strategy, and they wait you out year after year… and use an opportunity to get what they want.”

“So I'm saying to the people of the Virgin Islands, wake up, smell the coffee. Or else yall ain’t going to have no country, because if you think the UK will act in your interest, your best interests in mind, show me a jurisdiction where they have done that, where people of colour were involved. Show me one,” he added.

The Bishop reminded that the UK is the same people ‘that enslave you’ and hence, Virgin Islanders should not believe they will be set free.

“You think your oppressors will set you free? Show me one. And you think they have changed?” he questioned.

Governor had oversight of Public Sector - Bishop Cline


“To somehow think that direct rule is ok because a CoI was partially done over government that he himself has the power over, he has the power over civil servants...if there were deficiencies in the system, it should have been addressed under many governor administrations,” he added.

Bishop Cline said deficiencies should have been addressed under previous governments over many generations.

“But now, because they found deficiencies that could lend itself to misgovernance, you use that to want to take over our country that we've been building for the last 70 years and you think that's OK? Cause we look stupid?”

Slap in the face


He said the CoI conclusion that the VI has no good political leader that can take the country forward is also a slap in the face, “What a slap in the face. To the many politicians, good men, and women who have gone before and got us to where we are.”

“People of the BVI, wake up, stand up, speak up. Show up when we ask you to show up. Or else you ain't going to have no country,” he added.

He said the direct rule proposal is also a slap in the face of voters who went out and placed their confidence to elect local leaders and added that the UK is now positioning itself as a White Knight that comes in to save the BVI, a country they left and thought would be nothing.

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