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Protestors demand public meeting with UK Overseas Territories Minister

Led by spirited local activist Amberly Crabbe and clergyman Bishop John Cline, residents who gathered at Government House yesterday to protest the Commission of Inquiry’s (COI) recommendation for UK direct rule over the BVI have demanded a public meeting with the UK Overseas Territories Minister, Amanda Milling.

Speaking to the crowd of protestors, Crabbe said the people will remain united against the recommendation.

Crabbe also urged the Overseas Territories Minister to listen to the BVI residents and meet with them publicly before making an executive decision on the recommendations in the COI Report.

“Madam Milling, we request an audience with you as the people of the Virgin Islands. We would like it tomorrow (today, May 3). They say they demand it and I agree. We give you until 10 o’clock tomorrow morning to let us know what time the meeting with the people of the Virgin Islands will be because believe me, we are coming,” Crabbe said as some protestors chanted, ‘we need it’.

Amberly Crabbe


Bishop Cline also encouraged the UK Minister to hear what the people have to say before coming to a decision.

“Honourable Amanda Milling, we urge you, to listen to our people. Step back from this decision or recommendation and let us the people be involved in the future and the determination of our country,” he said.

In a message to the Acting Premier Dr Natalio Wheatley, who raised his fist in the air to the protestors as he walked the slope to Government House for the meeting with Governor John Rankin and Amanda Milling, Bishop Cline encouraged Dr Wheatley to remain steadfast in his stance.

“Do not settle for anything less, go in there strong. Honourable Natalio Wheatley, your position is no direct rule. Your position is no direct rule. There is no negotiation on that matter,” he said.

Bishop John Cline


Local political aspirant Luce Hodge Smith also had a message for the international media on stories being published about the Virgin Islands.

“I am asking the BBC crew and any international media crew here. Zoom in on us as the people here today to display our democratic and God-given right to protest and to let the UK government know how we feel. Zoom in on us, tell our side of the story. Do not edit a thing, do not edit anything. Your articles are hurtful, damaging, and false. But we shall rise again. Our message to the United Kingdom government and world is, ‘there will be no direct rule in this land’,” she said.

Luce Hodge Smith

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