20 December 2011

More protests against British Governor in Anguilla

Special from 
United Anguilla for Transparency
The Valley, Anguilla

The tiny island of Anguilla saw another protest on the defiant, controversial British appointed Governor of Anguilla. 

The crowd began gathering before 10am and the protest culminated with a protest march on to the Governor's residence at 3pm where Governor William Alistair Harrison made the crowd wait. On hand were a number of journalist including OECS and CANA news correspondents Ras B and Keith Stonegreaves. 

The large but civil crowd walked the entire length of the road to Government house where they were met by a number of officers from HM Police force and the closed iron gates of the Governor's compound. They sang "we shall overcome" and other folk songs as they wait for HE Governor Harrison who eventually emerged and allowed some members of the Hughes Government to enter the premises. 

A statement was read to him and a cry by the large crowd on the outside for him to leave the island was made. Governor Harrison received the letter with a smiled and waved to the upset crowd. 

The protesters eventually left and congregated on the main road where a rally was then held with key note speaker, the Chief Minister, Hon. Hubert Hughes spoke and express the difficulties with working with Governor Harrison including his interference with the judiciary, the House of Assembly (Parliament) his continued tampering with foreign investors, Ministerial portfolios and the transferring of key Permanent Secretaries against the wishes of the Government of Anguilla. 
The Chief Minister appealed for the international community to come and see what is going on his this British Overseas Territory and the examine the abuses of power by the Governor who has been appointed by the UK  Foreign & Commonwealth Office since 2009. 

While this appeal has been echoed by many on the island over the last two years, there are but few who believe anything will or can be done due to the fact that there have been three high level diplomats who have visited the island from the UK during that time and all of them has had a re-occurring theme to their addresses to the people of Anguilla, "whatever the Governor does and, whatever the Governor says, has the fullest support of Her Majesty's Government." 

Those pronouncements have left the people with little hope but they continue to call for Governor Harrison's removal. 


A delegation of Anguillians  delivered a petition to local MP Fiona  at the Houses of Parliament today, protesting about the Governor's recent unaccountable and undemocratic actions on the small island of Anguilla.

The petition gathered in a few days criticises the Governor's recent actions to replace highly qualified civil servants(one with a Phd in economics) out of key financial and economic roles and replace them with individuals who do not have professional qualifications in the said portfolios. 

MP, Fiona McTaggart, is the MP for Slough and represents the largest diaspora of Anguillians outside of Anguilla. She received the petition which will be placed on the floor of the House of Parliament. Fiona  has also recently written to the Foreign Office raising concerns over the Foreign Offices'  activity on Anguilla. 

Speaking at the event the group's spokesperson Nat Vanterpool said "It is unacceptable for an unelected British Governor to take unilateral decisions which could have a devastating impact on the lives and livelihoods of Anguilllians without undertaking a proper impact assessment as they would in the UK and without referring to the democratically elected government. 

His actions are tantamount to economic terrorism on the people of Anguilla. And we will not stand for it. The Governor is merely a civil servant and our taxes pay his wages and therefore he must recognise that he is accountable. 

It's a disgrace that having supported the Arab Spring and people's fight for liberty in Libya, the British government supports a governor who acts and behaves like a dictator taking unilateral decisions which will have a devastating impact on all Anguillian people. 

Like those who have fought for their human and democratic rights all over the Arab world this year. We are determined to stand up for the rights if the people of Anguilla. 

Also see: 


After assembling off the George Hill main road from about 10 o’clock on Tuesday morning, December 13, between 60 and 80 persons, including Government political leaders, staged a protest march at about 3.45 p.m. at the Governor's Office, at Old Ta, demanding the recall of Governor Alistair Harrison by the Foreign Office in London. 

Read full report here.

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