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Opinion
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Commentary: Bermuda: A police state
Published on January 11, 2017Email To Friend    Print Version

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By Christopher Famous

“It was the best of times it was the worst of times.” ~ Charles Dickens

Contrary to the wishes of many, December 2, 2016, is a day that will never be erased from the psyche of any Bermudian or resident of Bermuda. No matter what perspective one takes, the events of that day will never be unseen.

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Christopher Famous is a Caribbean real estate developer and business owner. Raised in various Caribbean islands such as; Bermuda, Jamaica, St Eustatius and St Kitts and Tortola. He has a weekly social and political column in The Royal Gazette. Feedback to: carib_pro@yahoo.com
For anyone that was in the vicinity of the House of Parliament on Friday, December 2, 2016, at approximately 1:15 pm, their eyes, ears and hearts would have beheld something that no human being should ever witness in their lifetime.

To see heavily armed police, in full body armour, attempt to barrel their way through persons with nothing more than a sweater or jacket to protect themselves is not a sight any human being should ever witness.

To look and see the naked facial aggression those agents of the state intent on crushing not just a gathering but indeed crushing the spirit of oneness that prevailed that day is not a sight any human being should ever witness.

As Bob Marley once sang, “I could not recognize the faces standing over me, all dressed in the uniforms of brutality.”

To see those elders of our community that have paved the way for our generation through blood, sweat and tears being herded, accosted and doused with chemicals is not something that any human being should ever have to witness.

All around us, our island had, in the blink of an eye, sharply returned to the era of draconian state rule intent on suppressing the will of the majority. An urban landscape littered not only with grown men and women writhing in agony but more importantly the hopes dreams and illusions of equality in our island home destroyed by the intents and actions of those agents of the state.

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For many this was no different than the events that happened on Bloody Sunday on March 7, 1965, on the Edmund Pettus Bridge near Selma, Alabama.

For many this was no different than the events of March 21, 1960, in Sharpeville, South Africa.

Indeed, it was a return to the worst of times.

Yet in the midst of outright aggression and misery, there rose a spirit that could never be oppressed or suppressed.

In those moments of chaos never once did our people lose resolve to stand firm and run away from their mission.

In those moments of open aggression never once did our people use their majority numbers to return like aggression against those who sought to oppress them.

In those moments of shock and horror never once did our people lose their compassion for their fellow human beings.

The wounded were attended to by complete strangers flushing their eyes and faces with copious amounts of water. The shocked and broken hearted were comforted by anyone who was close enough to wrap their loving arms around them.

Indeed at that moment in time, humanity rose to it its highest heights.

It was a major miscalculation to think that the use of those agents of the state would quell the peaceful uprising of the people. The political and police actions of December 2, 2016, served not to break our people but those actions have bonded us closer.

When a people collectively reach into their souls and see that their very survival depends on the strength and unity of togetherness then they have risen above all obstacles.

Indeed it is the best of times.

Amandla! Awethu!

Power to the people!
 
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