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#517379 - 09/07/16 04:32 AM PUP plan massive “Save Belize” protest today
Marty Offline
The Opposition People’s United Party (PUP) parliamentarians walked out of the last House of Representatives meeting two weeks ago in solidarity with their Cayo South representative who was clumsily named by the Speaker when he tried to address the House on the blistering Auditor General’s Special Report, which highlighted massive irregularities at the Immigration and Nationality Department.

Then last Wednesday, around 1,500 PUP supporters descended on Belmopan in support of the PUP senators who had tabled a motion for a Senate Select Committee to investigate the findings of the Auditor General’s Special Report. The United Democratic Party (UDP) senators, aided by a Church senator, voted against the motion to appoint a Senate Select Committee to investigate the corruption in the department.

On Wednesday, the PUP plan to hold the “mother of all demonstrations” in Belize City, where the party has not demonstrated for about twenty years.

Deputy PUP Leader, Hon. Cordel Hyde, told Amandala tonight that the demonstration, called “Save Belize,” is geared toward sending a message to Belmopan that the people are tired of government corruption.

Hon. Hyde said that since the UDP came into power in 2008, more Belizeans have become poorer.

To give an indication of the anticipated size of the demonstration, Hon. Hyde said that over the weekend, when he was in Corozal, there were already 22 buses scheduled to transport supporters.

“People all across the country are fed up,” Hon. Hyde added, “The tipping point has been this whole audit report.”

“We can’t continue to just talk, we have to act,” he said.

Amandala asked Hon. Hyde what the PUP hope to gain by coming into the streets in huge numbers.

“I think that it will put the government on notice that they have to do better. People are suffering. There is more poverty today than when the government first came into power. Over 325 million dollars of Petrocaribe money have been squandered,” Hon. Hyde pointed out.

“They spent all this money, and what we have to show for it? Nothing”, he said.

“All the major industries in the country are in trouble — banana is down, sugar is down, citrus is down, papaya is down and out, and we still have a government that is still talking as if though they are still very popular,” Hon. Hyde said.

“The Auditor General’s report is the mother of all corruption,” the Lake Independence area rep said.

Amandala asked Hon. Hyde if there will be other demonstrations after the demonstration on Wednesday.

Hon. Hyde remarked, “I am sure. We have to be prepared to mobilize on short notice, from now on.”


#517399 - 09/08/16 05:58 AM Re: PUP plan massive “Save Belize” protest today [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

PUP Swarm The City

Today, the opposition PUP swarmed into Belize City.  The plan to send an emphatic message to the Barrow Administration by blanketing the country's largest population centre in blue.  Now, General Elections were held less than a year ago – and some might say it is too early to push so hard for a regime change – but the PUP feels that between the Danny Mason debacle, the BTL compensation, the Immigration Scandal and everything else in between – the Barrow Administration is vulnerable.  The party poured its supporters and its resources into the City today to build political momentum out of public resentment.  Did it work?   7News was on the ground to gauge the pressure and Daniel Ortiz reports:…

PUP supporters from all over the country converged this morning at the Constitution Park, blocking the area off from its usual morning traffic.

Specialized police teams were on guard, and the officers watched vigilantly from a distance, making sure that there would be no civil unrest,

But, in this demonstration there was no need for that. The PUP's Elected Representatives appeared to be well in control of the crowds, making sure that they knew that this was supposed to send a strong message, but not to cause civil unrest.

At a little after 10, they moved off, marching through Orange Street, down Albert Street, then Regent Street, across the swing bridge.

There was actually a break in the crowd led by defiant street activists Raymond Rivers and Giovanni Brackett – who led the bulk of the crowd all the way down Albert Street.

Some held up signs like this one of Immigration Minister Godwin Hulse, and this one of House Speaker Michael Peyrefitte.

The message was clear about what they thought of these men in high office. But, in politics numbers are what matters, and these pictures captured by a PUP drone showed the "Save Our Country" March at its full strength as they crossed the Swing Bridge.

After about an hour of moving through the midmorning heat, the PUP crowd filed into the BTL Park; they were waiting for their leaders to start taking shots at the Government for the different scandals that the Barrow Government has been embroiled in.

For Opposition Leader John Briceño, the message of the morning had been clearly sent to the Barrow Government.

Hon. John Briceño - Leader of the Opposition
"We are representation from the Corozal district all the way to the Toledo district. We have a report, the Auditor General's report that has clearly demonstrated that there has been corruption within the UDP government and the people are now saying enough. The Prime Minister can't continue to defend and protect his ministers; no less than 13 former and present ministers have been implicated in that report. The Prime Minister cannot try to discredit that report, it is his Auditor General that gave that report; he needs to listen, he needs to study and he needs to take action."

Hon. Eamon Courtenay - PUP Senator
"The position is very simple all of us can look as lawyers at the reports and it is manifest that there is irregularities amounting to wrong doing; but our opinion are irrelevant we want a fair process. The Prime Minister for example talks about natural justice being denied to people who have been named in the report. There is a fundamental role of natural justice that a person cannot be a judge in his own cords and here it is the Prime Minister, here it is at Godwin Hulse who have need named in the report are saying they want to appoint their own judges, they want their own cabinet colleagues to be judges to investigate themselves. They are setting up not only a breach of natural justice but a violation of the constitution that says they should not put themselves in conflict of interest. It's a scandal and an outrage."

Hon. John Briceño - Leader of the Opposition
"We live in a democracy, they have a constitutional, they got a mandate of 5 years for last year and we need to respect that but what we want to do is put pressure on them that they are either going to fix up, clean up the corruption, get the economy going, stop the victimisation and create a different Belize, change direction. They are either going to do that or we are going to put pressure on them for them to do something about it."

Daniel Ortiz
"Now sir perception plays a very important role, a powerful role and whether it is correct or not the perception I have been picking up from is bwai da a bunch of corrupted individuals the complain about a bunch of corrupted individuals. There seems to be a bit of scandal fatigue."

Hon. John Briceño - Leader of the Opposition
"I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. We have been voted out of office since 2008, we have paid a dear price for some of the errors that we did whilst we were in government but we were not cowards. Our government called for a Senate investigation, our government had 3 social partners, one from the UDP and one from the PUP and we had it out. We had no other than Godwin Hulse who was the chairman of the Senate committee why can't the Prime Minister do the same?"

Hon. Julius Espat - Deputy Leader, PUP Western Caucus
"This fight is not a PUP fight. This fight is a fight for all Belizeans."

"What happens after today sir is it a one day showing?"

Hon. John Briceño - Leader of the Opposition
"No, no, no, this is just the start. What we are doing now is that we are going to continue to meet with the social partners, with the churches, with the unions, with the private sector and any group that is prepared to listen to us and to tell them join us; let's forget party politics right now."

And so how many came out?  Well, the PUP claims seven thousand, but for the sake of accuracy, we did a painstaking review of the videotape with a manual head count and came up with a maximum of 1,500 on Albert Street.  A few other busses joined later, so we put today's crowd at a maximum of two thousand.

Channel 7

#517423 - 09/09/16 06:20 AM Re: PUP plan massive “Save Belize” protest today [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

Aerial views of the huge crowd at PUP Protest


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