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COI protest: Demands govt fire Keith Bell, and they are ‘standing up for straight Bahamians’

DOZENS of Coalition of Independents supporters, led by leader Lincoln Bain, protested on Bay Street as Parliament reopened yesterday.
Photo: Moise Amisial

DOZENS of Coalition of Independents supporters, led by leader Lincoln Bain, protested on Bay Street as Parliament reopened yesterday. Photo: Moise Amisial

By LYNAIRE MUNNINGS

Tribune Staff Reporter

lmunnings@tribunemedia.net

DOZENS of Coalition of Independents supporters, led by leader Lincoln Bain, protested on Bay Street as Parliament reopened yesterday.

Their chants of “Brave got to go” could be heard inside the House of Assembly, where elected officials gathered for the first time since August.

Their signs said: “Fire Keith Bell Now”; “Your Country, Your Fight, Stand Up & Fight For It”; “Enough Is Enough”; and “High Cost of BPL is a Crime”.

Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis appointed Keith Bell the minister of housing and Urban Renewal last month, removing him from the Ministry of Immigration.

Acting Immigration Director Keturah Ferguson has reportedly been placed on leave and replaced by former Director of Immigration William Pratt.

Ms Ferguson’s purported ouster came after Free National Movement Leader Michael Pintard disclosed concerns she and senior immigration officials had about political interference in their work.

“We are disappointed in this government allowing Keith Bell to remain in our House of Assembly,” Mr Bain told reporters yesterday.

“It cannot be allowed to continue. How could we stand back while a civil servant is victimised in front of all of us, and we say and do nothing? A civil servant did her job and wrote to the permanent secretary, not to the media, not to the public.

“She wrote to the permanent secretary who is above her, who she answers to, about the criminal actions, in my opinion, of the minister of immigration. This deserves more than a transfer. This deserves a firing, and we are terribly concerned about the actions of the government and the actions of this minister.”

After a series of chants from the protestors, police confronted the group, forcing them to relocate to Charlotte Street to avoid disrupting the main event.

Mr Bain said he is standing up for “straight Bahamians”.

Pride Bahamas, an organisation concerned with social justice and empowering the country’s LGBTI+ community, will host a series of events from October 4 to 10 to celebrate pride, including a forum scheduled at UB.

“We also come here today to stand up for Bahamians, Bahamians who are not LGBT,” Mr Bain said.

“On this day, the fourth, they are starting what they call Pride month. Well, I have pride in being a straight Bahamian who is not gay, and we should be allowed to have some pride.

“I call on us to not be ashamed to be who we are. We are not here to condemn anybody, but we are also proud of who we are, and we should have some pride in ourselves.”

Comments

mandela 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Yes my brother you and I both stand up for straight people.

quavaduff 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Far too many "straight" people, ain't so "straight" and they mad and angry of that fact....

Porcupine 8 months, 3 weeks ago

What is wrong with being straight and tolerating others who don't feel your same way? It's not like the gays are the ones taking this country down. I like being straight. But, does that necessarily mean I have to hate others not like me? The intolerance for other ideas, and the lack of Christian love could be the basis for our national failure, don't you think? Otherwise, yes, Keith Bell should go. Maybe he hasn't been let go because he knows too much about someone.

FreeportFreddy 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Well said! It's like saying you don't like sushi so it should be illegal. A bit of consideration for others never costs you anything and makes the world a much better place.

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