BPM have filed an injunction against the incomprehensible decision-making process carried out at the meeting on Monday which appeared to forcibly approve the De Niro/Packer Paradise Found proposal. The meeting at which Fabian Jones was arrested but not charged, microphones were turned up for those in favour of the project and down for those against, money was handed out to supporters and ‘voting’ was carried out in public on torn off sheets of notepads, only confirms the contempt those in power in Antigua have for their sister isle. Comments under the Antigua Observer articles linked here reflect the ignorance and spite perpetrated by some Antiguans about Barbuda – a self-determining people on an environmentally unique and prosperous island that thought these days of conflict between us were long gone.
Cynical attempts to force Barbudans into accepting this lease mean Council workers remain unpaid and owed wages, and feel powerless to act against what amounts to modern-day slavery. In addition what was a perfectly good generator has been sabotaged at APUA and we are sharing our electricity and water supply after many years without any outtages at all, resulting in loss of business, empty shop freezers and frustration for our increasing number of visitors, just as it was under Lester Bird.
We already have to buy everything we use from Antiguan businesses and ship it here. We bank with an Antiguan bank. We hire Antiguan vehicles and we stay in Antiguan guest houses. However, Barbudans around the world and many of our international visitors – who by default are environmentalists, activists and interested in the human rights of people worldwide – and many enlightened Antiguans – are supporting our struggle to stop this attack on our right to keep our land, and for this we are encouraged.