While thousands of frustrated residents marched on several island throughout The Bahamas on November 25, Abaco residents joined in the protest calling for better performance from the government of the country.
Just under one hundred people assembled outside the old Cost Right building at the corner of Don MacKay Blvd and SC Bootle Hwy. before beginning their march at 1pm to the Government Complex all dressed in black shirts where they lined up peacefully across from the government building.
We March Bahamas was started by community activist Renard Henfield in Nassau calling for all Bahamians to peacefully march on ‘Black Friday’ while calling on the government to meet the demands of the people for a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), openness and transparency on deals such as Baha Mar and agreements signed with Chinese in timber, agriculture and fisheries among a variety of other wishes.
Abaconians were overheard speaking to why they marched noting declining employment and education, concerns with deals with Chinese entities, fear of rising crime among other issues.
While at the Government Complex the crowd sang hymns, like “Bind Us Together”, and the Bahamas National Anthem.
In Nassau thousands of protestors walked down West Bay Street towards Rawson Square, singing the national anthem and chanting as bystanders, locals and tourists alike, filmed the occasion, gathering at Rawson Square on Friday afternoon.
“We have been complacent too long. We see every nationality come into this country and advance ahead of Bahamians. Children are coming out of school illiterate. Everybody can’t have a hotel job. You need educate our people,” said a protestor.
Another person said that “The people are angry. They’re frustrated and we need answers.”
“We’re tired of the secret deals. We’re tired of the reports they promised and four and a half years later you still don’t have it. I’m here for the people’s movement and most importantly on behalf of my grandchildren yet unborn that they can have a better country.”
Others expressed concerns about the $40 million that went missing from Road Traffic for which no one was charged or prosecuted.
Others were concerned with Crown Lands as foreigners appear to have a priority in acquiring while thousands of Bahamians wait an answer on their application.
Another protestor said “the important thing is we’re out here peacefully as Bahamians, black, white, just looking for a better way for our country and our people.”
“I’m a Bahamian and so I’m here to really support the cause. We have some real concerns with what’s happening in the country and we wish for our presence to be felt, to be known to those who are making the decisions to know, listen, we’re not happy with what’s happening. You have a lot of Bahamians who are hurting.”
The protest attracted significant support from activists and civic organisations, as well as the support of the country’s two umbrella unions, the Obie Ferguson-led Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the John Pinder-led National Congress of Trade Unions Bahamas (NCTUB).