Peaceful protest in East End

| 26/06/2011

(CNS): Some 500 people gathered at Lovers’ Wall in East End Saturday morning in a public display of protest against the proposed East End sea port. The event began with a rendition of the National Song, and then the protesters, most of whom were wearing a white top, followed Pastor Marquis McLaughlin's prayer with a recital of the "Walk Lightly Prayer". Afterwards they marched eastward, hand in hand, to span the entire wall. Meanwhile, an online petition to raise international as well as local support for the campaign against the sea port is gathering pace and has now collected 30,000 signatures. 

Leader of the Opposition Alden McLaughlin, PPM representatives Arden McLean and Independent MLA for North Side, Ezzard Miller, all addressed the crowd about their opposition to the project. MLAs Kurt Tibbetts, Moses Kirkconnell, and Anthony Eden were also present, as well as former MLAs, Charles Clifford and Osbourne Bodden.

The development, which has been proposed by Joseph Imparato, would include at least five different types of marine based commercial activities and a selection of complementary land based activities.

These would be constructed on privately owned land and would be funded by the developer, who has said he would recoup his investment from the sale of fill which would be extracted from the site during the development.  Part of the commercial site will be handed over to the Cayman Islands Port Authority to run as a cargo port. The other facilities it is understod will be managed through private sector joint ventures with the developer, Imparato has stated.

Howeve, it is not clear how much of the upland infrastructure would be undertaken by the developer and what would be the responsibility of government in order to make the port operable.

Imparato's proposal has met with a considerable amount of opposition from the people of East End and North Side and the wider community. Both the political representatives for those districts strongly oppose the project for a variety of reasons — environmental concerns as well as the impact on the lives of people living in the district — with what they say will little benefit in return to most local residents.

The Department of Environment, the Cayman Islands Tourism Association and WI Marine, a local marine engineering firm, have also raised the concern about the environmental and social impact of the development. (See EE port faces more critics.)

This weekend's protest, aimed specifically at this propsed project, will be followed on Tuesday by a march through George Town to the Legislative Assembly as a demonstration of public concernover a number of developments proposed or supported by government, including the oil refinery, the closure of part of the West Bay Road, the fear that proposals to dredge the North Sound may reappear, as well as the proposed seaport at East End.

Protesters will be gathering at the George Town Cricket Pitch from 10am and will begin marching at noon. It is expected that they will arrive at the Legislative Assembly at 12:45pm.

See the online petition here.

See video footage of Saturday's event here.

Category: Politics

Comments (27)

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  1. Pro Caymanian says:

    JOBS????

    What JOBS????

    That will be another RITZ CARLTON!!!

  2. Anonymous says:

    1% of 50,000 protesting to punish the 99% who want to work and keep their business afloat.

  3. anonymous says:

    This is proof that our beloved country is divided by politics.

    30,000 signatures and 500 people can show up to support good faith politicians in  fighting Imparado with his big "dig hole" project.And I agree  it should be protested.

    BUT  these same people complain every day that there are no jobs for Caymanians and yet not one of them have the will to organize a march to save jobs for themselves.  I guess they are waiting for the Chuckster or Alden to do this for them. Well don't hold your breath. Alden don''t care if you work or stand in the Social Service Line. He's drawing a big salary monthly, and his colonial minded x-pat employer tells him what to do, and it does not include jobs for Caymanians. A leader of Government business or party leader can not be someone who works for someone else. He himself MUST BE SELF EMPLOYED, If he has a boss, God help you!

    We can all agree that somthing is definitely wrong with the thinking of these people who continue to elect these kinds of leadership that cause you to risk your life in the hot steaming sun protesting, when you are the one that hired them to work for you and you are paying their salary!

    Does it really make sense to youf or Cayman's legislators to represent people who don't have enough sense to fight even for their livelihood? Making an honest living in their own country where they are being denied daily?I'd say this dysfunctional way of thinking  invokes local politicians to run for office for the "wrong reasons".  We give them no good reason to work for us. People are not serious about employment but they are serious about politics!  It is no wonder the elected government and its cabinet continue to work for big corporations and wealthy developers. The Caymanian people do not give their legislators any work to do for them
    So the wealthy people put them to work and write their job description.Yes you the silly ignorant people vote them in, elect them with your huge numbers coming out at the poles on election day. But by midnight the wealthy developers are handing them their job description.

    I'd like to know I'm making an impacting pounding the internet fighting for jobs for Caymanians but as it looks, they would rather turn out by the hundreds to prevent a big hole being dug out in East End, which is a reasonable and good cause. In addition provide a whopping 30,000 signatures as well!  But for God's sake isn't fighting and protesting for jobs and demanding jobs in your own country more important? No wonder X-pats disrespect Caymanians and walk all over them. They do not respect themselves enough to defend themselves. Politicians have no choice but to work for wealthy people who know what they want. You don't

    Sad Sad Case.

    I think the days of good represention for these Isands is over unless a miracle takes place in their minds. A total brain transplant I mean.

    We may start by abolishing the party system so they can go back to thinking soberly.

  4. Thankful Again says:

    I think that number is modest and should be be more like 700 at high point of the event…I was there

  5. Subway Cookie says:

    I was there and I was so proud!  When our National Song played I actually cried.  We held hands and spanned the entire length of lover's wall and I felt a feeling of solidarity, unity and love I have not felt in these Islands in some time.  I do not need to provide a proven scientific reason why it should not happen.  I only needed to marvel at the beauty and fresh air which brought back so many cherished childhood memories, to know that this project cannot go forward.  There is value in nature.  Yes, economic growth is needed, yes employment is needed but NOT this way.  There are several other projects the Premier has insitgated such as the Dr. Shetty hospital and 'silicon valley' type program which I agree with.  So, this is not an attack on him or the UDP.  This is simply a young Caymanian pleading with her country's leader to listen and let this one go.  My children are toddlers, why are they not entitled to marvel at this, one of the few natural spaces we have left?  We have already lost West Bay Road, we cannot let this space go too.

  6. anonymous says:

    500 protesters and 30,000 signatures tells me that the majority are either cowards, scared cats or x-pats helped them with the signatures and also the march!

    However they got the message.

    30,000 signatures also means somebody's political career is over!

    Those UK FCO officials don't travel in packs unless they saw something moving  like a prowler trespassing on forbidden territory and they are here to pounce on it! 

     

  7. The lone Haranguer says:

    500 ?? come on CNS that's a bit hgh let's try and keep it factual.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Good job all. I was honoured to be a part of this Peaceful Protest. And i'll be in George Town for the March on tuesday also.

     

  9. Whodatis says:

    Good job guys! Thanks to everyone that came out.

    Now for Tuesday …

    🙂

  10. Anonymous says:

    I went out and read that partition page and no wonder there’s so many signatures. It basically implied that this project is going to totally destroy the East End. And that Bush is out destroy the country. It’s insitefull which puts fear in people minds, this is sometime the PPM are masters of….It doesn’t matter what the EIA said East Enders werebagainstnit from the start, Basically because hay dod not want the landscape to change on that side of the island. If the EIA showed there were no potential negative impact they still wouldn’t want it.

    • Anonymous says:

      The EIA stated there would be a lot of negative impacts but SOMEHOW everything could be mitigated……yea like we live in a perfect world where everything that we do to mitigate something in an experiment will happen in real live, wouldnt that be the life. It all fine and dandy on paper but am i sure as a lot of people know, what is said on paper doesnt necessarily mean it will actually happen…life aint that simple.

    • Anonymous says:

      This wasn't a PPM protest.

  11. The Beaver says:

    500 schmeinhundret…you folks call that a protest?  if anything, all that little get-together proves that the majority of people are in support of the big hole.  when you bring the hole (pun intended) da*n island to the show, that's when you prove that imparato and mckeewa (misspelled on purpose) are not wanted.  until then all you're doing is farting into the wind.  The Beaver

    • Kent says:

      Well the "million man march" was .333% of the population of the United States,  so if you compare that to the 500 at Lovers wall and the fact that they represent 1% of our population, I would consider that pretty substancial!

      Then if you do consider the 500 that turned out at Lovers wall a failure, then the rally the Premeir hosted and the 200 that turned out for that was a complete flop, and proves the country thinks he and his government are going in completely the wrong direction.  na-true?

    • Power of the People says:

      No ding dong, all that proves is that we live in a society of fear where the ruling government has the power to cause the general populace to hide behind dumb monikers (like The Beaver) or Anonymously levy their opinion.

      The signatures – presently near 30k – say what is needed to be said. The turnout on Sat was a sampling of those who simply do not fear the rantings and threats of a government gone mad.

      So please stand downwind of us as we continue to pick of steam and encourage more people to shake off their shackles and stand up and out to be counted. The #'s will rise my little buck-toothed rodent…because they cannot intimidate us all!! I saw some VERY high profile people out there Saturday and am anticipating an even larger turnout one tomorrow.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Jobs….development…..advancement…..OR……..joblessness..,hopelessness..,,crime.

    Please people, think this through before giving up this opportunity. It’s a tough world and sometimes you have to make compromises and small sacrifices, and things can quickly pass you by.

    I feel that I am swimming upstream here. It’s too bad. You are hurting your grand children’s future.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think you should think this one through before saying it would hurt our grand children….in fact it COULD make it much worse

  13. Anonymous says:

    500 people…i'm impressed…..and thats from somebody who (in principal) is on the developers side….. still waiting to hear realistic and proven scientific reasons for why it should not happen though….

    • Green Mango says:

      Did you not read the report on the environmental report? If the developer's paid consultants can't come up with proven scientific reasons why this wont cause problems what more proof do you want? How much coral needs to be killed for it to be enough for you?

    • Anonymous says:

      please read the EIA – if that is not enough for you then I don't think anything would be!

  14. Janice says:

    What worries me, it's too peaceful; but, at least, it's a start 

  15. Anonymous says:

    Okay. That one is over. Now can these folks march for some jobs? Would be much more productive.

    • Anonymous says:

      aren’t you the clever one?

    • nauticalone says:

      Why don’t YOU organise for a “March for jobs”?
      Stop waiting on others to do for you what you can/should do foryourself!

  16. nauticalone says:

    And a beautiful peaceful morning it was!

    Thanks to all who oppose the "Big Hole" at East End.