Barbudans hold strong with local support on second day of picket, noting their ‘resilience’ bears out the theme of the SIDS4 conference

Barbudans were out for a second consecutive day on Thursday, May 30,
making sure their displeasure with the Gaston Browne Administration was
known through a picket staged just outside the international airport.
The Barbudans – joined by members of the United Progressive Party (UPP)
and other concerned citizens – were objecting to the Administration’s failure
to have Barbuda represented at the fourth international Small Island
Developing States (SIDS4) conference.
They also wished to highlight what they see as the hypocrisy of the Antigua
Labour Party Government on environmental issues – claiming that while it
advocates for change, it is causing ecological destruction at the same time.
The protestors lined the sides of the Sir George Walter Highway and Airport
Boulevard, in the vicinity of the Eastern Caribbean Amalgamated Bank. They
carried placards that expressed their concerns and disgust, as international
delegates to the conference commuted to the event at the American University
of Antigua (AUA) conference centre.

Councilman and environmentalist John Mussington was out again, holding
strong to the position that Barbudans will not sit by and accept what the
Government is doing. Rather, he says, as small-islanders, the people of
Barbuda will remain resilient – which, incidentally, coincides with the theme
for the SIDS4 conference.

The environmentalist also highlights the Browne Administration’s push to
change the land system on Barbuda in order to make money through luxury-
real estate sales. But Mussington believes this move would be detrimental to
Barbuda’s centuries-old culture.  

Councilman and environmentalist John Mussington.

Meanwhile, Barbudan Atkinson Beazer spoke to REAL News correspondent
George Wehner from the picket line.
Beazer, who grew up in Barbuda but now resides in Antigua, says what is
being done to the sister-island is unjust, given that Barbuda is important to
the economic development of the Nation on a whole.

Barbudan Atkinson Beazer.