YESTERDAY’S “Vote Yes” march made a “mockery” of the Bahamas’ democracy by allowing “illegal” businesses to march through Bay Street, said the Christian Council.
The march, which police said numbered hundreds of people, was organised by the Yes Vote Committee to show its strength in numbers to members of the House of Assembly who were in session yesterday. Many local webshop owners and employees joined in the march, carrying placards to encourage Bahamians to vote yes in the January 28 gambling referendum.
However, the Christian Council called on Bahamians from Inagua to Grand Bahama to go to the polls on Monday to express their disapproval of what took place on Bay Street yesterday.
“We are not concerned about the numbers of persons who showed up on Bay Street. The concern we have is the blatant disrespect that is allowed in our country. Where persons who are operating illegal businesses can organize a march on Bay Street and nothing is said, and nothing is done. I think something is absolutely wrong with that,” said Council President Rev Ranford Patterson.
Pastor Mario Moxey said he felt yesterday’s march was a “dark day” in the history of the Bahamas.
“The Bahamas is not for sale. Mr Flowers and company can buy some people, from the uttermost to the guttermost, but they can’t buy everyone. There are people in this country who understand what is going on and it is easy for us to look at politicians and law enforcement and say it’s their problem, it’s the reason we are having the problems we are having. But the reality is we caused this on ourselves. Every single one of us is guilty. And unless on January 28 we decide to get up and go and vote, we all must shoulder this blame together. To stay home and not vote is to condone what is happening in this nation, and that is a wrong,” he said.
Pastor Lyall Bethel likened the local webshop owners to ‘crime bosses’, who are now trying to sanitise their image in the eyes of the public.
“These guys are not heroes, they are Robin Hoods in reverse,” he said.