Bermuda Post

Friday, Oct 23, 2020

March against racial injustice being planned for BVI - event slated for Saturday, June 20, 2020

As demonstrations against racial injustice spread across the globe following the death of African American George P. Floyd Jr after a white police officer in Minneapolis, USA, knelt on his neck for over 8 minutes on May 25, 2020, a group of young persons in the Virgin Islands has decided to organise a march to allow persons in the Territory to support the movement.
March route

The march against racial injustice is slated for Saturday, June 20, 2020, beginning at 2:30pm at the Noel Lloyd Positive Action Movement Park in Road Town and ending at Queen Elizabeth II Park where there will be a closing ceremony with speeches, testimonials and poetry.

The peaceful demonstration, according to one of the persons involved, Ms Via C. Donovan-Hodge, is coming together as a result of “various groups of likeminded people joining forces to achieve one goal.”

The main persons spearheading the initiative include Ms Donovan-Hodge, AmberLee Crabbe and former Mrs BVI Angelle A. Cameron, who is the Co-Founder of Kneel With Me Not On Me.


‘Confrontation the only true catalyst for change’


In an exclusive interview with Virgin Islands News Online, Ms Donovan Hodge, a student of Marymount Manhattan College in New York, said a demonstration is necessary in the Virgin Islands (VI) not only for George P. Floyd Jr but against racial injustices “in America, our home, and the world moreover.”

She said although slavery was abolished in the late 1800s people of the African diaspora have been fighting to be treated as more than subhuman for generations “and I think it is time we put that fight to an end.

“I don’t want to live in a world where these stories of hate are stories told by my grandparents, parents, myself and my children after me. We as a Territory are not immune to the effects of racism and have silently allowed it to fester within our waters. I want to bring this fight to the forefront because I believe that confrontation is the only true catalyst for change.”


Peaceful protest


Ms Donovan-Hodge said the event will be a peaceful protest by way of a march and everyone in the community is invited and encouraged to join.

She said the expectations are for participants to demonstrate a willingness to be open and receive information. “This is the most important thing to me.”

She also said participation includes not only marching but making a sign of some sort to bring the demonstration to life and further get the message across.


Wear masks


Participants are also encouraged to wear their masks in order to respect the current public health and safety concerns in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Donovan-Hodge also shared that the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force (RVIPF) has been contacted regarding the demonstration and to request their support.

Ask what has been the feedback from persons on the planned march against racial injustice; Ms Donovan-Hodge said the responses have generally been positive.

“Most of the people I have spoken to about the event have been very excited that we are taking these steps to stand up for our brothers and sisters in the United States of America and have been willing to contribute and help get this moving in any way possible.”

Peaceful demonstrations against racial injustice have also been held in the US Virgin Islands.

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