Members of the “ Us for Them” social media group engaged in a peaceful protest in front of the Cabinet building yesterday afternoon. Similar to a demonstration organized a few weeks ago by a separate organization, the demonstration called for the Government to immediately remove the mask mandate from Bermuda’s schools.
“ The Bermuda government are acting like we exist in a vacuum and it’s insulting that they think that us parents are not seeing what is going on in the rest of the world and I think that they need to be careful, because there are a lot of people here who have the choice of going somewhere else to seek that normal life for their children,” one of the many concerned parents in attendance, who wishes to remain anonymous, told TNN’s Trevor Lindsay. “
Parents and grandparents are the only ones who are advocating for our children, we cannot expect the government to do it. This demonstration is meant to be very inclusive to our entire population and we are here for all of Bermuda’s children.”
The Honorable Premier and Minister of Finance David Burt, JP, MP, happened to stop by Cabinet grounds during the presentation after visiting a family within his constituency.
“ We live in a free, democratic country, despite the fact that other people might like to say that we live in a dictatorship,” Premier Burt told TNN. “ People can continue to express the opinions, thoughts and feelings. A pandemic is never easy, but the Government has made decisions which we feel are in the best interest of the entire society and as circumstances change, the Government will address them, as we have done and will continue to do throughout the years going forward.”
Due to mask mandates falling mainly under the Ministry of Health, Premier Burt cannot confirm when the mandate would be removed in schools. According to him, it would be irresponsible for him to dictate decisions which otherwise would be decided by the full Government.
“ As it has been stated constantly, these situations are under constant review,” he said. “ I want the Government and the country to move beyond the pandemic, but I think we also have to recognize that there are circumstances where more risk exists than in other places. From that, Government will consider all the available data and will continue to adjust our position as we have consistently over the last few years.”
Despite briefly addressing the demonstrators yesterday, the concerned mother that spoke with us seemed underwhelmed by it.
“ Neither the Premier nor the Minister of Health are willing to engage in meaningful dialogue with us,” she said. “We have studies, science and multiple parents have written multiple letters to multiple parties and they do not want to engage with us.”
“ If they had the data and any science to back it up, then what’s the problem,” she continued. “They should display it proudly. But they’ve given us nothing which proves they have [no data.]”
According to a spokesperson for Together Bermuda, demonstrators plan demonstrate on the Cabinet grounds every Saturday, from 2 to 5 p.m, until the legislation surrounding mask mandates in schools changes.
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