PHOTOS: Barbuda Focused Protest To Rally Support At SIDS4 Conference

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room

The theme for the protest is:

Stop the destruction of Barbuda.

Stop selling us back into slavery.

Keep your Judas Rass in Parliment.

Had enough of your BS money, money, money, sell, sell, sell stupidness. Leave us alone.

Presentation at:

4th International Conference on Small Island Developing States

Charting the Course Toward Resilient Prosperity

27-30 May 2024; Antigua and Barbuda

Presented by:

Mr. John Mussington of Stronger Caribbean Together Network (SCT) and Barbuda Land Rights & Resources Committee

May 28, 2023 The Stronger Caribbean Together (SCT) Network, is composed of regional grassroots movements, indigenous, feminist, youth, environmental and legal advocacy NGOs, plus academics and partners from within and outside the region.

We came together to organize and resist the multiple and interconnected challenges people and ecosystems are exposed to all across SIDS. From Barbuda to San Andres and Providencia, Grenada, Haiti and beyond, our members live the reality of multidimensional vulnerabilities and intersectional violence.

We are witnesses to the fact that our situation is worsening because of catastrophic climate change, policies that increase social inequities, and historical injustices that have never been addressed.

Our conditions are not inevitable nor natural, but the consequence of actions and inactions by governments, international partners and the private sector, and we organize and mobilize for their redressal. 

  In particular, communities, territories and ecosystems across the region continue to be assailed by the impact of disaster capitalism, where state, private investors and creditors are profiting from catastrophic events and the economic fragility of our countries to reap unjust rewards on the back of a politics of dispossession, enclosure and marginalization.

This is happening right under our noses, here in Barbuda, since Hurricane Irma in 2017.

The ABAS Renewed Declaration for Resilient Prosperity, offers a stillborn hope as long as disaster capitalism is the playbook of local and international elites. 

The SCT network wants to create a space of analysis and action against this problem, animated by the aspirations of climate, food, land and reparatory justice as pillars of a transformative agenda rooted in the right to self-determination and other fundamental rights of local communities and their territories. 

Through support from the Open Society Foundations, we have created a virtual space of dialogue and knowledge exchange to empower and equip organizations to challenge local disaster capitalism projects and policies.

This regional and international exchange of ideas not only unifies the region but allows locals in the region to identify political, economic and historical patterns that are often construed as exceptions and seldom understood in their systemic nature.

With this project we are filling 3 gaps, namely: 1. The lack of a regional network and of an opportunity to reflect on the root causes of our challenges; 2. The lack of an accessible digital space for knowledge and information sharing and 3.

The limited access to legal advocacy and training. In fact, in the case of Barbuda, with the support of Garden Court Chambers and the Global Legal Action Network, a historical legal precedent was set, with the Privy Council ruling in 2024 in favour of two ordinary citizens of Antigua and Barbuda, giving them standing in the local courts to challenge the breach of their right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment.

We hope that thanks to the Escazu Agreement and the recently adopted Action Plan on Human Rights Defenders in Environmental Matters, our precedent will become the norm across the entirety of the Caribbean.   

The determination of Caribbean people standing stronger together is helping to preserve Barbuda’s cultural heritage and way of life but also serves as a beacon of hope for other indigenous and land defence cases, facing similar threats of exploitation, displacement, environmental disruption and pollution of water resources.

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