The police said they are aware of a WhatsApp message inviting people “to attend a peaceful protest” on the Cabinet grounds at 10:30pm on Wednesday [March 24] and reminded people of the 11pm curfew and also noted that “there has been no Large Group Gathering exemption granted by the Ministry of National Security for this event.”
A message circulating on social media states this apparent planned protest is about the “restrictions put in place over the past weekend” saying “it’s time to stand up for ourselves and our own people.”
The message said, “We stood up for Black Lives Matter. We stood up against Rizzuto. We walked and supported the LGBT community. It’s time to stand up for ourselves and our own people. We are calling ALL Bermudians to take part in a silent peaceful protest on Wednesday March 24th against the new curfew restrictions put in place. We will peacefully sit outside cabinet building starting at 10:30PM & we will do this everyday until we are heard. Please wear masks and prepare to social distance.”
The island has recently experienced a surge in confirmed Covid-19 cases, with officials stating that “epidemiological results of the most recent cases indicate that almost all of our cases are of the UK Variant, which we know to be more contagious.”
A police spokesperson said, “The Bermuda Police Service, [BPS] is aware of a WhatsApp message circulating, inviting members of the community to attend a peaceful protest on the grounds of the Cabinet Office, starting at 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday 24th March, this coming Wednesday.”
Addressing the situation, Martin Weekes, Assistant Commissioner of Police said: “The BPS supports peaceful legal protest, as evidenced by the policing of other large scale marches in the last few years including the Black Lives Matter March last year.
“However, we wish to remind the public that the newly announced Covid regulations enacted this past weekend, stipulates that the curfew now commences at 11:00pm to 5am.
“Persons found out during the curfew will be stopped and questioned as to whether or not they are exempted under the Regulations. Those who are not exempted will be reported for summons to appear in court for breach of COVID regulations.
“There has been no Large Group Gathering exemption granted by the Ministry of National Security for this event.
“The BPS will be working with the organisers to find alternative ways for them to make their views known, whilst abiding by the current regulations.”
“Please continue to do your part to prevent the spread of the virus during the ongoing pandemic and ensure you give yourselves ample time to get home prior to 11:00 p.m.”