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Feb 2, 2011

COLA camp out in front of PM’s office a success

A major decision has been made by Cabinet in respect of oil exploration. In our newscast on Tuesday we reported that members of COLA, FECTAB, BGYEA and environmentalists had camped out in front of the Prime Minister’s Belmopan office. They remained there during the night calling on the government to refrain from approving further licenses for offshore oil exploration in an area covering a vast expanse of one point four million acres in the sea which includes the prestigious barrier reef. They spent the night on the hill but left today with good news. News Five’s Sanchez headed out to the capital and has the following report.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting

On Tuesday morning, protestors got off the COLA Bus in front of the PM’s Belmopan Office to less than pleased cops. The sweltering heat of Tuesday’s sun eventually passed and the environmentalists had a peaceful night on the hill of the capital.  According to COLA’s Vice President, Geovanni Brackett, the event went as planned.

geovanni brackett

Geovanni Brackett, Vice President, COLA

“I’m young in the advocacy and that was a first experience for me—I didn’t know what would have happened. There was some concern on my part. I really didn’t just know what to expect. But you know what I knew; that even if they had to drag me from my head from here to Timbuktu, I would have been willing because I am taking a stand. We didn’t come here to protest, we came here for an awareness activity and it is our form of direct action. I think anything could have been expect but praise god that the officers used their restraint and used their initiative or intuition and we didn’t have a mess out here. Yesterday was an initiative by COLA to conduct a twenty-four hour sleep in front of the PM office for the sole purpose of calling for a ban against oil exploration, in offshore and protected areas. It’s also an awareness activity in our strategy to call on our Belizean people to sign a petition that the Belize Coalition to Save our National Heritage is taking is conducting to take the issue to a referendum—a referendum that we believe that we will win. And thirdly, COLA is doing conducting its awareness, its community outreach and we will be having public meetings to speak to the public. It terms of what it was last night, it was a tremendous experience—an experience that we saw for every ten persons that left in the evening, ten to fifteen more came. We did a live show here last night—Positive Vibes—we just took the opportunity to get our message out and it ran until 9:30 [p.m.] We had people bringing coffee for us.”

There were many more well wishers who brought food.  However, as they were falling asleep, they received great news about the OPIC block that was held by the Taiwanese State Oil Company.

Geovanni Brackett

“Cabinet has included in the UNESCO letter, not to reissue, to resell the block that was relinquished by OPIC. We got that text so I immediately tried to call Minister Patrick Faber who is also the minister of education who was appointed to oversee the UNESCO committee here in Belize. So I texted him and he called me and we were talking and he said that yes in Cabinet meeting when the topic came up they decided not to reissue that block for sale. And so I think that’s something we want to applaud the government for because it is a step in the right direction. Now let us not fool ourselves. I think that is not only a victory for COLA but that’s initially something that all the organization within the Belize Coalition should be happy about.”

And so with less fanfare but with a sense of accomplishment, this afternoon the last set of activists boarded the COLA Bus which proudly sported the Belize Flag and left Belmopan. Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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9 Responses for “COLA camp out in front of PM’s office a success”

  1. Woo says:

    In the end GoB is the winner. They are now seen as a government which will listen to issues raised by concerned parties. This was a bad proxy war by the opposition via Ms Schakron/Oceana etal. GoB has come out the better. They lost the battle but won the war. This adds to UDPs political mileage (in a good sense). Politics is a chess not checkers.

  2. from the west says:

    Lets kill the oil industry too, after cirtrus, Sugar and cruise industry flounder and see if we can become like Haiti.

  3. Justice says:

    The Middle Eastt has oil and are they happy? Oil brings major problems. Belize is already corrupt for us to add fuel to the fire. Thanks COLA. All the same it will be an ongoing battle as I have a feeling that this is just to appease us at present.

  4. garfield garret says:

    its a win for GOB yes, but the victory is the people. remember the MUSA ERA, clubs and rubber bullets fly. barrow has seen that POWER TO THE PEOPLE, be respected. Yet he needs to put in in black and white to stand otherwise he loose.
    \Long live Cola. A SALAAM ALAiCum _ {help me with this if spelt wrong.}
    AMANDLA

    we cannot kill the oil industry WEST; GOB to put in place and practice Law that safeguard
    the environment and peoples health. ENFORCE IT and Stop his Ministers and Reperesentative interfere under the rug. Montero/Penner/Fernandez. these guys need to go Call bi-eolectioon

  5. Lucas says:

    Environmentalism is a dicipline in the school of Public health and with humility, I want to say that I hold a Masters in Public Health with a Major in Health Education and Promotion with enphasis in Drug and Alcohol dependency counseling. Because of this Major, I had to take a few courses in environmentalism which has clear set goals and that is: to help draft, promote and enact legislation that will protect the environment but in no way hinder progress. I cannot support so called environmenatlists who are placing the cart before the horse. If I am a heavy drinker, thief and chronic womanizer and someone shouts at me: Thief, Dunkard and Adulterer; as ugly as it sounds; it is not criticisim but the plain truth. I am of the opinion that all these people are working for foreign interests. Have we ever stop to think that perhaps some are trying to stop us from developing that they can continue milking us e.g. selling us butane for over a hundred dollares and gasoline over ten dollares. The sad part is that so called Belizean patriots are helping doing just that. It is of Public knowledge that this organizations politically prostituted themselves with Mr. Barrow and now want to cash in but they want you and me to help. If anyone wants to be another potential ANASTACIO GUTIERREZ SO BE IT NOT ME. I am a Belizean who will never ever fit in the shoes of the late Captain Goods but in the early part of the second half of the 70′s when Gautemala threatened to invade Belize, I patrolled from Garbutts up to La Sarca, up to El Manantial up to El Pedregal. I have always defended and will continue to defend My BELOVED LITTLE BELIZE. If ever a Belizean Zapata or a Belizean Sandino or a Belizean Arbenz or a Belizean Evita Peron rises, then I will follow. In the mean-time, I will continue to work silently for Belize and the Belizean people ” for in war nothing is constant except cunning and secrecy” (The Art of War. Sun Tzu.)

  6. CRNCN_CTZN says:

    what the government did there is just a sham and to pull the wool over our eyes. Barrow the try keep face and be good but he done know he no have another term in office. we have to keep the pressure on then at all time. We can’t make it blow ova like a lee breeze ( Musa words) keep the press on a COLA. and when i see you guys with the petition for referendum i will definitely signed and i hope all Belizeans do the same.

  7. Orlando says:

    good words lucas but words need action and we should not be followers but leaders.

  8. Islander says:

    As i see it we have been producing oil for many years now and still we can’t see much progress in terms of better lifestyles or opportunities for Belize, Gas Prices are still soaring high and we are still being drained. to Hell with the Oil, what makes you ever think that the prices will go down? as is comes to the Governments they have never done their jobs right, otherwise Belizeans would be living much better than they are at the present. I’m Glad that people are making a stand and damn all those negative minded people, these people have care in their hearts and they care about our natural wildlife, respect!!!

  9. Lynn says:

    Kudos for making a stand!

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