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Jun 17, 2014

Occupy Belmopan – alliance of church leaders pray plague on Barrow Administration

The Alliance of Leaders and Ministers of Belize, led by Belize Can President Patrick Menzies today initiated the first phase of a move called Occupy Belmopan. The group is calling on all Belizeans to join in as they occupy the steps of the National Assembly to, in their words – teach, preach, pray and worship. In a nutshell they want government to do away with the gender policy and end victimization…lofty goals indeed, and even far-fetched, considering that government hasn’t seemed to acknowledge, or even notice anything the alliance has done so far. Still, there were pastors, leaders and some of the faithful from various Hispanic churches on the steps of the National Assembly this morning. They say they will ‘occupy’ until their demands are met. Mike Rudon was in Belmopan and has the story from Independence Hill.


Mike Rudon, Reporting

About seventy-five members of the group calling itself the Alliance of Leaders and Ministers of Belize were on Independence Hill this morning. They came with banners, placards and plenty of religious fervour. While the so-called established churches have agreed with G.O.B. on way forward where the gender policy is concerned, this group wants none of it. Just across the way Cabinet was meeting as they do every Tuesday. They were too far away to hear, but the group is hoping that the message will reach them, one way or the other.


Patrick Menzies

Patrick Menzies, President, Belize Can Patriots

“We know that as far as the Council of Churches and the Evangelical Association…and I have to be careful here, they are basically on the same sheet of music that they’ll meet again in July and all these good things. We are here to tell the Government of Belize that’s not all the churches of Belize. They don’t represent us. There are other churches out here that are not represented by those groups and we are saying that we do not agree with negotiations with government.”


Now the group has been agitating, praying, singing and generally doing the exact same thing with the exact same goals for months while government apparently couldn’t care less. So while it makes for a good sound bite…occupying Belmopan until their demands are met isn’t really going to happen.


Patrick Menzies

“We are going to be out here as long as it takes. That’s the plan right now. That’s why we’re asking social partners to come on board so that different days they can take over or do different things in other parts of the country. But we want this ‘OCCUPY’ to actually take root so that all Belizeans…it’s not about Menzies…I can disappear right now. It’s not about me. These decisions were made by those pastors. It’s not about me. It’s about the future of Belize. So how long? I don’t know how long. We pray one week…we pray maybe three days…we’re asking the Government of Belize to do your job, respect what you swore to do, which is respect the identity of the people of Belize. Our identity is not LGBT.”


It’s no secret that Menzies is considered a wild card by the Association of Evangelical Churches. That body has distanced itself from him. Well today Menzies returned the favour, and he wasn’t nice about it.


Patrick Menzies

“The established churches that are aligned with government through political affiliation, through financing or through friendship or emotional contacts…we are warning them that God spoke to us and he said that there will be a cleaning out of the churches and you will see changes in those churches. They will start to fall apart because you cannot play games with God’s words. You can’t play ‘politricks’ with God’s people.”


But pot-shots at churches and government aside…traditionally messages delivered by many messengers get noticed. The gathering today had the emotions and prayers and spirit…plenty of it…but it didn’t have the numbers.


Patrick Menzies

“Comparing us to the established regular churches, as you know them, the English churches…those guys have very good jobs. They’re connected politically…all of them. But you see these pastors and people out here. Most of these people out here…their members are campesinos. In other words they’re farmers, they’re labourers. They don’t have the regular government jobs. So that’s why you see less people out here because some of them are working. The other side to it is that many of them were threatened. They were threatened and they were told that if you go out there you will lose your job. So many of them are not here! But again think about this. In our last occupation we had seven hundred and fifty the first night, four fifty the last night…no media house was out here. We have a lot less during the day…we’ll have folks out here for a night service. Now if R.O.C. who includes the unions and BGYEA and COLA and all those guys only had three hundred people…I guarantee you we have well over a hundred and probably one hundred and fifty to two hundred people out here today, and we’re only one organization.”


While Menzies expressed a wish for social partners to join in the occupation, he says he won’t be running after them either. Mike Rudon for News Five.


As part of the ‘Occupy’ movement, the group is asking Belizeans to tie white ribbons on trees all across the nation in solidarity.

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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2 Responses for “Occupy Belmopan – alliance of church leaders pray plague on Barrow Administration”

  1. mark says:

    Let’s just hope this fanatic drinks the koolaid first. The last time a fellow man hating ”man of God” spoke of his God speaking to him he was the one doing the ”cleaning out” of hos own church. I am sorry but I believe in one God and when you verbally attack his churches because you have hate in your heart for a certain group of people then I have to call you out for the hateful unGodly person that you are. This man has no affiliation with God for the God I was thought about as a child until now has never been associated with hate or hatemongers like this individual.

  2. CEO says:

    We need to learn to live in a world where there are many people with many different way of thinking and acting. Child molestation will and should always be illegal but the rights or those that we do not agree with should also be protected.

    When every these church people start to speak out against clergy that have been and still are molesting our children then they will get my support. If it is wrong it should always be wrong. They have never come out in protest against priests and preachers who have violated the innocent children that they were trusted with.

    Never forget that as a civil society and a “democratic” for of government our laws need to protect unpopular speech. Ideas that we all agree with never needs protection. If we should start disrespecting those we do not agree with we would ‘off’ just about everyone we know.

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