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United States: It Is Time for Reparations

COLONIALISM REPARATION

SO THAT COLONIALISMS OF YESTERDAY AND TODAY ARE NOT REPEATED TOMORROW

Published: 19 November 2020

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Colonialism Reparation welcomes that in the United States of America reparations are gaining traction and invites all the other federal, state, and local administrations to take action in the same direction.

On March 1, 2019, giving continuity to the action of Congressman John Conyers Jr. begun in 1989 and those who preceded and accompanied him, congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee introduces the bill 40 to establish a Commission to study and develop reparation proposals for African-Americans, holding during the legislature a public hearing and gathering the support of 162 representatives, 20 senators, and the United States Conference of Mayors.

On January 14, 2020, in New Jersey senators Ronald Rice and Sandra Cunningham introduce the bill 322 to establish a Reparations Task Force to conduct research and develop reparatory proposals and recommendations.
On February 7, 2020, in Maryland delegate Wanika Fisher introduces the bill 1201 to establish a Reparations Commission to develop and administer a program for the provision of compensatory benefits to the descendants of individuals enslaved in the State.

On February 13, 2020, in Illinois representatives William Davis and Carol Ammons introduce the bill 5024 to establish an African descent-citizens reparations Commission.

On February 21, 2020, in California assemblymember, Shirley Weber introduces the bill 3121 to establish a Task Force to study and develop reparation proposals for African Americans, which is approved and enters into force on September 30, 2020.

On June 5, 2019, the City Council of Evanston in Illinois adopts resolution 58 launching a local reparations process with the creation of a dedicated Subcommittee, a dedicated fund, and the first reparatory measures.
On June 17, 2020, the City Council of Chicago in Illinois adopts resolution 694 launching a local reparations process with the creation of a dedicated Commission.

On August 10, 2020, the City Council of Burlington in Vermont adopts resolution 7.06 launching a local reparations process with the creation of a dedicated Task Force.

On August 18, 2020, the County Commission of Kalamazoo in Michigan adopts resolution 1917 launching a local reparations process.
On October 20, 2020, the City Council of Carrboro in North Carolina adopts resolution 382 launching a local reparations process.

On October 20, 2020, the supervisor of San Francisco in California Shamann Walton presented the ordinance 201190 to launch a local reparations process.

Colonialism Reparation welcomes that in the United States of America reparations are gaining traction and invites all the other federal, state, and local administrations to take action in the same direction, keeping the electoral promises made.

Posted in Culture, Features, International, Legal, Local, News, OECS, Politics, Regional0 Comments

derez-a-hole-in-di-budgit

Dere’s a hole in de Montserrat 2020 Budget

Contribution, Part 106 – 5/2020

With what, shall we fix it?

BRADES, Montserrat, November 12, 2020 – In June, Hon Premier and Finance Minister, Easton Taylor Farrell presented the annual budget after a three-month delay due to the Covid-19 emergency. However, there is a gap in the recurrent side, EC$ 22 million (about £6.3 million). He expressed confidence, that DfID would be willing to provide support for the gap, and so he was confident that the hole would be filled.

The Recurrent Budget Schedule, Supp. Appropriation Bill,
Sept 2020

A month later, after four months of delay, answers to parliamentary questions showed that the hole was still there. Then, from August to September, we were told that revenues performed better and there were cuts, the hole was now EC$ 3 million. However, the schedule to the supplementary budget did not explain, and after fiery exchanges with Opposition MLA Member, Mr. Don Romeo, the Government has evaded giving a detailed, transparent explanation of the $19 million hole reduction.

Why?

For months, the answer to that has been sealed behind tight lips; a sure sign the news is bad.

The logical guess is that factions in DfID – now FCDO – are yet again pushing for staff cuts and other devastating cuts. Which would not do any good to an already struggling economy further hit by pandemic lockdowns. Perhaps, we can agree that the better approach is to grow our way out of the post-disasters stagnation?

Now that we have all seen the ship laying the fibre optic cable, and have seen the inland trenches cut, new terrestrial cable connected, and the trenches filled in, isn’t digitalisation an obvious opening for the economy?
Yes, we are to have faith and confidence and we must always pray, but we must also be well-informed, prudent, and guard our liberty. Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom.

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Is this the anti-christ?

by William Bubblicous Galloway

This was submitted in April 2020

It’s amazing this virus took us by surprise but in so doing exposed us and our insecurities. COVID-19 peeled back our inner onion-like reality. The tears are true but the honesty is deep.

It’s amazing for our security and the security of others we were directed to isolate, quarantine or plain avoid contacting for spreading it with others. An unselfish move for the good of mankind. Allow the professionals to dissect the virus, get its DNA, and find a way to tackle it. Not too much of a task, but being human our wondering minds took off and because of our lack of trust in humanity, the conspiracy theories ran rampant. It’s not that there is no room for conspiracies but let’s go beyond that.

It’s a virus like many other viruses, humanity has been there before. It’s just that now we are more technologically advanced and we can curtail this before it gets out of hand. Like a wildfire, staying home is like wetting your house while your neighbor’s house is on fire. Except now information gets into the hands of too many influential fools and they have social media.

But let’s go one step further. We are all trying to avoid getting sick or die. This is akin to everyone believing in something or someone. Yes! I’m going down the religious road. It is dangerous but we got to face facts. I don’t care what religion you are or if you are an atheist. You believe that you are going to die once you were born. Now there are no facts of anyone living forever, though many of us hope to. What a farce. The promise of eternal life is guaranteed through religion all that is required is that we believe.

Let me make a sidebar here. There are no special permits or allowances for the rich, stinking rich, or pauper. Death is the only guarantee, so all greedy politicians, neighbors, and preachers beware.

If in reality, we believe that together we can beat this virus we will because COVID-19, shut down Mecca churches, mosques, courthouses, jails, shows, cinemas, sporting events, etc. It exposes that all men are equal. Once you are born you are going to die. It went across all barriers from pauper to prince. From Muslim to Christian from preacher to lying politicians.

Breaking the barriers of racism. Color of the skin or the entrenched religious belief that their God or whoever the supreme being, is the right one. Does a name really matter? God, Buddha, Allah, Sun, Nature. I know minds are trained to believe this and humanity is built on this belief. I’m not trying to change one’s belief. I’m saying let’s see each other as a person irrespective of a member of the human race. Respect their boundaries and just let us live. COVID-19 is not racist, sexist, religious, xenophobic, gluttonous, or hateful. Just an equal opportunity contaminant.

Posted in COVID-19, Environment, Local, News, OECS, Regional0 Comments

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Notice

British American Insurance Company Ltd.

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Attorney-Jean-Kelsick

Justice Morley spotlighted for ‘recusals’

Recusal is not a word heard often in Montserrat and probably not before the turn of the century, and probably only once before recent occurrences. Now from mid-2019 to now.

Justice Iain Morley

From then there has been a spathe of ‘recusals’ of High Court judges in the Montserrat High Court of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court mostly involving His Lordship Justice Iain Morley.

We thought it might be beneficial to you at this time to know the general meaning of the word, ‘recusal’: “To disqualify or seek to disqualify (a judge or juror) from participation in the decision in a case, as for personal prejudice against a party or for personal interest in the outcome.” In another but similar meaning: (law) the disqualification of a judge or jury by reason of prejudice or conflict of interest; a judge can be recused by objections of either party or judges can disqualify themselves.

We recall in our welcome to Mr. Morley via an exclusive interview regarding his tour of duty with the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC). https://www.themontserratreporter.com/new-high-court-judge-iain-morley.

Attorney Warren Cassell

The interview sought his reaction to the welcome he received in Montserrat, and “generally how he plans to address his work; his vision for the court in Montserrat; in light of the new vision that the Hon Chief Justice has been encouraging – equal justice and fairness.”

It is Justice Iain Morley who has now found himself a subject of recusals over the past year.

Justice Morley was the first installed for the trial, The Queen vs David Brandt long-standing case from 2015, and once again set for a hearing some time next year. Morley recused himself willingly, but his replacement, retired Justice Gareth Evans QC flown in from the UK to replace him after revoking Brand’s bail and remanding him to prison, was later also requested Attorney Dr. David Dorsett to recuse himself from the Brandt matters.

He refused to be recused in a 90-clause-long Ruling which was delivered within half an hour of the end of the hearing. See – https://www.themontserratreporter.com/second-judge-off-the-brandt-trial/

Judge Gareth Evans, QC

Brandt’s Attorney had applied to the Court, after Judge Morley had been recused from the case, for Judge Gareth himself to be recused as well.

Meanwhile, over the years, Morley has by virtue of being the judge assigned to Montserrat in most high court matters civil and criminal has seen several of his judgments ending before the East Caribbean Court of Appeal, much ending disfavorably to him.

Last year Keston Riley had several outings before Justice Morley and in matters evolving therefrom.

As the appellant, Keston Riley, was charged with and pled guilty to fraudulent evasion of duty, following which he was sentenced by the learned judge Morley to a term of imprisonment. Riley successfully appealed his conviction to the Court of Appeal, following which the Public Prosecutions sought to appeal to the Privy Council.

Upon his release from prison, Riley had filed a fixed date claim seeking damages and declaratory relief from the State, flowing from the circumstances surrounding his successful appeal against conviction. The damages claim was set down for hearing before the same judge who presided over Riley’s criminal matter.

In light comments by the judge Morley and prior involvement in the criminal matter, Riley’s Attorney Warren Cassell applied to the learned judge to recuse himself from hearing the damages claim on the basis that he would not bring an impartial mind to bear on the matter. He refused to recuse himself from hearing the matter, at which point Riley appealed, alleging, in the main, that the learned judge erred in law by refusing to recuse himself.

The respondents being the Attorney General and the Director of Public Prosecutions applied to strike out the notice of appeal arguing that the grounds of appeal among other things that the grounds that the judge’s prior involvement in the matter and his remarks made in open court would not cause the fair-minded and informed observer to conclude that there was a real danger that the judge was biased.

The matter turned out an interesting judgment by the Court of Appeal which ordered Morley be recused, dismissed the application to strike out the appeal; allowing the appeal; setting aside the decision of the judge not to recuse himself; ordering that a different judge is to be assigned to conduct the hearing of the matter; awarding costs to the appellant to be assessed by a master if not agreed within 21 days.

Judge Morley would only this week accede to a request, challenging him to recuse himself in a matter, where Dunstan Lindsey of Baker Hill is involved before the court for a criminal matter stemming from words allegedly published of Henry Gordon and Ryan Kohli. The learned Justice Ian Morley was currently the adjudicating judge in this matter.

Following in or about the month of June 2020 Lindsey says he was charged with two offences of Criminal Libel alleging that “I committed libel against Henry Gordon the Prosecutor within the office of the DPP. The matter was eventually committed to High Court for trial and I appeared before Justice Iain Morley on at least three occasions for the management of the case.”

Attorney Jean Kelsick

On July 21 this year in support of an application for Justice Morley to recuse himself, Lindsey deposes in an Affidavit that the learned Justice Morley is a buddy of Crown Prosecutor Henry Gordon who is the virtual complainant in the criminal matter and one of the Claimant in the civil suit brought against the Applicant in the High Court.

He also deposed in paragraph 10 of his Affidavit that the learned Judge and Henry Gordon along with the Attorney for Henry Gordon were having dinner at a local restaurant. Moreover, Henry Gordon comes as a Prosecutor before Justice Morley on a regular basis.

According to the Affidavit by Lindsey in support of his application, the virtual complainant (VC) appears before the said Judge on a regular basis. Attorney Jean Kelsick (who also often appears before the Judge) is the Attorney-at-law for the said VC. A photograph with all three parties having dinner at a local restaurant was brought to the attention of the Applicant who is alleging apparent bias.

Judge Morley complied with the request in the face of a 44-clause response submitted by DPP Sullivan opposing Lindsey’s application. In his final clauses at clause 42 he said: “…It should be clear to this honorable court that [what] is being pursued by the applicant, in this case, is what can be considered as judge shopping… we invite this honorable court to dismiss the application with cost.”

In the next clause, he submits: “Prior involvement and knowledge does not disqualify a judge from hearing a matter. Critically, however, a judge must not predetermine or prejudge the matter or for or give the impression that he or she has formed a firm view adverse to the credibility of a party hearing the evidence.
“Finally,” the DPP said, “I remind this honorable court that by itself there is nothing wrong with the bench having dinner with the bar ad vice versa…”

Experienced lawyer Dr. David Dorsett, led on Constitution matters in David Brandt’s case

Then comes a successful application by David Dorsett on September 7, 2020, for Attorney Warren Cassell where Justice Morley has recused himself from the case of The Queen vs. Warren Cassell after hearing arguments from both the Attorneys-at-law representing the Crown and Dr. David Dorsett, Attorney-at-law.

Mr. Cassell is before the court after the same charge of Money laundering that was laid in 2007 was brought again 12 years later in May 2019.

Cassell was convicted in 2012 of the offence of Money Laundering under the 2010 Proceeds of Crime Act. 15 other convictions were quashed by the Privy Council in 2015 and the court of Appeal refusing to order a retrial stating that it was not in the interest of justice to retry Cassell. The money laundering conviction was quashed by the court of appeal after lawyers for Cassell argued that he could not be convicted under a 2010 law when the offence allegedly took place in 2007. This is because the constitution says that no person could be convicted under a law that was not in force when alleged offending act took place. The court of appeal ordered a re-trial and the privy council set aside the order for re-trial.

In an Affidavit in support of the Application for Morley’s recusal, Cassell cited some 14 grounds; Justice Iain Morley is the presiding judge on Montserrat and presides over all criminal and civil matters in Montserrat’s High Court; citing also the same grounds on which he recused himself in the David Brandt matter currently before the Court. Mr. Gordon also is a litigant in a civil matter in which I am the counsel; and associates and appears before him in numerous matters; Henry Gordon is a practising Attorney-at-law who regularly comes before the High Court Criminal division in his capacity as Senior Crown Counsel with the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) being his immediate Supervisor.

He is also the Attorney-at-law who has appeared as Crown Counsel in this matter. Justice Morley has made unflattering remarks in relation to me in judgements. For example he described me as “a lawyer of moderate ability ” in a preliminary ruling in this matter dated on or about the 25th of October 2019.

[11] Nonetheless, the said Justice Morley indicated that he would be minded to recuse himself but was never requested to do so.

In announcing this latest recusal in Court Order dated 13th November, 2020 Dr. Dorsett informs that the Director of Public Prosecutions has now brought the single charge of Money laundering 12 years later (different from the single charge of Concealing the proceeds of criminal conduct contrary to section 33(1)(a) of the Proceeds of Crime Act 1999, CAP 4.04, by virtue of an indictment filed on or about 19th of May 2020.

Dr. Dorsett says, “Given the recusal of Justice Morley, a new judge will have to be appointed as the trial judge in the matter.”

The Order also stated that a “tentative trial date is set to commence on 19th April, 2021, during a four-week trial window.”

It is already being speculated that from other statements in the Order that because of the British interest in these trials (to include Brandt’s) another British Judge will be foisted in for the trials.

In an interesting note regarding our ‘recusal’ observations, DPP Sullivan notes, contrary to our thought that recusals have been rare, he submits: “It is my experience that full recusal applications are routinely made to trial judges both in criminal and civil matters.

DPP Oris Sullivan

Obviously there may be cases where out of common courtesy such as when material that may be potentially scandalous or highly embarrassing to the judge or where really serious allegations are made against a trial judge that the “letter “route raising the matter, would be kinder and preferable and allow a judge to recuse himself without litigation or disclosure of his wrongdoing. Otherwise, such applications, particularly in criminal matters where a trial date is imminent are invariably dealt with as expeditiously as the circumstances allow in respect of his case.

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BEAUTIFUL CHAOS

BEAUTIFUL CHAOS

A June 17, 2020 press release re BEAUTIFUL CHAOS: PASSION, POETRY, AND PERSEVERANCE, says as follows: Beautiful Chaos, a collection of poetry by Jo-Annah Richards is launched on Amazon.

Beautiful Chaos, a collection of poetry by Jo-Annah Richards is launched on Amazon.
Montserrat, W.I. – Jo-Annah is proud to debut her first collection of poetry and her second publication on Amazon.

With a passion for the Creative Arts, second-time author, Jo-Annah Richards releases an enchanting and eclectic collection of captivating poetry. The topics ranging from love to politics, with each poem effortlessly and vividly embodying the beauty and chaos in each situation.
Beautiful Blackness, a stand-out poem in the collection conveys a positive message about the beauty and power of being black. It evokes the importance of self-love, pride, and self-acceptance. One stanza powerfully reads:
“Too afraid to be displayed in negative stereotypes of blackness, mute
We need to discover our own power, our essence, our truth
We are the descendants of Kings and Queens, royalty
The blood of warriors and survivors flows through our veins, fluidly”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jo-Annah Richards has been writing poetry since the age of ten and the release of her poetry collection “Beautiful Chaos” is the result of passion and perseverance. She has a passion for writing and regularly expresses it through creating speeches, poetry, short stories, and proses. Her love for the Creative Arts extends to drama, dance, and music, which led her to create Fenyx Creations in 2015. The organisation’s objective is female empowerment and pageantry development, which is facilitated by providing training and workshops for young girls. Jo-Annah knows the benefits and impact of self-expression; as well as gaining personal development and life skills. The organisation also allows her to be creative as she utilises her skills to conceptualise the annual pageant and related events.

She is guided by the principle that you are able to achieve anything through passion and perseverance.

Beautiful Chaos is available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Beautiful-Chaos-Miss-Jo-Annah-Richards/dp/1093171510/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=beautiful+chaos+jo-annah+richards&qid=1592416025&sr=8-1

Her first publication, The Ill Concepts of the Caribbean Woman is also available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Ill-Concepts-Caribbean-Woman/dp/1456399292/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1592415938&sr=8-1

Website/Blog and Social media handles
Instagram: @joannah14
Facebook: @joannahrichardsauthorClassifiedGovernment NoticesLand NoticesLegal NoticesReal EstateVacancies

Posted in Announcements/Greetings, Business/Economy/Banking, CARICOM, Classified, Entertainment, International, Local, News, OECS, Poems, Regional0 Comments

PAHO-officials

Aggressively on top of COVID-19 Virus right from the beginning – but deep and destructive

Really? The chaos is felt and not unnoticeable

As of today, Montserrat would be congratulated for being COVID-19 ‘infected free’ having gone from a nonchalance and carefree approach. Many would say that the unnecessary they willfully or otherwise created a police state. It was and still is the result of the disgraceful and uncaring extreme, leading the charge of criminalising the safeguards, guidelines, and restrictions they copied and found necessary. It’s not tasting well to those who must suffer the unbelievable indifference.

We wrote many drafts written since April, all lamenting the poor extremes of a less than six-month-old Government that promised it would be different working only in the interest of the people of Montserrat (whoever those represent) have been able to deliver or not deliver. This due of course to what is considered a very poor beginning, continuing in the way they handled a pandemic that had been pointed out was likely due to happen.

Well placed professionals and concerned persons aided by TMR publicity had documented to Governor Pierce and Premier Farrell, suggesting and asking: whether St Patrick’s Week should be celebrated this year in the teeth of a deadly virus that may be on the verge of becoming a global pandemic.  Should our visitors introduce the virus to Montserrat both of you will have to face some very hard questions over any deaths that may ensue.”

That was not even met with an acknowledgement far less a response. In April we reported already that the Government may have missed the boat, having ignored completely the warnings and suggestions to cancel or postpone the large gatherings and visitors from areas where COVID-19 was already a great concern and people being infected.

Instead, we were to learn of comments and worse than Trump-like suggestions, “Oh this is just going to be like a (normal) flu…nothing to worry about…”, coming from top government officials including those who would have enormous powers and responsibilities in these matters.

Premier Easton Farrell with Dr. Dorothea Hazel-Blake during a virtual press conference responding a Nerissa Golden (inset) at bottom

Meantime, on March 5, 2020, we were told that “On Monday, March 2, the National Influenza Pandemic and Preparedness Committee

(NIPPPC) met to review the government’s action plan and risk mitigation for COVID-19, and to recap the evolving global and regional situation.”

Now could be that, that the Premier and his team at a press conference took issue with me when told that there was a lack of seriousness early as February about the seriousness of this potential pandemic. The Premier with verbal support and head-nodding said: “Montserrat did take it seriously. No one can accuse this administration of not acting aggressively….We were on top of this right from the beginning.”

Premier Farrell-made weekly statements and held virtual press conferences. two at the end of March, April, May; he was accompanied by his ministerss members and other health officials. The Governor seen (left) on two occasions, but Minister Kirnon (left) below ceased to attend, wants to have nothing to do with the media. Mrs. Hazel Blake now takes questions dealing directly with COVID. There will be more on the press conferences

The question must be, “when was that beginning? Indeed at that meeting, we were told in a release, “The islands Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and Quarantine Authority, Dr. Sharra Greenway-Duberry, and other senior Health Officials presented updated information on the spread of the COVID 19 and the Ministry of Health’s plans related to screening, isolation and quarantine.”

Great! But the timing and the urgent seriousness was lacking for reasons noted; because at that time as I learned later from participating in regional PAHO/WHO/CARPHA press briefings, Montserrat was part of their excellent and tremendous support.

I attended a regional MEDIA briefing by PAHO/WHO/CARPHA, I asked the question, how come with all the support they had just boasted to the region, that Montserrat ended up with the highest per capita number of cases as early as April, embarrassing the region and its mother country, with a threat of being taken over. The response was though true and not surprising, heard by the entire region, exposed a situation that has plagued us, certainly more so, the past 10 years.

What ensued after mid-March into May/June, the height of ignorance, and foolish and dishonest utterances; the poor way Montserrat has handled its finances, exposing the obvious lack of proper financial planning, exposing the worst kind of governance, management and lack of knowledge of really what is Montserrat, with ultimately the need now to cover it all up is setting us so far back, must be discussed. In time, or else.

A report following that briefing included this: “Leveraging PAHO’s long-standing working relationship with the Barbados Defense Force (BDF) and the Regional Security System (RSS), especially in response to public health emergencies, Barbados worked with both the BDF and RSS to facilitate the distribution of critical COVID-19 related supplies and equipment, procured by PAHO, and destined to its 10 countries and territories in the Caribbean: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines.”

It can be seen right away one reason we might not have benefited as we ought to. No wonder there is no longer the ferry and why Premier Farrell is adamant that Prime Minister Gaston Browne should be the one to take the initiative to improve our transportation to Montserrat from the outside world? What a way to love Montserrat.

On 17 January, 2020 the Pan American Sanitary Bureau activated an organization-wide response to provide all 51 of its Member States and territories with technical cooperation to address and mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. PAHO’s work to date falls under the following four key objectives from its regional response strategy delivering resources in different forms:

Ensure real-time information to countries and efficient coordination of national and regional response operations;

Limit human-to-human transmission, including reducing secondary infections among close contacts and healthcare workers, and preventing transmission amplification events;

Identify, isolate, and care for patients early, including providing optimized care for infected patients;

Communicate critical risk and event information to all communities, and counter misinformation.

We would learn that as far back as January 2020, PAHO/WHO/CARPHA had been already holding training sessions, logistics, communicating and distributing equipment, PPE and equipment (testing machines and masks) educational materials, posters, and pamphlets throughout the region. What did Montserrat to this day have to show they participated in anything from these organisations, except maybe some posters and pamphlets? They waited for the UK to deliver, then waited for training; and was it in May, June or even later when this equipment arrived, delivered to other OTs months earlier?

We had seen reports of some islands, such as Dominica included, had received testing machines since mid-late March, while Montserrat was busy importing the virus, misleading people about the non-existent screening they had touted in the March 5 release. I looked for it when at the seaport, asking questions discreetly, but only saw it quietly being done in Antigua. In fact, questions were being asked when it was not seen at the airport with the belief it was being done at the seaport.

Other OTs had already received the UK funding planned months ago while Montserrat was still thinking about asking at the end of March. In October members of the Legislative Assembly as well as the rest of Montserrat are still waiting for a clear explanation about the unprecedented deficit budget and how some people/businesses received in April were not able to benefit from the UK $8.5 million ring-fenced for COVID-19 related support.

What exactly was contained in the request that should have been sent since the end of March, but did not leave Montserrat until well after the £2.5 million was received?

The question about the difficulties the people (mostly disenfranchised through one means or the other and for reasons not unknown but will be dealt with at different times.

The moneys! That they should refuse some people/businesses who applied for the relief, they anticipated and supplied by the UKG, under some concocted ‘criteria’! Many seek answers as to some accounting to the people, but many listened to the deplorable time and again in the Legislative Assembly. Where is that accounting? Then there are the sufferings during the lockdown, arrests, and more.

Posted in COVID-19, Featured, Health, Local, News, Police, Regional0 Comments

Premier-Farrell-Official-Gov-Photo-flag-in-background

REMARKS TO COMMEMORATE THE 25th ANNIVERSARY OF SOUFRIERE HILLS VOLCANIC ERUPTIONS

Premier, Hon. Joseph E. Farrell

Montserratians at home and abroad, friends of Montserrat I greet you on this the 25th Anniversary of the eruption of the Soufriere Hills Volcano.

We come together today as a people bound by our past, bound by our faith in Almighty God, and bound by our genuine love for this island called Montserrat; Alliougana –the Emerald Isle.

It has often been said, that no generation can choose the age or the circumstance into which they were born.  But through unity, courage, enterprise, and leadership we can choose to become agents for change and prosperity.

Alliougana – land of the prickly bush; 11 miles long and 7 miles wide. Ours is not a perfect history. And we are not a perfect people. 

 We have had our fair share of natural disasters, earthquakes, hurricanes, and floods.

But none have brought the kind of change to the island’s physical landscape, the displacement of our peoples, and the destruction of lives and livelihoods, as the eruption of the Soufriere Hills Volcano.

Many of us had to flee our homes during the phased eruptions, moving northwards, to Salem, and beyond, camping along the way to our final destinations—North of Montserrat and even overseas.

Communal living in public spaces, such as schools, churches, and shelters became our way of life in those early years but in the spirit of resilience we have survived, we have endured and, we have overcome.

Over thirty years ago in September of 1989 Hurricane Hugo damaged over 90% of the homes on island.

In July 1995, the Soufriere Hills Volcano erupted

In June 1997, major volcanic eruptions killed 19 persons, flattening our villages, forests, and agricultural lands.

In December 1997, a series of devastating volcanic explosions rendered almost two-thirds of our beloved island uninhabitable.

In 2003, further significant eruptions destroyed additional land and agriculture infrastructure.

The Emerald Isle of the Caribbean – picture-perfect and evergreen; well known for our natural beauty. 

Its physical landscape battered in places but not obliterated. It is God who spared our lives and spared Monserrat and for this we are eternally grateful.

Twenty-five 25 years and we are still here to God be the glory!

In 2020, as the world sits at the cusp of a pandemic brought about by the coronavirus, COVID-19, I say to you as your Premier and Leader of Government business that, this too shall pass.

 We will not be swallowed up.  Rest assured that the health and well-being of the Montserrat population will always be my government’s highest priority and we will continue to work together to protect each other.

I will always remind all of us, that we are in this together, — the whole world is in this pandemic and we will all come out victorious.

So even as we reflect on the volcano’s eruption and subsequent crisis, our thoughts and prayers are also with the thousands of families who have lost loved ones to COVID-19, and to the millions of persons who have been infected by the virus. We feel your pain, knowing full well that it could have been any one of us.

Do stay strong.

We are a unique and blessed people who have come this far by faith, not because we deserve God’s favour, but because he cares so much for us.  And that is why earlier this week, we joined with the Montserrat Christian Council in a National Day of Prayer and Thanksgiving to observe this twenty-fifth anniversary of the volcanic eruptions.

I believe that as a people we have much to thank God for.

He has bestowed on us much more than we deserve, and so I ask that we continue to pray,  giving him thanks for all of his blessings, protection and guidance over these past 25 years.

I close with these words from a hymn written by Philip Doddridge:

O God of Bethel by whose hand
Thy children still are fed
Who through this weary wilderness
Has all our fathers led
Such blessings from thy gracious hand
Our humble prayers implore
And Thou shall be our chosen God
And Portion evermore

To God be the glory!

Joseph E. Farrell
Premier
July 18, 2020

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Premier Farrell’s Remarks commemorating the 25th Anniversary of Soufriere Hills Volcanic Eruptions

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Trump Doesn’t Have a “Right” to Keep Filing Frivolous Lawsuits

Jurisprudence

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By Jim Wagstaffe Nov 13, 20204:36 PM

People on the steps of the Capitol take selfies and hold up signs that say "Biden Harris" and "Trump You're Fired"
Hundreds gathered at the Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg on Saturday to show their support for Joe Biden. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

This piece was originally published on Just Security, an online forum for analysis of U.S. national security law and policy.

The unofficial “show me” Missouri state slogan is not just an appropriate moniker for election legal challenges. It is a well-settled ethical requirement imposed by legislatures and courts for the filing of any litigation in this country.

We have all seen in these immediate post-election days not just the filing of a cornucopia of lawsuits attacking the process and results, but also a President Donald Trump-inspired trope that the Republicans, like all citizens, have a “right” to file lawsuits to test the bona fides of election results across the country. No, they don’t.

The uniform and governing rule in federal and state courts across the country is that before lawyers and litigants can pursue a case, they are under an affirmative duty to certify that the lawsuit is factually and legally meritorious. Wishful thinking doesn’t cut it.

I have been a litigator and civil procedure law professor for decades and am the author of a litigation practice guide for lawyers and judges. In my book, in every semester’s class, and in each case, I underscore to judges, students, and my colleagues that you cannot even file (much less pursue) litigation unless you first have sufficient factual and legal support. Model Code of Professional Conduct Rule 3.1 as well as the ethical canons in virtually all 50 states mandate that lawyers not bring a civil action “unless there is a basis in law and fact for doing so that is not frivolous.”

Since 1983, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11 has mandated that lawyers and their clients not commence a lawsuit unless based on (1) well-grounded evidentiary facts, (2) a colorable basis in law, and (3) a proper purpose. And as to the “good facts” aspect of this rule, the lawyer is under an affirmative duty to conduct a reasonable investigation and substantiate the facts before filing a lawsuit making wild allegations of misconduct.

Violating Rule 11 is at the lawyer’s and client’s own economic peril. If the court concludes that litigation was filed without a sufficient factual or legal basis, it has the power to impose financial sanctions, including the payment of the other side’s attorney’s fees. The rule evolved in response to a growing sense there had been an increase in the filing of abusive litigation.

The late, great federal Judge William Schwarzer wrote that one may not avoid the sting of sanctions by operating under the guise of “a pure heart but an empty head” when filing meritless lawsuits. Rather, one must pursue litigation with objective—not subjective—good faith based on actual evidence.

The plethora of filed and threatened lawsuits during this high-octane postelection cycle raises these concerns with special focus. Simply bellowing “stop the count” means nothing if there is no substantial evidence of legal or factual impropriety. Telling a court that vote count observers “are being excluded” doesn’t work unless it is true and material. And certainly, internet-inspired conspiracy theories have no place in a solemn court proceeding or in the public discourse.

Bluntly put, the ethical requirements mean that you cannot file and vaguely hope to find evidence to support your case. You must have those facts (not just suspicions) in hand or, at a minimum, specifically identify what fact will have evidentiary support after a reasonable opportunity for further investigation. Zealous advocacy, yes. Filing “pie in the sky” litigation, absolutely not.

All this means that the required evidentiary support is judged by what you know at the time of filing—not with the benefit of skewed hindsight. You must review the available documentary evidence and interview relevant witnesses before pursuing strategic, uncorroborated litigation. Implausibility, hearsay, and hopeful ideology don’t fly.

Thus, it is not enough to say in lawsuits the election was “riddled with fraud,” “stolen from the American people,” or “deeply rigged.” To the contrary and in case after case, judges (no matter who appointed them) have insisted on facts. For instance:

• In Michigan, Judge Timothy Kenny denied a preliminary injunction filed in Detroit to halt certification of the election because the assertion of “failed oversight” by election inspectors was speculative and unsupported, stating the “Plaintiffs’ allegation is mere speculation,” that they have “offered no evidence to support their assertions,” and they “are unable to meet their burden for the relief sought.”

• Also in Michigan, Judge Cynthia Diane Stephens dismissed a claim brought by an election observer claiming that poll observers were excluded, explaining “the complaint does not specify when, where, or by whom plaintiff was excluded. Nor does the complaint provide any details about why the alleged exclusion occurred.” Stephens otherwise dismissed the evidence as inadmissible hearsay without an exception.

• In Georgia, Judge James F. Bass dismissed a suit alleging that ballots received too late were invalidly counted, stating that there was “no evidence” that the ballots were invalid.

• In Pennsylvania, Judge Paul Diamond denied the Trump campaign’s motion for an injunction concerning greater access for poll watchers after the plaintiffs’ lawyers admitted that its poll observers were allowed in to observe. The judge questioned the lawyers, “I’m sorry, then what’s your problem?”

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Indeed, it is highly ironic that many of the politicians championing these election litigation strategies are the very ones in many other contexts who’ve complained of “the explosion” of frivolous litigation filed by “evil and greedy” plaintiffs’ lawyers. The “litigiousness” shoe now seems to be on the other foot.

Bottom line: You must have specific and credible evidence before you can file a lawsuit. And no surprise that the judges hearing these cases almost uniformly have and will continue to say “show me” or you’re out of here.

You may then read: https://www.justsecurity.org/73367/trump-has-a-right-to-pursue-legal-challenges-to-election-but-not-without-the-facts/

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