Rizzuto petition gathers 93,000 names
More than 93,000 people have signed a petition to protest against the appointment of Lee Rizzuto Jr as the United States Consul to Bermuda.
Social Justice Bermuda, a campaign group which organised two protests outside the US Consulate in Devonshire last week, presented the petition to John Rankin, the Governor, yesterday.
Dozens of people took part in the demonstrations against the appointment of Mr Rizzuto, a controversial contributor to Donald Trump's presidential campaign.
A spokeswoman said: “Reject Rizzuto was our first campaign because of the urgency — he is due to arrive on island as our new US Consul General in less than a month.
“This campaign included protests at the US Consulate and a petition that garnered over 93,000 signatures. We presented this to the Governor on June 10 alongside a letter outlining our requests.
“We are waiting for his response so that we can plan the next step on that initiative.”
Mr Rankin, who pledged to read the petition, said on Facebook: “Under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, the appointment of a Consul General is for the sending state to make. So the decision to appoint Mr Rizzuto as US Consul General is one that is made by the United States Government.
“The US is, of course, our nearest geographical neighbour and whatever views may be on this matter, I think it is important that we have an effective relationship with whomever represents the United States in this country and my job as Governor will be to achieve that effective relationship.”
Mr Rankin also threw his weight behind the Black Lives Bermuda march, which involved about 7,000 people on Sunday.
He said: “It was a large, impressive, peaceful demonstration which sent a clear message to which we all have to listen.
“As Governor, I wholly oppose racism and we all need to call out racism when it occurs and tackle racism when it occurs and as Governor I will continue to support all efforts in that respect.”
• To view the Social Justice Bermuda press release and the petition delivered to the Governor, click on the PDF links under “Related Media