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Bean blames black leaders for stroke

Forced out: Marc Bean feels he was the victim of a coup (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

The former leader of the Progressive Labour Party has claimed deceit by leaders of the black community during a wave of protests in 2016 triggered the stroke that helped to end his political career.

Marc Bean said yesterday that anti-immigration protest organisers “struck a deal in secret” with the One Bermuda Alliance government at the height of the Pathways to Status demonstrations.

Mr Bean also alleged in an explosive interview with Jamel Hardtman on The Full 100 online radio station that:

• Party colleagues broke “every single rule within the PLP” in an orchestrated campaign to remove him as leader

• Leaders in the black community, including workmen’s clubs, lodges and churches, were motivated to “improve their pocket”

• The PLP deserves a grade of C- for its efforts under David Burt, the Premier, and that the party was now “mimicking its oppressor” by operating in a similar manner to the OBA

Mr Bean became ill in March 2016, just after thousands of mainly black residents staged a five-day anti-immigration demonstration at the House of Assembly, which was supported by pressure group the People’s Campaign and the PLP.

The protest ended when People’s Campaign members Chris Furbert and the Reverend Nicholas Tweed announced the Government had agreed to withdraw its proposed Pathways to Status Bill.

Mr Bean told The Full 100: “I think the stroke got triggered when I realised that what we marched for and the outcomes were not what we saw and the people were deceived.

“We were sold out by the persons who walk around this country considering and positioning themselves as genuine leadership of black people in particular, but also of Bermudians in general.

“We were sold out, I’m not going to call names but you can just check Bernews. Those who were up at the House for a whole week, and then all of a sudden at 5.30pm in the afternoon you take the mic and tell people you struck a deal in secret. With persons who are supposed to be the enemies of the people?”

Mr Bean said his earlier claims that the OBA were “demonic” had fallen on deaf ears.

He added: “I’ll tell you what, wickedness is wickedness. You can be part of the OBA and practise that demonocracy, you can be part of the Progressive Labour Party and practise that demonocracy, and me, Marc Bean, I will call you out every opportunity I can.”

Mr Bean spent five months away from politics as he recovered from his stroke while David Burt, now the Premier, acted as leader.

He said he got an icy reception on his return — along with suggestions his illness proved he was weak.

Mr Bean added: “The reception I got wasn’t ‘Oh, welcome back, leader’. The reception I got was ‘Oh, you’re back. We’re going to do everything we can to make sure you don’t return.’”

Mr Bean added: “There was a coup against me that continued for two years straight, but they couldn’t remove me because the people had trust in me; they believed in me, they listened to me.

“They knew that they couldn’t challenge me through the constitution, so they spent the next two years subverting the constitution of the PLP and breaking every single rule within the PLP.”

“They had this long, elaborate plan to basically try to organise me to be voted out at the delegates conference that’s supposed to come up in October.

“They even went to the point of falsifying membership documents. Basically, they tried to sign up members because, in the PLP constitution, it’s the delegates who vote and the amount of delegates is dependent on the amount of active members you have in your branch.

“There was this big strategy to sign up members — do you know they even signed up members who were dead?”

Mr Bean said two members of the OBA worked “hand in glove” with the PLP to remove him as leader.

He added: “I realised these are people who inherently are just selfish and greedy, and that is a challenge we face within the black community, within all levels of leadership --- the political level is just the example; it sets the tone.”

“You will find this cancer of greed and selfishness within our workmen’s clubs, within our lodges and fraternities, and especially within our black churches.”

Mr Bean said: “Most people who enter politics might say they do it for the flowery reasons of helping people, but most have it in the back of their minds, especially in the PLP, how they can improve their own life, how they can improve their pocket, how they can get something for themselves.”

Mr Bean declined to give the PLP’s record in government since last year a pass mark.

He said: “I would give the PLP a C-minus. Premier Burt is responsible for it because he’s the leader. I feel that the PLP can do much, much more to uplift the people of this country.

“But the challenge is, you find yourself having an issue when you preach one doctrine in the election and then your actions reflect something completely different. At some point, people are going to truly wake up to what’s going on.

“The PLP’s behaviour is very similar to the OBA’s behaviour. The OBA deceived Bermuda in order to become the government because they were the UBP and all they did was change the colour of their away jersey.

“What I see is a lot of behaviour that mimics the oppressor coming from within the PLP.”