Are They "Rebels" or Are They "The People"? What American Colonists Would Say If Still Around
by AnselLoya July 03, 2011
British Colonialism continues to be a struggle for Turks and Caicos under British government occupation.
Today, as Americas are set to celebrate independence from Britain on July 4, we can be inspired by the changes they have made and the adversity they had to overcome to defeat colonialism. Turks and Caicos cannot change their dire political situation today under British recolonization, but they can reflect and learn from the failures and successes of the American colonists who broke free and are celebrating their independence from colonial Great Britain.
There are lessons to be gleaned from America’s struggle with the sanctimonious King George III and the English government so many years ago. George III had a reputation in Britain among his peers as being the failure of imperialism, due to his inability to successfully constrict the will of the colonists into submission, though he tried every form of intimidation to stop their demands.
The colonists in America referred to George III as a tyrant. He refused to acknowledge the demands of the colonists, who he called rebels, but publicly vowed to retaliate against them by promising to, "keep the rebels harassed, anxious, and poor, until the day when, by a natural and inevitable process, discontent and disappointment were converted into penitence and remorse.”
This is still how things are done today in Turks and Caicos. The British way is to retaliate against and harass “rebels”, otherwise known as people who are speaking out for democracy. As you will read in this story, they are harassed and retaliated against until they feel remorse wondering if it was worth voicing their demands for their collective human and democratic rights.
During the time of the struggle of the American colonists, the British security soldiers infiltrated the communities of the American rebel peers and told the people that the “rebels” were committing treason and threatened supporters with the crime of treason. The British also called on all British loyalists (Torries) to publicly and socially tear down the rebels. It was a basic form of British propaganda.
The British have found a new way to infiltrate Turks and Caicos communities looking for people to harass and quiet the “rebels”, they use the internet to harass people. For every “rebel” in Turks and Caicos that speaks against British tyranny, there is a British recruit trying to crush their spirit with accusations and lies about the “rebel's” character or reason for wanting rights or making the British abuses seem palatable. The harassment is immense and comes in many forms, including threats by the UK prosecution team who confiscates property and assets of individuals without a trial. Everyone else is silenced with that abuse as an example.
Turks and Caicos “rebels” are not asking for independence, they are asking for democracy. That is what makes their oppression worse then the American colonists, they demanded much more than Turks and Caicos Islanders are demanding. Turks and Caicos Islanders want to restore their self government, elections and democracy.
Before there was rebellion in America against the British, there was a struggle as to what the thing was that needed to be fixed. Seeking independence from Britain was unchartered waters. The main problem that colonists could put their fingers on was that they had their own self sufficiency yet were taxed by Britain on top to create revenue for Britain, they were also forced to purchase British imports or imports that generated revenue for the British. The colonists grew frustrated knowing they did not vote for British parliament to represent them, yet taxes were imposed anyway by parliament. Parliament insisted that it had the right to legislate for the colonies "in all cases whatsoever". This angered the American colonists.
The British are doing this right now in Turks and Caicos by imposing their laws without a vote. The British are insisting that they can take anything they want because they have the sovereign right. Ian Hendry from the Foreign Commonwealth Office told the people that the UK can do what it wants because it, "calls the shots”.
Even though Turks and Caicos had a (well) self sufficient government in place without any benefits from the British at all, not even welfare benefits given to the British citizens, the British still insist that they can tell Turks and Caicos citizens what to do or what they can’t do.
The UN made a ruling in June 2011 finding that British Overseas Territories have a right to sovereignty. The British do not abide by the UN ruling, they obey nobody because they have the power to call the shots simply because they say so. Erstwhile, Turks and Caicos citizens live as colonists did in America without rights to vote on British government impositions, without an elected government, without democracy and without any rights to say it’s so without enduring extreme harassment.
Most colonists in America knew that a foreign parliament legislating for them was a problem but they argued with each other about how to handle this injustice or if there was a problem at all. Thomas Paine, the author of a lengthy pamphlet circulated at the time called Common Sense, asked the colonists in his pamphlet to open their eyes to what Britain was doing. He said, “a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right.” Paine urged the colonists to see the necessity of (what we now know are the founding fathers’) opposing views and political persuasions from Britain.
The founding fathers of America wanted to create a Constitution representing the values of the colonists. Not just any government, but a society that would grant every citizen a democratic right to create government by the people, for the people. The constitution shaped government and society on the ideals that all of its citizens would be equal and have a say in the governance of the country, an ideal that was denied to them under Britain and George III.
After a long and violent abuse of power by Britain in the American colonies, the undertaking of convincing the colonists to rise against the oppressors was not popular at first. Paine responded saying that he understood that “his sentiments are not yet sufficiently fashionable“ but the oppressive system of government and King’s palaces “are built on the ruins of the bowers.” He said the British government nor the King can meet the increasing public concerns of a public distanced so far away from where laws are made and adjudicated, so much so that the British parliament could not represent the colonists. He further argued that because the colonists had no rights to vote in parliament, it made no difference that parliament was not acquainted with the needs of the colonies, they had no say in it anyway.
The powers vested in Britain excluded the colonists yet empowered judgments without their say. That form of British government power displayed a clear lack of impartiality, and the colonists’ standing were more akin to British property.
This happens today in Turks and Caicos. The citizens are so far removed from the British legislature which are making decisions for them without their vote. It is the same struggle that American colonists fought and died to overcome.
Yet, the “rebels” sit in judgment of an artificially created opposition to keep them from believing they are right to voice the peoples' rights which are being denied. Why are the “rebels” degraded by the loyalists, the same usually nameless loyalists that should be questioned for their motives instead of the other way around. What have they to gain by denying a country's citizens their democratic rights?
As for the American colonists, we know the rest. The “rebels” were renamed with their rightful title as “the people” and defeated Britain and George III. As the citizens of the United States of America celebrate their independence from Britain, Turks and Caicos citizens should also pray to one day be “One Nation, under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.” These are worthy values for which all countries should have or for which to aspire.
God bless Turks and Caicos Islands. Happy 4th of July to The United States of America.