Teen activists ‘asking right questions’

| 28/06/2019 | 16 Comments
Cayman News Service
Protect Our Future members (L-R) Richard Weber, teacher Bill LaMonte, Mikayla Corin, Olivia Zimmer and Jack Paolini

(CNS): Local teenagers at the forefront of the growing green movement in Cayman were applauded and urged to press on with their activism at a public meeting on Wednesday. Johann Moxam, who has been one of several activists behind the petition for a people’s vote on government’s proposed controversial cruise project, said they “were the bravest teenagers in Cayman’s history” and “were asking the right questions” that people in authority did not appear to want to answer.

Richard Weber, Olivia Zimmer and Jack Paolini, students at Cayman International School, hosted a small public meeting in South Sound to recap the Protect Our Future movement and the growing number of different environmental-related campaigns that have emerged in recent years.

Having just won a conservation award and spearheaded a schools demonstration and a wider publicity campaign about the environment, the students have become a driving force in the goal to protect the environment and place green issues at the top of the political agenda.

The young people, who are all on their way to university overseas, said that there was a new group of teenagers ready to pick up the baton who felt just as passionately as they did about the environment and the need for a much greater effort by government to protect the Cayman Islands’ natural resources, such as mangroves and reefs, as well as reduce waste, ban single-use plastic and curb coastal development.

Having invited a number of guest speakers to talk about specific areas of concerns, from the Save Barkers campaign to the cruise port, the teenagers are very clear about the need to continue what they have started.

When Johann Moxam took the mic to talk about the Cruise Port Referendum campaign, he lauded the young activists and said they were the teenagers he wished he could have been. But he pointed out that in the past, standing up to the establishment was simply taboo in Cayman and just not done.

“These guys are the bravest teenagers I have ever seen in Cayman,” he said.

Moxam raised concerns about the numerous threats to the environment, not least from the cruise port. In the absence of a plan for Cayman’s future, he accused government of making things up as it went along and pandering to special interests. But, he added, “There is now a wave which we have never seen in Cayman before,” as he lauded the teenagers and all of their peers making their voices heard.

Moxam said that Caymanians had not historically held their elected officials accountable or called them out when they do not serve the interests of the wider community. He urged the young people to press on and not be deterred by their critics who accuse them of being manipulated by people behind the scenes or for not being Caymanian, when they all are.

He urged everyone to be more conscious of the actions of the government and called for the continued solidarity between the various groups and campaigns now emerging in Cayman whose common purpose is to protect the future.

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Comments (16)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Many of these teens who hold Caymanian status and Cayman passports are prohibited from running for office by the Cayman constitution. Apartheid Cayman Style. These kids know no other home.

    • Anonymous says:

      Incorrect the youngsters will be eligible to run for public office. Their parents are not eligible to do so.

      • Anonymous says:

        Holding other citizenship and/or “birth” passports is disqualifying, the way the Constitution Order is set out now. As we’ve all witnessed, there are no other criteria/qualifications imposed on candidate lawmakers beyond their belonger dossier. There are remarkably loose imprisonment/criminal record rules, and no active SIPL mechanism to check for conflicts or personal solvency per the “disqualifications” section, by design of this Cabinet.

    • Anonymous says:

      The constitution is unlawful. Challenge it in the U.K. Courts and the prohibition on significant numbers of Caymanians who have never known another home from even running for elected office would be immediately struck down.

    • Anonymous says:

      Poster refers to the disqualification of all dual-citizen Caymanian Status Holders, and/or those BOTCs that once sought or will seek dual-citizenship to which they may be eligible. ie. Section 61.1(d) and 61.2 of Constitution Order 2009.

      Qualified candidates must be born in Cayman Islands, hold Status, qualify as BOTC citizen, be 21, and if born outside, have a parent or grandparent born in Cayman (who held no other citizenship apart from BOTC).

      It’s as if holding a second non-resident citizenship somehow corrupts the oath of allegiance, supersedes personal intelligence/accountability, education/reading ability/understanding of law, and/or district representation loyalties.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Fix the damn dump kids!

  3. Anonymous says:

    any one of theese kids would do a better job than dwayne ‘jon-jon’ seymour.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Proud of you! Keep up the pressure and education. Young people can make a difference and save what the old have destroyed due to their blissful ignorance.

    • Anonymous says:

      Greed, ignorance, and contempt are just three of the prevailing corruption hallmarks we are living through. Enactment of SIPL remains THE most important undone business of our Constitution Order 2009.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Bravo! Hopefully teens like these will be the future of Cayman politics – well-educated, concerned about international issues and hopefully ethical!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Hope the dump does not escape their attention.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations to these students! When very brave and SMART!! This is a small island and disappearing quickly.

  8. Anonymous says:

    It is these types of young people who are possibly going to save the future of Cayman.

    Wishing them success with their green / sustainability agenda.

    Maybe we will have a Green Party one day on Grand Cayman?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Finally these young activists are standing up to our government and making their voices be heard for their rights.
    Thank God, wish all of you a great success and keep pushing for your future.
    We will support you in ever way we can.


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