Crane Beach. (FILE)
A protest is being organised at the Crane Beach on Saturday, starting at 1 p.m.
Organiser of the event, Dah Beach Is Mine, Chynna Glasgow, said while the island must develop, the preservation of things Barbadian was more important.
“The movement that started years ago, which was highlighted in Gabby’s song Jack, has to be resurfaced,” she stressed. Gabby will be involved in this cause.
“The new millennials have no idea how privileged we are to be afforded the opportunity to have world-class public beaches, so this protest is to bring awareness to the younger generation and to remind the older generations that this is something that should not be taken away,” she added.
Glasgow charged that businesspeople were using calculated strategies to restrict public access to the beach. She described this as a growing trend at beaches in St Peter, St James and St Michael.
“When you are placing chairs to prevent people who are not residents or guests of a particular establishment from using the beach, you are somehow hampering public beach access. And when you are removing private property from a beach, using the high tide barrier as an excuse, you are preventing public use of the beach, which affects the vendors.
“These are not some random poachers, these are registered vendors you are stopping from making a living.”
The activist said the protest would be a “quiet” traditional Bajan excursion and interested Barbadians and visitors could bring their picnic bags and take part in the event.
Meanwhile, general manager at The Crane resort, Sean Alleyne, said in a press release the hotel fully supported all beaches were public.
The statement said for the past 20 years the hotel utilised half of the space within its boundaries and the vendors operated on the other half. During that time the hotel moved from having 18 rooms to 457 today and needs the space for guest satisfaction.
“Our only issue has been with the allocation of beach chair vending licences by NCC (National Conservation Commission) for commercial use of the part of the beach that resides within our land boundaries, including the storage of beach chairs. Our research has shown that The Crane is the only hotel in Barbados where NCC licenses have been given to beach chair vendors on or directly in front of the hotel property,” the statement said. (SB)