Barbuda People's Movement (BPM)
The BPM has a long history of representing Barbudans in the struggle for self-determination as an independent Caribbean people who have a unique history and way of life. An improvement came about in their relationship with the Antigua government in 2004 as a result of the defeat of the Antigua Labour Party (ALP) government and an alliance between the new United Progressive Party (UPP) government and the Barbuda People's Movement. This eradicated at least a quarter of a century of mistrust, confrontation and confusion. The BPM considers that this included the ruthless exploitation of Barbuda's natural resources by the ALP - through sand mining and the allocation of land to investors who did not have the island's best interests at heart. The BPM judged that Barbudans were being relegated to second class status in the national consciousness.
As a result of the UPP partnership the people of Barbuda embraced the passage into law of the Barbuda Land Act 2007 - you can read this and other legislation in full on the website of the Antigua and Barbuda government. This Act recognizes communal ownership of all lands on the island, and Barbudans' sole right to determine how their land is to be used, developed, and tenured in the future. In recognition of his wish to enter into a partnership with Barbuda, the UPP Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer gave the BPM representative Trevor Walker, the cabinet position of Minister for Works and Transport. This recognition was to bring many benefits to Barbuda, including major improvements in the previously neglected infrastructural aspects of the island's economy: a new and expanded roads network, a greatly improved electrical supply that did not fail, the construction of a reverse osmosis water supply system, greater educational opportunities for young Barbudans overseas, and radical improvements in the health and social welfare provisions of the Barbuda Council. Chinese government aid to Antigua and Barbuda provided a new community centre and Japanese government aid built a Fisheries building situated in the Lagoon - the most accessible place for local small boat fishers. A Pensions Act introduced into the legislative structure of the two islands has vastly improved the level of security for Barbudan workers when they reach retirement age.
Since its founding in 1978 the Barbuda People's Movement has fought to bring a bright tomorrow for all Barbudans, fund-raising locally through food fairs and small donations from local people and visitors. Trevor Walker was defeated by Arthur Nibbs of the ABLP (Antigua (Barbuda) Labour Party) in the 2014 general election and the issuing of land to 'investors' has begun again in earnest under his leadership, with the De Niro proposal for land to include an unwanted casino and a 'Barbuda Master Plan'. The BPM has vowed to continue to campaign for self-determination, equality and justice in this twin island nation as Barbudans step into the future. Read the main aims of their manifesto here (PDF version 110KB)