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    Posted August 18, 2014 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Protests around the world

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    Bahamas Consul General for Missouri warns Bahamians to avoid Ferguson riots

    (Atlanta, Georgia)… Bahamas Consul General Randy E. Rolle is urging Bahamians residing and visiting Missouri to please heed cautions and avoid the city of Ferguson in the wake of recent unrest.

    Though based in Atlanta, the Consul General’s Office has jurisdiction over the state of Missouri.

    Consul General Rolle confirmed that his staff has been put on alert to prioritize calls from Ferguson, Missouri following the death of 18 year-old Michael Brown. The teen was shot by a policeman last week. As a result of the shooting, the city has been described as a ‘war zone’ in media with locals protesting, others looting and policemen in military garb trying to maintain control.

    “We encourage Bahamians in the area to please remain away from being a part of the protests and especially getting involved with the riots and looting,” he stated. “If you or anyone you know is encouraging you to join them in criminal activities, you will find yourself in a serious situation with authorities. Adhere to the warnings, curfews and cooperate if you are required to do so. Our office is the one that will be contacted if Bahamians get in problems in the state of Missouri and we do not wish for that to happen.”

    “There are also those who wish to participate in peaceful protests at school or in public,” he added. “Please know the risks involved before deciding to go out there. The police chief has made the statement to media that if you get tear-gassed it’s your fault. I am advising Bahamian students especially, to please consider staying on your campuses.”

    While Consul General Rolle did not comment on whether or not the events were racially provoked, he said whatever the reason is, allow those who have a job to do to do it without getting in the way.

    “It is a known fact that the majority of The Bahamas is of African heritage and according the US media, there are a lot of people who consider what is going on in Ferguson to be racially motivated,” he said. “I am not going to address that issue, but I will remind Bahamians students in particular that the United States is much more diverse and their lifestyle and culture is not quite the one we grew up with where people connect you by family names or which island you are from. Bahamians students are to remember they are visitors who are in this country to focus on obtaining higher education. The photos and videos being shared alone are reasons to avoid the area. This is a dangerous situation and for their safety, I encourage them to stay put.”

    Consul General Rolle said that his office will continue to monitor the situation closely. He further encouraged Bahamians in the area or their family members to register them with the Consul General’s Office of Atlanta in the event of emergencies. For contact information and forms, visit www.bahconga.com
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