Heavy equipment blocks the main road in Orient Bay on Monday. (Robert Luckock photo)
MARIGOT—The RN7 in Orient Bay close to the Leader Price Supermarket was blocked from early this morning with heavy equipment on news that one of the Beauperthuy parcels of land owned by the Webster family is set to be sold at auction on Tuesday, January 25, based on a decision by the Court of Cassation.
“The rest of our property is to be sold at auction tomorrow, so basically we are being kicked out,” explained Randy Webster.
The Webster family has consistently stated it has legal title to the land. Webster said the road block was not put in place by the family but by the St. Martin people.
“We are not giving up under any circumstances. We have title to the land and that should be respected. Nothing has been resolved from our negotiations with the préfet, and the situation is getting worse. If this auction is not stopped, other plots will be auctioned off. The préfet made a lot of promises to us but has not kept them. He said he was going to cancel the auction but he hasn’t done so.”
By early afternoon, space was made on one side of the road block for cars to pass. Gendarmes were present to observe the situation. Director of Cabinet Services at the Préfecture Julien Marie also attempted to persuade protestors to remove the road block but was refused.
Whether the road block will still be in place tomorrow is uncertain.