NDP holds vigil and rally in Vermont Valley
Front Page
June 19, 2009
NDP holds vigil and rally in Vermont Valley

The call for an independent enquiry into the deaths of three men in the Vermont Valley almost one month ago was the main theme of a candle-light vigil and rally held by the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) on Wednesday night.{{more}}

Close to three hundred members of the Vermont community, accompanied by persons from other constituencies, marched from the spot where Asborn Nickie, 20, and 23-year-old Brezen Frederick, both from the area, were shot and killed by police on May 28th.

Barbadian fugitive Dwayne O’Brian Herbert, aged 29, who was wanted in his country for murder, was also killed in the incident.

Persons marched from Top Village to Retreat where the rally was held, singing and chanting, and making calls for justice.

Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace, who spoke following the procession, said that the only way for the families of the slain men to gain justice for their loved ones was through an independent enquiry instead of a Coroner’s Inquest.

He said that the Inquest only tells the cause of death, but the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines should know how and why the men died and who were responsible.

“Their deaths need to be explained,” Eustace said. “There are a lot of questions that need to be answered. If the enquiry shows police were responsible, those people should pay the price according to the laws of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.”

During his address, Eustace touched on other issues that he said the Vincentian public should be concerned about. High on the list were the Constitution Bill 2009 and the current state of the economy.

The Opposition Leader called on his supporters to vote ‘NO’ to the proposed constitution, saying that General Elections are what are needed instead.

“Don’t stay home and say NO, go out and vote NO.”

“Call elections and let us see who is who,” he challenged.

“Economics is what is needed to deal with the problems in this country today, because we recognize the suffering that is taking place in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.”

“Somebody must pay a price otherwise I fear that things will get worse.”

Also speaking at the rally was Nigel Stephenson, who was recently ratified as the party’s representative in the South Leeward Constituency where the slain men lived.

He criticized Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves for words used during and after the recently concluded Vincy-Pac exercise, and questioned the silence of Commissioner of Police Keith Miller on the actions taken by the members of the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force.

“Not even the Police Commissioner knows what is happening. When we come into power, we will bring back to their jurisdiction which is to serve and to protect.”

Also addressing the gathering were area representative of the Northern Grenadines Dr. Godwin Friday and ratified representatives of South Windward and Central Leeward Burton Williams and Norrel Hull respectively.