‘Police leave we, leave we alone leh we march’
Front Page
February 11, 2011
‘Police leave we, leave we alone leh we march’

Charges may soon be brought against the person or persons who damaged one of the lights of one of the fire tenders that blocked the passage of a truck that the New Democratic Party (NDP) used in their protest on Tuesday.{{more}}

This is information according to a reliable police source. While our source refused to speak about the clash between protesters and police at Heritage Square, he said that the tenders were not placed there to block the protesters, but to stop the passage of a truck on which a public address system was mounted.

The NDP protest march commenced just outside the Court House, along Halifax Street, then on to Heritage Square. However, trouble broke out when the truck entered Heritage Square and encountered one of the fire tenders there, blocking the road.

Repeatedly chanting that their rights of freedom were being infringed, angry protesters surrounded the tender and shook it violently from side to side. Others expressed their frustration by kicking and beating on the truck, as Special Services Unit (SSU) officers tried to fend off the rowdy crowd.

In defiance, members of the NDP took the microphone and urged their supporters not to move, but to stand up for their rights as Vincentians.

At the top of their lungs, protesters shouted, “Police leave we, leave we alone leh we march,” as they held placards in the hot sun. “We shall overcome, we shall overcome,” was one of the songs sung by protesters. Some danced to the reggae songs played.

One woman even spread a sheet on the ground in front of the police and laid on it, which evoked much laughter from the large crowd of onlookers.

Commissioner of Police, Keith Miller, in a letter addressed to NDP’s general secretary, Allan Cruickshank, dated February 7, 2011, detailed a list of rules that must be adhered to during the march. One such rule prohibited the use of a public address system with amplified sound.

Just before protest action got underway, one of the NDP’s trucks was stopped by police in the area of Peace Memorial Hall because music was being played.

Nearly an hour after the face-off between protesters and police, the NDP’s truck reversed out of Heritage Square, on to Grandby Street. The march continued along Bay Street to the Administrative Centre, where addresses were made by Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace and other members of the NDP. (KW)