Eustace says series of protests not over
February 11, 2011
Eustace says series of protests not over

The series of protests being staged by the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) is not over, neither is it a “joke business”, warned Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace during last Tuesday’s protest.{{more}}

“We will stand up to this Government tooth and nail to ensure that our rights are maintained. I not joking about that, you know. I’m not joking about it. There cannot be any freedom. You can’t have freedom without having justice,” said Eustace.

The Political Leader of the NDP is of the view that Tuesday’s protest staged by his Party was peaceful, despite provocation.

Eustace made this declaration in relation to the police blocking off the Heritage Square road with two fire tenders.

As the protesters gathered in front of the Main Administrative Building, which houses the office of the Prime Minister, Eustace, in a speech to protesters, said the NDP has been

trying to avoid any major incidents and the protesters have demonstrated clearly that their interest is to have the Bills stopped. He made this statement in relation to the Government’s proposed amendment to the Representation of the People Act, which sets out the rules for the conduct of general elections in St.Vincent and the Grenadines, and the amendment to the Criminal Procedure Code which was passed in parliament on January 28, 2011.

“We as a party, we not interested in any violence.We are a peaceful party, but you can’t push us to the point where we have no say. We must have our say, and we are having our say here today and we’ll have it tomorrow and we’ll have it next week and we’ll have it on the third of March,” said Eustace.

“I don’t want to go on the third of March to any Parliament to sit on any Select Committee.

“I am not going to debate a bill that takes away penalties from people who do wrong,” said Eustace, as he called on the people of St.Vincent and the Grenadines to “defend” the NDP “tooth and nail”.

Eustace contended that the bills must not be allowed to pass because they are bad for the rights and freedom of Vincentians.

Regarding the amendment to the Criminal Procedure Code, Eustace told the gathering the bill has not been made law as yet because it has not been signed by the Governor-General Sir Frederick Ballantyne, nor
has it been published in the Gazette.

Eustace said he wrote a letter to the Governor-General and asked him not to signed “that wicked piece of legislation.”

The Opposition Leader remarked that he is aware that Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves is under tremendous pressure. He told the protesters it is only when they come out and show their objection, people take notice.

“I am sure that the Government is taking notice of what is happening here today,” Eustace stated.

The Political leader of the NDP called on the Prime Minister to withdraw the proposed amendment to the Representation of the People Act on March 3.

“I am saying that on that day, on that day, we will be calling you again. We will be calling on you again, to make sure, to make sure, that that bill is not passed in the Parliament of St.Vincent and the Grenadines,” said Eustace.

He warned that the series of protests staged by the NDP are not over. He added the NDP does not want the rights and freedom of Vincentians endangered in any way.

“Stand up, stand up for your rights. People of St.Vincent and the Grenadines, stand up for your rights,” said Eustace.

He said as he lay in his bed last Monday night, he wondered what the turnout would be like on Tuesday, as a result of the postponement of Parliament by the Prime Minister. Eustace said when he looked at the crowd as saw “thousands of people” he felt happy and proud.

“No government, no government, can ignore what is happening here today. No government can ignore it,” said Eustace.

Eustace reiterated that he has no confidence in Director of Public Prosecution Colin Williams.

“Today, I know that Gonzi, I know Gonzi hearing us loud and clear. He hearing us loud and clear today with what we are saying to him as a people.” (HN)