NDP plans protest march; PM advises them to change date
July 19, 2013

NDP plans protest march; PM advises them to change date

Two rallies and one march, organized by the New Democratic Party (NDP), will be held over the next seven days, to protest the recent arrest of Senator Vynnette Frederick.{{more}}

Activities are expected to begin tomorrow night at Mt Bentick, Georgetown, where the first of two public rallies is expected to take place.

The second rally will take place on Tuesday, July 23 at Layou, followed by a protest march beginning at the NDP Headquarters at Beachmont and ending at the Administrative Building in Kingstown next Friday, July 26.

Following these protest actions, Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace said that a prayer vigil will be held during the New Times radio programme on Tuesday, July 30, the day before Frederick will appear before magistrate Ricky Burnett at the Mesopotamia Magistrate’s Court for a date to be set for the hearing of nine criminal charges she now faces.

Eustace made the announcement of the protest action, first on Tuesday on the “Current Affairs” radio programme then on Wednesday during the “New Times” radio programme, both on NICE radio.

“It is time that government understands that it just can’t go over our rights as Vincentians… they have been put there by people and will be moved by people,” Eustace said.

He encouraged listeners to attend the planned events, saying that they needed to come out to the meetings and the march, to demonstrate “their disgust” with the actions of the government over the past couple of days.

“Because we cannot allow this kind of thing to happen without any protest, so we are working to put matters in place for those events that will take place over the next few days,” the Leader of the Opposition said.

He said that he plans to meet with the chairpersons of the various NDP constituency councils, because he wanted to have the full involvement of all in this exercise.

“So, we have a situation in this country, where we really don’t know whether we have rights or not, despite our Constitution which gives us or supposed to give us certain fundamental rights and freedoms.

“We don’t have that and this is an example of what has been creeping up on us over a period of time and those who have spoken about it in the past, they say we thinking doom and gloom, but the reality is our rights are being eroded; they are being removed from us and we not supposed to speak,” Eustace said Monday.

“It’s not just about Vynnette; it’s about a system of justice for St Vincent and the Grenadines, a system that protects your rights and your freedoms, as required by our Constitution and all of us must be conscious of that,” the Leader of the Opposition said.

He said that he found it annoying that there was an administration in office that was prepared to disregard the rights and freedoms of the people and he called on everyone, “to do something”.

However, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves has advised the NDP to hold their protest march on another day, if they want him to see their pickets.

Gonsalves called in to Star Radio yesterday and said on July 26, he will be in Cuba.

“If the object is to draw my attention to the protest, I want to advise them this morning, have the protest on another day, because I will be in Cuba and I don’t think I will be back.”

The prime minister said he will be in Cuba to attend the 60th anniversary of the attack on the Moncada Barracks by a group of 82 exiled revolutionaries including Fidel and Raul Castro. The attack on the barracks took place on July 26, 1953.

Gonsalves said a number of heads of government have been invited to attend. He said the main celebrations are taking place on July 26 and if he can get a flight, he will return on that night, but he will not be here during the day.

“So I am saying to them, if you want me to see the protest, don’t put on that day, put it on a day when I will be here. I am advising them. …If you want me to see your pickets, hold it on a different day.

“I am telling them in advance,” Gonsalves said. (DD)