Less than 48 hours after police stopped a Black Lives Matter protest outside the U.S. Embassy, General Secretary of the Caribbean Movement for Peace and Integration, David Denny has signalled his intention to stage another demonstration – this time with as many as 200 participants.
He also suggested that the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) apologise to the people of Barbados for the “rigid” position taken on Saturday, which, in his opinion, was a blatant denial of their “right to protest” while stressing that yesterday’s protest was in no way intended to create conflict with the officers.
Seemingly undaunted by yesterday’s events, Denny revealed that instead of a stationary demonstration, he would be applying for permission to stage a march in the area around the American Embassy on Saturday. He is also hoping to secure a meeting with the Commissioner of Police or his designee, to establish a clear agreement on the proposed action.
“We are working towards protest action for next Saturday at the same place, but we are changing the concept from picketing to more of a march that would allow us to easily establish the social distancing required. That would allow us to march from Banks Brewery to Harris Paints on the left side of the road and march back down on the right side,” Denny explained.
He added that the restructured proposal will allow families to march together and disabled people stand at the side, while everyone else observes a distance of six feet.
“I am going to ask permission for 200 people to participate in the march, because yesterday, I believe we had almost 200 people. The protestors who turned up are very youthful people and they have called on us to mount this protest action again next week,” the organizer added.
f successful, it would allow people residing in Barbados to express solidarity with thousands across the world demanding racial justice following the death of George Floyd while in the custody of Minnesota police.
Yesterday’s protest was cut short when a detachment of officers, led by Senior Superintendent Antonio Forte informed Denny and co-organizer Lalu Hanuman that the large number of demonstrators breached the 10 people allowed under the permit.
But Denny insisted that despite the large number, protestors should have been given the opportunity to protest in a rotation system.
“The police told us that they would not allow any form of rotation system and that the 10 persons who started the protest would have to continue until one o’clock and the others would have to leave and we said no to that,” said Denny.
“You have people all over the world in white racist countries… where people are protesting and showing solidarity with our African brothers and sisters in the United States of America and right here in Barbados, the political system from on top… has denied the people of Barbados the right to have a peaceful demonstration although we agreed to have social distancing.
“I think the RBPF should apologise to the people of Barbados because this thing went all over the world and people are saying that they have denied the people of Barbados the right to protest,” he added. (KS)