TRINIDAD-Police halt opposition party motorcade

(Trinidad Express)

The Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) Monday questioned the decision of the police to halt a motorcade to highlight what it termed “injustices” in Trinidad and Tobago.

MSJ leader, David Abdulah said that the motorcade, which was supposed to have ended up in the capital, following the first part on Sunday, had been stopped by the police on the grounds that no permission had been given for the exercise.

David Abdulah (File Photo)

“Today was supposed to be day two and it is very sad to say that on the United Nations Day of International Human Rights our right to peaceful protest has been denied by the police at this time,” Abdulah told reporters.

He said on Sunday, the police had “co-operated with us fantastically, they escorted our motorcade, they assisted with management and ensured that everything went peacefully and well.

“We operated within the law and therefore we expected today when we would leave Paramount Building in San Fernando (south of here) and proceed to Port-of-Spain along the Southern Main Road,” he said.

The MSJ has been critical of the policies of the Keith Rowley administration that it blames for the loss of jobs in the oil and telecommunication sectors among others.

Abdulah, who has said that the party is the alternative to the ruling People’s National Movement (PNM) and the main opposition United National Congress (UNC), said that the motorcade was also intended to highlight the failures of the country’s health, education and financial sectors.

“The fact that many workers can’t make ends meet because the pay they are getting is not decent and they are barely able to survive from payday to payday. The problem of poor roads, problem of education, schools being closed, hospitals not being able to accommodate all patients on a bed, crime, violence and so on,” he said.

Abdulah said a senior official of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) had indicated that he had not received the request for permission to host a motorcade.

“He said he has not received the letter that general secretary, Ozzi Warwick, sent by email to the office of the Commissioner of Police and our position is that it is not our fault that he did not receive the letter because it was sent my email.

“And I know Ozzi Warwick was seeking to ensure that the letter was brought to the attention of the Commissioner of Police,” Abdulah said, adding that he intends to speak with the Commissioner Gary Griffth and re-schedule the motorcade.

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