|"Desist from shooting innocent people"- Granger||| Print ||
|Written by Denis Scott Chabrol|
|Tuesday, 06 December 2011 14:19|
Even as police insist that Tuesday morning’s march was illegal and resulted in several persons being shot with rubber bullets and arrested, leader of A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), Retired Brigadier David Granger is insisting that they have a legitimate right to protest to support their demands for reconciliation of Poll Statements in the November 28 general election.
Among those struck, treated and detained are former Chief of Staff of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), Brigadier Edward Collins; former GDF officer, Fitzroy Corlette and APNU youth activist, Attorney-at-Law James Bond.
Speaking with reporters outside the Brickdam Police station after visiting Collins and Bond, Granger accused the police of over reacting because no one was threatened or persons or buildings or persons attacked.
“We will always behave in a lawful manner and this morning we were behaving in a lawful manner when fire opened us on our peaceful protesters,” said Granger.
The former APNU presidential candidate said his party would probe claims by the police that no permission was granted for the march. Despite what he termed as “indiscriminate” shooting of the protesters, he insisted that pressure would continue until the Guyana Elections Commission gives into an all-party verification of the results of the November 28 general election.
“We ask the police to desist from shooting innocent people and causing injury. They are creating a crisis where none should exist,” said Granger. he said lawyers for the opposition coalition would be representing the interests of the detainees. Demerara Waves observed that at least six persons have been detained.
APNU claims that there were a number of irregularities including multiple voting, persons being discouraged from voting, altered and missing Statements of Poll and possible ballot box tampering. Those claims have been for the most part been rejected by the Guyana Elections Commission.
Top APNU representatives were Tuesday expected to seek a meeting with Police Commissioner, Henry Greene.
For its part, the police force warned that it would continue to crack down on all protests that it deems illegal.
“The Guyana Police Force wishes to issue another warning that no unlawful march, procession or meeting will be tolerated and that it will deal firmly with any person or persons wishing to breach the peace and disobey the laws,” police spokesman, Ivelaw Whittaker said in a statement.
The police account of Tuesday’s incidents is that around 9 AM a “crowd” of persons gathered at the Square of the Revolution purportedly to be part of a march organized by the Youth Coalition For Transformation, an organisation headed by Attorney-at-Law James Bond and is reportedly the youth arm of APNU.
Police said the group had previously applied for permission to use a noisy instrument at the Square of the Revolution December 4 and 5 with timings. But on Monday around 2:50 PM they applied for a Youth March for Change around the city. No date or time was stated. The group later informed the police that they wanted to march from today Tuesday December 06, 2011.
“This was in breach of the statutory 48 hours notice and no permission was granted to the organisation. This was communicated to Mr. James Bond,” police spokesman, Ivelaw Whittaker said in a statement.
Whittaker noted that the persons gathered at the Square of the Revolution were warned that they should disperse as no permission had been granted for any march.
The police spokesman noted that subsequently a group of persons headed by retired Brigadier Edward Collins was seen formed up on Brickdam facing west and, despite being warned, about 300 persons marched off west along Brickdam. The police then engaged them and they turned south into Winter Place and then west along
A number of persons sustained minor cuts and bruises.
Shortly after, at about 1055h; another crowd was seen heading east along
All the arrested persons were taken to the Brickdam Police Station from where those persons who were injured were escorted for medical treatment.
APNU representative, Aubrey Norton told reporters opposite the Providence Police Station that the decision to stop the buses amounted to a flagrant attack on the civil liberties of the activists. “It is evident that it is political harassment. What they are seeking to do is to politically harass you so people cannot protest and it’s a manifestation that this government does not want to accept that it is a minority government,” Norton told Demerara Waves Online News (www.demwaves.com )
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