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Eustace: We are carrying the protest to PM’s office

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The New Democratic Party (NDP) will proceed with plans to stage a protest in Kingstown today.{{more}}

This, despite the postponement of today’s scheduled sitting of Parliament to March 3 and a visit today by a ship from the Princess Cruise Line with approximately 2,500 visitors and 1,500 crew on board.

Instead of protesting in front of the House of Assembly all day, the NDP has made some changes to their plans. They will now start the protest there at 10 a.m., march to Heritage Square before proceeding on to Bay Street where they will assemble in front of the Main Administrative Building, which houses the office of the Prime Minister.

“Since he’s not having Parliament, we are carrying the protest to his office,” said Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace.

“That’s where we will have most of our protest,” said Eustace on the NDP’s sponsored New Times talk show yesterday. He said the police have been notified of the NDP’s plans.

“Instead of being in front of the Parliament for long hours…with an empty Parliament, we will carry the protest to the Prime Minister’s Office. So the protest will continue,” said Eustace.

Eustace said with nothing happening at the House of Assembly, there’s no real focus standing outside there.

He said this decision was made by him and colleagues within the NDP, mainly the Opposition’s Members of Parliament.

The NDP has been protesting the proposed amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code of St.Vincent and the Grenadines, which requires that persons seeking to file private criminal complaints first seek permission from the Director of Public Prosecution; and the Representation of the People Act, which governs the conduct of general elections here.

According to Eustace, the NDP was only notified of the decision to postpone the sitting of Parliament yesterday morning.

He used the opportunity to reiterate his Party’s call to the business community to close their businesses.

“So we are asking people to come out tomorrow, you know, come out tomorrow and join us in that protest,” said Eustace.

Regarding the visit of the Princess Cruise ship to St.Vincent and the Grenadines, he said he also only knew about this on Sunday night for the first time.

Eustace, however, did not go into any further discussion on the issue.

He, however, focussed on what he said was the need for Vincentians to protect their rights.

“You hear people say all the time that they can’t see any impact on them, so in that case they are going to pass it any way so why worry? The point is, if you allow your rights to be chipped away all the time, there will come a time when you have none and you have complete dictatorship in this country,” said Eustace adding a stop has to be put to this early.

“There will be a time when it will affect everyone of us and then you end up with situations that you have in Egypt and those places where hundreds of people lose their lives, because when they try to protest, there is so much that the regime has in its favour, that people lose their lives,” said Eustace. He said whenever Parliament is held again, a protest will be staged.

Eustace told the nation that Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves is backing down and is running scared and that is the real reason why Parliament is being postponed.

NDP’s Public Relations Officer Vynnette Frederick in an address, said that she endorses Eustace’s position.

She said the Prime Minister’s postponement of the sitting of Parliament “is like putting off the firestorm that is to come in St.Vincent and the Grenadines, as long as you undermine people’s rights.”

Frederick said the people have decided to stand up to protect their rights as free Vincentians.

“The fact that you put off Parliament does not change the fact that you change the law and people are not accepting it. So whether it is you are going to be in the Prime Minister’s Office tomorrow, we coming there. Maybe you are going to stay away from work tomorrow, you can’t hide from the people of St.Vincent and the Grenadines. So this running, back tracking and dodging, dodging and weaving, is not acceptable and the people are coming out … in their numbers,” said Frederick. (HN)

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