Pam Marches on Government HQ

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On Wednesday night members of the People’s Action Movement (PAM) party and supporters marched on Government Headquarters drawing a large crowd of onlookers as well as riot police and soldiers. Sometime after 9 p.m., following a political meeting in Fiennes Avenue, opposition party leader Lindsay Grant told his followers that they would end the meeting by marching along Church Street. According to persons gathered at the federal building, Grant, other PAM candidates and party supporters donned in yellow campaign shirts were met with law enforcement officers on the steps of the closed building. It was reported by several sources that an officer pushed Grant, telling the group to “get off the steps”. A number of officers decked in full riot gear arrived on the scene and stood ready in front of the building. Defense Force soldiers and plain clothed officers also turned up and took position at the entrance of Government Headquarters. The opposition demonstrators sang and chanted as the crowd numbers grew until traffic on Church Street was blocked from the corner of Central Street. Grant announced earlier that evening that PAM was protesting the ‘travesty of justice”where Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas was disregarding the Law and defying a court order. “What has happened is that the Prime Minister is flouting the Law because he is going against the court’s order by seeking now this afternoon to table the recommendations of the Boundaries Report before him. Obviously somebody is in contempt of court. The Attorney General and the Chairman of the Boundaries Commission, I believe, are in serious contempt.”Douglas had asserted that the injunction granted by the Basseterre High Court by Justice Francis Belle last Thursday barring changes to the constituency boundaries was filed against the Attorney General and did not apply to Parliament. “The injunction was for the non-use of the documentation by anyone, which includes the Prime Minister, which includes the Speaker, which includes the house of Parliament. That is the issue,”Grant disputed. “We certainly will take to the streets.”After a few uneventful hours outside the Government Headquarters, PAM officials urged supporters to disband and journey home at about midnight. They also instructed supporters to follow instructions given by police officers. Although most of the crowd dispersed without incident, a few stragglers got into shouting matches before departing the area.

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