The permit for today’s ‘Black Lives Matter’ protest was revoked because the organizers did not adhere to the conditions agreed upon.
This was revealed by Officer in Charge of the Bridgetown Division, Senior Superintendent Antonio Forte, in a hastily called press conference at Central Police Station this afternoon.
Scores of Barbadians from different ethnic and racial backgrounds congregated at the entrance to the US Embassy from just after 11 a.m. this morning to stage a protest over the recent murder of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis.
The protest was organized by the Caribbean Movement for Peace and Integration and the 13th June 1980 Movement. It was to be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
However, around 11:30 a.m. a senior police officer stationed at the protest informed Lalu Hanuman, who had applied for the permit as well as co-organizer David Denny, that they had received word from the Commissioner of Police that the permit had been revoked.
Police still allowed the march to continue for another hour before Hanuman, with the use of a police microphone, informed people that the permit had been revoked and they would have to leave.
He said failure to do so could result in them being arrested.
But Forte told members of the media that the organizers had disobeyed the law.
He said it was for this reason the permit was revoked.
Forte explained that while the march was limited to just 10 people, a large number took part in the protest.
Additionally, he said those taking part in the protest were not practising social distancing.
Some of the other conditions were that protestors should not obstruct the highway, there was to be no deviation from the route, placards or banners were to be no larger than six feet square and were to be sanitized and all participants in the protest were required to wear masks.
“During the preparation for the start of the march it became evident that the number of participants far exceeded the numbers specified in the permit. This was an obvious breach of the conditions that were agreed to and as a result a decision was made by the Commissioner of Police to revoke the permit,” the senior officer said. (RB)
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