ASP Timothy Hazelwood and other police officer removed protest material from the “Frontline” in Kingstown on Friday.

(Scroll for video)

Persons who have been protesting in Kingstown since the announcement of the results of the Dec. 9, 2015 general elections say they will not back down after police again removed their placards, flags and other protest paraphernalia on Friday.

Glenda Jack, a vendor who takes place in the protest, said she was on the “Front Line” — the area on Back Street, Kingstown where the protest has been taking place since Dec. 10, 2015 — when Assistant Superintendent of Police Timothy Hazelwood came sometime between 10 and 10:30 a.m. and asked her who was in charge of the items.

“I say, ‘Ask me no question’,” Jack told iWitness News in Kingstown, where protesters had gathered for a meeting Friday afternoon.

Jack said that Hazelwood again asked the question then proceeded to rip down the placards from the façade of a building and threw them into a police pick-up truck.

Hazelwood, who is head of the Rapid Response Unit of the Police Force, was accompanied by another officer from that unit and two traffic cops.

Jack said he also removed the articles of furniture.

“I was sitting on a bench. He asked me whose [was] the bench. I told him the bench is mine. He say, ‘And ye mark ‘Frontline?’ Ah say, ‘I am doing my business.’ So he say, ‘OK then. Sit down.’ And he go.”

Glen Jack, a vendor and protester, was in the area when the police arrived. (IWN photo)
Glen Jack, a vendor and protester, was in the area when the police arrived. (IWN photo)

Other persons who normally take part in the protest said that the police also took their dominoes, bullhorn, food containers, and flags.

“He did not tell me why they are taking the stuff,” Jack told iWitness News.

Jack said someone had brought a piece of galvanise sheeting for her to make into a grater for her farine operation and the police took that also.

She, however, said that she was not protesting at the time.

“I was sitting with me peanuts and them. I was selling. I … sell peanuts on the picketing line,” she said, adding that she does take part in the protest.

Rohan Simmons of Diamonds said he noticed the police operation as he was walking toward the area, having exited a bus a few moments earlier.

Simmons filmed part of the operation on his mobile phone.

“As I [was] walking down, I noticed Mr. Hazelwood was taking down the placards them and throw them into a transportation. Then I take out my phone and began videoing and he was like ‘Get away from here. Go up the road. Stop the recording.’ So I was like, ‘Why should I stop?’ So I continued videotaping the process,” Simmons told iWitness News.

Simmons told iWitness News that the actions of the police will not deter them from protesting.

“We are not going to stop. We are going to beef it up this time because this is not Julian Francis, Ralph Gonsalves, Camillo, Isis, Storm — we all are Vincentians and this country belongs to all of us. I, Rohan Simmons, will die for my country,” he said, but did not say why that might be necessary.

The police also removed furniture from the protest area.
The police also removed furniture from the protest area.

The protest has been taking place next to the Electoral Office, and protesters and the opposition New Democratic Party, who they support, have accused Supervisor of Elections Sylvia Findlay of wrongdoing in the Dec. 9, 2016 general elections.

The NDP has filed matters in court relating to the results of the elections, which officials say the ULP won by taking eight of the 15 seats, compared to seven for the NDP, a repeat of the 2010 poll.

But about four hours after the police operation, another protester, Dexton Williams of Sion Hill, was erecting placards again on the façade of the building where D’s Services were located, the same area from which police had removed the placards earlier.

“We are executing our democratic right to do so, and, second to that, this building is not owned by the government and the proprietors of this building have granted us permission, to endorse their expression from their rails… Verbal permission,” he said.

Dexton Williams erect new placard in the area Friday afternoon. (IWN photo)
Dexton Williams erect new placard in the area Friday afternoon. (IWN photo)

Williams portrayed Hazelwood as overzealous and acting in pursuit of a promotion.

“Mr Hazelwood, of all the police officers in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, is trying to hype himself for some vacancy they probably have as a quick pick within the Police Force in terms of chain of command.”

Williams also expressed displeasure that former commissioner of Police Michael Charles has retired without addressing the issue of items that police had earlier removed from he picket line.

“So he deserves a certificate for being a commissioner of police who [retire] from the Police without addressing some items which rightfully and legally belong to some protesters.”

Luzette King, the leader of the protest, had recently expressed concern about the waning support for the demonstration.

Time will tell if the actions of the police will reinvigorate the protest, as has been the case in the past.

https://youtu.be/CiIQPRP4CjA

11 replies on “‘Front Line’ wows to ‘beef up’ protest after police remove their items — again (+Video)”

  1. Don’t give up Vincentians keep on protesting… African American have seen worst, dogs were set on them, water hose and the police brutality back then was unthinkable, therefore black people in this small Island you too will overcome the tyrant in y’all country… People are watching outside of your Country… Don’t give up, one day, someone will intervene on your behalf

    1. Luther Bonadie says:

      Jan Ass,

      You are not that bright, Now where is the connection between American civil right movement, and half dozen misled foolish Vincentian who don’t know there ass from there mouth.

  2. 1. The police should clear all vendors, squatters, and pedestrian and vehicle blockers off the streets of Kingstown.

    2. Police Hazelwood should sue Wiliams for defamation.

    3. These sore losers have a right to demonstrate but not in a way that obstructs the sidewalks.

    4. Still, continuing to demonstrate shows contempt for our democratic electoral process as does the boycott of parliament.

    1. There is the difference between you David and any person with a normal thought process. Sometimes I have great regard for what you write and then you inject crap remarks like this and show the ignorant side of your thinking.

      Demonstrating is actually part of our form of democracy, it is a democratic right to protest. The demonstrators have not achieved their aims and should continue.

      Our electoral process should be democratic but is was not it was stolen. David if you were walking in Kingstown and you felt your wallet being removed from your trouser pocket and then saw the back of someone disappearing into the crowd would you tell the police you lost your wallet or that someone stole your wallet.

      The suing has to stop it’s a nasty form of bullying.

      Demonstrations should bring an amount of inconvenience to people. The demonstrators on Kingstown are not blocking the footpath; I was able walk past them with comparative ease. If they did not have placards and were not visual and visible it would not be a demonstration. There is no violence except that offered by the police on the instructions of someone higher up the regime ladder. The police behavior has been provocable and the demonstrators have in the main remained of good behavior.

      Their reason for demonstrating is valid I have seen and reviewed the actual evidence there is no doubt in my mind that someone or some group of ULP conspirators committed several individual election frauds on the night and before the night of the elections in December of last year 2016. Those election frauds when grouped together had the effect of giving the ULP a number of seats that they did not in fact win.

      As for staying away from parliament that is a valid act of protest carried out in every parliament worldwide, with the exception of North Korea and Communist China and a few other nasty regimes.

      I do not know if you try and provoke comments from the readers by what you write or if you are genuinely an A hole.

    1. Luther Bonadie says:

      Yea Lost pet,

      So you are one of those people who eat there cake and want it too.
      Now, where are you on the picket line, perhaps you are like that LAZY Eustace.

      1. I hear they are going to have a kissing booth set up on the front line. Ralph is going to be running it. I am sure you will be the first in line!…HA!

Comments are closed.