Monday 28 September, 2020

UPDATE: Police stop Bajan George Floyd protest outside US Embassy

Protesters lining the street outside the US Embassy.

Protesters lining the street outside the US Embassy.

The Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) brought the solidarity protest to be held at the US Embassy in Wildey to a halt before it even started officially.

Protesters and organisers became upset at the news that they would no longer be allowed to carry out the protest as intended after members of the RBPF informed them that the permit for the protest was revoked.

 

This news came after the Force also said that only ten persons would be allowed to participate in the protest on the Embassy location. 

However, in the face of such push back Denny was sticking to his guns that it was understood to be 10 persons at a time at the Embassy location.

"I am not happy with the decision and this is a clear cut case for us from the Caribbean Movement for Peace and Integration to write the United Nations Human Rights Committee and to write to the Government of Barbados, which would be the Prime Minister, to express our disgust against police harassment in Barbados," Denny said.

Protesters remained outside the Embassy grounds but were told by authorities that they had to disperse as the large assembly was in contravention to COVID-19 guidelines.

Chairman of the Pan African Coalition in Barbados, Wayne Onkphra Wells was present at the assembly and made a statement in support of the protest and condemning the actions of the RBPF.

Wells said:

"If it is one time that Barbados should be proud of its sons and its daughters it should be this morning.

"Look at these people come out to express solidarity with the universal pain that we Africans suffer regardless of where we are. We as a people we are saying enough is enough. And instead of the Royal Barbados Police Force using a hard hand, it is so easily that they can compromise the situation and say ok give us the right to rotate. Because this is not a situation that should be stopped by force but a situation that should be encouraged." 

The protesters remained until 12.45 pm when they were told by the organisers that it would be best to disband the protest as they believed a strong statement still had been made.

Suggestions were made that the possibility of another protest may still happen but Mr Denny said that was yet to be determined.

 

Bajans turn up for George Floyd protest despite rainy skies, COVID-19

[Original story: 12.09 pm, June 6, 2020]

COVID-19 and rainy conditions did not stop protesting in Barbados.

The COVID-19 pandemic restricted the numbers and impacted the look and feel of the protest action, but just as the rain did not dampen spirits, the intention of the protesters was still clear.

 

Armed with a megaphone, organiser David Denny of the General Secretary of the Caribbean Movement for Peace and Integration (CMPI) was on the street outside of the US Embassy in Barbados located in Wildey, St Michael. Members of the Royal Barbados Police Force was on hand as well.

Umbrellas aplenty and persons wearing black on this 'Black Saturday' grew in number from after 11 am. Initially less than 50, the numbers increased as noon approached.

Placards read "Black Lives Matter. I can't breathe", "Don't just say it, believe it. Black Lives Matter" and more. As Denny asked of persons, people had more names than just George Floyd on their placards. One couple listed as many as 16 names of black women and men who died as a result of police brutality, excessive police force or no-knock warrants in the United States in recent years.

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Amongst the protesters were Community Health Educator Sade Leon-Folkes, Former Government Minister Stephen Lashley, Denny's fellow Pan Africanist Wayne Onphra Wells and Author Sulieman Bulbulia of the Muslim community. 

Ahead of today's event, Denny said that the protest action had to take another form with batches of 10 persons being permitted at a time due to the social distancing protocols which form part of the COVID-19 Directive.

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