By Prior Beharry
THE walk from Arima to Port-of-Spain by the Candlelight Movement (CM) to present a petition to Parliament at the Red House no longer takes place on April 9.
It has been adjourned in the wake of an increase in Covid-19 cases as reported by the Ministry of Health and the announcement by Police Commissioner Gary Griffith that he has suspended all permission for vigils and marches.
A release on Monday by public relations officer of the CM Kandace Bharath-Nahous stated: “In response to the advisory against marches put out by the Commissioner of Police himself being guided by the medical authorities and the changing Covid-19 situation, the CM wishes to advise of our continued commitment to the upholding and adhering to the law and any Covid-19 regulations which may be in force from time to time.
“As such, the CM has decided to postpone our walk from Arima to Parliament, previously scheduled for April 9 for one month.”
She said the CM also intended to reassess the situation and update the nation at the end of the one month.
Bharath-Nahous said, “We also take this opportunity to extend the deadline for the return of signed petition sheets for the one month period, and embrace the opportunity to increase our target from one hundred thousand to two hundred and fifty thousand signatures to facilitate the overwhelming response from persons still wishing to sign the petition.”
She said May 9 will now become the cut off for collections of signed petitions nationwide and on that day a new date for the walk from Arima to Parliament, to serve Parliament with the petition will be announced.
The CM was formed following the death of Arima court clerk Andrea Bharatt and the numerous candlelight vigils held in her honour and other women who were murdered in Trinidad and Tobago.
The CM wants at least 100,000 physical signatures in the petition calling for:
- Decriminalisation of non-lethal weapons for women including but not limited to tasers and pepper spray;
- Fast tracking system to obtain a Firearm Users Licence (FUL) for women;
- Registration and regulation of PH taxis to create a system that safeguards the travelling public;
- Implementation of a system of control for the issuing of official motor vehicle license plates; and
- A Commission of Enquiry into the Criminal Justice System.