By Sue-Ann Wayow
NO permission was granted to any organisation to engage in a motorcade or protest on November 6 by the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS).
The TTPS in a press release on Wednesday stated that it has taken note of several social media posts in which a particular body is observed to be encouraging its members and citizens to “Drive for Progress.”
Two groups, the Movement for Social Justice MSJ, Oilfield Workers’ Trade Union OWTU and the Trinidad and Tobago Scrap Iron Dealers’ Association (TTSIDA) has been advocating for the event.
The route of the motorcade is Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba to the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain, to protest against several issues facing citizens.
The TTPS reminded citizens, “Currently, Trinidad and Tobago remains under a State of Emergency, governed by Emergency Powers Regulations 2021 which states that there be no gathering of persons in excess of ten. As such, no requests for permission for any form of protests were approved.”
The TTPS referred to section 107 of Summary Offences Act Chap 11:02 defines a public march as “any march or procession in a public place comprising whether wholly or partly pedestrians, vehicles however propelled or drawn, or bicycles however propelled.
Also in accordance to Section 112 of the Summary Offences Act Chap 11:02, “No person may organise, lead or take part in any public march unless a permit has been issue in respect thereof by the Commissioner of Police,” or in this case, the most senior officer of the TTPS.”
The TTPS is also reminding that according to law, any person who aids, abets, counsels, or procures the commission of any offence punishable on summary conviction is liable to the same punishment as the principal offender.
The TTPS acknowledged that it received three requests from the body, the latest dated October 22 being received on October 25, but at this time no approvals were given.
“The Police Service, while it empathises with citizens in their plights at this time, is mandated to enforce the law and is bound in persuading citizens to adhere to same, until such approvals can be given,” the TTPS stated.