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Re-route group takes protest to PM’s office
Members of the Highway Re-route Movement, led by Dr Wayne Kublalsingh, yesterday took their protest to outside the Prime Minister’s office on St Clair Avenue, St Clair, after their camp at Debe junction was demolished 24 hours earlier by army and police officers. Kublalsingh said the group of about 15 people, mainly women, decided to continue their fast outside the PM’s office because their camp was demolished. The protesters are insisting that the Mon Desir to Debe leg of $7.5 billion Point Fortin highway be abandoned and the highway be re-routed. They sat on a rug for hours yesterday. President general of the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union (OWTU) Ancel Roget sat with them for the day. Several people visited the protesters to lend their support. They included president of the Federation of Independent Trade Unions and Non-Government Organisations (Fitun) Joseph Remy, chairman of the Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) Vincent Cabrera, COP deputy chairman Vernon de Lima and COP member Robert Mayers.
They all condemned the destruction of the camp by army and police officers under National Security Minister Jack Warner. “There is a right and a wrong way to do things and the wrong way has been employed this time and people like us must see to it that the right thing is done,” de Lima said. De Lima said he was speaking as a citizen of T&T. He said the COP had not discussed the matter. He said during the last election, the people of T&T voted against the execution of such measures being carried out against citizens. “So what has happened is that we have moved the PNM and put something in that just looks like the PNM, and damn it, I am not going to stand for it.” De Lima said COP leader Prakash Ramadhar should issue a statement on the matter. “Everybody must make a statement, the whole of T&T. This is not COP business , UNC business, this in Trinidad and Tobago business,” de Lima stressed.
He said he was in full support of the protesters.“What they are doing is not wrong,” he insisted. Mayers said he was in support of the protesters and “against Mr Warner’s Gestapo tactics.” He said madness was taking place in T&T and if “we want to live in a democracy then we have to get rid of Mr Warner.” Carol Sukal was one of two female protesters who were unsuccessful in obtaining a meeting with Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar yesterday. They met with Head of the Public Service and permanent secretary to the PM Reynold Cooper. He advised them to send an official e-mail requesting the meeting. Sukal said they were confident the Prime Minister was being misinformed of the matters relating to their protest. They said they were hopeful of a meeting with the PM shortly. The protesters read their holy books and prayed outside the PMs office yesterday. Kublalsingh said the fast will continue today at the same venue.
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