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Port-of-Spain residents stage fiery midday protest (with CNC3 video)
Residents of Nelson and George Streets in Port-of-Spain yesterday staged a fiery demonstration, blocking the road with burning tyres and debris to protest what they described as Government’s “broken promises” of better living conditions and jobs.
Residents dragged out old mattresses, appliances and tyres, placed them in the middle of upper Nelson and George Streets and set them alight during the protest around 1 pm. Police were quickly on the scene and fire tenders from the Wrightson Road headquarters extinguished the double blaze.
George Street resident Ingrid Paynter said, “This is about the people of George and Nelson Street wanting better conditions and jobs. “The Government came in here two weeks ago with a big PR promising jobs with URP, CEPEP, promising to refurbish our community centre and basketball court for our children.
“We told them specifically we don’t want any big PR because, you know, it’s all about politics, and nothing has been done since.”
National Security Minister Jack Warner made a visit to the area on September 30 to broker a peace deal between two warring gangs and returned with a team of Cabinet ministers comprising Works and Infrastructure Minister Emmanuel George, Social Development Minister Glen Ramadharsingh, Housing Minister Roodal Moonilal, Attorney General Anand Ramlogan, Local Government Minister Suruj Rambachan and Pastor Winston Cuffie to listen to the plight of residents on October 2.
A Nelson Street resident said: “The problem is the Government not doing anything for the poor man out here. The buildings are not maintained by the Government, water leaks from all the roofs and the wiring is over 20 year old.” Paynter said if the Government wanted to reduce crime in the area it must help the people, especially the young men.
“This is our plight today and we will continue doing it until somebody listens to us, because George and Nelson Streets are the heartbeat of Port-of-Spain and they can’t treat us lightly but with respect.”
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