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Gary warns: It’s illegal to disrupt political meetings

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Minister of National Security, Gary Griffith, yesterday advised members and supporters of all political parties that it is against the law to disrupt, intimidate, incite violence or destabilise public order at the gatherings of other political groups. In a media release, Griffith said in accordance with Articles 46-50 of the Summary Offences Act, all political gatherings are allowed freedom of assembly without fear of intimidation or violence. 


“It must be noted that the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, the lead law enforcement body, will be ensuring that all such gatherings are staged in a safe and secured environment,” Griffith said. Griffith assured that law enforcement officials will be present at all political meetings to ensure a sense of public safety and security. 


Griffith release came after Independent Liberal party leader jack Warner wrote to him complaining about an incident on Thursday, in which protestors stormed a political meeting hosted by Barrington “Skippy”Thomas at the Himalaya Club in Barataria. 



While Thomas was speaking, several protesters armed with placards entered the meeting and began protesting. At one point they also stormed the stage and surrounded Thomas, calling on him to leave the United National Congress if he was so disenchanted with the party and its leader, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar. Police officers at the venue eventually removed the protestors from the stage but they continued their chants and jeers throughout Thomas’s speech.