BLP meeting derailed
by Latoya Burnham
The Barbados Labour Party was dealt a blow this evening when a heavily advertised mass meeting for the City was unexpectedly derailed.
Deputy Leader Dale Marshall reported to Barbados TODAY this evening, just short of two hours before the 7 p.m. planned start of the rally, themed Time’s UP in Heroes Square that permission had been withdrawn by police.
It is customary for large gatherings of a political or any other nature to require police permission and security for such to be held.
“The permission has been withdrawn by the Royal Barbados Police Force. We had had the permission in writing but we were advised this evening that the permission was being withdrawn.” Asked what reasons were given for the withdrawal, Marshall responded that they were “still looking into it”.
“I met with representatives of the party and I am awaiting a briefing from them. At this point, reason or no reason, obviously the meeting can’t continue, so we have to reassess the situation and decide where we go from there,” he stated.
Sources told Barbados TODAY though, that one of the reasons could be the sitting of Senate today, which at almost 6:30 p.m. was still in session, with Parliament Buildings being situated a stone’s throw away from the meeting platform.
The source also informed that Senate had gone into a brief recess today when one of the Government senators remarked on the volume of noise emanating from the streets that could be heard in the Senate chambers.
Subsequently, another senator, Verla Depeiza posted on her Facebook page: “Senate is in session but being interrupted periodically by loudspeaker passing and advertising a public meeting.”
The BLP’s Facebook page carried the announcement late this evening as they received police notification, with the statement reading: “BREAKING NEWS!! The Barbados Labour Party Mass Rally scheduled for tonight at 7 p.m. in Heroes Square has been CANCELLED. The Barbados Police Force has revoked its permission for this event to be staged! New details for this meeting will be released soon!”
A later notice also stated that the party was “putting in place arrangements for its rescheduling and an announcement on the date, time and place of this meeting will shortly be made”.
The announcements were met with outcry by some supporters on the same site, with one respondent declaring it a “stifling of the masses”, while another exclaimed: “Deliberately stopping a political rally huh? What desperation!”
Despite this set-back, the deputy leader confirmed the party was still already planning to come again another day.
“We are certainly intent on having a public meeting at the earliest opportunity and we will notify the public as to when and where the meeting will be,” Marshall assured.