In two letters dated August 25th and 26th, 2021, General Secretary of the Public Service Union (PSU), Mr Phillip Bailey wrote to Commissioner of Police, Mr Colin John notifying him of the union’s intention to:
Engage in a procession around Kingstown on September 9, 2021.
Engage in a demonstration in front of the Kingstown Vegetable Market, Paul’s Avenue Road and White Chapel Road from September 7-10, 2021.
On August 31, 2021, the Commissioner of Police responded to the Public Service Union letters. In his response, the Commissioner outlined certain conditions stipulated in the Public Order Act, Chapter 396 of the Laws of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Revised Edition 2009.
Reference your correspondence on the captioned subject, dated August 25, 2021.
Due to the provision in Section 7 and Section 10 of the Public Order Act, the public meeting at the Kingstown Vegetable Market, White Chapel Road and Paul’s Avenue on September 07-10, 2021 is prohibited.
Section 7 of the above-mentioned Act is captioned: Power to preserve good order and public safety on the occasion of the procession. This section inter alia, authorizes the Commissioner of Police to give directions imposing upon the persons organizing or taking part in the procession, such conditions as appear to him necessary for the preservation of good order or public safety.
These conditions include; prescribing the route to be taken by the procession and conditions prohibiting the procession from being held, or from continuing to be held or from entering any particular public place specified in the directions.
Section 10 of this Act also refers to scheduled premises. The schedule according to the Act refers to the High Court building, Bay Street, Kingstown (where sittings of the House of Assembly and Courts are commonly held, also the Head of all Ministries.
Having stated the authority given to the Commissioner of Police and the limitations placed on him by the above Act, I have given directions prescribing the route to be taken by the procession. The route that is prescribed is between Highway Trading, Arnos Vale and the Sion Hill Intersection on Thursday, September 09, 2021, between 10:00, am and 4:00 pm This is done in an effort to preserve good order and public safety.
The area that you proposed to begin your procession is the Kingstown Vegetable Market. This location is within two hundred (200) yards from a point within the curtilage of the High Court and Parliament.
As Commissioner, I cannot usurp the authority that was granted to me by Parliament and authorize your Organisation or anyone to breach the Law. Furthermore, the route proposed is; if granted, would at some point contravene the specified distance, specified time sections of the law.
Other conditions that are prescribed are:
Persons taking part in the procession must occupy only the left lane heading from Arnos Vale to Sion Hill.
No more than two (2) vehicles are permitted to be a part of the procession.
And, if you intend to use a public address system, a separate application must be made.