Leader of St Vincent and the Grenadines main opposition party Godwin Friday says the Caribbean island is entering uncharted waters and unprecedented times.
Friday was speaking to the arrest on Wednesday, of opposition spokesperson Colin Graham and the party’s General Secretary Tyrone James.
He said all these actions that have been taking place stems back to a protest on August 5, one of the largest the country has seen in years.
“Yesterday at my office, the police came into the New Democratic Party’s office building. There were four officers, so I am told, that entered the building towards the leader of the Opposition office.
I was told they were looking for the party’s General Secretary, Tyrone James, and having met a staff member, they were told he was not in the office, they left.
Police armed with assault rifles came to the opposition party’s building.
I mean, this is the leader of the Opposition. This is the opposition party’s office. You have a truckload of officers from the RRU (Rapid Response Unit), and after they did not find him here, they went to his home. A truckload of officers with assault rifles for an offence that is non-violent and minor”.
When asked why they have not arrested or searched his home as yet, Friday said, “Maybe they are saving the best for last”.
Friday said what is happening in SVG ought to make international news.
“At no time in our history or indeed not post-colonial history were senior members of a political party arrested by the police.
This has never happened, where an arm of the State was brought to bear or to prevent opposition persons from organizing a peaceful protest in Kingstown or anywhere else.
Does it mean now that if an individual in a constituency sees something wrong and wants to protest about it, they now have to worry about being arrested? Where is the democracy in this country?”.
Friday said if you get rid of the Opposition, you get rid of democracy.
Public Service Union leader says ‘anything is expected’
Leader of St Vincent and the Grenadines Public Service Union says that anything is expected after what has happened in the last couple of weeks.
Elroy Boucher, head of the PSU, responded to a question asked by Luke Boyea of Hot97 on Thursday about whether he was worried that the police might come knocking at his door.
“Nothing will surprise me; it appears now that the trade unions are the enemies of the government, simply because they don’t agree with some of their policies”.
Boucher says the PSU, the Teachers Union and Nurses share the same view on the Public Health Amendment Act.
According to the unions, the changes to the Act makes it mandatory for some categories of workers to be vaccinated.
The government has consistently said there would be no mandatory vaccination on the island.
Over the last few weeks, several opposition activists were picked up by the police and charged following a protest in Kingstown on August 5, leaving Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves with an injury to the head.