Group condemns unruly city protesters
Guyana Chronicle
June 27, 2004

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THE Indian Arrival Committee (IAC) has condemned the criminal behaviour of unruly protesters on Regent Street, Georgetown, Friday and said the police should have arrested those breaking the law.

Pockets of protesters moved around streets in the city’s main shopping area Friday ordering owners to close stores and many obeyed out of fear of previous looting and attacks from opposition-led street demonstrators in recent years.

The IAC said the “unruly band of PNCR-led thugs” prevented many persons from conducting their lawful and legitimate business on Friday.

It expressed disappointment at the failure of the Police Force to apprehend those persons caught blatantly breaking the law on Regent and Camp streets.

“The IAC wishes to register its extreme disappointment with the inexplicable failure of the Police Force, once again, to apprehend those persons blatantly breaking the law on Regent and Camp streets and stress that the police should have been preemptive in their actions to protect the general citizenry from these miscreants”, a statement from the group said.

It said that although police permission was given for a peaceful march, “certain unruly PNC/R-led and supported elements bent on lawlessness and criminal intent diverted from the approved routes and invaded the business community on Regent and Camp streets, proceeding to terrorise the owners, staff and customers of business places.”

It said that as in the past, most of those terrorised by the “politically-driven criminal elements were of Indo-Guyanese origin.”

The group also denounced the assault and robbery of a female Indo-Guyanese by “criminal elements” during the Friday protest.

The IAC said the Police Force has the responsibility to ensure that marches of this type do not turn out to be violent and intimidatory affairs since it has been proven in the past that they usually degenerate into mayhem.

It called on the police to apply the full force of the law on all those who are bent on disorder.

The committee also urged Police Commissioner, Mr. Winston Felix to mobilise all resources at his command to solve the Thursday killing of George Bacchus and to “swiftly bring to justice the perpetrators of this criminal act.”