St Lucia police deny permission for Black Lives Matter rally

CASTRIES, St Lucia (CMC) – A request for a “Black Lives Matter” rally to be held here today has been turned down by the police.

St Lucia’s Acting Police Commissioner Milton Desir, in a letter on Wednesday, informed the Goodwill Ambassador Taj Weekes – who was helping to facilitate the rally – of the decision.

In the letter, the acting police commissioner, pointed to the Emergency Powers (Disasters) (COVID-19) (Curfew) (No 8) Order 2020 and the restrictions it places on social activities.

In an interview with the St Lucia Times newspaper, Weekes said that it’s “unfortunate that they cannot see the necessity of a march at such a time”.

Weekes said that while he understands the COVID-19 protocols in place here, the conversation was not allowed regarding how they could have made the event possible.

The advocacy group Black Lives Matter, St Lucia, said the peaceful protest was planned as a show of solidarity with the protest movement against police violence and racial injustice that has been sweeping the United States and the world.

The movement was sparked by the police killing of George Floyd an African American man, who was killed when a white policeman kneeled on his neck for almost nine minutes in Minneapolis on May 25.

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