The clamorous chants of “we want justice…we demand fair play” by some 1 500 supporters of the Concerned Citizens Movement, echoed through the streets of downtown Charlestown yesterday (July 12) in protest of what they claimed to be a rigged election.
At about 3:30 p.m., disgruntled supporters of the CCM began gathering at the Memorial Square in Charlestown for a 4:00 p.m. meeting at that venue with their party’s Leader Vance Amory.
On arrival of Amory and the party’s Deputy Leader, Mark Brantley, and hearing that the Premier-designate, Joseph Parry, Hensley Daniel and Robelto Hector were scheduled to be Sworn In at approximately 5:00 p.m. at the Elquemedo Willet Park, the rapidly growing crowd decided that a protest march should take the place of the meeting.
It was evident that the Leaders were hurt, but their feelings did not supersede those of their supporters who abandoned the meeting and boldly headed towards the Park chanting, “We want justice…we demand fair play.”
Amory and Brantley, despite their pleas, finally decided not only to lend support to their party’s supporters, but to lead them on the march. However, some 20 metres from the Charlestown Police Station, a number of officers ran to the front of the procession and demanded that they desist from their intention.
After approximately 10 minutes of discussion between the party’s leaders and the police, the former relented and the march continued. But, on arrival in the vicinity of the Elquemedo Willet Park, a reinforced police barred the protestors from entering the venue.
This action resulted in remarks such as, “Why have a Swearing In Ceremony when they know that they thief the election? Why can’t we enter the Park when we are all Nevisians? Is it because we are wearing blue? What about those who are within dressed in green T-shirts?” But this did not persuade the officers from the stand they had taken.
So, the protesters blocked the road, bringing traffic to a virtual standstill, as they shouted “boos, thief and rigged election” as certain members of the Nevis Reformation Party (NRP) were entering the Park, especially Hensley Daniel and Laughton ‘Laffie’ Browne. On arrival of a St. Kitts’ delegation led by Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas, the chants, boos and shouts of “thief” reached a crescendo.