THE Lucian People’s Movement (LPM) has re-submitted its letter to acting Police Commissioner, Errol Alexander seeking permission to hold a public march next month.
The first letter to the Commissioner did not receive the type of response the LPM expected causing its leader, Therold Prudent to accuse Alexander of attempting to frustrate the party’s attempt to hold a peaceful march.
But Alexander was not the one who dealt with the LPM’s letter since he is out of the island.
It was SeverinMoncherry, the acting Deputy Commissioner, who pointed out the reasons why permission could not be granted and advised the LPM to resubmit its letter and to do so in accordance with the Public Order Act of Saint Lucia.
“The LPM’s letter was not rejected. It was incomplete in that it did not include some of the particulars highlighted in the Public Order Act,” said Zachary Hippolyte, Police Press Relations Officer.
Police response to the LPM’s letter noted that the letter received was neither dated nor signed and that it sought permission to hold a public protest instead of a public march.
It was noted that the letter’s headline contained the words ‘public march’ but in the body of the letter were the words ‘public protest’.
To Prudent the words are interchangeable and should not have caused any concerns with the police. He admitted to not including in the letter other particulars pointed out by the police such as an estimated number of persons expected to take part in the march.
“Firstly your letter informed my department of your interest to stage a public protest. Be informed that there is no legislation that makes provision for public protests, Section 10 (1) of the Public Order Act of Saint Lucia No. 4 of 1976 makes provision for public marches and mandates that permission be sought from the Commissioner of Police,” the police letter to the LPM stated.
“Further, section 10 (2) of the said Act provides for the following particulars to be contained in your application to the Commissioner of Police for a permit: the name or names of the person or persons desiring to organize the public march of the exhibition to which the application relates; the purpose or purposes of the march or the exhibition; the point of departure route and the point of termination of march or in the case of an audio visual exhibition, the place of exhibition; the hours between which the march or the exhibition shall take place and an estimate of the number of persons who are expected to take part in the march or to witness the exhibition,” police pointed out to the LPM.
Prudent disagreed with the police that the letter did not identify who was seeking permission for the march saying that the LPM’s letter was written on paper bearing the LPM’s letter head.
He added that the letter requesting permission for the march did clearly state the time of the activity’s commencement, its starting point which is at the Vigie Playing Field from 4:00 p.m. to end at the Derek Walcott Square.
Prudent acknowledged though that the LPM did omit to mention the purpose for the march being held. The march has been scheduled for October, 8.