National Security Minister Hermangild Francis told reporters Thursday that he knows for a fact that persons were looking for confrontation, as a crowd gathered near parliament this week.
Francis said the police got information that there were going to be protests.
The former Deputy Police Commissioner disclosed that as a result, the law enforcement officers cordoned off the area.
Francis told reporters the officers did so to manage the situation.
He made it clear that the police action was not a call by the executive.
“I am sure of that,” he responded when the question was put to him.
“The police did what they were supposed to do and I congratulate them,” the Minister told reporters.
He recalled that although persons came around the cordon, the officers did not react.
“That was good, because I know for a fact that persons were looking for confrontation,” Francis declared.
“If you looked at the crowd there you would see the Honourable Shawn Edward (MP for Dennery North), you will see Doctor Stephen King mingling in the crowd. Where was the social distancing?” The Minister observed.
His comments came against the backdrop of Tuesday’s gathering outside parliament by members of the Saint Lucia National Trust (SLNT) and their supporters.
They said they wanted to make their presence felt.
The Trust has been up in arms over the demolition on Saturday of the former jailhouse on Bridge Street in Castries.
The organisation said a dangerous precedent had been set because the Allen Chastanet administration reneged on what the SLNT regarded as a legally binding agreement not to do so.
According to the SLNT, the former Her Majesty’s prison was a building of immense historical value.
But Prime Minister Allen Chastanet on Tuesday defended the demolition, saying that as far as he could recall, provision was made for the government to act ‘unilaterally.’