Opposition leader Philip J. Pierre has told reporters here that all forms of racism and colonialism must stop.
Pierre made the comments Friday as he attended a Black Lives Matter rally in Constitution Park, Castries.
“We are here to show solidarity with the cause,” the Castries East MP stated.
“We think racism is a scourge, we think colonialism is a scourge and we are here to show our disapproval with what happened in the US, but also our disapproval with racism on the whole,” he told reporters.
“We think racism must stop, all forms of racism, all forms of colonialism – whether pseudo-colonialism or not, must stop,” he declared.
Police declared the Constitution Park rally illegal.
Acting Police Commissioner, Milton Desir, denied permission for the event citing the current State of Emergency and COVID-19 protocols.
At the same time, the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF) on Thursday issued a statement expressing support for the global Black Lives Matter movement.
Prime Minister Allen Chastanet, while also indicating that Saint Lucia should support the movement, said he met with all parties and urged that a way be found to facilitate the rally while observing the State of Emergency regulations.
But he said the final decision rested with ‘the relevant authorities.’
The leader of the opposition told reporters that Saint Lucians have a right to congregate.
“The constitution gives us the right to congregate and that’s what we said,” Pierre recalled.
He noted that when the State of Emergency was extended, the Saint Lucia Labour Party indicated that the Allen Chastanet administration was attempting to subvert the rights of the people to congregate.
Pierre noted that people congregate and demonstrate all over the world.
He said he was happy that a ‘few brave people’ chose to do it in Saint Lucia.
Castries South MP, Dr. Ernest Hilaire, who was also present at Friday’s rally, asserted that under the State of Emergency, the Prime Minister is the ‘competent authority.’
“If he wants this event to take place, he just has to issue an order authorising it,” Hilaire told reporters.
“The Commissioner of Police doesn’t have the authority to approve or disapprove – he has to enforce the orders that’s under the State of Emergency,” the opposition MP observed.