The Saint Lucia Labour Party (SLP) candidate for Babonneau has announced plans to write to the Commissioner of Police for an explanation, after disclosing that officers stopped a charity initiative in the community.
“We plan to write to the Commissioner of Police to verify what gave rise to that kind of action,” Dr. Virginia Albert-Poyotte told St Lucia Times.
She says a group of people from Plateau, Babonneau, decided to have a National Day activity to raise funds for the needy.
She said the organisers were selling items including fish cakes, bakes, ‘cocoa tea’ and ripe bananas to members of the public on a ‘grab and go’ basis.
However Albert-Poyotte told St Lucia Times that although the organisers were observing COVID-19 protocols, including wearing gloves and masks, police ordered them to pack up and leave.
The SLP Babonneau candidate observed that Christmas is approaching and the women were raising funds to distribute to people in the community who are struggling, including the elderly.
“It is really a shame to see in these hard times that people are trying to help those who are most in need and the police were given directives to come and stop the activity,” Albert-Poyotte lamented.
“They asked the officer which of the protocols they were violating and the officer never said anything about protocols, he just said they didn’t have permission,” she disclosed.
Albert-Poyotte said the incident occurred about 9.00 am on National Day.
She explained that members of the public were buying items and leaving, not hanging around the place.
The SLP candidate, who will be seeking to unseat the Babonneau incumbent Ezechiel Joseph at the next general elections, asserted that because of the incident, the organisers of the event are not sure what protocols they were violating or whether regulations can be arbitrarily implemented by the police.
“That is an issue of concern – people are on the road selling food items so they can get income to survive, so I don’t know which rules they are actually breaking,” the veteran educator told St Lucia Times.