St Lucian police deny permission for Black Lives Matter rally

A request for a Black Lives Matter rally to be held here on Friday, has been turned down by the police.

Goodwill Ambassador, Taj Weekes, who was helping to facilitate the rally was made aware of the government’s decision in a letter.

St Lucia’s acting Police Commissioner, Milton Desir, pointed to the Emergency Powers put in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus and said the order placed restrictions on social activities.

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St Lucia’s acting Police Commissioner, Milton Desir

In an interview with the St Lucia Times newspaper, Weekes said that it’s “unfortunate that they cannot see the necessity of a march at such a time.”

Weekes said that while he understands the COVID-19 protocols in place here, the conversation was not allowed regarding how they could have made the event possible.

Jamaicans participating in a Black Lives Matter protest in Kingston on June 6

The advocacy group Black Lives Matter, St Lucia, said the peaceful protest was planned as a show of solidarity with the protest movement against police violence and racial injustice that has been sweeping the United States and the world.

The movement was sparked by the police killing of George Floyd, an African-American man, during an arrest in Minneapolis on May 25.