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David Denny, General Secretary of the Caribbean Movement for Peace and Integration, at the helm of the Black Lives Matter solidarity protest, en route from Kensington Oval to Independence Square.

Protesters get their day in the spotlight


In stark contrast to last week’s attempt at a protest, scores of
protesters got the chance to have their day in the spotlight as they
joined the Caribbean Movement for Peace and Integration’s solidarity
march from Kensington Oval to Independence Square in Bridgetown

The march got off to a prompt start from Kensington Oval around 11
a.m., and made its way through Fontabelle, onto Cheapside and then
onto Broad Street before culminating in Independence Square, with
demonstrators boldly bearing placards which read, “Black Lives
Matter”,  “Take Your Knee Off My Neck”, “I Can’t Breathe” and “Racism
is the Pandemic”, amongst others.

Chants of “Black Lives Matter” and “No Justice, No Peace” also echoed
throughout the air, as David Denny, General Secretary of the Caribbean
Movement for Peace and Integration, armed with a bullhorn, led the
charge whilst donned in his own “Black Lives Matter” T-shirt. Many
protesters followed suit with black T-shirts of their own, pumping
their first skyward, also singing at intervals “We shall overcome some

There was a heavy police presence from members of the Royal Barbados
Police Force who accompanied the protesters on foot, on motorcycles
and in automobiles, to ensure that there was a peaceful event. A few
onlookers could be seen taking in the day’s proceedings.

Last Saturday, what was supposed to be a peaceful Black Lives Matter
protest by the same organisers just outside the United States Embassy
in Wildey, St. Michael was cut short, as there was some discrepancy
between police and the organisers about how the event would run. Denny
said then that the protest action was designed to be a show of
solidarity against “any form of racist action” against African people,
indigenous people and minority groups, as the African liberation
struggle continues.

It was in keeping with the ongoing, US-based protests against the
death of George Floyd, an African American man who died in
Minneapolis, Minnesota recently after Derek Chauvin, a white police
officer, reportedly knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes while he
was lying face down, handcuffed on the street. Denny and protesters
ended up in a war of words with officers after their plan to rotate
protesters at intervals was said not to be in keeping with the
permission given for just ten persons to stay for the duration of the
event, and claims of “police harassment” ensued. Denny pledged then to
have a second go at protest action.

However, yesterday’s march was a far cry from the scenes of last
Saturday as the day’s proceedings appeared to be much better
organised. Some protesters were also allowed to join the march along
the route and there were no squabbles about the number of people
allowed to participate.

There were some fears earlier in the week that the second attempt at
the protest would not come off, after it was said that permission had
been denied by the police force, and Denny made it known that he would
likely be taking the matter further.

However, reports later came that Attorney General Dale Marshall gave
the approval for yesterday’s Black Lives Matter solidarity protest to
take place. (RSM)


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