Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 21st 2015 Contents A5
June 21, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
National Trade Union Centre (Natuc) vice
president Watson Duke has vowed to reclaim
Charlie King Junction and Fyzabad from the
Oilfield Workers Trade Union (OWTU) and to
stop them from dominating Labour Day cel-
Duke also denied that he was paid by the
People s Partnership Government to "mash up"
the Labour Day celebrations on Friday. He was
bodily removed by the police from Charlie King
Junction during a confrontation with his mem-
bers and Joint Trade Union Movement members
at the annual celebration.
Duke told Sunday Guardian that he would
be meeting with Natuc executives later this
week to discuss the situation.
He is also seeking legal advice because "a lot
of our constitutional rights were violated."
While the police acted a "bit excessive and
harsh," he said at the end of the day, they were
doing their jobs.
Noting that Charlie King Junction and Fyzabad
was a historical spot and the epicentre of trade
union struggle in the 1930s, he said: "We are,
therefore, bent on reclaiming that spot on behalf
of all citizens...A spot which has been hijacked
and stolen by the OWTU over the last 42 years."
What happened Friday marks the beginning
of the end of OWTU domination, he said, adding
"I guarantee you, you will not see another
Labour Day like that again. This is the last of
showmanship by the OWTU as being the owners
of Labour Day, Fyzabad and Charlie King Junc-
He accused the OWTU of dividing trade
Responding to Sheep and Goat Farmers Asso-
ciation leader Shiraz Khan allegation that the
Government paid him to disrupt the celebrations,
Duke said he refused to "answer such low class
accusations." He said Khan should "mind a goat
and stop making idle statements."
...'This is the last of
showmanship by OWTU'
The Prison Service has failed
in a last-ditch attempt to block
the alleged victims of last
week s prison riot from having
photographs of the injuries
taken for their pending lawsuit
against the State.
The service yesterday lost its
emergency appeal against the
order of High Court Judge Ron-
nie Boodoosingh, who granted
permission for the procedure
during a late night sitting in the
San Fernando High Court on
the Labour Day public holiday
Yesterday s appeal in the Hall
of Justice in Port-of-Spain
began shortly after 9 am and
lasted past midday due to
intense legal arguments between
the 25 inmates legal team and
deputy Solicitor General Neal
After deliberating for almost
an hour, Court of Appeal Judges
Allan Mendonca, Prakash Moo-
sai and Judith Jones dismissed
The three-member panel
agreed with lead counsel for the
inmates, Anand Ramlogan, SC,
who earlier submitted that the
prison service s concerns over
security at the Golden Grove
Prison following the riot could
not override the prisoner s con-
stitutional right to communicate
with their attorneys.
As part of their oral ruling,
the court also ordered the State
to pay the prisoners legal fees
for bringing the action chal-
lenging the prison s decision to
bar them from taking the pho-
tographs during a visit to their
clients on Thursday afternoon.
Immediately following the
ruling, two members of the legal
team visited the Arouca prison
and completed the process. The
inmates legal team also includes
Gerald Ramdeen, Kent Samlal
and Varun Debideen.
Last week s riot in the remand
section of the correctional facil-
ity ignited on Tuesday night
while prisons officers were con-
ducting a routine search of cells
for contraband items.
Multiple scuffles reportedly
started between inmates and
the officers, which resulted in
a dozen prisoners having to be
taken to hospital for treatment.
The conflict reignited the fol-
lowing morning as prisons offi-
cers were serving breakfast. The
officers were reportedly attacked
with improvised weapons
prompting the prison s riot
squad to intervene.
The second wave of fighting,
which resulted in the hospital-
isation of a further 13 inmates
and five prisons officers was
eventually quelled around mid-
day on Wednesday. There have
been no reports of disturbances
All the wounded prisoners
have been discharged from hos-
pital and have been returned to
the confines of the prison.
In a telephone interview yes-
terday, several of the alleged vic-
tims labels the fracas an anti-
Islamic attack as they pointed
that to the fact that it came on
the eve of the Ramadan period.
They also alleged that several of
their Qu rans and Islamic texts
were destroyed by prisons offi-
cers during the melee. Despite
their injuries, the inmates all
said they were still fasting.
The wounded men, 22 of
whom are on remand for mur-
der, described the incident as
savage and vicious as they also
claimed that it was unprovoked.
Their contention was bol-
stered by their legal team who
said the allegation would be a
live issue in their pending law-
suit for assault and battery.
"If prisoners are being singled
out and brutalised based on their
religous beliefs that is a gross
violation of their human and
constitutional rights," Ramlogan
said following the court s ruling
The Prisons Officers Asso-
ciation has denied the allegation
that their members actions
were based on the prisoners
Prison Service loses
appeal in riot case
Former attorney general Anand Ramlogan, left, leaves the Hall of Justice, Port-of-Spain, with his team
comprising Gerald Ramdeen, centre, Darryl Heeralal, second from left, Varun Debideen, second from
right and Kent Samlal following an emergency sitting of the Court of Appeal yesterday.
PHOTO: NICOLE DRAYTON
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