Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 30th 2013 Contents A13
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President general of the Oil-
fields Workers Trade Union
(OWTU) Ancel Roget is calling
on the Government to "back
off" from using the Police
Service to block citizens from
engaging in peaceful protests.
"You cannot create the situ-
ation for dissatisfaction and for
citizens to raise their voices and
then the police is sent to repress
them," Roget said on Thursday.
"That is a dangerous road to
traverse. We call on the Gov-
ernment to back off from that
approach and we call on the
police not to be used as tools."
He made the call as he
addressed the media outside the
Police Administration Building,
Port-of-Spain, where he deliv-
ered a letter to acting Commis-
sioner of Police Stephen
Williams raising the issue and
seeking a meeting with him.
In a subsequent media release,
the Joint Trade Union Move-
ment (JTUM) said every citizen
has a right under the Consti-
tution to freedom of association
and assembly, but noted that in
recent times during peaceful
protest and picketing, union
members "were aggressively
denied the right to such action
by the T&T Police Service."
Roget said they urgently need
to meet with the police author-
ities to discuss these matters.
"It is absolutely necessary to
seek a meeting with the Com-
missioner of Police to voice our
concerns around the recent
attacks on peaceful protests
around the country," Roget said.
"We believe it is a concerted
attack and the Police Service in
this country is being used as a
tool to attack and repress any
form of peaceful protest."
He said the OWTU and labour
movement have never engaged
in any other form of protest but
"We have seen in our silent
protest on August 21 and our
protest at Sea Lots and the Unit-
ed Fisherfolk and how they were
treated. The police were used in
a vicious way to arrest and
detain and attack protesters," he
He said time has reached for
dialogue with the police.
"There is the view being ped-
dled by some police officers that
the right to protest is not a right
to be enjoyed by all citizens. And
that you must ask for police
permission to stage peaceful
protest. We think otherwise.
"It is a sad day in the country
when issues can arise, all of
which offend the citizens but
the citizens do not have a voice
and cannot raise their voice in
condemnation. This is a right
not to be trampled upon."
Roget also warned there will
be more protest action coming
"This is with the question of
this new round of negotiation,
some of which have expired and
workers are getting overly anx-
ious to have their terms and
conditions renewed and signed
off. Those protest actions are
on our doorstep. When we do
it, we do not want to be harassed
by the police or some sections
of the Police Service which, in
our view, will be used as a tool
of this Government," he said.
Roget calls on Govt:
Stop using police to
block peaceful protest
OWTU president general Ancel Roget, right, leads JTUM members out of the Police
Administration Building on Sackville Street, Port-of-Spain, on Thursday, after
delivering a letter to the acting Police Commissioner calling for a meeting to address
police intimidation and arrests of peaceful protesters. PHOTO: MARYANN AUGUSTE
Justice Geoffrey Henderson
says he is really honoured by his
appointment as a judge of the
International Criminal Court.
Henderson, who is presiding in
the San Fernando First Criminal
Court, was responding to congrat-
ulations offered to him by attorneys
Subhas Panday and Rekha Ramjit
in open court on Tuesday.
Panday said this country was
instrumental in the establishment
of the ICC.
Noting that President Anthony
Carmona had also been appointed
an ICC judge, Panday told Hen-
derson that after his nine-year
tenure, he may also consider fol-
lowing in Carmona s footsteps.
Henderson, who is also a former
director of public prosecutions,
said, "I can assure you I will always
do my best."
Henderson was appointed to the
ICC based on elections held during
the Twelfth Session of the Assem-
bly of States Parties to the Rome
Statute of the ICC, which took
place in The Hague on September
23.He received 98 votes of the 99
States Parties present and voting,
with one abstention. (SW)
Henderson pledges to do best at ICC
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