by Eulana Weekes
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN): Jefroy Morrishaw, organiser of the march in solidarity with the police said the Thursday, February 17 demonstration did not come about without challenges.
Appearing on Freedom FM’s Issues programme on Friday afternoon (February 18), Morrishaw shared the challenges he faced with organizing the demonstration. He also made claims that democracy is not alive and well in the Federation as it is portrayed to be.
“There is this misconception that democracy is alive and well in the Federation; we all know that’s not true and yesterday in itself presented that fact. As simple as folks might have taken it that I applied for a permit and the High Command approved the permit and everything went well; it was nothing like that. It was a struggle and a fight all the way through yesterday morning sometime after eight o’clock before we actually got the permit in my hand to say well, we have a march.”
DJ Morrishaw claimed that the authorities were a serious deterrent in the process of getting the permit.
“It was a serious deterrent spearheaded by the Commissioner of Police and whoever he is taking direction from and I believe that- that individual is the Prime Minister, Dr.Timothy Harris.”
DJ Morrishaw said he applied for permission to host the march about two weeks ago, but was denied less than 24 hours later. He said that he re-applied a week later and waited an entire week before he was contacted. Morrishaw said he believed he would be granted the permission to have the demonstration, but not until the day of the event.
WINN Media contacted the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hilroy Brandy who responded to Marrishaw’s claims.
“That is the furthest thing from the truth. Yes, the gentleman made an application when we were still in a pandemic. After the lifting [of the restrictions where] you can have mass events, then we [revisited] it. I invited DJ Marrishaw to come to my office to discuss the matter and to tell him that certain places that he put in for the route [are] not possible, because he wanted to terminate his march in front the Government Headquarters…so, I invited him to discuss the matter so I could give him a route.”
Commissioner Brandy added that his appointment with DJ Marrishaw conflicted with another appointment, so the matter was handed over to the Assistant Commissioner of Police, who’s in charge of operations, to have the meeting.
According to Brandy, consideration was given, due to time.
“My instruction was clear that since he’s so close, not to be unfair to him, we tell him, okay, you could re-apply and get the permission for next week Thursday, rather than having the march on tomorrow, Thursday, cause this meeting should have [taken] place on Wednesday.”
The Commissioner denied claims that Prime Minister Harris attempted to block Thursday’s solidarity march.