Thursday, 16 August 2012 02:30
By caribarena news
Antigua St. John’s – ‘Minister of Helps’ Eugene Humphreys has hit yet another stumbling block in his attempt to secure permission for public protest.
This time it is a demand from Police Commissioner Vere Brown for Humphreys to supply a copy of the passports of the individuals listed to speak during a proposed march on Thursday.
Humphreys explained that he has petitioned the Commissioner for permission once again to stage a march on August 16 on what has become his usual route through the city.
He said in that letter, like many others before, he provided the names of the individuals he expected would speak at the end. The names were the same as in other approved marches with the exception of two new persons.
The full list of speakers includes Eugene Humphreys, Colin Sampson, Errol James, Lionel Hurst, Ralph Francis, Hugh John, Elroy Benjamin and John Williams.
But Humphreys said he received correspondence from the Commissioner of Police, through his secretary, demanding that the identity page of the passports belonging to four of those seven individuals, namely Errol James, Hugh John, Elroy Benjamin and John Williams, must be provided before the application can be processed.
“The letter that I sent to the Commissioner clearly states that these people are nationals of Antigua & Barbuda,” Humphreys said.
He added that he has since made inquiries into the matter from former Commissioners of Police with whom he maintains contact.
“I was told that it was nonsense because Section 62 of the Public Order Act only states that if someone is coming from outside the country their nationality and identity must be sent to the Minister of National Security and Commissioner of Police.
“I will not get no passport from anybody. I am not immigration. I will not do it. Vere Brown will not get this from me. He cannot get it. It looks like he wants me to join him in breaking the law,” Humphreys said.
Over the past several weeks, the self-appointed ‘Minister of Helps’ has managed to successfully hold at least two marches through the city. And he said that although he has not received permission to take to the street on Thursday, he has not quite decided whether or not he would stay at home.
“Tomorrow is the march and I will make a decision on what I will do then,” Humphreys said.
The march will look to reiterate calls for Prime Minister Spencer to institute a Commission of Inquiry into the overspending for the fencing of playing fields and basketball courts around Antigua as well as the Wadadli Power Plant.
Humphreys had also filed a separate request to hold a march on August 23 commencing at Michael’s Mount. This demonstration, however, would be a show of support for the resignation or removal of the Commissioner of Police, Vere Browne, “due to the lack of suitable responses to the increase of crime in our country, and the division within our Police Force”, the organiser indicated.