Linden protesters in stand-off over blockade
Members of the disciplined forces were today trying to remove blockades from various points leading into Linden as part of preparations for a planned visit by President Donald Ramotar to the tense town but protesters are opposing the move and insisting that the Head of State address them at the Kara Kara Bridge blockade.
The joint services advanced to the Kara Kara bridge at Mackenzie this morning where residents had erected a block using large pieces of lumber. They moved in an orderly manner towards the block where a sizable crowd had gathered, with the Police TSU leading and an army officer behind, followed by the grader.
Armed with batons and guns the crowd was dispersed from the bridge and the blockade was ripped away by the grader. The rails of the bridge were ripped off in the process.
Amidst shouts of “no retreat no surrender” residents insisted that they would not be removed. The formed themselves into human barriers, backing the soldiers, and rolled several lengths of lumber back onto the bridge where they remained.
The joint services then advanced again on the bridge and attempted to clear the blockade. As the loader lifted a piece of lumber, angry residents ran under the bucket and insisted that they would not be moved. There was wailing and weeping as some cried, “this is how Ramotar intend to give we justice?”.
Orders were given to arrest some of the protesters but the crowd prevented this.
With a large plank perched in the bucket, the police TSU resorted to manually removing it as protestors collected it again and stretched it across the bridge.
Resident were calmer as the TSU ranks eventually retreated leaving the GDF soldiers on the ground.
Over the past few hours the crowd has thickened and residents are calling on President Ramotar to address them at the Kara Kara bridge blockade.
Among those at the forefront of the protest were MP Vanessa Kissoon, RDC councillor Leslie Gonsalves, AFC local members Norris Simon and Minerva Munroe.
Throughout the morning’s confrontation there were several altercations between residents and members of the TSU.