Salisbury road cleared; protesters vow to continue

Scene of the protest earlier in the day
Scene of the protest earlier in the day

The Salisbury section of the E.O Leblanc Highway has been cleared by the police.

Residents and farmers from the area blocked the road in protest action, saying the government has neglected the area and the roads, especially farm access roads, are in a deplorable condition.

Although the road was cleared, the protesters vow to continue until they hear from the government.

The protest action began early on Monday with protesters using old tires, derelict vehicle, trees and debris.

Hundreds of people were left stranded.

Earlier in the day the police were pelted with stones and other debris as they try to remove the roadblock and they had to retreat.

The government had proposed a meeting with a ten-member delegation in Roseau but the protesters turn it down saying government representatives should come to Salisbury instead to discuss the matter.

In Facebook a posting Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit, described the matter as “politically motivated.”

“Unfortunately, they have not accepted that offer,” he wrote. “This therefore leaves me to wonder if there is a real desire for resolution or whether this is politically motivated.”

Earlier in the day he had said on state-owned DBS Radio that the protest was uncalled for and illegal.

Later in the day the police used tear gas and pellets to disperse the protesters and the road was cleared.

Meanwhile National Security Minister, Rayburn Blackmoore, said the protest is totally unacceptable and “is a clear voilation of the rule of law of this beautiful country and has absolutely no place in a civilzed society.”

“I want to emphasize that in a civilized society people have a right to proceed with their daily lives uninterrupted,” he said.

He stated the laws of Dominica will not be violated.

“This is a classic case where some people have taken the deliberate decision to break the laws of this country in the most blatant manner and that cannot be allowed to continue,” Blackmoore remarked. “I want to call on all genuine Dominicans, including those from the beautiful village of Salisbury, to demonstrate the highest degree of leadership in this regard.”

He commended the police for excercising restraint.

“I have been advised that stones and other missiles were pelted at the police and I have been further advised that a police vehicle was vandalized,” he said. “In that regard therefore I trust that the police will act appropriately, consistent with the rule of law…”

DNO understand one policeman was injured and had to be taken to hospital.

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  1. Salisbury massive
    May 12, 2015

    I have never been more proud to be a resident of Salisbury than yesterday . I saw Salisbury residents un ited in purpose across all political lines. Salisbury farmers have languished for proper feeder roads, while thirty two million dollars was wasted on an election campaign. Let us remain resolute in this struggle, knowing that we shall be victorious in the end. Let us walk with our heads high. we have been known to be an independent people, working hard for what we want. don’t give up the fight, for we shall overcome.

    • I am from Salisbury
      May 12, 2015

      They can protest but this is not the way to do it, by blocking the main road you can cost someone their life who is in need of an ambulance also you are impeding the rights of others.

  2. THAT IS Dominican
    May 12, 2015

    True Dominicans. Not red not blue NOT TRIBAL. One people making a difference. The SERVANTS of the PEOPLE will know their place.

    These people are Dominica.

  3. thinker
    May 12, 2015

    Listen to mr. Blackmore””The protest is totally unacceptable.”” Mr Blackmore, one of the most unacceptable thingscoming things i can recall,is your behaviour that you displayed at a meeting you held with staff of DASPA a few years ago,where you threw insults at hard working staff. Honestly, i thought your behaviour was very animalistic. Go back to the drawing board. Secondly, let me say, you mr. Skerrit, could have brought the situation in salisbury, to early end. You asking the people to form a 10 man delegation to come to meet with the ministers, is a cowardly act on your part. Only by being on the ground in salisbury, you would know the greviences. But know you cowards could not face the crowd. What a lazyyyyyy government

  4. Titiwi
    May 12, 2015

    Mr. Blackmoore I heard you this morning, Mr. Skerrit I heard you yesterday. Was the blocking of a major road in Roseau last Dec. for the manifestation of a labour event legal?
    Did you get permission from the police before you did that? Yes, the blocking of the highway yesterday was very inconvenient but the blocking of the road around the ferry terminal and the post office for the best part of a week was not less so and a headache for many of us.
    Please, be a leader, humble yourself , show some magnanimity and go and talk to the people in Salisbury. That would be far more appreciated and effective than insular rigidity.

  5. smh
    May 12, 2015

    Where is the Leader of the UWP and the other members of the party? I have not heard their voices in all this. Is it that they don’t support this?

    • jah dominik
      May 13, 2015

      Maybe you did not listen.. They were on the grounds and also spoke to the media.

  6. AA
    May 12, 2015

    Well well, the people had a peacefull protest and the government responded with force. I am presuming that next time the protesters will have a forcefull protest. WE GO SEE

  7. peck
    May 12, 2015

    Surprised this took so long. …we continue to neglect or own while we cater to foreigners…social unrest cannot be covered and hidden….go through history…….. it always signifies a new beginning…

  8. May 12, 2015

    In any democracy like ours,we always have the right to protest. We do NOT have the right to interfere with OTHER PEOPLES TIGHTS while we PROTEST. So while we unreservedly have the right to gather an put up roadside protestsigns anywhere, we do NOT have the right (without police permission) to block public roads and prevent other persons’ rights to reach work, get to appts, attend school, etc.. Further, it is ALWAYS the responsibility of the POLICE , to RESTORE LAW AND ORDER. .So great job, Commmisioner, ASP Cuffy Williams and all the troops Unfortunately, there are many in opposition who believe that only a breakdown in law and order will bring down the government, . The police must ALWAYS stay on top of the situation. WEt he people must not cofuse our RIGHTS with our responsibilities.under the Constitution.

  9. Wa Papa
    May 12, 2015

    You guys pelting stones, setting fires, blocking the road and causing civil disobedience and you want the delegation to come to Salisbury? Come on! There is some measure of security that these people must take into consideration. You made your point and the authorities have listen. You were asked to come and discus your plight and you refused. This is some kind of misguided advice to refuse the invitation. This shows that you are motivated by some other means and not very concern about solving the problem

  10. Helas!!
    May 12, 2015

    We are all dominicans, and no one place should be made to endure such bad roads because the vote the other way!!!!
    what about the people who voted for you and those who did not vote.

    really this is bad politics, punishing your citizenry for exercising their democratic rights.

    except if they are only allowed to vote labor

  11. Helas!!
    May 12, 2015

    have you even seen the roads in Salisbury sir?

  12. Gabby
    May 12, 2015

    Good job to the protestors for standing up and showing what they want. I do not advocate violent activity, but sometimes we must use actions when words have failed. Do not be afraid to let your voices be heard when our politicians’ promises have failed to materialise, as they so often do.

  13. The Facts
    May 11, 2015

    It appears they are out for a war. They do not want to attend a meeting in Roseau. Imagine rudely dictating to the government to come to them, drive all the way to Salisbury to meet with them. Well, you all came to Roseau to stage your demonstration and disrupted traffic and prevented Dominicans from going about their business.
    The PM or his ministers must meet with you. In other words they are saying, I am important, better and higher in position than you and you are not. You come to me; meet me where I am.
    He does not have to do any such thing. You have a complaint and want action, you go to the meeting in Roseau and peacefully and amicably voice your concerns.
    You people are something else and out-of-place. Just whom do you think you are? Do you operate Dominica? Your attitude is a shame. Law-abiding and peaceful Dominicans have a right to be upset with you. For what you have done, you will not get their support and empathy. You blew it!

  14. The Facts
    May 11, 2015

    These days there are too many demonstrations and illegal ones. What is the idea? You are not the government; not the leader of D/ca. I tend to think that it was politically motivated. What would they not say and do?
    This was not a genuine demonstration. They are rioters, seeking trouble. You are not giving D/ca a good name. You are projecting to also the outside world, the type of people you are.
    They want new roads or roads repaired. Is this the manner you want your voices heard? Wrong approach!
    Some people think that the government has billions of dollars and that everything should be done immediately. What is your revenue contribution?
    For crying out loud! Rome was not built in a day! Exercise patience, respect and discipline.
    They are fortunate more police force was not used. Keep it up and see what will happen. Some of you will be arrested and also imprisoned. This may be better for you, to keep you quiet and somber. This is what you deserve.

  15. Doc. Love
    May 11, 2015

    When one reads Skeritt’s face book remarks, you would think, efforts were made by Government to resolve the situation. What Skeritt isn’t telling the world is that the protest started approximately 2.30am in the morning with only a few people and all they were asking was for the Minister of Agriculture or Security or Prime Minister to visit them in Salisbury. The hard headed Skeritt refused, thus causing the problem to escalate ], which could have resulted in death. It is unfortunate that during election time, Skeritt could find himself at Salisbury to seek support for the DLP candidate, now he has won the general elections, Dominicans are of no use to him. I say shame on Skeritt and the DLP Government. :mrgreen:

  16. %
    May 11, 2015

    This is what i like to see.

  17. maindesk
    May 11, 2015

    I am amazed that no mention is made of the assault on Hon Hector John who is a member of parliament. In most countries that would be leading news. I had expected the Opposition to call for the resignation of the one responsible for the offence but these guys are just playing at politics while Skerrit does exactly what he likes playing hard politics.

  18. %
    May 11, 2015

    I am IN SUPPORT OF THIS PROTEST 100%. It needs to continue till the Feeder road problem is properly dealt with by this wicked regime led by Skerrit.

  19. Shameless
    May 11, 2015

    Salisbury ahead!!!! Bravo to the good folks of Bawi for talking less and taking action deemed necessary. You have been neglected for far too long because you will NOT toe the DLP line. I stand in solidarity with you and so should all level minded Dominicans because an elected government represents the entire nation and not only the constituents that voted them in power. I shall be there for the next one….no police can stop us from exercising our rights. All good thinking Dcans from every nook and cranny should join the next protest action. :twisted: :twisted:

    Assertive, NOT Aggressive! :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

  20. May 11, 2015

    I am happy that my beloved Prime Minister did not meet with these misfits. The Opposition and their mentally challenged followers are obviously attempting to start a civil war in this great land of ours. The fact is that the police loves and protects the ordained Dominica Labour Party and they have all the big machine guns, so Labourites don’t have a thing to worry about! When will the Opposition and their brain-dead zombie followers learn that Dominica does not like, want or need them? All the police, firemen, doctors, nurses, lawyers, teachers and RICH PEOPLE are with Labour! We could care less about those dirty farmers!

  21. Peeping Tom
    May 11, 2015

    Having screamed and yelled and blocked the road, the protesters had already made their statement and had already succeeded in getting the attention of the authorities, if this is really what they wanted. It was pointless to extend the protest beyond that which is necessary. Once they did that, they began to lose support. The Police should have moved much earlier to disperse persons and dismantle the protest, consequently. Much earlier!

    Besides, the level of vitriol and violence directed at the State point to a deeper source for that level of anger. This protest was not about securing a meeting with the relevant authorities. It was about a vex party instigating its supporters to cause mayhem. It is precisely this type of jungle behaviour that many callers on Q95 have been promoting. A party that survives on raw negative emotions mobilized some of its most loud-mouthed and militant supporters to take down the State. Skerrit should now investigate the delay in the action of the Police.

  22. mine
    May 11, 2015

    Time will surely tell.

  23. Moin meme
    May 11, 2015

    Hats off to the people of Salisbury

    • Peeping Tom
      May 11, 2015

      For confirming that they are gullible, loud, violent, and aggressive?

      • jah dominik
        May 13, 2015

        Yes for that. Jealous???

    • The Facts
      May 11, 2015

      There is a God above looking on. What people sow, they shall reap in time. This includes you, supporting an illegal demonstration and whatever else they did which are illegal. The evil that people do will follow them. Take note!

    • May 12, 2015

      It shouldn’t be just the people of Salisbury alone every village should be protesting don’t just sit down and wait to see which village will be next, Dominica and Dominicans have had enough of the Government the PM have lost it and to Blackmore I don’t know what law book you a reading but we have a document in Dominica that we will stand by it and that is called the ” CONSTITUTION “,
      Dominicans all over the globe it’s time for prayers and remember God can brake every chain brake every chain, And to those Dominicans that went down to vote you are partly responsible for what is happening in Dominica today, you refused to allow the people at home to make changes that they wanted , now you are in you nice countries haven it good while they are been disrespected and dam to hell in a hand basket, is that what you wanted for the folks at home.

  24. Neutral Party
    May 11, 2015

    WAW!!! This is big. big news!!!

    I protested in 1979 after Charlo came to DGS and gave us good reasons to stand up for our rights. Today, I hearing that protesting is now illegal in DA? I guess the hypnosis continues.

    • derp
      May 12, 2015

      of course it’s illegal to block a freaking road that is not protest that is obstructing traffic

  25. May 11, 2015

    good job to the police of dominica well donel

    • Disappointed
      May 12, 2015

      They did a good job at running away.. Well done to them..Well done.

  26. unknown
    May 11, 2015

    Some people will never learn. See the thing I don’t understand with you dominicans, the people voted and the people have a right to protest for what they want. The people have more power than the government Because if not for the people they wouldn’t be in power. More of this should happen by that way I think the country can move somewhere and the ministers will keep their words. PM coming and say it’s illegal? Stupes. I am against the violence but never against the protest.

    • Stupes
      May 12, 2015

      :evil: Crap you talking there! people voted what hell! Just remember Salisbury is all workers! Their pal rep never took the time out to address this issue at parliament , instead they keep walking out. Let hector source funds to fix them roads.

  27. kalinago
    May 11, 2015

    Truth hurts you think what you saying makes any sense,it happens all over the world so it would not be the first civil war your idiots.

  28. Shaka zulu
    May 11, 2015

    In a civilized society the prime minister has the right to tell the people he represents is not their damn business, in a civilized society the prime minister has the right to say the Constitution or law cannot touch him, in a civilized society the prime minister does not have to answer questions from certain people and does not answer questions from press who he thinks does not support his agenda, in a civilized society men can destroy young kids life and our leadership thinks toughened laws will not make a difference, in a civilized society we can lie and mislead our people and get away with it in a civilized society ministers are getting personal kick backs and it OK, in a civilized society police can kill people in station and prime minister decides what crimes get investigated. Blackmore your definition of civilized society is like telling me you raising unicorns in your backyard.

  29. Truth Hurts
    May 11, 2015

    These idiots who are allowing power hungry men to take advantage of them better be careful. If you guys believe that you are going to pull a 1979 again as they are constantly preaching on q95 then better think again! This might more likely be instigating civil war because the thousands around the country who support this government and democratically returned them to power WILL NOT sut idly by and allow a MINORITY to wreck havoc in this country. Salisbury farmers must also realize that many of them come to places like Portsmouth to transact business so when they go about pelting stones at innocent people who were only trying to cross to go to work then you guys are indeed playing with fire and looking for a much bigger conflict. I am hoping that the law will take its course and the leaders and troublemakers involved in this illegal protest action shall be brought to justice.

    • %
      May 11, 2015

      GO TO HELL ! GO TO HELL! GO TO HELL! According to Skerrit!

    • anonymous2
      May 12, 2015

      This was neither a democratic nor a fair election, just as the last one wasn’t either.

    • Helas!!
      May 12, 2015

      I have even seen the roads in Saisbury sir?

  30. May 11, 2015

    It isa democracy and people have the right to demonstrate.Are we becoming a CUBA?CHINA?

    Students could cross the other side and take the bus or walk to merl and catch the bus to go write their exam.W4e’ve done it before.It is not the first time that Dominicans have protested in this way.

    • point
      May 11, 2015

      Of course it is a Democracy and people have a right to protest. Your right to desent is protected by the constitution. However your right to protest should not infringe on another persons civil rights or right to free speech to speak against your protest. You seem to be operating on the premise that every one should support a protest even if they don’t support the issue. We are living in a country where free speach and freedom of association is protected by the constitution, not for one set but for all.

    • Hmm
      May 11, 2015

      Yes, it is a democracy and people do have the right to protest/demonstrate. However, you seem to forget that there are laws by which the protesters/demonstrators are to go by. Question is: Did they follow the law? If not, then their protest would be deemed illegal.

    May 11, 2015

    Good,respect to the people of Salisbury!We the other communities needs to take action as well,Marigot do your part,let’s weaken the police so they won’t be able to man the situation!

    • The Facts
      May 11, 2015

      In view of their actions, whatever happen to them they will have no alternative but to accept it. They asked for it.

  32. Caraw
    May 11, 2015

    Protest has now been declared illegal in Dominica. Genuine Dominicans will not protest. So says Mr. Blackmoore! The best is yet to come. Of course, the protests may be politically motivated! So does that make them wrong? The best is yet to come. “Road mek fe black”

  33. Discombobulated
    May 11, 2015

    These people are so stupid. It’s your God given right to remain stupid but why drag the rest of dca into it? Including the kids on way to classes? Obviously they either don’t care or didn’t have two brain cells to realise they would be affecting hard working people and students. Why not wake up crack of dawn and go block the entrance to ministry instead? Why block the road that has no effect on the person in charge? You’re making yourselves look like villains to the rest of the country while making the one person you’re trying to affect look like the saviour. Just not the way to go about it my people.

    • Caraw
      May 11, 2015

      Last week bus drivers protested and students missed their exams too! You are saying that people should protest when and where it will have no ill effects? What would be the point then?

      • Caraw
        May 11, 2015

        I left out the country -Barbados.

      • genie
        May 11, 2015

        caraw stop spreading false information…students in barbados in not miss their exam…they were asked to go to the nearest school where they were and that would be sorted out…tsk tsk tsk

      • Discombobulated
        May 12, 2015

        So stopping people at ministry from doing their work doesn’t affect anyone now? So who will run the country when no one at the country’s HQ can get to work? Better yet protest at the presidential premises entrance too, in case they try to flee there. You have to concider the innocent when protesting. A lack of education paves way for a backward country. Dca backward enough. Let the kids go to school and people go earn. Target govt directly

    • Ex Da Law ms
      May 11, 2015

      Are you dreaming?This place has been neglected for political reasons.Everybody in this community is affected one way or the other.That also includes school kids.Either you are in denial or you benefit politically.There needs to be more protest all over the island.I support the people 100%.Less talk and more action.

    • The Facts
      May 11, 2015

      Also to the rest of the world. They are showing themselves as unruly and non-caring people. Their day is coming.

  34. Hts
    May 11, 2015

    I must commend the police officers for keeping calm even when provoked. This situation could have gotten out of control had it not been for good leadership and patience on your part. Hats off to you. Be mindful that the protesters will not give up as their political objective was not achieved.

    • The Facts
      May 11, 2015

      The police was patient but for how long. Then these demonstrators will take what they asked for.

    • By Stander
      May 12, 2015

      I really want to echo your voice. I commend the police, I congratulate them for constraining. Too much could have taken place, lives could have been lost, there could be mass bloodshed if the police had not kept calm. I thank God for putting a hand in the situation. Dominica is a peaceful country and we would not want to see that happen again, so pls Mr Minister do something about the deplorable roads in Salisbury before these senseless people repeat what was started yesterday

  35. john paul
    May 11, 2015

    If what Mr.Blackmore is saying is true. Why is Charles Savarin President of this country?
    “The Police shall not work,the Nurses shall not work” Remember that famous speech? Why does Tony Astaphan still brag about the “Kool wish” Brigade?
    What is good for the goose is it not also good for the gander?

    • Ex Da Law ms
      May 11, 2015

      Well said.Could not say it better.Very good case in point.

  36. Annick
    May 11, 2015

    For the same reason 7 farmers had to quit the Pagua river Hatton gardens and stop farming because of the condition of the feeder road!

  37. Not a herd follower
    May 11, 2015

    DNO, why no mention of the use of tear gas and rubber bullets by the police? After all, this is how they, forcibly, cleared the road. It is astounding the article makes no mention of these things.

    ADMIN: “Later in the day the police used tear gas and pellets to disperse the protesters and the road was cleared.” From the article.

    • The Facts
      May 11, 2015

      If this is the action the police was forced to take to clear the road, so be it. You can’t allow hooligans to take over the road. They speak of wanting progress, a better Dominica. They are acting contrary to what they want. They are not sincere about wanting better.

  38. May 11, 2015

    a lil tear gas goes a long way…u ppl were warned repeatedly since alu like it now blame skeritt wen ur eyes burning u

  39. May 11, 2015

    the treatment of the people of Salisbury is very shabby. in this case no matter what the prime minister says the people of Salisbury is justified.this infamy will haunt the labor party especially blackmore one day he will come to realize what it means of the saying that pride goes before a fall.

  40. Black empress
    May 11, 2015

    When the PRIME MINISTER said “no law no constitution can stop me Roosevelt Skerrit for going up for election go to hell go to hell” and was handing out money on election day in Grandfond when it was against the rule of law to do so wasn’t that illegal. Please Blackmoore following the rule of law should start from the top.

    • Observer
      May 12, 2015

      Black empress did u see him handing out money on election day in Grand fond? We Dominicans like to spread propaganda too much! I am a Grand Fond person, I was right there in the Grand Fond community when the prime minister came up. and his business here was not to hand out money but allu rumor mongers in that community just see the man vehicle pass, they run and call Matt and say the Pm was giving out money. Garcon, allu pas faibe nuh

  41. Dominika
    May 11, 2015

    And new studies are now showing the more birthdays you have the older you get!

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