Opposition Leader, Lennox Linton, has condemned what he described as “violence and vandalism” which took place in Roseau on Tuesday night following a public meeting organized by opposition parties calling for the resignation of Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit.
On Wednesday morning Linton said the disturbances were “not about our meeting yesterday afternoon.”
“What happened last night had absolutely nothing to do with our meeting,” he said.
Linton claimed that he and his family were threatened on Tuesday night.
“There were messages on social media saying all sorts of things to me,” he stated. “All I have ever said was we wanted a peaceful engagement and we had a peaceful engagement and all of a sudden people who never had anything to say about anything wrong in this country, they found their voice of who should do what and who should have done what else.”
Linton, who was called back to the scene after the meeting was over, said he did his best and he continues to do his best.
“Our party is focused, notwithstanding all the criticism, the blamed being heaped on us,” he noted.
He added, “Today we say the United Workers Party (UWP) condemns the acts of violence and vandalism that erupted in the streets of Roseau during the evening of February 7, 2017, causing widespread loss and damage to business enterprises and triggering fears for safety and security in a season of heightened tension in our practice of civility.”
He stated that as the events unfolded the leadership of the UWP was being blamed on the ground because of what took place earlier in the day calling for the resignation of Skerrit.
“Both events are unrelated and we condemned these baseless criticisms as forcefully as we condemn the lawlessness visited on the capital city on Tuesday night,” he noted.
He pointed out that the violence took place hours after the meeting had ended and was used to embarrass the UWP. He said those behind it owe it to a “deeply concerned nation to speak truth, to speak the whole truth and nothing but the truth because that is precisely what will set us free.”
“Hypocrisy will not cut it,” Linton noted. “Lies will not cut it. False accusations will not cut it. We urge the citizens of Dominica to be calm. We urge the leadership of the political parties, civil society and law enforcement to meet in emergency session to agree on a national plan for the restoration and maintenance of peace …”
He noted that the UWP team will be meeting in an emergency session on Wednesday morning to review what happened “and to look at where we go from here.”
“And we stand ready to partner with government, with law enforcement with civil society in order to figure out how did we get to this and how do we move on…” Linton remarked. “Because what happened last night was truly unfortunate but the UWP at this time remains concerned..”
He said attempts to put the meeting and the violence together cannot hold because the meeting ended hours “before this happened.”