Days before some villagers of Salisbury are expected to appear in court in relation to protests which took place there recently, Parliamentary Representative for the area, Hector John, says residents are on edge and a meeting is to be held to discuss the matter.
The villagers are expected to appear in court on Thursday and the meeting will take place tonight next to Wavel’s shop in the village from 7:30 pm tonight, John told DNO.
“So we want to update the community on what is going on, allow people to express themselves, how they would like to see things go on,” he said. “Overall we are calling for peace, we would like that to stop, the community is on edge right now.”
On May 11 and June 11, Salisbury was engulfed in disturbances as the police and residents faced off. The first action was in protest of poor farm road conditions in the area. It was eventually broken up by the police.
The second protest took place after the police swooped into the community and arrested six residents on allegations that they were part of the first protest.
Both actions have been described as “riotous” by the police.
Six people are presently facing charges in relation to the first protest.
John noted that some of those who received summonses will be going to court on Thursday.
He said the villagers of Salisbury said they felt that they have been deceived on two occasions by Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, since he said at a press conference that he would meet with the villagers but that never materialized. Additionally, John said, in a meeting with religious leaders, Skerrit said he wanted the village to return to normal.
“But you are seeing the total opposite in terms of summons being issued to the community,” he stressed.
Another area of concern that John mentioned are road projects, which he claims have stopped in the community.
He said for the past two weeks, a village road project has halted, with the lack of asphalt being given as the reason but he stated that at the same time other projects are taking place using the same asphalt.
“We have no problem with that but do not lie to us…” John noted.
He said works on farm access roads, the reason behind the protests in the first place, have also stopped.
He said drains were cleared but concrete works have not come to fruition.
“And that’s what we have been advocating for over the last months…and the farmers need to access their farms,” John noted. “That is a serious concern for us.”