The opposition United Workers Party (UWP) is calling on the government of Dominica to put an immediate end to what it describes as a ‘politically motivated police attack on the people of Salisbury.”
Leader of the UWP, Lennox Linton made the call during a press conference on Thursday held at the Prevo Cinemall in Roseau.
“The United Workers Party is calling on the government, the Dominica Labour Party to bring an immediate end to the politically motivated police attack on the people of Salisbury which has heightened tension around the country and plunged the west coast community into a state of turmoil,” he stated.
Early Thursday residents of Salisbury staged protest action and blocked the main road linking Roseau to Portsmouth
The protest began when police arrived in the community on Thursday morning to arrest individuals, who were allegedly involved in similar protest action staged on May 11th.
The police used tear gas and other ammunition to clear the road, however the protest continues.
Linton noted that the decision to arrest the individuals was “completely ill-advised” and the matter must be overturned in the public interest of peace and civility.
He also called on the leadership of churches and civil society to add their voices in the matter.
He urged the Commissioner of Police and all police officers, “to abide by the integrity of the law enforcement responsibilities and avoid accepting instructions from the political directorate, calculated to divert public attention from the burning issues of government’s mismanagement and corruption.”
The UWP leader said the situation currently taking place in Salisbury is “totally unnecessary”.
“We have had enough time to put this matter behind us and to move on,” he stated. “Instead of pursuing real criminals in the country, the police have decided to go after the residents of Salisbury who in retaliation have decided to take them on. It is not a good situation for Dominica, that environment of confrontation and aggression is not good for Salisbury, it’s not good for Dominica and we are calling on the government to allow calm, reasonable measured heads to prevail and to avoid any further deterioration in that already worsening situation.”
He mentioned that the party believes an inquiry into the circumstances which led to Thursday’s events needs to be conducted.
“We understand that tear gas is again being used today, live rounds are being fired…we need to bring an end to this urgently, we want peace and stability in Dominica,” Linton stated.
Linton remarked that he had an opportunity to interact with residents in Salisbury on Thursday morning and his advice to them was to, “stand firm.”
On Thursday evening the UWP will be holding a public meeting in Lagoon, Roseau from 7:00 pm to stand “in full solidarity with the people of Salisbury.”
The party is also expected to meet with residents of the community on Saturday.