Salisbury residents say they will not comply with police summonses which they claim violate a High Court order

from left Senior Counsel Anthony Astaphan, attorney-at-law for the  Salisbury villagers Cara Shillingford-Marsh and Hector John MP for Salisbury constituency

A number of Salisbury residents summoned to appear before the St. Joseph magistrate court on January 13, 2022, say they will make no appearance in court on that day, as according to them, the police summons is a violation of a stay of proceedings order issued by High Court Judge, Justice Birnie Stephenson.

The matter dates back to 2015 during the months of May and June when the community was engulfed in disturbances as the police and residents faced off.

The first action on May 11, 2015, was to get the attention of the government to repair feeder roads in the farming community. Hundreds of villages blocked a section of the Salisbury Highway with boulders and other items which was eventually cleared by the police with the use of tear gas.

One month later, June 11, 2015, police officers swooped into the community and arrested six residents on allegations that they were part of May’s protest; this sparked another round of protest action by the villagers.

Over 50 residents from Salisbury were charged under the Riot Act following the protests.

According to the charge of the police, the residents riotously and tumultuously assembled together to disturb the public peace and continued to do so disregarding the commands of police officers.

Attorney-at-law Cara Shillingford-Marsh who represents the villagers subsequently filed a motion in the High court questioning the constitutionality of the Riot Act, under which they were charged.

In the long-running matter, Senior Counsel Tony Astaphan had asked the court to strike out the motion. However, High Court Judge, Justice Stephenson, ruled in favour of the residents of Salisbury.

In her judgement she stated, there were merits in Shillingford’s motion and the matter is now before the court.

Additionally she ordered, “The matters in the Magistrate Court involving the claimants and others arising out of incidents on the 11th May 2015 and 11th June 2015 at Salisbury by consent is hereby stayed until further or other order of this court.”

In recent weeks, Salisbury residents were resummoned to appear before the magistrate court on January 13 which the member of parliament for the Salisbury constituency, Hector John,  believes is a total disregard by the police officers of Justice Stephenson’s order.

“The matter at the High Court is still ongoing and the Police have no right to issue summons to villagers on a matter that has been stayed by the court. We have consulted our attorney and absolutely no one from Salisbury who received summons for this matter should appear at the Magistrate’s court in St Joseph on Thursday January 13, 2022,” he advised villagers.

John further averred that the “breach” of the order of the high court is “provocation of the hardworking people of Salisbury by this Roosevelt Skerrit led Government and the police.”

He said while the people of Salisbury are law abiding citizens, they will not allow anyone to violate their constitutional rights.

The MP further stated that they have been properly advised and we will act accordingly by not showing up to the hearing at the Magistrate’s court.

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  1. Jann
    January 15, 2022

    And the people from Salisbury should do it again, and again, and again because there is far too much talk and not enough action.
    Everybody beating their mouth but nobody doing nothing. I support Salisbury 100%

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0
  2. But I still Red
    January 14, 2022

    This is not about the police going after Nawi people but rather it is Skerrit and the police going after the opposition and their supporters. So it is not enough for Bawi people to say they not going to court, but rather, the opposition should mobilize their supporters in every community to stand in solidarity with the Bawi people. So their should be massive protest in Marigot and Wesley to the point that the airport is closed. Protests from Wesley to Portsmouth. The entire west coast in protest mood. Roseau, the entire East coast along with the South in protest mood. Shut down Q95 so nobody calls to give any information. That thing must be so effective that it becomes an annual national holiday

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0
  3. Lin clown
    January 14, 2022

    Jonathan should come down from his perch and be the people of Salisbury MOSES.
    A young man Dorrell Bedminister was found MURDERED in his car in Salisbury.A 14 year old schoolgirl was found MURDERED close to the police station in Salisbury.People have been shot to death at their homes in Salisbury.Young men have been found stabbed to death lying on the roadside in Salisbury.This level of violence and lawlessness must stop.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 11
  4. Lin clown
    January 14, 2022

    The people of Salisbury are lucky.Remember what happened in Bells?.Three men were shot dead by the police,their crime was blocking the Bells road,threatening to shoot police and making people pay to use the Bells road.The days of Joshua Shadow James,Nicholas Andropov George,Gabriel Butcher St.Jean,Pillsbert Aimless Alfred ,Patrickson Pato Albert Kelvin Jackas. Jones Albert are truly gone.The people of Salisbury would NEVER disrespect those police officers.Fire and brimstone would pour down on Salisbury.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 11
    January 14, 2022

    The problem skeritt have with thr village of Salisbury is our refusal to go to the red clinic for handout. We are hard working. We will never beg. We were not brought up to beg. We were raised with dignity.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0
  6. Jey Jey
    January 14, 2022

    Stand up Salisbury and don’t be a disgraceful GrandBay. If you don’t stand up; then Dominica finny Baht. Power to the Salisbury Brothers & Sisters. The whole World saw and witnessed what you went through and suffered that early morning while you; your young ones (babies); your elderly; (your mother, grandmother, great grandmother, father and great grandfather) the sick and shut-ins were all Tear Gassed while asleep in bed. What kind of a leader would do such a thing and remain a leader? This man is a moron who has no class, no regards for the rule of law and our constitution – No respect to no one whatsoever. One who boastfully says to the people of this land: “I run things.” Now, what kind of a creature would utter such nonsense? Dominica belongs to all of us and not just to one man! We all, collectively run things here, mister “BIG STUFF.”

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0
  7. Stealth Mode
    January 14, 2022

    I am not the sharpest tool in box nor do I claim to be a rocket scientist or legal expert; however, God has blessed me with enough common sense to recognize right from wrong.

    In this case, I believe the State represented by the police is wrong and the targeted people of Salisbury are absolutely right. The State does not have the right to arbitrarily redo or replay a settled matter. There are a wide range of legitimate critical projects on which the State’s (by extension the people) time and precious resources could be better spent.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0
  8. Peace
    January 13, 2022

    Salisbury is the cultural capital of DA. Their culture of Resistance against an oppressivs regime must be commended. Added to that is their attitude of hard work of food production for themselves and other fellow citizens.

    The people of Salisbury will never be intimidated.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0
  9. Jonathan Y St Jean
    January 13, 2022

    It’s clear from this episode that Dominca is a lawless country. Since when and where in countries which follow the British Common law does a rulling from a magistrate have more say than the rulling from a higher court? The chief of police should know better and where is the attorney general in this? Much less the minister of national security and the one responsible for home affairs. What is the role of the one who told us that he runs things in Dominca. No wonder he orchestrated the departure of RUSM and the large number of Americans in the country. Dominca is racing down the slippery slope of a failed state because power has rendered Skerritt mad. Imagine he said the country doesn’t need an opposition party. Stand tall and strong residents of Salisbury. The desperate despot can’t last forever and your Moses will liberate you in the right time. When the student is ready the teacher will arrive, won’t be too much longer.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 30 Thumb down 4
    • January 14, 2022

      Why don’t you go and live in North Korea and you will feel the difference between Dominica and North Korea.That Shillingford lawyer is just another show off like she knows everything. It will be just a matter of time. When the people of Salisbury have no respect for the law that is when Skerrit has to move in and do something to get Salisburians to respect the law.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 12
  10. Ibo France
    January 13, 2022

    “Where is Skerrit coming in …….” Everything the police do is at the command of this notorious and overly corrupt liar. Remember Skerrit arrogantly exclaimed, ‘I Run Things’. All things, good or bad, he should take credit or responsibility for it.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 43 Thumb down 7
  11. Beta
    January 13, 2022

    I hope the people of Salisbury will not turn up at court. They and by extension all citizens of Dominica need to take a stand against this rogue wannabe dictator. Dominica needs to rid itself from that gangster.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 52 Thumb down 5
  12. January 13, 2022

    It’s a good opportunity for the entire country to stand in solidarity with Salisbury. Schools should close, port should close, hospital should close, etc. etc. and the entire country should converge in Roseau to say to King Liar enough is enough. Dominica wake up, wake up. Dominica, you cannot continue to allow one man, I repeat one man to humiliate you like this. Too many of you are too educated, too rich and too strong to allow one man to possess you. It’s not the police. It is King Liar and his dictatorial scheme. He dictates to everyone what to do and what not to do. Wake up Dominica. Wake up. How long can you keep on sleeping?

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 48 Thumb down 7
  13. Bwa-Banday
    January 12, 2022

    Boy I don’t know what Bawi people do Skerrit he want to daykarlay them like that eh. Even having his goons disrespect the court and still summons the people they almost kill for him.

    What they looking for in Bawi they will get eh! Well done Bawi, don’t go to no court. Stand your ground let them come and get you..Then we go see……………

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 46 Thumb down 6
  14. Ibo France
    January 12, 2022

    The residents of Salisbury are under a vicious assault from the despotic Skerrit. These include the elderly, the middle aged, the young adults, the juveniles, even the babies and the unborn. Nobody in Salisbury escapes Skerrit’s animus against the entire community.

    Why the relentless and merciless hostility against this relatively peaceful community by the tyrannical occupant of the OPM and his guerilla force? Can DNO find out?

    The main duties of any government are to protect the people, to provide economic security and protection and others. This authoritarian regime promotes division, dispossession, starvation, humiliation, incarceration, persecution, depression and dire situations.

    Roosevelt Skerrit’s scorecard as prime minister:
    Mark: -100 (negative one hundred)
    Grade: Z- ( Z minus)

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 44 Thumb down 9
  15. our Sisserou laying Eggs
    January 12, 2022

    the police cannot issue a summon to court without the signature of the judge. the court issues the summon, the police delivers the summon. not that hocus pocus about the police issuing a summon. under whose authority? these cracker jack police officers over estimate their position and status. Salisbury people, don’t go anywhere unless the court removes a stay, and a judge signs and issues the summon.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 45 Thumb down 2
  16. We the People
    January 12, 2022

    I am sure the police were served with the judge’s decision. In that case you guys should do more than just not show up. You all should file claims against the police officers, the chief of police, and any other parties deemed necessary for harassment.

    This is dam nonsense now.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 46 Thumb down 4
  17. Lin clown
    January 12, 2022

    The first person that should be arrested is Hector John.The magistrate should issue a bench warrant,and arrest all those who disobeyed the summons.The police should arrest them in Roseau.The people of Salisbury destroyed property and set fire on the E.O.Leblanc highway,they assaulted the police and prevented Dominicans from going about their lawful business by blocking the road.That BS with the village with the most unsolved murders must stop.It is my opinion the constituency who voted labour ,Portsmouth,Colihaut,St.Joseph and Mahaut should block the road,only for the people of Salisbury.Let those AHOLES know what it feel like.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 67
    • Ibo France
      January 13, 2022

      Lie Clown-Joker, when you die doctors should embalm your brain and put it on display in a museum for posterity. It should be labeled with the brightest red paint – The World’s Most Impenetrable Human Brain.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 39 Thumb down 7
    • JAH KAL
      January 13, 2022

      Ahole u will hide behind the computer and talk your bs but you skerrit and others cannot touch Salisbury people we will stand for what is right and Hector S John and the salisbury people will be a thorn in you known what . Bawi stand strong.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
  18. Blane
    January 12, 2022

    What’s up with this harassment of Salisbury folks by Skerrit and his gang and goons?
    He ordered tear gas on the very old, very young and sick people in Salisbury in the early hours of pre- election day by foreign troops- So that he can masquerade and beat his cheat and say he won- Boss you did not win anything. Only cowards act like that.

    Stop harassing Bawi- what do you want Skerrit? Your ego is getting the better of you.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 72 Thumb down 11
    • Joe
      January 12, 2022

      Where is Skerrit coming in that you people are too obsess with the man give him a break!!!!

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 21 Thumb down 65
      • Bwa-Banday
        January 13, 2022

        I was call you IDIOT but DNO will not post my comments 8) !

        Anyway, cant you read that the court has a stay on the case yet the police out there serving summons? My god with some of us blind Dcans.

        Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 35 Thumb down 4
      • Toto
        January 13, 2022

        Joe, do I need to refresh your mind. It was Roosevelt Skerrit that said I run things here. You remember now. That means nothing happens, good or bad, up or down, left or right, nothing moves in our country without Skerrit’s say so.

        Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 32 Thumb down 3
    • Justice is not Biase.
      January 13, 2022

      I may not be the Prime Minister’s biggest fan but in this incident, I think the dispersing of tear gas on an entire village to stop a protest that was not going on in the early morning hours was a form of torture, this goes against the Geneva convention rules of engagement making it a crime against humanity. At the same time you can’t place blame on the prime minister without also singling out the commanding officer of the operation, this individual has not been named, he was the one who gave the order to tear gas a village of seemingly unarmed individuals before morning breakfast. This Commanding officer is the one responsible for the hurt these people suffered. Soldier or not, we are all humans, there has to be a line a man should not be willing to cross, or are these men simply without morality? The PM WAS NOT ON THE GROUND AT THE EVENT, THE ORDERS CAME FROM A COMANING OFFICER, CALL HIS NAME OUT!

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 17
      • Beta
        January 14, 2022

        The order came from Skerrit himself! This militia doesn’t do anything that hasn’t first been squared by the Dictator. Stop being so naive…!

        Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0
      • Jey Jey
        January 15, 2022

        @Biase.. So now, you say that Skerrit wasn’t on the ground during the spreading of the tear gas. Could you tell us where exactly Skerrit was? Also, could you tell us “the public” who is in charge of this commanding officer? And if you are indeed a concerned citizen of Dominica, then why don’t you yourself CALL THE COMMANDING OFFICER’s NAME OUT? Are you so quietly coward? Call his name!!!

        Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

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