ANPU protester Sarah Johnson verbally abusing
a policeman before pellets were fired
Police were this morning forced to open fire with rubber bullets on unruly and disruptive APNU protesters on Hadfield Street leaving at least five of them with wounds.
Those who sought medical attention at the institution were PNC Member of Parliament Joan Baveghems age 69; Sarah Johnson age 75, a PNC activist from Durban street lodge ; Brentol Holder age 61 of Pattensen, East Coast Demerara, a boy said to be around 8 years old and an unidentified woman.
The ranks were heard over a loud speaker urging the crowd to disperse. The crowd failed to heed the warning and at some point there was a clash between ranks and some of the protestors resulting in shots being fired. The crowd then scattered in different directions while the injured who were left lying on the ground were picked up and rushed to the hospital.
The police later arrested James Bond and former army chief Eddie Collins who were accused of orchestrating the protest as well as several other clandestine activities aimed at undermining the security of the state.
Police in their statement this afternoon said:
“At about 0900h this morning a crowd of persons gathered at the Square of the Revolution purportedly to be part of a march organized by the Youth Coalition For Transformation, an organisation headed by Attorney-at-Law James Bond and is reportedly the youth arm of APNU.
“This group had previously applied for permission to use a noisy instrument at the Square of the Revolution on 4th and 5th December, 2011, with timings. Yesterday December 05, 2011, at about 1450h. they applied for a Youth March for Change around the city. No date or time was stated.
“The group later informed the police that they wanted to march from today Tuesday December 06, 2011. This was in breach of the statutory 48 hours notice and no permission was granted to the organisation. This was communicated to Mr. James Bond.
“The persons gathered at the Square of the Revolution were warned that they should disperse as no permission had been granted for any march.
“Subsequently a group of persons headed by retired Brigadier Edward Collins was seen formed up on Brickdam facing west and, despite being warned, about 300 persons marched off west along Brickdam. The police then engaged them and they turned south into Winter Place and then west along Hadfield Street and continued despite being warned again, and the police fired rubber bullets at them.
“Another section of the crowd turned north into Winter Place and several persons were arrested.
“A number of persons sustained minor cuts and bruises.
“Shortly after, at about 1055h; another crowd was seen heading east along Duncan Street headed by retired Brigadier Edward Collins and James Bond. The police engaged the crowd and arrested Edward Collins and James Bond. It appeared that they had injuries from an earlier engagement with the police.
“All the arrested persons were taken to the Brickdam Police Station from where those persons who were injured were escorted for medical treatment.
“The Guyana Police Force wishes to issue another warning that no unlawful march, procession or meeting will be tolerated and that it will deal firmly with any person or persons wishing to breach the peace and disobey the laws.”