It became a chaotic scene today as the protests against the Government’s vaccination policy continued at the Square of the Revolution and PNC Executive Member Aubrey Norton and eight other persons were arrested.
In a two-sentence statement, the Guyana Police Force said the nine persons were arrested for illegal procession, adding that they were released on $10,000 bail each as the investigations continue.
Norton and the other persons were taken to the Brickdam Police station where they were held for over an hour.
Attorney Darren Wade made representation for the arrested persons, explaining to reporters that they should have all been released on self-bail.
Just after his release, the PNC Executive Member Aubrey Norton said it is clear that the Government is now using the Police Force to instill fear against the persons who have been protesting against the Government’s vaccination policy.
Mr. Norton said he did not lead any illegal procession and the arrests are meant to intimidate persons who want to protest against the government.
“I have always argued that the Police use COVID-19 as a tool of repression. In large measure, they started by saying, we were in violation of COVID-19, I said to them look, I am wearing a mask, there was nobody with me when you claim you want to arrest me. It was when the Police proceeded to arrest me that some people came around me and they put all of us into the vehicle.” Mr. Norton explained.
He said he will be fighting the matter in Court and he hopes the Police Force comes good with the evidence.
“We are going to go to Court and fight it because I was not involved in any illegal procession, the people who they pick-up were not involved in any illegal procession, the only thing I’m sure is illegal is the Government”, Mr. Norton added.
The protests against the Government’s vaccination policy have been ongoing since the Policy was introduced weeks ago. However, today there was a larger than normal Police presence and parts of the Square of the Revolution and outside the President’s office which is nearby were barricaded.
The Government continues to come under widespread criticism over the vaccination policy, which has resulted in government workers and public servants being locked out of their workplaces for being unvaccinated and failing to produce a negative COVID-19 test result.
Now, many private businesses have also been forced to follow the Government’s guidelines and are now requesting persons to present evidence of vaccination or a negative PCR test result before being allowed entry.