A commemoration ceremony is now underway at the bust of Sir V.C. Bird, located at the Public Market, as residents look back on “Tear-Gas Sunday,” or “T-Day,” as August 8, 2021, is being called.
Today, Monday, marks the first anniversary of the day on which the Police tear-gassed and fired rubber bullets at a peaceful gathering that included the elderly and children, as they protested the vaccination policies of the Browne Administration.
The United Progressive Party (UPP) is still condemning the incident, during which a number of people were hurt and brutalized and others arrested and charged.
Pearl Quinn-Williams, the Party’s Candidate for St. John’s Rural North, says this was a dark day in the history of Antigua and Barbuda; and she is hoping that an incident of this nature will not be repeated in the years to come.
Quinn-Williams says the Browne Administration does not respect people’s choices and appears to be leaning towards a totalitarian form of government.
While she understands that the Police have to do their job, the Rural North Candidate says they ought not to get carried away in performing their duties of law enforcement.
Further, Quinn-Williams says, the Police should stop taking orders from the political directorate and adopting such roguish behaviour – making unjustifiable arrests that violate persons’ constitutional rights.
This heavy-handed approach does nothing to engender trust in the Police Force and its members, Quinn-Williams warns, and is actually unhelpful in enforcing the law.