Timothy Harris government locks out Labour Party candidate from using St. Peter’s Community Center; sparks protest
By: Erasmus Williams
St. Peter’s, St. Kitts , October 11, 2018 – Fed up with being denied access to the St. Peter’s Community Centre, constituents mounted a protest after they were locked out of the building Thursday night.
“Once again, the government continues to trample on the rights of citizens. #8 branch of the SKNLP was denied access for use of the community centre,” Cedric Clarke posted on his FaceBook Page on Thursday night.
He said the denial came a mere few hours before the meeting after the branch had been waiting for several days for a response to their request from the Department of Social Development.
“The officials refused to put the denial in writing after being asked for a reason for the denial,” said Clarke.
Accusing the Timothy Harris-led Team Unity government of “high handedness” several constituents stood outside the building Thursday.
“It cannot continue. Enough is enough. Residents have a right to use the centres. They are not the personal property of Harris and family,” said Clarke.
In March, Acting Director of the Department of Community Development informed the opposition St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) that it cannot use the community centers in St. Kitts to have discussions on national issues with citizens and residents.
“We (Labour Party Government) were of the view that the community must have use of the community centres whether for political, national or social events. We never denied them permission,” said Ms. Liburd, pointed out that the Labour Government allowed the then opposition to use the facilities.
Ms. Liburd said despite several letters applying for permission, there has been no response in writing.
“We have asked them to do so. They have refused to respond in writing,” said Ms. Liburd.
As late as 2014, the then opposition Team Unity led by Dr. Harris held a series of meetings and permission was given by the Labour Government to hold meetings on May 6th at the New Town Community Center in East Basseterre, the St. Johnston Community Center in West Basseterre on 9th May, the Edgar Gilbert Sports Complex on May 15th; the Conaree Community Center on June 1st and the Challengers Community Center on June 5th.
It was under the SKNLP administration of the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas that several community centres were constructed with the financial assistance of the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan).
Photo – Protesters outside the St. Peter’s Community Centre on Thursday night