Dr. Ralph Gonsalves

As protest action in Canouan over the maintain access to beaches on the island continue, Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves has commented on the issue reminding the public that persons have the right to protest.

The Prime Minister during a press conference on Tuesday addressed the situation, which was reportedly sparked by the construction of an electronic gate in an area that residents of the island believe will restrict access to the beach.

Prime Minister Gonsalves reiterated that the protestors in Canouan have the right just as any other citizen of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to protest.

“Something is happening in Canouan, I want to say the following things, first let us establish with crystal clarity that the people of Canouan like citizens all over this country have a right to protest and to protest within the framework of the law—not to damage any property for anybody, not assault anybody,” he said.

Prime Minister Gonsalves then goes onto to further explain the reasoning behind the action being taken by the residents of Canouan.

“Those persons that are protesting in Canouan, they are saying that the developer in the north—this doesn’t have anything to do with Mr. Desmond, the developer in the south, this is in the north—you may have your right, your property right to put a gate of a type where you want to put it, but they are saying we have an apprehension we have a fear—that’s my understanding—that you’re putting up a gate, rather than have just the boom which comes down and goes up, because your object is to keep people out, And the people are saying on the basis that even where there was no no quote-unquote gate, electronic gate, some of them had difficulties entering the premises legitimately,” the Prime Minister said.

Prime Minister Gonsalves noted that he was not endorsing the protest but simply highlight the right of the people with regards to rights to lawful protests.

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