Cops warn protesters against illegal marchesTuesday, September 21, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica - Members of the public caught participating in marches or public processions at this time could be in trouble with the law, the police have warned.
The police issued the warning Tuesday in the wake of a threat by The United Independents' Congress (UIC) to march on Gordon House on Wednesday, and by a faction of People's National Party (PNP) supporters, including activist Karen Cross, to march on the party's Old Hope Road, St Andrew headquarters the following day.
In a release, the Police High Command said it is aware of a public march being planned by the UIC, but have made it clear they have not received any application to hold any such march.
According to the High Command, while the Constitution allows for peaceful gatherings, a march of that nature would not be authorised at this time, as it would be in breach of the Disaster Risk Management Act (DRMA) implemented to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the island.
The DRMA stipulates that no more than 10 persons must be gathered in any public place.
“Additionally, it would not be in compliance with Section 7 of the Public Order Act, which states that 'where any person desires to organise any public march in daylight he shall, at least three days before such intended public march, make an application for a permit to the senior officer of the Jamaica Constabulary Force for the parish in which the public march is to take place, or to the Commissioner of Police if the application relates to the Corporate Area of Kingston and Saint Andrew," the release read.
It added that the route, point of termination of the public march to which such application relates, the hours between which such march will take place and an estimate of the number of persons who are expected to participate in such march would also need to be provided to the police.
The Police High Command warned that persons might find themselves in trouble if they participate in illegal marches and that they will be taking the necessary steps to ensure that the provision of the laws is fully enforced.
UIC plans to march on Gordon House on September 22 and demand the resignation of all 63 members of parliament, while Cross says she will be marching to the PNP headquarters to "take our party back".