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CECIL PAUL: REPEAL SUMMARY OFFENCES ACT

posted 19 Nov 2013, 07:08 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 19 Nov 2013, 08:44 ]
Comrade Cecil, Paul Deputy President of the National Workers Union (NWU) has called for the repeal of the Summary Offences Act.

Since 2009, the NWU has been calling for the repeal of this offensive legislation.
 
Comrade Paul made his call at a media conference organised by the Trinidad and Tobago United Fisher Folk. Present at the conference were seven organisations and included Gary Aboud, Wayne Henry and Cathal Healy-Singh who were arrested on November 12th while picketing at the waterfront to highlight the call by fisher folk for tighter regulation of seismic surveys by the oil and gas companies.
 
Comrade Paul argued that while the Constitution recognises the right to freedom of association and assembly, the Summary Offences Act, which he deemed an old colonial act, infringes on those rights and that has to be corrected. 

Picketing and assembling for a common purpose is, he said, to protect fishermen and their livelihood. Once citizen don’t have the right to assemble and protest in a peaceful manner that is a serious thing.
 
Comrade Paul accused the State of taking advantage of the fisher folk and infringing the constitutional rights of the arrested persons. Thousands of people’s livelihoods at risk, he stated. 

He dubbed the issue a national issue and spoke about livelihoods being destroyed as against the tremendous benefits being reaped from the oil and gas industry by the transnational corporations, while all T&T received was the crumbs from the industry. He called for the dropping of charges against those arrested. Hear Comrade Paul



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