The Joint Trade Union Movement (JTUM) has condemned the use of force by police officers towards participants at the “Push Back 2” health march at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Sunday morning.
JTUM president Ancel Roget addressed the action while speaking to reporters as hosted a candlelight vigil outside the Prime Minister’s Residence in St Ann’s, yesterday evening, hours after the earlier event.
“The discharge of tear gas was an abuse of power. This is a democracy and we are entitled to express our views,” Roget said.
“I want to advise the police not to allow yourself to be used as a tool of this government,” he added.
Roget was careful to note that his organisation was not against vaccinations and a move to increase this country’s COVID-19 vaccination uptake but stood in solidarity with citizens, who are adamant that they do not want to be vaccinated.
“We trust our health workers and have confidence in them but we do not have confidence in the politicians,” Roget said.
Roget also claimed that his organisation had received reports of some State agencies still seeking to bar unvaccinated workers from work tomorrow despite Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley announcing a one month extension on the implementation of public sector vaccination and quasi-safe zone policy.
“We are warning them to allow good sense to prevail,” Roget said, as he noted that there are currently no legal provisions allowing for mandatory vaccinations or the lockout of workers who continue to refuse to be vaccinated.
Roget said his organisation would continue to host small events under current public health regulations to advocate for citizens affected by the proposed policy.
JTUM’s event was held under the watchful eyes of dozens of heavily armed police officers, many of whom were assigned to the earlier march.
However, there were no issues as JTUM members complied with their instructions in terms of social distancing and gathering in groups of less than 10.