Political and social activist Umar Abdullah, following his release from police custody. (Image courtesy First Wave Movement/Facebook)
RHONDOR DOWLAT-ROSTANT

Political and social activist Umar Abdullah—who was charged in connection with Sunday’s protest demonstration ‘Push Back Two’ at the Queen’s Park Savannah in Port-of-Spain—is expected to appear in court on Wednesday February 16th.

Guardian Media understands Abdullah was charged for leading a march around the Queen’s Park Savannah without permission from the Commissioner of Police.

He was among 12 detained by police officers but the only one charged.  The eleven others have been released pending further investigations.

According to a post on the First Wave Movement’s Facebook page, it alleged that Abdullah was being:

“…falsely charged by police for standing up for the rights of the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago on Sunday 16th January 2022.”

The post continued: “The police, who have a history of false accusations, are alleging that Bro. Umar Abdullah incited violence, when in fact it was the police that was meeting out violence towards the people of Trinidad & Tobago.”

“Bro. Umar will however fight this matter and has no regrets for taking a stand for the people of Trinidad & Tobago,” the post added.

The health walk “Push Back Two” attracted hundreds of people—including children. It came to an abrupt end after police used tear gas to disperse the crowd.

The police alleged that participants of the walk began acting erratically and hurled missiles at armed lawmen who were forced to throw canisters of tear gas to disperse the unruly crowd.

Following the incident at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain, on Sunday, 12 people were arrested and many others, including children, were left nursing injuries.

In the first Push Back event on 30th November 2021, some 35 people were detained for 16 hours and charged for breaching the public health ordinance, specifically gathering in groups of more than ten.