Protest actions at Dartmouth on the Essequibo Coast intensified on Thursday as protests and the blocking of the Dartmouth bridge on the Essequibo road continues. There are reports that cash is being solicited from vehicles, for passage along the blocked Dartmouth bridge even as debris continues to be visible.
The protests started on Wednesday as villagers in the Region two community protest the unlawful killing of Orin Boston in his home by SWAT team of the Guyana Police Force.
On Wednesday, reports indicated the southern end of the Pomeroon/Supenaam region, is now somewhat isolated from the Central and Northern end, as traffic remains an almost standstill. This publication was told that the blockage of the Dartmouth bridge, has significantly affected the free movement of traffic from Charity and the Pomeroon, which are amongst the heavily commercial zones within the Region.
When this publication visited the scene, it was observed that passengers were forced to disembarked at the southern end of the bridge, and rejoin another transportation at the northern end. One passenger who spoke to this publication said, “I don’t think what the police did was right, but at the same time I don’t think that you need to protest in a way that affect yuh fellow neighbors… if you coming down from charity with a big load, then it means you gotta walk through all the debris on the bridge with big load to get to another bus.”
Affected Passengers also told this publication that the fare has doubled, with them now paying $400 from Charity to Anna Regina. “yuh gotta pay $200 from Charity to Dartmouth Bridge, and another $200 from the Dartmouth Bridge to Anna Regina.
Since the commencement of the protest yesterday, the question as to what actions the local police department is prepared to take against the protestors, is one that still lingers. From all indications, however, it would appear as though the Region Two Police Division lacks the major reinforcement to deal with the blocking of the road. During a press conference with the media yesterday afternoon, the Commissioner of Police, Nigel Hoppie had indicated that additional ranks will be sent to the region if the riot is not controlled within the shortest possible time.
To date, there has been no major deployment of additional forces to the Region, and the local Police Department appears to have been stretched thin, with ranks severely outnumbered on the ground. As the situation continues to intensify, access to the backlands has been restricted by protestors. To date, there have been no reports of injuries, nor arrests during protest exercise.