Police use force on the union (DONT USE)
Police were forced to wallop on a group of union protestors with their batons yesterday, as the shouting men and women attempted to move a barricade placed by officers that prevented them gathering in middle of Rawson Square.
Assistant Commissioner of Police, Glen Miller, said, however, that there were no reported civilian injuries during the protest on Bay Street, which was conducted by Bahamas Telecommunications Corporation(BTC)unions and other affiliated unions. And he asserted that following the short scuffle between union members and police, no police reported any injuries of their own.
The Unions were protesting the government’s proposed deal to sell 51 percent of BTC to British-based Cable and Wireless Communications(CWC).
The unions are attempting, through industrial action, to convince the government to leave the ownership of the company solely in the hands of Bahamians.
Miller describe the overall protest as peaceful, as there were no reports of damaged property or bodily injuries.
According to him, the only major raucous came when the union members picked the steel barricades up and rushed forward toward the line of police who were forced to disburse. But soon after beat the crown back with their batons.
Miller contended that the police made no arrests during the course of the protests, though officers were seen taking some people away from the scene, which prompted union members to shout”free our people”.
“We didn’t arrest anybody,”he said.
According to Miller, who was in charge of overseeing police contingent at the scene of the Bay Street protest, said officers used their batons to restrain individuals who were attempting to move the barricades only.
“We were trying to gain some kind of control of that area,”he said.”We didn’t want them to rush into the House of Parliament.”
He insisted that their only purpose for keeping the union members out of Rawson Square was to protect the Parliamentarians from a possible onslaught of union members piling into the House of Assembly.
President of the National Congress of Trade Unions of the Bahamas, Jennifer Isaacs Dotson, confirmed that none of the unions reported any of their members being injured during the protest.