Belize - Belize News - - Great Belize Productions - Belize Breaking News
Home » Featured, People & Places, Social Issues » B.N.T.U. Protests in Front of National Assembly
May 28, 2021

B.N.T.U. Protests in Front of National Assembly

It has become a common scene: union members in their tee shirts protesting in Belmopan when there is a House Meeting. But things got a little tense this morning as people had to be removed from directly in front of the National Assembly by law enforcement.  News Five’s Andrea Polanco was there.


Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Teachers, along with a handful of public officers, marched onto the National Assembly grounds this morning. They protested by walking and chanting around the building. But what started out as another day of peaceful demonstrations, turned into verbal exchanges between the union members and the police. At one point, protestors refused to move. Police officers attempted to remove N.T.U.C.B.’s President Luis Luke Martinez.

And like their anthem says – they didn’t move even as cops on the ground informed them they weren’t social distancing and were loitering.

As the union members stood their ground, law enforcement support arrived and demanded that they leave from in front of the National Assembly where members of the House of Representatives were arriving.

Finally the teachers were moved away from the front and gathered behind the barriers on the steps of the National Assembly.


Luis Luke Martinez

Luis Luke Martinez, President, N.T.U.C.B.

“What the teachers the do dah nothing criminal bredda.”



“No permit to demonstrate?”


Luis Luke Martinez

“I will not answer that question bredda.”


Elena Smith

The unions didn’t have a permit to protest today in Belmopan – and while it has been weeks of industrial actions, President Smith says that the union members remain steadfast:


Senator Elena Smith, National President, B.N.T.U.

“We are at the end of the fifth week – this is five weeks now and our teachers, as you are noticing, are still vibrant and they are still alive and kicking. If I am to take by what I am hearing it seems they are not prepared yet to return but we will find that out later.”


And President of B.N.T.U. says that the next move is up to the government. She says the unions have put their response to G.O.B.’s proposals in black and white. President Smith didn’t share the details of their response earlier today only to say that.


Senator Elena Smith

“What we did is a response to what they sent to us and so we responded to their undertakings and we highlighted some of the other areas that we haven’t gotten to have much discussion on and highlighted those areas as well. It is up to them. We are going to be responding. We are giving them the letter today and it is up to them to determine the next course of action. They determine when what we are doing ends.  I can’t speak to an end to the strike but what I can say is that if we want this matter to be completed and we want teachers to return classrooms and public officers return to their office spaces then there has to be discussions. It can’t be that you would expect that people would just step back without proper resolutions and agreements.”


The demonstrations continued through to almost midday – with drums and singing in front of the National Assembly as the members of House of Representatives met to make the ten percent cut legally binding.  Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

Advertise Here

Comments are closed