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Aug 29, 2022

“Uncle P was Hoping to be Arrested” – ComPol Williams on U.D.P. Protest

The United Democratic Party staged a protest in Belize City last Tuesday, despite not getting approval from the Belize Police Department to proceed with the demonstration. The opposition took to the streets of the Old Capital to protest against steep gas prices, as well as the overall cost of living under the Briceño administration. Despite the procession being held without a permit to gather, Commissioner of Police Chester Williams said that it went without incident.


Chester Williams

Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police

“My friend, Mr. Peyrefitte, is a very colorful fellow, I must say, and he always has his own view about things. Sometimes I wonder where he gets those views from, but that’s him.  It was my instruction to the Officer Commanding Eastern Division not to grant a permit to protest. The law empowers the Commissioner of Police and nobody else and as the Commissioner of Police, I saw it fit that it would not have been prudent to hold a protest in the area of a gas station.  We have seen where recently, people are acting out, acting violently and if it is that you have a protest in the area of a gas station and the organizers of that protest cannot control the crowd, as you would know that these protests do, at times, harbor those persons who would not listen to what the organizers would say and may do what they want and use the opportunity of the protest to do so.  And so, it was with that spirit that I had denied the permission to protest. Can you imagine, those protesters would leave and go to a gas station and create havoc.  That would be a disaster in Belize City. So that was the reason why. Notwithstanding that, they went through with their protest and I know that Uncle P was hoping to be arrested so that he could use his arrest as a form of political statement and to gain public sympathy. And so, I gave instructions to my officers that if it is that they want to protest, even though they have no permit, we will leave them to protest and we’re just going to ensure that we do the necessary policing to ensure that law and order is maintained.”

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