10 Hrs Ago
MINISTER of National Security Stuart Young wasted an opportunity to bring a “semblance of calm,” but instead made reckless statements about Tuesday’s protests in Port of Spain, UNC PRO Anita Haynes has said.
Earlier on Tuesday, Young said people were paid to take part in protests against police brutality.
Speaking at his ministry on Abercromby Street, Port of Spain, at a media briefing, Young said he had received reports of “criminal elements” recruiting people to protest by blocking roads and clashing with police.
“Who is paying these people? Who stands to gain from disrupting the peace and quiet in Port of Spain?” Young asked.
He did not indicate if some person or people in particular being investigated, but said, “Criminal elements are not always who we call ‘gang members.'”
When contacted, Haynes said Young’s comments had the potential to create a bigger issue. She also said his comments were irresponsible, especially since he provided no evidence.
“He wasted an opportunity to really make a statement when TT – those who were part of the protests and who were affected by the protests – people were looking on and hoping for a kind of leadership that would bring some semblance of calm to the situation.”
“(Instead) the Minister of National Security (who) was the leading government voice at that moment chose to throw out statements, without evidence, that would further incite crowds.”
UNC and Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar was expected to make a full statement on the events on Tuesday evening.