GUYANA: Mandatory Vaccination Protests: Businesses in Region 10 close doors in solidarity

Protest against COVID-19 vaccination policy…

Sep 07, 2021 – Kaieteur News The Upper-Demerara Berbice Region (Region 10) was in full lockdown mode yesterday in protest against the mandatory vaccination policy being enforced by the government. Over 90 percent of the businesses on both the Mackenzie and Wismar shores were closed and public transportation services did not operate, except for a few taxis. Water-taxi operators also halted their operation for the day.

In fact schools that were slated to be reopened yesterday remained closed. While some parents opted to keep their children home, there were others who were unable to send their children to school because of the lack of public transportation.       

Scenes from the lockdown in Linden yesterday.

Some owners of transportation services opted to participate in a motorcade as part of the protest. This was characterised by drivers driving their vehicles through the streets of Linden honking their horns. They then assembled at the Bayroc Ground to further express their concerns about the mandatory vaccination policy, which they said directly affects them as the Gazetted order mandates that all public transportation operators must possess a COVID-19 vaccination card.

Only the commercial banks and some government agencies were opened to the public. This was also the case in outlying communities such as Ituni and Kwakwani.

The protest was organised by the elected leaders of Region 10 – Members of Parliament, Jermaine Figueira and Devin Sears, Mayor of Linden – Waneka Arrindell and Regional Chairman – Deron Adams.

While Linden remained quiet for most of the day, some men who were not identified up to press time, decided to set alight articles in front of the residence of MP Figueira’s mother. The fire was subsequently put out by members of the Fire Service and the access road that was blocked, was cleared by police ranks. Those who performed the act made good their escape. Kaieteur News understands that the men had t-shirts over their faces.

In a statement, Figueira said he believes the act was carried out by rogue elements at the behest of a particular organisation. “They have used their coward elements to block the road directly in front of one of our leaders’ parents’ business premises to give an impression of disorder in our peaceful protest and at the said time, to send a message directly to our leadership. We in Region 10 strongly resent this type of politics that brings leaders’ family members and their businesses into their plot to get to our leadership. We will not be deterred, discouraged or persuaded from representing our people due to these reckless and dangerous shenanigans. The people of Region 10 remain resolve in defense of their civil liberties and human rights.”

Yesterday too, the Ministry of Education, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, rolled out the adolescent’s vaccination programme in Linden which targets students ages 12 to 17. The event was rolled out at the Mackenzie High School and saw some children, accompanied by their parents taking the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

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