The Unemployment Relief Programme (URP) has been shut down in Port of Spain but in Central Trinidad work is in full swing.
This was the contention of residents of Laventille yesterday who overturned garbage dumpsters, blocked the Laventille Road and set fire to garbage to protest a lack of proper roads and job opportunities in the community.
“Everything so far has been taken away from us,” said Deryck Lashley, president of the Laventille Taxi Drivers’ Association, “because they said that the Unemployment Relief Programme (URP) have corruption so they closed down the Port of Spain division but in Caroni and in Central, URP is going forward in full blow and people are getting paid but what I am saying is that the people here are suffering”.
Another activist, Devon Welch, chairman of an organisation known as Laventille For Laventille, said the garnering of support for their protest is being done through their social network movement, “because these days the government tapping your phone”.
“The same problem we having in Laventille is the same problem they having in Point Fortin, La Brea, Diego Martin but I’ll say this…It was Laventille today but Diego Martin is coming…Morvant is coming and I want to see if they gonna stretch the resources of the police service and the army to the extent that they could clamp down on all the poor people of the country because really and truly the people fed up as there is no work going on and the makeshift jobs what they used to have they take it away and they are just closing down anything in the East/West corridor, especially and taking it to central and south and saying that’s for their own people,” he said.
Michael Eastman, another activist, said, “the talk is that we don’t need a $7 billion highway, we need proper social programmes in the community; we could put the highway on halt”.