T&T residents, cops trade gunshots as protests continue following killing of 23-year-old man
(Trinidad Express) Bedlam was the order of the day with residents of the Beetham Gardens yesterday exchanging gunfire with police after they shot and killed resident, 23-year-old Christopher Greaves, on Sunday. The gun battle caused the police to declare the area “a virtual war zone”. After the killing of Greaves on Sunday evening, the residents threw debris and started fires in the path of motorists on that section of the Beetham Highway.
This caused traffic to be diverted on to the Eastern Main Road by the police on Sunday. As a result of the killing of Greaves, a father of two, residents yesterday kept their promise to continue protesting. They said it will not end until the officers responsible for his death are arrested and prosecuted. Yesterday’s protest, which continued with the blockage of the east-bound lane of the Beetham Highway and the Priority Bus Route (PBR) with debris, hindering the flow of traffic, soon escalated. Police used gas canisters in an attempt to disperse the crowd as residents faced off with officers.
But this was not the height of the instability in the area. Around 1 p.m., after a brief calm, following the intervention of Deputy Police Commissioner Mervyn Richardson, members of the media were forced to take cover as the sound of rapid gunfire was heard at different locations throughout the East Port of Spain community. It was while making their way through an alley at Phase Five, that reporters heard the first volley of shots followed by the sight of residents scampering for safety.
Police said they were shot at and then opted to returned fire. The residents, however, claimed otherwise saying the police were taking a heavy-handed approach in attempting to bring the protest action to an end, by shooting at unarmed members of the area. Up to last night, there were no reports of anyone being injured or arrested during the protests. As the shootout continued, three national security helicopters hovered above as the officers occasionally blocked off the highway, taking up strategic positions on top their vehicles and aiming in the direction of the sound of the gunfire. A motorist, whose path was temporarily blocked along the highway was visibly shaken and in tears as the shots were being exchanged.
Media workers were warned. “Do not go in there. You can go in, you know, but it is at your own risk because those people are firing at the police. It is not safe,” Richardson, told reporters. The shootout, which started at Phase Five, soon spread to Third Street, closer to the PBR. Officers there were dressed in full riot gear, keeping the protesters at bay. Several of the residents said in the absence of the media, officers physically assaulted “a sick and old man” identified as “Baba”. “We tell allyuh not to leave here. Allyuh is we protection right now. As soon as allyuh went they just start beating people and shooting at people,” the resident told the media. Reporters were shown several bullet casings by residents, which appeared to be the ones used in high-powered assault rifles. They said the shells came from the guns belonging to the officers.
Bosnian miners stage protest 250 meters below ground
(Reuters) – Around 140 miners have barricaded themselves 250 meters below ground at a mine in northern Bosnia and threatened on Tuesday to go on hunger strike in a row over recruitment and pay. Workers at the Djurdjevik mine, near the town of Tuzla, are angry at the hiring of an administrative official, which they say violates an agreement with the government to hold off recruitment of non-production staff until the wages of miners can go up.
“The situation is really dramatic,” the mine’s trade union president, Said Muhic, told state radio, saying the miners were threatening to launch a hunger strike. The union has long complained over pay, conditions and delayed modernization plans at the mine. The Djurdjevik brown coal mine, operating under an umbrella of Bosnia’s top utility EPBiH, employs more than 1,000 workers and churns out around 600,000 metric tons of coal per year, supplying the nearby Tuzla coal-fired power plant.
Palestinian refugees in Lebanon protest against UNRWA
BEIRUT (Ma’an) — Palestinians in Nahr al-Bared refugee camp in Lebanon protested against the UN agency for Palestinian refugees on Tuesday for the second day in a row. Political factions, commitees and organizations in the camp are on an open strike against “oppressive” procedures implemented by UNRWA, local leaders said. Palestinians in the camp say UNRWA implemented a new policy on Sept. 1 which ended emergency healthcare for refugees, affecting people with chronic illnesses who will no longer be eligible for free treatment. Atef Khalil, a local DFLP leader, said there is no choice for UNRWA but to overturn the new procedures. There are 86 cancer patients, 29 dialysis patients, and 600 people who have other heart and nervous system diseases who need to receive medicine on a regular basis. Strikes and protests will continue until UNRWA responds, Khalil said.
Ghanaians protest against noisy mobile phone mast generators
Police have been deployed to the Ghanaian city of Tamale after residents threatened to destroy mobile telephony masts, ITWeb reported. They described the structures as a ‘nuisance’, with the biggest concern being the noise emitted by generators powering the masts. Some residents have threatened to burn down the masts belonging to Vodafone, Tigo, Airtel and Glo