Police issue caution after PNC/R protest march
Guyana Chronicle
April 13, 2002

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THE protest march the main Opposition People's National Congress Reform (PNC/R) organised yesterday pulled a small crowd and Police found cause to issue a caution after a section broke away from the designated route.

Following the incident, Commissioner Floyd McDonald again called on citizens to abide by the laws which were put in place to ensure order, peace and safety.

The march, the second in the city by the party this week, was scheduled to begin at 11:30 hrs from the 1763 Monument Square, again in protest at the weekend shooting death of Buxton, East Coast Demerara resident, Shaka Blair.

Police said Blair, 33, was shot after he resisted arrest at his home but the PNC/R has called the Police account a fabrication.

Police said an autopsy yesterday showed Blair died from "haemorrhage and shock due to gunshot wounds".

The march yesterday began at about 12:30 hrs with about 130 persons carrying three banners and several placards.

About an hour later with more people joining, when the protesters were at the corner of Camp and Regent Streets, instead of proceeding north along Camp Street, the route for which the Police gave permission, about 350 persons broke away from the procession.

They continued east into Regent Street while a smaller section, of about 80 to 100 persons, headed by PNC/R General Secretary, Mr. Oscar Clarke, followed the specified route and turned east on Church Street, south into Vlissengen Road and back to the Monument Square.

Police said the section that broke away dwindled to about 60 to 75 persons and proceeded to the corner of Regent and New Garden streets, where Police ranks were on duty manning barriers in the vicinity of the Bourda Ground where the first cricket test match between India and the West Indies was under way.

The small group of protesters began hurling abuses at the Police ranks. The vociferous group was headed by former controversial TV `talk show' host, Mark Benschop, Police said.

Police said that at about 14:20 hrs, the group dispersed and headed back towards the square.