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Holness: Vindictive PNP keeping bus fare protesters at bay

Published:Monday | August 25, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Opposition Leader Andrew Holness is hard-pressed to accept greetings from an enthusiastic supporter as he arrives for the constituency executive meeting of North Central St Andrew Member of Parliament Karl Samuda yesterday. Looking on is Sharon Hay Webster, media liaison in the Office of the Leader of the Opposition. - Photo by Christopher Serju

Christopher Serju, Gleaner Writer

Opposition Leader Andrew Holness has expressed confidence that there is a strong wave of underground support for this morning's scheduled peaceful protest to be staged by the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) in Half-Way Tree, St Andrew.

However, Holness admitted yesterday that this might not be seen in the number of persons who turn up for the 7 o'clock protest against the latest bus-fare hike, which took effect this morning since, he claimed, many persons fear reprisals from the governing People's National Party (PNP).

"Me know how the politics go. The PNP is a very vindictive organisation, and when it comes to certain things, people 'fraid a dem shadow and 'fraid a weh dem say," he told supporters at the constituency office of Karl Samuda, member of parliament for North Central St Andrew.

"But me get nuff calls, 'Andrew, make sure you go there cause mi cyaa go out deh. Andrew, mi deh behin' yuh ... in spirit. How much water you want? How much juice?'."

Despite this, Holness urged Labourites to make the peaceful protest a national, rather than partisan, event by wearing national colours.

"This is a protest for Jamaica, so I want you to look Jamaican, wear your Jamaican colours. I know there are some PNP who will be joining us ... . Make them feel welcome. The JLP is the party that embraces all sectors, class, and people in the society," he told the supporters at the Red Hills Road constituency office.

The opposition leader made it clear that his plans were for a peaceful protest.

He said: "We not going to block nuh roads. Anybody who wants to go about their lawful business will be entitled and allowed to do so. We are demonstrating by going to a place of significance with our message, written and verbally, to show the Government how serious we are in opposition to these increases."