The governing FNM party has accused the Progressive Liberal Party of “promoting uncivil and unruly behaviour” during Wednesday’s chaotic disturbance on Bay Street.
The Free National Movement (FNM) issued a statement claiming that the unruly crowd at Wednesday’s protest against the sale of BTC was mostly “organized and paid for” by the Progressive Liberal Party.
The demonstrators were supposedly protesting the sale of 51 percent of the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) to Cable and Wireless Communications (CWC).
But many of the people engaging in the mob-like behaviour apparently didn’t even know why they were there.
“It was a PLP-organised and paid-for political demonstration filled mostly with party supporters, and did not represent the majority of Bahamians who are shocked and appalled by the behaviour of a crowd engaged in mob-like behaviour,” said a statement issued by the FNM.
According to a government minister who talked to the Tribune newspaper, many in attendance came because the PLP allegedly offered between $30-$50, a t-shirt and free alcohol to attend the demonstration.
“They were recruiting guys randomly from the area. They were saying you don’t have to do nothing, just come down and be there for an hour,” a source told a Tribune reporter.
PLP leader Perry Christie denies such allegations, however Mr Christie has a reputation for being rather clueless as to what his party members are up to.
PLP party chairman Bradley Roberts also played innocent, telling the media that the party did not hire a bus to transport constitutents to the protest. However, he admitted that the bus, spotted by several witnesses off-loading people near the Post Office, may have been hired by an individual supporter of the PLP.
A number of PLP MPs were in attendance and witnesses say they saw those PLPs engaging in behaviour aimed to incite the crowd.
The FNM said it was particularily “disturbing” that Cleola Hamilton, head of the nursing union and a newly-ratified PLP candidate, participated in the demonstration dressed in PLP colours.
“After yesterday, there is no pretence left. The PLP has hijacked various unions and compromised certain union leaders in the pursuit of its own needs rather than what is in the best interest of the unions and the Bahamian people,” said the FNM statement.
The first video below, apparently posted by the administrator of a PLP website, shows active participation by senior PLP membrs in the unruly protest.
The video above inspired the following comment, which is shared by most Bahamians:
“The events on Bay Street yesterday were both appealing and disgraceful…and to know that politicians participated in this undisciplined? and rowdy protest, just leaves me baffled…and they wonder why the children and young people are so undisciplined and show no respect for authority…well done union leaders and politicians!”
Here is another video of the chaotic disturbance.
What are your feeling about this demonstration? Comment below.