A man stands in the crowd at the protest meeting with a sign in Roseau this morning
A man stands in the crowd at the protest meeting with a sign in Roseau this morning

Hours after a passport protest meeting ended in Roseau tonight, police used teargas to disperse roaming young persons who were sporadically setting fire to garbage cans in the streets, Q95 journalists Matt Peltier and Carlisle Jno Baptiste reported.

This was an ugly end to a largely peaceful meeting attended by hundreds of protesters, dressed mainly in white, and who stood near government headquarters on Kennedy Avenue in a blazing-hot sun for five hours from 11am this morning.

Speaker after speaker demanded the resignation of the government of Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit over the mismanagement of the country's Citizenship by Investment programme and the sale of diplomatic passports to persons who later got into problems with the law. They said the programme had tarnished Dominica's name around the world.

Among the speech-givers were Johnson Boston, the secretary of the Dominica Freedom Party and Michael Astaphan, the DFP's political leader. Edison James, the former Prime Minister also spoke saying that he came out of retirement to speak, he said, because he was fed-up with lies about the CBI.

It was Lennox Linton's turn to speak at about 2.50 pm and the meeting was set, by the police, to end at 3.00 pm. Clearly, that was not enough time for the Leader of the Opposition.

Defying the police, whom, Linton said, could not legally set cut-off times for such meetings, Linton spoke way past 3.00 pm and when three police officers came forward to confront Linton, they were barred by loud and determined members of the crowd. The officers, wisely, did not move forward.

The meeting continued for another 90 minutes and then mayhem; at about 8.00 pm the police fired teargas canisters.