The Organizers of Occupy Westfield, a group of young people who recently launched a social media campaign to protest against the water and electricity shortages on Sunday have been denied a permit to protest by police.
Here is a statement by the organizers posted on Facebook shortly after meeting with Police Chief, Landing Kinteh.
Permit denied: The Official stance of the #OccupyWestfield Team
In our quest for a permit we had to go through screening processes, advices, talks etc and today we met with the IGP, the head of the PIU and other leading personnels of the security force. We had a lengthy discussion but in the end we were denied a permit on the grounds of security concerns. Even as other groups like the APRC had their gatherings with their permission.
We accepted their concerns as valid and suggested that they send in protection for the place of convergence. This too they denied with no sufficient explanation except to say they might not have the necessary force for that.
In this regard, we are going to start the next step which is to sue the government of the Gambia for invoking an unconstitutional clause of an act namely, the Public Order Act. To prevent us from exercising our civil and human rights to assemble and protest peacefully. We intend to take the issue to the Supreme court of the Gambia and defend the letter and spirit of the constitution as the supreme law of the land.
We therefore urge everyone to use restrain and wisdom in this matter. That said, it’s time to challenge these draconian laws that stifle the flow of democracy and the human rights of Gambians.
Ps: we will share the denial letter shortly as we wait for it at the police headquarters.
We will win!
All power to the People!
Source: Alieu Bah