The Trinidad Daily Express reports ……..TENSIONS ran high between police and participants at the National Cannabis rally in San Fernando on Sunday after a man was arrested with marijuana.
Spectators hurled verbal abuse at police officers when they arrested the 27 year old man of Ecclesville.
Chairman of the All Mansions of Rastafari (AMOR) Clyde Noel said the incident did not mar proceedings, but instead spurred the spectators to listen and participate more in the rally advocating the decriminalisation of marijuana.
Noel told Express on Sunday night: “The crowd was angry, because this brother was arrested for possession of marijuana at a cannabis rally. We thought the police would given him a warning. The people were agitated. We came here for a rally to sensitize people about decriminalisation of marijuana. We had hoped there would be a resolution”.
It was around 6 p.m. when police allegedly saw the suspect with a ‘joint’.
The officers approached the man and spoke with him.
They held onto the man and was escorting him off the grounds when other rally participants followed and demanded that they free the suspect.
As the man was taken to a police vehicle and away to the San Fernando police station, the crowd erupted and hurled abuses at the police officers.
There were no further arrests or physical confrontations as the organisers of the rally, including Noel, urged the crowd to remain calm.
After 15 minutes, the event resumed with the speakers continuing with the programme.
One of the main speakers, David Abdulah, leader of the Movement for Social Justice (MSJ), said he also tried to diffuse the angry spectators.
“It is unfortunate that that happened. The people were disciplined all through-out the day and the police were co-operative. The situation could have been handled differently”, said Abdulah.