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Police stop protest near Lionel C. Hill supermarket

Police stop protest near Lionel C. Hill supermarket
Winston Clarke speaking to the media outside Central Police Station on Friday. (Picture by Reco Moore)

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Social activist Winston Clarke was this morning escorted to Central Police Station while he was trying to mount a one-man protest opposite Lionel C. Hill Supermarket in Roebuck Street, The City.

But up to the time of writing, no charges had been officially laid against him.

Earlier this week, Clarke, a member of the Steering Committee, said they would be protesting in front of the supermarket and called for a boycott after management refused to recall a memo stating all employees must be vaccinated by September 30.

He said soon after arriving in Roebuck Street around 9 a.m., police were already on site and he was first told he could not be on the supermarket’s property or adjacent. He set up his microphone and speaker on another property, but another set of officers shut down the operation and asked him to drive to the police station.

Clarke said this was one of several protests today against companies in Barbados practising “medical apartheid” and “segregationary tactics” on employees “which are against human rights”. Other groups are also at other businesses. Professor Don Marshall of The UWI also called for a boycott of the two businesses.

“It is going to get bigger and bigger because more businesses are jumping on board, but we are also going to get bigger and bigger in our way of dealing with it,” he told Nation News.

“We are stating that people who would encourage this kind of thing are not really caring and empathetic about the feelings of their fellow Barbadians.”

Clarke said he was aware that Lionel C. Hill had a special arrangement with the Welfare Department and catered to the elderly as well, but they were asking regular shoppers not to transact business with the company over the next two days.

Last week, management at Lionel C. Hill Supermarket and Hill Milling said in a memo no employee would be allowed to enter the premises without a vaccination certificate after September 30.

Chief Labour Office Claudette Hope-Greenidge subsequently advised director Richard Ashby that employees were not to be discriminated against or treated unfairly because they remained unvaccinated. However, a defiant Ashby said he was prepared to go all the way to the Supreme Court and would not be withdrawing the memo. (SAT)