By NAN Staff Writer

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY., Mon. Aug. 9, 2021: Three days after protests in St. Vincent and the Grenadines against mandatory vaccines for front line workers left the prime minister concussed, a similar anti-vax protest reached Antigua and Barbuda.

Police there yesterday said they had to use teargas to break up a demonstration by people who were protesting against a decision made by the government to move towards the vaccination of frontline workers in an effort to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the aftermath of the protest, the police said one person was detained.

But the group, known as Freedom Fighters for Antigua and Barbuda, claim that a letter was written to the Commissioner of Police Attlee Rodney, seeking permission – as required under the law, to march on Sunday.

“It is apparent that his late response was a calculated and deliberate act by the Police Commissioner since he knew that his decision can be appealed to the Minister responsible for the Police and even reviewed by the High Court of Justice,” the group said in a statement. “The denial for the permit at this late hour made it all but impossible to peruse the appeal process since the March was scheduled for August 8, 2021.”

St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Meanwhile, the main opposition party in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the New Democratic Party (NDP), is claiming harassment and intimidation after the police late Saturday, raided the homes of several opposition supporters and other activists, following the July 5th incident in which Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves was injured after a protestor threw a brick that hit him, resulting in a concussion.

Speaking during a press conference on Saturday night, opposition leader, Godwin Friday said the raiding of homes points to “a very serious moment in our country.”

Gonsalves said on Friday he was recovering a day after a protester threw an object at his head during an anti-vaccine rally, leaving him concussed.

The 74-year-old premier of the Caribbean country was attacked as he walked through a group of about 200 protesters to get into parliament.

“By the grace of God almighty, I’m doing well and on the mend,” he wrote on social media. He said there was no sign of neurological damage, but his concussion would require weeks of monitoring.

Video footage following the attack showed a dazed Gonsalves, his white shirt turning red as blood streaked down. Security guards rushed him from the scene, and he was later flown to nearby Barbados for medical care.

Last Thursday’s protest was organized by unions representing nurses, police and other workers who fear COVID-19 vaccinations could be mandated for some employees by the government, according to reports and videos on social media.

Gonsalves had previously said that proposed changes to the nation’s public health law would not include any penalties for those who refuse the COVID-19 shots.

There was no justification for the attack, he said.

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