Scores of persons showed up for the third time in three weeks, today to support the Movement Against Parking Meters (MAPM) in their peaceful protest in front of City Hall for the removal of parking meters in Georgetown.
Councillors, business persons and other citizens were armed with placards against the parking meter implementation as they stood in front of City Hall.
Some of the protesters who spoke to Inews today said that even with the decision to have parking meter fees reduced, paid parking is still unacceptable.
“The voice of the people is a voice of God and right now the people calling for total revocation. So I think, we’ve got to listen to the people’s call,” activist, Ras Leon Saul said.
Another member of the protest, Councilor Bhishram Kuppen stated that “the original rate for this contract was $500, and it was only after public outcry that they are reducing it. Now I call this a rotten apple. You’re trying to fix something that is not good to begin with. I think this entire contract should be scrapped, and they should start over.”
Another citizen told Inews that “this contract that they’ve done is so bad and is a penalty for the poor people of this country. Those working all over the city cannot afford. People coming from all over the country cannot afford to come and shop in Georgetown.”
In addition, many protesters lambasted the Mayor and Town Clerk for signing the controversial contract, especially now that it has come to light that it was not made to benefit Guyana.
“Even though the Mayor and City Council, or the Mayor and her fantastic four have given some leeway, its too little, too late. The horse is out of the stable and really and truly, what you’re seeing now is a scam that was in the making,” Saul relayed.
Furthermore, some business persons sought to explain the negative impact the parking meter initiative has had since it was rolled out on January 24, 2017.
“It suffering the small businesses as well. I run a small business, Creation Craft on Water Street, and people not even coming. People afraid to park there..Everybody don’t come round the area. They call us, do you have this, they send [someone to collect]. So they don’t come and look around like before,” businessman Troy Parboo said.
As the protest concluded one hour later, the Mayor and Town Clerk had not made an appearance.
Nevertheless, protesters vowed their support to the Movement Against Parking Meters until the contract is scrapped. (Ramona Luthi)
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