Thursday 14 December, 2017

Police warn Jamaicans against protesting NIDS by blocking roads

The Police High Command is warning persons who block the island’s roads as a means of protest that they could be prosecuted.

The warning comes after the High Command said it was aware of a message being circulated on social media encouraging members of the public to participate in road blocks. The police are reminding that such action is illegal.

Loop News has seen one version of a message making the rounds on the popular What’sApp platform. It urges Jamaicans to block roads today, December 6. The reason? The controversial National Identification System (NIDS), which, although not yet enacted in law, is facing strong opposition from some quarters.

Many Jamaicans are concerned about the NIDS and what it means for them. Some of the concerns are centred on the fact that biometric data such as finger, palm and even toe prints will be required for the new ID card, without which persons will be unable to do business with government agencies. This has prompted some in the Christian community to liken it to the mark of the beast referred to in the scriptures.

According to the What’sApp message, “We don’t want the new ID system, we can’t be forced to use or body for ID, this is the mark of the beast let us unite and fight for Jamaica.

But the Police High Command is urging persons to desist from participating in any action that could result in their prosecution.

“While the public has a right to peaceful assembly, people are reminded that this right comes with the responsibility of not impeding or inconveniencing others,” the High Command said in a statement.

It said the constitutional right of freedom of assembly should not negatively impact public order or public safety, neither should it rob other citizens of their right to freedom of movement.