Protests remain peaceful despite heavy police presence

Peaceful Assembly

In recent weeks, three large-scale strikes and protests went ahead without incident, although one of them was heavily monitored by police for fear that it could turn violent. In January, teachers' unions mobilised steadily over an eight-day period in order to protest against delays and inefficiencies within the Ministry of Education and against a number of policies of the Ministry. The strike was supported by the Suriname Workers Union as well as the political opposition. Although many uniformed police officers and members of the mobile police unit were present at the protest site in case violence erupted, no intervention was deemed necessary. Nevertheless, some opposition politicians claimed that the heavy police presence had the effect of intimidating the protestors.

On 26th November, Suriname's Independence Day, a silent protest was held without incident against President Desire Delano Bouterse. In early January, a bus operatiors group (PLO) warned the government that they would temporarily interrupt service unless they were paid arrears owed to them. They also said that they would rather accept an increase in bus rates than a government subsidy, which makes them feel like they are being "duped".

Tags: protest