Thursday, June 30, 2022

PM of St Vincent and Grenadines Attacked During Anti-Vaccine Protest

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Update: PM Ralph Gonsalves was flown to Barbados to receive medical assistance.

Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines Ralph Gonsalves suffered a bloodied head after anti-vaccine protesters hurled an object at him when he emerged from his vehicle as he walked toward the Parliament building on Thursday evening.

A photograph circulated social media showing the injured prime minister with a bloodied shirt.

When word spread that the 74-year-old Caribbean leader was hit and injured, some protesters celebrated while beating drums, “The World Boss head buss!”

Gonsalves had given himself the name, ‘World Boss’ during the 2020 General Elections, having led the country to a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council.

Strong police presence now protects Gonsalves and Parliament building.

The big story

Protesters believed to be supporters of the official opposition, The New Democratic Party (NDP) along with two public service unions marched the streets to protests the legislation that the government said would permit the vaccination of public sector workers, considered to be front line workers.

Protesters believe proposed changes to the Public Health Act, could force some workers out of their jobs if they do not vaccinate.

State of play

The government is proposing to remove the word “voluntary” from a section of the law that speaks to vaccination against an illness that has triggered the declaration of a public health emergency — as is the case with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.


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