Patrick Burnette, subsequently backed up Athill’s allegations, saying he (Burnette) witnessed and even spoke with tourists who complained about the protests.
“What I see happening is, from persons going out, there are a few persons who would have gone and would be looking about … and as they were looking about, they opted to go back on board,” Burnette said.
“I know I spoke to persons and basically they didn’t understand what was happening; and you know when you go places and you see protesting going on, obviously something is wrong.
Those that I spoke to…because of the protest, they decided they are going to be out for the day fearing that whatever it was they might not get back in time,” he added.
Athill also suggested that the previous picket at Heritage Quay, on February 28th, put taxi drivers, vendors, merchants and hair braiders at a loss. He therefore suggested that tourism stakeholders should be consulted before such action is taken in the area.
However, Thomas said:
“If the same taxi men hear that some decision is being made to change the area where they ply their trade and they have to protest there, they would protest right there. In the event that Global Ports or somebody makes a decision…right there is where they are going to protest. They are not going to go to Old Road.”
He further stated that a sacrifice must be made for the benefit of all.
“I think that is the problem; some people don’t want to lose anything but they want to gain, they want to benefit. In protests, in demonstrations, sacrifices must be made. You can’t want to go to heaven and don’t die,” Thomas added.