by Bethanie Harriman – EM TV News, Lae
Deputy governor, Judas Nalau, and Lae’s new Metropolitan Commander, Anthony Wagambie Jr, addressed various groups at different locations in efforts to diffuse the tension.
Houses along the Sandpiper road bore the brunt of the crowd’s frustration – lights were smashed, garbage bins emptied on the road and vehicle windows destroyed.
A crowd gathered near the Huonville Primary school blocking off access for vehicles.
Calls were made by the provincial government to come down hard on street vendors and their suppliers.
Police maintained order until Deputy Governor, Judas Nalau, arrived to speak to the protesters. Authorities have been careful not to allow protests to escalate, and become a repeat of the 2011 protests.
“Bring a petition to the Provincial Executive Council, we are going to meet tomorrow,” said Nalau.
Tensions diffused at Seventh street. The delegation then moved to Eriku, because while Nalau addressed this crowd, another was gathering at Eriku.
Again, police had managed to get more than 200 people away from the main shopping area.
Police then managed to bring one crowd under control. They were diverted to Bumbu Settlement and Butibam.
“This is not the way to hold a protest, you can’t stone cars, houses and properties,” said Lae Metropolitan Commander, Supt.Anthony Wagambie Junior.