FLASHBACK - Candlelight Movement supporters hold lit candles at the launch of the Candlelight Movement petition to end Violence Against Women, on Knox Street, Port-of-Spain, in early March 2021. (Image: ANISTO ALVES)

The major march planned by The Candlelight Movement from Arima to Parliament, originally scheduled for April 9th, has been postponed for one month, as cases of COVID-19 in the country continue to rise.

Confirmation has come in an official statement from The Candlelight Movement’s Kandace Bharath, its Public Relations Officer.

“In response to the advisory against marches issued by the Commissioner of Police—himself being guided by the medical authorities and the changing COVID-19 situation—The Candlelight Movement wishes to advise of our continued commitment to the upholding and adhering to the law and any covid-19 Regulations and protocols which may be in force from time to time.  As such, The Candlelight Movement has decided to postpone our walk from Arima to Parliament, previously scheduled for 9th April, for one month,” the release stated.  

The social activism grouping says it will assess the situation in the country at the end of that period, as well as indicate the new date on which it will present to Parliament signed petitions calling for an end to gender-based violence in T&T.  That announcement is scheduled to occur on May 9th.

The petitions currently are circulating throughout Trinidad and Tobago, and the Movement had originally hoped to obtain some 100,000 signatures on the document. 

“We also take this opportunity to extend the deadline for the return of signed petition sheets for the one-month period and embrace the opportunity to increase our target from 100,000 to 250,000 signatures to facilitate the overwhelming response from persons still wishing to sign the petition,” the Candlelight Movement advises.

The grouping says during the extension period, it will be ramping up the distribution of petition packages throughout the country in response to the increasing demand for petitions.  It also plans to host ‘pop up’ signings nationwide before the new deadline.

“The one-month extension comes to an end on the May and that will now become the cut-off for collection of signed petitions nationwide,” the Candlelight Movement says.

It added: “We wish to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to those who have signed, who are making the petition available to be signed throughout the country, and the general outpouring of support and commitment from our fellow citizens to the cause, to make our country safer.”