BOTTLES and stones were thrown and rubbish strewn along streets in east Port of Spain yesterday afternoon as recipients of the Government's newly-launched "People and Projects for Progress" protested the $69-a-day payment, which they said was too low.
According to one protester: "The change we vote for is not what we get. We only getting pocket change."
From around 1 p.m. the rumblings began at St Paul Street Community Complex after 150 men and women were accepted into the programme.
It was then they were told what the daily payment would be.
Several of the programme's recipients walked out the community centre shouting that the pay was too low.
The protesters began emptying rubbish bins and throwing garbage along the road, starting at Piccadilly Street, then over to Nelson Street, Duncan Street and back to St Paul Street, where the protest ended.
As a result several streets were backed up with traffic as officers of the Guard and Emergency Branch, Inter Agency Task Force and the Port of Spain Divisional Task Force swung into action.
The police kept a close eye on the actions of the protesters as they moved among motorists stuck in traffic.
"Sixty-nine dollars can't feed we family because you have to pay rent, light bills and you eh talk about school books yet because people in the ghetto does take too much of s&^# from government," said one of the female protesters.
"They say they want peace in the community but how it could have peace in the community and you paying we $69 a day, while I hear them gang leaders and them getting $4,000 a fortnight," she added.
Another woman held up her skills certificate and declared: "I have training. They cannot be paying me $69 for this," as she pointed out her certificate to media photographers.
Gizelle Stafford said she signed up for the programme because she was not getting a job anywhere else.
Another woman said that a previous programme, known as "Colour Me Orange", paid more than the "People and Projects for Progress."
A community activist known as "Warrior Princess", said: "The payment is unfair and unjust and that is why crime will never done."
Isha Wells, councillor for East Dry River, Port of Spain, arrived at St Paul Street just after 3 p.m.
"People climbed over one another to get into this programme and that's what they will do?" she asked, referring to the daily rate.
"I am calling on Minister Jack Warner to come back and deal with this because this has to be a mistake."