As Lindeners remain resolute, the protests continue and based on conversations with locals on the ground, the goal of the movement has expanded to include arrest and murder charges against the officer responsible for giving the command to shoot and those who did shoot live rounds at peaceful protesters.
The protest has moved beyond the 5 day peaceful vigil to and indeterminable number of days of protest. As one protesters shared with BrutalFactsGT, “we don’t have jobs anyway, we will be here until our goals are achieved. The blood of our brothers who were shot down like dogs in the street will not be shed in vain.”
Reports from Cabinet insiders reveal that the PPP/C lead Government of Guyana is carefully reviewing its options.
Pressure is mounting as Chinese, Brazilian and local gold and diamond miners, loggers and business men who use Linden as a throughway daily are incensed with the PPP/C and insisting that the government must do something.
It was reported to BrutalFacts that Agriculture Minister Leslie Ramsammy said to his friend that they are losing millions of dollars in the shipment of lumber from linden daily and that business man Toolsie Persaud who is a sawmill owner is calling his office all daily and beseeching the president to do something. Reports are that if the situation in Linden worsens, business men who support the PPPC will come out in open condemnation of the Government. Even the Indian sellers who ply their business of fish, greens and ground Provisions throughout the communities in Linden are fed up with Ramotar’s incompetence since they are now unable ply their trade and services and earn money to feed their own families.
It is clear that the PPPC allowed their contempt for the opposition and lack of respect for African Guyanese to override the need for a clear and thoughtful assessment of what has now become “the Linden problem”. It is clear that no assessment was done of the consequences of raising rates of a poverty stricken people who had been relegated to depending on the goodness of family members in the Diaspora to survive, who have been cut off from any decent media for 20 years and who have been summarily relegated to refugee status by a regime bent on promoting an apartheid system in Guyana where only the Indian elite and their friends and family benefit from the nation’s natural resources and development plans.
Today in Linden, a town of some sixty thousand people with five thousand gainfully has been so backed into a corner that they are left with no choice but to see the struggle through to the end.
The Government of Guyana will soon be forced to back-peddle on the Linden issue. We have recently heard none of the usual arrogant and intractable statements regarding the rate hikes and we are beginning to see clear signs that Lindeners will emerge victorious if they maintain the struggle and stay the course.
The big problem now is that the PPPC must find a way to bring charges against the Commander in Charge Clifton Hicken. This will be especially difficult in light of his drug dealing contacts, his connections to Rohee and his knowledge of compromised people and places.
Clearly, the PPPC must find a graceful way out of this situation, but “dis time nah lang time” and the usual cover-up, band-aids and impotent commissions which result in delayed and incomplete findings will not do. Clearly rate increases must be tabled, clearly the murders must be punished, clearly investment must come to Linden, clearly the communications blackout must be lifted on Linden and clearly the PPPC must commit to fairness and equality under the law for all citizens of Guyana.