LINDEN HAS BECOME A BATTERED COMMUNITY AND NEED TO DIVORCE ITSELF FROM THE BATTERER
(By Keith Williams)
The PPP Regime, under the dictatorship of Donald Ramotuar, in the dastardly actions of shooting into a crowd of peaceful protestors in Linden, overtly declared war not only on Linden, but on all citizens of African descent in Guyana, and others of good will, whose conscience and sense of ethical and moral principles disallows them from being participants in this ethnic targeting. This war was being waged covertly over the past decade, and had its most venemous manifestations in Government supported armed gangs who were kidnapping, torturing and lynching young black men they ordained as criminal suspects. Under two PPP affiliated generals, namely Roger Khan and Ronald Gajraj, and with the aid of several Ministers including the then Minister of Health Leslie Ramsammy, these gangs roamed the environs of the coastland, entering black communities and removing young men without fear of interventiuon by Law Enforcement or the Army. And the only way such freedom could have been possible, given the bloody nature of the killings, was with connivance and assent from officials at the highest levels of political power in Guyana.
The questions that we have to ponder and answer at this point and time are: (1) What kind of response should be adopted to defend and protect the community under assault. (2) Who should be the leadership in the vanguard of this response, and, (3) What limits, in terms of actions, should be placed on this response. It will not be easy to reach consensus on any of the three, because of the insufferable and obtuse ostrich like syndrome that affect the thinking of too many in the Political Opposition. These people are stuck in a time warped strategy that involves them getting into political power one day, who knows when, and then waving a magic wand to change all of the horrible things that have been happening in this nation under the current regime. That they can still get the masses to step out dilligently and vote them into parliament every four years based on this tired and stagnant platform of ideas, speaks volumes about the apathetic state that constituency is in, and the inert state of thinking that has been existent among the leadership of the main opposition lo these past ten years.
When a Government ignores the human and civil rights horror of hundreds of men belonging to one ethnic group whose members are traditional constituents of the Opposition being kidnapped, tortured and summarily executed, and it is public knowledge who is involved, in addition to acquiescing to be a party to the exercise, that Government is shouting loudly for all to hear and take note that the group in question have no human or civil rights which it is duty bound to recognize and respect. The Constitution, the Laws local and international, are very clear and unambiguous in terms of the responsibility and obligations that rest on the shoulders of the state to ensure due process, the presumption of innocence, and equality under the law for all citizens in a nation regardless of their origin, their beliefs and lawful orientations. The fact that no member of the Government of Guyana, including the then President, publicly came out in opposition to these killings, thereby providing encouragement by their silence that they approve of the liquidations, offers more than a sufficiency of proof that (1) the Government or members at a high level were in cahoots with the gangs and (2), the Government of Guyana do not believe that the community being targetted had any human or civil rights that they were duty bound to recognize, respect, and enforce.
The interest of Guyana will not and cannot be served by a civil war, regardless of the current circumstances. At the same time, under ever aspect of international law, a minority community has a right to seek succor from powers beyond the reach of the state, when the state becomes its victimizer. There are few more vivid examples in the past or present that can be more representative of a state victimizing a racial or ethnic community than we behold in poignant transparency in Guyana. In that context the appropriate and optimum response to the current situation in Linden is for that community to appeal to the UN for some kind of divorcement from the aversive administrative powers of the PPP regime. The reasons and rationals have already been laid out in the heretofore, and they just form the tip of an iceberg of indictments against the PPP regime.In effect, Linden, like many other communities populated by a majority of Guyanese of African descent, has become a battered community, and the only solution under the current circumstances is a temporary separation or divorce from the batterer.
The people of Linden must select a representative group, separate and distinct from the parliamentary leadership, and comprising of men and women of courage, conviction, resolve, and a sense of human service, to speak and make decisions on their behalf. At the most they should be people with communication and other skll sets that are germane to the undertaken. The goals and purposes of activists and politicians are not necessarily mutually exclusive, but the path towards those ends frequently are. The path to change in Guyana for the opposition politicians involve them winning the Presidency and waving a magic wand to change things. The fact that many will suffer and die while they are in pursuit of this elusive dream seem insignificant to them, and clearly fails to penetrate the protective egotism that gate watches their thinking. Linden needs activists who will focus their struggles on changing things so that even if a leprechaun is elected into the Presidency of Guyana, it will not matter to the equity with which resources of the state are going to be distributed, the laws are going to be applied, and the rights of the citizenry are going to be protected and enforced.
The people of Linden and the community under assault in Guyana and their supporters must not be goaded into senseless reciprocatory violence against innocent Guyanese of any ethnicity, religion or other distinctions. Regardless of the current situation, the mosaic must not be shattered. We have to live together, and the adversaries, in a manner of speaking, should not be the people of Guyana. The adversaries, and that is a euphemism to describe the actions that emanate from those subjects, happen to be a despicably racist and absolutely corrupt regime under whose watch our nation has crossed the rubicon of decency and civilized threshold, and have entered into a perditious and machiavellien era.
To paraphrase sections of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream Speech”, it would indeed be a fatal error for all of us who are in and of Guyana to overlook the urgency of this particular moment. This sweltering summer of the legitimate discontent and concerns of the People of Linden will not pass until there is an invigorating drive for freedom and equality across the entire nation of Guyana. July 2012, a month that will live in infamy in our minds, must not simply become a period when the Cops Shot and killed some negroes. July 2012 need to become a poignant dawn in our awakening to the iniquitious and malicious patterns, attitudes and behaviours that passes for Governance of our nation. For those who will tend to conclude that the People of Linden needed to blow off steam and now will be pacified by meaningless verbiage and circumlocutory proclamations, let them have a rude awakening that things will not return to business as usual. Let them understand that there will neither be rest nor tranquility in Guyana until everyone is assured of the privileges of citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of peaceful revolt must continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges, and its reach extend from the Magnificent topography of the Pakarampas, to the lush sands of the Corentyne.