GECOM, International Community And Society Must Condemn Politics Of Lies, Fear And Race Baiting

Lincoln Lewis, General Secretary Guyana Trades Union Congress - Press Release

In its usual politics of lies, fear and race baiting, the Government of Guyana has taken a legitimate response of  Buxtonians to their façade of interest during an electoral  campaign as an opportunity to drive fear  in the minds of  Buxtonians  and by extension, the dissenting populace in an ongoing effort to paralyse them into inaction. The PPP political strategist knows only too well that the average human psyche will reject action deemed lawless, offensive and threatening social stability, and they will also reject those who it is claimed are responsible for this behaviour.  As a result of their validated embrace of lawlessness and the rejection they now face by this nation it is clear that the machinery for creating public mischief has gone into overdrive. Their most recent and ongoing efforts to present a daily media image of behaviour intended to conjure images of fear, even as they label citizens exercising their right to expression, movement and assembly as hooligans, mobsters and lawless, should not be taken as an isolated action but a carefully orchestrated strategy to denigrate one section of our society and set them up as targets for social despise and even destruction.

Describing exuberant Buxtonians demonstrating during a PPP campaign  in a village that has felt the brunt of PPP discriminatory politics, marginalization, destruction of their economic livelihood, and village pride, even as many were brutally gunned down, victims of  extra judicial and  state and narco-associated phantom squads, as  hooligans and mobsters,  is setting the stage for a continuation of state sponsored violence and pariah status of Buxtonians, the political opposition  and the African Guyanese community. It is the ugly beginnings of a people set up for demonization, marginalization and destruction for political gain and entrenchment of political power. It is setting the stage for society to accept their destruction by this regime. This nation must recall the lies and unsubstantiated labels placed at the feet of others as the current regime covered their tracks and lied to this nation of their criminal links and associations established in the US court of credible justice and among the international and diplomatic communities as revealed in wiki Leaks.

A political strategy of lies, race baiting and linguistic dehumanization is the modus operandi of the PPP government that many citizens of this country have sat idly by and allowed to manifest and ruin the Guyanese society for far too long.

Linguistic demonization precedes the denial of rights and justice as the public is guiled into accepting that the perpetrators of acts deemed misdeeds must be punished even as those who fear the punishment stay silent. This is the circle of oppression of the PPP regime.  This is an example of power gone crazy and what any signs of rejection of the PPP and its leaders can lead to.  In recent times the media has been referred to as vultures and carrion crows, CNS6 was shut down and has dangling over its head closure of the station and all its attendant losses occurring from the effect of such acts on its economic viability and citizens’ right to work.  Incarceration and the threat of same are used to intimidate those who show opposition to this regime.

Minister Robert Persaud driving the attack against African Guyanese must remember that his ancestors vigorously and rightly so fought  the label of “coolie” which dehumanized  the entire race and created the front for Europeans and others to marginalize and discriminate against Indians. African Guyanese will not accept any labelling from this descendent of indentured servants who knows better the effects and impact of labelling and its potential to dehumanize, enslave, marginalise and ultimately destroy. The lessons learnt from slavery, the 60’s and as recent as 1997 when political protestors were referred to by the most derogatory terms and a web of deceit was painted to a group up for marginalization will not be allowed to happen.

I have a clear message for Minister Persaud and the PPP, who from all evidence see our women as sexual objects to debase as they wine down and back ball, and our men as criminals and hired guns for them and their underworld associates. Persaud’s behaviour and utterances over the period are seen as racist since he is consistently attacking another racial group in society. This is reminiscence of what persons of his mindset and ilk committed that led to the race riots of the 60s. To those from the African community who are  prepared to turn a blind eye as Africans are debased by this Minister and his government, and to those comfortable embracing their lawlessness  in this process of dehumanization, it is your right to  determine to which level you are prepared to stoop and grovel to enjoy what  you are entitled to.  Others who believe in universal rights, possessing of ethnic pride and self esteem will not join you for we are prepared to enjoy and continue the struggle for rights earned through the blood, sweat and tears of our ancestors. Any government or government agent who supports, orchestrates or preaches racial discrimination has no place in a modern and civilized society.

In the recent surge of an unexpected and improperly catered for crowd of supporters forming the contingent of the main political opposition on Nomination Day a deluge of derogatory terminology was used by the PPP and their cohorts to define the contingent and their behaviour even as the inadequacy of the police numbers in preparation to cope effectively with such a large contingent was ignored. Once again the demonization is allowed to occur. In other parts of the developing and developed world the security forces would be held accountable for lack of effective crowd control measures which would lead to immediate review of the forces capacity to cope. It is clear that the police security, with all their known shortages is not strategically placed to manage even the smallest of peaceful crowds and contain them in any given space without perhaps leaving other areas denuded of police presence and vulnerable. Yet we fail to hold those responsible accountable and are fooled by their distortions and lies to camouflage ineptness of the state apparatus.

It is not by accident that behaviour of Indians deemed tolerable and acceptable by some are referred to negatively when performed by African.  In 2001 supporters of the PPP protesting in Berbice who mauled a magistrate and burned his car were referred to as concerned citizens and the government immediately sought to address their concerns going as far as stripping the police force of their weapons to appease Indian Guyanese.  African engaging in peaceful protests are termed hooligans and false witness and allegations are made against them accusing them of violence.

With the now watchful eye of the international community on the upcoming elections those professional members of the security forces must take note of government’s continued lack of tolerance for African Guyanese, the predominant African opposition and those with alternative views. Government must not be allowed under any disguise to unleash on Africans a spate of police excesses and brutality by rogue elements who act outside of the norms of a professional police force. The newest labour force of paid protestors and those hired to create violence and mayhem must not escape the scrutiny of the security services, GECOM, the international community, and local observers as the election heat builds up. GECOM is urged to take a stand on government’s abuse and stoking the flames of fear either to freely engage in expression, assembly, movement or association. Guyanese in Buxton or elsewhere must have the right to protest anywhere, any time for, it is their legitimate right. There is no law against it, even at a PPP rally. They are urged to hold the intellectual authors, architects and engineers creating intolerance to such freedoms accountable to the people.

Free, fair, credible and transparent elections are not hinged on the politics of lies, fear and race baiting. The media code of conduct must allow for GECOM not merely to record these activities but to denounce them as soon as they occur.   The media monitoring unit must also be equipped to pronounce on these violations to social order and correctness with immediacy and in a holistic manner if these elections are to be an expression of true will, based on facts and not carefully orchestrated fiction such as the manufactured violence by a dissenting force. The recent allegation of violence by Buxtonians that was unsubstantiated by police present at the political rally and police reports are evidence of political mischief and PPP propaganda  spread in the media to create fear.  This nation is reminded that fact must not be premised on mere media reports from lying lips or on what the government of the day interprets facts to be as these are best represented by credible empirical evidence.

It is the role of independent media and those credible leaders and groups in society to force governments to raise the bar on social accountability and credible behaviour. These ultimately lead to a society built on social justice, human rights, law, and order as the disparity in treatment of one group over another becomes issues to resolve and not promote.  These are the foundations upon which democracies are built and not just mere referencing of the word by politicians whose very actions belie any good intent to those who are not corrupted by their influence and handouts.

In this political season and beyond leaders, aspiring leaders, public figures, political parties or their agents in the media or elsewhere must be held accountable for the absence of supporting evidence and failure to use reasonably fair and universally accepted definitions of human behaviour.

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