Calls For Inquiry Guyana Police Killings

Submitted by Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID)

Guyana Police Commissioner Leroy Brummell

NEW YORK: The New York based Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) has strongly condemned Wednesday’s Police shooting to death of three unarmed protestors in Guyana’s mining town of Linden. The three were part of a large demonstration protesting a 50% increase in electricity rates.

Protestors reportedly blocked the Wismar Bridge which facilitates vehicular traffic to and from the country’s vast and natural resources rich hinterland region. This prompted riot police sent in from Georgetown to fire teargas and rubber bullets. Protestors responded by throwing stones and teargas canisters back at police who responded with live rounds, killing three and wounding dozens.

Calling for a Commission of Inquiry into the shooting, the institute labeled Guyana’s People’s Progressive Party (PPP) government “a communist, Indian-dominated ethnocracy, which views the inalienable and constitutional rights of African-Guyanese to protest as subversive.” It said historically the PPP has acted to crush such dissent.”

National Security Minister Clement Rohee

In a strongly worded statement, CGID President Rickford Burke said “These killings are a wanton slaughter of African-Guyanese by Guyana Police – acting like a PPP Gestapo Force. Afro-Guyanese are under subjugation by an ethnocracy.  The peoples of the Caribbean region must express outrage at these killings and solidarity with the black population in Guyana,” he added.

Burke said he believes in national unity but had an obligation to fight unbridled PPP injustice and racism. “They used these tactics to divide and destroy Guyana in the 1960s. Now it’s “déjà vu” all over again. My generation and the ones that follow have a solemn duty to dismantle this monstrosity of PPP apartheid.  He asked “what democratic government will shoot and kill protestors who block a bridge?  The PPP regime has entered the realm of despotic governments like The Sudan, Libya, Syria, Egypt and others. All of these regimes massacred their own citizens but were ultimately defeated by the people – democracy and the rule of law prevail. This is my message to the PPP government”

He observed that Guyana Police would dare not shoot at sugarcane workers who are mostly Indians and the backbone of the PPP’s political base but who also often engage in violent protests. “So frankly, the killing of Lindeners is consistent with the PPP’s well documented disregard for the life, rights, liberties and freedoms of blacks in Guyana.”Burke said.

Sharma Solomon, Regional Chairman of Region Ten – Upper Demerara/Berbice, the geographic and local government administration with jurisdiction over Linden, yesterday confirmed that three males have been killed, including Ron Somerset, a Guyana Defense Force officer. Solomon also confirmed several injuries and said many were admitted to hospital. Demerara Waves news service has quoted the Chairman as saying the town was “in pandemonium.”

Burke said the buck stopped at President Donald Ramotar and Home Affairs and National Security Minister Clement Rohee who allegedly instructed Police Commissioner Leroy Brummell to fire at protestors. He assailed Rohee, describing him as a “crazed ego-maniac with an alleged criminal history and alleged ties to criminals” who is unworthy of the national security portfolio. He also said Brummell bears equal responsibility as Rohee, as under international law Police forces have a right to refuse to carry out instructions from politicians that are unlawful.

He urged Opposition Leader Brigadier David Granger to be more assertive, saying “I hope Mr. Granger as leader of the party that is the political representative of the people of Linden will relinquish his none-confrontational posture and adopt political measures to wrest from the government a genuine account of the chain of command and who issued the orders to shoot. He must also understand that his supporters expect him to ensure criminal prosecutions must be a consequence of any inquiry or a term of resolution of this horrific incident.”

The institute’s President called on Guyana President Ramotar and the Parliament to appoint separate Commissions of Inquiry into the killings and urged that “supporting investigators be drawn from overseas.”

Late Wednesday night several government buildings were reportedly ablaze, including the offices of the government’s Inland Revenue Department. Prime Minister Samuel Hinds further angered residence with a statement condemning the protest and expressing regret at the disruption of business. He made no reference to the killings nor offered any form of condolences. Burke slammed Hinds’ comments, saying “obviously these are the insensitive sentiments of a coward whom the public regard as a buffoon. After 19 years in political life he is still coarse and uncivil. This is the level of indignity which Guyanese suffer.’

The Police have issued a statement calling for calm and the government today announced that the military has been called out to patrol the town. President Donald Ramotar who has remained silent and out of sight has now scheduled an emergency meeting with opposition Leader David Granger who made an emergency visit to Linden Wednesday night. He visited shooting victims at the McKenzie hospital as well as grieving relatives of those killed.

  • mash up and buy back

    Rickford Burke

    Right thinking Barbadians stand in soladarity with you and the dear people of african descent in Guyana for the unlawful killing of innocent citizens.

    Let’s hear what that slime bag ricky singh and supporter of the indian PPP government has to say to this.He is here in Barbados enjoying the fruit of hard work of the black and white foreparents of this land,yet the nastiest accusation and condemnation is never far from his lips where Barbados is concerned.

    He can speak about human rights abuses all over the caribbean,now I am waiting to hear his take about these abuses right in his homeland.Shame!

    Please conatact all the International Human Rights organisations and International Courts and spread the word of the racist oppressive actions of this PPP government.

    Would that Mr Burnham were alive today.

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  • BU has been highlighting the Guyana situation for years now. Now that people are being shot like dogs and a political system which is exposing itself as corrupt the traditional media will jump on the bandwagon. While the Guyana economy is growing at a faster rate than Barbados(the Opposition reminds us) and it is a country blessed with natural resources, is that all?

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  • mash up and buy back

    There is a European Union study which was done which showed that Linden – the area where the atrocity was carried out yesterday – and has the heaviest concentration of afro-guyanese has 70 percent unemployment and has been neglected by the indian dominated PPP government since the days of Jagan,Jagdeo and now Ramoutar.

    Dark clouds are gathering.

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  • We accept your solidarity with the people of Guyana. Pray for our beloved country. Its being pushed to the brink. Rick Sing is an old racist from the 1960’s with an anti black agenda. He will never condemn the murder of black people!

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  • Solidarity from us here on BU brudds

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  • Should be easy to prove if these people were shot by the police no?

    Linden shootings prompt city protest
    JULY 20, 2012 | BY KNEWS | FILED UNDER NEWS

    By Latoya Giles and Abena Rockcliffe

    A section of the protesters in the vicinity of the Passport and Immigration Office
    Several dozen city residents yesterday mounted a protest against the “unacceptable brutality” that was displayed by police in Linden on Wednesday evening. The protest was staged at Eve Leary.Three persons were killed when police opened fire on Lindeners who mounted another protest against the hike in electricity tariff. Some two dozen others, women included, were injured and were forced to seek medical attention.Lindeners reacted to the killings by the setting fire to the Linmine Secretariat which housed multiple offices. They also set fire to a truck, an excavator and a fuel tanker.In the wake of the deaths, the government offered condolences, but blamed the opposition for the protest and subsequent killings.Yesterday’s city protest attracted several high profile individuals within the political realm, the University of Guyana Student Society, and others who were just there to show solidarity to the families of the dead.“Today we see persons from all races who are prepared to stand up in the struggle and fight against racial politics and the killing of innocent people,” one of the demonstrators stated emphatically.APNU’s Desmond Trotman said that Lindeners, faced with increased electricity tariffs during a very depressed economical situation in the town, were “extremely worried”, so they sought to voice their concern through protest.He said that part of the protest had to do with the call to the Government to engage them in dialogue so that negotiations could have been set in motion.“The response to that call was violence.”“What is seen happening here today is an outpouring of concern and disgust towards the government’s behaviour,” Trotman stated.He said that it is clear that the people are worried over the government’s decision to use violence on some communities while they relent when it comes to others. We cannot sit idly by while people are being killed.”Trotman said that in his opinion, the protest staged in Linden was peaceful and did not warrant the kind of response the government instigated.He was asked about the message he would send to the Guyana Police Force.

    The sign indicates the purpose
    “Stand down and allow the protestors to voice their concern that should be addressed by the government.”Attorney at Law Nigel Hughes said that he did not see the need for live rounds which resulted in the loss of lives. Hughes said that “before the dust settles… we have three simply immediate demands” among them the resignation of the Minister of Home Affairs for the failure of the ranks to adhere to standard operating procedure.“We would like some form of international intervention to monitor immediate discretions between leaders of the respective parties at the highest levels, as we believe that this country is about to be sent to unfortunate places.”He said that the third demand is to see an immediate international forensic investigation into the incident by a body proposed and recommend by the Heads of Government of Caricom.Political Leader, David Hinds said that all over the world people exercise their legitimate right to protest.“Democracy seems to be non-existent in Guyana as it relates to a particular race of people.”He said that in the worst days of the Burnham regime, “We never saw the drastic disrespect through brutal killings. I am of the belief that the entire ordeal was well planned and the government is one that is bloodthirsty.”Hinds said that he was in Linden when tragedy struck. According to him, the protest was peaceful until the police opened fire.“The people blocked the bridge and made it not possible for vehicular traffic, but that wasn’t cause, and could never be deemed just cause, for the loss of young innocent lives.”He said that the actions taken signal that “the government intends to rule by the gun and it must not be supported.”He said that the tripartite talks should be broken off in parliament and no cooperation should be given.  Hinds maintained that the protest staged by Lindeners was just because they felt that they should not have seen such a drastic increase in electricity tariffs. He said that Linden fed Guyana for years and is now a depressed community.According to Hinds, Linden is “just the worst of the situation in Guyana” and all that exists there affects Georgetown also. He said that even Georgetown should not be paying the rates charged. Hinds called on the rest of Guyana to stand in solidarity with Linden.“Today is Linden, tomorrow could be Buxton and the next day could be Georgetown.”Hinds said that all the actions of the government since elections signal that they have lost the majority and they intend to rule by the gun.

    Attorney at Law Nigel Hughes speaking to the media
    “This Government has no claim to any democratic culture, this is a barbaric government that has the unwritten policy of using black people to damage and kill black people.”He stressed that the police must recognize that they must not take unjust orders.“Their job is to serve and protect.”People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR)’s Deborah Backer said that the police move to go to Linden with inadequate tear gas and no shields, blatantly shows that their intention was not to protect and keep the calm.“They went immediately to lethal force; the water cannon should have gone there.”She said that parliament is scheduled for next Wednesday. “APNU has written the Speaker to request an earlier sitting to address these issues… certain things will be called for.”Kaieteur News columnist and social activist, Freddie Kissoon, told Kaieteur News that it was time for Guyanese to “stand up realize that this is not a fair government”.“Citizens of this country should not be shot and killed and everyone sit back and do nothing. Those shootings warrant Guyanese to be in the streets 24 hours and not give up until justice is served.”

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  • We continue to follow this horror story in Linden, Guyana as the people continue to demonstrate people power albeit lives have been given in the effort.
    A special mention of Freddie Kisson who we have dubbed the ‘Fearless Warrior”. A true and honest definition of a journalist!

    Red Thread takes protest against Linden shooting to OP
    July 21, 2012 | By KNews | Filed Under News“There are some who understand the struggle while there are others who feel that it doesn’t affect them therefore they don’t care.”
    The protest mounted in solidarity with Linden yesterday continued as demonstrators moved to the Office of the President.Scores gathered with political leaders and social activists to “stand up” against what they referred to as uncalled for and unacceptable brutality.The protest was initiated by Red Thread which supported the view that Lindeners should not have seen a hike in electricity tariff and the brutality displayed against them.

    A Section of the gathering
    The general call on the protest was for the Minster of Home Affairs to step down or be removed. Also, the demonstrators called for the Commander who ordered ranks to open fire to be dismissed.Wintress White, in representation of Red Thread, said that as grassroot women who survive everyday by “pinching and stretching our dollars we are saying what happened in Linden should not have occurred.”The woman said that even though there are some jobs in Georgetown, “it is still hard”.White said that the government’s attempt to divide and conquer should not be allowed to prevail. She referred to one of the theories used to justify the hike which is that Georgetown is paying and so should Linden as a way to have the people of Georgetown stand down and “allow injustice to prevail.”White said that her organization is willing to stand in solidarity and protest for the just cause as long as possible.“It is murder; it’s cold blooded murder. Dem shoot a man in he back and when he fall, dem shoot he in he face,” shouted Heston Bostwick, Chairman of the Justice for Jermaine Committee.He said that his organization pledges support to “the end” which is only when justice is served.The man said that after the incident during a protest on December 6 with the shooting of persons with rubber bullets, an inquiry into the matter was promised. However, nothing has been concluded.“That is telling the people you only bluffing them.”Columnist Frederick Kissoon said that he and a number of other persons who have been monitoring what has been going on Wednesday, know that the officer in charge in Linden was corresponding “all day” with Georgetown officials.He said that around 4:00pm, the officer “began to change…we have evidence that the order to shoot came around 5:00pm after a meeting at the highest levels in this country.”He said that a “meeting of minds” is needed with all influential groups in Guyana to plan what is next for the people as leadership plays an imperative role in the move forward.Faced with the question of how it is that Linden seems to be able to support parties, yet protest the electricity hike, Kissoon said that one should not compare an episodic event with a monthly imposition.Duane Edwards, President of the University of Guyana student body, displayed a poster which read, “I am a Lindener; will you shoot me?”Edwards said that the University of Guyana Campus has persons of different views.“There are some who understand the struggle while there are others who feel that it doesn’t affect them therefore they don’t care.”“I understand the cause and will support till the end.”Three are dead while some 24 were injured as police ranks opened fire on a large group of protesters in Linden. The town had made public its preparation for a five-day shut down to protest the hike in electricity tariffthe Working Peoples Alliance (WPA) on Friday deemed as “reprehensible” a decision that Police Commander Clifton Hicken be removed from his post in the wake of Wednesday’s killing of three protesters.
    Home Affairs Minister, Clement Rohee on Thursday ordered Police Commissioner Lery Brummel to remove Hicken from E and F Division, just hours after the parliamentary opposition coalition A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and the Alliance For Change (AFC) had urged President Donald Ramotar to do so.
    APNU Chairman, David Granger has said that the demand that Hicken and the police ranks who were involved in the shooting deaths and injuries be removed from the division was a precondition to restoring normalcy to the Wismar and Mackenzie.
    “We made our position very clear. We said that the persons who are alleged to have done any killing must not remain there as a precondition for returning the region to normalcy,” Granger has said.
    But WPA Executive Member, Professor David Hinds rejected the opposition-government decision for Commander Hicken’s removal. “What we have so far is the government meeting with the opposition team and removing the Commander. That is what we have in the face of murder and we say this is reprehensible,” he said.
    Hinds reiterated that efforts by the opposition should be complemented by mass action by Guyanese “to put an end to this madness.”
    The WPA wants Prime Minister Sam Hinds, who is responsible for the electricity sector, to resign immediately and for the Home Affairs Minister to resign or be fired immediately.
    Also being demanded by the WPA are for Hicken to be fired and charged with murder and for  his subordinated to be fired for not having the sense to disobey illegal orders. The party also wants the families of the victims to be adequately compensated by government and for the current Police Service Commission to resign and a new one installed.
    Calling it a “non-negotiable,” the WPA also called for the “offending electricity hike to be immediately rescinded. But WPA Executive Member, Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine, who is also APNU Vice Chairman, conceded that government would not bow to any of the demands unless Guyanese take to the streets in their thousands.
    “It depends to my mind what kind of mass backing the calls get. It is one thing for political parties to make demands and make calls but to my mind these calls have to be reinforced by mass action, mass protests and continuing mass engagement,” he said.
    Government and the opposition are said to be working on the Terms of Reference for a Commission of Inquiry that was Thursday agreed to between the opposition and government.
    The WPA urged Commissioner of Police, Leroy Brummel and the ranks to refuse to carry out orders to kill peaceful citizens.
    Earlier Friday, the police force denied receiving political instructions to open fire on the protesters who blocked the Wismar-Mackenzie Bridge across the Demerara River for most of Thursday. When police fired at the crowd, three persons were killed and several others injured.
    Police sources on Friday said a “tense calm” prevailed over Linden. There were no arrests although several streets in the town were blocked with debris some of which were set a light.
    The bridge, however, remained clear under the watchful eyes of police and soldiers.Tragedy in Linden: Time for a national government
    July 20, 2012 | By Freddie Kissoon
    You are not going to believe this. I know it may not be the right thing to say, but I will say it, because it pierces my psyche. When I heard that the police shot the protestors and many died and were injured, I don’t know why, but my mind went back to the 1980 Constitution. Why did that Constitution prevent coalition government?I was angry, because if we didn’t have that clause, the PPP would have been wiped off the historical map after the election results last November.This nation must not accept the killing of unarmed protestors. If it does, more will die, because as the PPP gets more irrational, more protests are going to happen, and more brutality of demonstrators will take place. The hierarchy of the PPP and its second tier lackeys know that any change of government in this country means that they will be prosecuted and will be imprisoned for a long time.I honestly feel that the mountainous evidence of abuse of power and the nature of some crimes may even result in treason charges, should the PPP lose power.  For this reason, the PPP leadership is going to use violent means to suppress legal and peaceful demonstrators.The shooting to death of protestors has begun. It will continue. What will be even more bestial is if the PPP monarchy feels that the Linden tragedy will bring anger into Georgetown, there are going to be unpleasant reactions from the PPP. For all we know, the Arab Spring may have finally reached these shores.So are we at the tipping point? Have we now reached the precipice? What happened in Linden on Wednesday as the sun set on the mining town was predictable. I will now resort to political theory to explain why this is so. In 2005, I wrote a column in which I introduced to the Guyanese political discourse the application of the term fascistization to the rule of the PPP.It was clear to me that as Mr. Jagdeo got stronger in power, a creeping fascism was showing its head in the way the PPP was governing. From 2004 onwards, it wasn’t your run-of-the-mill authoritarian system we had seen under Burnham in Guyana and Gairy in Grenada.What was important to note is that this fascistization occurred in ways that were invisible, and many of its features we are still unaware of. Here are just two examples. I was literally speechless when I found out last year that the PPP Government had changed the law governing unlawful assembly. It now carries a mandatory term of imprisonment. This never happened under Burnham.It is fascism to jail people for unlawful assembly. That charge was read to Norris Witter, Lincoln Lewis and Mark Benschop, when they were charged three years ago for picketing the police head office. Once convicted, they had to face imprisonment.The second example is even more sickening. Do you know the level of sexual debauchery that takes place in powerful places with powerful people in this country?  When fascism arrives, it inevitably brings with it unspeakable sexual improprieties. Do you know the amount of parties held by powerful political elites in which high-priced prostitutes are paid to be involved in sexual orgies? And the escapism is not only confined to heterosexual behaviour; but homosexual behaviour too. This writer has proof of this decadence and will testify once there is a change of power.So where do we go from here? Should we let the death of three innocent protestors just pass through our memories? Should the nation accept that police can shoot live rounds into crowds where there is no visible evidence of persons armed with guns and other missiles attempting to kill? The answer to these questions is no.The time has arrived for the implementation of a national government. The tragedy of this nation is going to continue until we are all destroyed.To countless numbers out there, the Linden people were the victims of a government that does not like them because they belong to a constituency that has historically rejected the PPP domination of the government.The disaster of the Linden electricity rate increase is that it came so soon after the national elections, thereby creating the suspicion that it was politically motivated. It also creates extensive mental anguish among Lindeners, because the increase has not been accompanied by any form of generosity.The Linden people are still restricted to seeing NCN television only. My sincere wish is for the Guyanese people to finally accept that one political party and one ethnic group cannot dominate Guyana.
    .No compromise on Clement Rohee’s resignation-

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  • all three protesters show through the heart at close range
    http://propagandapress.wordpress.com/

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  • BREAKING NEWS: Lindeners shot through heart with “bronze-capped” rounds – independent pathologist PDF | Print |
    Written by Kwesi Isles
    Wednesday, 25 July 2012 12:51
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    Independent pathologist Professor Hubert Daisley says preliminary results from Wednesday’s autopsies on the three Linden protesters indicate that the men were all shot through the heart with “bronze-capped” rounds and not rubber pellets as the police contend.

    The Trinidand and Tobago expert witnessed the autopsies conducted by government pathologist Dr. Nehaul Singh and spoke to the media afterward.

    “We were able to retrieve the metal fragments and gave them to the investigating officer,” he told reporters.

    According to Professor Daisley, there was no “deviation” between him and Dr. Singh on the findings.

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  • mash up and buy back

    Ricky singh uses his column today to criticise bajan cabinet ministers while by his silence showing support for the guyanese government police force slaughtering of black guyanese.

    Did you know he is criticising Bajan ministers of government while enjoying the comforts of the sweat and sacrifice of our black bajan brothers and sisters while the racism by the indian government against the african citizens continue.

    Only bout here.

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  • mash up and buy back

    Should read the racism by the indian dominated ppp guyanese governemnt against the afro guyanese citizens.

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  • I am following the tragedy of Linden very closely.That tragedy should be a wake up call for all Black Barbadians if we allow the Indians from Guyana & from the continent to ever rule this land.
    The killing of those three (3) BLACK GUYANESE was nothing short of blatant murder by the government of Guyana.Defenceless and unarmed BLACK GUYANESE deliberately shot and killed by agents of the Guyana government- Police.
    A similar fate awaits Black Barbadians in Barbados if we allow that despicable rat-catching,rat eating bunch of human hum bugs to ever take over this country
    The Indian governments of Guyana and Trinidad are racist bastards and they do not hide their racism against Blacks of those countries.

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  • Pingback: Guyana: Linden Still in Crisis Following Shooting :: Elites TV

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