Support Village Voice News With a Donation of Your Choice.
– hundreds join Black Lives Matter struggle for justice for the Henry boys
Hundreds of Guyanese on Tuesday assembled at the Square of the Revolution to show their solidarity against the brutal murder of the Berbice youths over the weekend.
Joel Henry and his cousin Isaiah Henry were slaughtered aback Cotton Tree Village. Police have since arrested seven persons and are searching for three others. In the meantime there has been violent demonstrations along West Berbice with signs that this could widen in the coming days.
People of all age and race, were chanting ‘No justice! No peace!’ at the midday protest held in front the monument of Emancipation hero Cuffy.
Many were holding placards with sentiments of grief and sorrow, while others had messages demanding justice and peace for Afro-Guyanese.
The scene evoked emotions as mothers were seen and heard wailing over the tragic deaths, as they too can relate to the pain of the mothers of the teen boys.
Several protestors expressed with the Village Voice, how heartbroken they are with what has been happening in Guyana and putting politics aside, the exercise is a demonstration that the people of Guyana stand against the actions of the perpetrators and they are calling for justice.
One of the youths involved in the Black Lives Matter Guyana movement, Eden Corbin said his presence is far from political. He said he came out to the protest as a demonstration that he stands with his brothers and sisters against the brutality.
“I’m here to lend my voice and my time supporting the caused and standing in solidarity with my brothers and sisters. In light of a global pandemic, the turnout is more than I anticipated given the circumstances. It’s not my place to comment on an ongoing investigation, I would not give myself into assuming or presuming facts. Regardless of political or not, three black men were brutally murdered with no regards for their humanity or human dignity and that’s why we are out here. It’s not politics or any political party; politics in inconsequential to me’” Corbin said
A young woman who gave her name as Sade Moore, said that oppression, and racism needs to end, and it starts and ends with the youths.
“I feel very heartbroken and sad with what has been going on with my people. We have been dealing with this for about 400+ years, stripped away from our homes, brought here, separated from one another, and then to top it all we’re just targeted in our everyday life. We (black people) have to work extra hard just to make it to the top. We’re just tired and fed up. We want peaceful integration for all of us to live amongst one another. All of us can live amongst one another; six races, there is no need for all of this but we do need justice. And I would like to think Guyana’s constitution is held to a high standard and we can get justice for these young boys and the conversation starts with the young people and racism ends with young people,” she sternly expressed.
Another young woman, Omaiah Hall said that it has been a painful 2020 for the black community and she is tired of black labels.
“I’m at a point where I fear my life is no longer my own and waiting for them to take me, because it seems like all 2020 that’s what they have been doing. Persons are quick to shout racism does not exist in Guyana, but fail to open their eyes and see who are the ones being followed in the stores, who are the ones constantly being blamed for robberies, who are the ones they label as uneducated. Racism exists right here and we need to stomp it out . Our motto is one people, one nation, one destiny, but we are far from one,” she said.
Hall also pointed out that the younger generation is taking a frontal approach to demanding change in the country.
“I love that as young people we are saying no more. We are tired, but we will still stand up at the front and fight and scream and push for justice, because justice must be served. It will be plastered all over our social media platforms, and we will stand at the front of the protests because we are tired and want the generation after us to be safe and not fear to live in a world that was once threatened by their skin,” the young woman said.
While some are brushing politics aside from the situation, others believe that politics is a major contributing factor to the situation.
Mia Barker told the Village Voice that she feels in such a diverse society like Guyana, where hate triumphs, racism is something is not addressed, and is just thrown aside.
“I’m angry today and I blame our politicians. I blame our leaders. Racism is what they capitalize on and nothing is done to bring justice when a racist remark or act is made. This needs to stop! Guyana needs to change! I don’t understand how two innocent boys can be gruesomely murdered but yet people are finding ways to justify it or steer things in other directions. This was clearly an act of racism and we need to address this! We need Justice!,” she said passionately.
While expressing her disappointment in politicians, Barker said that whether or not they realise it, they have become a tool of instigation which triggers and pedals, division, racism and ultimately violence amongst the people of Guyana. It is her hope that it changes, and justice is served and these actions will not repeat itself in the future.
One of the many renowned persons leading the chants at the protest was Sherod Duncan.
Duncan told the Village Voice that they are prepared to put pressure on the relevant authorities.
“We have had enough of the PPP/C government on our necks… This is not 30 months in, this is just about 30 days in their new administration, the fraudulent administration of the PPP/C, and look what is happening in our country; a total decay of law and order, and decency of humanity, and we want justice and independent forensic investigation. Because of the nature of the crime, one gets the sense that is racially motivated… We are going to keep the pressure up on this government to recognize that black lives matter, because thus far, their actions clearly show that they don’t have any plans for afro Guyanese in this country,” Duncan posited.
The peaceful protest went on for just over one hour, and the people dispersed. One of the organisers said they will continue these demonstrations until fair judgement is passed.