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The People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) North American Region (NAR) group has lashed out at the government for displacing residents in Mocha Arcadia, East Bank Demerara. The government on Tuesday moved into the community with cranes and bulldozed homes and businesses. NAR sees this as an attempt to grab lands from African Guyanese all across Guyana and said such acts cannot go unnoticed.
The government is justifying its inhumane action by saying they want the areas for infrastructural development. Mocha Arcadia is considered ancestral lands, and is one of the many plantations bought in the immediate post emancipation period by freed Africans and converted to village.
The group in a statement issued Wednesday blasts the government for acting dictatorially by displacing Afro-Guyanese from ancestral lands. “African Guyanese women were lying on the ground in their desperate efforts to hold on to their homes. This reckless and clearly racist agenda was on full display only a few weeks ago when mostly African Guyanese market vendors were displaced in similar fashion.”
What’s clear on both instances, says NAR, is that the government does not believe persons of African descent deserve any explanations for their high-handed actions. Accusing the government of engaging in no discussions, no consultation when dealing with African Guyanese, NAR says it is apt to note that the victims of the brutal agenda on marginalisation and deliberate economic disempowerment are all African Guyanese; the descendants of enslaved people brought here to work on the sugar plantations.
“What’s even more significant is that it’s happening at a time when the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 68/237, by which it proclaimed 2015 to 2024 to be the International Decade for People of African Descent, with the theme ‘People of African descent: recognition, justice and development’.”
Accusing the PPP/C of racism NAR says the Ali-Jagdeo regime has elected to ignore the letter and the spirit of this particular UN declaration and has found it fitting during this decade of people of African descent, to wage a relentless campaign against the best interests of African Guyanese; to uproot, destroy and displace them from their ancestral lands. “This displacement is occurring at a time when Afro Guyanese should be receiving reparations.”
The group notes while African ancestral lands are being appropriated for use by the government and its friends and supporters, a stark contrast is evident in other communities like Hogg Island, where the residents, (mostly of a different race), are being given the rights to their lands. “The only reason it’s not happening in communities like Mocha Arcadia is because the residents are Black.”
Further, the group “condemns in the strongest possible terms the apparent silence of the diplomatic community in Guyana in the face of this process of blatant racial discrimination and marginalisation. Overseas Guyanese everywhere remember how this community was vocal during the 2020 Elections and are now disappointed at the deafening silence that comes from this community.”
NAR is calling on all USA lawmakers to conduct their own investigations into this developing explosive situation in Guyana before it’s too late, chiding the government’s claim of “one Guyana” which the organisation says is a blatant, disingenuous cover for its slow drift into what’s more likely to become an apartheid-like Guyana.