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The World Health Organisation outlined that political violence is characterised by physical and psychological acts aimed at injuring or intimidating populations. It is the deliberate use of power and force to achieve political goals. The PPP by its very acts is guilty of political violence and must take responsibility for the rising tensions and conflicts in Guyana.
The PPP regime has a historical record of skillfully creating conditions for societal violence and disruptions even to the detriment of their main supporters. No longer must we remain silent in the presence of such abuse and violence against the working-class citizens of this nation.
It is time that we address the characteristics of the political abuse and violence that the PPP unleashes on this nation, in and out of government. It is time that we the people of all parties, all walks of life, from every town and village hold them, and all who support them, accountable for the creation of an environment of violence that will not serve us or investors in our country well.
A politically violent regime creates the environment for injustices that eventually leads to responses of varying types, violence not excluded. Civil society, the international community and others are being called on to take note what is happening here and come together, speak out, and avert the potential for such consequences.
It is violence when the government of any country seeks ways and means to detain and imprison citizens on trumped up charges hiding behind draconian laws to limit freedom of expression. We see this in the recent case of the young citizens charged for terrorism following a protest that left Haslington ,East Coast Demerara (ECD) heading to Georgetown, that became thwarted and went awry as they were attempting to pass through the PPP stronghold of Mon Repos. Bharrat Jagdeo said the charge is meant to “send a message.”
It is political, physical, economic, social and psychological violence when a government bulldozes the homestead of our most vulnerable in society, damaging homes, businesses, property, animal and plant life, and shortly after moving to demolish the Lethem Office of the main Opposition party. These and countless other violent actions of the PPP, such as denying Opposition supporters equal economic opportunities, substantial contracts and benefits of cash transfer, and financial support during disasters, are known to all Guyanese. It is the PPP’s way of saying to Opposition supporters that they are in the wrong lane and have no right to freedom of association.
They have committed these acts of violence against sections of labour, the Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC), the workers of the Bauxite Company Guyana Inc (BCGI), and the Guyana Bauxite and General Workers Union (GB&GWU) to mention a few. They have sought in every way to strip African Guyanese of property and wealth, even as they are now seeking to relegate African people to be the frolickers, bubblers, entertainers and lowly workers of this country.
African Guyanese are the primary targets of PPP marginalisation and subjugation, and national consciousness must come alive to realise the enemy amongst us, though powerful is not almighty, and can be defeated at the polls. They know this hence their efforts to boost the population with through circuitous mean and deny our fellow CARICOM country entry into Guyana and respite from their country’s political turbulence.
The PPP has taken our oil wealth, using same to enrich themselves and leverage support from political hustlers, locally and abroad. We cannot be fooled by talk of one Guyana, when in fact they are two Guyanas, one for the Guyanese oligarchs some of whom are now expanding beyond laundered ill-gotten wealth to more mainstream business activities. Even as they accumulate wealth, the poor is getting poorer and public servants continue to experience a decline in real income and standard of life.
The poor are held accountable whereas the rich and connected get away, sometimes virtually with murder. Africans, Indian opposition and the poor are easy targets for PPP physical, economic and psychological violence.
We cannot have bad, oppressive government and a willing, compliant, docile society cooperating with policies and programmes that militate against their well-being and sustenance. The violence unleashed by the PPP on Guyanese citizens and the constant provocation of a violent response must be stopped.
We should not solely expect the marginalised to hold Guyana from the precipice of violence, when the greater responsibility is that of the government which has demonstrated no interest in doing because they hope to reap the benefits of a racially polarised society, fractured by violence.