The Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) extends warm wishes to all Guyanese at home and abroad on the occasion of our country’s fifty-seventh (57th) Independence Anniversary.
The shedding of our colonial chains, now nearly six decades ago, marked a monumental achievement for our country and its people. Moving from one colonizer to the next over several centuries contextualises the significance of independence.
We of the GAWU recollect that the struggle for political freedom began in earnest following the silent pledge of Dr Cheddi Jagan as he witnessed the outpouring of grief at the funeral of the Enmore Martyrs. That struggle ignited that consciousness of the Guyanese people to secure their self-determination and to be released from the bondage of colonialism.
We believe, as we observe Independence Day, that we must pay tribute to all those who advanced the struggle for independence and an end of colonialism in Guyana. Our observances this year are subdued, as we still reel from the tragedy at Mahdia a few days ago. The GAWU and its thousands of members across the country are saddened by the tragic loss of nineteen (19) young Guyanese. Our prayers and thoughts are with the family, friends, and the communities as this trying time. We pray for their strength and solace in this difficult period, and offer our fullest solidarity.
Though the times are certainly difficult, we are heartened by the collective response of the Guyanese people. The outpouring of support from all corners of the country is yet another reminder that, despite our differences, we stand together in support of each other in times of difficulty and challenge. As we celebrate our independence, we take heart that our people remain united and together.
We must lament, too, those who, at this difficult time, have sought to pursue divisiveness, undoubtedly towards narrow selfish ends. At time of tragedy, there is need to put petty partisan behaviour aside as we seek, as a country and people, to heal.
The GAWU remains proud of our independence, and looks forward to upward and greater development in the coming times. Indeed, we remain in exciting times, but we need to assure that the boats of all Guyanese rise together and equitably.
As we reflect on the journey leading up to independence, and after an enduring message, let us be reminded that, as One Guyana, we can overcome any challenge, succeed in difficult times, and attain new and higher goals.
Happy Independence Day from GAWU!