The Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) once again takes this opportunity to salute our Afro-Guyanese brothers and sisters across the country and in the diaspora on the occasion of Emancipation Day.
This historic anniversary provides yet another opportune moment to reflect on the sacrifices made by our African ancestors who were brought to these shores in chains to provide free labour to the sugar planters.
Stripped of their humanity and dignity and forced to toil long hours, to say that our African ancestors suffered at the hands of the sugar planters would be a gross understatement. During that genocidal process, many were tortured and brutally killed for standing up for their rights. In the long march to freedom, many battles were fought, including the Berbice Slave rebellion led by our National Hero, Cuffy.
In the end, the resilient spirit of resistance, demonstrated by our African ancestors, prevailed and freedom was attained in August 1838. Freed and successful in forging a society, having purchased a number of villages, there were attempts by the sugar planters to sabotage the slaves’ newly won independence. However, their determination for success and peace resulted in their triumph.
Our African ancestors and their descendants have and continue to make invaluable contributions to the development of Guyana. The foundations of our society and economy were firmly laid by them through hard work and commitment to their homeland.
As our Union once again recognises the tremendous sacrifices and the selfless contributions African ancestors made to our modern society, it wishes to reiterate the importance of the principle of racial equality, and a governance mechanism where each and every citizen regardless of race, colour or creed, be given an equal opportunity to contribute to advancement of our society.
Once again, happy Emancipation greetings to all Guyanese, in particular our Afro-Guyanese brothers and sisters.