…the WPA forgot
“It’s a shad, shad situation”, as the leader of one of the smaller parties – like the WPA in coalition with the PNC – used to say. In this case, it’s very, very sad that the WPA isn’t commemorating its culminating achievement in its struggle to remove the PNC from its illegal occupancy of power – the Civil Rebellion of 1979. Ah…how the times have changed!!
When your Eyewitness was reminded about that momentous year in a letter to the press, he was chagrined to note it wasn’t by one of those who are trumpeting the name of the WPA and Walter Rodney today. He brushed up on the facts, however, with a Google search – since memory can play tricks on one’s remembrance of things past. He chanced upon an account by David Hinds, who’s very much in the thick of things nowadays.
He reminds us of Rodney remaining in Guyana after the PNC rescinded his job offer to teach at UG and then used his time to open the eyes of the masses to the depravities of the PNC. He reminds us of Rodney, Roopnarine and Omawale being charged with arson after the PNC Headquarters, which had been merged with the Ministry of National Mobilisation, was burned down. He reminds us of the WPA becoming a political movement on July 27, 1979 and pulling massive crowds across the country. The unions called coordinated strikes.
He reminds us of the PNC counterattacks – the killing of WPA members Koama and Dublin; the harassment and firing of anyone suspected of being WPA – imagine that!! (History does repeat itself but as farce!) He didn’t mention Burnham warning the WPA to “make their wills” because his “steel was sharper”. But he does remind us about Rodney’s assassination by an army officer, “hired by the PNC”.
The zeitgeist was best described by Charles Dickens in his book, “A tale of two cities” in which he described the events leading to the French Revolution.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only”.
But today the (WPA’s) mouth is muzzled…
…the darkness returns
When this fella David Granger promised to “fulfil the legacy of Forbes Burnham”, he wasn’t kidding around. No figurative language for this stolid historian!! But really…did he have to fulfil the “legacy” in other areas than politics? With the latter, he’s already shown he hasn’t the slightest regard, much less respect, for the Opposition, the Judiciary and the institutions of civil society (such as it is). He’s out-Burnhamed Burnham politically!!
But as we turn the bend to approach Christmas, we’ve just been told by GPL that blackouts will once again become a feature of Guyanese life (such as it is). Blackouts, of course, are the most enduring legacy of the Burnhamite regime to the ordinary citizen who were unlucky enough to’ve been around in that era. Are we supposed to consider “scheduled” blackouts an improvement continuous Darkness??
Naaah! In each case, we know the torture and indignity that lay ahead and things go bump in the night!
But darkness will help the rigging!
…the court becomes a weapon
Burnham (in)famously taught Guyanese the difference between “persecution” and “prosecution” in matters political, with the Arnold Rampersaud case.
Granger is outdoing his master with the slew of cases from GRDB to Pradoville11.
But like Rampersaud, they’ll all be dismissed!!