Stories of Police excesses just won’t go away, will they?? Problem is, when the tree’s been bent since it was a sapling, it’s almost impossible to straighten it without some serious breaking and remaking! And this is even truer when it was deliberately bent by its creators – the colonial state – to keep us, natives, in subjection. Let’s not forget that when the Sugar Barons contemplated the emancipation of the Africans they’d enslaved, they didn’t just fear they wouldn’t show up for work the morning after – they were terrified they’d show up with pitchforks!!
So, the moment slavery was abolished in 1838, the Guyana Police Force (GPF) was launched with an emphasis on the word “FORCE”!! Nothing like the smiling, cherubic Bobbies of London with batons – but weapon-wielding Bajans deployed under white officers to nip any trouble in the bud!! Ever wondered why our Police Stations are near historic black villages??
Anyhow, the powers that be soon discovered the freed slaves didn’t want to cause any trouble – so the guns were turned on the Indian indentures with those (very sharp) cutlasses in their hands!!
They started shooting them in 1872, and didn’t stop until the Enmore executions of 1948 – when Cheddi swore to avenge the cane-cutter victims. Well, on March 13, 1913 – was it because of the constellation of all those “3s”? – 3-3-‘13”?? – there was the biggest massacre by the Police. And the reason?? Just that the sugar workers protested the manager reneging on his promise that if the workers delivered the sugar target, they’d get 4 days paid vacation. When the workers decided to stay at home, the Police marched a Maxim Gun through the Rose Hall settlements – just to intimidate them!!
This only further enraged the workers. So, the Planters called in their Police Hit Man – one Inspector General Rienzy, who’d previously turned Police guns on striking workers, with five fatalities at Non Pareil in 1896. There were seven killed at Friends in 1903 – and now a decade later, in 1913, at Rose Hall, fifty-six sugar workers were shot by the Police – THIRTEEN fatally!! But your Eyewitness suspects it’s a sign of the times that there wasn’t any commemoration in the press.
Just because Rose Hall isn’t “grinding”, must we forget those whose blood was spilled into our soil in the long struggle to kick out the Imperialists who’s oppressed us all?? Lots of folks want to forget that – in the words of Martin Carter – we’ve all come from the Nigger Yard!! But in addition to remembering them with at least a wreath at the monument that was created in their honour, we should start a root-and-branch reform of the Guyana Police Force.
How long has it been?? Too long!!
While it may sound esoteric to us who work in the fields, factories, and other jobs that use our labour, let’s not forget it’s money that makes the world go around. That’s what we work for, don’t we?? But in this modern world, the “developed” countries make more money ON money than we make from ALL our production. And your Eyewitness ain’t just talking about us in the boons – but the entire Third World.
So, when he mentioned that US SVB bankruptcy that happened last week – right after it was given a clean bill of health by its accounting firm – you gotta now wonder if we have another Enron (remember them??) on our hands!! But where were the US banking regulators?? Defanged by Trump?? Anyhow, this could be worse, because of the interconnectedness of the global economy. In the casino economy frenzy that’s already started, the Fed’s gonna have to relook at its tight monetary policy.
Lesson for Guyana is: we gotta strengthen the regulators at the BoG.
To give the Elections Riggers – and any potential riggers – a condign lesson – EIGHT of the 2020 riggers were hauled before the courts. But the case is now adjourned to Apr 18!!
The wheels of justice gotta speed up!!