What, if not peaceful politics?

I respond to Tacuma Ogunseye’s letter in two  dailies,  which was a riposte to my intervention, “The opposition’s struck-in-the-past mode provided critical opportunities for the PPP’s well-oiled machinery”. I had made the point that Guyana now being is a nation of minorities, while ethnicity still dominates politics, any party that desires to take office – which is their raison d’etre  – must attract voters outside of their ethnic bases.
Tacuma claims that “Dev is confusing general opposition politics and the politics of the African–Guyanese (African) condition”. If so, I would like Tacuma to explain why the “politics of the African Guyanese condition” cannot be articulated within our political system?? If, for instance, as I suggested, the Opposition takes a more accommodative stance towards non-African Guyanese, are there not political parties like the present WPA that take a more Afro-centric position to highlight African interests? Or African Guyanese “cultural” groups like ACDA that do the same from within civil society??
I am hoping Tacuma has not again given up hope of our political system delivering justice to African Guyanese, as he evidently did following the 2002 Prison outbreak, and defended the bandits holed up in Buxton as an “African Armed Resistance”. In a 2007 letter, “A multi-racial front against the government is not possible”, in addition to street protests, he proposed the option to “support an armed resistance and give it political legitimacy”.
Later, on the eve of the 2011 elections, after ACDA had called for street protests against the PPP, which I had argued against, Tacuma on behalf of the group delivered his “Riot Act speech”. “If we win, we sharing the government with them, but we also have to tell them that if we lose, we are going to fight and bring Guyana to a halt until we have a national government in which the representatives of African people and the combined opposition is part of parliament; Comrades, we are announcing the Riot Act…Once the African people rise up in their great numbers, I dare the army to take the side of the PPP and against Africans. Our sons and daughters would not do that…Come elections night when the results come out, Africans must have a share in the government, there must be a national government or there will be no Guyana!” Interestingly after the PPP was neutralized in 2011 and defeated in 2015 by the combined Opposition and were not brought into any “national government”, ACDA did not “bring Guyana to a halt”.
In his recent letter, Tacuma concedes that while “Guyanese elections is an ethnic census, it is possible, as…in the 2015 elections, that there can be a deviation from the norm. But the real question is, is it sustainable?” But that’s the point, isn’t it?? It is up to the PNC to make the politics of moderation and accommodation to attract “outside” voters sustainable.
As I pointed out, the PPP has gone so far in that direction that the Opposition is now strenuously engaged in physically preventing them from entering “their strongholds”.
As Tacuma pointed out, the PNC under Corbin did ignore his exhortations and others like Eric Philips’, to engage in street protests, and went on to jettison its name by forming APNU, which entered a coalition with the AFC to take office. It was David Granger, leader of the PNC and APNU, who torpedoed that initiative with his unilateral shuttering sugar and sidelining the AFC. While the model’s “sustainability” was made more difficult for the PNC to accede to office, the “potential demographic changes by new arrivals” identified by Tacuma must be seen as an opportunity to end the “old” politics. These newcomers would not have been conditioned by the old narratives, and would be more willing to give their votes to parties that are for development writ large, rather than pandering to sectional interests.
In terms of “armed resistance”, I repeat the question posed then by Dennis Wiggins, using the title of Mr Eusi Kwayana’s book. What happens “The Morning After” such an armed struggle in such a small society as ours?