GUYANA – POLICE KILLING BLACK MEN

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The feature photo speaks more words than we care to parse.

Its caption boasts the shallow gamesmanship of the leading arm of government but only because the rightful anger against the state sponsored slaying of black men was left unharnessed and to the mercy of agitators whose strengths are only to agitate.

For a Party that has led the country for almost 25 consecutive years by exacerbating cultural and institutional differences through its signature use of state terror by police harassment and murder, they know where all the porous points are in the people they’ve managed to assemble under a tent in the name of development…

But, we’ll get back to that.

Protests and demonstrations have long been the language of dissatisfaction in Guyana hence, we’re thinking, the mechanism to effectively conduct these acts of civil liberty should be in place at the partisan level, especially the PNC- in existence since 1957 and protesting and demonstrating for its voters, from its inception.

When Civic actions spontaneous and/or without the express assent of the Party, are executed under its banner but in violation of its rules that oversee the conduct of these activities, they must be immediately and sufficiently renounced… because the Party exists as a constitutional entity to act on behalf of its supporters whose politics they’ve agreed to represent within the parameters of the national constitution.

But, it goes deeper than that.

People vote for political leaders to help them organize to be heard because they understand the benefit of the collective.

And when the Party accepts their votes and demonstrates in their name, it has an obligation to protect their image by following national rules and laws.

In the context of the preceding and in the current climate of literal overkill of black men in Guyana, the Political protest should NEVER be to get an outcome that is deleterious to the cause.

It has to be what it’s typically for – a carefully crafted response that channels public discontent -after unpopular action taken by Government or any of its extensions- into public sentiment for change.

And when purposeful activities devolve into burning and looting and brawling, they do not only lose justification but provide ammunition for the very people whose injustice the protest is intended to highlight… here, an errant government which has garnished the support of its resident foreign community, for reasons that benefit their countries more than it does Guyanese.

With organization, participants are forewarned that any action taken that falls outside of stipulated guidelines will be the burden of the violator if arrested and prosecuted for actions that violate laws.

Fact is, the society we exist in is a social arrangement of morals and laws which dictate propriety of behavior. Civil disobedience, therefore, would challenge our morality and when we agree that it is justified, it says that something is, at least, morally wrong in the arrangement under which we live.

The state is, however, neither protected by morals nor feelings but by law and lawfulness by which public actions are measured and assessed for propriety and compliance.

And in places like Guyana, where the media coverage is largely sympathetic to Government, any protest that has moral grounding but descends into the unlawful will backfire; give legitimacy to police brutality, not limited to the slurs against the Afro demographic that have become the grammar of PPP politics…

which brings us back to the feature photo and the assembly under the tent.

We’ve read that tyranny is never defeated by compromise. 

But this group, to us, is representative of the downtrodden, victims of decades of social exclusion, crushed spirits reduced to opportunistic haggling by a tyranny endured for too many generations to see any other path towards the restoration of their constitutional right to the quiet enjoyment, that is an inheritance of their birthright (pg32/204)  .

That the host to field critical concerns from a community that has been deliberatley and systemically sidelined is this guy, a performative specialist who can claim everything but genuine commonsense and a patriotic dedication to ‘one Guyana’, is a signal of how serious the governing Party, with its blood stained human rights record, intends to address any form of injustice and particularly, police brutality against Afro Guyanese men.

With juvenile exuberance he has already claimed ‘development’…planting a victory flag on the cheap alternative of some sports equipment that his learned disrespect and selective interpretation of patriotism prompt him to gift, as a mockery to some peace offering.

Being a member from the lower limb of his Party, we didn’t expect more, considering that his soiled leader has publicly alluded to his political imbecility, making him the perfect messenger to not think of a political future while executing this assignment to nowhere…

with just the right measure of public cordiality to mask the fact that the down payment of game gear is all that will be paid to negotiate ongoing protection, from arbitrary slaughter of black men by forces controlled by the current government.

But we did expect more from the Opposition.

For all of its decades of controversial shootings, we’re yet to see published any standing orders on Police use of force, particularly by discharge of firearm.

We remember the explanation given by, then, Commissioner Ramnarine,about a police shooting pursuant to a robbery that read more like an ambush after a set up – and were curious about the procedure.

This last public execution by police that began as a cover up and ended with charges from DPP, known more for controversy than not, should propel calls for public sharing of police procedure and use of firearms and should not just be put to bed because the Police Complaints Authority has done its job and under pressure.

The Constitution under 138 tells us we should not be deprived of life intentionally but that seems not to apply to all citizens and not when the police is making the decision and not when the victim is black and male. The Constitution itself does not regulate the use of force by the police….and that is note worthy, giventhe integrity of the current rulers.

The country is a member of the UN and all of the agencies that stake claim to Human Rights and receives funding to improve methods that violate life.

To this end, US State Department documentation is supposed to be a monitor of practices. But their thin and almost generic compilation of data tells how much they care …how this is more a word replacement exercise than methodical research and data analysis. Open and look at them side by side!

Point here is that we need our politicians to work for us. The current government is not in that business.

Even their favorite State Department (para 3) and the previous iteration of this guy  attest to their rule as a loop of verbal imprecision and just damn lies.

That means the Opposition, that other arm of government has to step it up.

Whether there is an impending severance from the Coalition, the fact is they are there now… as a unit and for the voters … every single one…as the job of Opposition is national and not partisan.

The racial dynamic that remains a staple of PPP governance is on a smoother path with less western pretense at concern; now that their upgrade to ‘champions of democracy’ by an Ambassador whose democracy bona fides are as questionable as her diplomatic service to just one party and one demographic in Guyana, has taken international root.

They’ve found a way to institutionalize the disenfranchisement of the Afro demographic by meeting with pockets of a community to sway sentiment, instead of its leaders, for comprehensive conversation to fix the universal problem of racial dominance.

It can’t be said enough that the Opposition leader has to bring the Opposition caucus together to preserve the enshrined and basic right of entitlement to happiness and life not interrupted by murder ordered by the administrative failure of political leaders who paper over the events with the good news of cheap gifts to a broken community.

Can’t be said anymore that the one-man crusading on single hot button issues, or entertaining punchlines as parliamentary contribution, is a comprehensive agenda for a political Opposition.

Meanwhile, we hope that our black men stay guarded and cautiously navigate this civil minefield that the governing Party chooses to detonate on command as part of its brutishness against a demographic it blames for every ill, in keeping with its ideology, to remain in control.  

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