Sad day in the life of Dr. David Hinds
Dr. David Hinds has over 35 years of political activism in Guyana. Born in Buxton, he came under the influence Eusi Kwayana. The next step was political activism in the WPA. In our youthful days in the WPA, we called him by his nickname, “Twilly.”
He was very good at playing African drums. I would rate him the best I have seen in Guyana.
He suffered three years of imprisonment by the Burnham regime and almost lost his sight in jail. David has gone down as one of the admirable fighters for democratic rights in post-colonial Guyana.
He is now a professor at Arizona State University where he teaches Third World politics. David came home for the 30th death anniversary of the Walter Rodney assassination and was the featured guest at a number of WPA-sponsored events to commemorate the death anniversary.
While here, he joined me, Mark Benschop and Lincoln Lewis in helping to guide the protest movement that sprang up in Patentia, West Bank Demerara over the police killing of 16-year-old Kelvin Fraser. He was with us from the beginning of the demonstration in Patentia and Georgetown.
His experience proved valuable on day one when the protestors spilled over onto the Patentia public road and the police attitude led to a refusal to move. It was at his urging that the school children moved onto the grassy parapet.
He could not attend the funeral on June 14, because on that very day he was leaving Guyana to return in a few weeks.
At the airport, David Hinds was visited by President Forbes Burnham and his state security personnel only this time, Burnham had a different name and so too were his employees. Nothing had changed since the era when Burnham threw David in jail and locked him up for three years.
David Hinds does not fit the profile of a drug carrier. He has a professorial persona. But as it happened he became the only person on that outgoing flight that was examined by the anti-narcotics agents. No other passenger was accosted by the agents.
His luggage was rudely ransacked and a glass bottle of local relish was thrown onto the ground where it broke. David approached the airline for compensation but the authorities referred him to the CANU ranks. The ranks quietly apologised to Dr. Hinds and told him they had their orders from above to search him.
I held up the publication of this article for one week until I could ascertain from my sources within CANU if it was a security decision or a political edict.
I found out last Sunday that the instruction to search Dr. David Hinds came from the political directorate – the little fascist that run this country.
The pattern has emerged – opposition figures will be targets of harassment by state security as the months wind down to Guyana’s most historic general election.
They say that life is strange in Guyana these days. And indeed it is. Dr. Hinds comes and goes and nothing like this ever happened before. Then on one occasion he got involved in a protest movement with Freddie Kissoon, Mark Benschop and Lincoln Lewis and suddenly be becomes the only passenger on a flight to be searched for narcotics.
Indeed the pattern has emerged. For CN Sharma, it was sexual misconduct. Then came Peter Ramsaroop. A 19-year-old who admitted that she was a friend of the President made a charge against Peter Ramsaroop and the police flew all over Demerara looking for properties of Ramsaroop to invade.
To date, the police have not probed the premises of a foreign Chinese businessman known for his connections with high members of the Government of Guyana and certain officials of the Ethnic Relations Commission, after serious allegations of sexual criminality were made against him.
Mark Benschop was charged with breach of insurance during the Patentia protest even though the police never asked to see his documents. The truck driver who transported the Patentia protestors almost had his vehicle confiscated, saved only by an order of the Chief Justice.
Then there is me of course. I got confidential information about a certain 19-ear-old and her “friends” in high, high places. To scare me, they threw fecal materials in my face.
What makes King Kong and his little fascists believe that I would be scared, that Benschop would back down, that Peter Ramsaroop will quit politics and that David Hinds would not come back to his country?