Mackenzie intensifies protest action
…Lindeners vow to remain resolute in struggle
Region Ten, particularly Linden, remained tense all day as small fires erupted across the bauxite town with tyres, lumber and other objects being used as fuel to deter free movement of traffic in the locale.
Roads were blocked strategically along the main arteries starting from the Soesdyke/Linden Highway junction.
In the mining town last evening the police and soldiers employed the use of a Hymac to clear the roadways.
At least one police rank was seen operating a Hymac to clear smoldering debris from the roadway even before reaching into the main township.
Two trucks belonging to the Ministry of Public Works were set ablaze as the angry residents continued to protest the shooting to death of the three Lindeners on Wednesday evening.
An excavator which was being transported atop one of the trucks was also thrown off as the angry residents continued to vent their frustration.
There were reports that the employees that accompanied the trucks were attacked but Lindeners vehemently denied this.
“Is the police killing people here….Nobody aint do nobody nothing in here…Is the police, not the civilians.”
Nonetheless, solidarity ran high in the mining town, as the protest action intensified on the eastern bank of the Demerara River, in the Amelia’s Ward as the Mackenzie residents joined in what is now being called a “prolonged struggle.”
There was the feeling among some that only the persons of Wismar would usually protest matters affecting Linden, but this changed yesterday as the roadway on the Mackenzie section of Linden was blocked.
According to reports, Mackenzie residents joined in the struggle en masse and this is expected to continue today.
This publication also understands that the planned five-day protest has morphed into one that will intensify until the demands are met.
“Personally, I feel that this thing will continue….. we don’t have job opportunities…It will continue until the President comes to say something to us about the high rate of electricity they want to put on us….We done suffering in here with the price of food…the price of everything so high. Now when you got to pay higher light bill wha gun happen to we?….a gallon off rice is a $1,000.”
Kaieteur News was told that the residents are resolute in their decision to protest the electricity hike, economic conditions of the community and the killing of the three Lindeners now dubbed “Martyrs.”
Lindeners were particularly upset with Head of State Donald Ramotar for not even visiting the community or making any public pronouncements.
“At least (Bharrat) Jagdeo used to show he face,” said another angry resident.
Repeated reference was made throughout the day among residents to a protest action in Berbice.
That protest action had seen a Police Station being torched and Government responded by dispatching a Ministerial team to pacify the situation.
“Wha happen to we here in Linden? Why dem got to shoot we when we protest?”
At 19:00hrs last evening, Ramotar appeared on the Linden NCN Television Channel.
Ramotar, in his address said that the Administration was deeply concerned and warned that it was not only the Region Ten Community that was affected.
“That man stubborn…No way,” were some of the lamentations by residents as they listened to the President who said that the discussions will continue only when normalcy is returned to the community.
Ramotar was at the time speaking to the fact that some leaders have misinformed the Lindeners into the protest action.
The President intimated that the majority of Lindeners want to go out and work rather than engage in protest action. This sentiment was greeted with the shout, “The vast majority of the people on the road protesting.”
Up to late last evening police were observed attempting to clear debris from the roadway.