Slain Lindeners remembered as Buxtonians unveil monument
Names in excess of 450 persons, inclusive of the three Lindeners, who died in what is being described as unlawful killings during the period of 2003 to present day, are expected to be inscribed on a monument which was yesterday unveiled and handed over to residents of the East Coast Demerara village of Buxton.
The monument, the brainchild of Morris Wilson, stands at the head of Middle Walk, opposite the recently commissioned Tipperary Hall.
Wilson, who is a Buxtonian himself, told this publication that the initiative to build the monument came in light of the numerous persons killed in unexplained circumstances, which to date numbers some 452, including those who recently lost their lives in Linden. Those names, Wilson said, will soon be printed on the front of the monument to remind Guyana of times when the value of life was taken for granted.
During his remarks, he urged those present to recognize the monument as a signal that the struggle for equality and justice continues. He said that the monument should erase from people’s minds the false notion of security in the country.
Wilson alluded to those killed at Linden during the protest over the electricity tariff hikes, saying that it was a perfect example of the disregard that exists for the value of life. He further mentioned that the names of the three slain Lindeners will also be erected on the Monument, along with others such as Minister Satyadeow ‘Sash’ Sawh, who along with his sister, brother and a security guard were murdered on April 22, 2006; Shaka Blair who was killed in his home at Buxton and Ronald Waddell who was gunned execution-style in front of his premises.
The artist behind the creative structure, Barrington Braithwaite, said that the monument is very significant to represent an unforgettable period in this country’s history. He said the memorial was placed to recognize that life is not just organic but there is an essence which is extremely valuable.
The monument, he said, is not a reminder of what took place in Buxton only but also what has transpired since 2003. Braithwaite said the idea came long before the Linden shootings, but after the incident, the necessity of such a figure was recognized.
Several prominent individuals were also present to celebrate the unveiling of the monument. Leader of the Opposition David Granger, former PNCR leader Robert Corbin, Alliance for Change member Nigel Hughes and Dr. David Hinds were all on hand to witness the unveiling of the structure. Relatives and friends of many of those whose names are expected to be placed on the monument were also present, with some even reciting poems and songs.
Corbin, like many others, commended Wilson and Braithwaite on their plan to erect and construct the monument. He expressed sorrow at the constant need to comfort the families of slain individuals and the continued viewing of persons who lost their lives by the bullets coming from the guns, in some cases, by those who are expected to protect. He, too, mentioned the recent killings in Linden, and stressed that it was a classic case of the continued struggle for equality and evidence of the prolonged issue of marginalization.
David Hinds delivered a message of freedom and equality. He began by relating the history of Buxton, and that of the African people, who he said worked hard to purchase and humanize the East Coast after purchasing the land from slave owners. Hinds called on various members of society who he said are the ones responsible for making change in the country, and asked that they play a more integral role in disseminating information and paving the way for the truth.
He spoke of the monument, which he said is much needed for persons to recognize the significance of life and the struggle of persons in this country.
Opposition Leader Granger spoke about the Government’s reluctance to investigate and spearhead probes into numerous unlawful killings. He said instead of factories and schools, monuments and cemeteries were being built.
Nigel Hughes also took a swing at the Government for what he said are the unjust and unsanctioned actions they display. He congratulated those involved with the monument and requested that the next time they meet it would be to celebrate their victory against the injustices the people of the country face.