Another building flattened by fire in Linden yesterday
The military yesterday maintained a heavy presence in Linden, setting up camps at several strategic locations, including at the Mackenzie/Wismar Bridge in close proximity to where the now burnt-out toll booth stood, and at the Five Corner and Kara Kara Bridge.
This follows the burning of six buildings on Friday and then the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI) yesterday morning.
Minister of Agriculture Dr. Leslie Ramsammy called the burning of the NAREI building not only arson and a criminal activity, but “loathsome” saying the intellectual leaders of such loathsome acts must take responsibility for these actions.
He said that besides the eight people that worked directly out of the NAREI building in Linden, serving all the people of Region 10, dozens of other agriculture professionals from the Central Ministry of Agriculture contribute their services through this building. The destruction of the agriculture building will affect the delivery of agricultural services to Linden and Region 10, he stated.
He said the Ministry of Agriculture will look for interim arrangements “to continue the important work of promoting agriculture in Region 10 and around the country.”
Meanwhile, by dusk last evening, the Police and Army had cleared most of the roads in Linden.
On the Mackenzie/Wismar Bridge a jeep load of soldiers kept watch, while residents maintained their position at the Wismar end of the bridge, which was blocked by a huge log.
An old fuel tanker, and another log remained a little further down across the road on Burnham Drive, while a few residents milled around, discussing the current situation.
There was more activity on the Wismar shore, with some persons going about their usual business, but the Saturday morning shopping at the more popular groceries was not prevalent.
Mackenzie on the other hand, remained desolate, devoid of activity except for the few persons who ventured out to do a little shopping. All businesses, including the two banks, remained closed.
A few businesses on the Mackenzie wharf were opened, but not much activity was observed there. Only about three boats were observed at the riverfront, which is usually a hive of activity on weekends.
Those were private boats which came from the Upper and Lower Demerara river communities, with a few persons to do their shopping.
The regular ferries remained anchored on the Wismar shore. These have not been working ever since the protest started almost a month ago.
Only a few private boat owners provide sporadic service to the community. This service is greatly appreciated by many who would otherwise have to take the long way around the Mackenzie/Wismar Bridge.
Even with all the current hardship residents have to face, including not being able to ‘draw’ their weekly and in some cases monthly paychecks, Lindeners have indicated that they are still determined to persevere until the Government withdraws the increased electricity tariffs, against which they have protested.