Mar 31, 2013 News Comments Off on Radio licence giveaway…Prompts 17-mile protest march
– attracts momentous protest action
“Article 282 of the constitution is very poisonous and is an enemy to all Guyanese…It is an enemy to unity, it is an enemy to democracy, it is an enemy to the constitution itself,” said Charles Griffith yesterday as he sought to highlight his concerns in this regard in protesting form.
Griffith, who is a Director at the privately-run Hoyte Blackman Television (HBTV) station aired on Channel Nine, was however undertaking the task in his personal capacity.
His action, which saw him trekking just about 17 miles yesterday, from Belfield, East Coast Demerara to the capital city, comes on the heels of recent public protest action by dissatisfied members of the private media fraternity in light of Government’s unfair distribution of radio licences.
A placard-bearing Griffith was also a part of those protest actions which were held outside both the Kaieteur News and Channel Nine offices.
Armed with a placard propped on what appeared to be a cross, Griffith in the blistering afternoon sun yesterday made his way to the city along the Rupert Craig Highway. He ended his momentous trek in the vicinity of the Georgetown Cricket Club Ground shortly after 14:00 hours (2pm).
His journey had in fact started around 06:00 hours at Belfield and according to him starting there was no coincidence since it was the home community of Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham, a former Executive President.
Burnham was in fact the one who had brought the Constitution into being. “It was not established for that reason for which it is being used today; it is being used for another reason.”
Griffith in explaining his understanding of the contentious Article insisted that it was merely intended for emergencies and not to be used with impunity and indiscretion or to violate human rights or obstruct justice.
“It is not to be used to take advantage of the people because they are not aware of it,” chided Griffith yesterday.
According him, Article 282 can in fact be used to break any law without any penalty and therefore cannot be seen as something proper and correct. He insisted too that the Article in question was used to facilitate the awarding of radio licences by breaking the oath of office as well as other Articles including 38A, 40, 146 and 149 without any penalty.
“That cannot be right and that is the reason I am attempting to make the Guyanese population aware of this monster,” Griffith emphatically stated.
Moreover, he is convinced that Article 282 should be repealed “and that is my primary reason for doing what I am doing. I am doing this as Charles Griffith, it is beyond me but the population needs to be sensitised, they need to think about it because it is going to affect all of us. That Article should not be there.”
He acknowledged though that while ideas may take some time before they become conscious in the minds of people “I rather suspect Guyanese are aware that something is not correct.”
He voiced his conviction that the power in this country resides in the people’s hands and “unless you are educated, unless you are aware, unless you become conscious, unless you can sleep with it, unless you can look at your children, unless you can look at the way of life, unless you can compare it with what is going on with other countries or even your own communities, Article 282 is tantamount to what Hitler practiced a number of years ago…it is wrong and will always be wrong.”
The 65-year-old’s journey to the city saw him venturing into a few communities along the way including Buxton and Plaisance. His first recovery stop was at Beterverwagting and then at the Bel Air Gas Station.
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