The gallantry of the publisher of this newspaper, Mr. Glenn Lall in his one-man picketing exercise in Curacao where a meeting of regional media operatives is being held, must be applauded. If there is anything that one can say about Glenn Lall it is that even if he has to stand alone on an issue he will do so because he believes that if you cannot stand for something you will fall for anything.
Glenn knows where he stands. He is adamant that what went wrong under the previous administration must be put right because if it is not then the abuse of power will be repeated again and this something that Guyana cannot afford.
It takes a man who deeply loves his country to be willing to sacrifice so much, to go to great lengths to do the things that Glenn Lall has been doing in protesting the grave injustices that have been committed against Guyanese by the Jagdeo administration.
Glenn Lall’s fight is not with the PPP; it is not against President Ramotar; it is not against the government. It is not being done out of hatred, bitterness or greed. Glenn has all and more that he needs. His child is grown and he has no more financial obligation to his family. He does not need any additional wealth.
What he is doing is out of love and out of concern for the people of Guyana because he believes in his heart that unless the wrongs that were done are made right, then others to follow will want to do the same.
When such a brave and noble man begins pursuing the loftiest of ideals, one would expect that thousands would rally to his side. Yet this has not been the case. Why?
In a beautiful column written on Arrival Day, the editor of this newspaper reminded us that when Lall took to protesting the unfair distribution of radio licences, he was not joined by some media houses including one in front of which a protest was carried out. He attributes this unwillingness of more people to come forward to an attitude in which people get excited by a development but within three days the interest fades. This attitude does not allow for the sort of support that would have been expected when certain issues are being protested against.
Earlier this year, the main opposition undertook a protest activity in front of the site where the Marriot Hotel is being built. The protest had a poor turnout. There is not much traffic in that area and those in the picket line ended up picketing the workers on the site, most of whom do not understand a word of English.
The ridiculousness of the situation soon dawned on the Opposition who eventually moved the picket line to another location. Still the number of protesters did not increase.
Last week, Glenn Lall stood alone in Curacao with his picket in hand. But while he may have felt like a lone ranger outside of that meeting, he must understand that there are hundreds of thousands of Guyanese who are behind him.
They may not say anything, they may not take up pickets but they sure know when a wrong was done and morally they are supporting Glenn Lall in his attempts to make things right.
There are thousands of Guyanese who share the view that the process by which those radio licences were distributed was unfair. They are silent protesters.
There are also many within the PPP who are not pleased with what took place. Their status as members of the party and their position as delegates to the next Congress of the party will not allow them to come out publicly and say that the process of granting the licences was highly flawed and discriminatory. But they will react in private and within discussions within the party.
Already some of that is taking place. There are reports that recently, some party activists, in a party group meeting, asked the leadership to take action to stem the growing perception of corruption in the government. There are also reports that many within PPP party groups are not pleased with the distribution of radio licences since it goes against what the party has always stood for.
There are even reports of a petition being circulated within the party to prevent one of the principal leaders of the PPP, who is no longer in the government, from being elected to the Executive of the party come the next Congress because of his role in this matter.
We must therefore never underrate the influence of the silent majority out there. They may not come out in protest; they may not say anything but they have a keen sense of what is right and what is wrong. And they will act within their limitations and means.
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