I have been viciously attacked for my activism against an Indian government – the PPP (1992 -2015) during which my family suffered. Twice my life was endangered. I lost my job at UG. I spent three days in Brickdam station holding cell for an insignificant traffic offence (with Mark Benschop).
The PPP government sent the GRA after me. It remains one of the most disgraceful acts in the history of taxation in this country. A church mouse like me, struggling with a low salary at UG without assets and properties in my life was asked to pay millions in property tax. President Jagdeo sued me for libel and that writ stands out as a world record. Not even in the most efficient judicial system in the richest country in the world, a libel trial begins eleven months after the writ is filed.
The Indianised PPP government that I fought was indeed a brutal regime that singled out me for special bestial treatment but this Indianised government went too far when it targeted my family. I grew extremely rough in a south Georgetown ward (Wortmanville) where poverty hardens you and you don’t back down from a fight. I was totally unconcerned with the consequences of my activism but I never thought the PPP government would focus on my wife and daughter. Even my nephew came into their sight. He was just an ordinary pump attendant at Guyoil.
In my struggles against the PPP government only Harry Gill of the PPP has written to me about what the PPP did to me but his words were extremely cautious and diplomatic and for that reason I dismissed his note. He wrote; “I am aware of your grievances with the former PPP administration and some of its leaders. I cannot do anything about that….” I knew and know he could not and cannot do anything about that but at least he can have admitted that wrongs were done to me. I think he chose deliberately not to commit himself. That of course is the nature of the PPP.
In my years of struggle against the PPP government, I was joined by countless African Guyanese, many of whom became personal friends. I was delighted when they stood by me with their constant attendance at the Jagdeo libel trial. These African Guyanese I welcomed into my world of praxis because we were fighting a philosophical battle. I saw my struggle against the PPP as a philosophical battle not designed or invented just to topple the PPP but to end racial discrimination, class domination, and uphold human dignity and decency.
A university colleague of mine during my days as a lecturer at UG who I regard as having the most hilarious sense of humour among any other human I have met in this world once said to me; “Freddie, one day when you look over your shoulders, all your soldiers will be gone.” I will never forget that statement he made while he had the largest laughter on his face that you could ever see on a person.
He is right. The PPP lost power in 2015. The PNC and AFC leaders who were in the wilderness for so long, proved to be just as immoral, unprincipled, incestuous, incompetent, corrupt, authoritarian like the PPP. These people were identical to the PPP. The PPP regime cleaned the long trench outside my home and left out the part in front my house. The APNU+AFC regime replaced the bulbs on every lamp post on the Railway Embankment from Sheriff Street to Ogle and the only defective one not replaced was the bulb on the post directly outside my home.
My soldiers are gone. I have been looking over my shoulders since 2015, and they are all gone. Those African Guyanese lost their voice and conscience after 2015. They wanted the PPP out. I wanted a better, freer Guyana. But I didn’t see that narrow-mindedness in them (not talking about African Guyanese in general but those I struggled with).
What has taken place since March 4 has absolutely nothing to do with how the PPP governed under Jagdeo. There is no connection. What happened on March 4 and is still continuing with GECOM’s refusal to make public the statements of poll for Region 4, the refusal for live streaming of the recount, the refusal to have the Carter Centre observers return to Guyana, is part of an evil plan to deny countless Guyanese their right to elect a government of their choice. Evil is evil. The PPP was evil in power so was APNU+AFC. Evil has been taking place since March 4. African Guyanese in large numbers must speak out now!
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
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