Kaieteur News – Lionel Richie once sang a song about things being “easy like Sunday morning”. Well things are no longer easy like Sunday morning!
The peace and tranquillity of our weekends are being thrown into disarray by reports that those seeking justice continue to inflict injustice upon others. Protestors throw up fiery barricades, blocking the only road link between East Berbice and West Berbice.
However just a cause, it cannot be won by unjust means. The protestors want the killers of the Henry boys to be brought to justice but they seem determined also to inconvenience others in the pursuit of that cause. Old people have a way of reminding us that two wrongs do not make a right. Responding to a wrong – the death of the young boys – with another wrong – inhibiting persons from travelling – do not make a right. And the latter certainly cannot help in bringing the killers to justice.
Minus the political instigators, those behind the protests in West Coast Berbice are shooting themselves in the foot. If they continue to be disruptive, they are creating the very environment which would lead to greater mistrust of the police and thus reduce further the chances of the crimes being solved.
Disruptive protests will also alienate those law-abiding persons who can be expected to lend support to the cry for justice. If however, people continue to be inconvenienced, it will make them less inclined to support the pleas for justice. The movement for justice for the Henry boys will lose support.
It is hard to imagine just what effect these protests will have on bringing the perpetrators to justice. If the idea is to remind the police that the villagers remain militant, it suggests that there is a political agenda aimed at discrediting the very police who have to solve the crime.
It is for this reason, one suspects, that the government decided to ask foreign sleuths to come and look at the case. From all reports, including from the President, the foreign investigators want the investigation to continue and have expressed confidence in the capability of the Police Force to conduct the investigation.
The protestors have not produced any evidence of the police malingering or seeking to pervert the course of justice. So why protest? Is this part of a wider political conspiracy to discredit the police?
The Guyana Human Rights Association (GHRA) is reported to have arranged for some high-profile forensic anthropologists to come to Guyana to undertake the investigation. The GHRA has been in hibernation for a long time. Not a squeak was heard out of it when all the confusion was taking place over the elections. But now it has suddenly been resurrected and it is said, it is behind the efforts to being in a team of specialists.
When it comes to the GHRA, take such talk with more than a pinch of salt. The GHRA is the biggest blow-blow in Guyana. The media should do its own investigation to verify whether indeed the GHRA has undertaken any discussions with the forensic anthropologists and whether those technical persons have given any commitment to come here.
The protests are humbugging the work of the police. Instead of the police being able to concentrate all their efforts in gathering human intelligence about what happened to the boys, they have to be deploying squads to clear roads and escort vehicles through the protests areas.
Justice does not always come quickly. None of these protestors, I am sure would want to see an innocent man condemned for a crime he did not commit. The protestors want results but in their efforts to force the hand of the police, they may be doing an innocent family a grave injustice.
In the meantime, the protests are hurting the very villages in which they are taking place. The areas where most of the protests take place have a number of roadside food stalls. Many persons would make a whistle-stop at these joints to savour the enticing foods which are sold. The food stalls used, particularly at No.5 Village, used to do brisk business.
Not anymore. People are not stopping to patronize these food stalls. They try to get through that gauntlet between No.5 and No. 3 villages as quickly as they could. The protests therefore have already started to hurt the residents of the villages which are involved in the protests.
(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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