Kaieteur News – There have been three failed attempts by the PNC and its surrogate to organise mass protest with the overt intention of creating an ambience of confrontation with the government.
The first one was the anti-vaccine protest in Georgetown that was very small. The police arrested just six persons who were marching towards the Ministry of Education. Among those detained by the police was APNU’s Buxton-based activist, Kidackie Amsterdam. The anticipated swarming of the Brickdam station did not happen.
The second one was the strike called by the Guyana Teachers Union, headed by PNC parliamentarian, Coretta McDonald. There were very small numbers of teachers who turned out. Demerara Waves reported the union as saying that the three-day strike was poor. “Poor” was the adjective that the union used.
Here are the words of Ms. McDonald, “We could not get all of our colleagues to join us.” The strike has since been called off with instruction to teachers to return to the classroom. The third episode was the protest named, “Time to shut down GT” which took place yesterday.
With those meagre numbers that descended upon the Square of the Revolution, there was hardly a flicker, much less a flame. That small group couldn’t shut down a store much less the capital city. Like in the Amsterdam scenario, Aubrey Norton was arrested but there was no protest outside the Brickdam station.
In addition to these three episodes, three weeks ago, David Hinds perambulated the streets of Buxton with the words, “undermine this government.” Hinds was alone with no passerby stopping to allow a crowd to build up.
What factors account for this loss of enthusiasm for confrontation by PNC supporters? Here is a brief analytical account. First, African people in Guyana have come to the realisation that the PNC and their surrogates deceived them for five consecutive months last year over the election results. If the deception had taken place over a two-week period, its effects could have been dissolved with the passage of time. But five months were too long and as the PNC kept changing its explanations even after 2020, African Guyanese believe that they were used and are being used.
Secondly, the rise of African resistance to the PNC propaganda was visible in the mayhem that followed the words of David Granger and Joe Harmon in Cotton Tree in Region Five last September after two African youths were found murdered. As Indians were being attacked, emissaries were sent to African villages to come out in support but they refused.
The Granger/Harmon flame in Region Five was put out by Volda Lawrence, who independent of Granger and Harmon, travelled to Region Five with our local 007, James Bond, to lecture to African Guyanese about being misdirected. Lawrence told them, “This is not who we are.” From thereon, from one part of Guyana to the other, African Guyanese became wary of the PNC leadership.
Thirdly, African Guyanese believe there is a power struggle in the PNC and that African people will be the pawns in the game. Fourthly, African people in this land have begun to ask questions about those who say they are fighting for them.
Teachers know Coretta McDonald is a PNC parliamentarian and has an agenda. The African villages on the East Coast know that David Hinds lives in the US and hardly comes to Guyana. Young, urban African youths do not know who Mark Benschop is and if they do, they know he lives in the US and doesn’t come to Guyana.
Fifthly, young African white collar workers and intellectuals are not inspired by the current PNC leadership and will not go out on the streets for them or even support them in the social media realm. Most of the social media cussing down of the PPP and Indians in general comes from Guyanese living in the US.
Sixthly, and this will call for a separate column. The street inferno that accompanied “mo fyaah/slo fyaah” – 1997-2006, has been gradually dissipated. The era of “mo fyaah/slo fyaah” is dead. It will not come again because the dialectics of Guyanese politics have transformed Guyana into something new. Even when the PNC’s leadership crisis is settled and by some strange logic a devotee of the old Hamilton Green culture is made leader, Macbeth’s witches cannot brew the fire any longer.
Guyana is entering a new stage where expectations are high and even if those expectations are dashed, the new political environment cannot resuscitate the age of “mo fyah/slo fyaah”. Perhaps the most curious side of this new environment is whether the PNC can survive.
(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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