ERC Commissioner urges alternatives to violent protests

Deodat Persaud

Pandit Deodat Persaud – who also sits as a commissioner on the Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) – is appealing to all Guyanese to protest in a manner that is respectful and nondestructive.

In a Facebook Post, Persaud explained that there are alternatives to violent protests that are just as effective in demanding justice, noting that innocent people should not get hurt in this process.

Massive protests have erupted in West Coast Berbice over the brutal murders of 16-year-old Isaiah Henry and 19-year-old Joel Henry.

Protestors are demanding justice, and in so doing, are blocking off roads by burning tyres and other materials.

Reports indicate that some protesters have been burned paddy trucks, are engaged in extortion, theft, and even injuring innocent persons.

The young religious leader argued that violence will not bring any good and that robbing and beating innocent persons will not bring justice.

See full post from Deodat Persaud:

Alternatives to Violent Protests:
Don’t we all want justice? YES.
Are we hurt? YES
Will violence bring any good? NO
Will robbing, beating innocent persons help to bring justice? NO

Then it’s only reasonable that the Guyana Police Force do their work. Already, as a positive, Guyanese from all walks of life, all religion, all races are unified in condemnation. I really don’t understand how persons will want to use this incident to pursue other agenda. It is sad that human lives don’t matter to us, but our petty race and politics can trump. Think about it, the families has lost their son, they are hurting, look whose winning. For heavens sake, try to understand, these are our Guyanese sons, they are not strangers or limited in definition by their ethnicity. They are human beings. We are hurt- the whole nation. But how does social disobedience help here. This is not a case of the police vs the Henrys. This is some brutal murderer (s) vs the Henrys.

1. Let’s stop blocking of roads, burning of things and prevent innocent people from passing and earn their daily bread.
2. Let us have candle lights and lamps that burn until day, (representing ttheir light)
3. Let us put up pictures of the boys on the post and fences (so they are not forgotten and every one will remember their face)
4. Let us send their families cards, flowers, letters and gifts of comfort because in difficult times like these our prayers; thoughts and commitment to justice will heal.
5. Let us ensure that Isaiah and Joel deaths are not in vain but their lives mattered so much that it brings a nation together in calling a wrong, wrong.
6. Let us have a day of mourning with prayers.
7. Let us cooperate and supply any information to the police which can help to bring justice.
8. Let us be responsible in our social media posting. One or two ‘fools’ may post something contrary, don’t give them the attention they are looking for, by sharing it.
9. Try not to incite, or invoke sentiments by sharing materials which can worsen the situation
10. Reject any calls for violence.