Today is International Women’s Day and presumably to commemorate this, the PNC is organising to “Protest Abuse and Discrimination against Women” this afternoon at Burnham Park. This is very rich! And imagine the PNC – which has discriminated against its own women than any other organisation in our history – doing this at Burnham Park! Burnham set back the cause of women here more than a century for what he forced them into during his dictatorship.
As the economy careened out of control and jumped the rails under Burnham’s socialist and racist experiments, it was women who bore the brunt of the punishment. It’s always left for them to struggle to keep their family from starvation, no? Can anyone count how many women who prostituted themselves across the Caribbean, to do that? Can anyone count how many female traders traded their bodies to bring in their goods into Guyana? Can anyone count how many women starved themselves so their children could have the few morsels of food they could muster?
Does anyone remember what he did to the recently-departed Andaiye – daughter of his personal physician – when, as a head teacher, she dared challenge his dictatorial rule? She – along with so many other women – was fired and Burnham insisted she STAYED fired for the rest of his life! But we don’t have to just look back into the past – let’s look at how the present PNC leadership has treated women. Since the theme of IDW this year is, “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world”, let’s look more specifically as to how he’s treated women leaders in his party.
Granger was rigged into the leadership of the PNC by Robert Corbin and we can do worse than examine how he treated elected Chairwoman Volda Lawrence, who he robbed of the leader’s position! She wasn’t even selected by him to the National Assembly after the last elections!! He was livid when Lawrence seized the moral high ground to call off protesters in W Berbice who were on a rampage after he’d riled them up following the Henrys’ murders. His male acolyte Joseph Harmon is now the Opposition Leader rather than the more senior Lawrence! She’s been banished from the camp!
And, of course, he’s made the inexperienced Lampy Chief Whip, rather than several female MPs who’re far more qualified than him. The fact of the matter is that the PNC, in following Burnham, has always used and abused women – who form the bulk of their foot soldiers – by only bringing them out in protests. Literally hiding behind their skirts! Today at Burnham Park, those ladies will be regaled about the alleged attack against a female MP in Parliament.
Could they at least allow the Police to do their work?
The PNC held observances on the protests that erupted in Bath and Cotton Tree Villages on March 6 as the rigging of the elections became clear. Very correctly, they’re remembering the kids whose “David G” school bus was stoned by protesters, injuring some of them. That the protesters insisted they were enraged about the name “David G” emblazoned on the bus is immaterial. There’s never any excuse for placing children at risk.
But what about commemorating the event that was being protested? The rigging of the March 2 elections that would’ve taken us back to the lawlessness of the Burnham years? And what about the Police shooting and killing of 19-year-old Devon Hansraj on the evening of March 6 and the critical injury of Anuradha Supra? As usual, the Police claimed Devon was attacking them, but this is disproved by tapes that show the Police chasing the youth.
Are some injustices OK?
…on its role
Leader of the Opposition (LOO) Harmon demands talks with President Ali. But shouldn’t he perform his role in Parliament to critique the PPP’s programme and suggest alternatives rather than banging desks?
Does he want to bang the coffee table at State House?