Eyewitness: What’s new…

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…about Police brutality?

Another day, another Police brutality – this time at the Wales Police Station on West Dem. A man’s car ended up in a canal and emerging, encountered some Police who took him to the station. There, he refused a breathalyser test and a cop shackled his feet, knocked him over so his head bounced on the concrete floor! Then for good measure he dragged him by the shackles and dumped him in a cell!!

Good thing this barbaric action was recorded by relatives of the brutalised man and circulated on social media. We now hear that the cop’s “being investigated” and “action will be taken”. Yeah right!! How many times haven’t we heard of similar incidents and eventually – at best – the cop is slapped on the wrist? And these are only the cases we HEAR about! We all know cops treat civilians like doormats – they’re to be stepped on daily – and every now and then, beaten condignly!! The civilians are invariably too terrified of retaliation if they dare complain.

What to do? The West Demerara Police Commander expressed chagrin and surprise at the brutal action of the cop. But he really shouldn’t. After all, he explained that only the past week, he’d embarked on a programme of warning cops under his watch about not using “excessive force” on civilians. But the fact that he had to initiate such a programme indicated that he WAS AWARE of systemic Police brutality!! If it were isolated instances, he would’ve spoken to individual officers – but a programme for the entire region meant that he knew what every civilian knew. Police were regularly brutalizing civilians.

But this isn’t confined to Region 3 and it’s not a problem that only just surfaced. It’s all across Guyana and has been going on from the formation of the Guyana Police in 1839.

Yes, that’s right – the year after slavery was abolished! and coincidence! The powers-that-be were scared shitless it would be “payback time” for the freed slaves so the Police were trained to see civilians as their “targets”!! But while the freedmen and women settled down and showed no sight of rebellion, the attitude of the police was left unchanged. While their motto was “Serve and Protect”, the police understood that they were supposed to “serve and protect” the big ones in society – FROM the ordinary folks!

But this matter has come up before. Twenty years ago it was debated in the National Assembly. It was agreed that the Police were too violent towards the citizenry. There was going to be a whole new reorientation – starting with their name. It was to be “The Police SERVICE” not “Police Force”.
NEVER HAPPENED!! The more things change…

…in sugar?

It used to be “what’s good for sugar is good for Guyana”. Actually it was “What’s good for Bookers is good for Guyana”! Before there was GuySuCo, young Padawans, there was Bookers…and Bookers was sugar! But how the mighty has fallen, eh? From the moment the PNC – with the full-blooded support of Jagan’s PPP – nationalised the industry back in 1976, things were never regulah again with sugar. It became as bitter as it had ever been!
Funny thing was that by 1976, most of the historical deprivations of sugar workers – like housing, water, working conditions etc – had been addressed and sugar was making a profit. And even there, from 1968 the sugar workers were getting 60% of those profits while Bookers only got 40%!!

Anyhow, we just learnt that – as reminded by your Eyewitness – GuySuCo’s finally looking at producing high-value “Plantation White Sugar” in its turnaround plan.
But first they have to produce sugar, no?

…with the PNC?

You may be wondering why your Eyewitness is so concerned with the PNC’s fate. Candidly, it’s not altruistic. He’s just scared shitless about what he’ll write if the APNU disappears.
As it appears to be doing!