GTUC joins in celebrating freedom from the world’s most inhumane system
The Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) has joined with “all Guyana in celebrating freedom from the world’s most inhumane system and treatment of man towards man”. As Guyanese mark emancipation of Africans from chattel slavery, in a world where injustice to one poses a threat to justice for all, this day is not only a victory and progressive step in relations between the once enslaved and enslaver, but for all.
The GTUC, in a statement, noted that freedom from bondage came with it some measures of expected uncertainties, such as what would life be post-slavery and relationship between groups, where there existed a history of domination and subjugation, built on unscientific notion of superiority and inferiority. “In that Africans, having given of their labour for centuries, under brutal conditions that deprived them of fundamental rights and decency, were able to move off the plantations and set up progressive life independent of same, is no small feat,” the GTUC stated.
Pooling the pennies acquired during the four year of amelioration (1834-1838) and being able from the get-go to use their meagre earnings to buy up plantations, converting them to villages, and establishing an indigenous system of government and economy are remarkable. The GTUC said these achievements speak of a people possessing of intellect, though ignored as a justification to enslave them, and the spirit of camaraderie and determination to establish a life and succeed independent of a system that would have told them they are incapable of.
Outside of laying the topography of coastland Guyana with their lives, blood, sweat and tears, Africans have laid the foundation of the indigenous system of government, which came to be known as Local Government, that laid the foundation for National and Regional governments, and a village economy built on the cooperative principles, which is a part of the nation’s tri-sector economy.
Africans have contributed to every facet of this nation’s growth and development, giving of the labour and talent in the various sectors, processes and areas of endeavour. These achievements and contributions must not only be recounted but must see redoubling of efforts to preserve and motivations to grow from strength to strength. For emancipation will mean nothing if Africans, who fought for and achieved this landmark moment in the world’s calendar, were to accept or participate in any action that would threaten or repeat the domination, marginalisation and oppression their forebears rightfully fought against, the union posited.