‘Let us take pride in the progress made against all odds and let our achievements motivate us all to reach yet greater heights’
The Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) has, yet again, joined in the national celebration marking the 178th anniversary of the emancipation of the forefathers of our African Guyanese citizenry. GAWU, in a message to mark the occasion, said “this has become a joyful tradition and one which holds great significance to us”.
It noted that freedom from physical bondage which brought on unspeakable brutality and exploitation spawned by colonialism/capitalism was undoubtedly a step along the way to our independence, the breaking of the colonial relationships and the forging of a Guyanese nation.
“It must be noted that freedom in 1838 was won and attained from the heroic and self-sacrificing struggles of the slaves. Today, we must not only give recognition to those struggles but they should strengthen us as a people to jealously guard our independence and our general sovereignty in times when we are learning that renewed efforts are being made to re-establish colonial relations in the context of today’s conditions,” the union stated.
GAWU said it recognises the major contribution of the descendants of those freed African slaves in the continuous development of Guyana and in all areas of our country’s life – sport, culture, politics, security, foreign service. “We are encouraged that so many have received deserving acclaim regionally and internationally too.”
“Not only our Afro-Guyanese citizens but, indeed, our country has come a far way in these past 178 years. We overcame many hurdles, much of which have been rooted in the intrigues of the colonialists and their local collaborators. In our celebration, therefore, we should take pride in the progress made against all odds and let our achievements motivate us all to reach yet greater heights and record other sparkling achievements for our individual lives, our family and in our society as a whole,” GAWU added.
Though our times are serious and challenging, we can draw strength and heed the lessons from our forefathers. Our hopes for a better life, society and world are realizable in our unity and principled struggles.
Happy Emancipation Day!
Let us all celebrate this freedom!