[www.inewsguyana.com] – Over 300 persons from all walks of life took part in the Walk for Equality on Sunday, February 9, to say “No to violence”. Despite heavy rain at the start of the event, persons came from as far away as New Amsterdam, Moraikabai, Linden and Parika.
There was an impressive turnout from the Catholic and Anglican churches, youth groups, and members of the diplomatic corps. Participants included His Lordship Bishop Alleyne, OSB, leader of the Alliance For Change, Khemraj Ramjattan, MP, and Stabroek News columnist, Iana Seales.
Melinda Janki of the Justice Institute Guyana, and Joel Simpson of the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD), led the walkers as they chanted “No More silence! No to Violence!” with banners and placards.
At the closing rally held at the Parade Ground, Melinda Janki stated, “We have to respect people even if they do things we do not like. We can condemn the behaviour but not the person.”
Janki called for justice of Colwyn Harding and other victims of police brutality, but she also asked the crowd to remember the police officers who had been killed while on duty.
The Walk for Equality is an event of the Guyana Equality Forum (GEF), a group of civil society organisations working for equal rights and justice for all Guyanese. GEF members who marched include Family Awareness Consciousness Togetherness, Guyana Trans United, Red Thread, Guyanese Organisation of Indigenous People, Guyana Sex Work Coalition, Youths For Guyana, Artistes In Direct Support, Justice Institute Guyana, S4 Foundation, Help and Shelter, among others, along with SASOD, which serves as the GEF’s secretariat.
His Excellency Francisco Olguin, Ambassador of Mexico, and Ms. Olguin, Mr Derek Lambe of the Delegation of the European Union to Guyana, and Ms. Lambe, and Ms. Kadija Mousa, Resident Representative of UNDP, were present at the event.