The 1823 Demerara Rebellion is one of the most significant events in the dismantling of the slave mode of production in the Caribbean President David Granger said in commemoration of the event on Monday.
The President was among Ministers of Government, diplomats and other specially invited guests gathered at the 1823 Monument to commemorate the 195th observation of the 1823 Demerara Rebellion.
August 20 is designated as Demerara Martyrs Day. “This day and this ceremony remind us that freedom was not an imperial gift but was won through the sacrifice and martyrdom of our ancestors,” the president said.
More than 200 Africans were massacred during what is considered the largest rebellion in Guyana.
More than 11,000 Africans from across 55 plantations along the East Coast of Demerara during the rebellion which began on August 18, 1823.
“The Demerara Revolt was repressed but it ignited the flame of freedom. The revolt role in the passage of the Emancipation Act, 10 years after in 1833, is undisputed”.
The president noted August is a month of solemn remembrance and commemoration. The month is a reminder that the freedom from enslavement gained 180 years ago was paid for by the martyrdom of our ancestors.
August 1, Guyana commemorated the Emancipation of slavery. On August 3, the country commemorated the 1834 rebellion at La Belle Alliance, Essequibo. The month of August is also the commemoration of the 1795 Maroon rebellion on the West Demerara.