The Working People’s Alliance (WPA) hails the African Guyanese community as it observes another emancipation anniversary. “African Guyanese, despite various challenges, have continued to inspire our country through their creativity and labour. In that regard they have kept alive the emancipation spirit of independence and nationhood,” the WPA said in a message to mark the occasion.
“Having said that, WPA wishes to remind African Guyanese and the wider Guyanese society that although 178 years have passed since August 1, 1838, there is still work to be done to make the promise of emancipation a reality,” the party stated. It noted that this year’s emancipation anniversary comes as we observe and celebrate 50 years of freedom from colonial rule. Because the WPA views our independence as an extension of emancipation, it strongly feels that confronting the institutional challenges arising out of slavery and colonialism should be very high on our national agenda.
There is no doubt that as we celebrate emancipation that the African Guyanese community is grappling with a new wave of alienation brought on by rising socio-economic depression. Structural Adjustment and its attendant marketization along with the politics of domination have taken a toll on the self-confidence of African Guyanese, particularly the poor. WPA feels that this situation cannot be left to fester; it has to be confronted head on.
“In this regard we feel that the government in collaboration with the African Guyanese elites and the wider community should look towards widening the space for African Guyanese empowerment. This should be done within the context of closing the gap between the rich and powerful and the poor and powerless,” the WPA posited.
WPA, therefore, urges the African Guyanese community to lift their voices in their own advocacy and for their own empowerment. “Self-Emancipation comes primarily from self-activity. We also call on the African Guyanese leaderships to be more pro-active in mobilizing the community from the bottom and the neglected corners. The aim of emancipation must be social equality and security for all Guyanese regardless of ethnicity and social class,” the WPA added.