“Why they had to do this” – Mon Repos vendors counting millions in losses

Some of the destruction caused at the Mon Repos market along the East Coast of Demerara


Several vendors of the Mon Repos, East Coast Demerara (ECD) market are now protesting after looters earlier today destroyed their stalls and vehicles while claiming to be protesting for justice for 23-year-old Quindon Bacchus who was shot and killed by police on June 10.

“Right now, everybody frustrated … we didn’t expect this to happen … what people trying to do here is racist but we can’t do that … we have to depend on each other and if we continue like this, we can’t go forward,” one vendor told INews.

She recalled that earlier today, a gang of protestors rushed into the market armed with sticks, woods, metals, and irons and began to break down stalls, set vehicles on fire, and steal goods.

The vendors, she noted, had to run for their lives.

Another vendor, Lakeram Lallchan, described the situation as unfair.

“Oil and them thing expensive, flour, everything, sugar,” he remarked, referring to the losses he has suffered.

“My wife deh home ballin she throat, cause she studying what happen to she two daughter, she husband and she business…it’s not easy,” he said.

Lallchan recalled the struggles vendors have been experiencing since they were forced to relocate to facilitate construction works at the market.

“They come and put we out from the market, they working like a sloth on the market, got we punishing out here…they say sun hot and they gonna work in the night … the market ain’t moving and we punishing out here,” he contended.

“I come out 1-2 ‘o’ clock in the morning, that’s the sacrifice we doing fuh just mek an earning out here and today we should face this? No, we not supposed to face this…fuh wake up so early in the morning and come out hay and face this tragedy…it’s not easy,” the vendor said.

Several goods vehicles were destroyed by fire; one of them was said to be a newly-purchased bus.

“They robbed everybody that selling here, people running with coolers or scales that is $10,000, we take goods from people and we got to work and pay it back, we can’t tell them we get robbed, they ain’t want hear that,” another vendor explained.

“And it’s at higher cost right now, I does buy onion, garlic and potato by the bag,” she added.

“We didn’t expect this happen,” she added.

Another vendor related, “they come and they carry away everything, rice, big jars of oil, everything. The government got to see try help we a little bit, we can’t bare this, this is too much, only yesterday we stocked we stand.”

“Today me stand and see these people come and carry all we goods what them able carry them destroy.”

“Why these people them had to come and do this, if them and the police have a problem let them go deal with the police, not we, we and them ain’t got no problem,” she further contended.

It is anticipated that millions of dollars were lost as a result of the “protests”.

Quindon Bacchus

The policeman under investigation for the death of Bacchus is under open arrest and confined to the Guyana Police Force’s Headquarters. A statement was issued by the GPF this morning after controversial Facebook Page Guyana Daily News inaccurately posted to social media that the cop, who hails from Golden Grove, East Coast Demerara, has been released from police custody.

Bacchus, a father of one of Golden Grove, ECD was allegedly shot six times about his body following an encounter with police ranks.

It was reported that on June 10, ranks were conducting an intelligence-led operation in the Haslington New Scheme area of the ECD after receiving some information earlier in the day. While there, the ranks said, they contacted a 22-year-old construction worker, who provided them with certain information.

As a result of the information, the ranks went to Bacchus’ home, where he was seen with a firearm in his possession. He had reportedly intended to sell it to one of the ranks.

The plainclothes rank, who was armed, made arrangements to purchase the firearm from Bacchus, who left and returned with the firearm.

In the process of handing over the firearm to the rank, an alarm was raised. As a result, Bacchus ran in a southern direction and discharged a round in the rank’s direction, and the rank drew his service pistol and returned fire.

Police said Bacchus then ran further south and jumped into a yard, and the rank gave chase.

While the rank was in close proximity to Bacchus, the man allegedly discharged several other rounds towards the rank, and the rank took cover and returned fire, hitting the now-deceased man about his body.

Bacchus reportedly fell to the ground, along with the firearm, which was later identified as a .380 pistol with a magazine that still had one round.

Police said Bacchus was picked up in a conscious state and escorted to the Georgetown Public Hospital, where he was seen and examined, but subsequently died.

Linessa Semple, a cousin of the now dead man, had told this publication that Bacchus was murdered by his friend [the cop], and she refuted all claims that her cousin had discharged multiple shots at the police.

President Dr Irfaan Ali has since urged protestors to go home and allow the institutions to work.

Protests along the ECD are, nevertheless, continuing.