Yesterday’s newspaper confirmed the unbelievable. Last week representatives from ACDA, The Manumitted African Descendants Organization, Pan African Movement, and some religious bodies complained that the monument (to honour the rebels who were hanged in the Parade Ground, renamed Independence Park) will be built somewhere on Carifesta Avenue; there was no appropriate consultation.
This disregard, disdain and disrespect for the Guyanese people and the Afro-Guyanese in particular is unacceptable. We call on the opposition, religious bodies, and civic minded citizens to lift their voices and speak up.
The Ministry of Culture should be ashamed of themselves; they were not satisfied to desecrate the 1763 monument site, but now without seeking the prior approval of the municipal authority and without consultation, are to build the 1823 monument at a site unrelated to the 1823 incident. A classic case of imperial domination.
During the PNC administration the Enmore Martyrs Monument was built contiguous to where the shooting took place. Last evening the Linden community announced that they are building a monument in an area near to where the three men were killed on July 18, 2012.
What makes this assault on Guyanese and the people of African descent bitter is that on August 1, 2000, President Jagdeo in the presence of Minister Gail Teixeira, members of the diplomatic corps, and citizens buried coins at the Parade Ground and announced that a monument would be erected there to honour the slaves who were killed in 1823.
The Parade Ground or Independence Park is the only place to erect this monument. Earlier this government erected a sign facing Middle Street, which reminded us that it was known as the Parade Ground in 1812, but in 1966 was styled Independence Park. The only reason for this change of location is to say to the Guyanese and Afro-Guyanese in particular that, we don’t think you are of relevance, and that we, a minority government, will continue to do as we please, when we please and how we please. The matter of to whom, and when the award was purportedly made, is of course, another matter.
This ‘eye pass’ must stop.