Poor turnout at Damon Square 21st anniversary rally
On Saturday October 12, 2013, the PPP/C held a rally at Damon Square, Anna Regina to celebrate its 21st victory anniversary. It can be said that the party is losing supporters, since very few people attended the rally; a crowd of not more than 300 was seen.
In 1992,1997 and 2006 at the same venue, the PPP/C rally attracted 10,000 people. No one can dispute that the Jagan presence made an enormous contribution to those rallies.The PPP/C should have been fully aware of the apathy of its former stalwarts and supporters, brought about by disillusionment over growing crime, corruption, unemployment and poverty in the face of ready promises, and balanced against many years of loyalty to the PPP/C. A great number of people took the simplest way out of their dilemma by not going out to hear the speakers or listen to their message.
Twenty-one years and five general elections have established certain facts. Firstly, the party can be seen to be losing support. Apart from stresses at the leadership level, there are growing contradictions between the PPP leadership and the rank-and-file as a result of the partnership between the ruling elite and big shots who were able to sow the seeds of disruption and brought about the beginning of the split in the PPP. At the same time executive members began to separate from the party. And above all, the Guyanese people have been brought to a new level of political consciousness. Some of the people who critiqued and attacked the party and Jagan hold prominent positions in the government.
Never were there so many low turnouts at PPP meetings and rallies, and such great disappointment among PPP stalwarts and supporters throughout Guyana. In the Guyana Chronicle, official organ of the PPP, pictures were published showing groups of mixed-Guyanese around the square smiling. One picture showed a group carrying placards with slogans in favour of the PPP; all these people were transported from the Amerindian communities by trucks to attend the rally. Cracks have started to appear in the PPP hierarchy and among the middle strata support base.
There are a bunch of opportunists who want position rather than acting on principle like some of us who fought for the restoration of democracy in 1992, who were assisted by very few. We were lonely visionaries out in the streets cleaning and checking voters lists for dead and unregistered voters, putting up a fight for the dignity of the Guyanese nation, but were kicked out from the party. People did not want us around; we were seen as a lonely bunch of losers.
There is nothing wrong in changing one’s position on issues about individuals. But not in reversing one’s position on how one feels about things being done for opportunistic reasons to facilitate appointment to a position.