Our first response to the call by the ruling PPP published in the Stabroek News of Saturday March 22 (‘The PPP calls on PNC, WPA to cooperate with Rodney Inquiry’) is to appeal for sanity, reason and fairness. The ruling party does not lose its right to freedom of expression because it is the ruling party. Nor should others lose their freedom, including the right to testify or not testify in the Inquiry. Comment on such actions should come at another stage.
The statement we refer to is a clear attack on the Working People’s Alliance and the People’s National Congress, which are separate organisations though joined in a wider coalition. Those of us who have signed this appeal are concerned that inquiry into the violent and untimely death of Walter Rodney not be treated as an occasion for political mileage or racial division and for visiting the alleged offences of the past upon the third and fourth generations. Revanchist or revenge language and messaging is as unhelpful as its other expressions and belong where they belong. The better choice is to help an atmosphere free of dire threat and of intimidation. We ourselves will not allow any divisive political factor to enter into our dealings with the Commission and its enquiry and will try to correct any attempt by others to do so without vilification.