Protest march is a matter of principle

Stabroek News
August 3, 2001

Dear Editor,

I refer to the letter captioned "Don't agree with protest march", by S. Persaud (3l.7.200l).

It appears Mr. Editor that the only yard stick that many Guyanese have to measure decency and what is right are the actions of the PNC/R. For it would appear that once the PNC takes a position, automatically some members of society would believe that the opposite view is the right one.

S. Persaud writes, "However, I am totally disappointed that the PNC/R is supporting this kind of action. I was surprised and horrified to read in the newspapers that they are planning a protest march because of the killings of the bandits on Mandela Avenue. How could this be?

The answer is a simple one. The actions of the police in 'executing' these three men was wrong. Irrespective of any crime committed by these men the police do not have the right to become judge, jury and executioner. The law dictates that these men should be apprehended and brought before a court of law, where they will be tried and sentenced.

Why shouldn't we protest, when members of the police force act illegally? When a wrong has been committed in society and the government fails to address such a wrong it is left to the citizenry to make known such wrongs, and to take action to see that it is discontinued. At least that is the way it works in a democratic state, the people are the guardian of democracy not the government alone, we all play a part.

The protest march by the PNC/R should be seen as one of principle rather than one condoning the actions of criminals.

I for one will march, and I will march to let the police force know that they do not have the right to execute people. I will also march to encourage those officers who have committed themselves to carrying out their duties in accordance with the laws. I will march to let criminals know that they cannot hold Guyana to ransom. And I will march to let the government know that wrong is wrong irrespective of who commits such wrongs.

Yours faithfully,
Adaiah Bascom