Buxton unrest gave vent to numerous frustrations -villagers

Stabroek News
March 26, 2001

The unrest at Buxton last week was not "a racial something. It was a means of giving vent to frustrations due to unemployment, discrimination, and lack of opportunities."

This was how businessman Floyd Andries of Buxton Public Road described the unrest over the past few days at Buxton and at other places along the East Coast Demerara.

On Wednesday, Buxtonians and other villagers on the East Coast clashed with the police over many hours. Policemen were stoned, fires set and roads blocked by the villagers. Police responded with pellets and volleys of tear gas. More than a dozen persons were injured. The violence was sparked when an attempt was made by two persons to remove a statement of poll from a polling station in the community.

When Stabroek News visited Buxton yesterday morning all appeared quiet but a group of young people had congregated on the Company Road with placards which told many tales of police brutality, domestic violence, unemployment and discrimination among other social and economic ills facing the Buxtonians. They marched through the village with their placards drumming and chanting.

The group, Stabroek News was told comprised many young people who "`lime' at the road corners with little or nothing to do". What was reflected on the placards was exactly what the ordinary man/woman in the street at Buxton told Stabroek News.

A Buxtonian who did not want to be quoted said that when they put up road blocks it was to let everyone from all races understand how they felt. He said that when they stopped the flow of traffic Guyanese of Indian and African origin were affected. He said that "when we allowed African brothers to pass (blockades), we allowed East Indian brothers (to pass) too". He said "we bun racial discrimination".

University of Guyana lecturer and resident of Buxton, Deon Abrams also endorsed Andries' statement that the events that occurred at Buxton "is not a racial thing". He said it was not a racist thing in the sense of ordinary people of one race fighting another.