The Urban Guerilla programme
-A New Protesters' guide

Frankly Speaking
Stabroek News
May 25, 2001

Sorry, my huge following and many foes. For obvious reasons I am not allowed to explore and present fully the comprehensive extensive programme which some of the political protester-warriors plan and execute. The techniques and tactics, the covert then overt warfare-like urban-and-village battles staged against our more peaceful citizens and victims, now fashioned and utilised periodically by those who stand to benefit from that sort of insidious, nefarious programme, would indeed make a useful Handbook or Guide for the militant political criminals with various causes.

But my publisher, editor and my own sense of propriety and personal safety won't allow me to write this all down publicly. I - or you - can better share it with the Editor-in-Chief, the Police Commissioner or someone else in authority whom you really-really trust.

However, because I promised weeks ago, I'll attempt general approaches, paint broad outlines with my pen to indicate elements of the urban - and now village - destabilisation/"ungovernable" programme now being implemented by some persons. Please allow me, editor. Here goes.

Objectives? There are many of course, but I would articulate the primary, overall aim as follows: to implement an all-round programme of threat, intimidation, actual violence and economic and social sabotage, so as to destabilise the government the society at large and other opponents, to perpetuate uncertainty and chaos whereby those who won at the polls can't govern, impress or exist peacefully.

Why urban? Simple. Dirty little old rundown Georgetown, with its shanty-town like vendor character, crumbling infrastructure and "culture of lawlessness" (to quote Mayor Hammie), is still the seat of government, main commercial enterprises and port-of-entry. So even though government/PPP/C support is silently growing it doesn't "control" the main urban centre. The City is therefore the centre to attack first.

O.K. by now you'll begin to realise that even you can recognise the conceptualisation, the planning and the execution you experience around you. Or hear/read about if you're in the Hinterland. Read on for the main elements by some of the protesters.

1. State causes or reasons - corruption, cover-up, whatever!

2. The many-pronged multi-dimensional approach to destabilisation and strong-arm political bullyism now include (a) Use of rumour to peddle misinformation and straight propaganda about a variety of issues through which the aggressor blames the other - in advance - for what he/she plans to do. For example, say the other side is arming itself whilst you stockpile your channa for strategic use. Or bash the police as you'll want public opinion against them when you create your own public mischief and disorder. (b) Recruit your usual die-hard demonstration-protester while having ex-cons, street-robbers, the unemployed and others standing ready to mix and mingle with always available misguided, misinformed youth.

3. Who aid and abet the destabilisers? Many categories of those beaten at the ballot box, now forever disgruntled and feeling they can gain something - in the guise of putting country first and wanting to expose and serve. Include TV Tele-Activist personalities, backed up by the professional types - Attorneys, U.G. fellows and ambitious business-people. And your corps of "TV callers-in" to support the Tele-Activists.

4. As you intellectualise demonstrations and destabilisation; as you reach out to a gullible international community with your versions continue to "mobilise" and keep the political pot boiling. That way fear stalks the communities as you burn tyres and other things happen including village banditry targeting innocent passenger citizens.

5. Use race! The artful use of manufactured ethnic division must be employed. That however, will take a whole, full brief.

By now you should get the general drift. You don't need to be a student of Political Science or Political Guerilla warfare to appreciate the techniques born out of the above general guidelines. Note finally, that even as investors shy away and the economy is depressed, putting the government under further endless pressure, the destabilisers can claim victory. For the "fruits of their labours". But guess what? Sometimes the government is "happy" too. Nothing to lose. Tell me what you think.

A boxer, a taxi-driver

This column's special tribute to Mr Andrew Lewis, our first born-and-bred World Boxing Champ is this: that his achievement and presence motivate the right persons to build more modern gyms and to promote more amateur and professional matches; that he does not "overdo" himself this last week-end home and that he doesn't end up being ripped off later, as happened to Terrence Ali.

Next week I'll elaborate on what the Taxi-man told me about duty-free cars being used for daily hire; why errant taxi/mini-bus drivers escape prosecution and who owns the private-hire cars.

More dialogue...

1) "Post-elections protests and unrest" means that numerous political criminals "get off" for arson, robbery, assaults and murder? Those criminals welcome too, dialogue, reconciliation and healing. The whole country does too!
2) Justin De Freitas' letter/essay: "Drawing different meanings from the same experiences" in Monday's Stabroek (SN 21/5/01) was good, even Fenty-like. To me one great point was that though the two characters' "political differences made no difference to their friendship" the harm done by distortion and interpretation of political history and reality does irreparable harm.
3) Heard Mr Hoyte's latest VCT Channel 28 threat last week Thursday evening? If Channel 9 is "closed down", he'll close Channel 69, 65 and 11. Wow! Grand statement.
4) Rocking the PNC/PSU boat? Which team will Sophia support whenever the GPSU elections are held? The incumbents - or the new YSM-inspired change-team? A happy dilemma, really.
5) Dialogue progress in one area of empowerment is noted: segregated market-places along the East Coast Demerara. (Why shouldn't TV's Idi Amin be pleased?)
6) Question for the Region 4 RDC Prime Minister: Whose money trained the teachers and nurses who are willingly being recruited?
7) Let's help former World-Rater Terrence Ali. Don't even remind him of his own many past indiscretions, or his using our burning currency note to light his cigarette in America Street. We should just assist.
8) Definitely next week after a slight delay: TV's Candid Conversation - the other Dialogue.

'Til next week!