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I would like to respond to Mr. Rohan Sooklall's letter captioned "Buxton has become out of control" (19.4.2002).
First, it should be understood that there are law abiding citizens living in Buxton who are affected by police actions to raid the area, barge into homes and even kill people without first bringing them to justice and those people have a right to protest actions because it is their democratic right to live in peace and not to be dodging police bullets and pellets and tear gas at the drop of a hat.
Are the children living in Buxton considered in all these Hollywood escapades, and how it is affecting their lives? What lessons are we teaching them at an early age? The residents' hostile reaction to the police is because the police are always hostile to the residents of Buxton. I believe that the police ought to adopt better policing skills to deal with this mutual hostility. If the police would summarily shoot someone without giving them a fair chance to represent and/or defend themselves before a court of law then I agree with the people to defend themselves at all cost.
While I sympathise with the families of both policemen who were shot dead, I also recall the calls made by many organisations and individuals alike that the police should desist from extra-judicial killings. Every action has a reaction.
What about the rest of the Guyanese society, those individuals, known to the police, that ply the trade of bringing drugs and guns into the country for sale. According to Mr Sooklall every house should be searched in Buxton with a view to retrieving all guns located there. What about the guns in the homes of other sections of the society, illegal of course.
What is also interesting to note is that whether an incident happens in Friendship or Enterprise it is deemed Buxton in the media reporting. The policeman riding his cycle to work was not shot in Buxton but it suddenly appears that the people of Buxton are somehow linked to this incident also. Also it suddenly becomes plausible that the five escaped criminals are being sheltered in Buxton. Is this being perpetuated so that when the police raid Buxton and shoot at their whim and fantasy it would be justified?
Mr Sooklall mentioned that "law abiding, hardworking, innocent people should organise and demand protection. We must demand that Buxton be kept under surveillance twenty-four hours a day....." So what about about the law abiding, hardworking and innocent people of Buxton? What should they demand? And that is why I say that the people of Buxton must organise and demand that the kind of lawless policing the village has seen be stopped.