Hoyte says plans to create elite police squad an insult Stabroek News
June 15, 2002

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PNC/R Leader Desmond Hoyte has dubbed the planned creation of an elite squad to fight crime alongside the Tactical Services Unit known as the `Black Clothes’ "the ultimate insult" from President Bharrat Jagdeo.

And PNC/R Chairman Robert Corbin announced the formation of a national committee of organisations, which took part in Thursday’s protest march to act as a pressure movement aimed at removing the government from office.

Delivering the main address on Thursday at a rally following the march at the Square of the Revolution, Hoyte said: "The Black Clothes police have to be shut down.

When their operations cease, only then will people begin to feel some confidence in the police force. As long as that poisonous element remains in the police force, the whole force would be infected." The march through the city was attended by workers and residents of Linden, Kwakwani, Everton and New Amsterdam as well as members of the African Cultural and Development Association, the Justice For All Party, the Guyana Public Service Union and other unions representing bauxite workers among others. (See other story on page 17.)

Hoyte said that the country was now in chaos and everything was collapsing.

He said there was no law and order, no security and the government had the gall to say that the President had a menu of measures to fight crime.

He said that it was not Jagdeo’s business to design programmes for combating crime but the police’s. Charging that everything was turned upside down and that the President was doing police work, Hoyte said that Jagdeo’s business was to approve the plan and to prime the budget to execute the plan.

He noted that while the government "foolishly concentrated troops at Buxton the bandits struck at Beterverwagting and Vergenoegen. This is a serious matter. We want to have confidence in the police force. We want to feel they can offer service and protection. We want to feel secure in our homes and property."

Instead, he said, the police force was putting out a statement that the Buxtonian, Compton Cambridge, who was wanted by the police and was killed in a shoot-out with them was wanted for several murders including the shooting to death of police officer Leon Fraser. He asked whether the government "believed that all of us are a pack of fools." He added: "Now that Cambridge is dead, who attacked Hilton Quan and killed his wife at Vergenoegen?" The Ng-See-Quans were attacked by armed bandits early Thursday morning. The PNC/R leader said that Jagdeo has been complaining in Washington DC to the Consultative Group for Cooperation and Development that he (Hoyte) has told the people at Buxton that they must continue the pressure until his government fell. Hoyte said that he did say as much two weeks ago when the people asked him to address them.

Commending the workers from Kwakwani and Linden who have been camping out on Main Street over the past four weeks to protest their grievances in the bauxite industry, Hoyte said that what they were demonstrating to the people and government was that they were deadly serious and intended to pursue their objectives until victory was won in spite of the difficult circumstances they faced.

By living under tents, he said they were saying that they were tired of the lies and pressures of the government; they know they can change conditions in the country. In seeking change, he said, they were not accepting all the nonsense being perpetrated on them by this government and were prepared to do something about it.

Noting that people were losing jobs and businesses were closing down in spite of election promises by the government to create some 100,000 jobs, Hoyte said that today people in the public service were being weeded out and they have no recourse but to take to the streets.

He endorsed a militant speech in which former PNC member of parliament and Linden businessman Phillip Bynoe said that the government was no longer capable of dialogue and must be removed from office.

Other speakers included JFAP Leader CN Sharma, bauxite workers union representative Charles Sampson, Guyana Public Service Union general Secretary Randolph Kirton and a representative of ACDA.