Political parties, unions among rule of law march sponsors
Stabroek News
March 15, 2004

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Plans have been fine-tuned for a rule of law march on Saturday comprising opposition parties, trade unions and other groups and a range of issues will be focused on including the death squad allegations and racially motivated violence.

A press release on Saturday from the Rule of Law March Committee said that the co-sponsors of the march are the People's National Congress Reform, the Working People's Alliance, Rise, Organise and Rebuild Guyana, the Justice for All Party, the Guyana Public Service Union, the Guyana Labour Union, the Union of Agriculture and Allied Workers, the Postal and Telecommunications Workers Union and the People's Movement for Justice.

The march will begin at 3 pm at three points and the marchers will converge at the Square of the Revolution at around 5.30 pm for a rally. The three assembly points are the Public Buildings Square, the South Ruimveldt Plaza and First Street, Prashad Nagar/Sophia.

Giving a background to the genesis of the march, the press release said that on the initiative of the Guyana Trades Union Congress a meeting was held with several organisations at City Hall on March 9 "to discuss the implications of recent ominous developments in Guyana". Several of the co-sponsors were at the meeting and the march was considered necessary because of the consensus that the breakdown in the rule of law had reached alarming proportions.

Among the major issues discussed, the release said, were the violation of the rights of trade unions, the allegations of the existence of state-sponsored death squads, racially motivated violence and violence by one citizen against another and the general tearing of the fabric of society as witnessed by the senseless murders and violence against children and women.

The March 9 meeting set up the committee and devised a programme of activities to focus attention on the breakdown of the rule of law and the serious consequences for the citizens of the country "as the government has consistently refused to address this issue", the release said. The highlight of the activities is the rule of law march.

Invitations have been extended to civil society organisations, religious and other bodies.

A statement from the PNCR last week had said that marshals will be in place during the march to prevent infiltration by criminal elements.