Political Violence of the PNC
by Rakesh Rampertab

"I warned them (WPA) to be careful, to guard Rodney from assassination."
                     -CLR James, during a memorial for the slain leader, Dr. Rodney, in 1980

[Prelude: This article is dedicated in memory of all the victims of criminal violence since the 2001 elections, especially those killed, such as policemen, Mr. Leon Fraser and Mr. Harry Kooseeram in April, and Mr. and Mrs. Ramdeo and Sita Persaud, of Annandale, a couple killed execution-styled by the "group of five" bandits this past weekend. These types of killings like the one in April 2001 (murders of 10-year-old Mervyn Barran etc.) are clearly racial statements to the Indian community and political statements to the government.]

See Ethnic Crimes to Hear Today's PNC Leaders Stating that Violence against Indians is Justified!


In the space of some four weeks, Mr. Desmond Hoyte has done two critical things for his party, the People National Congress (PNC). The first was to accuse the People's Progressive Party (PPP) of being a "terrorist" organ of the past; the second, issued in a letter (see Stabroek News 5/08), noted that the PNC has no affiliation with criminals and does not indulge in political violence. Returning briefly to the past, if one looked at the July 18th issue (1962) of the Guyana Graphics, one will see a headline that reads; "Burnham Calls the PPP Bandits." Mr. Hoyte is only following in his boss's footsteps.

As uncommon and trite as these statements are, coming from the PNC, the national party most reputed for its use of political violence in the early sixties (e.g., Plan X 13 etc.) and seventies (e.g., assassination [not PNC-stipulated "misadventure"] of Dr. Walter Rodney), together, they represent a serious, necessary measure of defense for his party and a prelude to a foreboding time to come.

Mr. Hoyte is not only an ex-president; he is being the cunning politician. His statements were not made either for historians or non-PNC supporters; the PNC cares little for either. Unprecedented, one should not mistake them as mere defense responses to criticism from the PPP/C. Instead, frustrated with the results achieved thus far via the "Dialogue" with the government, the PNC, on the move, Hoyte's position act as an alibi to separate the PNC from the criminal violence now destabilizing the country. Agreeably, the PNC needs no alibi to orchestrate its violence, but it is clever politics to make such declarations publicly.

The Right to Rule Guyana

From its grounding days in the early sixties, the PNC utilized violence as a mean to political office. In 1962, during police raids on major political parties' headquarters (HQ), it is at Congress Place, PNC's HQ, that the only known insurrectionary plan (Plan X 13) to overthrow the Jagan government was discovered. Burnham felt justified in such a move because Blacks, he felt, had the first right to rule the independent Guyana, a heritage born of their ancestors' sacrifices made during slavery.

Today, the same feeling of absolute right to government that gave rise to the PNC stands out large, teasing and taunting, especially after three heart-wrenching electoral losses. The party never concealed its intentions to destabilize the country; vitriolic slogans ("more fire"), talks of "revolution" and of making Guyana "ungovernable" were always present. The lucid message was simple; if the PNC were not in office, then no peaceful Guyana would exist. This is what we are witnessing today as people are being robbed, beaten, kidnapped, and killed while the police (aided by army) and government issue statements ceaselessly, indicating that all is being done to ensure internal security.

Some Victims of PNC Political Violence

Naturally, Mr. Hoyte did not mention the violent nature of his PNC party; of how it benefited from campaigns of violence and intimidations carried out by the black-conscious sect, House of Israel (HI), against enemies of the PNC. (Ironically, it is Mr. Hoyte who sent HI's leader, Mr. Rabbi Washington, to prison.) There is noted silence on the assassination of Dr. Walter Rodney, and numerous other murders; Father Bernard Darke, a Jesuit priest, Ohene Koama and Edward Dublin (WPA activists, killed in 1979 and 1980 respectively), or Jagat Ramessar and Jack Parmanand, shot down by soldiers during the 1973 rigged elections, as they attempted to prevent soldiers from confiscating ballot boxes. These are mere snippets of political violence that have profuse from the vague corners of Congress Place.

In many other countries, the PNC would have been dead, a relic of rust peeping out from the rust of the past, its agents provocateurs jailed, itself hanging on its fag end. Instead, it has become the Caribbean's most fortunate political party, with assistance from the lax rule of its very nemesis, and despite its average supporter never prospered since Burnham began the party in the late 1950s.

PNC agent Provocateurs & Criminals

The canon of right and wrong never operated-only that of race and power, and it continues currently. Protest marches are transformed into occasions to confront the police; the welfare of professional criminals are given precedence over the welfare of the victims of criminal disobedience; election periods have become opportunities to plunder stores and assault Indian civilians; angst at the government or police, turn into reasons to uproot public infrastructures and rob commuters. In the media, pro-PNC TV channels (e.g., Channel 9) help to foster hate and a violent atmosphere; on another, some pro-government TV broadcast journalists are given death threats, and beaten in public by PNC supporters. Death threats have also been received over Internet chat sites, sent by known PNC supporters/members/advocates.

Since losing power in 1992, there has never truly been evidence that the PNC gives orders to its supporters to become destructive on occasions, at least, not to the public; but this has never convinced the general population to think otherwise. The actions of PNC supporters especially after elections have never been condemned or acted against by any policy of the PNC. Because its marches often included so-called "criminal elements," it is the opinion of a vast section of the public that criminals act on behalf of the PNC, even if unofficially, or are indeed "tolerated," despite Mr. Hoyte's claim. The absence of evidence does not necessarily mean that no "evidence" exists. Who is to say that criminals do not make financial contributions from the millions they steal, to the PNC, especially given the fact that the PNC is straddled with financial problems? Think about it reader, think…

For example, during the PNC-organized funeral procession for Shaka Blair last month (an unarmed Buxtonian killed by police in a raid on his home), an inflammatory pamphlet supposedly written by the "group of 5" escapees, was distributed; no efforts were made to prevent this. In it, the five criminals are called "freedom fighters," and whom 1,000 black men are supposedly supporting. Only this past weekend, a couple in Annandale was gunned down execution-styled by men most likely to be these five. No condemnation or even mention of condolences from the PNC.

Need to Resist PNC Violence & Propaganda

The greatest danger posed to the existence of a stable Guyana is the PNC. We must read our political history and learn of its violent nature; otherwise, one group of people (blacks) will continue to be misguided by its propaganda, and another (Indians), mistreated by its violence. One of the reasons why Mr. Hoyte can make such statements, and not find a barrage of letters of condemnation, is because most blacks believe in the PNC (older ones who know better, prefer to give silent consent), and many Indians don't know enough to challenge these claims/or are simply afraid to criticise the PNC. We must make efforts to resist in the country, in the media, overseas, on the Internet, everywhere. We must resist and resist and NEVER stop resisting. Please read and join in the resistance...or prepare for possible civil war.

Endnote: Appeal-Please pass this article to others. It in no way means you're a supporter of the government. Just help to stop the PNC propaganda & violence that kills our country men and women. Take a stand also against police brutality...Take a stand for those who cannot, like those killed...Take a stand and save a life...maybe your own relative...

May 14, 2002
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