The Failure of the Buxton Conspiracy
by Frederick Kissoon

Part I - Voodoo Political Theory

IS the Buxton conspiracy over? Troy Dick is the only member of ‘Ocean Eleven’ alive today. Ocean Eleven was the combination of the five escapees joined by six other diehard Buxton-based conspirators that included Vibert Cambridge, who helped to burn down the house of Idris Chester and Melroy Goodman, who burned Haroon Rasheed alive at Non-Pariel. Ocean Eleven, of course, became larger with every passing day. Most of the members of the Buxton conspiracy are young men between the ages of 14 and 22. There are some even as young as twelve! They normally help to create confusion by robbing minibuses but they do not carry guns. Since the February jailbreak, a certain former army officer has been recruiting these youngsters. A large question mark hangs over the future of the Buxton conspiracy now that a majority of the senior members of this unusually savage criminal group have been killed.

This series traces the origin of the Buxton conspiracy, examines how it started, how it operated, who sustained it, why it lasted for almost a year, why it operated with the impunity it did, why it killed its victims with such bestial sadism, and why is it about to collapse. I would like to say many thanks at the beginning of this series to members of the security forces, some of the people I know who still live in Buxton, and some of my colleagues in the media community whose interaction with me enabled me to put the pieces together. What is about to unfold in this analysis is frightening. Never has something like this happened in the world before. And if there is anything readers should know about the Buxton conspiracy it is the frightening merger of criminality and politics. Some people, particularly in the WPA (and if you read Clive Thomas’ recent columns in Stabroek News, a similar angle is there), take the view that the state in Guyana condones some dubious type of activities by dubious characters.

While one can argue that hard, concrete, tangible evidence needs to come out so commentators can comment on this accusation, the glaring fact, the incontrovertible fact, remains that a group of seasoned criminals with no scruples or remorse in raping innocent women, robbed and killed people savagely because of their ethnicity. Such bestiality was interpreted by a not so small percentage of opposition people and members of the Afro-Guyanese community as legitimate political action. What this revealed is the extent of opposition emotional anger against the state and how that anger has been sold to its constituencies. This article is not about that dimension of the politics of this divided land but about how that disunity gave rise to a social pathology that almost destroyed Guyana but didn’t, thanks in part to the American government.

I said above that the Buxton conspiracy is a phenomenon that has no parallel in Caribbean history and as the series unfolds the reader will come to see why. But let’s briefly back up this point. In Grenada, you had the New Jewel Movement; in Trinidad the National Union of Freedom Fighters (NUFF) and the Muslimeen sect; in Guyana, the WPA and the PPP. In these countries, violence was used against the state because the state was seen as oppressive. But in every instance, the violence was based on political theory that had liberation of the poor and the oppressed as the goal, and the membership of all these groups were highly politically conscious humans whose political praxis was worthy of emulation. In the case of the WPA in Guyana, a multi-racial platform was the axis on which the movement revolved. NUFF in Trinidad was eliminated by the security forces. In Guyana, the WPA was decimated by the Burnham regime with the movement devastated by the assassination of its leader, Walter Rodney. In Grenada, the New Jewel Movement came to power and in Trinidad, the Muslimeen were tried for treason and freed. The Buxton conspiracy has nothing in common with these movements. It is a desecration of political theory and revolutionary philosophy to classify the Buxton conspiracy as a political movement. But this is where the situation becomes complicated. When Tacuma Ogunseye ragingly replied to me elsewhere and asserted that the Buxton conspiracy was an armed resistance, he wasn’t just propagandizing.

The Buxton conspiracy did indeed commit acts of political violence as when it stormed Nathoo’s beer garden and indiscriminately shot to death four persons and no robbery was done. And when it attacked the PPP congress in Port Mourant! But these isolated acts of political violence need special and separate analysis because the motive that drove the members of Ocean Eleven to attack these symbols of state power was not purely political. Intelligence that I have been given suggests that only one of these assaults was planned, that is, the Port Mourant invasion. The Nathoo massacre was an after-thought by members of Ocean Eleven who had committed a murder in Campbellville. One member of the group said, “Let’s pass by Nathoo and kill some of dem PPP people!”


                    Left, car in which its driver lies dead, slumped over in the front seat, while driving through Buxton from            
                    Berbice. Right, Andy Atwell; cop who was one of the first to be killed during the crime spree.

The difference with the WPA under Burnham and the Buxton conspiracy is the difference between Mahatma Ghandi and a Serbian war crime killer. Under Burnham, both the WPA and the PPP were alleged to have committed acts of violence. But in no instance was their motive driven by a group of teachers who were political morons. In the case of the Buxton conspiracy, the people who were teaching members of Ocean Eleven the arts of politics were feeding them with voodoo political theory. These persons know nothing about Guyanese history, the political sociology of this country and how to define oppression. It is frightening what the violent youths of Buxton were educated in.

They were told the most untruthful things about the government, the business class and the East Indian community. One night five youths, including “Chip Teeth”, who was recently killed in Buxton along with Romel Reman, left Buxton and went up to Mocha. While in Mocha, they said, “Let’s go and burn down some coolie gas station.” They then went to TWO BROTHERS at Eccles and tried to torch it. Then they came to Georgetown and tried to burn a Portuguese owned gas station at the corner of Camp and New Market Streets and which has some close connection to one of the leaders in the REFORM wing of the PNC/R. These youths were being taught by men who were politically ignorant, extremist and essentially racist. The voodoo theory they taught the Buxton conspiracy was simply the language of self-destruction. Who were these teachers? We discuss them and their role in the February jail break in part two tomorrow.

Part II—A Time to Kill

IT is public knowledge that state security has put away Mr. Wild Man not only because of what happened outside of the presidential complex last year, but also because intelligence officials knew that he made the Andrew Douglas tape in Buxton in which Douglas appeared as a freedom fighter with machine gun in hand, promising to liberate Afro-Guyanese. Afro-Guyanese, I dare say, whom he never consulted on the method he would use in securing their freedom: something that Eusi Kwayana didn’t find funny! I don’t see myself particularly as East Indian, but if anyone claims that they are liberating East Indians, can you kindly contact me at my work place and let me know what methods you are going to employ to get me my freedom. And if it involves the abuse of Afro-Guyanese, then leave me unliberated; count me as your enemy. (Read the Andrew Douglas "Hero" handbill distributed during the funeral of Douglas.)

It is when one considers the type of influence that Ocean Eleven came under that such a movement had to disintegrate into semi-civilized violence and animalistic hate against the race group that it was told stood in the way of the freedom of Black people. Take Mr. Wild Man. He wasn’t involved in the initial planning of the Mashramani ’02 jailbreak. But when Ocean Eleven settled down in Buxton to plan its Mansonian moonlighting (after Charles Manson, the hate-driven cultist), he was initiated into the teaching staff. It was in fact his idea along with Mr. Natty Dread who came up with the formula of a Douglas tape. The Buxton conspiracy was doomed from the start not only because its political agenda was subordinate to its criminal plan, but also because it had no one to instill a sense of political vision in it except Tacuma Ogunseye. For all his disagreement with me, Ogunseye stands out as the most positive, and the only positive, connection the Buxton conspiracy had. But Ogunseye’s politics though anti-criminal (yes I know you are surprised but I stand by this view) was too irrationally race-based and in the end he, too, bestowed the wrong symbol on Buxton. But back to Mr. Wild Man.

Hoyte had nothing but contempt for Mr. Wild Man because he saw him for what he was - an extremist, wild, unstable person infatuated with himself who showed no respect for established political leaders in the PNC and who thinks he is a leader better than those he came and met. There is the definite suspicion that Robert Corbin wants to keep his distance from Mr. Wild Man, who would have no hesitation in challenging Corbin publicly for leadership. The reason why I belaboured this point about Mr. Wild Man is to drive home the danger Guyana faced when criminals with guns and empty heads and dangerously misguided activists filling those heads with everything that was historically and politically wrong, went on the rampage. Indeed, an explosion had to occur and it did in Buxton!
  Police vehicle attacked and torched by gunmen.

The ubiquitous crime spree, which emanated from Buxton, had its genesis in the Mash 2002 jailbreak. But why did revolution give way to crime, and why at no time since February last year did the Buxton group which officially called itself the People’s Liberation Movement (PLM) issue a comprehensive statement about its aims and objectives? One must bear in mind that the PLM was the accommodating room for the escapees once they reached Buxton. To answer this question, one must understand that from the beginning, there was a fusion between crime and politics in Buxton with Tshaka Blair being the focal point. Whether Blair was killed rightfully or was murdered by the Black Clothes is not the germane point here. Blair had knowledge of guns and drugs in Buxton, just as he had a belief that there was discrimination against Blacks and wanted to do something about it. In all the writings of Eusi Kwayana on the Buxton madness, he subtly stressed on the criminal link with those who called their activities political. For a moralist like Kwayana to say that you are a freedom fighter and engaged in narco-trading and robberies is unbearable heresy. We would never know if Blair would have condoned rape and sadistic robberies and anti-Indian savagery (his widow is Indian) which is what the PLM degenerated into since February. But Blair’s protégés turned out to be killers of both Indians and Africans and no politics and no liberation habits could have been detected in their operations. A lot of sympathy has been garnered for Tshaka Blair through the talk-show hosts, certain television newscasts, the PNC and, to a lesser extent, the WPA. But Tshaka Blair was one of the masterminds behind the Mash Day jailbreak.

When Frank Soloman’s death announcement was placed on television it listed two infamous television personalities as his close friends. Blair, Soloman, one of these television personalities, three extremists/second tier leaders of the PNC, and two former military officers, planned the jailbreak with a former GDF officer being the main contact with a certain prison warder, whom he knew when they were both on active duty. After spending sometime in a suburban house rented by Soloman, the escapees moved to Buxton, was housed by Blair, turned into Ocean Eleven and lectured to by the PLM. Guyana’s second attempt at the violent overthrow of the state after the failed attempt by the WPA in the seventies had began. But if you had told Kwayana this at the time, he would have given you a brief, cynical look because Kwayana, as a Buxtonian, knew that men bent on crime were being used by certain political activists to create national confusion. Herein lay the truth about the escapees!

Andrew Douglas indeed had political grievances. Tshaka Blair indeed had some political feelings but the escapees plus the rest that made up Ocean Eleven were never into revolution or liberation struggle. What happened is that the PLM let them loose on Guyana so that their crime spree could undermine social stability, weaken the government, create circumstances of non-rule and allow for the creation of an interim regime. I have hard evidence that this was the plan. And figures in ACDA, the PNC and the WPA were solicited for advice and gave it. When Tshaka Blair got killed, the PLM met and formulated a policy of murder of policemen, with a leading WPA figure being present! That lone WPA person, however, was against the killing of Indians. After Andrew Douglas’s death, all hell broke loose. The formula was now the assassination of policemen, the killing of Indians, violent robberies that were later joined by kidnapping.
The dimension of kidnapping was the advice of the PLM. A killing spree began. Idris Chester’s house was burned down, Kwayana had to run, with David Hinds close behind him. The killing fields had arrived. 

   Left, gun retrieved from Shaka Blair. Right, medical supplies seized from home where Brama was held.

Part III—Tired Men in Black

IN our opening segment, we did say that some insight will be provided into the modus operandi of Ocean Eleven, how the regime perpetuated itself, why it descended to savage anti-Indian levels and why it chalked up a long life that lasted for almost a year and a half. But this is the contradiction about the Buxton conspiracy. It wasn’t a political vanguard; it had no political style or ambition, yet it was kept alive through a conducive, political climate. When we come to discuss its longevity, readers will see that if the Americans did not intervene, Ocean Eleven would have replenished its staff and stock and continued to kill with open and encouraged impunity because the political climate in Guyana made for its continuation, especially the role of the GDF.

In part two we looked at its early beginnings with the jailbreak. But this still doesn’t explain why it started; we discussed how it got going. But what was the purpose of the life of Ocean Eleven? Here is where the analyst will now have to speculate because it was almost impossible to unearth evidence of a plan either by ACDA and/or the PNC to bring Ocean Eleven into existence. The modicum of intelligence available so far points to a group of Afro-Guyanese extremists with links to both ACDA and the PNC but not within the upper hierarchy of either organization who felt that the time had come for an armed Black uprising against the PPP government. One of these men had an emotionally uncontrollable grudge against the government, another had extensive contacts with disgruntled former GDF personnel, and some had little patience with Desmond Hoyte. There is no evidence available at the moment that the top leaders of ACDA or the PNC knew about the jailbreak plan, but once it happened and the Douglas tape was made, both ACDA and the PNC and the trio that makes up the WPA leadership - Desmond Trotman, Clive Thomas, and Tacuma Ogunseye (who was essentially an advisor to the PLM) - saw political usefulness in the Buxton factor.

But here is where matters become complicated. In the opening section of this series, we did say the Buxton conspiracy has no similarity in global political history. When and where in the past did major political organizations with parliamentary power in a democratic society support a criminal movement with serial rapists and saw political changes coming out of the activities of this anti-social, venal, semi-civilized grouping? Is there anyone out there who believes that Shawn Gitttens was executed by the PLM because of his sexual mauling of a relative of the PLM? Gittens, along with Melroy Goodman and Inspector Gadget, was a serial rapist. Gittens raped two women, one named Gittens (no relation) during a robbery at Non-Pariel. My own feeling is that the PNC’s tactical condoning of Ocean Eleven will haunt them at election time in 2006 even if Raphael Trotman is made the presidential candidate. As for the WPA, it is virtually dead. In an ironic twist, the year-long activities of Ocean Eleven have catapulted Ryhaan Shah onto the political scene that may have implications in 2006.

The operations of Ocean Eleven, like its endurance, were made possible by the ambience of hardened political instability in Guyana. For Ocean Eleven to operate with full freedom, the Guyana Police Force had to be demobilized. The GPF’s inability to contain Ocean Eleven was made worse by the “dubious role” of the Black Clothes in the Thomas Carroll scandal. What in fact took place during the rampage of Ocean Eleven was the incapacitation of the GPF on three fronts. First, the government did not give the GPF the green light to go in and confront Ocean Eleven. The reason for this was that the government feared that it would have caused a disastrous backlash. And indeed that would have happened. Sources told this writer that had the Black Clothes and riot squad gone into Buxton and tear into Ocean Eleven, once there were civilian causalities, a racial confrontation would have gripped Guyana because Victoria, Golden Grove, Ann’s Grove and Bachelor’s Adventure were coming out. And Enmore would have reacted to the pincer movement of Golden Grove.

The police drive in Buxton would have resulted in civilian deaths, maybe an alarming number, for three reasons. (A) - a lot of Buxtonians saw Ocean Eleven as political people not criminals and this was because the extremists activists like Mr. Wild Man, Mr. Natty Dread, Tacuma Ogunseye, Soloman’s talk-show friend, and two former GDF officers would go into Buxton and preach to Buxtonians about the virtue of what Ocean Eleven were doing.
(B), Ocean Eleven cultivated the loyalty of a number of child soldiers, like the ones who killed Ginga and Haroon Rasheed, and were prepared to use them as human shields once the battle had begun. These child soldiers, armed with communication devices, acted as lookouts and one of them killed the GDF lance corporal that triggered an emotional rage in the army. (C), some Buxtonian civilians were prepared to protect Ocean Eleven with their lives. We saw this clearly when a contingent of the GDF cornered some men who had committed a daring robbery in Annandale, and as the soldiers moved in to effect an arrest a group of women enveloped the criminals and dared the soldiers to shoot.

Secondly, the GPF was demoralized by the incessant and cruel demonization of its members by the PNC; WPA; ACDA; the talk show hosts; Mike Mc Cormack and his personal outfit, the Guyana Human Rights Association; and the television newscasts with the exception of GTV 11 and MTV 65. Even when CNS started up its news program, it sought to put the police in a bad light. What this relentless pulverization of the GPF did was to embolden Ocean Eleven. As a spin off from this, it generated intense resentment by the village against the police. One nuance of police-Buxton relation that has never been discussed since Buxton exploded was that the villagers cultivated a dislike for the police long, long ago - during Burnham’s rule. At that time, Buxton was seen as a WPA enclave. Burnham used the police to terrorize the youths there. The Georgetown extremists who conducted political classes for the PLM drove the nail further in the coffin. The GPF was then effectively shut out of Buxton. The clamour about extra-judicial killings was simply a pretext by the political supporters of the PLM and Ocean Eleven to fuel the flames of anti-police fire. Guyana has one of the lowest rates of extra-judicial killings even in CARICOM when compared to Jamaica and Trinidad.

Thirdly, the death toll among members of the GPF was too much to keep the spirits of the GPF alive. When one of the two phantom squads cornered Dale Moore, Mark Fraser and Frank Soloman, it was as if the GPF had gotten a gift from heaven. The GPF stood by helplessly and watched Ocean Eleven kill its members and the citizens of Guyana like when you swat flies. The men in Black had collapsed and terror had taken over the land until Stephen Lesniak turned up at the Lusignan golf course.

Left, soldiers on patrol through Buxton.

Part IV—A Taste of Serbia

IN the annals of crime in Guyana, the activities of Ocean Eleven will have a conspicuous page because of the sadistic nature of their criminal undertakings. Generally, political violence tends to be more ghoulish, barbaric, heinous, sadistic than general criminological violence. Take cult murder. In a majority of cases, cult killings are bestial and gory in their manifestations. The mayhem is usually accompanied by mutilation of body parts, laceration of the throat, disembowelment and smearing of blood at the scene of the crime.

Cult murders have an ideological underpinning and for this reason, hate, passion and energy are involved when violence is being applied. The perpetrator is sending a message when he/she kills and is living out his/her ideological beliefs. Normal criminal killings lack this theoretical tone, thus the factor of psychotic impulse is not there. A robber invades a dwelling house and rape, plunder and kill and escapes. Victims usually die because they are either stubborn, aggressive or can identify the attacker.

When violence is ethnically motivated, it descends to the level of the beast and the atrocity of the murders has uncivilized instincts. A careful examination of all ethnic warfare in history reveals a pattern of horrible, bloodthirsty sadism. People are killed in the most horrific ways that no normal human being can look at without wanting to have some subsequent counseling. The cases are too numerous to mention but recent examples are Rawanda, Sierre Leone, and Bosnia.

We return to the perennial contradiction when analyzing the perverted escapades of Ocean Eleven and its extend network of Buxtonian criminals. If the Buxtonian killers were social misfits who rape, rob and kill, then why the need to discuss their activities within the sociological theory of political violence? I hope my elucidation here puts a final end to this paradox. And that is that Ocean Eleven was (I hope not “is”) both a criminal and political outfit. Surely this needs explanation. Two compellingly politicized organizations controlled Ocean Eleven. One was the Georgetown based Black extremist, lunatic fringe. Most readers know who they are but we cannot list their names here for obvious reasons. One day outside of Royal Castle restaurant inside of a car, Philip Bynoe, in a friendly tone, yelled out to me: “Freddie, I’m not hearing from you.” I replied that I was not hearing from him. Bynoe advised me to wait and I would see what’s coming. I saw it, indeed. And wrote about it, and still writing about it.

The other group was the Tshaka Blair-led PLM. The extremist group and the PLM saw in Ocean Eleven political usefulness. Ocean Eleven had no time for the political plans and vision of the two organizations. Here is where an interesting interaction occurred. The extremist cabal and the PLM saw the damage Ocean Eleven could do to help weaken the state. On the other hand, Ocean Eleven needed the political platform that these two political groups provided. It is in this sense that Ocean Eleven’s activities had a political meaning to it. Another political dimension to Ocean Eleven was the ideological training it received from the PLM and the extremist group. I need to mention something here before I forget and the series ends: One of the most peculiar occurrences in political life in the history of this country relates to Tacuma Ogunseye and a certain talk-show host. This talk-show host was the principal witness at the trial of Tacuma Ogunseye in Burnham times. He was jailed for three years and his mother was dragged and humiliated before the courts. I will never forgive this talk-show host for this degradation of Ogunseye’s mother (now deceased). Both Ogunseye and this talk-show host turned up in Buxton as lecturers to the PLM and Ocean Eleven. Life is indeed strange and unpredictable.

                        Books used by the black-militants are the Bible, one on the philosohpy of Marcus Garvey, and those on the
                        right,  espousing anti-christ teachings.

The cruelty of Ocean Eleven eventually alienated the villagers who sheltered them and we will come to this part when we look at the eventual collapse of the movement. For now, an explanation is needed as to the reason for the ferocious and untamed violence they heaped on their Indian victims. The primitive descent of Ocean Eleven, when killing, had two sources - one chemical, the other ideological. Members of the Buxton madness would smoke up their marijuana and cocaine before they went out to rob and kill. Eyewitnesses told me that the “Chip Teeth”-led gang that tried to burn down two gas stations were “totally stoned” and their eyes were redder than red. At the Shell gas station at Camp and New Market Streets, one child soldier kept scratching and throwing the matches on the pump but the matches would not light. A trembling hand and imbalanced mind due to narcotic inhalation saved North Georgetown.

Gang members would come at nights and smoke up on the railway embankment in front of the villagers. The police were banned from the village and Buxton was an East Coast enclave owned by savage criminals. My students told me, Buxtonians would pass the escapees “liming” openly, smoking and “digging” their music. The night of the morning before he died, Dale Moore and a certain lawyer with aspiration to lead a major political party and who pays not even a cent in taxes was conspicuously sporting on the embankment; it was Dale Moore’s birthday. He was drunk when he left Sunday morning for Lamaha Gardens to resume negotiations with Bramma. He died less than fifteen minutes afterwards. At this point I want to offer an apology to Raphael Trotman. In a series on the escapees for Kaieteur News, I alluded to “this lawyer” and it could have pointed in the direction of Mr. Trotman, for whom I have deep respect and who will one day lead the PNC. He is a positive emergence in Guyanese politics.

The drugged child soldiers were wild when they killed Indians. A kidnapped victim was repeatedly sodomized, and carvings were made in his flesh with two hunting knives before he died. GINGA (see image of Ginga) was tortured and the post-mortem showed he was stomped upon with volcanic force. GINGA was an old man. The handicapped Haroon Rasheed screamed as he ran out the house on flames. They followed him out of the house and poured more kerosene on him. Ocean Eleven had a particular habit when they killed Indian businessmen. They liked to use AK 47 on their victims’ faces.

The ideological dimension of the violence needs no explanation. Ocean Eleven lived out the history lessons that they were taught by the extremist cabal. The Buxtonian invaders disliked Indians to the bone. The hatred had a Nazi-like instinct. The anti-Indian teachings were Hitlerite in their madness. On High Street, a disenchanted member of the PLM said: “Freddie, ah never see so much ignorant people yet.” The anti-Indian indoctrination had four aspects: (1) Indian people have taken Guyana from Blacks who built it, (2) Indian people are keeping a racist government in power, (3) Indian people have all the wealth, Blacks have none, (4) the crazy Kean Gibson theory of a secret plan to exterminate Blacks in Guyana. From February 2002, Ocean Eleven killed Indians mercilessly. The score sheet is too frightening to look at.

Part V—The Longevity of Terror

There is undisputed consensus that the violent robberies and brutal murders that gripped Guyana since the infamous February 2002 jailbreak was directly related to the five escapees and their acolytes in Buxton. The lull only started two weeks ago when the security forces retook control of Buxton. We are talking about 15 months of virtually non-stop terror. What reasons explain this length of time and not say a six-month spree?

The causes for the long life of Buxtonian terror fall into two categories - the mundane and the logistical. Let’s start with the first one first. By mundane, we mean the ordinary elementary causes. These would include lack of police resources. At the time of the jailbreak, the police lacked both adequate armoury and physical resources like heavy weaponry, armoured vehicles and sophisticated, electronic monitoring devices. It is a plausible response to say that had these facilities been at the disposal of the GPF, maybe the carnage would have stopped before it lived on for fifteen months.

For example, the state-of-the-art computer that the men at Good Hope had is basic to crime fighting in the modern world. What this equipment does is that it inhales the transmitting signals coming from cellular phones. It then enables the police to locate where the signals are. In the case of Buxton, in the late evenings, there would be meetings deep in the Gulf where residential houses are sparse. Who then would be sending out signals so later in such a deserted area in Buxton? It seems that the security forces have overcome some technical limitations in their crime fighting in Buxton. But media responsibility prevents further discussion on this subject. Under the classification of mundane factors we can also include the demoralization of the society and this included state, security forces and civil society. I have already dealt with the broken spirit of the GPF, especially the Black Clothes, during the killing spree. But the business class was a scared community just a month ago. Ocean Eleven took full advantage of the depressed life of the Guyanese society to further continue their journey of destruction.

          Left, bullets, molotov coctails, and gun magazines found at safehouse operated by the Mash Day escapees, where
               Brama was held.  Right, Cell phones and other electronic equipment.

The logistical cause holds a wider, though not exactly superior, exposition as to why Ocean Eleven lasted so long. We can subsume political factors under this heading and we start with this interpretation of the political nuance in comprehending the Buxton madness. When Douglas appeared on television, it would be foolish and dishonest on the part of any social researcher to deny that there wasn’t sympathy among members of the Afro-Guyanese community for what this jail escapee said he was fighting for.

Andrew Pollard, a lawyer with the law firm of Hughes, Fields and Stoby, defended the airing of the tape in a reply to Kit Nascimento. He based his position of the right to free speech. Andrew Pollard must be admired for his open stand which is what I respect in people. And though I didn’t agree with his legal dispute with Nascimento, I respect Pollard for what he did. There are those who would have said the same thing but hide behind a fictitious name. I hope Pollard doesn’t take this personally. It should not be. But Pollard’s position was symbolic of the way many Afro-Guyanese saw Andrew Douglas. I would like to make it clear here and say unambiguously that nothing I have written about the WPA, PNC and ACDA points towards support for Ocean Eleven. I have repeatedly used the concept of the Buxton conspiracy which included the Black extremist fringe and the Buxtonians Ogunseye constantly refers to as “the resistance.” My sources tell me that “the resistance” calls itself the PLM. You don’t need twelve doctorates from Harvard to know that there was a not so hidden sympathy for “the resistance” by organizations I referred to. Intelligence sources also told me that at private meetings of these organizations, there was open support for what I call the Buxton factor. When Hoyte went to address Buxton, he said there were no criminals there and their struggle was just. He was referring to the Buxton conspiracy that included the extremist cabal and the PLM.

It was this political support that made the police work harder in fighting the Buxtonian criminal enterprise. The talk-show hosts were unapologetic in support of Ocean Eleven. The African villages up the East Coast took their cue from these TV personalities and politicians. This gave a tremendous boost to the psychology of Ocean Eleven. Ocean Eleven was emboldened by the political support they got in the wider Guyanese society. Within this context one must also highlight the unashamed pillar that a large percentage of Buxtonians gave to Ocean Eleven. No other incident demonstrates this more graphically than when a group of child soldiers robbed an Annandale household and as the GDF platoon moved in to effect an arrest, a group of Buxton women surrounded the criminals and dared the soldiers to shoot.

It is important to understand how this kind of localized popular support further galvanizes the criminals to act with greater boldness. People told me that when Dale Moore and Mark Fraser were killed, some people in the ministries had a maudlin look on their faces and the talk-show hosts for that day were personification of lugubrious creatures. No society can stop criminal rampage if murderous robbers have that level of societal encouragement. As the series go on we will contrast the present situation with that six months ago to show how successful crime fighting can become when the security forces have the community on its side.
Left, Brama, kidnapped by militants.

Two other logistical weakness made Ocean Eleven fertilize continuously. One is lack of intelligence gathering which will be dealt with another time. The other was the terrain Ocean Eleven operated in. It is easy to hide in an environment where the houses are within touching distance of each other and the village is compact and dense. If anyone wants to understand how difficult it was to confront Ocean Eleven in Buxton, they should see the movie, BLACK HAWK DOWN, which is based on the true story of a contingent of American marines who went into a specific area in Mogadishu (capital of Somalia) to capture a warlord named Adeed. The mission failed and was aborted. The marines couldn’t flush out Adeed for the same reason the GPF couldn’t go into Buxton and confront Ocean Eleven.

Ocean Eleven’s modus operandi followed military guidelines. Because of how the village is situated, entry is recorded by secretly hidden lookouts who used transmitting sets. Of course this comes back to the lack of modern equipment by the GPF. When GPF members cross the railway embankment to get to the Gulf, members of Ocean Eleven would be watching them from normal houses that the police never dreamt had hidden escapees. This logistical advantage cost the lives of a number of outside fighters who went in to take on Ocean Eleven. They were sitting ducks.

[Editor’s Note: These are some parts of a series of articles Dr. Frederick Kissoon did on the Black militant-criminal “conspiracy” that was centered in Buxton during Buxton 2002. The original title of this series was “Theorizing with Freddie Kissoon: The Failure of the Buxton Conspiracy.” Images supplied by this site. It was published in the Chronicle and Kaieteur News papers in June 2002.]


Posted in May 2004
© 2001