The conduct of hundreds of citizens who mounted protest outside of the Pegasus Hotel yesterday cannot remotely be regarded as hooliganism when compared to the behavior of the citizens who participated in People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) orchestrated protests during years gone by.
That is the opinion of People’s Progressive Party (PPP) member, Charles Ramson as he spoke to PNCR’s concerns as expressed by its member, Gary Best today. Best, like the Ministry of the Presidency, spoke about “disorderly” behavior of PPP protestors. The disrespect meted out to President David Granger was also a point of concern of the government and PNCR.
However, Ramson has dismissed the concerns as “laughable.”
The lawyer, who was also at the protest yesterday, claims that there was no behavior that can truly be labelled as hooliganism.
He told Guyana Standard that if one wants to get a real understanding of true hooliganism one can easily take a read of the Carter Center reports of 1992 to 1997 and 2001.
He said that those reports describe, in detail, the hooliganism and thuggery that was witnessed and experienced in Guyana as orchestrated by PNC.
According to Ramson, former United States President Jimmy Carter said that he was never so terrified in observing elections as he was in those trouble periods.
“The images of stores being burned and looted and persons being attacked are still fresh in the minds of some in our population. And it is for this reason that during any elections stores now close early.”
Ramson said that the steel doors and shutters were only introduced to stores after the 1992 elections that was characterized by violent and terrorizing activities.
Further, Ramson recalled the beating of white dolls and using them as pin cushions in 1997 to protest Janet Jagan. “So that is the real thuggery. Now, as for the concern about disrespect to the Office of the President, this is a concern shared by all Guyanese. But it is President Granger who first brought disrespect to the office and to the constitution.”