Working People’s Alliance (WPA) Executive Member, Dr David Hinds has taken umbrage at attempts made by senior government officials to “dominate” Emancipation Day activities on the East Coast of Demerara last Tuesday. The pro-Black rights activist said he views the persistence of the senior government functionaries as an “imposition” and “the height of eye pass”.
During his “Politics 101” show, Dr Hinds said he received requests for participation from both the offices of the Prime Minister, Mark Phillips and Culture, Youth and Sports Minister, Charles Ramson Jr. He said that he declined to have those officials take centre stage, noting that residents would have been up in arms.
According to him, the officials demanding to deliver remarks was inappropriate given the regime’s alleged proclivity to “oppress” Afro-Guyanese. He said that the government’s mere entry into those communities on that day and demanding they have a say in the celebrations is tantamount to bullying.
He noted that Public Service Minister, Sonia Parag was not welcomed by residents at Belladrum. In fact, he noted that the minister was an invited guest.
“Like the Prime Minister was trying to do at Buxton, she went there uninvited and imposed herself. People were angry. One lady came up to me and said, ‘Dr Hinds, I’m a victim of the oppression of these people’. She lost her job – her livelihood! And to watch those people walk in at Belladrum on Emancipation Day, the people of Belladrum couldn’t take it,” the professor said.
“The people had every right to be angry [with] a government that puts its heels on their stomachs every day. And then on their day when they want to sing and dance and make merriment among themselves, here they (ministers) are bullying their way. I felt I had the responsibility to say something,” the WPA member added.
He noted that the angry faces in the crowd prompted him to take the microphone and speak on their behalf. Dr Hinds said that he was sent by the “spirits of the ancestors” to “tongue-lash” the government and to give the minister a message to take back to her Cabinet colleagues.
Dr. Hinds then shared a video on his show in which he upbraided the government for its alleged anti-black policies. He then proceeded to tell the minister that her presence was controversial.
“When there is Diwali and Phagwah, they wouldn’t invite me to come and sit. I have never gotten an invitation,” he said to cheers from the ground.
Despite the controversy her presence caused, he welcomed the minister but not before giving her a message to take back to her colleagues.
He communicated to the Minister: “Madam Minister, please tell yuh government: don’t try to dominate us.”