AFC condemns violence, lawlessness that marred ECD protest

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A statement issued by the Alliance for Change (AFC) on Tuesday follows:

The Alliance For Change, AFC, continues to monitor the situation on the East Coast of Demerara. We have heard from many residents who expressed frustration and anger over [yesterday’s] event.

The events culminating in the violence and looting at Mon Repos, will put this country back several decades. 

That there was growing anger and resentment at the sluggish pace of the police investigation into the killing of Mr. Quindon Bacchus by the Police must have been brought to the attention of the enforcement powers, especially coming so soon after the Orin Boston killing in Essequibo and the police mishandling of that investigation. 

Rogue elements in the Guyana Police Force are gravely subverting our peace and order either by their individual frolics and recklessness or by their unprofessionalism at the inquiry thereafter.

Guyanese in these circumstances, especially relatives and friends of the deceased who seek justice at the death of their loved ones, must be permitted to vent their anguish by peaceful means.  However, what commenced as a peaceful protest and which was obviously then hijacked by a band of looters and violence-seekers will only bring shame to our country. 

While the AFC fully supports the right of citizens to protest, we strongly condemn the acts of violence and destruction of property. 

It is most unfortunate that a legitimate right was marred by the actions of a few. The looting and violence must be unequivocally condemned most severely by all right-thinking Guyanese and the criminal elements involved must be arrested and brought to justice forthwith.

The AFC wishes to remind the Government of Guyana of its constitutional duty to maintain peace, order, and good governance in this land. Their tenure thus far has proven that an explosive situation is imminent. 

The growing anger and seething resentment arising out of a long string of ugly developments in the economy and politics of the country must be halted and this PPP Government must exercise proper governance. All the guardrails of our democracy that have collapsed under this 

The government must be restored. The AFC commends the Guyana Police Force for exercising restraint in a very tense situation and for acting professionally.  

Note is taken of the commitments made by President Irfaan Ali and we join the call for peace to prevail and for the Police Force and Police Complaints Authority to carry out their duty in a timely manner.

Much of what transpired could have been avoided if the wheels of justice had moved swiftly to address the root cause of [the] protest; that being charges against the police rank accused of killing Quindon Bacchus.

The Alliance For Change stands in solidarity with the family and friends of Mr. Bacchus and the people of the East Coast of Demerara and all of Guyana who are demanding justice for Mr. Bacchus, however, such demands must not transgress into violence and lawlessness.

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