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‘Eve Leary is not holy ground’ - Witter

| By KNews | Filed Under News 

- resumes picket outside Top Cop’s office

Police ranks about to erect barriers during the picketing exercise.

General Secretary of the Guyana Trades Union Congress, Norris Witter, said that the land outside the office of the Police Commissioner is not holy ground and unless that is changed, he will continue to protest there.
Yesterday, Witter and Mark Benschop returned to the area where they were arrested last week and resumed their protest against what they are claiming to be a violation of several citizens’ rights.
“It has not been gazetted that where we stand here at the moment is holy ground, and if it is holy ground then it has to be Henry Greene’s holy ground.

“Until such time that there is a proclamation that says this ground is holy ground and every citizen in this land, including President Jagdeo, should not step on this ground, we shall continue to come here and picket,” Witter told the media yesterday.
Absent yesterday was General Secretary of the Caribbean Congress of Labour Lincoln Lewis who was also arrested during a recent protest outside Police Headquarters, Eve Leary.
Lewis is out of the jurisdiction and is expected to be back in Guyana to face court charges along with Witter and Benschop stemming from last week’s demonstration.

According to Witter, the fight to restore the rights of persons that were taken away will not be won easily.
He stressed that he, along with his fellow protestors, is prepared for the long haul, even if it means being thrown back into the Brickdam lock-ups where they previously spent a night before being released on $10,000 station bail. “We recognise that sacrifices will have to be made and if needs be, that we have to go back to the hell hole in prison, we shall go there. We are committed and we have a conviction to ensure the rights of the Guyanese people are restored,” the GTUC General Secretary declared.
During the protest, several ranks swooped down on the area and there was the feeling that the picketers, who this time around were wearing peaceful picket armbands, would have been arrested again.
However, after several minutes this newspaper observed the ranks moving away from the two picketers and taking up positions beyond barriers hastily erected on Young Street.
According to Benschop, an officer within the ranks informed them that they would be arrested if they did not remove.

However, the picketers stood their ground and the officer appeared to have been instructed otherwise.
Witter explained that while it may seem that they are only picketing to get their message across a lot of other work is being done behind the scenes.
“The entire international community has been sensitized, they are aware of this issue and they are in communication with us on a daily basis,” Witter said.
Among the agencies keeping abreast with the development are the International Labour Organization, the International Trade Union Confederation of Labour, the Trade Union Confederation of the Americas and a number of support groups in the Caribbean, North America and the United Kingdom.
“So if they believe that they can drive fear into us, we shall not be intimidated. We know that we are right, God knows that we are right and we will continue to do what is right,” Witter asserted.
Additionally, Benschop has dispatched a letter to US President Barack Obama, the UN Secretary General and several Congressmen outlining the plight of citizens in Guyana.

Friday, July 24, 2009