Guyana Elections 2020: PPP Protests over ‘rigged’ elections in Berbice and along East Coast – photos

Stabroek News

By

Two protests were launched this morning along the Bath Settlement Public Road, West Berbice and Lusignan on the East Coast Demerara against what protesters said was the rigging of Monday’s general elections.

Protesters at Bath blocked the road with burning tyres.  They chanted:  “Granger must go” and also stated that they believe the elections were rigged.
Lusignan, East Coast Demerara residents today also mounted a protest over what they see as rigged general elections on Monday.
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PPP supporters shot with pellets as riot erupts on East Coast

Pandemonium broke loose yesterday on the East Coast Demerara Public road at Lusignan and Mon Repos after officers in riot gear were forced to retaliate against violent supporters of the Opposition People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C).

The exercise started as a massive protest that quickly deteriorated into an unruly riot.
Police were forced to block the road from Mon Repos in the west, and divert traffic to the Railway Embankment which remained the only thoroughfare for traffic to flow in and out of the city.

When Kaieteur News arrived at the protest, the protest had not deteriorated. Instead, hundreds of supporters lined the streets, many dressed in black and white but the mass clothed in red, held placards and screamed “Save our Democracy! Count our Votes!”

Slogans on many other placards ranged from “We don’t want any dictatorship in our country, Guyana” to “Democracy must prevail” and “We need a recount!”
One protestor said, “We deserve our democratic right; we deserve it and we must get it!”

The protestors used a Guyana Power and Light pole to block the main road. Three elderly women planted themselves firmly, screaming to the cameras, “Granger must go!”
Further up, another pole was set alight. The supporters screamed that they were peaceful.

Democracy was the underlying drive for the assembly of the PPP supporters. Following the controversial Region Four results announcement, the supporters felt that their democratic right was trampled upon and decided to let their voices be heard.

Opposition member, Anil Nandlall later arrived at the protest scene to address the massive crowd. According to him, the people had a right to be out protesting but they were trying their best to get the crowd under control and off the public road.
According to him, “The tension here is unhealthy and can develop into a dangerous situation.”

He told the crowd “Guyanese, freedom loving Guyana, democratic-minded Guyanese are all offended right across this land.”
“But we also cannot contribute to a situation…I am asking you to remain calm, remove from the roadway please, let us build together.”

But this proved a difficult task as the supporters screamed back at Nandlall, standing firm in their position that they will not remove and unblock the road until the Guyana Elections Commission begins the recount of Region Four votes.

“We are not moving! We deserve our democratic right! Region Four votes must recount! It is not a party protest!”

“Remain calm” was the cry by Nandlall but this fell on deaf ears, resulting in riot police being mobilised, sent to the area and a dangerous situation developed.
Protestors at the sight of the riot police became rowdy and advanced, forcing the police to dispel tear gas and fire rubber pellets into the large crowd.
Seven persons were shot about their bodies.

One man sustained a pellet wound to the head while another got shot to his legs and abdomen. They were rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital and treated for their injuries.

On the West Coast
While police focused their attention on the East Coast, the West side protestors gathered in their numbers. From Windsor Forest, residents emerged with flags and assembled at the roadway, with placards in hand.

They were deemed peaceful and dispersed on their own accord. Protestors also assembled at Zeelugt, East Bank Essequibo, but they too, later dispersed on their own.
But, according to police reports, areas including Canal No.2, Cornelia Ida, and Belle West were chaotic. Tyres were set alight to block the roadway, preventing the easy flow of traffic.

Kaieteur News made contact with the Regional Commander Superintendent Simon McBean who relayed that the situation was under control.

According to him, the protests started at the Claybrick Road, Canal Number Two just before noon, with protesters burning tyres on the roadway.

The police managed to disperse the crowd, which boarded vehicles and headed to the Demerara Harbour Bridge.

“However, we managed to intercept the crowd at Bagotsville, with roadblocks, and the turned back,” McBean said.
Commander McBean said that there were no arrests and none needed thus far.

The police have set up roadblocks at the Demerara Harbour Bridge and other roadblocks at critical areas.
Persons are urged to remain calm during this period.

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  • guyaneseonline  On March 7, 2020 at 12:28 am

    Man shot dead during protests, rioting – Cops, women and children injured, vehicles damaged

    Mar 07, 2020 Kaieteur News – By Malisa Playter Harry

    It was absolute chaos in several parts of Region Five and Region Six as supporters of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic descended onto the streets to protest for a verification of Region Four Statements of Poll (SOP’s) and a recount of the region as well.
    Hundreds of visibly angry and frustrated persons attired lit wooden pallets, tyres, old abandoned cars and buses throughout the public road from Experiment Village and throughout several other villages on the West Coast Berbice.
    The protestors also blocked the roads with agriculture machinery parts, an old guard hut and tree branches while chanting “GRANGER MUST GO”.
    “Everybody ah suffer, abay na want Granger, he is a crass”, a protestor told reporters.
    Another protestor said, “This is too much advantage that is why we are doing. He is a shameless president, abay na get money fuh pay bill and all kind of ting dem ah do to we”.
    Protestors were adamant that their party won the elections and that the APNU/AFC have not, “they lose the election and they must go”, an angry woman standing along the roadside said.
    Another woman, Sandra questioned why GECOM took so long to release results from Region 4 and reasoned that, “Guyanese people are not stupid, Region 4 took too long to come out, why they took out these people from GECOM office that night and then after that they want to swear in Granger secretly.
    That is unfair, Granger don’t work and put money in anybody’s pocket, what is fair is fair”.
    The riot police who showed up at Bath Settlement and Experiment Village when the situation was beginning to escalate were met with bottles, bricks and other objects hurled towards them.
    One man was shot and killed at Cotton Tree, West Berbice. He was identified as Devon Subhan. According to reports, Subhan was shot by police and succumbed at the New Amsterdam Public Hospital.
    He reportedly had eleven pellet shots dispersed about his body.
    And a teenager girl, Annuradha Sukra, of Bush Lot, West Coast Berbice, was shot and is now a patient at the Fort Wellington Hospital.
    The scene was chaotic as Region Five Candidate for the PPP/C Harry Gill tried to calm his party supporters by telling them to “GO HOME”. Those pleas were ignored as the people refused to leave the public roads.
    Many were brandishing placards that demanded a recount of Region Four and the verification of the SOPs in that region. Others including young men, women and elders angrily ran through the streets armed with objects that were hurled at policemen and women.
    Two unarmed constables were saved by reporters driving back to Region Six after the protestors were chasing and pelting them with large bricks. They were taken to a safe location some villages away where other senior ranks were present.
    Kaieteur News was informed that five ranks, including a female and a senior officer, were injured by the raging protestors who refused to leave the streets. They are reportedly seeking medical attention at the Fort Wellington Hospital, a police source said.
    Up to around 19:00 hrs, protestors were still on roads burning tyres and other objects to stop the flow of traffic. Bricks were hurled at passing vehicles, even those with children inside.
    A David Granger school bus from Region Five had the back windscreen smashed in by the protestors armed with bricks, reportedly injuring children in the process. A police vehicle was also damaged by the bricks tossed from one end of the public road to the other.
    By late into the afternoon, supporters from the APNU/AFC from Belladrum and other areas in Region Five had armed themselves with cutlasses and were boarding vehicles to confront the hundreds of protestors.
    There were confrontations, Kaieteur News understands, but the extent of injuries could not be confirmed. Persons were also arrested, a police source said.
    Meanwhile, over in Region Six, protests erupted in East Canje, Black Bush Polder, Number 19 Village and Tain Village with reports and videos surfacing of ranks of the Guyana Police Force forming a human barricade with their shields to block the protestors.
    Roads, tyres and old machinery were also set alight in Black Bush Polder while Number 19 Village burnt tyres and branches across the public road, halting traffic for some time until the police managed to get things under control.
    A policeman was injured at Tain Village after an object was tossed at him while he was in the tray of the police vehicle.
    He is said to be nursing minor injuries and seeking medical attention at the Port Mourant Hospital.

  • guyaneseonline  On March 7, 2020 at 10:54 am

    Cotton Tree was fatally shot while chopping ranks, police say
    By Andre Haynes March 7, 2020

    The Guyana Police Force today said Sewdat Hansraj, the Cotton Tree Village, West Coast Berbice youth who was fatally shot last night, had been attacking ranks with a cutlass.

    In a statement, the police said while performing duty on the Cotton Tree Public Road, West Coast Berbice, ranks came under attack by protesters, which resulted in several of them being hospitalised and their attacker, Hansraj, 18, dead.

    At least one witness has denied that Hansraj was wounding ranks but could not say whether he was unarmed at the time.

    According to the police, the attack occurred around 7. 40 pm, shortly after a Gazetted Officer and ranks cleared the said road of protesters and debris, leaving a Sergeant with several ranks to maintain free passage along the corridor

    “The ranks were then attacked by a group of men armed with cutlasses, wood, iron, etc. and were forced to discharge their weapons into the air to disperse the very hostile and aggressive crowd and after expending their ammunition the ranks including Sergeant Ibaran, Corporal Williams, Constable Grant, and Constable Fraser were forced to seek refuge in nearby yards…,” it said.

    During the process, police added, it was alleged that one of the protesters who was later identified as Hansraj, chopped Sgt Ibaran and Constable Fraser and as he was attempting to deal the latter another chop, he was shot once by one of two ranks who arrived at the scene and witnessed their colleagues being attacked and wounded.

    Police added that Hansraj and injured ranks, including one reportedly assaulted by protesters, were rushed to the New Amsterdam Public Hospital, where Hansraj was pronounced dead on arrival, whilst the ranks received medical attention and admitted; their conditions are considered stable.

    On Thursday night, Jevaughn Stephen, the Director of Regional Health Services, who was present at the New Amsterdam hospital last evening, confirmed that Hansraj had died and that the relatives of the deceased arrived at the hospital allegedly armed with cutlasses and other weapons.

    Persons, who were present at the hospital, said the relatives began to threaten the medical professionals, which led to the police being summoned. The relatives reportedly become aggravated after they noticed police from the protest were being treated at the New Amsterdam Public Hospital.

    Police Commander Calvin Brutus last evening confirmed that they responded to a call at the New Amsterdam Public Hospital and three persons were arrested. He said that one is a licenced firearm holder, while another was found with a cutlass.

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