DAY 20 of Linden Protests
The protests at Linden entered its 20th day today and residents appear to be holding ground under the watchful eyes of the joint services. A number of roads remain blocked but the protestors are now allowing essential services and vehicles a clear passage. Residents hold out that they need to get more than just talk from the government. They want to see some action and commitment from the government with regard to the concerns they have raised.
20 days later the President is still to visit the community to meet with leaders saying he will only do so when the roads are cleared. His advisors and ministers have also been staying away and have instead opted to using the national communications network to highlight their views on the situation in the community. The protests began against the electricity rate increases for the town but by day 2 became a justice protest after 3 protestors were shot dead when the police opened fire on the crowd with live rounds.
This morning President Ramotar speaking to Amerindian leaders ignored the shooting death of the protestors as he spoke about the impact of the protests on several communities. He instead focused on the issue of electricity.
Stakeholders at Linden including the Christian community have indicated that they want the issues being raised by Lindeners to be taken seriously. Lindeners have been complaining about more than just the electricity issue. They have also been complaining about the unavailability of jobs and the community being in a depressed state. One of the President’s senior advisors countered those complaints by saying there are Amerindian communities that are poorer.