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AFC calls for mass street protests

AFC Chairman Nigel Hughes addressing a public meeting at the corner of William and Allexander Streets, Kitty.

The Alliance For Change (AFC) is calling for mass street protests to oust the Peoples Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) administration from power.

AFC Chairman Nigel Hughes punctuated his entire speech at a public meeting in Kitty, Georgetown with appeals for agitation against ills such as corruption and bad governance.

In apparent reference to A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and its major partner, the Peoples National Congress Reform (PNCR), that street protests would be disruptive and inflitrated by unsavoury characters, Hughes said such action was the the only effective means at the disposal of ordinary citizens.

“I don’t care what they say that marching down the street does cause disruption and marching down the street- people does get frighten and they send people to infiltrate.

“Well understand that the strongest weapon you have is the weapon of mass protest…These are radical times. You are facing extraordinary problems and it requires extraordinary solutions,” he said.

He reasoned that oppressive governments do not give up power easily and, like in Egypt, they yield only to widespread public pressure.

Hughes urged Guyanese to be prepared mentally for the revolution on the streets rather than parliamentarians voting down bills and complaining about corruption or writing letters.

“At the end of the day, we the people will have to take the streets to change and get the things that we want. There is no other way,” he told the small gathering at William and Alexander Streets.

He accused government of discriminating against a segment of students at the National Grade Six Assessment that would see only select persons attending high grade secondary schools. Hughes blamed government’s lack of vision for misspending public funds on projects such as the Marriott Hotel rather than dredging the Demerara River to allow greater volumes of imports and exports at a lower cost.

The time has come, he said, to respond to take to the streets rather than cry out in disgust. “The next time there is a scandal make sure you gather at the street corner because, like the people in Egypt, we will have to take to the streets because we are not going to continue to have people ride on our backs,” he said.

Taking a swipe at the business community, the AFC executive member labelled the business community a band of bribers. “We don’t have a business community in Guyana. We have a community of bribe-payers, bribe takers and they call that progress,” he said. He added that the police, judiciary, sugar and other sectors are not working and polluted by corruption.

The AFC called the PPPC-administration the “most poisonous, cancerous government” in Guyana’s history.

The AFC’s call comes just days after the Working Peoples Alliance (WPA), an APNU partner, called on the coalition to be militant against the PPPC administration.  APNU, unlike the AFC, earlier this week said that its support for amendments to financial crimes laws was not tied to the establishment of the Public Procurement Commission. That body is regarded by the opposition and civil society as key tool in fight multi-billion dollar corruption through the award of contracts for goods and services.