The 1823 Monument for martyrs of the 1823 Insurrection

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  • guyaneseonline  On August 20, 2016 at 1:22 am

    Reaction of The 1823 Coalition for the Parade Ground Monument to Ministry Of Education, planned programme at the Monument on Georgetown SeaWalls
    By Elton McRae

    Dear All
    The following is the reaction of “The 1823 Coalition for the Parade Ground Monument” to the Ministry of Education programme (see attachment above) billed for Saturday 20th August.
    In December 2012, several groups and Individuals met and formed a coalition with the specific objective of resisting the disrespectful distortion of history of Africans in Guyana implicit in the decision made by the Ministry of Culture to change the site of the monument to memorialize the martyrs of the 1823 Insurrection from the Parade Ground to Carifesta Avenue. The groups including the All African Guyanese Council, the African Cultural & Development Association, the Pan-African Movement (Guyana Branch),
    African Welfare Council, the Guyana United Apostolic Mystical Council, the Forum for The Temples of Ka’Ma’atic Spirituality, the Division of History- University of Guyana, the Ghana Day Committee, The Guyana Trades Union Congress, The Kingdom of Descendants of Africans,
    the Peoples’ Parliament, and several prominent citizens, including then Mayor of Georgetown, Mr. Hamilton Green, considered this decision an insult to the Guyanese peoples since it contradicted:
    1. a decision made after a series of discussions involving African historians and cultural leaders in the 1970’s;
    2. a decision made in the late 1990s following consultations between African Rights groups and government;
    3. the sod turning ceremony at Parade Ground on August 1st, 2000 with former President Jagdeo.
    It was never made clear when or why the PPP led executive decided to reverse this decision. However the then Minister of Culture’s handling of this issue violated the United Nations Protocol with regards to the International Year of People of African Descent that expressly called on governments to strengthen national actions for the benefit of people of African descent in relation to their full enjoyment of economic, cultural, social, civil and political rights, their participation and integration in all political, economic, social and cultural aspects of society, and the promotion of a greater knowledge of and respect for their diverse heritage and culture. Through various actions and activities – including in this instance, the PPP ignored the intent of the UN Protocol, and not only failed to encourage participation from the African commune, but further alienated Africans from the decision making process.
    The individuals and groups that met and formed the 1823 coalition were and remain adamant that the atrocities that took place in 1823-24 on the Parade Ground where enslaved Africans who resisted enslavement and fought for their liberation were brutally tried and executed, are adequate justifications for the Parade ground to be deemed sacred ground. The Parade Ground represents a symbol of what should never happen in this country again. Specifically, authorities should never again be allowed to use the state’s organs to suppress the people desire to be free and to freely express themselves in situations of grievances. Hence its significance as a place for the erection of this memorial to the martyrs is unparalleled. A monument there would be a reminder to all of what ill-intended administrators are likely to do if citizens are not vigilant.
    The then APNU-AFC opposition was fully supportive of the actions taken by the 1823 Coalition and a few its members even participated in the first commemoration walk from the site where the 1823 war started at Le Resouvenir to the Parade ground in August 2012. This recent decision by President Granger government to legitimise the insult to African Guyanese by attending the 193rd commemoration ceremony at this site of contestation that has no relevance to the 1823 Rebellion and which the 1823 Coalition continues to reject is ill-advised and regrettable. The Brigadier David Granger administration is urged to stand and genuinely consult with the Coalition of the 1823 Parade Ground Monument to claim the right of Africans to define and determine our sacred, cultural and historical commemorative sites and to establish the 1823 Monument it in its rightful place at the originally designated site on the Parade Ground.

  • guyaneseonline  On August 20, 2016 at 10:39 am

    On August 19, the Coalition issued a press statement postponing the Commemoration Walk, see contents below.

    19th August, 2016
    Press Release
    The Executives of The Coalition of the 1823 Parade Ground Monument wishes to inform that the Commemoration Walk planned for Sunday August 21st from Le Resouvenir to Parade Ground has been postponed to next week Sunday August 28, 2016.
    The walk is an annual exercise with the following purposes
    1. To heighten the nation’s awareness of events that took place in Demerara during the latter half of 1823.
    2. To establish the Parade Ground as A Sacred Place and a Monument, to the martyrs of 1823
    On the morning of Sunday 28th, there shall be a libation at 6.15 in from of the Demerara Bank at Le Resouvenir, after which the procession shall move off at 6.30 am, going west along the East Coast Highway, left into Andries Noble Drive Plaisance and right along the Railway Embankment Road, into David Street Kitty, left into Alexander Street and left into Sandy Babb Street, right into Owen Street, right into Dowding Street, left into Vlessingen Road, right unto Lamaha Street, left into Waterloo Street, left into Middle Street and into the Parade Ground.
    The Coalition apologises for any inconveniences this change would cause.

  • guyaneseonline  On August 20, 2016 at 6:19 pm

    Granger promises 1823 Demerara Revolt memorial at Parade Ground; critics justify recognising current monument

    August 20 – Demerara WAves – Under intense pressure from sections of the Afro-Guyanese community to construct a monument at Independence Park (Parade Ground) where slaves who fought in the 1823 Demerara Revolt were executed, President David Granger on Saturday announced that a memorial would be built there.
    “The government will erect a memorial at Independence Park to commemorate these executions. Future generations must not forget that freedom was bought at a high price, the price of martyrdom of hundreds of Africans on the 20th of August, 1823,” he said. No time frame was given.
    Read more:

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