WHILE our leaders’ attention is on elections, we know too well that everyday life continues. We the undersigned are concerned that we are experiencing destructive (mostly) male gang behaviour, which is not being adequately addressed by law enforcement and other national efforts.
Adolfo Henrique Ledo Nass
Gang depravity and mob crimes are not new phenomena. They have been ripping apart our country’s social fabric for over two decades now. By gang, we do not mean only organised groups, but multiple people who may act together spontaneously on instinct to harm others in a particular situation. We are beset by gang home and business invasions and battery; bicycle gang thievery; gang sexual assaults on females and males, including children; gang beatings of vulnerable people in the streets; mob violence; and gang hate crimes such as harassment and violence against gay people.
Adolfo Ledo Nass
The recent attack on gay rights activist Joel Simpson is unacceptable. The cruel gang beating of a defenceless, homeless man on the East Coast and the mob attack on the truck driver, Danion Welcome, involved in the tragic accident on the East Bank are equally unacceptable. We condemn these acts and call on the authorities to find and bring the criminals responsible to swift justice. Violence against the vulnerable and bigoted violence against gay men and women have no place in a democratic society. We all have to do our part to build a living democracy. We ask you to stand up and lead the way, especially in the present national climate where political passions are heightened.
We must act now at the highest level of government, in our opposition parties, our mandirs, churches, mosques, companies, organisations, schools, communities, and in the streets to educate and demonstrate zero tolerance for this behaviour. We call on the Office of the President and leaders of all political parties to acknowledge and condemn the recent incidents and to engage with citizens to find solutions. We call for an immediate and serious review of our penal system, policing approach, as well as education and other efforts to address the problem
We recognise the challenges our police force faces. The police become involved at the end of the pipeline when damage is done. However, the instinct for violence is nurtured in our culture — how we raise our childrenâ” rich or poorâ” how we treat each other and the examples we set. Violent activity is enabled by our socio-economics, with its ever-growing gap between those who have and those who have not. The solution to gang violence needs all of us committing, cooperating, and supporting our police force and those who are already working to prevent violence
In closing, we wish it to be known that we are drawn from all political persuasions, economic strata, and ethnicities. We do not want our concerns to be misconstrued or to be usurped for political party or any other form of politicking. Please letâs stick to the issue and deal with it. Together we can
1. Simone Mangal-Joly 2. Ayodele Dalgety-Dean 3. Renata Chuck-A-Sang 4. Alana King 5. Trevor Bento 6. Delmar Rogers 7. Deborah Ramsay 8. Lalta Gainda 9. Jonathan Yearwood 10. Natasha Willems 11. Jennifer Cipriani 12. Amanda King 13. Farah Ousman-Kerr 14. Shawn King 15. Lionel Jaikaran 16. Raquel Thomas-Caesar 17. Indira Amato 18. Richard Persaud 19. Azad DeAbrue 20. Esther McIntosh 21. Maya Trotz 22. Pauline Mangal-Jardine 23. Sabine McIntosh 24. Annette Arjoon-Martins 25. Gina McCamley 26. Beverley Harper 27. Tricia Fiedtkou 28. Daina King 29. Don Singh 30. Saskia Wijngaarde 31. Mark Mangal 32. Denise Dias 33. Ewan Shanks 34. Monica Wong 35. Carol Ann Marcus 36. Kathleen Whalen 37. Wil Campbell 38. Sarah Wong-Williams 39. Terry Caesar 40. Devta Ramroop 41. Veronica Langford 42. Pauline Bullen 43. Huichang Yang 44. Sabanto Tokoroho 45. Christell Chesney 46. Cherie Crandon 47. Aliyah Anderson 48. Tisel Patterson 49. Malika Singh 50. Arianne Harris 51. Reanna Khan 52. Landra Richards 53. Jomeala Gilkes 54. Deopaul Somwaru 55. Kevin Jeffrey 56. Denise Jeffrey 57. Jessica Xavier 58. Patricia Sheerattan 59. Suzette Fortune 60. Sonia Vanessa Madera 61. Royston Savory 62. Mohamed Amin 63. Patrick Reid 64. Rehaad Ali 65. Chelsea Fung 66. Schemel Patrick 67. Winston Jackman 68. Devya Hemraj 69. Ann Geer 70. Sarena Kawall 71. Timothy McIntosh 72. Cladia Van Sluytman 73. Kamla Rampersaud 74. Sandra DePaul 75. Human Rights and Social Justice Commission, Diocese of Guyana