On the Occasion of Emancipation 2022, the Opposition beckoned a passionate call for Afro-Guyanese to lobby for changes that will allow for their betterment.
Please see full press release-
“HAPPY EMANCIPATION DAY to the Guyanese people.
Today marks the 184th anniversary of the abolition of chattel slavery, one of the world’s most dehumanizing systems of man by man. The Coalition salutes all Guyanese, especially those of African descent for whom Emancipation Day holds landmark significance. We therefore join in the celebrations and commemorations across the county.
In observing this Emancipation Day, we must always recognize that emancipation was not granted to enslaved Africans as a gift for them to enjoy for the first time. Many Africans already lived freely in their homelands before they were captured, enslaved, and shipped across the seas. Freedom and self-determination were therefore already birth rights of many Africans in Africa. The formal abolition of slavery in 1838 therefore must be properly and justifiably recognized as ACKNOWLEDGING AND RESTORING THAT EARLIER FREEDOM.
As Afro-Guyanese reflect on Emancipation Day 2022, they must take pride in the fact that history has shown that they are a people who are willing to make the ultimate sacrifices to defend and restore their dignities, rights, and freedoms; who are resolute and resilient in the face of great adversities; who always eventually emerge victorious over their oppressors; who see their unity as a core strength; who see hard work as a source of their self-worth and self-identity; and who are willing to coexist and cooperate with other races and ethnic groups in Guyana based on the ideals of mutual respect, shared burdens and responsibilities, shared prosperity, and a shared destiny.
Emancipation in 1838, however, never meant the end of the struggle for the freed Africans. In Guyana, it only marked the beginning of a new war of liberation for economic opportunities and self-reliance; for full human rights; and for political self-determination. The earlier Afro-Guyanese fully understood this. Soon after emancipation, they collectively started the Village Movement. They purchased plantations to establish communities in which they sought to transform and better their reality.
While there have been many successes, that struggle continues. Afro-Guyanese today must therefore re-commit themselves to the spirit of those who fought (such as Kofi, Quamina, and Damon) for the repossession of their freedom during enslavement. Afro-Guyanese must ensure that the struggles and sacrifices of these freedom fighters serve to build a nation in which all Guyanese can live a life free from want, inequality, discrimination, subjugation, and other indignities.
Once again, HAPPY EMANCIPATION”