All round the land brown beetles crawl about
The shining sun is hidden in the sky
Red flowers bend their heads in awful sorrow
This is the dark time, my love,
It is the season of oppression, dark metal, and tears.
It is the festival of guns, the carnival of misery
Everywhere the faces of men are strained and anxious
Who comes walking in the dark night time?
Whose boot of steel tramps down the slender grass
It is the man of death, my love, the stranger invader
Watching you sleep and aiming at your dream.
Martin Carter wrote this famous poem in 1953 about the British invaders aiming at the dream of Guyanese nationhood.
AS Guyanese seek to understand the assassination of one man with bullhorn struck down at night on a lonely road Martin's words echoed in my head. The forces of darkness as David Granger aptly said have struck him down. They were aiming at his dream, our dream--a free, happy open, united society.
|Cheddi Jagan & Martin Carter ijailed by the British|
Let us examine Courtney Crum -Ewing's last few months of life. What images spring to mind?
A one man protest against the nation's leading law maker - the Attorney General.
Crum-Ewing was expressing his shock that the nation's law maker was threatening extra judicial killing. The AG was suggesting that rich people like him did not have time to use the normal rule of law. The elite in charge of the country just had to pick up the phone and the problem would be solved. I suppose that he meant that a 'hit' would be arranged and the crime syndicate would punish the offender with 'execution'. (see transcript)
|David Granger leading the cjharge against the forces of darkness|
The foul language call initiated by the AG also had the theme of disrespect to women. The AG began the call by asking for the name of the female reporter because his uncle wanted to have sex with her. The conversation ended with the AG trying to force the reporter to give the name.
Although Courtney was alone most of the time there were occasions when others joined to express the shock of the society and to call for the AG's dismissal. The President did not call on his minister to resign focusing on the taping of the conversation calling it 'illegal' . So again two pictures of law.
Even though three members of his party expressed shock at the AG's disrespectful comments about women, he failed to say anything about this, The society filed this response with the disgraceful way in which former First Lady Varshnie Singh was treated by former President Bharrat Jagdeo.
|Time for the dream of a united, happy Guyana|
So we have images of two kinds of law--the regular one with police investigation and court procedures; the other one -that of crime syndicates and the narco criminals.
Courtney expressed his purpose in protesting in these words.
“It is the arrogance of those in authority that motivates me…How can the President profess that they all stand in solidarity with a man who clearly has no respect for the women of his country?”
He went on to say, “If you listen to that tape, it is appalling. I let it play in public transportation that I use every day and people listen to it.”
When asked what he expects will be the result of his picketing exercise, the man told this newspaper that he expects Nandlall would resign at some point. Crum-Ewing expressed that “Guyanese are very aware of the lawlessness and we are fed up… It is just that the political culture does not allow the average Guyanese to express themselves without being victimized.”
We also have an images of a ruling elite from Queen's College and from super rich people. Alyssa Trotz has written in Stabroek News asking which QC image the AG was projecting. Also many outstanding QC students have signed a letter expressing solidarity with their OC comrade Courtney . So on one hand we have a foul mouthed man with no respect for ordinary people and the regular law contrasted with a man who was a patriot and principled.
Courtney's killing happened in a context where a Presidential advisor Kwame Mc Koy twice disrupted meetings designed to bring out more youth voters. Also former President Bharrat Jagdeo urged the present President to 'kick some asses'.
We have images of reckless , crude force. We have pictures of shutting up free expression.
|Courtney Crum-Ewing leading us with determination & courage|
Again an image of the law out of place. The police not doing what was expected in a normal law abiding society.
So Courtney stood alone with a fog horn urging people to come out and vote--to defeat the powers of darkness with love, imagination and creativity. Guyanese have to be clear, firm and courageous. Hold fast to the dream of a united society attracting peace, security and abundance.
Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.