Red Thread and others protest in support of people in Linden, Guyana

 protest_linden_guyana.jpgWPA wants negotiation on Linden electricity rate-hike 
Written by Denis Scott Chabrol
Thursday, 12 July 2012

The Working Peoples Alliance (WPA) on Thursday- spearheading a protest by Red Thread and A Partnership for National Unity (APNU)-demanded that government goes to the negotiating table over the electricity rate hike in Linden.

The demand was issued by WPA’s executive member, Professor David Hinds from the picket line of about 100 persons outside President Donald Ramotar’s office on Vlissengen Road.
Opposition Leader, David Granger said two days ago he has written the Guyanese leader, urging that he intervenes in the matter.

Reiterating that Linden is faced with 70 percent unemployment and is being discriminated against because residents there voted overwhelmingly for the opposition, he urged government to go to the bargaining table.

“Our motto in the WPA is ‘not a damn cent more,” said Hinds as it relates to the rate hike from July 1.

The WPA veteran recommended that Prime Minister Hinds, who is responsibility for the electricity sector, joins with the leaders of the Alliance For Change (AFC), A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and the Speaker of the National Assembly, Raphael Trotman go to Linden and meet with their leadership in the presence of residents.

“We think that is where the solution has to be. We are for negotiation. We are saying that the government must stop and negotiate,” he said. “That is deepening democracy and let the Linden people have a say in what is going to happen with their situation.”

The opposition and Region 10 administration are demanding that a better investment climate be create to attract businesses and create employment.

For its part, government has said that is being done already and points to progress in the wood and agriculture sectors.

Since government announced earlier this year that it would be slashing the electricity sector, there have been protests and meetings in Linden and Georgetown. Several residents on Wednesday blocked the main entrance to the Chinese owned Bosai Minerals bauxite plant which generates and sells electricity to the town.

Red Thread's Karen De Souza told Demerara Waves Online News ( that her organisation decided to join the anti-rate-hike protest because women and children are being affected.