Dec 13, 2017  Features / ColumnistsFreddie Kissoon

 I grew up hearing about the violence of the sixties. Like any little kid, you digest what the elder ones say around you. When I became a teenager, these things I digested didn’t make sense to me. I entered UG and started to immerse myself in different perspectives on my country’s history. I rejected many of the things I heard around my home when I was a little boy.
Here are three examples that were not only illogical, but extremely weird. I was told that the ‘Son Chapman’ boat that blew up and killed over forty African Guyanese was the work of the PNC cadres who were taking bombs to Mackenzie. My research informed me that the ‘Son Chapman’ was a manifestation of tit-for-tat between the Indian PPP and the African PNC.
Prior to the destruction of the ‘Son Chapman’, Indians were badly beaten in the riots at Mackenzie. Indian women were raped, men killed and homes destroyed. It seems the bombing of the ‘Son Chapman’ was a revenge act.
Secondly, I was indoctrinated to believe that the arson that killed Arthur Abraham – the Permanent Secretary of Premier Cheddi Jagan – and seven of his nine children, was the work of The United Force, that was making bombs at Abraham’s home. My research led me to think that Abraham was targeted for alleged secrets he passed on to The United Force, of which his daughter was a big leader.
Finally, the editor, Peter Taylor, of a popular newspaper, the Argosy, that was a thorn in the side of Premier Jagan, was almost assassinated at his home. I grew up hearing that was done to blame the PPP Government. It didn’t make sense for any opposition party to kill a nationally effective anti-government editor that was one of their main vehicles. I eventually got to know who were the two men sent to kill Taylor, and who was the female in the PPP leadership that sent them. One of the two men was a close relative of mine.
All three explanations offered to me when I was growing up were nonsense. In the sixties, the PPP leaders were committing acts of violence against PNC targets, the PNC leaders were committing acts of violence against government personnel and PPP cadres. There was no complex situation to tax your brain. It was as simple as that. Maybe if I had remained a nonentity in Wortmanville without any education at all (I left school at the primary level and never saw a high school door) I still would have believed that indoctrination of an all-embracing, angelic PPP.
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I got to know more about the PPP as I continued at UG and became active with the WPA, and as I got to know Dr. Jagan, Mrs. Jagan and other PPP leaders. I never thought in my years from thereon (as a UG student onwards) that the PPP as a party and its leaders were a respectable, principled, humane outfit. I lived to see the PPP hold power in Guyana for twenty-three years, and it was a frightening moment in my life. I almost lost my life twice, was hunted out of my UG job, and my wife was victimized.
The victimization of my wife at her GO-Invest job (the new APNU+AFC administration should have reinstated her, but more on that later) is an evil I will never forget or forgive the PPP for. I saw the violent nature of the PPP leaders in those twenty-three years, and I knew those myths about it being innocent victims of PNC’s violence were appalling, sickening fictions.
The PPP is a violent party. It cannot reform and will not reform. It is in my opinion, an irredeemable animal.
The treatment the President received two weeks ago when he addressed Parliament came as no surprise to me. The violent action that greeted the police as they moved to escort Juan Edghill out of the House did not surprise me. The PPP was violent when it was in power; it will remain violent even now that it is out of power. I sincerely believe that the PPP will oppose the government through acts of violence. It will happen. It happened throughout the reign of Forbes Burnham when sugar estates were constantly torched.
What Edghill did, and what the PPP Parliamentarians did was merely acting out the nature of the beast. I saw video clips with PPP parliamentarians hitting policemen. If the State does not confront those violent acts and charge those two parliamentarians, then worse is yet to come.