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GUYANA - W.A.V.E

Permission requested to use information from www.waveguyana.org

SAVE OUR SOCIETY PRESS STATEMENT

A group of women from all walks of life met on Tuesday 21 January 2003, to discuss if there was anything that they could do, to put a stop to the current spate of violence that has ripped all that remains decent and civil, from the very fabric of our society. They are looking for an immediate return to peace and justice, which would protect our children from the ravages of hopelessness and death and promise each citizen a life and a livelihood.

Views were as diverse as the gathering, which encompassed every race, profession, religion, age and socio economic group, but the consensus was that we would assemble at the Cenotaph this Friday, 24 January, 2003 at 12.00pm and invite all women to join us and sign a petition.

Their message is addressed to the political leadership, law enforcement and to the criminal. It is simple.

STOP ALL THE KILLINGS…. NOW!

Beverley Harper
Member of the as yet unnamed Group

Friday January 24th, 2003

As reported in the Stabroek News on 1/25/03

Guyanese women gather for peace
Six hundred sign petition

The women of Guyana added their voice to calls for an end to the bloody crime wave and a return to peace with a gathering around the Cenotaph at lunchtime yesterday. Sending a message to the nation’s leaders, political representatives, law enforcement officials and the criminals, some 400 women of all ages, ethnic and social backgrounds assembled at the Cenotaph outside the Bank of Guyana.

The gathering, which included Minister within the Ministry of Labour, Human Services and Social Security, Bibi Shadick and PNCR parliamentarian Deborah Backer, convened at noon and by the time the protest ended minutes to 1 pm, more than 600 signatures to the peace petition had been gathered.

“We intended to make a point and that’s what we did. [This type of action] will be continuous until the violence ends. The effort was very well supported and we are satisfied with the indications we received that people care,” television personality Andrea McAdam told Stabroek News. Those in attendance linked hands in condemnation of the ongoing violence throughout the country while praying for peace and justice.
A press statement earlier this week said the group is looking for an immediate return to peace and justice in an effort to “protect our children from the ravages of hopelessness and death and promise each citizen a life and a livelihood.”

Another woman, Beverly Harper said, “First and foremost, I was encouraged by the turnout of women from all walks of life and by the number of persons who signed the petition.
It is obvious that everyone is highly frustrated and wants an end to the [situation].” Harper also said it was critical for the approach currently being employed by Guyana’s law enforcement agents to be reviewed as “it is not working.”

Denise Dias described the response as “amazing. It was a great success and it was especially wonderful to see Minister Shadick and MP Deborah Backer there.” Dias also pointed out that children ought to be protected from “the constant death surrounding them. We want peace.”
Others noted that the deportees should be adequately monitored and the importation of and distribution of guns in the country must be reduced. Among those present were representatives of Red Thread, Help and Shelter, Mothers in Black, Women Across Differences and Women Reaching Out.


The group is scheduled to meet again next Tuesday to discussing measures which could be implemented to curb the killings and other forms of violence.

Friday January 24th, 2003

A group of women decided to solicit signatures from artists and academics all over the world to be placed on ADs in the Guyanese newspapers giving the women organizing for peace in Guyana their full support.

Monday January 27th, 2003

This website was launched, emails begain circulating around the internet and the first set of ADs were sent to the press.

Tuesday January 28th, 2003

Ads appeared in the Guyanese newspapers with 78 signatures.



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  Wednesday January 29th, 2003

Press Release

IT IS NO LONGER A CHOICE BETWEEN VIOLENCE AND NON-VIOLENCE!

"It is no longer a choice…between violence and non-violence. It is either non-violence or non-existence.”
Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr., in his last sermon

On Tuesday, January 28, more than 130 women of all races, classes and ages met at the Tower Hotel and decided to work to build a non-party movement of Guyanese women. We affirmed that what unites us is that as care givers, we refuse to accept abstract notions of justice which destroy children. We welcome the support of men who are in solidarity with our determination to organize autonomously against violence.

We are organizing against all violence – and in this spirit, we have named ourselves simply Women Against Violence Everywhere (WAVE).

Our work will be of different kinds. We want to work on the causes of violence and the effects of violence. We will use the media and public demonstrations to fight against the growing numbness to violence, including our own. We will be present and active not only in Georgetown, but everywhere. We will be in touch with families who are victims of violence of all kinds, and will try to respond to their requests for support, both emotional and practical. Whatever capacity we lack now, we will build.

We will organize ourselves into teams and towards this end, each woman at the meeting said what area she wanted to work in: raising money and other resources; organizing demonstrations; coordinating the petition; coordinating overseas support; organizing counseling and concrete practical help; for families who want this kind of support; communications and public relations; finance and budgeting. Each team will meet individually, in person and/or by email and come up with proposals to be put to our next meeting on Tuesday, February 4th.

The meeting also welcomed the several kinds of support that our action has already begun to attract, in particular, the statement signed by 80 artistes and academics overseas, including, Alison Hinds, Rikki Jai, Red Rat, Dave Martins, Sparrow, John Agard, Alissa Trotz, Terence Roopnaraine, Desrey Fox, Pauline Melville.

Finally, we decided that this Friday – January 31, 2003 at 12 midday, we will return to the Cenotaph in even larger numbers and in even greater diversity to raise our cry, “Stop all the Killings Now!” Wear white – the international symbol for peace – if your work permits, but more importantly, whatever colour you wear, come and let us stand together as women for peace.

 
 
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