GAWU, yet again joins in the national celebration marking the one hundred and seventy-seventh (177th) anniversary of the emancipation of the forefathers of our African Guyanese citizenry. This has become a joyful tradition and one which holds great significance for us. Freedom from physical bondage which brought on unspeakable brutality and exploitation spawned by colonialism/capitalism was undoubtedly a step along the way to our independence, the breaking of the colonial relationships and the forging of a Guyanese nation.
It must be noted that freedom in 1838 was won and attained from the heroic and self-sacrificing struggles of the slaves. Today, we must not only embrace those struggles but they should inspire us as a people to jealously guard our independence and our general sovereignty in times when renewed efforts are being, more and more, seen to re-establish colonial relations in various regions of the world.
The Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) recognizes the major contribution of the descendants of those freed African slaves in the continuous development of Guyana and in all areas of our country’s life – sport, culture, politics, security, foreign service. So many have received acclaim regionally and internationally too.
Not only our Afro-Guyanese citizens but, indeed, our country has come a far way in these past 176 years. We overcame many hurdles, much of which have been rooted in the intrigues of the colonialists and their local collaborators. In our celebration, therefore, we should take pride in the progress made against all odds and let our achievements motivate us all to reach yet greater heights and record other sparkling achievements for our individual lives, our family and in our society as a whole.
Though our times are serious and challenging, we can draw strength and heed the lessons from our forefathers – our hopes for a better life, society and world are realizable in our unity and principled struggles.
Happy Emancipation Day!
It is a day for Celebration of All Guyanese!