Emancipation Day funeral for slain Guyana protesters
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Wednesday August 01, 2012 – A volatile mix of grief and anger is anticipated today when the three Linden men killed in clashes with security forces last month are laid to rest.
Shemroy Bouyea, Ron Somerset and Allan 'Lyndon' Lewis were killed when police opened fire on demonstrators protesting an increase in electricity rates on the Wismar-Mackenzie Bridge, a key conduit to the interior regions, on July 18.
Several of those injured in the confrontation are reportedly still hospitalised, with at least one said to be in serious condition.
The protest stemmed from the government’s move to gradually increase electricity rates in the mining town of Linden to bring them on par with that being paid by the rest of the country.
But with the deaths of the three men, the dynamics of what was originally intended as a five-day protest have now reportedly changed to demands for justice with some residents calling for the police to be charged with murder.
Meanwhile, Region 10 Chairman Sharma Solomon has noted that the issue of compensation for those killed and the more than a dozen injured has been raised with the government and there is a framework to be addressed.
With respect to the funeral arrangements, Solomon indicated that the families of the deceased had planned to have the Square of the Revolution in Georgetown as the first resting place with a second public viewing at the Bayrock Community Centre ground in Linden.
The men will be interred at the Bamia Cemetery, Region 10, Solomon added, noting that there will be one service for the three deceased. Pastor Morris McKinnon will be the officiating minister.
“We’ve also asked for Wednesday to be a day of mourning in Linden. It’s going to be a regional and municipal day of mourning,” the chairman said.