News Americas, GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Weds. July 15, 2015: It’s been three months now since Courtney Crum Ewing was murdered on the streets in Guyana. His demise drew widespread condemnation from large sections of the society.
The masses in conjunction with the political leaders transformed his funeral into carnival of protest. That moment may have had something to do with the collective energy that would make May 11th a historic day.
The then government instructed the police to leave no stone unturned in the pursuit of the killer or killers. Many pointed to a political motive. The then opposition vowed to find the killers if the assume office. Civil Society lifted their voices.
At the time, I chided all of us for remaining silent when Courtney was alive and doing his protest against wrongs in high places. I still feel that way. There is something about Guyana and the rest of the Anglophone Caribbean that prevents us from waging relentless struggles in defence of our rights and dignity. We come alive only after the extreme has been done to us. And then we go back to sleep.
This is exactly the case with the Courtney Crum Ewing issue. Apart from Kaieteur News, which launched a fund and recently handed over the proceeds to Courtney’s mother, the brother’s sacrifice has become a victim of that sickness I referred to above.
A few weeks ago, as she was leaving the venue where a group of us had met to celebrate the birthday of a young activist, Courtney’s mother approached me. She asked me to use my voice to help bring justice for her son. She spoke in a quiet and dignified tone, but her frustration was evident.
On Friday last, I briefly joined a picketing exercise mounted by his parents and friends at the corner of Middle and Carmichael streets to draw attention to the fact that there is still no justice for Courtney. As I approached the picket line, I was struck by the small number of picketers. Then I saw Courtney’s mother standing in the line, picket in hand. I went straight to her and apologized for up till that time not honoring my promise to do something to highlight her plight. I had started to talk about it on the Walter Rodney Groundings program but time had run out. This commentary is part of honoring that promise I made to her.
The few of us on that picket line looked like a lonely bunch. Others passed in their cars or on foot and a few curiously looked at us. One or two stopped to enquire what the picket was about. The majority went about their business as if we didn’t exist. Absent was the huge crowd that attended Courtney’s funeral. The politicians were nowhere in sight. It felt lonely. The media, it seems, could not be bothered; they were absent. Oh what a place of short memory! We martyred Crum Ewing and the forgot him!.
Will there be justice for Courtney Crum Ewing? I am told his partisan preference was the AFC. We know he died urging support for the APNU+AFC Coalition. The Coalition is in office now. Courtney’s killers are walking free. Why must the blood of poor people always be shed in vain?
While on the picket line, I stole a few glances at Courtney’s mother and I saw the loneliness in her demeanour. It could have been my mother in her place. I walked across to her again and asked if she and her husband would appear on Cuffy250’s TV show, African Drums, heard on Channel 9 on Sundays at 8 p.m., to speak about justice for her son. She agreed. I have arranged for the interview to be aired this Sunday.
Dr. David Hinds, a political activist and commentator, is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Caribbean and African Diaspora Studies at Arizona State University. More of his writings and commentaries can be found on his YouTube Channel Hinds’ Sight: Dr. David Hinds’ Guyana-Caribbean Politics and on his website www.guyanacaribbeanpolitics.com. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.