President of Black Lives Matter (BLM) Brooklyn, New York, Mr. Anthony Beckford, today slammed what he called “the kidnapping of Afro-Guyanese journalist Gavin Matthews” by Guyana Police on direction from the PPP government.
According to opinion writer for the Village Voice newspaper, Ronald Austin, Jr., Matthews was snatched from his home where he aired anti-government sentiments via social media. He was highlighting the unlawful detention of several Afro-Guyanese Guyana Election Commission (GECOM) employees who have been held by police beyond the constitutionally allowed period.
The employees have also been denied access to their Attorneys. Matthews was calling on citizens to protest the oppression of the employees.
The Guyana constitution allows for police to detain a person only for 72 hours. Thereafter after they must be charged or released. 72 hours have passed since Matthews was “kidnapped” by police from his home. However, he has not been released or taken before a Magistrate, in violation of the constitution.
Thousands of citizens have taken to social media demanding that Guyana Police Force explain why Mathews has been detained and his constitutional and human rights deliberately violated.
In his statement Beckford asserted that “The blatant racism and injustice taking place in Guyana right now is deplorable and disgusting. I condemn the actions and agenda of the Government of Guyana. Violating the civil and human rights of Afro-Guyanese is both racist and equal to the actions that Donald Trump takes against Black people in general.” He noted that Trump’s racist actions towards Afro Americans, Afro-Caribbean and Afro-Latinos are “mimicked by his cult followers in the US and around the world.
“I am calling for the immediate release of Gavin Matthews whose rights were clearly violated out of retaliation and the release of all who have been unlawfully taken and falsely charged by the PPP. I am sending out the call to all Afro-Guyanese people in Guyana and throughout the diaspora to stand strong and to push back against all attempts to silence them,” the BLM President said.
Beckford also said that “Not only am I the President of Black Lives Matter Brooklyn, but I am also a Community Leader and City Council Candidate in the Flatbush / East Flatbush area of Brooklyn, where many of my constituents are Afro-Guyanese and I stand with them here as I stand with those still in Guyana.
“It is time for a change and time to push out all of these racists and bigoted eaders and political parties out of our communities, cities, parishes and countries,” Beckford contended.
Beckford’s statement came instantly after the President of the New York based Caribbean Guyana Institute for democracy (CGID), Mr. Rickford Burke, dispatched a note regarding Matthews’ unlawful arrest and detention to several African American Members of the United States Congress. Burke told the Members of Congress that Matthews was arrested because he exposed the PPP’s racist plan to falsely charge only black GECOM employees with made up crimes.
The CGID President added that Matthews also reported on the excessive measures taken by police to shut down the areas around the Georgetown Magistrate’s court for Region 4 Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo to appear in court Monday on trumped up charges.
Burke, who posted his note on Facebook, said that according to press reports, the arrest of all Afro-Guyanese GECOM employees “is a blatant attempt to “dismantle” the GECOM staff ahead of the APNU-AFC elections petition. He noted that Opposition Leader Joseph Harmon was correct that the Afro-Guyanese population in Guyana was under siege.
Burke told the Congress Members that the PPP “is an existential threat to Afro-Guyanese! He too demanded the immediate release of Matthews. Burke also slammed acting Police Commissioner Nigel Hoppie as a houseslave who is allowing the racist PPP government to use black members of the Guyana Police Force to attack its black political enemies in the APNU-AFC coalition party.
Burke’s note was sent to Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Congresswoman Yvette Clarke and Congresswoman Barbara Lee