GEORGETOWN, Guyana, CMC – Under the watchful eye of police and army personnel, disgruntled Linden residents continued their demonstration Sunday using tyres to block roads even as some attending a church service gave money to fund the ongoing protests.
Demerara Waves Online news reported that congregants who attended the service held just off the western end of the Demerara Bridge favourably responded to the call from Pastor Selwyn Sills to support the cause.
The news service said some gave as little as GUY$20 (One Guyana Dollar =US$0.004 cents).
Since July 18, Lindeners have virtually shutdown the bauxite mining town to force the government to reverse its decision to cut its subsidy to the Linden Electricity Corporation which would see residents paying more for power.
The residents have also been calling for justice following the fatal shootings of three men during the protests last Wednesday.
On Saturday, President Donald Ramotar, acting on the advice of the Heads of the Joint Services, postponed a scheduled visit to Linden, some 60-odd miles from the capital, Georgetown.
According to the Government Information Agency (GINA), Saturday’s meeting was requested by Linden residents and the President had intended to meet with the Regional Democratic Council and other key community stakeholders including business, church, labour leaders and others in a bid to end the impasse.
But one bauxite worker speaking to Demerara Waves Sunday on condition of anonymity, said residents do not want to meet with the President. They say he has taken too long to visit the town.
Lindeners have been calling on the government to scrap the increase in electricity rates, compensate the families of the three men killed and improve conditions in the town to allow for business development and the creation of jobs.
The government has put on hold the July 1 deadline by which the electricity tariff hike was scheduled to take effect in Linden. A technical team has also been set up to review options to the tariff system.