Closing Channel 6 is way of trying to shut up poor people
Stabroek News – April 14, 2008
We are writing this early on Saturday morning to strongly condemn the decision by the President to close down Channel 6.
Closing down Channel 6 is a way of trying to shut us up as poor people. Mr. Sharma’s station gave poor women and men a voice. Poor people are suffering and the Voice of the People was our main avenue for expressing this. Day after day people have been telling the stories of our suffering on Channel 6 and we never heard anything back from the President but as soon as a poor woman said something threatening in her frustration he suddenly got interested. How sad!
The lives of poor women are under threat every single day. Look at the burdens of the economic situation. Look at all the violence around us. We the poor people are the ones facing this every single day of our lives. We have no protection whatsoever.
Closing down Channel 6 is a big threat to poor people’s livelihoods. How are the workers of Channel 6, some of whom are single mothers, supposed to provide for their families for the next four months? Has the President taken this into consideration? Has he taken steps to provide alternatives for those workers who have families to feed and children to send to school? Taking bread out of the mouth of poor mothers and their families is a crime against them. It is not Mr. Sharma’s fault that the woman who called in made threats against the President. He did not tell her what to say. That is how she felt and she expressed her feelings. How could he have known what she would have said? How could he have prevented her from saying what she said? He apologized for re-broadcasting her statement and his apology was accepted by the relevant committee. That is where the matter should have ended!
We urge the President to rethink his action. We invite him to take time off his Presidential seat and put his feet in the shoes of us the poor people, especially women, who have to fight very hard with meagre incomes and a very high cost of living. Who have to live every day in fear of all the killings around us. Who have to try in spite of it all to hold our families together with children and the elderly who are traumatised. If you would honestly, Mr. President, put your feet in our shoes for a day, you will feel where it hurts and you would understand the frustration of a poor, fed up angry mother, grandmother, aunt, sister – the frustration of every one of us caregivers who through our caring work are holding this economy and this society up and not getting any benefits for it, only more and more burdens.
We want to say to every Guyanese – this time, don’t let us be satisfied with grumbling to each other that what the President has done is shameful; let us do something about it.