- As GFC demands vaccination cards from loggers before offering their services.
As the government zeroes in on putting into effect its ‘no vaccination, no entry’ policy, scores of loggers, teachers and residents in the Upper Berbice District on Thursday, took to the streets of Kwakwani with placards expressing their dissatisfaction with the government’s mandatory vaccination policy.
The protest erupted following the enforcement of the policy by the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC). The policy outlines that no business will be conducted or no services will be extended to any logger or members of logging associations if they are not vaccinated.
Derrick Daniels, Chairman of the Upper Berbice Forest and Agricultural Producers Association (UBFAPA), on Thursday told INFO 10 that it is very discouraging to the logging sector, particularly that of the Sub-region, since the bauxite industry is now dead, which resulted in residents gravitating to forestry. With this policy, loggers are now fearful that the industry will crumble, which will further cripple the communities’ economy in the Upper-Berbice District.
“The entire community depends on logging. The loggers support the local shops, all the taxies depend on the loggers at the end of the day; so if the businesses cannot withstand, our community will be at a standstill,” Daniels said.
Daniels also added that “this is not a political fight but a fight for our freedom of choice and I will not support a government that dictates his people. No to dictatorship, no to mandatory vaccines, let us have the freedom of choice to choose!”.
Meanwhile, a teacher from the Kwakwani Secondary School affirmed that “we are free to go to the polls and elect whether it be APNU or PPP we want in power, but now when it is time for a vaccine, you don’t have a choice? It can’t work, you can’t take away my freedom of choice, ” he affirmed to loud applause.
During an outreach by RDC Councillor, Mark Goring and Member of Parliament Devin Sears, loggers pled with them to make the necessary representation so that their livelihood will not be affected by the policy.