‘Mace protector’ says he’s no hero, just patriot; files complaint with ERC against APNU+AFC MP

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Just one year after he joined the staff at the Parliament of Guyana as the Personal Assistant to the Speaker, Ean McPherson, a 53-year-old former police and army officer, is being hailed as a hero for holding on to the Parliamentary mace after it was grabbed by Opposition Parliamentarians in the National Assembly on Wednesday night.

As he lay on his back, clasping the mace to ensure it wasn’t taken out of the premises, Opposition Parliamentarian Maureen Philadelphia, as was recorded on video, is seen standing over him and shouting the derogatory racial slur “house n**ro.”

McPherson has since filed a complaint with the Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) over the racial and physical assault he endured. But he said he does not see himself as a hero, just a patriot.

“I don’t want to be called a hero. I am a patriotic Guyanese. I was basically doing my job as the Assistant to the Speaker,” he related moments after he filed his complaint at the ERC.

In recalling the incident, McPherson said after he saw opposition Member of Parliament Annette Ferguson grab the Mace, his impulse was to retrieve it and protect it.

Personal Assistant to the Speaker, Ean McPherson clutching the Mace on the floor as tries to prevent it from being stolen

 

“I held on to the mace and I was (flung) to the floor… I overheard people screaming, ‘Kick he! Lash he! Drag he! Let’s throw he over the rail!’”

Despite this, he said he held onto the mace and kept it secured between his legs but that was after he was physically assaulted.

“They throw me on the ground, they kicked me, they dragged me outside and then (Parliamentarian) Philadelphia started to abuse me with a series of racial words.

“… but the one that caught me is ‘house n**ro.” So I prepare a letter and brought it here [ERC] to express my concerns of how I was treated,” he added.

The ERC only has a secretariat and is without a Commission that can take action on the complaint filed by McPherson but he hopes that the matter will be further investigated.

“What I want is for the world to know that it is time we move away from racial slurs and calling people names.”

Further recounting the incident, McPherson said he was harassed by Ferguson and others but he could not recall their names.

“I was kicked in my ribs; my feet will show you where fingernails (were dugged) in because I was literally dragged down the corridors.”

He said there was absolutely no expectation that things would have unfolded as it did, but he was prepared, nevertheless.

“My instinct told me based on their actions that something (was) afoot.”

The Opposition’s protest escalated into what the Speaker condemned as “disrespect for the institution” as the government moved to pass amendments to the Natural Resource Fund Act.

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