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No. 9 SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 28th, 1970
Tickets now available for our $1.50
on Saturday October 10th
DRUMS FROM A LOST PAST St. James Drummers.
BERTIE MARSHALL Electronic Pan AFRO-PATOIS SONG Ti Jean
plus SOUL FROM A BIG, BIG "OX
All in the Moonlight at the TAPIA HOUSE.
91 Tunapuna Road, Tunapuna
One ag it a million
The flatIe of public opinion is alight ali over the
land. Th(l Pussonal Nonarch is done for. It is
power to thepeople. We are ready now for the
Constiluent Assembly. (Sec Page 3).
ST,.-IA'S ANNIVERSARY P. 5-8
* MOW FOR NOW POLITICS P. 2
* ANR & HUDSON P. 9 RESEARCH INSTITUTE'
STRWDAD CARNIVAL P. 4 FOR THE STUDy OF M
162 EAST 78 STREI
, E:.-C:OIMICS P. 10 NEW YORK 21, N. ,
I CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY P. 3 2 r7
TO T PEOPLE
Council of Christian Churches.
Islamic Missionary Guild.:
Sanatan Dbaroit Mw%; Sabha.
Hilet. P1jriir d.
WO: I i-'
F 4aritraef Woai nirnstiP ui.n u
L.eage of Womnea Votors
Coterie of Social W'orkors,
The Sleehands' Association
Catholic Teachexs Association.
AWnilicaT Teachers AssotCiation.
The Bar Assa:-.Aiti s
The Law Society.
The T;inidaid & Tobago Modical. A;suciEa-
Thue assuciatiAolnofProfes irai EagiersT
The Prcsi Club.
A group of Sevyn Lawyyrn.
A Second Group of Seven Lawyers.
The Southern ComnAtte of iLgal Prac-
People's National Movem:.at
Democratic Laboir Pa.t,.
Workers and Farmers Party.
D,:mocrati- Liberation Pary.
United National Independence Party.
Trinidad ard Tobago Labour Congress,
Caribbean Congre-ss of Lab ur.
Oilfield Workers Trade. Union.
Transpori and Industrial Workers.
Union of Foods. Hotels and industry al
The Unempluye2a J Unl ere rployed Uionc
% OF ELECTORATE
'- TAPIA, No. 2, Oct. i969
African Unity Brothers of St. Anns.
Southern Liberation Movement of San
Universal Movement for the Reconstruc-
tion of Black Identity.
Black Liberation Organization of Charmp,.
National Freedom Organisation of Arouca
Afro Turf Limers of San Juan.
African Cultural Association of St James.
Joint Action Committee of St. James.
National African Cultural Organisation of
National Joint Action Committee
Vilgilantes of Success Village,Laventiile
Progressive Youth League of Morvant.
Mt. Hope -Mt. Lambert Youth Movement.
Liberation Brotherhood of Santa Flora.
National Youth Council.
National Association of Village Councils.
The Consumers'. Association.
Federation of Industry and Commerce.
Trinidad Chamber of Commerce.
Small Businessmen Association.
Junior Chamber International.
Trinidad & Tobago Agricultural society
Trinidad Island Wide Cane Farmers As-
Federation of Agricultural and Fishfla
Guild of Graduates.
W I Group of University Teachers.
j When over centralized regimes crack-up and new movements begin to
arrive on the political stage, the rulers panic. If the new movements have
no capacity for organisation, they fade away as quickly as they come. The
Caesar then breathes a sigh of relief and reverts from his flutter of dis-
quiet, back to the vacuous rituals and the habitual claptrap.
If the new movements do have the energy, the will and the intelligence
to organise, the tin god cannot return to the settled routines. The com-
munities begin to stir, lighting flames throughout the land. Fire for the
Caesar to out.
TAPIA No. 1, Sept. 1969
- PNM SUPPORT
% OF ELECTORATE '
I -- -- -T --- --p
TAPIA, No. 1, Sept 1969
$ I n a . ,
~a~a~r~s~lh~~~rsr*16 --~ -r ~,,~,~,,~i~sa~.ra~racfAarp~~~s~i~a~a~! ~y~j~i~
P'agte 2 T.XPIA ANNl\ ['FLS R'
NOW FOR NOW POLITICS
' Change can therefore onl be brought
..about by a Moses inspired fromthe
mount or by the; Government. The an-
swer all problems is to find a leader
who can get control of the Government.
This-is'a dangerous illusion and has to
be shattered if we are to make any real
The answer is of course, that office
is less important thanthework. If the
work is sharpening perceptions, raising
standards of public analysis, winning ex-
perience of organisation, knowledge of
self, andconfidenceinthevalue of initiative
and dedication, the population will be
better able to deal with any monkey
business on the part of government.
It isnot easy to admit. But we have
not yet succeeded in creating a po-
litical organisation which could
transform the quality of this coun-
try's life into something more noble
and more humane. In 1956. that
wasi the great promise which Wil-
liams heldout. But it is a promise
which has remained unfulfilled.
The question now is whether the
same thing isn't going to happen
again. Will we have another Wil-
liams? Will we permit ourselves
another Messianic delusion? Is it.
in short, another case of "the
King is dead, long live the King"?
After years of despairing passi-
vity, the citizens are stirring once
again in quest of change. It is the
pundits who are hanging back as if
they wanted mere succession. Who,
they have already started specula-
ting, will the next King be? And
how will he cop the throne?
We cannot afford to spend our
time reflecting on these phony ques-
tions.Which is not to say that we
should fail to ask what alliances and
compromises there might be; or
what lobbying and horse-trading
is now taking place. That, we know,
is the very salt of politics. And the
pepper, we concede, is in the crea-
:ion of favourable images, in the
manipulation of the media, and in
the finding of immediate solutions
of very urgent problems.
But politics, in the civilisation
that we are trying to build, has to
be much, much more than that. If
it is just a matter of trick and dirt,
what case is there for changing
what we have? But if it is a case of
asking: deals and trades and lob-
bies for what? then we are onto
something else. Yes, politics also
has to deal with the kind of unity
that will allow us to move our
At no time has the parliamentary
opposition shown any concern for
politics of this particular kind. The
DLP, in all its rich variety of
scope, has never uttered one single
statement which comprehends the
larger issues of our time. It has just
been one unending tale of wedding
and divorce, of cote-ci and cote-la.
Beyond the farce of Parliament,
it is very much the same. We
have come to look with favour
on instant alternatives. Even CLR
James, who has taught us so much
about political participation, could
not find the patience to continue
working for steady organic change.
In 1966, he fell for the strategy of
an instant takeover by an instant
The Government is playing the
A party is a bridge from the people
Sto the State. It specialises in full-time
politics. It must therefore possess worldng
machinery among the people as well as
the means to run the Gocernnient.
When such a thing exists. it is highly
visible; it does not have to be proclaimed.
Constituency organisation, programmes
to deal with national problems and men
equipped to run the government cannot
be concealed behind '-discreet organi-
Nor can a party be confused with
a crowd in the public square. This we
have been taught by the PNM, and no
cheap imitation can hope so quicklyto
unlearn us. Still more, a party is not
to be confused with a bunch of govern-
ment mercenaries in disguise, staging
exercises in the constituencies,
identical game. The King is dead
since April 21st; but can he not
be resurrected? For this the elixir
is more and larger doctor-books.
True, the Government's TV, Ra-
dio and other agencies of culture
are completely empty of any genu-
ine intellectual concern? But the
intellectual "image" is still the
And then there is "national recon-
struction" and Perspectives for the
New Society", 14 years too late. In-
stant coffee, instant tea! Instant
confidence in the people! And in-
stant morality, too. No resignations
of principle for 13 long years but
now Hudson's resignation in just 13
short hours. Ominous! The resigna-
tion is refused. The AG has the con-
fidence of the Head of Government.
But whose confidence does the
In the new party opposition, the
strategy revolves around a fund of
$250,000 presumably for buying
constituency apparatus. Millette
seems to think that a party can be
created by announcing that it exists
and then hoping that people will
join it. He seems to think that the
less one brings real issues into the
job of getting elected, the better.
So MOKO is empty, the party lead-
ers are afraid to declare themselves,
and the programme is left for later.
Only the "work" of building the
party goes on like the whistling
in the dark.
The ex-Crown Prince, ANR, is
also working hard. Working on his
"image" or rather on his images.
The image of "The Kennedy of
Trinidad & Tobago"; the image
of the "conscience of the PNM";
the image of a "leader of the
the youth"; and of course the
equally transparent image of the
international political scientist-doc-
This frenzied nothingness is os-
tensibly carried on for the pur-
pose of forming parties. But the
real point that it is making is that
the important thing is "leaders."
Robinson has written nothing of
any significance, built nothing.
done nothing for fourteen years.
He is merely an expert "leader.'
The pretensions of all these
second-class imitations of Williams
are totally out of joint with the
present thinking of the country.
The movement of February got sup-
port precisely because people
thought it could be led from below.
And this gap between "leaders" and
The making of messiahs
people defines the crisis we are in.
It makes the Fall of April the most
important crossroads in our history.
The Press is also lagging behind
the country. The dailies notably
the Express did provide the
forum in which the public tore
the Public 0-der Bill to shreds; but
there are still too many columns
and editorials which are seeking
the instant solution.
Even the Vanguard thinks that
"whether this country goes for-
ward or not now depends on the
outcome of the confrontation" be-
tween Williams and "Comrade"
ANR Robinson. Robinson, says
the Vanguard, will take with him
a substantial number of PNM mem-
bers, especially the young.
Which members? Which young ?
Does the Vanguard not realise that
the PNM hardly exists; that there
are no young people in it; and that
the young people of this country
support Robinson only in the Madi-
son Avenue world of publicity
which is so sedulously created
by his image-makers.
The struggle between ANR Rob-
inson and Williams is irrelevant;
the struggle which will count is the
struggle between all of these ONE's
and the other million of us.
This is the background against
which we must assess the political
prospect. The political sums with
which Hiralal Bajnath seeks to en-
tertain us are too innocent of poli-
tical analysis to matter. It takes no
analytical power to divvy up seats
in the House.
Once we start serious analysis,
even the Express runs into trouble.
An Editorial has argued that pub-
lic consciousness may take time
to develop to the point of another
leap toward" and that, "in the
interim, the show must go on"; that,
it is for the reigning King to
"cater for the new consciousness."
But the whole point is that the
"Great Leap" of 1956 has never
materialised. What Williams created
was the electoral machine of a
Doctor, not a party controlled by
the community. This was what
James tried to tell us in "Party
Politics in the West Indies." We
did not listen then least of all
Robinson,who is now "disillusion -
ed" with the party, but was one
of the main hatchet-men in the re-
moval of CLR.
In any case, it is the very notion
of a "Great Leap" that must go.
Change can only be organic. Any-
thing else is "heaven". So it follows
that the whole idea of "an interim"
is false. The "next round" is always
here in the sense that we have to
be working for it now or else
"this round" will continue indefini-
tely. And the work for now is to
found a serious alternative to the
whole regime by taking our politi-
cal out of the league of Kings and
integrating into the lives of the
people. This can only mean the
organisation of community work.
The Public Order Bill has already
shown that the Government will
have to do whatever we say so
long as the community is mobilised
to claim our legitimate rights.
Less than two years ggo Wally
Look Lai argued in the Express
that the New World split re-opened
the same issue which James had
raised: the issue of political or-
ganisation for change. Behind the
Best-Millette 'split' lies the
choice: people's party or doctor
machinery? open discussion or
backroom manipulation? commu-
nity organisation or crowd engineer-
The issue is today more alive than
ever. We take our stand behind the
position which first brought Ta-
pia into this world. It is no argu-
ment against our position that both
James (1966) and Look Lai (1970)
ultimately succumbed tp pessimism.
They both lost patience in the face
of the enormity of the task and the
philistinism of their time.
We in Tapia take hope in the
real changes of perception which
have come about during and since
the February Revolution. We will
never desist from trying to lift our
politics above the manoeuvrings
and posturings of the kingmakers
and the would-be kings. To the ex-
tent that we succeed, it will be a
matter of "the king is dead; long
live the people!"
Williams has been taking over the
programmes and the language of this
movement, but he cannot copy the way
of living and relating. He does not have
the moral authority to adopt our pro-
grammes because the implementation re-
quires dedication and sacrifice on a scale
he could never command.
TAPIA, No. 4, Dec. 1969
at 8.00 pm
.. FREE AND OPEN DISCUSSION
91, TUNAPUNA ROAD,
,_.1 3~ '--r
We are ready now for a
6 The work ahead of us then, is to establish an
organisation capable not merely of filling the power
vacuum but also of bringing fundamental social change.
Needless to say, this cannot be brought about by the
conventional politics of parties. We need instead to
convene a Constituent Assembly in order to pull the
country together and to establish an informal
government. The present government is irrelevant and
Should be left behind its palace walls. Let the affairs of
the country be conducted in public and the issues of
state be subjected to discussion full and frank and free.
We have been delaying frank discussion and
sell-criticism in the mistaken belief that we must not
rock the boat while the movement is "succeeding"; that
it would be disloyal to the revolution to call for
tightening up. for planning and thought, for democratic
organisation and for genuine community representation.
But we had better quickly disabuse ourselves of this
calamitous idiocy. I
TAPIA No. 7, April 1970
FOR four years now the nation has been in the throes
qf a constitutional crisis. The February Revolution
was its culmination. The formal political system has
collapsed. The economic strategies of the past fourteen
years have failed to break the metropolitan strangle-
hold and redress the historical imbalances. The result
o( the twin crises has been mass alienation. The entire
regime is discredited. We are ready for a new departure.
The question is where do we go from here on?
The historical background to the constitutional crisis
is a long tradition of Crown Colony Government and
constitutional change imposed from above: 1925, 1946,
Until now, public participation has counted for very
little. We have always confused government with
Starting at Arima on 24 August, 1969 we of the Tapia
House have constantly been discussingthe matter publicly.
We have put forwardproposals for sweeping constitutional
changes. Our proposals seek to achieve a very high
level of popular participation in government and in
A radical decentralisation of authority and
The development of community activity. We are
seeking to subject the State to the sovereignty of the
The popular signals are crystal clear. The nation
has opted for democracy. A new basis for the creation
of a genuine democratic state is coming into being.
Notice the number of community groups which partici-
pated in the February Revolution. Notice, too, the num-
ber of groups and interests which participated in the
recent public debate on the Public Order Bill in spite
of the State of Emergency. The people have become aware
of their power. Grassroots organisation is proceeding
at a furious pace. A new consciousness has been born.
People are taking positions on issue after issue; in-
terests are being clearly identified but not within the
existing institutions of government or within the phony
parties which represent the old regime.
We now have to start from scratch and build.
A Constituent Assembly a national meeting of rep-
resentatives from all groups and interests is the first
step out of the present impasse. The ConstituentAssem-
bly will be an informal "government." Itmustbe charged
with the responsibility of drafting a new constitution,
a constitution which will reflect the need for popular
participation and guarantee the protection of the citizen
from the encroachments of an overmighty State. The
Constituent Assembly itself will be our first formal exer-
cise in participatory politics.
Open discussion will go beyond the constitutional
issue. It will embrace all other fundamental issues
affecting the nation. Of course, there will be some con-
fusion in the initial stages; then, too, there are likely to
be conflicts and some horse-trading. But at the end of
a free and open discussion, a basic consensus will be
reached a consensus about the type of constitutional
Arrangements and about the type of economy and society
New political alignments, based on clearly defined
TAPIA ANNIVERSARY Page 3
SThe act of political organization must
be a discussion a discussion in-public -
about how the population is going to salv-
age itself by its own efforts, about how,
we are going to win our manhood back
from the brutalizations of imperial and
TAPIA No. 6, March 1970
interests and issues, will almost certainly be formed.
For the first time in this country constitutional change
will be initiated from below and notby colonial officials,
party conventions, cabinet meetings and rigged
Queen's Hall discussions. Who will summon this Consti-
tuent Assembly? Not the Government and not Williams
Only the people can do it. When the state breaks down
only the people have the moral authority to set it up
And how will the people do it? through the wide
range of community groups functioning in the country.
The large number of people who clearly are convinced
of the need for fundamental change, and who perceive
the new possibilities must now collaborate in organis-
ing this vitally necessary national conversation. A CON-
STITUENT ASSEMBLY IS THE ONLY MEANSBY WHICH
THE PRESENT NATIONAL CRISIS CAN BE PEACE-
FULLY AND DEMOCRATICALLY RESOLVED. We can
expect nothing but old-time politics to come from an
Interim Government of old-time political hacks.
The next step fair electoral procedure having
been agreed on at the Constituent Assembly will be
the holding of elections. The new government will then
win a true mandate and can then be entrusted with the
task of implementing the economic and social reforms
decided upon at the Constituent Assembly and approved
by the electorate.
4 Nothing could be more revolutionary in this
country than planned advance, and nothing
more subversive of the revolution than the lack
of democratic discussion. 9
TAPIA No. 7, April 1970
BLACK POWER & NATIONAL
BLACK POWER IN HUMAN SONG
Syl L owhar.
Lloyd Taylor & Lloyd Best
THE FINANCIAL STEWARDSHIP OF
WILLIAMS AND ROBINSON:
Thirteen Years Of Xmas.
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Page 4 TAPIA ANNIVERSARY
MAS' IN YUH MORSE
GEORGE BAILEY, the hero of our Carnival, died recently
while coming back from a Government mission abroad
to encourage tourists to visit this country. He left
among his relics a boutique and a host of victories.
In the celebrations yet to come, when his band takes
the stage, the memory of the man might be revived
through his imagination. But the lanky, charming figure
will never be seen leading -his columns triumphantly
through the cheering crowds.
It was in 1959 that he first attracted
public notice with his realistic a n d
relevant presentation of 'Back to Africa'.
His Zambesi warriors with spears, beads,
and bones pranced through the streets
shreiking. He rode to success on the
wave of black consciousness prevailing
at the time.
But that was a dawn of hope and ex-
pectation, the age of Bandung. The current
despair and disappointment inwhichBlack
Power. lies imprisoned must have been
very painful to him. His death marks a
veritable end of a decade.
All over the world through history
Carnival has had a social function. In
ancientGreeceit was prolonged bachannal
to induce the God Dionysus to bring
fertility to the soil so that the crop
would be plentiful. Greek drama a n d
theatre developed from this ritual.
Most European Festivals.were of the
same kind. Many of the great symphonies
of composers such as Beethoven might
be traced to such pastoral origins.
Invariably, Carnival as a culture is
related to nature. Primitive societies
believed that by imitating trees and
animals, sun and moon, they could in-
duce natural phenomena. This festival
was seen as a means of bringing about
favourable seasons for growing crops and
However, inTrinidad and Tobago, there
is no such relationship between society
and the environment Any possibilities
for this which lay in early Carib feasts
have been destroyed; they have been
wholly taken over by the Catholics in
the name of Santa Rosa. Our willingness
to belittle whatever is native has demo-
Trinidad Carnival is notorious for
its connotations of class. To understand
what happened we must go back to the
early period of colonisation. From the
discovery to the capture of Trinidadbythe
British the island was a deserted outpost.
Later on came the French, largely in
response to the Cedula of Population, the
offer by the Spanish crown to grant 30
acres of land to every white immigrant,
and a further 15 acres for everyone of his
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with the down-to-eoath price
slaves. The French therefore had much
to celebrate, and they did so in a carnival
which took the form of house to house re-
velling from midnight at Christmas to Ash
Wednesday. The parang and the serenal
are still to be found among the older folk
of Spanish and patois-speaking tongues.
According to Marx there are always
competing cultures in a society, and the
dominant culture generally reflects the
values of the ruling class. It is their
religion, their art, etc. which operate
to subordinate the masses. In support
of this theory the Guyanese historian
Elsa Goveia has shown the extent to
which creole values from the French
planter class came to gain currency
among the slaves and their descendants.
But Orlando Patterson, th e Jamaican
sociologist has pointed out, and quite
rightly, that in the Caribbean the trans-
mission of values has been a two-way
process; the slaves also had a marked
influence on the culture of the ruling
class, In no way has this crossing of
culture been more dramatised than in
carnival; in the rivalry between 'ole mas'
and 'expensive mas'; between Miss Ebony
and the Jaycees queen; between balls and
road marches; brass band and steel band,
Marine Square and the Grand Savannah.
In every nation there is always an
orthodox culture reinforcing established
values, and a subversive culture striving
to change them. When Chalkdustdescribes
calypso as the 'grass-roots of our cul-
ture', he is not being frivolous. He is
protesting against false standards, not
the least of which is the hypocrisy which
allows people to jump like they mad
before lent begins, and then dump pan
and song like rubbish behind the bridge.
It must be remembered that at one
time in Trinidad blacks outnumbered
whites by seven to one. In their state
of insecurity the whites had to devise
methods of survival. Intuitively perhaps
they saw in carnival a convenient device
to keep the slaves under control and to
ensure that they did not revolt.
How was this play produced and di-
rected? The French whites blackened
themselves with molasses, and played
devil to the beat of African drums:
'diable molassie, play the devil;
diable molassie, PLAY DEVIL!'
Disguised like princes pierrots-
they cracked whips, and hounded black
fugitives down. Usually they would be
accompanied by a team of stickfighting
Lloyd Taylor & Lloyd Best
E FINANCIAL STEWARDSHIP OF
WILLIAMS AND ROBINSON:
Thirteen Years Of Xmas.
the gates are closed
Where men sprouted once
In foreday consciousness
Sorrow floods the fountain
No bells thrill the cold air
And earth surviving the prophets
Depressing, Red and brethren Black
Abides in precipitate green
Still that umbrageous poui
Canopy of such nights
We scanned pie in a monotone sky
Back sides to the ground
Upholds in a braked faith
The gates are closed
Theminds are free
slave catchers, eager to brutalise their
black brothers to please the master...
Sometimes, on encountering the rebel,
they would shout, 'Bois!' The cornered
slave might defend himself. Even when
overpowered he might chant:
'Me alone, me alone against the batal-
Thus fell a batonnier.
In due course the colonial regime
patterned the Police Force on the model
of these stickfighters. It is the task of a
liberated society to redeem the policeman
from this brutal image, to salvage him
from the degradation and contempt in
which he was conceived. If he continues
in the tradition of the Big Stick we will
have failed in our freedom to release him
from the lash of Pierrot.
The British performed differently. To
demonstrate their fitness to rule they
remained aloof, and paraded their troops
to intimidate the blacks watching from the
sidelines. Royalty was their game -
king, queen, duke, lord, Executor. To
crown it all there was the Governor's
Ball so ably caricatured by the Mighty
Sparrow in 'Mr. Prospect'. Even today
balls are still held all over the place,
and blacks peep through the fences of
Tennis Courts, and over the walls of
Clubs to see decent people 'play mas'.
Yet the conflict of cultures continues.
Our Calypsonians still choose their royal
titles Lords and Dukes. It is very re-
assuring to find among these courtiers a
Panther or Growling Tiger. Our leading
folklorists yearn for the return of the
Pierrot. They say that Kitchener is more
authentic than Sparrow. For two days
every year they would have us wallow in
our shame, derive pleasure from the
painful reconstruction of our self-
contempt. Because Sparrow's calypso, The
Cont'd on page 12
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TAPIA ANNIVERSARY Page 5
THE TAPIA HOUSE
T TILH Centre is envisaged to be a
meeting place where we can be
together, engage in conversation
among ourselves and with the com-
muaity. and in general, by the way
we conduct ourselves, demonstrate
in microcosm, what kind of nev,
world we are aiming at.
The place will be a restaurant,
theatre, dance hall, club house and
workshop all in one. Clearly, it may
not be possible to establish this
Centre right away but we ought
to settle the plan and to start work-
ing to implement it in a
smooth steps. y
-Lloyd Best New World
"The only thing 'grass-roots' about Ta-
pia," said the pundit, "is the roof."
And the people just don't want it. What
they want, instead, is modern housing
with all the modern conveniences. Let
Best and them keep their old ajoupa."
Syl Lowhar, humanist and poet, takes
a somewhat different view.
- From such unsuspected source shall
A flood of change. Not from a house of
But one of thatch, earth and cowshit."
'Nhere do you stand? Me, I've chosen
It is Sunday. We are sitting. Syl and
I, on the raised verandah of one of these
modern houses with all the modern con-
veniences Talking. Talking to another
ex-detainee, only just out. Over the White
Star, we are musing on the movement.
What the movement now needs is solid
organisation, discipline and patience; com-
mitment to a long, long, haul; and con-
fidence in doing.
twenty-three short months. But in that
time, we've managed to call a significant
number of tunes.
When we diagnosed the problem as a
loss of moral authority, this view soon
became an orthodoxy. We prescribed Na-
tional Reconstruction and the Doctors
were soon following suit. We singled out
Afro-Saxon culture and Doctor Politics
for special treatment, and special treat-
ment they have been getting. Clearly,
we've been making contact.
And yet there remains an authentic
problem of communication with the coun-
-Tapia is too intellectual, says Mama
-Tapia is too middle-class, says Papa
I can't understand what they are
saying, says Baby Bear.
A veritable chorus of complaint. Why?
We must try and discover the reasons.
The reasons reveal themselves in the
richest variety of comment and question.
They spring on us thick and fast like
weeds in the canefield after rain. Join
me any Saturday morning on the road
-No impact, insists the technocrat,
shoving $20 in my; hand. Too Fabian, too
Gandhian, too Owenite. The country needs
this kind of idealism but at thesametime,
it does not really want it now. Twentyyears
ahead of your time!
-Tapia? Tapia, scoffs the revolutionary
who has just adopted an African name,...
left behind by the "February Revolution!*
'The Tapia advocacy ofculturalcentres
for the purpose of encouraging members
of various classes, ethnic groups, etc.,
to meet, exchange ideas and so on is a
good example of the kind of unrealistic
community romanticism I am talking about
... Moko differs basically'
-Kelvin Singh MOKO, August 1970.
"Lloyd Best continues to dole out his
meaningless diatribes, saying a lot, writing
a lot. but doing absolutely nothing"...
MOKO, August 14th 1970.
'...the specific Tapia proposals for
decentralising power... are far more mean-
ingful than the vague hankering after 'in-
termediate institutions' '
Kelvin Singh,MOKO,August 21, 1970.
one of all: discrimination. We seem to
be caught in a web of superficial judg-
ment Perhaps it is that we've lived for
so long without hope, we've had our trust
so much betrayed, that we do not dare
indulge the pain of critical appraisal. For
in the heartaches of appraising we neces-
sarily become engaged; and to become
engaged is to run the risk of hurt and
disenchantment once again.
We opt instead for simple andmechani-
cal formulas of association. We're white,
we're black, we're suffering; we'reyoung,
they're old; we're acting, you're talking.
We in fact, are we, and they definitively
they. We then seek to find deliverance in
grand delusion. The mirages keep us
Whatever the delusion in which we
of Tapia must certainly be caught, they
are not the ones that show themselves in
stock responses. We try to live in a world
of its and buts and we would not exchange
that for any of the classic oversimplifica-
tions. We are prepared to risk the loss
that come s from saying what we think, from
thinking what we say, and from backing
what we think and say. We do not live by
charismatic excitement so we cannot in
turn engender any. The problem of com-
munication which we are said to have is
partly that; but it is a communication
which is profitably sacrificed and lost.
TAPIA AND THE POLITICAL PUNDITS
We could well have been comforting
ourselves, holding Tapia hands. But just
then, down belw in the broiling sun, she
waved her little greeting.
-Tapia? TAPIA! I can see itinyour car
Do you have the very latest? I have the
The neighbour was certainly over fifty,
probably sixty cool Williams' genera-
tion. And yet she must have her Tapia.
We meet these avid readers every-
where, We meet them old and we meet
them young. In La Brea we meet them, in
Me Bean and over in Aranguez. We even
hear from them in the mail. Folk of no
special education; who have never once
heard of Fanon, Marx or X. Never been
grooving on the bush; never been uptight
Tapia does have its associates, asso-
ciates with real roots in the grass. Asso-
ciates who have made their commitment
by reflecting on what we are about not
simply through excitement of our rheto-
ric. We've been 'live for no more than
-Tapia I, o.k., but you make black
people look too nasty -- you, Solomon
and Lowhar. Why, asks this sympathiser.
don't you groom your beard, comb your
lhir and buy some nice dashikis? Make
the In-Fashion in the weekend-Express.
-Tapia is saying some good things, but
is for rich people, for brown skin people
and white skin people, for University
people in St. Augustine. How can Pat
Solomon be for black people?
-You mean Denis, he's Pat 's son,
but that does not make him Pat.
-Denis Pat, same thing. what's the
difference, anyhow? And then you, yes
you, how come you're married to a wo-
man from France? I like your power.
-Well, whatever you say, itw would take much
more than that to make me a Frenchman.
I assure you.
-You are Lloyd Best, sass a passer-
by grabbing his Tapia. Thought you were
an older person! Photos in the paper look
so grey. Must get an image of youth.
Can't make otherwise.
I like Tapia bad! All I want now is
for you and Millette to get together. It's
all university. Must make!
My impression is that you are a
bunch of extremists Why should I take
an ad in TAPIA? Williams is finished, it
is true. I like Robinson but I don't trust
him. I would like to see an alternative
in Tapia but I can't. You fellas want to
mash up everything and you have no
plans whatsoever for building up again.
I want more militancy, Brother,
says a 20 year old. Why didn't you throw
yourself in front of the buses for Joe
Good for Peter, bad for all, that's why.
CLEARLY we are looking for a formula
that without ado, can "make' A big group,
a 'youth" leader, a fashion-setter, etc.
In all this the faculty which keeps
coming up for scrutiny is the most human
The excitement that we seek instead
to generate must come from one thing
only; a sense of self, one delicately ba-
lanced against the sense of community
that we must also have. The pundits who
can dismiss this as mere romanticism
are in fact just victims of the civilisation
we are fighting.
The crisis of the civilisation is pre-
cisely that this balance has notbeen struck
-not for all the romantic energies con-
tinously devoted to its cause. And at
bottom this is the very crisis which now
reveals itself in the drive for blackpower
and young power, for third-world power
and people power.
Its roots lie deep in our condition and
I would guess some of them lie in the
arrogance, in the blindness about self,
and in the indignation with which Western
Europe burst during the 15th century,
on to the stage and emerged as the con-
trolling metropolis of the entire world.
Beseiged for centuries by Islam, and
subjugated by the Frankish kings, the
Europeans broke out crying christian and
merchant power. And before they knew
the cause, they were enmeshed in the
grandest simplification of all: racial
power. We are trapped now in this sicken-
Cont'd on page 8
Page 6 TAPIA ANNIVERSARY
If you want to join Tapia, it is easy
because it rargely depends on you. You
have to deteritte if we are worth it.
We do sot pfss people into joining;
we do mt enm solidt membership.
We pablsh a paper, we run a Cul-
tural Centre at the Tapia House and
hold free and open meetings every
Thursday night. Many of our members
write in the daily papers. Many of us
roam all over the country selling papers,
talking to people and groups, or just
keeping up with the life of the nation.
Now and again, we join with some group
to organise civic activity in a community.
We stand to be judged. People must
decide whether we are what we claim
to be; whether we are really doing what
we are saying; and whether they would
like to involve themselves in what we are
doing. We think we hope we are
building from the earth. Anyone is free
to be an Associate in our work without
actually joining the Group.
Once you do decide to join, it is
$1.00 for the entrance fee and then 15
cents a week or 50 cents a month. An
application Form and a set of rules can
be had. by post or directly from t he
Secretary/Treasurer at a meeting.
Our aims and objects are:-
To promote free discussion of Carib-
To undertakewhatever actionthe mem-
bers deem necessary to advance the welfare
of the Caribbean peoples.
Whole Groups can "join"Tapia. We
simply arrange for collaboration on some
community project. Tapia is already in-
voived in education, co-operative enter-
prime, etc; and we have other projects
Tapia isrunbyanExecutive Committee
which meets once a week and accounts
to a full Meeting of Members once a
We live on a shoe-string budget. We
have had only three gifts. First four
people not at the time specially con-
nected with Tapia onceput up$800to buy
us a sound system. Secondly, an anonymous
donor contributed a sum of $1000 toTapia
newspaper. Lastly, we have also received
some books and tworbookshelves.
Yet we do not owe a soul. We have so
far managed to settle our bills promptly,
to build the Tapia House and pay for it,
and to sustain a high quality paper.
The Tapia House Publishing Company
Ltd.. is run as a business which has to
finance itself from advertising and sales.
The Company gets its capital from the
Tapia House Group which buys shares out
of pledges made for the purpose by Tapia
Associates. The paper survives largely
because of voluntary work. We employ
only an Editor and one Sales Officer. All
the advertising, for example, must be
raised by voluntary effort.
The big contribution that Tapia mem-
bers make is in the distribution of the
paper (all over the W. Indies and abroad).
We all hawk thepaper without commission.
There is a double gain from this since we
get numerous donations from the public
while we are out selling house to house or
on the street.
The. Tapia' House Group lives by
entrance fees and by subscriptions. We
have also raised funds by dances, etc.
From time to time, we receive donations
from Guyana, Jamaica and North America
mainly from affiliates of the New World
Group. We have circulated lists for special
purposes the latest being for the De-
tainees' Fund. The list which we circulated
for our Community Projects has evoked
some interesting offers of equipment and
-technical assistance. Now that we have
actually started on a Sou-sou Investment
plan, we will soon beinapositionto follow
up these offers~
' w ^ ^ t snY
IS TAPIA THE ALTERNATIVE
The movement of which we are one part is the only alternative to the
neo-colonial regime. But we are certainly not the alternativeto the Wil-
hams' Government because we are not in the same league. We are not
playing simply to change the faces of the men who govern us.Our aim
is to change the very system and style of Caribbean politics.
The present system of government and politics was established
from above and outside. It has no roots in our people. The power is cen-
tralised and concentrated at the top.
The system emphasises government as against community partici-
pation (politics). The central government dominates the municipalities
and the local authorities. The Cabinet is given much more weight than
the Legislature or the Courts. And within the Cabinet the Prime Minis-
ter is much more than just top dog.
In this system Parliament is a pappyshow. The Opposition is pow-
erless, the people are helpless, and the best intentioned government is
ineffective. Organised politics is futile. Parties simply do not function.
It then appears to the population that change can come only by the mi-
racle of violent revolution or by the arrival of some Doctor Messiah
with all the answers.
Tapia is not deluded by this fantasy. We do not believe in mira-
cles or in political magic. We know that we are not Gods. The prob-
lems can only be solved by discipline and by hard work. To make hard
effort effective we must change the system: The participation of the
people must be made to count.
On Wednesday 16th September, Dr.
Brinsley Samaroo began a series of
lectures on 'East Indian, West Indian'.
The lectures deal withthe history of Indian
migration to the Caribbean and the de-
velopment of Indian culture in the Carib-
bean region. Dr. Samaroo is a lecturer is
a lecturer in History at the UWI, and has
lived and studied in India.
Dr. Samaroo's lectures are the third
set in the Tapia House programme of com-
munity discussions held at the Tapia
House, 91 Tunapuna Road, Tunapuna on
Tuesday and Wednesdays at 7.30 p.m.
The second set of lectures was re-
cently completed by Mr. Fitz Baptiste,
lecturer in Afro-Aoian studies at the UWI.
Mr. Baptiste lectured on 'Explorations in
African History.' The first series on
"Caribbean Affairs" was abandoned dur-
ing the February Revolution.
Dr. Samaroo and Mr. Baptiste will be
repeating some of their lectures in South
Trinidad, at weekend seminars being
arranged in collaboration with the Oil
One reason why we are not a pa
properly unless the system is change
strengthen the people against the gover
Since the present government is
mands, the people have taken the mat
why we have had the February Revolul
But direct action which gives th
ten the tyrant is not enough. It is vIal
need the kind of community action
tence to take the power and the wisdom
The movement of February d
heartstrings of the nation. Tapia has
grammes which can be defended again
ment still lacks the community organic
to place its integrity beyond dispute.
We have to face the fact that or
are not to be bought in any market pla
with $1,050,000. We can only win their
More and more people are comi
We have had one rising of the people v
and soon will bring the tyrant down.
The movement needs another :
anew and bring the power to the peol
are in the movement.
Workers Trades Union. Lloyd Best will
also be lecturing in this programme. His
series of six talks on 'The Rise of the
Caribbean People' begins in SanFernando
.on Tuesday 29th September. Further de-
tails will be announced.
Tapia House lectures have also begun
in Arima. The programme is organised
in collaboration with Afro-Arima Ideas
Incorporated, a newly-formed Co-
The Arima series is in two parts and
deals with 'Practical Economics andPer-
sonal Finance'. OnMondaySeptember 21st
Mrs. Paula Williams began a series on
'How to Improve Your Personal Finances
and your Family Budget'. Mr. Ewart
Thorne will follow with lectures on 'Buy-
ing Shares and Establishing Companies'.
Mrs. Williams is a dietician and office
manager; Mr. Thorne is a barrister and
a company director.
All the discussions are free and open.
Everyone is invited to attend. In due
course, the Tapia House proposes to ex-
tend the programme to embrace all areas
of the country.
( The movement that will achieve
popular currency has to be articulate and
clear. It has to express the frustrations of
the past and command the hopes of the
future. Above all, it must perceive, the
concrete possibilities of the present. If its
leaders call tunes, the Caesar must dance.
When they name the shots, their associ-
ates must play them. And so the game
In the early stages, there appears to be
rain, no play. Organisation by its nature,
courts no great publicity. Besides, new
movements do not simply play well, they
also change the rules. The less perceptive
observers therefore look in vain for the
new to re-trace the steps of the old.
That does not happen. When fresh
movements mimic has-beens, they be-
come by that fact, old movements. Cer-
tain figures and movements do re-appear
on the historical stage; the first time it is
tragedy; after that, farce.
TAPIA No 1, Sept. 1969
r into their own hands. That is
ty is that no party can function
to embrace the youth and to
determined to deny these de-
er into their own hands. That is
people the confidence to threa-
necessary but not enough. We
which would give us the compe-
nto use it humanely and well.
1 touch a vital chord in the
)een providing national pro-
:all comers. But the new move-
tion; and our leadership is yet
nisation and trusted leadership
:. Not with $250,000, nor even
by honesty and work.
hitting themselves to such work
ich has smashed the old regime
ling, a rising which will build
. Tapia welcomes all those who
SBehind this is the whole nature of the
Tapia operation. We are the only group of
this kind to have built its own house out
of its own resources a house rich in
both practical and symbolic value. We are
the only group to have attempted private
entertainments of a kind not designed to
reach the daily Press or to gain us
electioneering capital as for instance in
our New Year's Eve entertainment of
poetry, songs and music fitted into an
ideological framework. Because all this
has called for a complexity of cooperative
activity, we do not have to fake
"democracy" in our newspaper.
It is precisely because we are not a
doctoral operation that we. do not need
to pretend that we are a fishnet.:
TAPIA No. 5, Feb. 1970
S TalksM in this sese -thatis,significant
discussion and analysis, persuasion by
argument and exposure, conversion by
the common imaginative effort to define
the reality of ourselves and our
condition- is itself an indispensable
mode of action. We can noL talk about
"theory" as opposed to "action," and
when people do so what they are usually
implying, often without realizing it, is
really a distinction between compulsion
and participation, between prophetic rule
and the kind of common endeavour in
which leadership is only functional-
leadership is continuously
providing for its own obsolescence. To
the extent that his leadership is successful
the leader expects to be superceded,
precisely because he understands that the
basic condition of his success is the active
participation of those whom he leads.
Without this participation, leadership
turns to messianic Prophecy, in which
case his utmost destiny is only to preside
over eternal crisis. *
TAPIA No. 3, Nov. 1969
TpaSu-SuI I 11m.e1t
After Emancipation, the ordinary people
had to make a super-hiuman effort to
establish their economic independence.
Starting with virtually nothing, they had
to scrimp and save and slave. Capital
was short, credit was dear. But no-
where in the Caribbean did the metro-
politan power assist local banking to
consolidate its position. Throughout
the W. Indies, charters were at first
given to what is now Barclays, and later,
to Canadian companies.
The local financiers went underground.
The sou-sou became the banking system
of the people. "Sam" in Puerto Rico
and San Domingo; "box" in. Guyana;
"pardner" in Jamaica; and in Barbados,
"meeting-turn." Same problem, same
response. One people.
S Neither Williams nor Robinson could
have gone to Oxbridge were it not for this
kind of neighbourhood co-operation in the
100 years up to 1940. Yet our banking
policy since 1956 has mn limited by
a most reactionary dependence on im-
The New World Group has done the
academic work to discredit this Afro-
Saxon incompetence. Tapia is therefore
in a position to start a new programme.
We have now established a Grand
Sou-Sou to service associates throughout
the country. One dollar a month or 25
cents a week. Throw as many hands as
you want. We propose that you delay
your draw to an agreed date after six
months; that you do not draw more than
75%; and that the rest go into a Fund
from which you can borrow after one
year at an agreed rate of interest.
Groups who wish to start business
or co-operatives can start Community
Sous-sous which may join the Grand
Sou-Sou. Each Community Sou-sou has
the right to borrow from the. Fund to
finance the community project. We are
already involved with one small business
and one co-operative.
The Grand Sou-Sou would serve as
a liaison to the commercialbanking system
particularly through the National Com-
mercial Bank and the proposed Workers'
Banks. (See pg. 10)
A bank lives on the confidence of
savers and the trustworthiness of bor-
rowers. In the West Indies the people trust
the banks but the banks do not trust
the people as borrowers. Sou-sous ensure
two-way trust but they are not big
enough; and their savings and investments
are not varied enough. So we have one
popular and one elite banking system,
The Tapia plan is to integrate them.
Mbre nationalisation of the banks would
not do. It would be too costly for the
commercial banks to accommodate small
savers. Genuine localisation of banking
demands that we recognize the part which
the -sou-sou has been playing. We must
give this small man's agency a chance
to develop with and for the nation. The
sou-sou is viable because it can hold
the people's confidence and because it
allows the communities to reduce finan-
cial costs through self-service.
TAPIA ANNIVERSARY Page 7
You can buy your Tapia in Georgetown
if you know how to contact Ratoon. You
can buy it in Kingston too at Sangster's
or the Soda Fountain, Mona. If you are
passing through Coolidge Airport, Antigua
or through Seawell Airport, Barbados,
it's there somewhere.
Downtown Castries, you'll surely find
it. And downtown Bridgetown too ... just
in front of where you see the tiny little
craft riding tangled in the roadstead,
there's our vendor. On Saturday he canbe
seen saluting Parliament with Tapia. In
"Montreal you can buy it too and in New
fork. In London, inevitably, John La
Rose's Beacon Bookshop will also have it.
Wherever thereare men born or raised
in the dominion of plantation-cane, there's
Tapia, reporting on the movement.
The paper sells as easily in St. Croix
as it does in Pointe-a-Pierre. If for some
reason you cannot buy it from a vendor,
subscribe and we will send it. We mail to
Africa and Europe; to Britain 'and
America; and of course, to the entire
In Trinidad, Saturday is Tapia day. By
the time the dawn breaks we are already
on the road. There is the Port-of-Spain-
Diego Martin giant to be fed. There is
the run to the Dial in Arima, taking in the
Eastern Ribbon on the way. There's the
trip West to Laventille and the trip South
to Chaguanas and Longdenville. The Far-
Central and South we leave until the Mon-
day or perhaps even till the Wednesday.
Since we are irregular, most Saturdays
are simply days of hawking. In Port-of-
Spain, we usually start under the
distinguished patronage of Cipriani, near
Salvatori's Building. In San Fernando, we
spread easily out from the Harris Pro-
menade. By afternoon, we're in the su-
burbs: in Diamond Vale or Pleasantville-
meeting the country from house to house.
During the week we try for markets in.
the more remote localities: Valencia,
Manzanilla, QCrapichaika, And so it goes,
expanding surely like the ageless samaan,
spreading joy and cool in this season of
One year ago we started at 10,000.
Ignoring the peak of 18,000 reached with
"Black Power &National Reconstruction"
at the height of the February Revolution,
we are now circulating about 13,000 in
Still, we do not imagine that we have
started to reach the country. We are still.
missing the large majority of readers.
Tobago remains a Cinderalla, our pro-
duction cycle remains a lottery and we're
still apprentices in the trade.
Walk up Tunapuna Road on'any Thursday
night and you'll see the people drifting
No tyrant's wicked laws can stop the
flow. Emergency or not, they come; to
make anew their pledge of freedom. Open
discourse at Tapia House onThursdayhas
now become an institution.
When you arrive an unfriendly wall
of stone stands in the way. A house,
set high upon a mound, seems intended
to intimidate. But towering mangoes and
sleek bananas wave welcome as you cross
the gravelled path.
The House itself presents a work
of elegant craft, a monument to skills
that shame the Afro-Saxon pride. Bathing
in the moonlight to the back stands the
theatre, still unfinished. We are building yet.
There was a time, not long ago,
when we had to pick our way through
sand and stone and shit; when we huddled
dimly beneath a lamp to plan and hope.
Now we've grown. Of the forty who
first responded to the call New World,
What Next? not a few have since fallen
by the way. Some have gone and come
again.. And those who've stayed have
Yes, on Thursday, we talk and talk
Sometimes the meeting elates us, some-
times it's distressingly tame. We just
take it as it comes. No directives, no
etiquette, just a simple human in the
Chair. Coping with arrogance and humility,
with emotion and reason; facing up to
Sometimes we talkbefore acting; some-
times we act by talking. But every time
we get to know.
Page 8 TAPIA ANNIVERSARY
TAPIA AND THE PUNDITS
* Cont'd frorn page 5 .
ing syndrome yihere race and property
provide the most comenient bonds of uniro
and are even said to express an essential
inhumanity of man.
Tapia sees no warrant for sustaining
these facile and imperial rationales. We do
not deny the power of race and class, of
colour and interest. We will surely ne\er
be allowed to turn our backs onbasic con-
flict. But we are not so degraded b3 our
past as to close off vision altogether. We
are not so impressed by the last five hun-
dred years as to be unable to discard the
shibboleths of western thought.
\.:;en th:e pundits sa3 theN cannot un-
derstanc us. t':e3're right. This is the
authentic problem of grounding with the
brothers. \We cannot understand a lot of it
ourselves. It's simply an adventure. The
changes that we're reaching for cannot
be engineered or programmed on the
drawing board. We can onl3 play and play
again and trust that there'll be some mu-
But playing is hot by any means the
same as doing nothing just as it is not
the same as engineering, What we are
aiming for, in short, is that delicate ba-
1. The. Fund is administered by a Committee composed of:
The Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Tapia House Group;
The Secretary/Treasurer of the Tapia House Group; and,
The Treasurer of the Tapia House Publishing Company.
2. This Committee is charged to maintain appropriate accounts and: will
report monthly to the Tapia House Group and to the chain of Solidarity
Committees which have been established in the Caribbean and abroad. The
accounts are also to be published quarterly in TAPIA.
3. Grants out of the Fund are to be made to applicants in the following
order of priority:
Associates of the Tapia House Group
Detainees recommended by any Associates of the Tapia House Group.
Other bona fide applicants for assistance.
4. Expenditures out of the fund are to be made in accordance with the
Payment of legal expenses
Other costs arising from political activity.
5. Any paid-up Associate of the Tapia House Group is free to appeal against
a decision of the Committee by raising the matter at a Thursday night
meeting of the Group. In such a case, the matter will be determined by
majority vote among paid-up Associates of the Tapia House Group, such
vote to be taken on the Thursday immediately following the one at which
the appeal has been made.
6. In the event of a surplus, the outstanding balance is to be transferred to
the account of the Community Courses of the Tapia House Group.
JUNE 19, 1970.
lance v. hich- brings action without coercion
and which enriches the community viithout
impoverishing the individual.
We will never achieve this balance of
course. But if the quest for it informsour
spirit we would not just sit around and
wait for our next messiah to burst out in
the public square. We would not be afraid
to wait for ageless political organisation
or to engage ourselves in termite politics.
For such organisation and such politics
are the politics that reintegrate power
-relations with life, that in the process
serve to humanise them. A little.
By equipping us for the long-run, such
politics and. such organisation also equip
us for the shtrl This then yields us the
distinction between time and political time
the latter being subject to the way in
which our consciousness is being continu-
And that is our perspective. Tapia is en-
gaged in one thing and one thing only.
We are building from where we are, with
the materials which we have, with the
ideas that we can fashion and with the
brothers and sistrs who are committed
to this way. And if there is anything
grass-roots in Trinidad and Tobago,
surely that is part?
Contributions to the Tapia Fund for Detainees may be sent to the Treasurer
of the Tapia House Group 91, Tunapuna Road, Tunapuna, Trinidad and
Tobago. Deposits may also be made to the Tapia House A/C at Barclays
Bank, Mona, Jamaica.
The Account now stands as follows:
EXPENDITURES TO .15.9.70 $
Legal expenses 100
detainees' Homes 185
Court Fine 25
RECEIPTS TO 15.9.70
Trinidad & Tobago
Journals and periodicals which regard
themselves as a challenge to the political
Establishment habitually devote a lot of time
and energy to argument about advertising
policy. TAPIA, we think we hope is an
There are two reasons for this that we can
see. The one is incidental, the other
fundamental. The incidental reason is that
among the members of the TAPIA HOUSE
GROUP, some are lucky already to have had
rich experience in discussing advertising policy
in relation to other journals.
They have come to TAPIA knowing that
advertising is necessary and useful; that it can
also be in poor taste, misleading, restrictive of
opinion, and therefore socially and politically
harmful. Accordingly, they are aware that it is
part of our professed task of improving the
quality of the democracy to preserve and
extend the good in it and to strive to reduce -
to eliminate if possible the bad.
Just as we do not subscnoe to the opinion
that foreign capital is invariably inimical to the
national economy, so we do not accept that
advertising is necessarily incompatible with
self-help or with independent politics. But this
is so comfortable a position to adopt that we
hasten to defend it.
Just as we are opposed to the entry of
capital which inhibits the growth of national
enterprise and which stunts the development of
indigenous patterns of taste and technology, so
we are wary of advertisers who in one way or
another may circumscribe our freedom to
dissent and our ability to publish.
There is some external capital that we can
employ to advantage depending on the terms
and the timing of its entry, on the activities
into which it flows and indeed, on a range of
other considerations. There also exists
advertising which communicates information,
presents images which contribute to
community edification and confidence, and
which at the same time, brings revenue to
publishers. Such is the advertising that we
would like to have. By insisting on it, we will
help to transform all advertising.
In other words, we are maintaining our
sense of discrimination. This is a quality of
which the culture stands in great need.
Advertisers, publishers and the community at
large have been brought up in a civilization
which regards the consumers as a faceless,
mindless crowd; which perceives in the other
party to a transaction, merely a victim on
which to prey.
This is exactly the ethic from which we are
dissenting in our politics. In our economics, we
intend to sustain the fullest consistency. We are
not dealing simply in the politics of office.
We shall therefore be seeking to support
only the highest standards of the trade. In the
problems to be resolved if we are to salvage the
future for business as for everything else, there
is responsibility to be assumed by the
advertisers as by the rest of us. We shall be
urging them to rise to it.
We do not intend our high moral tone to be
taken either for arrogance or for naivety. If our
position sounds extraordinary, it is only
because of the degradation to which we have
become accustomed and out of which the
society is now slowly emerging.
In our own emergence, we have been
working out philosophical positions which
reject both the liberal and the radical
interpretations of society traditionally
imported from outside. We have seen
possibilities of creating here an integrated
community out of the disparate fragments left
behind by history. That is the second and
fundamental reason why we are clear on
When we abandon imported categories and
take stock of the actual structure of forces and
interests which here exist, we do not perceive in
our own efforts any kind of conspiracy. On the
contrary, we see it as our duty to dissent; we
take for granted our right to do it in public and
We see no automatic antagonism between
ourselves and the world of business. We only
take it as a matter of course, that in the
exercise of discretion on both sides, there will
be plenty to bargain and even to quarrel about;
but there remains any amount of room for
So far as the public sector is concerned, we
are also looking forward to co-operation. We
are entitled to it even though we are resolutely
opposed to the Government and to the way in
which the State is set up. Many public
corporations and departments now buy
advertising space in all manner of Journals and
papers including party organs. We will be
pressing for equal treatment. We will indeed, go
further and propose adjustments in the kinds of
images presented to the nation and the world
by such agencies as the IDC, the Tourist Board
In sum, the kind of society we are
advocating must express itself in advertising
too. Democracy is not for us merely a desirable
objective for the future; it must be practised
from Nov 15th Dec. 31 st
110. Eastern Main Rad Tunapuna
Ti! ,~, -'IT
30, Cipero St. San Fernando
Serving San Fernando
PYRAMID D DRUG STORE
2a Mucurapo Street
Medicines, Toilet Requisites,
E.M. Rd., TUNAPUNA TEL-662-4776
SNow that our society is breaking free
of the shackles of North Atlantic
domination and is trying to establish
itself on its own terms, we must reject the
assumption that the only pattern of social
and economic re-organisation is the North
Atlantic one. If the emancipation of the
colonized peoples is to mean anything, it
must be cast in terms of fresh political
theory and philosophy, in terms of new
frames of social and economic
organization, in terms of new styles of
being and living.
It is in devising these new forms that
we can see the true significance of "black
power". We can see its significance in the
inheritance of Afro-Asian traditions on
which we are privileged to draw.
"Black-power" in the Caribbean must
mean drawing on this rich heritage of
humane community security, drawing on
it to transform the degradations imposed
by Europe, while at the same time saving
the noble :strains that we have
undoubtedly gotten from the European
historical connection. 9
TAPIA, No. 5, Feb. 1970
FOR HIGH QUALITY
LASSIE EXERCISE BOOKS
TAPIA'S ADVERTISING POLIC
TAPIA ANNIVERSARY Page 9
Sfash ioz Two
This is a fascinating time in the history of Trinit
and Tobago. It is a period of awakening, of hope
confidence, but full of irony and pathos as well. H
and confidence grow as the citizens gradually be
to feel their power and to see that their lives can
controlled by themselves and by the organizations
There is pathos in the sometimes agonising efforts of the population, as seen mai
in the cblumns of the daily press, efforts to grasp the real-life meaning of words t
up to now have just been words authority, trust, mandate, obligation, consultati
consensus, representation. It is the pathos we see in the character of the Bolon
Derek Walcott's play Ti Jean the agony of the stillborn foetus restored to life.
There is irony in the frenzied efforts
of the discredited political establishment
to salvage the authority they never had
within the framework of a system they
never understood, treading their elabo-
rate measures of resignation n d counter-
resignation in the clumsy minuet to which
they have reduced the practice of govern-
ment, while the roaring, stamping break-
away of them.
Above all, there is irony in thefact
that the measure that was designed to
ensure the permanent silence of a sup-
posedly quiescent population did more than
anything else to bring that population
to its political senses. The Public Order
Bill turned a false political crisis into
a real, and salutary, one.
For Williams' reign of mental terror
is at an end. TAPIA in its Special Issue
No. 2 on the National Crisis said:
JAnother result of centralisation of
power is that, even among those who are
able to think constructively about
change, the price of opposition is too
high. This is a society where to be in
opposition is almost to have a suicidal
complex-not in relation to one's life, but
in relation to one's employment,
advancement or security,.
Not any more. Representative groups
and their leaders seeing the Government
in open disarray, are snappingtheir fingers
at Williams' powers of reprisal and are
becoming more politicised day by day.
The Police Association demands and gets
improvements in conditions of service;
the nurses enter upon a campaign of
well-planned, restrained but effective
action to bring home their demands; the
doctors make representations about the
state of the health services. The OWTU
and the hotel employees openly flout
Old, conservative lawyers, dragged
screaming and kicking into the 20th cen-
tury by the torrent of political events,
incite symbolic conflagration inthepub-
lic square and draw accusations of hysteria
from other old, conservative lawyers.
The Public Service Association issues
three sensible statements in one week,
an undeniable increase over their pre-
vious rate. It intensifies a long-standing
dispute with the Public Service Commis-
sion, a dispute which it had pursued until
then with the lack of ardour once charac-
teristic of almost all bodies with griev-
ances against the Government. Inaddition,
the Association has shown a healthy dis-
respect for the sanctity of te Lord's
anointed by opposing the Prime Minister's
attempt to give Senator Padmore retire-
ment benefits on the ground that his trans-
lation to the Senate constituted retirement
from the Public Service in the p u b 1 i c
What we are witnessing, in short, is
the death of the 'party' system as it has
existed up to now that is to say, as an
extension of colonial authoritarianismdis-
guised as Westminister parliamentary de-
mocracy. We are seeing the conversion
of the population from their blind accept-
ance of this fiction, from their concession
to Williams of the sole right to know
what was or was not 'in the public in-
terest', to an eager understanding of real
issues and a determination to judge for
themselves where the public interest lies.
But is the old system completely dead?
Is the process of conversion yet irre-
vocable? It seems there are still those
who are, impressed by the Alphonse and
Gaston music-hall turn put on by Wil-
liams abd Hudson-Phillips. Trinidad and
Tobago Television, for one, was so im-
pressed that on the same day as the
'resignation' was 'rejected' it broadcast
a news bulletin. in which it spoke of a
- Dimensional Men:
ANR & HUDSON
Admiring the Master: Budget Day November, 1969
'resounding victory for the Government'.
A.N.R. Robinson has been encouraged
to think for himself as the man of the
hour by the amount of public and Press
speculation as to his chances of a 'come-
back'. A comeback from where to where?
The faint odor of eligibility which for
some undiscriminating noses seems to
hang about the persons of such as Robin-
son and Hudson-Phillips is merely a rancid
trace of the unguent with which the Arch-
bocor anointed them in the now distant
past. What distinguished these two from
Lee or Alexis, Montano or 0' Halloran,
or from any of the other broken corpses
littering the track of Williams' collapsing
juggernaut? Surely, only the fact that they
happen to be around at this particular
moment. Hudson-Phillips has a double-
barrelled name buta single-cylinder mind,
and that so carbonised with colonial legal
ideas that he can consider a compilation
of all the repressive legislation of colo-
nialism to constitute a desirable pillar
to support the growth of the nation for
those whose fate he weeps his saurian
The two-dimensional Robinson casts
about for supporters on thebasisofa self-
endowed reputation for integrity which is
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SAN JUAN: 638-4356
SAN F'DO: 652-2303
N. DHARRIE & CO.
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'Tel: 37861, 314,-
at worst shaky, at best irrelevant. For
the issue is not one of integrity, it is one
of competence. Shades of political honesty
- who resigned when, and for what, and
what it means are the philosophical
trimmings of a working system based on
competence and performance.
In such a system it might be possible
to give even Robinson the benefit of the
doubt on the question of his integrity,
since politics even at its bst is fraught
with confusions and compromises,
and since no system can remain effective
for long if there is not an automatic as-
sumption of good faith on all occasions
But the point is that in such a system
Robinson would not be there in the
first place. For Robinson is as incom-
petent to govern this or any country as
Lee, or Alexis, or Donawa-McDavidson,
or for that matter Williams himself.
Neither his tenure of office as Minister
of Finance nor as Minister of External
Affairs produced any significant results
whatsoever. As Minister of External Af-
fairs he not only failed to get down to
work, to all intents and purposes, for
some. months, apparently in pique at his,
'demotion' from the Finance Ministry, but
when he did get down to the Ministry's
business he conducted it exactly as the
Prime Minister had done before him, that
is to say on the basis of nopolicy whatso
ever, as the lone 'policy' statement ex-
tracted from him by the Press proves.
When Robinson became embroiledwith
the Prime Minister over 'interference'
in his Ministry it was over the trivial
question of a staff appointment. Even that
need not have been trivial had Robinson
ever protested at the principle of the Con-
stitutional clause that gives the Prime
Minister power to personally appoint even
Cont'd on page 11
XMAS IN OCTOBER
JIMMY ABOUD -
"THE TEXTILE KING"
COR. QUEEN & HENRY STS.,
Page 10 TAPIA ANNIVERSARY
THE new National Commercial Bank is following tne
Tapia House plan for "Sou Sou Banking". Under the
Chaconia Savings Scheme, a saver must throw $50 per
month. The hand can be drawn after one year.
There are no deductions for 'casa money" or "box". On the contrary,
interest will be paid at 7% compound interest, computed monthly. The hand will
therefore be worth $622. If a saver wants to draw before the year is up he is frep
to do so. He would then receive the interest which is paid on ordinary savings
This Chaconia Scheme is only a begin-
ing. To place banking at the service of
all the citizens of this country, we have
to go a lot further. The Tapia House
proposals for the re-organisation of bank-
Sou-sou schemes which cater for low
incomes by having throws far smaller than
* Definitions of collateral which would
allow ordinary people to raise loans against
whatever valuablesthey are able to put up.
* A system of personal references
which would acknowledge the credit-
worthiness of ordinary hard-working
people of no special race, colour, edu-
cation, occupation, or business connec-
* A programme of banking services
which would help ordinary people to make
the link between household budgeting,
saving, and investment in business.
One indictment of the Williams regime
is that, up to the present follow-fashioning,
it had done almost nothing to bend banking
to the needs of the country. In fact,
some of the legislation passed when ANR
Robinson was Minister of Finance was
downright hostile to local banking and to
the needs of this country. Even the con-
troversial and progressive Finance Bill
was pre-occupied simply withbringingour
regulations up to date with conventional
practice in the independent countries.
It showed no insight whatsoever into.the
possibilities of developing an imaginativ
new system of banking. R was oblivious
of the ingenious practice which o u r
people have had to devise' over the years
to protect themselves from the iniquitiei
of the metropolitan branc--hapks aad fil
HAB IB S.
48 Independence. Squre.
12 Frederick Streel;
48 Queen Street:
2? Frederick Street:
The steps which we must now take are
0 First, the Chaconia Scheme must be
reorganised to embrace a large number
of sou-sous which are already being run
in the country and to make loans easily
available to the people who are throwing
up the money.
After all, the thing about a sou-sou
is that it gives each saver the right to
borrow the savings of al' the others for
a certain time. The thing about these
metropolitan branch banks is that they
accept savings from all of us but they
do not lend to any and every one of us.
The administrative cost of a large-
scale national sou-sou need not be high
if the local administration is left in the
hands of the people who are already
running sou-sous in the localities. These
are the people who enjoy the kind of
confidence needed for banking. What the
Bank must do is to provide savings plans
and loans for facilities through these
leaders of community finance
e Secondly, the National Commercial
Bank must now equip itself to provide
those services which we needto encourage
family savings and to facilitate small-
scale investment in sound but profitable
We need a family budgeting service
which will help people to regulate their
morteaees. their pawnbroking, t h e i r
insurance and their hire purchase, a
service which will help people tomakethe
best of their weekly expenditures. We have
to stop this haphazard spending at Xmas,
Carnival and Easter; at weddings,
christenings and the beginning of the
school-term. Black people have to plan.
We also need a permanent advisory
service for small businessmen. T h e
present Government Scheme is a gimmick
just like Buy Local and Agriculture Year.
Instead of giving concessions to foreigners
for all these years, the IDC should have
been prompting ordinary peopletodevelop
businesses in their backyards. In fact we
need a small and sensitive IDC in every
bank to give technical help along with the
* Thirdly, the system of foreign banks
and insurance companies, etc., has to be
localised and overhauled along the lines
being here suggested for the National
Fourthly. we need a Central Bank
which is not bogged down in incompetence.
The entire financial system needs to be
guided and managed especial y in regard
to the allocation of credit between different
types of borrowers.
It is going to take time and patience
to develop an adequate system of money,
banking and finance. We cannot overhaul
the system overnight. This is all the
more reason why the National Com-
mercial Bank must illustrate the possi-
bilities by pioneering new banking methods,
Even with one Branch in Port-of-Spain,
the Bank can begin now to reach the
alleyways and the traces, For example,
it can integrate a whole lot of community
sou-sous by organising a mobile unit
to service sou-sou clubs with advice on
family budgeting and with tips
take time out for tea!
Throughout the ages, whenever a fast "pick me up" was needed,
people have turned to tea.
The best teas in the world come from India and among Indian teas,
Darjeeling, Nilgiris and Assam are renowned as the finest of the
fine Indian teas.
DARJEELING grown on the slopes of the Himalayas, is
considered by connoisseurs "the champagne of teas;"
NILGIRIS cultivated on the Blue Mountains in Kerala, is a
sparkling tea famous for its rich amber hue; lotern|tioaul aoeilsn
ASSAM is a strong tea celebrated for its rich brightness, rmeoltenm tsim esal ncreciiies
body and pungency.
You can brew them individually or mix them the Rinse eapot r up ith hot water.
combinations are limitless; these fine teas are perfectly Put in I Island Inn teabig for each
blended to complement and enhance one another. serving. Por boiling fresh water an
You will relish the results. Tea-d' inking will never Ste w.th milnf, ro 3on o 5 m iule
again be the same. An enchanting., new taste experience ICED T
awaits you when you try Indian tea... Rin, teapot of 12 o. capacity with
hot water. Put in 3 Island Inn tea
It's the perfect cuppa Pou boiinh ,feh water on to
the tea. infuse for 5 minutes. Fill
large glass with ice cubes. Pour tea
Available from Kirpalani's Stores nationwide over Ice cubes. Serve wth sugar and
sliced lemon or orange.
Loans for the small man
6 We need ten-cent banks which will reach into the
alleyways and back-traces to tap small savings and low
incomes, Wa need them to ploygh their funds into
the ventures of the multitude of small businessmen
who are now waiting in the wings for authentic policies
of economic independence. June 1969
TWO -DIMENSIONAL MEN
* Cont'd from page 9
the lowest ranking staff to o ersea- m;s-
sions; but there is nu evidence that RoLbin-
son had e\er regarded that pov.er a, ex-
cessive. for after all who was earmarked
as the next Prime Minister? In fact. e\en
towards the end of his tenure. Ahen the
Andrew P.ose controversy came up. it wa.s
obvious that it was the Prime Minister.
not the Minister of External Affairs. who
had fired Rose.
As Minister of Finance, Robinson
did not understand the Finance Act. either
in detail or in its total implications. His
non-resignation over that issue shows not
so much his lack of integrity as his lack
of understanding of the resolu,.nad in-.,
tent of the :ct in it-- origilial formand the
implications of it. defeat for any Go\trn- i
ment's future efforts at economic trans-
We are undeniably on the road to real
independence and political responsibility.
The Constituent Assembly seems to be on
its way in fact it is here already, in a
sense, for the discussions that ha\e been
going on every where, especially about the
Public Order Bill. in spite of the State of
Emergency. have begun to open up issues
and define interests in the way we expect
the Constituent Assembly to do. But
there is still some way to go; and even if
it turns out that the antics of the Robin-
sons and the I:udson-Fhillips do nothing
to impede the tide of independence, there
are still lessons to be learnt from this
First. the empty cult of personality
based on xollow reputation must be
stamped out along with its symbols; we
must continue to develop our judgment of
competence in a framework of constant
effort and solid achievement.
B y the same token, we must not be
carried away into thinking that agitation
is the whole of politics or that the immed-
TAPIA ANNIVERSARY Page 11
iate securing of our demands must be a
pre-condition for our doing a solid job of
work all day and every day. Professional
organizations must devote themselves to
the improvement of professional com-
petence as well as to the removal of pro-
An early TAPIA editorial pointed out
the hollowness of the notion that people
can exist by thinking only of what they
can do for their country and not of what
their country can do for them. But it is
none the less essential that a regard for
work and a dedication to competence for
its own sake should develop in every area
of life if we are to make headway in the
desperately onerous task of building a
OPEN LETTER TO THE POLICE
During the grand remonstrance over the Public Order Bill Tapia addres-
sed an open letter to the Police Association. Since the Press carried
only part of the text, we here present it in full.
The proposal of the Government of
Trinidad and Tobago to introduce a Public
Order Bill and thereby inaugurate a regime
of legal intimidation and repression has
rightly aroused the concern of all the
citizens of Trinidad and Tobago. and has
evoked outright opposition from almost
all the organised representative groups
in the country. The NJAC, the Oilfield
Workers, the Transport Workers, the
Seaman and Waterfront Workers, the
NUGFW, the Trade Union Congress, the
Medical Association, part of the B a r
Association, the Arya Pratinidhi Sabha,
the Staff Association and the Guild of
Undergraduates of U.W.I., St. Augustine,
the DLP, LNIP, Justice Trinidad, the
Barataria AYPA, the Young Socialists,
all oppose the Bill. Many prominent indi-
viduals, such as the Secretary of the Pub-
lic Serv ice AssociationandSenator Conrad
O'Brien, and a large number of newspaper
.columnists oppose it; editorial opinion
and the individual opinions expressed inthe
cQrrespondence columns of the news-
papers are overwhelmingly against it.
And yet we know that the Government
could have the Bill passed tomorrow if
it wished, and that if it is put to Parlia-
ment, it will pass, in whatever form the
Government desires. We cold ask for
no clearer evidence of the emptiness
of our political institutions at the present
juncture, of the total loss of public confi-
dence in the Government, or of the desire
of the Government to use a majority
given to it several years ago to repress
the very dissent which would deny it
such a majority at the present time.
This very public disenchantment, and
the deliberate disregard of it by the
Government, were at the root of the recent
disturbances which brought so muchpres-
sure to bear on both the public and the
police, and, what is much worse, in-
flamed the hatred which the majority of
the population had, since Colonial times,
increasingly felt toward the police. Nor
did the pressure of the disturbances do
anything to modify the attitude of the
police toward the public, an attitude con-
ditioned by the brutalisation on the police
themselves had traditionally undergone
since the Colonial period.
If the Public Order Bill passes, this
hatred will increase a thousand fold, and
instead of being dissipated will become
more and more ingrained in the
personality of our society. Nothing could
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be worse than a condition of permanent
animosity between the representatives of
law and order and the public at large.
All individuals and groups will have to
suffer, more or less, the strain of living
and working under such conditions, but
it is only the police themselves who as
a group will be totally and continually
affected by it. It is therefore in the in-
terest of the Police as a professional
group to do all they can to avoid such
a situation. This professional concern is
more immediate and imperative than the
duty which as individual citizens they share
with all their fellows to prevent the rise
of arbitrary government.
We feel most strongly therefore that,
even more than all the organizations
which have so far come out against the
Bill, it behoves the Police Association
to make an unequivocal statement oppos-
The Police are in a position to make
the Government see what they are at
present too stupid to see; that in con-
ferring powers of arbitrary arrest, search,
seizure and restriction of movement on
the police force they are not doing the
police force a favour for which it musti
automatically be grateful; that the Police
force is not certain to support the Bill
merely because it is destined to be the
instrument of the powers contained in it.
On the contrary it can be no less clear
to the police than to the average citizen
- eE L Jl~l, us
The trend today
that the Bill, if made iaw, would estrange
the police force forever from the people
it is endeavouring to serve, from the
population to which its members belong.
By making the police force the instrument
of Government repression it would focus
the population's hatred of that repression
on the police; by making the police force
the guardian of the survival of one political
group it would subject it to the usual
fate of a praetorian guard constant
political surveillance, encouragement of
factionalism, repeated purges, promotions
for "loyalty" rather than competence
and victimisation as the punishment for
political unreliability. Conscientious
police work and honourable police careers
would be even more difficult to achieve
than they are now.
The Police Association, along with
many other representative organizations
in Trinidad and Tobago, is being forcibly
politicised by the behaviour of the pre-
sent Government. After fourteen years of
supposed political "education" we are at
last undergoing a real training in politics.
This training, ironically, has reached its
most intensive phase as the result of the
Government's attempts to stop thepolitical
awakening of the poeple and of the or-
ganisations of this country. The P o 1i c e
Association, along with many other pro-
fessional groups, is intensifying its work
of political representation of its members
in their struggle for improvement of their
conditions of service, many of which are
We now implore the Police Associa-
tion to take the most important step
in promoting the professional welfare of
its members. We ask it to telltheGovern-
ment that they do not want the powers
which they are being offered by the Public
Order Bill; thatthey do not want to exercise
powers of arbitrary arrest, search, sei-
zure and detention over their fellow
citizens, and that they will derive no
satisfaction, professional or individual,
from possessing such powers. We ask
them to tell the Government that they
want the respect and not the fear or
hatred of the population, and thathowever
hard it may be in the present circum-
stances to win that respect, the task of
the Police Force is to win it and not
arm itself in anticipation of its loss.
In its task it is the duty of the Government
to help the police, not insult their in-
telligence with bribes of arbitrary power
which in the long run, or even in the
short, can only make police work as a
profession impossible by creating an
atmosphere of teror, repression and vio-
lence within which the individual police-
man will be powerless to reject his role.
Chairman of the Executive,
TAPIA House, Tunapuna.
from NAVARRO'S TRAVEL SERVICE
GROUND FLOOR, SLAVATORI'S BLDG.,
-- --- --
Pav I 12TANPIA ANNIVERSAlk.
IN YUIH ORSE
o Cont'd from page 4
Slave, is slower in tempo, more plaintive
in melody a real innovation they fail
to recognize the Kalinda. It could have
been the filial lariint of a dying hbatoinier.
The total efl ct of all this theatre, this
tragiconmedy was to make us reject our-
selves. Beaten ard hounded down in mas-
Querade, our drum and dance held up to
ridicule, we felt inferior in reality. Thu
show of military force, the parade of
white queens were designed to make: us
know our place,and not aspire to rule. For
a long time we blacks were locked outside
the gates; we looked with envy at the
pvillioin. We had no carnival. The stage
was reserved for the French, and the
free coloured British. When, however,
emancipation came and the masses took
to the streets, the ruling class suddenly
withdrew from the celebrations. The
Police and the Press came down heavily
against the new revellers. Tramping was
outlawed, and the whole affair was branded
as subversive and violent.
We have been reminded recently that
no right is an absolute right. But what is
good for the goose is good for the gander.
If individual rights are.not absolute,
neither are the establishment's. What was
obscene yesterday is proper today. What
we dared not criticise yesterday we now
treat with irreverence. Until the
rise of the Holy Roman Empire,
Christianity was outlawed as a subversive
September 10th, 1970
Acting Public Relations Officer
Prime Minister's Office
I have as yet received no reply to
my letter of 13th August 1970 concerning
the representation of TAPIA at press
conferences of the Prime Minister and
other public officials.
The present selective system of re-
presentation at Government press con-
ferences not only discriminates against
the large readership of TAPIA, and against
the local press in favour of the foreign
press. It also makes a mockery of the
public information function of Government
press conferences and casts serious doubt
on the impartiality of the public-financed
Government information service whichyou
have the honour and responsibility to
I should be grateful for an acknow-
ledgement of this request and for prompt
rectification of the situation.
13th August, 1970.
The Prime Minister has recentlyheld
a number of Press Conferences to which
no representative of TAPIA was invited.
In fact, this newspaper has never re-
cieved any information whatever from
your office, in press release or any
other form of communication.
TAPIA is a registered newspaper
with a circulation of 12,000 copies. It
is published forthnightly by the Tapia
House Publishing Company. It has every
right to be informed of, and represented
at, all press conferences held by the
Prime Minister orany other public official.
I should therefore be grateful if in future
you would not only inform this newspaper
of any such iinpending event but also
provide us automatically with all informa-
tion,, releases and other material distri-
buted by your office to newspapers.
You may communicate with us by
letter as follows:
TAPIA, Tapia House Publishing
Company, 91, Tunapuna d. Tunapuna.
or by telephone as follows:
Mr. Denis Solomon.
Assistant Editor, TAPIA.
662-5511 Ext 87.
movement in Rome. Yesterday the pundit:;
were sco.i T at Tapia's idea of a o ;s ~on.-
sou-sou; today it's the Chaconia irac.
The history of carnival here is the:
history of class consciousness. Its
parallel with the development of the
political system is clear. At first ithe
slaves were excluded on the sidelines.
After emancipation the franchise, as i;
were, was widen.d. Their participaiti~o;
increased and with it a new awareness
wlich wa. the beZnning c@ iditrgnou:
innovation aid t;-hnclog;,.
What were te -I-mi, : this charge.
by which the subversivee' culture became
more and more acceptable? At first the
blacks engaged in straight irmitatklo
of the French and British They played
kings, queens, dragoons, godice a n d
thief, molasses devO!, and so on. Son,:
there were signs of cynicism and self-
discovery. They began to portray African,
warriors aid red devils. To cotmteract
the Pierrot the Prince Daaga appeared
on the scene.
'We come to stay, you bound to obey.'
In ridicule of decent French society the
blacks masqueraded as Dame Lorine,
the white prostitute who loved to flirt
with slaves; and Buirroquite, the jackass
with the enormous phallus. Later the
calypsonian emerged as social commen-
tator. The 'grassroots' culture was be-
coming dominant. Once the barriers were
broken the flood swept down Laventille
and Belmont to Waterhole, the plains
of St. James, and the valleys of Diego
Martin and Maraval. In time the pan was
invented, and the steelband developed.
If we accept that there is a political
dimension to carnival, we will see the
Camboulay Riots as skirmishes in the
struggle for democracy. This year car-
nival, we witnessed three significant spec-
tacles. The first was an attempt on the
part of the Carnival Development
Committee to hold back the Bomb until
much later on Carnival Monday for the
benefit of the audiemne in the, stands.
Naturallk. this move wvas at~iakcd by
Gcddard and the grcass'rts, lS a ie-
rn'~d~li by the Afro ,
oi Woodford Square.
in order that the CDC t. is whici, was
be;Ct housed in a a- t i: u idi;te w'oiulcd
not be disturbed, an attempt was made
to disperse the crowd kastening s Ihelk
Bfryner calypso free-sh.w'v;,. Not longafter,
this famous :.a iare a r'enamead the
The hiird important "-.id.;i. w'ai tlh.
highly satirical and original 'uoie masu
presentation by Pietuppers whs :.ster ti-
to the old fashion o:f nakiii carival). a
vehicle of political pc;te3t. The way in
which they ericatured and lautghed at
our leaders aas a clear indication if
,ei politi.ae events wSlicl W-c-ere to follow.
In each instance we saw
the conflict betw-x&.v.n the
House and the Street, be-
tween the Ho:.se slave and
the field slave, between
the closed society and the
open society. Every attempt
to drive the movement from
the streets back into the
house or behind wa-ll-
has been vigorously resist-
ed. As long as carnival
is conducted on stage to
the delight of the tourists,
and the steelband is closed
in while the instrumenta-
lists suffocate in s t r a i g b F
jackets; as long as initia-
tive remains locked in im-
of Old World
symphonies and concertos,
the old regime will con-
tinue to erode the authentic
freedom of the people.
The Tapia tHouie Group has certainly
made ain impact upon the local scene.Since
its inception, the Group hasbeencon-
stantly bombarding the government by
criticising the latter's policies. The Group
has opposed the proposed changes to a
Republican Constitution. It has pointed
out weak points in the structure of our
public administration especially those
deficiencies arising out of our Constitu-
tion. Where others casually dismissed
the disturbances that followed Carnival,
the Group recognized the crisis and (on
Aarch 20th ) named it theFebruaryRevo-
lotion. Even before the demise of 21st
April, the Group was clamouring,
for national reconstruction, for a Consti-
tuent Assembly, and for reform of the
Senate. In short, Tapia isforgingtherudi-
ments of a political philosophy.
But while the Group has been formu-
lating a political philosophy, it has not
organised itself into a political party, nor
is associated with one. In a sense, the
Group may be likened unto a Fabian society
which made an important philosophical
contribution to the development of the Wel-
fare State in Britain Where that distin-
:dished r'cietywas associated with the
Labour Party, the Tapia Group is not
associated with any of the local political
parties. On the contrary, Tapia has chosen
for the time being to remain aloof from
such mundane organizations.
However, when senior cabinet minis-
ters can assure Dr. Williams that he is
the only person at this time and in the
forseeable future who could continue to
lead the country, then it devolves i.spon
the Group to enter the political arena as
soon as possible.
The time is at hand when the Group
must decide whether it is going to re-
vert to being an intellectual platformor
reach out and become a political party.
Lennie M. Nimblett
0 ski is
Pinetoppers 1970: Field Slaves rising against an imquitous regime-
Prin~dp ih~p::ii-'. ~ ~HJI t1 ''I'd u ~.-, .. d-..Ur~n t2j I San t. -,