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STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
SUNDAY MAY 9, 1971.op -,;: :J-:' T r,-'
ELECTION A STRUGGLE R FREEDOM
'U(ITTrT CONFRONTATION NO3
V A l JUU I.
*rThe Regime must fall
4 'V ,, Government by
./ / /klUIJh '<. lll
CE(l LU 513. ELi
SOne against a n
C* m. 7 i-f
L PNM FAIL
oA OQueen's Hall, 1962, ON?
to Whitehall, 197E E
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THE KEY REFORMS The Senate and Local Gov't
The unconventional politics then is not the politics of
violence; it is a politics that insists on participation and
involvement. It is a politics that departs from looking for
a man and seeks instead to change the system.
The issue then is not who must we put but how to
change the system to let people into power. Reform ...
constitutional, economic and electoral reform. After the
upheaval of 1970, therecan be no election without the
fullest representation of the people at the polls, And
after the election there can be no government without
the fullest participation of the people in the process.
ELECTION SPECIAL No. 1
SUNDAY, JANUARY 31. 1971.
- ~~-~1~ 1111
I I ,~ ~LL -I I ~b L I _
Page 2 TAPIA No. 15 CONFRONTATION No. ? SU NDAY MAY 9, 1971.
HE MOVEMENT BRINGING THE
NA TION TOGETHER
AT A PNM Ole Mas at the Queen's Park Oval just before Carnival there
was a mock election. As the whole event was rigged up by the Williams
royal family it was no surprise that the old tired horse of '56 with Breda
Willy up won the race. Both Jamadar, ridden by Erica, and Rob-in-sin,
ridden by Allistair, brought up the rear. UNIP did not even finish.
But Gallop polls can be very mis-
leading, as Harold Wilson, the recently willing tool of his repression. History will
defeated Prime Minister of Britain, was record that it was the Chief Justice who
forced to learn the hard way. The new proclaimed that State of Emergency, and
movement may yet prove to be a dark that during those dark terrible months
horse that can upset the election. What is when the Executive usurped the rights of
at stake is more than the dishonour of the people the Judiciary failed to come
office for which the PNM, ACDC/DLP, forward as the custodian of the Constitu-
and Bhadase Maharaj are running down tion.
the "dirty track" of conventional But it may still be able to salvage its
politics.. The real struggle is between the reputation from the low level to which it
old regime and the new world a-coming. has descended. It is probable that the
In defining the old regime it is Court of Appeal may uphold the sub-
important not to dismiss the entire PNM mission of counsel on behalf of Rex
and'DLP. Equally it would be folly to Lasalle, and rule that the Courts Martial
condemn a large portion of those citizens are illegal. Williams probably has got wind
engaged in trade and industry, in the of this, and has decided to take his
Army, in the Teaching, Police, Civil and chances with an early election before the
Legal Services, in the Press, and the crisis breaks out. His Arima attack on
Church. The new regime has valuable "two by four" lawyers is really calculated
support coming from these groups. Many to intimidate the judges into either
of these people stood up as men during delivering a judgement in his favour, or to
the Grand Remonstrance over the Public withhold their decision until after the
Order Bill. They must be brought into elections.
and not driven from the movement.
The PNM has failed to transform the MUTINY TRIALS
legacy of Crown Colony Government.
Williams today has more power than any By that time Sir Arthur Mc Shine will
colonial governor ever had. He has an iron have gone on pre-retirement leave, and he
hand on every organ of government the will have bypassed Hyatali and Clement
Police, the Army, the Judiciary, the Civil Phillips, and made Bruce Procope Chief
Service; and the crisis that the country Justice of Trinidad and Tobago. The pro-
faces is that the population no longer has sector at the Mutiny trials will then be
confidence in these institutions, safe to preside over the Treason trials
which Williams is clearly bent on
"We face a constitutional crisis in the The task of the new movement is to
deepest meaning of that term. It is not restore confidence in the formal institu-
therefore enough to change the govern- tions of this country. At the moment no-
ment important as that is. What we body trusts the Police, the Army, the
have to do is to constitute a new and Courts, Parliament with its Speaker, the
better world. We have to steer clear of Electoral system with its voting machines.
any politics which simply aims to change And trust is the basis of democratic
the government while leaving the political government. Our political system allows
system untouched....The election cam- alternative teams to take the field at
paign of the forces of unconventional election time. The Election and
politics must therefore be for a Consti- Boundaries Commission is the umpire
tuent Assembly at which we will decide that applies the rules. If the major teams
our own destiny." 9 of the government and the opposition
Tapia November 29, 1970. agree, on the umpire, fine. But when
every opposition party, every group of
substance, has objected to the umpire and
Right now he is active in his attempt his rules, it is a different matter.
to further victimise a civil servant who ACDC/DLP, UNIP, URO, NJAC,
has been courageous enough to identify TAPIA, the trade unions, the Group of
with the new movement. By forbidding Clergymen from different denominations,
policemen to wear Afro hairstyles and to mention only a few, have all come out
beards, he has forced them to deny their in protest against the electoral system and
African heritage.. But by permitting them the voting machines. Even if the machines
to imitate Allistair's walrus mouthstache have never been rigged, they are known to
he is instigating them to show loyalty to be riggable. And this government cannot
his son. This was the pattern of the late be trusted not to rig them after it has
Haitian dictator, Papa' Doc, whose death shown such brutal determination to re-
has caused such universal rejoicing. tain power at all cost. "I have the
Williams also holds the. Bench and Bar power," boasts the Prime Minister, "to
in utter contempt. After all why say come and he cometh." Well might he
shouldn't he?More than any other, the say "rig and he riggeth!"
legal profession both in the Attorney To the open contempt for law and
General's office and outside has been the lawyers is now added contempt for public
morality. This brings the lid down on all
the PNM's dead promises Inter-racial
Solidarity, Party Politics, Federation,
Independence, Morality in Public Affairs.
More than ever political campaigns are
being conducted along racial lines; the
PNM has no party. It is government in
disguise; Federation remains a dream; our
independence has been taken away by the
State of Emergency, by the Courts
Martial, and by our dependence on
foreign States for funds and guns; bribery
and corruption have multiplied on a scale
that we would not have imagined.
This characteristic contempt springs
from a lack of sympathy with all that 4e
stand for as a nation our quest for an
identity, our suffering' at the hands of
the imperialists, our desire for greater
freedom and a better life, and for wider
participation in a system of government
that has always excluded us. He continues
to behave that way because the education
which he received as a young colonial at
Oxford has prepared him for the role of
coloniser of his own people. He has been
steeped in the conservatism of British
political thinkers like Coleridge, the
Arnolds and Newman, but like a true
college exhibitioner he has not
appreciated the spirit of their teaching.
S "Tapia considers it essential that all
interests 'would have an immediate say
in the planning of national re-
construction. A Constituent Assembly
should immediately be convened." (May
The essence of what they taught was
Discipline, Tolerance, Production. They
believed in a National Establishment of
Church and State, and their greatest fear
was that which came "from the multitude
being in power." For a nation to be great,
they held, it was not enough for
individuals to have freedom, that freedom
must be in the service of a higher ideal."
Williams is the high priest of that creed.
He claims that the PNM provided this
ideal. Magnum est PNM et prevalebit.
Great is PNM and it will prevail. That is
why lie is always preaching Paul. It is this
context that we must view his latest in-
junction, "I have the power to say to
every man come and he cometh."
Williams has a concept of the State
which holds that power should reside
with the "men of culture," a ruling class
of educated bureaucrats and businessmen.
Whatever does not conform to his con-
cept of culture is anarchy. It is therefore
"PNM or massacre!" His Discipline is
therefore the Discipline of the ISA to
allow merchants and planters to extract
greater Production from the workers.
It is also the Discipline of the Sub-
versive Activities Commission, and the
Review Tribunal to keep dissenters in
check. Whatever the "swininsh multi-
tude" does, the law, his law, must
take its course. In his nationwide
broadcast of June 30, he claimed to
have laid the foundation for our
independence in 1962. He therefore
warned, "Let every man and woman
tonight, let every citizen, take heed
how he buildeth thereupon."
9 "The first Agency needed is a
Constituent Assembly of representatives
from groups all over the country. "(Tapia
Well might Williams say after Paul:
"The wish is there but not the power of
doing right. I cannot be as good as I want
to be, and I do wrong against my wishes...
So this is my experience of the Law: I
want to do what is right but wrong is all I
can manage... Miserable wretch that I am!
Who will rescue me from this body of
When Williams came into the spotlight
by attacking the Church and Aristotle's
TAPIA (open kou")
Co VMMU4~djl~t-c-%LSs'o ns
Tkmna..r Jrageu 4L d
0RRce a. o Vd S4 t 19 11 FIec
* ortsCrutortI tfkrvi *T1m Econrnmy
S....... the review of the new politics
S \ Surface: Trinidad and Tobago $5.00 TT
Q Overseas $6.00
Air: Caribbean $8.00
SNorth America $10.00
. U.K. $12.00
Name........ ............................................................ .. ......... ......
I enclose $........ for........ yr(s) Air/Surface mail
Return to The Tapia House Publishing Co Ltd,
91, Tunapuna Road, Tunapuna, Trinidad and Tobago
Ideal State during the famous debate with
Dom Basil Matthews, little did he realise
'The Assembly must not only embrace
all groups of the new movement; it must
also embrace Trades Unions, business
groups, cultural associations and of
course the PNM and the official
opposition parties. The discussion must
range over the fundamentals: con-
stitutional reform, the role of the State,
the role of foreign capital, social and
racial equality, economic reorganisation.
As people take sides and real interests
come into the open, lasting political
alliances will emerge." (Tapia August 9,
that he was condemning a system of
slavery from which he was not far to
depart. Like the Apostle Paul he was
rousing his passion to conquer the sinful
half of himself. Within his split person-
ality are the two worlds that have always
been in conflict, emotion and intellect,
colonial and coloniser. Such
schizophrenia continues to plague the
new movement. There are young radicals
whose intense hatred for the intellectuals
can be explained only by the fact that in
conscience they know how much of the
intellectual has become an ineradicable
part of their being.
What Williams forgets is Arnold's fund-
amental political belief that moral causes
determine the standing and falling of
states. Whenever a country is in a consti-
tutional crisis it is public morality, the
conscience of the nation, that ultimately
determines what is right from what is
wrong. The morality encompasses all law,
all religion, all customs and tradition of
all races within the national boundary.
Even though the might of the state*
crushes its victims underfoot, the muffled
voice of this collective conscience shall
still cry out "No Election Without
Representation: Power to the People!"
"The Constituent Assembly itself will
be our first formal exercise in
participatory politics..." (Tapia September
28, 1970) 9
It is now clear that Williams intends to
rule in the interest of himself and his own
circle. Anyone who rules in his own
interest is a tyrant. Any tyranny ought to
be resisted with life itself. After the
February Revolution which shook the
very foundations of the State, a genuine
attempt ought to have been made to re-
constitute the broken fragments. In his
broadcast of May 10 last year he said
"more fundamental reform of the Con-
stitution is needed" and indicated that
such reform would be made after "public
Instead, he introduced the Public
Order Bill which really is the PNM's mani-
festo for constitution reform. "What sac-
rifice this God demands of us!"
Every citizen worthy of the name has
a solemn duty not to legitimate the elec-
tions by taking part. We call on
ACDC/DLP not to participate. We call on
Bhadase Maraj, the religious leader of a
large section of the Hindu community to
champion the cause for which Rudranath
Capildeo fought. In 1956 Bhadase refused
to support the extended life of the legis-
lature. We call upon him to show public
spiritedness now. We call upon the
church, the Press and all the organs of
public opinion to defend the country
now. This is the time to bring the nation
& "The work ahead of us then is to es-
tablish 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."
(Tapia, April 19, 1970)
SUNDAY MAY 9, 1971 CONFRONTATION No. 3
THE TALK is all over the country. All about eyes have been turning to
the striking green and gold posters and handbills bearing the Tapia House
emblem and the new slogans of unconventional politics.
But wha really goin on? People want
to know. The election date is announced,
but we have had no electoral or
constitutional reform; young people are
still left out; voting machines can still be
rigged; the government retains a complete
monopoly of all the media. The electoral
boundaries have been adjusted to suit the
With all this, the now-for-now election
parties present us with the same choices
as 1956: the PDP/DLP, the PNM and the
POPPG shuffled around as to throw up
a few new faces. Same game. Same
players. Ole mas.
After Ole mas is new politics. For
what we are seeing now is that the
election politics of 1971 represent a
continuation of conventional procedures:
the never-ending search for Messiahs;
now-for-now parties and unstable
mergers; the promise of easy solutions
and of instant change; the fleeting
excitement of socking it to crowds in the
public square. Woodstock, Weedstock,
rum and roti; beads, sapats, dashikis -
and eager coverage in the media.
Tapia has long advocated that the real
solution involves permanent and
long-term organisation, solid building in
the communities -- in fact the
unconventional politics of working hard.
Unconventional politics is hardwuk.
The posters are to direct people's
attention to what we say as the way to
real change in this country. They stress
hardwuk, the long haul and the futility of
seeking instant solutions. Instead: Plan
Work Save Build.
In reasserting the higher values like
work, saving planning and building, we
imply that the capacity for change lies
within ourselves; that we can be incharge
of the situation, and not just helplessly
looking to the Messiahs. Take up thy bed
You might argue that in keeping our
focus on the long view we overlook the
immediate and pressing needs of the day;
that while Rome is burning we are
fiddling in Tunapuna. But the only real
.choice that we have is to Build while
Rome Bums. The alternative is to form a
now-for-now party that will go up in
smoke just like the PNM and all its
Small as it is, Tapia is already the most
competent, best organised political force
in the country. We have not rushed the
spotlight in the public square to get an
easy following. The popular support hat
we want must be support that will give
people the confidence to build a
permanent political organisation and not
just another doctor party or a Messiah's
band of followers.
This kind of popular support can come
only by the sweat and toil of community
work. Power to the hardwuk. Community
work will produce solid community
organizations, real group leaders and
programmes which have the support of
the people. When a moment of crisis
arrives, these community forces will come
together to form a lasting political
organization on a national scale.
POWER TO THE HARDWUK; AFTER OLE MAS IS NEW
BUT WHA REALLY GOING ON? BUILD WHILE ROME BURNS;
WORK PLAN SAVE BUILD; TAKE UP THY BED AND WALK.
UNCONVENTIONAL POLITICS IS HARDWUK
From the Tapia Constitution:
The aims and objects of the Group shall be as follows (a) to promote
the jree discussion of Caribbean Affairs; and (b) to undertake whatever
action the members deem necessary to advance the welfare of the
Abandon the Monarchy. Establish a
Participatory Republic with a
Governor General as Ceremonial Head
of State and a Prime Minister as Head
Establish an island-wide system of Local
Councils in Trinidad. Give them real
Establish a specially powerful Local
Authority in Tobago.
Change the basis for selecting the Senate
and increase the size of that Assembly.
Enhance the power of the Senate in
appointments and strengthen its
influence on State opinion.
Establish a National Panchaiyat of both
Houses and give it influence on
appointments and on legislation.
Entrench Congressional power of
Constitutional Review every two
generations (30 years).
Give Congress power to review
representation in the Senate every five
Abandon the Privy Council and establish
a Local Court, preferably a West
Reform the rules of the Civil Service to
grant more freedom.
Reform the rules of the Teaching Service
to grant more freedom.
Reduce the voting age to 18 to embrace
Establish National Service to help
TAPIA EXPERIMENTAL SCHOOL
Those interested in the Tapia Ex-
perimental School and/or the Tapia
Homework Clinic are asked to con-
tact The Education Secretary, Tapia
House, 91 Tunapuna Road,
Tunapuna. Our first experiment will'
take place during the coming long
vacation. Participation is invited from
both students and teachers involved
in work from "0" Level to Univer-
sity Fourth Year and including Poly-
technic and Vocational Schools.
NEARLY all the groups of the
Movement were represented at the
OWTU/TIWU May Day demonstrations
in San Fernando. Accompanied by
African and Indian drummers and a
brass band, the colourful demon-
stration over 2,000 strong went
round San Fernando for about two
hours before returning to Palms Club
for a People's Parliament.
"Power to the people" was the
theme of a poetry reading session
held at the Tapia House to mark
the anniversary of the State of
Emergency on April 21.
The programme included the works
of poets in the English, French and
Spanish-speaking Caribbean. Some of
the brothers read their own work.
And drumming accompanied the
The Caribbean Theatre Guild,
headed by Slade Hopkinson, will put
on Douglas Archjbald's play "The
Rose Slip" at the T & TEC
Recreation Centre, Fyzabad, on May
29. Admission is $1.
J WITH FOUR
OSCIL LA TION
NA TION WIDE
TAPIA No. 15 Page 3
Page 4 TAPIA No. 15 CONFRONTATION No. 3 SUNDAY MAY 9, 1971.
IN the life of an organization as of an individual it is important every
now and again to make a pause, to retreat temporarily from the ongoing
stresses of everyday life. Invariably, we have to make the time to do this,
as well as to consciously create the circumstances in which we can have
the cool to do it meaningfully.
This entails taking stock of ourselves; Augustus Ramreiersingh's paper was
for a moment we direct our focus review of the forces in conventional
internally, to the exclusion of everything politics in relation to this year's elections.
else. We reflect on the way we have been Syl Lowhar looked at the radical groups
going, and consider future direction. in unconventional politics, and
Above all, what matters in all this is considered the prospects for unity. Lloyd
the building of self-knowledge. For Best outlined some choices for Tapia in
members of an organization it means the way ahead.
getting to know ourselves as individuals There were financial reports from the
and one another as members of an Treasurer of the Tapia House Group and
organization. the Treasurer of the Tapia House
It was for this that members of Tapia Publishing Company.
went to Mayaro on March 27 to hold a A lot of discussion centred on the
weekend seminar. It was both a social and group's economic enterprises actual
a business occasion. The seminar activities and planned. The discussion took place in
showed a proper blend of informality and the context of the need enunciated by
seriousness. Tapia to pioneer new forms of business
Ivan Laughlin who was chairman of organisation so as to avoid the futility of
the seminar mentioned in his opening empty confrontation between socialist
remarks the need for self-education which organisation and free enterprise, both of
remarks the needwhich came out of European history and
he felt was particularly important now European needs
that Tapia faced an exciting new European needs.
juncture. There followed the presentation The proceedings by two special assigned
of three papers which sought to place the re reporters who specially assigned their
group in the context of politics in the seminar reporters who presented their
group in the context of politics in the account at the next weekly meeting of
ocuntry today. the group.
ENLIST IN THIS I
It doesn't matter which
General meeting / Elections report
TAPIA elected officers for the
1971/72 term at the Annual General
Meeting on April 15.
The following members were chosen
to serve on the Executive Committee:
Chairman: Ivan Laughlin
Secretary: Lloyd Best
Treasurer: Carlysle Constantine
Community Relations Secretary: Syl
Education Secretary: Denis Solomon
Warden of the Tapia House: Ruthven
Research Secretary: Augustus
Administrative Secretary: Lloyd
Publications Secretary: Janis Paterson
Appointments were also made to the
Lennox Grant, Editor of TAPIA, Arthur
Atwell' Director of Tapia Business
Enterprises; and Michael De Verteuil,
Tapia Arts Director.
Members were also selected to sit on
the following committees: Research,
Fund Raising, Amenities, the Editorial
and the Board of Directors of Tapia
House Publishing Company Ltd.
Before the elections took place the
General Meeting ratified the revised
Constitution of the Group.
Members heard financial reports from
the Treasurers of the Group and of the
Tapia House Publishing Company Ltd.
The final item was a general report by
Lloyd Best on the progress of the Group
The government at the eleventh hour
is making a desperate bid to regain
confidence in itself. To this end it is
employing all the methods available.
Their latest strategy lies in complying
with the demands of various sectors of
the society. It was no surprise therefore
that the PNM manifesto drafted recently
contained among other things proposals
for a reformed Senate.
The Tapia group has been advocating
reform of the Senate since late 1969.
Finally their proposals are accepted, but
alas to their own detriment. For when the
proposals are implemented, a great deal
of wind would have been taken out of the
sails of the Tapia Armada.
Thus, whereas in 1970 it was "Black
Power and National Reconstruction," in
1971 it is now reform of the Senate and
constitutional reform. What next?The
The Unconventional Press
Val M 'J71I PRINT-ED t) fl4E
I /V 0: P, 0
''The revolution gathers
momentum. (New Beginning April
ONE sign of this is the present
outpouring of publications
produced by groups in The Move-
ment. In all parts of Trinidad and
Tobago newspapers, pamphlets and
journals are appearing.
While the Establishment press
fills its columns wit, the irre-
levancies of election politics, ig-
noring activity in tl.e uncoii-
ventional sphere, a new unconveir-
tional journalism is being
developed. The papers of The
Movement reflect the practice and
thinking of ti.e unconventional
politics. They come in newsprint or
on cyclostyle paper, according as
the groups can afford: ti ey are in
fact building new institutions witi.
tie materials and ti e resources t. at
they have. Rooted in the
communities, they focus on ti.e real
issues of the day, and represent
how people actually live in tie
communities. Ilopefully, the free
and open discussi n of national
issues that will talKe us to ti.e Con-
stituent Assembly wili begin among
Tapia introduced the notion of
linconventional politics and has
beei a pionccr in ti e i eld l ol n-
conventional journalism azs well. \\ c
now welcome Itlite new pIllicltion)Is
and beg iin ii iiss, c to p( otide
periodic notices ol tI' p paper ol
THE N, lionail lointi Action
Committee has been publishing area
newspapers produced by affiliate
groups in tle various districts. So
far, papers have appeared in Couva,
Caroni, San Fernando, Fyzabad, St.
James, Diego Martin, Tobago,
Sangre Grande, East Dry River,
Tunapuna and Belmont.
Articles have dealt with t e
economy of the country, high-
lighting black dispossessioni and
foreign control; political analysis,
exposing the breakdown of jL.stice,
and the growing tendency to
repression; ti e lack of social
amenities lii.e water and sanitation,
stressing the inequality in allocation
between "residential" and "lower
class" area; and cultural
THE first issue of "UMIROBI News,"
official organ of the Universal Movement
for the Reconstruction of Bl;ac
Identit\,appeared last weekend. A policy
statements described the paper as a
monthlyl theoretical aind propaganda
organ" necessary\ at ti is stage ol tl.e
struggle to raise e the consciousness of 11
(aribbhea: n workingg class and to develop
"liheCieical lii;es..." tlhrogh a imelI.od
ol pracic. stiidy, analywse and practice "
liThe paper contailied a report on ly/ahad,
giving l h li Hisl ol tle disi oLl going
lloughli l ic utiler CeLm. leading to ai "clss
;:niula sis"oui I- /:lihad todai and
Iconcliidi ,g iM i MI ROie 's viC, % l that
capiii :illis is e senl ti; ll on( e for
S, C ialil "ml
O )i. ir i erl .'s J v.iIitl ith \ngela
IM1 111sc i c i ( I.nilcd SlitIcs iand
i' i Uc1 11 C I ;].L'gi ils ,s i o i t \ V ie l :\,i. I I eI Cl
i c o Iur po lll : d'1\ (, i: i 11itreC>. ;tii All olnal
I+,'uud, m l i.,l 1 i' cl.
- ------------------ -- -
Lroup or which branch
That is good as far as it goes. But the
people will not for long sit and watch the
government being dictated to by the
Tapia Group. On the one hand it means
the government is no longer leading the
nation and this despite the supposedly
nationwide organisation of the PNM -
but is, in fact, being led. On the other
hand, it would seem that there is
sufficient talent in the
extra-parliamentary political groups to
form a viable government.
LENNIE M. NIMBLETT, ST. ANNS.
"The Struggle Against Dictatorship" is
the title of a pamphlet put out by the
Union of Revolutionary Organisations.
The pamphlet deals with the issue of
electoral reform, recalling the 10 years of
ineffective protest met with intransigence
;since the voting machines were in-
"It is now clear," says URO, "that if
we are goiig to have free, fair and
democratic elections we are going to have
to fight for them." Reproduced in the
pamphlet are the call by 13 clergymen for
electoral reform and Williams' reply to
them; and an extract from a dissenting
judgment of Justice Corbjn on the matter
of a voting machine protest in the Arima
elections of 1961.
A PAPER that has attracted con-
siderable attention within recent times is
the Co-ordinating Council's "New
Beginning." In its six issues so far it has
Consistently called for organisation in the
communities. The paper has also pro-
posed a new form of government, by the
People's Assembly, which would draw
representatives from all geographical
community units as well as all economic
and social units replacing the present Par-
"There will be, when we are finished,
two governments in the country the
government of the old order, and our
government, witii Assemblies of the
people as its base." The first stage will be
the grand National Assembly representing
all interests which will lay down a policy
for the nation. This National Assembly,
unlike the Constituent Assembly, is per-
manent "the permanent voice and
legislative organ of the people."
The last issue contained a report on
Nariva/Mayaro, being the work of the
"Community Enterprises" group of Rio
Claru. The report provides general infor-
mation on the district and gives recom-
mendations for improving the living stan-
dards of the residents.
NIGHTLY HOMEWORK CLINICS
Many secondary school students have
problems in getting their homework done
- through no fault of their own.
Especially in poorer homes, the
unavailability of suitable facilities for
study and of assistance from parents can
seriously handicap some students.
The need for properly supervised
homework centres has been recognized
by some secondary schools, e.g. Fatima
College, which has organised night study
sessions for its students.
We have the facilities at the Tapia
House and we hope to engage the services
of our St. Agustine Associates to run
nightly homework clinics for students in
UWI as a
SOME OF the politicians are making
the University a political football. This
is not surprising when this particular
phase of decolonisation has thrown
trained people for the first time, into
the vanguard of the political struggle.
Yet the University is not a political
party; nor can it play the part of the
Unions, the Courts or Parliament. The
University has its uwn particular work
to do. Which is not to say that all
members of the University are intellec-
tuals not even of the Faculty. Nor is
it to say that all intellectuals are to be
found within the University
community. The bulk of the intellec-
tual class is in the Press, the Civil Ser-
vice, the professions and in that vast
uncharted land where live the poet and
the politician both.
It is simply that the University is
the place where the intellectuals have
agreed to make their Mecca which
they've agreed should be the main
trustees of the values of the intellec-
tual system. And it is left for each par-
ticular estate to define some reason-
Tapia is a political organisation.
We're anxious to spell out our own
relation to the community at St.
Augustine. So far, we've had no
business whatsoever with the Univer-
sity and no activity on campus not
even during the high season of political
involvement in 1969-70. But as an off-
spring of the New World Group which
sprang out of campus life, we not only
have many University associates but
we place a high value on our intellec-
tual heritage. '
We have therefore formed a St.
Augustine branch which is tooperate
openly as a political club while
standing in some important way, out
of the dusty bull-ring of Tapia's
Within the larger Tapia organis-
ation, we expect this Branch to do
those things for which intellectuals
and academics are specially equipped
and we expect it to do them with per-
haps a little more detachment than all
the rest of us. With luck, we may have
put up a mirror in which from time to
time to see ourselves.
| aune 9 for
FLt Ce e
TAPIA No. 15 CONFRONTATION No. 3 SUNDAY MAY 9, 1971 Page 5
TAPIA HOUSE PARLOUR
THE familiar neighbourhood parlour has serviced the community in more
ways than one. Apart from being a convenient and locally situated grocery and
restaurant, it has in nearly all communities been a general meeting and liming
People would gather there to talk, to play games or just to meet one
another and enjoy the atmosphere. However, the parlour did not develop into
the all-embracing centre for social and cultural activities that it should have
Instead, we have had night clubs, restaurants and discotheques all American
style. But for a lived-in place, rooted in the folk culture, and equally suitable for
use as a theatre or a restaurant, a dance hall or a clubroom, we have now to
revitalise the original idea of the parlour.
The Tapia House Parlour, then, will be not only a place where the group will
hold meetings, but somewhere you can relax, watching a show of some sort,
listening to music, playing games...or just looking into a boyfriend's eyes. The
idea is to stimulate the social and cultural life around the university campus.
THE vacation school is an experiment in education. The aim is to devise a
course leading to a "Caribbean Certificate of Youth Education," proposals for
which we outlined in Tapia No. 1.
During the long vacation coming up we can hold morning classes in which we
intend to teach and to pioneer changes in the teaching of languages,
literature, history and mathematics, to begin with. This would provide the
opportunity for both teachers and pupils to assess the possibilities for a new
approach to education.
The "Caribbean Certificate of Youth Education" is an attempt to replace the
Cambridge/London GCE with a Caribbean-oriented system so designed as to
emphasise practical work and the use of initiative.
BOOKS FOR SMALL CHILDREN
IN THE absence of more suitable literature, Caribbean children are still made
to start seeing the world through the Anglo-Saxon eyes of reading book
characters like Dick and Dora, Janet and John.
Our proposal is to continue the work began by a few individual writers of
producing a whole range of school and story books for small children.
This exercise in which we hope to involve Caribbean writers and artists of our
St. Augustine branch,is intended to helpchildren to relate their education to the
reality they see around them.
BROCHURE / ECONOMIC BULLETIN
WE propose to draw on the special skills of our St. Agustine members to
produce periodic surveys of the economy. For a start we envisage a twice-yearly
publication which will review trends in economic activity and offer some
pointers to the future.
The bulletins are to cover employment, production, trade and payments,
finance and budgeting, industrial relations and the cost of living. The aim is to
provide a factual background to the discussion of economic decolonization.
THE magazine will be a general review of things Caribbean. It should aim at
as attractive a presentation as we could afford.
The challenge, as we see it, lies in attempting the wider task of reforming a
particular notion of mass communication. As such the magazine will not eschew
seriousness for the sake of being "popular." It.will, however, from content and
presentation, cater for a general readership.
Page 6 TAPIA No. 15 CONFRONTATION No. 3
"African History is revolutionary." So wrote two American scholars. We
are not to conclude from this, as many traditional historians have, that
historians of African are working toward different ends than the usual one
of searching out the facts on which to base historical analysis and
synthesis. No. What is meant is that the historian of Africa is employing a
number of unconventional techniques in the search for historical
He is bound to do so, given the traditional proposition that written documents
constitute the only materials which provide information about the past; or that writing
is the only medium in which historical judgement can be made. If the historian of
Africa were to hold to this hide-bound view of history, then as far as the Western
Sudan is concerned, history begins with the coming of Islam and the accounts of
Muslim writers; and the earlier days of states such as ancient Ghana, Mali, Songhay,
Kanem-Boru and the Hausa States must forever be dismissed as belonging to the
realms of fantasy. Worse of all, history for a good deal of Africa will, of necessity, start
even later at most five centuries ago on the coast with the coming of the Portuguese
and in some parts of the interior less than one century ago with the opening of Africa.
However, a moment's reflection will
reveal that written documents are not,
and have never been, the "Ark of the Fitz A. Baptiste.
Covenant in the Temple of Facts" (E.H. F
Carr). The traditions of the historian's
crafts have always stressed the need to
consult every scrap of evidence that can I
be found, while taking none for granted.
The standard texts always point out the a n p as
need to, look beyond the written word of
a document to such things as to verify and cross-check facts suggested
archaeology, epigraphy, etc. by other sources.
This is what historians of Africa are
doing. In the process,, they are leading
history and historians back to some of
the forgotten principles. Historical
evidence, to the historian of Africa where
writing has not been of major importance
in the life of societies, is any recoverable
survival from the past, be it from the
earth, the structure of society, or the
grammar and vocabulary of language.
And what is recoverable depends on the
techniques and the methods of research.
Without being expected to be an expert
in everything (an impossibility), the
historian of Africa must, at all times, be
sensitive to the benefits that can be
derived from a multitude of disciplines.
The contribution of the archaeologist
to African history is not marginal at all.
Indeed for the earliest periods,
archaeology is virtually the only source of
information for the historian; while for
more recent periods, it often enables him
In the past there has been a lot of
discussion concerning the nature of
archaeology. For some it has been a
discipline, "a method of research ....... a
-system of techniques;" for others it is a
science, and for still others, a social
We prefer to see archaeology as being
concerned with peoples in the past and
with their behaviour patterns.
Archaeology really is an expansion of the
history that is derived from written
Tropical Africa is rich in
archaeological sites: in Nubia and
Ethiopia, in North East Africa and
Zimbabwe and others in Central Africa,
Koumbi Saleh (capital of ancient Ghana)
and Gao in West Africa; and several in the
Chad Valley. On the East African Coast,
archaeological evidence constitutes the
main source for the history of the Islamic
medieval period up to about 1500 A.D.
It is to archaeology that we owe much
of our knowledge of the origins of MAN
in Africa and of his closest primate
HISTORY OF OUR PEOPLES
a *Facade of Palace at Gedi.
t :Archaelogy and dating
cousins. Insistently, the evidence for the
earliest development of the ancestors of
Man comes from the African continent. It
is Africa which on the archaeological
evidence so far, saw the emergence, about
30 million years ago, of the basic stock
which eventually gave rise to the apes as
well as to MAN. Secondly, it was in'
Africa during the Pliocene Age, between
10 and 4 to 5 million years ago, that the
main branch which was to end up as
MAN diverged from those leading to the
apes. Next, it was in Africa nearly 2
million years ago that tool-making
appeared conclusively in the
The earliest evidence of human
cultural activities in the World occurs at
the unique site at the Olduvai Gorge in
North Tanzania. First discovered at the
beginning of this century by a German
scientist, the site has been made famous
because of the work of Dr. & Mrs. L.S.B.
The importance of Olduvai in
-.1 -, c~I~3~
particular and of East Africa in general as
a source of evidence concerning early
culture is tremendously enhanced by the
association of the cultural evidence for
tool-making with hominid fossils. This
association provides an evolutionary
series, the length of which only now
looks as if it may be surpassed by the,
recent finds in the Omo Valley near the
Kenya-Ethiopian border. The Omo finds
have revealed a series of hominid fossils
extending from nearly 4 million years
down to Homo Sapiens around 35,000
The dating of these finds has been
made possible by the utilization of. a
number of dating methods, using physics
and chemistry. The particular one
employed at Omo and Olduvai is known
as potassium argon. It is used for dating
volcanic rocks in which are often
embedded the remains of hominids. It
gives absolute readings stretching back
into millions of years.
Just as important is the development
of the radio-carbon method. This gives an
absolute reading of up to about 60,000
years before the present (i.e. 1950). It is
revolutionizing knowledge about the Iron
Age period in Africa.
Archaeology, combined with the use
of absolute dating techniques, is helping
to open up perspectives in the past of
Africa hitherto not known. There is
emerging an unbroken sequence of
human development from MAN's origins,
probably in some part of the drier areas
of Tropical Africa some 4 to 3 million
SUNDAY MAY 9,
TAPIA No. 15 CONFRONTATION No. 3 SUNDAY MAY 9, 1971 Page 7
Rumbling of discontent in
FOURTEEN Puerto Rican nationalists
recently started a three-month jail term
imposed on them by a US District Court
for taking part in a campaign to get the
US Navy off the island of Culebra, part of
the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
The 14 persons including Ruben
Berrios, president of the Puerto Rican
Independence party and a lecturer in law
at the University of Puerto Rico were
found guilty of contempt of court.
They disobeyed a court order to stay
away from Culebra during the time that
the US Navy was using the island as a
target for ship-to-shore shelling and aerial
Culebra, a 20 square mile island with a
population of 700, has been used by the
US Navy for target practice since 1936.
Last month, however, the Puerto Rican
Independence party and a
Philadelphia-based church group
launched a campaign to help the people
of Culebra get the Navy off their island.
According to the Puerto Rican,
English-language newspaper, the
Guardian, a riot began when a force of 90
US Marines hurled tear gas at some 50
Culebrans who came to the target zone to
protect the tearing down of a "peace"
chapel they had built there.
The trials of the 14 after this incident
led to demonstrations by thousands in
San Juan and a riot by students of the
S UY'ANA REPolT,
Now 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
TAPIA. No. 5. Feb. 1970
to jail by
University of Puerto Rico in which
windows of American-owned businesses
Recently, too, the entire university
was closed down because of the
involvement of lecturers and students in
the movement to free Puerto Rico from
Federal US dominance.
Puerto Rico was the classic case of the
type of neo-colonial economic
development adopted by all the other
Caribbean territories. And, like the rest of
the region..., the movement for change has
come into direct conflict with the
"pragmatist" policies of Munoz Marin,
leader of the Puerto Rican nationalist
movement of the 1940's.
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Support for soldiers from St Kitts
TAPIA has received a telegram expressing support for our stand on the soldiers
issue. The telegram from the United Black People's Movement of Basseterre, St. Kitts
"Express solidarity with Brother Lasalle and others in their struggle for liberation
of oppressed black peoples in Caribbean. History will one day absolve you."
Page 8 TAPIA NO. 15 CONFRONTATION No. 3
SO WILLIAMS has gone ahead and called the election without yielding up
an inch. Up to the time of the announcement he has resisted even the
slightest concession to our demands for a democratic constitution and an
honest electoral system. But he would do well to take heed of the warning
we gave him in Tapia No's 8 & 14. The election should only be held "on
terms which satisfy the legitimate
demands of the people of this country."
The only sane line of action, favouring
both Williams and the national interest is
sweeping reform from below. T A K E
Instead, Williams is persisting with his
old bad-ways. He is running up and down
these islands guffing up his chest and
regaling us with robber-talk. Instead of
raising the level of the discussion he has ( Talking. in this sense -that is, significant
been trampling on the helplessness of the discussion and analysis, persuasion by
people by trying to match the empty argument and exposure, conversion by
mauvais langue and the bacchanal politics the common imaginative effort to define
of the DLP-POPPG in its 1971 guise, the reality of ourselves and our
So once again this incredible irrespon- condition- is itself an indispensable
sibility is bringing the national crisis to a mode of action. We can no. talk about
boil. And since tne causes of the "theory" as opposed to "action," and
February Revolution are still very much when people do so what they are usually
with us, we're heading swiftly down the implying, often without realizing it, is
giddy road of Confrontation No. 3. We really a distinction between compulsion
hope Williams can stand the consequences and participation, between prophetic rule
of being so harden, and the kind of common endeavour in
The only question now is when. Will which leadership is only functional.
the confrontation come before or after
Empire Day? The only issue is whether
the thing is going to be military and des-
tructive or political and reconstructive.
Will it be another April 21 1970? Or the foot of all those charlatan manipu-
another defeat of the Public Order Bill? lators of the old movement who have the
If the confrontation is to be political audacity to think that by putting on a
and re-constructive, Tapia is ready. Even fathead or a string of beads, and by
in 1968, well before the February shouting national reconstruction or
Revolution, we were urging that the elec- power to the people, they can get away
tion could resolve nothing unless the with the conventional game of double-
country first settled plans for economic talk or Doctor politics.
reorganisation and constitutional reform This revolution in communication has
and then accomplished electoral reform. already trapped Williams and Robinson
This is what we said during the debate on into putting on the movement's clothes.
the Republic when all the opportunists Williams has adopted our radical banner
were just playing politics with our future. for after the election. But every citizen
We alone took this unpopular and "ideal- knows full well that he has neither the
istic" position. humanity nor the machinery nor the
tf inrrv if nut Sn rather
"Tapia opposes the holding of elec-
tions under the unrepresentative and dis-
credited system at present in existence.
Before any election is held, we maintain,
there must be a ConstiLutent Assembly."
(Tapia November 1,1970)
And we alone, too, have avoided con-
ventional political manoeuvres like the
plague. We've deliberately shunned all
this now-for-now activity of rushing the
spotlight, forming parties in the news-
papers, and haranguing faceless crowds in
the public squares. In all its life Tapia has
had not more than half a dozen meetings
in the People's Parliaments.
Instead, we've insisted on the solid
work of building up a radical political
organisation through community work,
of letting genuinely dedicated and com-
petent men reveal themselves in concrete
tasks, and of identifying and clarifying
the crucial issues of our time and place.
Above all, our team has been making
genuine communication with actual
individual people far, from the mad
hysteria of the miracle-seeking crowds.
It is a communication which will serve
this nation well, we hope. For it involves
not merely the heart but the head as well.
and it is good at last to see it influencing
even the commentary in the morning
Indeed, the most significant thing
about this unconventional method of
communication is that it is real. It does
not need the hypnotic magic of Doctor
declarations on the hustings. It's not a
spell that lifts the morning after; it lasts
because it has become a part of you.
"We are calling for a Constituent Ass-
embly to bring the conflicts into the open
and to pave the way for the kind of real-
istic alignments that all viable political
systems need." (Tapia December 20,
When you read a TAPIA in the comfort
of your home, whatever you get there is
yours to chew upon until it's yours as
well as ours. This is the only way in
which a genuine popular platform can be
built for an up-and-coming movement a
platform that does not split the moment
the movement has its first important
decision to make.
This is also the way in which we tie
moral authority Lto icary It uu LoU Irat,
than trust these election promises once
again, we're taking up our beds to walk.
We're certainly not running after
Robinson and Jamadar, the queerest
liaison of new-found friends imaginable.
The ACDC is simply a gigantic hoax of
images in the daily press....it does not in
fact exist. And the DLP is the same old
DLP of 1961 and 1966, for ten years
inept, ineffective and incompetent, in-
capable singly or collectively of ever
handling Wilnams. By what miracle have
Robinson and Wills transformed it into
something different? It is the height of
insufferable arrogance that they should
dare to offer this instant party as a
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
serious alternative to the radical organ-
ization we so badly need.
Let us have none of it you hear! The
end-game has only just begun. The old
order is about to have itsfinal fling. And
then it's new politics....after the ole mas
of this revealing campaign.
Meanwhile, the country divides into
two quite different camps, preparing for
the confrontation. On ond side are those
who simply continue to go to meetings
and cheer the competing performers.
On the other, are those who see
that it is only by unrelenting work and by
a coming together of solid community
groups that we can build a serious party.
What must we do? Well, the first
thing is to understand that the
crisis has arisen because the political
system does not and cannot give any
real representation to the people. As
a result 'no democratic political
party can survive; and no govern-
ment can commit the country to the
kinds of plans needed to solve our
The constitutional crisis that we
face is that the large middle
section of the people are no longer
satisfied to cheer and vote-and hope. We
are rejecting these old methods and
insisting on something new.
This is what TAPIA has been
banking on from the start. We are con-
fident that the people will not be fooled
again; that the election will draw. only a
few to vote.
We therefore urge Williams to call a
Constituent Assembly of all the national
interests and charge it t( initiate con-
stitutional, electoral and economic re-
form. Out of this, new and healthy
alignments would surely emerge; we will
found an appropriate political system;
and the confrontation would have been
The alternative is to saddle us with a
government which would not have the
authority to govern. And that spells
destructive confrontation, repression,and
More and more people are seeing this
clear choice as the campaign exposes the
hollowness of the contending election
parties. Some sections of the press are
calling for a "political conference,"
others are supporting some kind of
The time has come for us to press for
such a meeting. It is the only non-violent
solution to this crisis.
SSo long as the unconventional
politics continues to commit people
in the communities to constructive
work and to serious thinking about
constitutional and political reform,
there is no sense in which we can
"lose" the election. We will be get-
ting stronger every day and we will
be calling the tune for the govern-
N am e: ...............................................
INTERESTS ( Please tick off )
0 Adult and Youth Education
* Drama Poetry Rea
Art including Posters Writing (drawing) for TAPIA.
I hereby subscribe to the rules of the TAPIA HOUSE GROUP and
enclose $1.00 as my membership fee.
Rules on request from the Tapia House.
Signed: ......................... Date: ...............
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SUNDAY MAY 9, 19