Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00072147/00050
 Material Information
Title: Tapia
Physical Description: no. : illus. ; 43 cm.
Language: English
Publisher: Tapia House Pub. Co.
Place of Publication: Tunapuna
Creation Date: March 11, 1973
Frequency: completely irregular
Subjects / Keywords: Politics and government -- Periodicals -- Trinidad and Tobago   ( lcsh )
Genre: periodical   ( marcgt )
serial   ( sobekcm )
Dates or Sequential Designation: no. 1- Sept. 28, 1969-
General Note: Includes supplements.
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000329131
oclc - 03123637
notis - ABV8695
System ID: UF00072147:00050

Full Text


Vol. 3, No. 11


has lost

WE OF TAPIA cannot
imagine why the Consti-
tution Commission took
the risk of killing the
National Convention by
arriving late for the opening
session in Tobago. How
can the Commission have
failed to instal itself in
Tobago in good time, after
the first round of meetings
had revealed so clearly that
Tobago would stand no
second-class treatment?
We can only conclude from
this utterly cavalier approach
that the Commission seriously
tiii ar+ites how critical its

appointed in 1971 we declined
to lend it support when it
could be regarded as a bureau-
cratic arm of the Government.
Only when the Commission
had been politically destroyed
as such a tool of the old regime
did we seek to revive it as an
instrument of the citizens. Yet
we did not quite succeed, and
the Commission has persisted
in the extremely costly error
of thinking that because it was
established by the Government,
it is somehow in the Govern-
ment's control.


unIeresumateVn C1LL;W ILN
,work is for the political future We have night after night
of this crisis-bound country. heard the Government Unit
broadcasting versions of the
Commission's proceedings, suit-
MISHAP ably censored to the purposes
of the ruling party. It is surely
Were the Tobago mishap an the limit of carelessness or
isolated example of the Com- timidity that the Commission
mission's attitude, we would can have allowed such gang-
have viewed it with far less sterism to be perpetrated on
rra -eare enow doing. the population without even a
Unfortunately, over the months protest to those guilty of the
we have watched the Com- heinous crime.
mission indulge itself in what In Tapia we have never for
seemed to us like a great deal a moment condoned the im-
of gratuitous travel and we have pertinence that the Commission
gotten the distinct impression is wanting in the integrity or
that some members are treating the competence needed to do
their task as a kind of pastime the job in hand.
to be enjoyed in between the True, we have judged some
serious bouts of work. of the utterances of Commission
Moreover, we have heard members as pure stupidness but
members express opinions in that in no way alters our over-
public which we think com- all judgement.
pletely incompatible with the
Secretarial role which alone DISTL RBS
the Commission must play if
its work is to win the trust of What disturbs us is that
the country. It is not so much because the Commission fails
that some of the judgements to perceive in what way it
are manifestly absurd but that needs to be completely in-
it is no business of the Com- dependent of the Government,
mission whatsoever whether or it fails correspondingly to
not particular proposals are identify the crucial part it must
conservative, radical or likely play.
to entrust the power to the The Commission seems to
people, be prisoner of the prevailing


Tapia would settle for nothing
which did not seek to place
the citizens in a position to
control the government but the
judgement about the merit of
the proposals that we are
making is to be exercised not
bureaucratically by the Con-
stitution Commission but poli-
tically by the people of the
As far as we are concerned,
the Commission's job is simply
to report on what the various
voices in the country are ad-
vocating or searching for, to
point out the implications of
each proposal and to assess, so
far as it is possible to do, the
feasibility of each particular
After the Commission was

defeatism which argues that
The Doctor has already decided
what constitutional reform he
wants, that he will select what
he wishes from any report that
the Commission may present
and take them through the
existing unrepresentative Par-
liament, and that the Govern-
ment would then be in the
impregnable position of being
able to call an election on
constitutional and electoral
terms tailored to suit itself.
Well, it is entirely possible
that that is how the Govern-
envisages that the plot would
disentangle itself. But in Tapia



we are in no way dismayed by
the prospect. We are fully
satisfied that so long as the
Commission completes faithful
reports of what the various
interests in the country are
thinking, the Government would
then risk swimming against the
current at its peril.
Tapia does not doubt the
capacity of the revolutionary
movement to enforce on the
Government the wages com-
mensurate with the sin of trying
a fast one on a people who,
after more than a decade of
official domineering and dupli-
city, are now at the very
boundary of our patience.
Theic is documentary evi-
dence to establish that ever

since 1969 when we had no
particular constituency to pan-
der to, Tapia felt that the
nation had reached a historical
turning point demanding a
total reconstruction of our in-
stitutions. We therefore feel
that we are in a strong moral
position to insist that our coun-
try is today in the throes of a
political upheaval which has
already made of the Parliament,
the University, the Judiciary,
the Army and the Police Service
quite different institutions from
what the average citizen expects
them to be.
We feel able to say quite
simply that civil rights have
become a game of chance; that

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an entirely new regime is being
established in our land follow-
ing the temporary triumph of
reaction in April 1970.
We add to all this that even
among the supporters of the
present government there is little
real demand for any such
regime. This we take to mean
that there is a political vacuum
in the country and we know
that no political vacuum remains
unfilled for long.
The relevant question there-
fore is whether or not the
vacuum will be filled by means
which are essentially political
or by means which are essent-
ially military. We cannot con-
ceive that there is any respon-
sible citizen who retires to bed
at night without musing on the
odds involved.


The outcome, so far as we
can judge, is not by any means
yet determined. It still depends
on what the Constitution Com-
mission achieves. It is therefore
the duty of the Commission to
give the country the chance for
a political resolution of the crisis.
The National Convention must
be made an occasion where the
nation can exercise a demo-
cratic choice.
This dictates that the Com-
imission should:-
confined its .own
participation to merely
playing a Secretarial role
change the location of
the Convention to the
Old Market in Port of
Spain, or Queen's Hall
or the SWWTU Hall or
some psychologic-
ally and physically more
accessible place
hold certain sessions in
San Fernando and in
Tobago once again
make adequate arrange-
ments for radio, tele-
vision and newspaper
coverage independently
of the Government's
Public Relations Office.
Tapia will not insist on the
details of these proposals but
our intuition tells us that if
their spirit does not take hold
of the National Convention so
that the nation can make a
clinical assessment of what its
constituent interests are think-
ing, we will have all been res-
ponsible for preparing the
ground for a classical Caribbean

Annual meeting

Sunday March 18, 9a.m

o -- lu -m-r. .


15 Cents

' The hospital, the jail

or the cemetry...'

SEX AND SMUT are the themes which run through the
entire history of calypso. The contempt for the African
woman with which it began slave-woman who either by
force or favour became the plaything of the boss in the
stable of his Great House was still sharply felt by Sparrow
when he burst into the limelight over ten years ago with
"Jean and Dinah".
"Indrani" is in the same tradition. It ridicules an indentured
woman of 60 who in turn plays up sexually to a free black. What
Lord Shorty has succeeded in doing with this calypso is to bring
the experiences of this type of woman within the mainstream of
plantation culture. As such it is an integrating force. Deep down the
motivation is one of sympathy and love; praise for the strength and
fertility of this woman, who at that age can still work lo hard in the
lagoon without losing her zest for life.
The success of Sparrow's Original Young Brigade tent depends to
a large extent on its insistence on sex and smut. Panther, the master
of ceremonies who replaced Cristo, kept injecting the atmosphere
with doses that at times almost paralysed us with laughter.
At the Regal the Lord Funny stole the show with his deadpan
rendition of "Soul Chick" as he did in a previous year with
"Sock It To Me".
The indecency of "My Connie is undeniable. Adults are reluctant
to sing it in the presence of children. Yet it almost won the Road
March for Sparrow this year as "My Pussin" did before.

And its funkified rendition
by Tokyo was one of the:
sweetest in the Panorama
finals. "Brigidick, brigidick,
what is that; the donkey stick.
in your sister .., was one of
the stinkest riddles even in
School Days. Yet nobody
cares because mas'is mas', and
that kind of ballad is as much
calypso as are the kalinda,
the fantasy, and the narrative.


Incidentally, Tokyo's mas'
- "A Fantasy in Shaaka's
Dream" was reminiscent of
George Bailey's prize-winning
"Back To Africa" in the late
50s. That it was so badly
beaten out of place by "Secrets
Of The Sky" gives us an idea
of how our standards of ex-
cellence have moved from the
authentic to the contrived.
Since the Grand Savannah
on the night of Dimanche
Gras is a grand calypso tent
for the purpose of crowning a
king it is not surprising that
sex is sometimes dramatised
on stage.
We remember Kitchener
going through the sexual
motions of a woman who
dipped her bottom like a
Batty Mamsel.


Even in the Prime Minister's
Best Village Competition last
year we were treated to some
looseness which drew a howl
of protest from several quarters
including the Church. But
J. D. Elder and other folk-
lorists valiantly rushed in de-
fence of the culture. The
extent to which judges accept
spiciness in calypso is outlined
by Chalkdust in his recent
masterpiece "Juba Doobai".
If you want-to win the
Sing about your neigh-
bour's wife,
Sing about your own
sex life...
What makes Shorty's "The
Art of Making Love" so ob-
jectionable to many is the
choreography. If it were vulgar

Syl Lowhar on calypso, carnival and freedom away with our basicright to
bail by raising the spectre of

it might have been more
acceptable, but so perfect was
the timing of movement and
rhythm and song that he
attained an embarrassing
If ever the Carnival season
presented a mandate for a
national theatre it was that
performance, together with
that of "Indrani".
I can think of no actor
either in Walcott's Workshop
or Hopkinson's Guild who
could have excelled him in
these parts.
For these reasons Lord
Shorty entertained mammoth
crowds throughout the season,
placed second for the crown
in South, and was chosen to
contest in the grand finals in
Port of Spain. No warning
was ever given to him; only
the applause even of promi-
members of Parliament.


Why then would the Police
issue a summons for him to
appear in court? Why would
the Prime Minister want an
explanation from Ivan Williams,
Chairman of the CDC? To
find the answer we have to
look at the calypso as an art
forni, and how it relates to
the wider society.
Gordon Rohlehr argues that
from earliest times the calypso
tent has been a People's Par-
liament, a platform where
viewpoints on various topics
were freely expressed.
This freedom of expression
has already been curtailed by
the Sedition Act and the
Summary Offences Amend-
ment Ordinance old Colonial
laws which have been revived.
This freedom is being fur-
ther reduced by the refusal of
the Courts to grant bail, a
right which enables the accused
to assist his lawyer in pre-
paring for the expression of
his defence.
This freedom is also re-
pressed when the mass media
succumbs to the censorship

of the Government.
As in everything else offi-
cials may decide what they
want but when the people
have tb choose they will always
come down on the side of
In spite of the trip to the
United States, and the scholar-
ship loan to Gay Desperadoes
in 1970, it was Rudolph
Charles, the captain of that
steelbarid who came out
against the Government's poli-
cy at the Steelband Consulta-
Of all calypsonians, Striker,
a former King, is on record
for praising the PNM to- the
skies. This year his calypso
on Buy Local must have put
him in a different camp.
Allrounder, winner of this
year's Buy Local Contest,
made a guest appearance at
the OBY tent over the week-
end before Carnival, and his
song had the audience in a
quandary. They shifted un-
easily in their seats. His calypso
had a Buy Local flavour. Why
did the Government have to
pay Danjuma so much money
to jail our soldiers when our
own judges turned round and
set them free?


Then of course there is
the Lord Valentino singing
his way to liberation.
The Police too cannot be
too happy with the two
calypsoes about the Pele in-
cident in the Oval:
"Who throw the teargas, is
the police and dem'. And
according to Lord Relator,
"the police were fas' to say
dey throwing teargas".
But it is the Mighty Chalk-
dust who keeps incurring the
wrath of the Government.
Starting some years ago with
his "Letter to the Ministry"
he has been their unrelenting
critic ever since: "Hear what
Gene Miles tell me, sing as you%
crazy, sing on anybody, and
Sto hell with the Ministry".
He too is saying get to hell

out, and of course, in spite
of Valentine's "Hark, Hark"
no damn dog must bark. Gene,
friend turned foe of the PNM
has since died, broken. And
Chalky? Well, until he die
we'll hear his cry "Juba
Last year the PNM claimed
that they refused Chalky ad-
mission to join their political
party. This he has denied.
Whatever the case, it is clear
that he anticipated that they
would be coming at him.,
"Ah Fraid Karl", that master-
stroke against the Sedition
Act, has earned for him the
order of Merritt.


But Dr. Bharath- is too
much, for the ruling party
to stomach, "Somebody in
Whitehall Mad!" What makes
Chalky so terrible is his sense
of dramatic irony, as when in
the middle of a sold out
Dimanche Gras show he
accuses the CDC of not
making money. He tends to
say just what people are
Mindful of these develop-
ments we are not surprised
at the attack on Lord Shorty.
We know all along that the
real target is Chalkdust and
other dissenting calypsonians.
The aim of the move is to
censor calypsoes in future -
more erosion of freedom.
Since the Public Order Bill
the Government has devised
the tactic of avoiding direct
confrontation with the people.
Repression is being introduced
in a roundabout way. Bail
could not be denied outright
because it is a fundamental
right that cannot be taken
away in a society that has a
proper respect for the rights
and freedom of the citizen.
The gimmick therefore was
to get the police to fill the
morning and evening papers
with reports of all sorts of
minor offences, and to do

The truth is that the law
cannot be anticipated. As the
Prime Minister would say, "the
law must take its course".
Now an attempt is being
made to take away the tra-
ditional freedom of calypso-
nians, to destroy the parliament
of the- people lr"-
ment does not dare to declare.
its real intention.
It therefore makes a scape-
goat of Lord Shorty. Already
the League of Women Voters
which is primarily a PNM
organisation has been set in
motion. To save themselves
they would destroy we carnival.
But let us hope it does not
come to that for King
Wellington's sake. Because it
may be "the hospital, the jail
or the cemetery".












Sunday March 18,"


9.00 9.30 a.m. ............ Registration

9.30 11.30 a.m. ..... The State of the Country

11.30 1200 noon ............. Intermission

12.00- 1.30 p.m.

1.30- 3.30 p.m.

. The State of the Movement

. ........... Lunch

3.30- 4.30p.m. .............. Elections

4.30 5.30 p.m. ..... .... Political Horizons

MEMBERS, associates and friends will be
assembling at the Tapia House this Sunday,
March 18 for our Third Annual General
Meeting. Registration will begin at 9.00 a.m.,
and Chairman, Syl Lowhar, will open pro-
ceedings at 9.30.
Highlight of the day is a free discussion on the
State of the Country to be introduced by Lloyd Best,
Tapia Secretary, who will speak on "The Climax of
the February Revolution".
At noon, following the morning intermission,
Lennox Grant (Editor), Allan Harris (Administrative
Secretary) and Ivan Laughlin (Community Relations
Secretary) will report on the year 1972-73 after
which discussion will pass to "The State of the
After lunch elections for the year 1973-74 will be
held. The following twelve offices are to be filled:
Chairman, First Vice-Chairman, Second Vice-Chair-
man, Secretary, Assistant Secretary, Administrative
Secretary, Treasurer, Community Relations Secretary,
Education Secretary, Editor, Secretary to the Execu-
tive, Public Relations Officer.



Nominations for the Elections may be handed
into the Administrative Secretary at any time be-
tween 9.00 a.m. and 3.00.p.m. on Sunday March 18.
A nomination need only be signed by two registered
participants of the Annual General Meeting. Partici-
pants are reminded that they should put themselves
in good standing at time of registration.
The Outgoing Executive is as follows:-
Chairman .................. .. Syl Lowhar
Vice Chairman .............. Arthur Atwell
Vice Chairman ............... Volney Pierre
Secretary ..................... Lloyd Bestt
Assistant Secretary ............ Lloyd Taylor
Administrative Secretary ......... Allan Harris
Treasurer......... ......... Ernest Massiah
Education Secretary .......... Denis Solomon
Research Secretary ...... Augustus Ramrekersingh
Community Relations Secretary .... Ivan Laughlin
Editor ................. .. .Lennox Grant
Amenities Secretary.......... Ruthven Baptiste
Public Relations Secretary .......... Pat Downes
Warden .................. Esther Legendre
Director Tapia Enterprises ......... Clyde Payne
Secretary to the Executive .. Sheilah Solomon

Little Carib project

Theatre will soon be
functioning again says
Beryl Mc Burnie cho-
At a fund raising affair on
Thursday March 1, the corner
stone was laid by the Minister
of Education and Culture,
Mr. Carlton Gomes.
The building at the corner
of White and Roberts Streets,
is however still in the hands of
builder Emile Elias and archi-
tect Colin Laird who are also
directors. The new company
is called the "Little Carib

So far, only the balcony
of the Theatre is complete.
The rest of the work is being
done in phases and completion
is expected within the next
three months.
When work is finished, it
is hoped that seasonal per-
formances by the Little Carib
Theatre will be staged. Various
other groups have shown in-
terest in the re-opening of the
Theatre and in performing
Trinidad Theatre lovers can
therefore look forward to fre-
quent productions from the
Little Carib Theatre.



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EAST AFRICA...... 15.00 UK
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All overseas deliveries airmail.
Surface mail rates on request.
91, Tunapuna Road,
Trinidad & Tobago.







THERE HAS been no
dislocation but we have
broken new ground this
is how a prominent mem-
ber of SPIC (Society for
the Propagation of Indian
Culture) this week described
the situation on the uni-
versity campus following
their walkout at UWI's
annual calypso competition.
If his appraisal of the
mood on campus is correct
- and the ensuing weeks
will show this then the
campus would have come a
lone way from the bitter-
ness evidenced during the
show on the night of
February 28.
On that night, the situation
looked bad enough. Feeling
that a calypso sung by a stu-
dent dressed in a turban and
dhoti insulted the Indian com-
munity, members of SPIC
walked out, jeered in the process
by large numbers of Africans.
Came the morning and the
Indians planted flags as an
assertion of self and Africans
outraged by what they con-
sidered to be racist behaviour
on the part of the Indians took
up positions on their side of
the race line.


Fortunately the meeting or-
ganised by SPIC was of such a
character that "gut" reactions
were not allowed to hold sway
and, perhaps, for the first
time the two races aired their
misgivings about each other
in an atmosphere of relative
From the outset SPIC stres-
sed that their intention in calling
the meeting was to make sure
that the moves towards Indian-
African togetherness that had
been initiated and continued
by some members of both races
over the years should not be
swallowed up in the accusations
and counter-accusations that
were rife that morning.
And in spite of really vicious
heckling from several in the

whether the Indians should
have walked out and, if they
did, whether the Africans should
have jeered.
It was inevitable that the
discussion should cease to cen-
tre on Indian-African relations
on the campus since it was
pointed out that suspicion ex-
isted between the two races
in the whole community the
thing with the campus was that
the nature of the institution
brought people, of the two
races into close, daily contact
and that this "rubbing of
shoulders" served to exacerbate
the problem.
One African student argued

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audience, SPIC President, Cha-
dee Persad, Saisnarine Tiwary
and Kenneth Parmasad refused
to join in the mud-slinging
and sought to make real points
Of these the major was that
the "Babu" man and the African
had a right to the country and
as such they had better get
down to the task of under-
standing each other's sensibili-
SPIC pointed out that the
main chorus line in the calypso
- "Ram, Ram, Sita Ram" -
was a Hindu religious greeting
and as such held deep signifi-
cance for the Hindu. And while
conceding that the calypsonian,
Rawle Aimey had no intention
of insulting the Hindus on
campus, the fact was that an
insult was given.
Still, SPIC, in the cool of
the morning, was prepared to
concede that their action might
have been "irrational and myo-
pic" in view of the unrestrained
"piconging" that is part and
parcel of the traditional calypso.
Which left the meeting open
for a discussion on the need for
both races to look at each
other's culture rather than on
the futile discussion as to

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that the Indians were too sensi-
tive on the question of their
race and their culture. The
reply, of course, was that sensi-
tiveness or lack of it was a
subjectivething and that no
man should feel, himself, em-
powered to tell another what
"to hold dear to his heart".
It was also pointed out that
because of the historically sub-
servient role that the Indian
has had to play in the society
he has quite naturally sought
to protect the culture and the
religion that he knew to be his
- and if that was construed to
be a defensive position, then
there were clear-cut historical

reasons for this.
It was curious during the
entire meeting how Africans
referred to calypso as a "Trini-
dadian" thing. Keith Smith
argued that to generalize in this
way was to-display-a kind of-
African arrogance that had been
making attempts to bring. In-
dians and Africans together
even more difficult.
None of the speakers who
made the assertion took time
out, he argued, to wonder
whether in fact the calypso had
the same place in the heart of
the Indian as it did the African.
He was of the opinion that
in Trinidad and Tobago calypso
was largely an African ex-
perience and that as such
Africans could not be justified
in demanding that the Indian
relate to the form in the same


It was this attitude, he felt,
which made some Indians feel
that they were undergoing a
second stage of exploitation -
meaning that many Africans
were seeking, as did the British
in the past, to impose their
culutral forms on the Indian
He conceded that perhaps
this was difficult to grasp since
the exploitation spoken about
was of a more subtle nature
and therefore less easy to grasp.
On the other hand it was not
asking-too much of the Indians
in the community that they
seek to be tolerant and to know
something of what has been
described as "the ground rules
of calypso" so that insult could
not be found where none was
It was further argued that
underpinning the whole issue of
African-Indian relations in the
society was the need for both
sides to realize that each had
something of worth to offer
the community and that neither

had any divine right to impose
a direction culturally or
otherwise for the other to
Past and contemporary his-
tory had shown quite clearly
the violent-strifrtlrft t-enWret
any such attempt at achieving
"togetherness". A call was made
for compassionn" and the need
for each race "to put itself in
the other's shoes".
What was disconcerting was
that the gut "nigger", "coolie"
reactions came from students
who supposedly had grasped
the data as contained in the
the books that went a long way
to explaining the present gulf
between the two major races
in the country.
One felt that somehow in
spite of the degrees turtfed out
every year, the University had
not succeeded in equipping
people to change the situation
into which the years ot slavery,
indentureship, colonialism and
neo-colonialism had forced us.
How insidious a thing is
race! Seemingly, it has little to
do with intellectual achievement
since, for all the theorising
based on all the data collected
over the years, when it came
down to the nitty-gritty many
students reverted to simple posi-
tions based on the texture of
the hair.
Still, the meeting did clear
the air for getting down to the
task that should have been
started long ago. It was clear
that students had to begin from
as basic a standpoint as their
source of information.
For it was ironic, indeed,
that the calypso was a take-off
on Lloyd Best's alleged wearing
of a dhoti at a meeting of
taxi-drivers. This never hap-
pened and the information came
from the "Bomb" a paper
that has concocted stories aimed
at bringing into disrepute uni-
versity students, personnel and,
indeed anybody really seeking
to make things better in this
unhappy and divided society.

Dislocation,yes, but we

have broken new ground



WD MA IH 18 1973 TAPA I PAGEs t

THE NJAC Women's
Arm met last Thursday to
discuss, with a view to
taking action, the recent
arrest and detention with-
out bail of leader Geddes
Granger, Kenny Isles, Clyde
Domon and Louisa Critch-
In a brief rundown, Sister
Joy told some ten NJAC women,
and two others representing
HATT and Tapia, of irregular
circumstances surrounding the
Police stated that both Louisa
Critchlow and Geddes Granger
lived at the La Romain house.
Bylaw one cannot be prosecuted
for findings on another's pro-
perty. Evidence to prove that
neither Critchlow nor Granger
lived on the premises was
brought to the two magistrates
and to Judge Garvin Scott yet
bail was still denied.
The warrants for the arrests
-were taken out on February 16
police acting on a "hot tip".
However, the arrests were not
made until February 23.


It was then decided that a

developing Police State in Trin-
ago, where the actions of those
in authority are making Life
andLiberty increasingly cheap.
We view the arrests of the
Chairman oftheNJAC, Brother
Geddes Granger, along with
Brothers Kenny Isles, Clyde
Domon and our Sister Louisa
Critchlow as purely political,
a new tactic devised by this
immoral Government to deal
with political opposition.
The refusal of bail to Sister
Louisa in particular is an indica-
tion of the desperation and
corruption of this regime. Sister
Louisa is not yet seventeen
years of age. When Justice
reaches the point that a sister
under 17 years of age is denied
bail by two magistrates and a
Judge, with no reasons being
given we realise it is an act of
People are now able to judge
more clearly whether there is
any such things 'independence
of the Judiciary' in this coun-
try or whether the courts are
being used to do the dirty work
of the political bosses.
Only political repression can
explain the refusal of bail to
our brothers and sister. No
emergency has been declared
to say that people's rights have
been suspended None of them

statement should be prepared
and circulated to the news
media and a special delegation
should go to the Express offices.
The Women's Arm had
found that the Press had been
treating the news of the Bank
robbery and the arrests of the
TTT iS reported to have begun
one newscast with the robbery,
continued with the NJAC
arrests and rounded off with
the robbery again.
Proposals were invited from
members and a statement was
On Friday March 9, at 4.45
p.m. afro-clad members of the
Women's Arm marched in on
;the quiet Express offices and
presented the statement to news
editor Frank Arlen. The state-
ment was also read by Sister
Joy. Here are extracts from the
NJAC Women's statement:-
"As Black Women of the
NJAC we condemn the quick



THE San Fernando Carnival
season really got going with
the Panorama preliminaries on
Sunday February 11, which
was attended by about 5,000
There was one incident that
day as a result of which Mr.
Ossie Williams, Secretary of
the San Fernando Carnival Com-
mittee, got a broken ankle.
But otherwise everyone -
including the police displayed
discipline and tolerance.
The standard of mas sur-
prised quite a few people who
had felt that with top band-
leaders Mack Copeland and
Peter Carvalho out of the
country, the standard would
It was quite the opposite
with this year's mas surpassing
that of the last three or four

has criminal records The charges
laid are not such as to justify
the refusal of bail. How could
the refusal of bail to four
persons charged with the al-
leged possession of six shot
gun cartridges, no gun, appear
as anything but a mockery of
Justice and the suppression of
fundamental rights?
While they are denied bail
we have witnessed that two


policemen who were charged
for robbery with aggravation
in November of last year were
granted bail.
On the very day that the
four members of NJAC were
refused bail by Magistrate Kelvin
Ali in the San Fernando Mag-
istrate's Court, the same
Magistrate Kelvin Ali granted
$700.00 bail to a man who was
accused of criminally assaulting




a six year old girl.
Too many people are now
suffering because of the des-
peration of this Government.
Too many people are suffering
because of the abuse of law and
authority, wasting their lives
in jail withoutjustification.It is
time for the people to call a
halt to this dangerous rail-
roadingof the most basic rights
of citizens."



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- -



An Interview with

Angela Davis

WHEN YOU SEE her full of
energy playing volleyball you tend
to forget that this is Angela, the
young black American who only a
few months ago was fighting for
her health and her life in a
tiny lonely cell in San Jose Prison,
This is the Angela who last
September 28 in Havana's Plaza de
la Revolucion appealed for world
solidarity with the cause of black
soldier Billy Dean Smith and other
political prisoners in the United
Nobody is better qualified than
she to talk about prison life in the
United States. Nor is anyone better
fitted to head the prisoners' move-
ment in that country.
How does the National United Com-
mittee to defend political prisoners and
the victims of repression work and who
belongs to it?
Right now the committee is at the
organising stage. We want it to be a
united front, a kind of mass democratic
organisation which will result from a
coalition of the defence groups and
movements in general. Hopefully, by
April we'll be able to hold the national
conference at which the committee will
be formally established.
The participating organizations will
have to be against racism, against im-
perialist wars, whether they're in Indo-
china, Africa or Latin America, and in
general they'll have to be progressive
in their ideology.
We want to create a movement that
will take on- the cases of the political
prisoners as they turn up. Of course,
it's impossible to run a movement for
the liberation of political prisoners with-
out pointing to specific cases, but these
come to light almost of their own
accord. Thus we are going to pick out
several of them.
That is how the Billy Dean Smith
case arose. It was an important one

because it concerned a young black, who
was also a soldier, and who had refused
to kill Vietnamese, and who became a
victim of repression.
Is there any region where repression
makes itself particularly strongly felt?
Well, we are trying to give the
maximum possible publicity to a group
of trials taking place in the state of
North Carolina. There the government
has established a kind, of experimental
centre to demonstrate just how far they
are prepared to go in repression for the
liquidation of radical and revolutionary
political movements.
In recent months, every time an

organisation has arisen, as a consequence
of the injustices suffered by the black
community, the authorities have crushed
it by jailing all the leaders.
We want to make North Carolina
a centre of national activity, because it
is one of the areas of the country
where repression is growing worse each
Of course it is not only there that
repression makes itself patent. There is
also the city of New Orleans, and the
whole state of Louisiana in general. The
recent killing of two black students from
the University of Baton Rouge is an
example of how this zone could also
become a centre of gravity ... Ah ...

In recent months, every time an organisation has arisen, as a con-
sequence of the injustices suffered by the black community, the
authorities have crushed it by jailing all its leaders.

;' ^ Clico a company of
West Indians, formed for the
economic upliftment of PEOPLE.
Growing from humble beginnings to one
of the largest financial institutions indigenous to
the Caribbean. Assets for the security of our
policy holders now total over


The Growth is UP

and we can't forget California!
We brought up the case of the young
Chicano Ricardo Chavez, who hijacked
a plane to Los Angeles and in exchange
for the plane made a two and a half
hour TV broadcast in which he de-
nounced the living conditions ofminority
groups in the United States.
First of all Chavez was sentenced to
life imprisonment. Later the sentence
was commuted to 20 years. There's a
vigorous movement around this case in
the whole of Southern California .
Now the case is under appeal.

We asked about the trial of Daniel
Ellsberg and Anthony Russo, former
government officials accused of first
"leaking" then handing to the press for
publication part of the so-called Mc
Namara Report which outlines the
foreign policy of the United States in
Indochina from the end of the Second
World War till the Lyndon Johnson

The Pentagon Papers incident repre-
sents the absolute hypocrisy of the
American Government. As a result of
this scandal there has been a considerable
widening of the credibility gap between
the Government and the people. At the
time this engendered fundamental act-
ivity against the war in Vietnam, and the
Government had to take vengeanceion
someone Ellsberg and Russo were
easy victims, the sacrificial goats of the
whole affair.

We went on to talk about Ruchell
Magee, whose trial was initially linked
to Angela's, a survivor of the incidents
of August 7, 1970 in the San Rafael
courthouse, California, where Jonathan
Jackson, aged 17, tried to free three
prisoners, Magee among them. Jonathan
Jackson, two of the prisoners, and
Judge Harold Haley were killed and
several people were wounded whe
guards fired ilnd',r;ririnartivl un (thi
whole group.

The trial of Ruchell Magee has no
parallel in the history of jurisprudence
in the United States. He insisted that
they let him defend himself. When he
was being tried in Marin country he was
given the right to act as his own lawyer,
but when the case went to San Francisco
the new judge withdrew the right.






Angela Davis

Since then he has been assigned two
official lawyers who, of course, he does
not accept because they don't represent
him. Although he has the constitutional
right to act in his own defence, the
authorities don't even let him attend his
own trial. They shut him up in a
specially constructed cell with closed
circuit television and a microphone
system and from there Ruchell watches
his own trial taking place.
As far as the events of August 7 are
concerned, Ruchell has declared that the
plan was to go to a nearby radio
station and expose the conditions under
which they were forced to live in San
Quentin prison, conditions which they
had tried to publicise for a long time
without success. In that way they could
publicly express their complaints about
the conditions, not only in San Quentin,
but in the whole penitentiary system
Sin California.
The reference to San Quentin brings
the image of George Jackson to our
minds. Angela thinks for a moment,
then anticipates the question we wanted
to ask.

-George had become a symbol of the
movement in the prisons of California,
a symbol which reflected the new con-
sciousness of prisoners throughout the
country. He was known in all the penal
establishments of the state and he
influenced the movements which arose
in Folsom, Soledad, San Quentin, Chino
and many others ...


It's easy to see why the authorities
tried so hard to get him to the gas
chamber. They didn't expect, of course,
""~wit-yiith him would develop outside
the prison. They thought it would be
something they could keep quiet, some-
thing that only the prisoners would find
out about.
But the thing got out of their hands
and George became a national figure.
That's why they killed him, the same as
they killed Malcolm X and Martin
Luther King.

We went into San Quentin in more
detail. We mentioned the San Quentin
Six: Fleeta Drumgo, David Johnson,
Larry Spain, Hugo Pinell, Luis Tala-
mantez and Willie Tate, all accused of
killing two guards on August 21, 1971,
the day George Jackson died.

I can tell you that the state of
California is trying to cover up for the
murder of George Jackson, with the
trial of the San Quentin Six. It's quite
clear what their objectives are in this


Because if we look at the earlier trial
of Fleeta Drumgo, it can be seen that he
was on the way to being cleared before
August 21, but he was a critic of the
system. And if we look at the other
brothers involved in the trial together
with Fleeta, for example, Luis Talamantez
was one of the biggest activists inside
the California prisons and also
Larry Spain and the other brothers.

That's why I think it's very clear
that the authorities were trying to
isolate the most outstanding political
leaders among the San Quentin prisoners
and they used the events of August 21,
when they consciously decided to
eliminate George Jackson from the

leadership of the movement in the prison,
and they used that fact to impede the
work of other activists.

Angela, let's move to the northeast.
What could you tell us about Rap
Brown, whose trial is being held in
New York City?

There's a movement around this

after these events, we are seeing a rebirth
of what could have been a massive
movement in 1971.


That is why the political prisoners
defence movement decided that the
case of the Attica prisoners should be a
central national project of the organ-
isation. We are ready to launch an active

But the thing got out of their hands and George became a national
figure. That's why they killed him, the same as they killed Malcolm X
and Martin Luther King. N

case. The lawyers reckon that there are
good possibilities of success. It's clear
that this trial is another of the long
series of attempts to jail him and
remove him from the people.

When I travelled to New York some
months ago I had the chance to see him
and speak to him. Although he's a little
thinner, due to the wounds he received
when the police arrested him, Rap is
keeping himself in good spirits.

And what aboutAttica?
Without the slightest doubt, what
they, the authorities, tried to do in
Attica was an attempt at the destruction
of the solidarity movement which built
up around that case. That is why they
waited more than a year before begin-
ning the trial. The arrests, the rebellion
and the massacre ordered by Governor
Nelson Rockefeller in September 1971
were not brought before the courts
till December of 1972.
If the trial had taken place two or
three months after the events happened
there could have been an even bigger
campaign in support of the Attica
prisoners. And this could have gained
particular strength from the discrepancies
that existed between the accounts of
the authorities and the Government
about what took place there.


At the time numerous editorials were
published in the principal newspaper
and throughout the country people
became aware that there had been a
barbarous and brutal attack against the
Attica brothers. Now, more than a year

movement of solidarity with the prison-
ers of Attica during the course of the
coming months.

Angela is talking about a subject
,obviously very close to her heart. She
goes on to mention the cases of other
prisoners, such as Marie Hill, the 15-
year-old whose death sentence was later
commuted to life imprisonment, and
about Juan Corona, whom she says has
become a victim of racism in California.
She also recalls Gary Lawton, the black
activist whose trial was switched to
Indio, a remote region, so defence
movement activists would have difficult-
ies in making their protests felt.


She mentions John Lines, Walter
Collins and Emily Butler, the girl who
was sentenced to life imprisonment for
killing a supervisor in her workplace.

"In this case," Angela points out,
"it's interesting to note that she was
condemned just before November 7
(date of the elections) and that the
judge and the prosecutor in the trial
were candidates for local offices. In
Emily's case, it can be said that the
responsibility lies with the racist system
which led her to such a degree of
desperation that she didn't know what
to do.


"And then there's a case we're
working on right now. It's a trial
connected with the police attack on the
offices of the Republic of New Africa in
Jackson, Mississipi. A big movement has
been built up around the activists on
Our meeting with Angela comes to an
end as we switch off the recorder and
she gathers up the papers in her bulging
folder ...
See you later, sister!
"Venceremos!" Angela replies with a

Interview with Angela Davis by
Yolanda Gomez and Gilberto Caballero

The Pentagon Papers incident represents the absolute hypocrisy of
the American Government. As a result of this scandal there's been a
considerable widening of the credibility gap between the Government
and the people.







AN FERNANDO E.M.Rd.. Laventille



SOME OF the house-
holders at Dinsley settle-
ment who are faced with
the prospect of having to
break their homes and to
shift to new sites have been
issued with papers from
Trinidad City Development
Corporation to purchase
the lands which they now
This surprise move was made
by the Corporation on Friday
morning of last week after
TAPIA broke the story of the
residents' dilemma.
The terms of purchase
offered to the villagers are
pretty generous; to purchase at
25 to 26 cents a square foot,
with six months' time to con-
sider making their very first


But the householders are
not prepared to take this appa-
rent display of philantrophy
naively. They have noted their
title to the" lands in question
specifically excludes any claim
to mineral rights.
They know, too, that the
landowners are more concerned
about cutting costs, and would
rather sell the lands. The Corp-
oration would compensate the
householders for their homes
only if doing that would cost
them less.
This means that residents




pay later


What the Corporation does
not see is that in the pursuit
ofitsgrandiose housing scheme,
it is at one and the same time
bringing pressure to bear on
the individuals who are to be
resettled and on the national
community as a whole.

For the true nature of the
dislocation is one which dis-
rupts the total flow of income
to householders who by the
pressure of circumstances, and
the fact of life-style, are forced
to enhance their income gained
from regular jobs by them-
selves engaging in self-employed
In addition, for a country -
where land is so scarce, the
Corporation's policy puts severe

I 'mmn ity I1111LI

are already on to the fact that
any failure to meet these
apparently generous offers could
well mean that their coo-coo
And therefore the Corpora-
tion's ultimate concern to make

financial gains is perhaps one of
the real reasons why eight other
tenants are still faced with the
eviction orders.
In the back of the Corpora-
tion's mind, too, is the desire
to rid the place of rural pat-




terns of life. That is to say, to
remove any trace of animal
rearing, and the obvious smelli-
ness that goes with it. Their
chief interest is to establish an
urban settlement, with urban
tastes and values.

limitations of the prospects for
.an agriculture policy which
places the highest premium on
A policy which envisages--
household agriculture through
small-scale animal husbandry,
and the harvesting of tree crops
such as mangoes, and sapodillas
which grow around the yard
could thus be severely restricted
in its implementation.
It is not the first time that
this indiscriminate location of
housing has taken place. And it
leaves us in no doubt as to
where the Government and the
Ministry of Agriculture stand.







out for







JOEY CARE'S "spoilt
child" behaviour at; Skel-
don Park in Guyana during
the recently concluded
Trinidad vs. Guyana Shell
Shield match, when he
bowled an over "under-
arm", has passed without
comment by the Queen's
Park-dominated Trinidad
Cricket Council.
In addition, the only
accounting he has been
asked to do was during an
interview on Radio Trini-
dad which was an obvious
attempt at appeasement.
A cricket body with any\
serious standards would have
hauled him over "the coals"
and even called into question
his leading of future national


When Peter May refused
Kanhai a runner at Sabina
during the Third Test of the
1959-60 series he immediately
went home, handing over the
captaincy for the rest of the
series to Colin Cowdrey. The
official reason was that a
wound from an earlier ap-
pendicitis operation had re-
However, it is interesting
to note that May, who had

undergone a long grooming
for captaincy of the English
team at Charterhouse and
Cambridge and as understudy
to Hutton on the 1954-55
tour of the West Indies while
still quite a young man, never
captained or even played for
England after that. Still under
thirty at the time he gave up
cricket for business reasons.


For too long have we
.glossed over Carew's failings
as a leader and highlighted his
undoubted batting ability and
talent as a tactician this is
not good enough for leader-
ship of our national side.
Of course, it is all consistent
with the whole structure of
the games' administration here
But the time is long overdue
for a truly representative body
to run cricket of all the
West Indian territories we are
the only one where the con-
trol of the game is still in the
hands of a private club.
Even now, we can start
rectifying things in a sensible
way. The National Sports
Council has recently recom-
mended a properly constituted
cricket body to run our cricket.
The present Trinidad Cricket
Council can take its cue and
really set about structuring
itself properly.

a a

haued ve

the coals?

To show their new direction
they can start by relieving
Carew of the captaincy of the
Trinidad team and immedia-
tely naming Derek Murray,
whose credentials must be
quite obvious to all, to take
his place.
In fact, they can go even
further by simultaneously
naming Bernard Julien as Vice-
captain to show that member-

ship of Queen's Park is no
longer one of the criteria for
leadership of Trinidad teams.
This is a tall order for the
Cricket Council we are
essentially asking a group in
power to willingly give up that
power. But for the sake of the
game we would prefer the
smoother transition of this
approach than the alternative
of the present Cricket Council
being forced out.

_.._ _
C ___ __ ___~_I ______ ~_~__ Il~ii