Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00072147/00063
 Material Information
Title: Tapia
Physical Description: no. : illus. ; 43 cm.
Language: English
Publisher: Tapia House Pub. Co.
Place of Publication: Tunapuna
Creation Date: June 17, 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: UF00072147:00063

Full Text

Vol. 3 No. 24


SUNDAY JUNE 17, 1973

i I

I /

FRIDAY, June 8, 1973
Mrs. Carmen Ramkisoon
visited TAPIA to tell all
about the 'shoot-out' in
which her son Anthony
Da Costa 19, was shot by
a party of unknown police-
"I come to see Mr.
Best", she said looking
rather distraught as she
entered our office. Instead
she met Jerry Pierre, Gerry
Llewellyn, and Lloyd Tay-
"These are the clothes my
son was wearing when he was
shot", she continued.
"Are these army-type uni-
forms?" No, we murmured,
not as far as we were con-
It all began, Mrs. Ramki-
soon believes, through the mis,
chief of a neighbour with
whom she is not on speaking
,terms. "To get to my family
she must be tell the police that
my sons are guerillas in the
But nothing of the kind is
true, she assured us. Two of

The Harder They
Come is the first West
Indian movie which
attempts to look at
the West Indian real-
ity, with sensitivity
and frankness. It is
imperative that it be
released as soon as
possible. It certainly
will do us no harm to
take a look at our
own cracked features,
once in a blue sun.


TAPIA Chairman, Syl
Lowhar, has come under
heavy fire from PSA Gene-
ral Secretary, James Mans-
well. The attack is con-
tained in the Public Service
Review of May 31. The
lead article, entitled The
Political Civil Servant, The
Dangers of Political Adven-
turers in the Public Service,
replies to a piece by Low-
har published in TAPIA of
According to Manswell,
Lowhar's article is yet another
indication that we are in a
crisis of truth in this country
today and illustrates forcibly
,the dangers posed by the poli-

'Guerrilla Mother

Mrs. Ramkisoon displays the blood-spattered garments.

her children, Anthony and
Raphael, together with two
other boys had rented a piece

of land from George Charles
some time ago. She was not
sure of the names of the other

: i Brudderrman

The harder the police




pgs 4&5


two boys. But she knew them
as Chilo and Ram.
They were merely trying to
make a little living by doing
some gardening in the hills.
"You see they out of jobs, and
my husband dead". "My boys
are not guerillas. Just what is
this country coming to?"
When the Police fired on
them only Chilo, Raphael and
Tony were in the hut. Ram
was at his regular job. The boys
had to run for their lives, she
said. Most of their tools were
found burnt .after the police
left. They had only recently
bought $30 worth of seeds.
She related how later that
night, Thursday, June 7, the
police gave her some thrills
when she went to find out
where her son was. Eventually
she was told to go to the hos-
The, Police, she claims, are
giving the impression that as
much as the boys were found
cooking in the hut, they were

Syl Lowhar

tical civil servant.
Lowhar's article, entitled
Power to the People in the
Public Service, had deplored
the fact that "no formal pro-
test has been made against
those regulations which exist to
debar public servants and teach-
ers from speaking and writing

James Manswell
in the national interest".
The Tapia Chairman had re-
marked that under the Con-
stitution every citizen has the
right to join political parties
and to express political views.
"The General Secretary", he
added, does not agree with
this, "but it is not for him to
decide '"


feeding the guerrillas.
Another lie told about her
son was that he was 24. He is
just 19. Her other son Raphael
is just two years older.
After the shootout, six
policemen, she said, returned
to the area and searched her
house while she was away try-
ing to contact her lawyer ."I
want to know who give them
the authority to search my
Mrs Ramkisoon has taken
up the whole matter with her

Guyana case

GUYANESE mother, Gladys
Tappin, is to challenge the
ruling of a coroner's jury that
no one was criminally respon-
sible for the death of her son,
Oswald Tappin, who was shot
by Constable Francis Lucas on
a Georgetown street early last
According to news agency
reports from Georgetown, Mrs.
Tappin is going to the Privy
Council in an attempt to have a
charge of murder laid against
the police constable.


IIe pe st

GARMENT workers at
Style-rite, D'abadie have
complained about what
they term deplorable and
exacting conditions of
The physical conditions of
their work place, they claim
are an outrage. For example
each day they have to face
evil-smelling toilets. The W.C.
bowls have not been flushed
for the longest while.
To make matters worse
their eating quarters are placed
right up under the toilets. So
that during the luncheon inter-
val they have either to take
refuge in the open spaces under
the mango trees or seek near-
by homes and schools.
In particular they complain
about the high-handed manner
in which the company has
been flouting industrial agree-
ments. This they claim is a
recurring sore; point.
Asked to cite an example
of this, one female spokes-
man pinpointed sick leave.
Under the terms of the con-
tract they are entitled to 14
days sick leave. They charge
.that in practice 'they receive
.10 days only.
They have charged as well
'that they have not always re-
ceived the flat rate of $3.50
per day. This is in fact their
'minimum daily wage receivable.

And they do not always re-
ceive this sum whenever a day's
work valued according to pieces
falls below the basic minimum.
In instances of power fail-
ure workers are merely sent
home, and no account is taken
of the hours spent on the job
before. What could be more
exacting than that? Expecially
in the face of the sub-human
conditions which they are ex-
pected to endure.
Another big problem is the
high incidence of underemploy-
ment. Just so workers are asked
to take two and three days
home. And that is so whether
they are regular or casual work-
As one worker pointed out:
"Take me for example. All my
work put down there. And you
know I have to take two days
And what is the Union
doing about it? Nothing the
workers replied. Amalgamated
Workers Union is the recog-
nised bargaining body; but as
far as the workers are con-
cerned in terms of the time it
takes to settle grievances, it is
just as well the Union did not
Workers are in fact wonder-
ing whether Amalgamated
is a company union.
All how they turn it is
pressure, and that is now reach-
ing crisis proportions.

pgs 6-9

P.S.A. Chief Attacks


- LI

- -91C~ I -"r ~RBII~OBPls -- --

15 Cents

SHELL T'dad Ltd. has
stated that to date it has
received no formal com-
plaint about its scheme to
operate a barge in the
Caroni Swamp. This was
revealed to TAPIA on
Wednesday afternoon by a
Company spokesman, who
also denied that Shell ever
claimed to have done a
study of the ecological
impact of the operation of
the barge.
TAPIA was at the time
querying some of the state-
ments contained in a Com-
pany release. The release sought
to refute the charges being
brought by conservationists and
tour operators about the possi-
bly destructive effects of the
Company's activities on the

WORKERS at the National
sugar company, Tacarigua
are threatening to go on
strike again.
Such action is now being
contemplated in view of the
awfully long time that it is
taking a two-man probe,.set-up
in early May, 1973, to report.
On Wednesday, June 13,
1973 a spokesman for the
workers informed TAPIA that
they had in fact taken a deci-
sion at a meeting the previous
day, to give the company an
ultimatum to the effect that
the probe must report its find-
ings by midnight on Saturday


vegetation and wildlife of the
Swamp. (Shell Oil barges into
Caroni Swamp: TAPIA, June
According to the statement,
the Company intends to operate
only one barge, which has been
specially designed to make it
compatible with conditions in
the Swamp, and which will be
the only one of its kind in the

SUNDAY JUNE 17, 1973

denies swamp


world. The Company is claim-
ing that permission for the pro-
ject "was sought successfully
from the competent Govern-
ment authorities who had to be
clearly convinced of the pro-
tective measures that Shell in-
tended to utilise".
What the release does not
state is the criteria the Govern-
ment used in approving the


(UWI Current)

v flies


BATMAN, Dick. Tracy and
Superman comic books will be
about the only uncensored
publications in Brazil.
News restrictions were in-
tensified recently when Chief
Censor Rogelio Nunez an-
nounced that all Brazilian and
foreign publications will be
"reviewed before they go on
The regime claims that
some foreign publications are
offensive to morality and pro-
per habits. So far, 13 Brazilian
newspapers and 53 magazines
have been removed from cir-
News restrictions include
all spheres that could lay bare
the contradictions between the
"economic miracle" and the
repressive regime.
Taboo topics include issues
connected with the students,
the Church, economy, military
and the presidential succession.
Superman, however, flies free.

application. Since various ex-
perts, including the Govern-
ment's own Wildlife Conserva-
tion Committee, have been cri-
tical of the scheme, the Govern-
ment must have had strong
reasons for allowing Shell to
go ahead.
But in the absence of such
information, it is all too easy
to surmise that Shell has thrown.
its weight around and gotten
what it wanted. What it points
to is the failure of the Govern-
ment to work out an over-all
policy for the swamp, and for
that matter, for all our natural

pany must drag the issue right
through the rainyseason when
most workers would not be
"No", said the spokesman,
"this must not happen, for we
want some action now".
The probe referred to is
that which was set-up to en-
quire into charges brought by
workers against two of the
company's officials, and which
subsequently led to a 13 day
strike in May, 1973. T h e
charges were brought against
Lennox Hunte and Clement
The probe completed its
hearings.about two weeks ago.

Another orange

grove strike

June 16, 1973.
That the probe has not yet
reported, workers feel, could
well indicate that the company
has opted for delaying tactics.
The possibility of this being
so is very real since there are
just seven more weeks to go

before crop time comes to an
If their fears are confirmed
this could mean that the com-
pany is planning to stall on
taking a decision one way or
the other against Hunte and
Tello. To achieve this the com-

and got


"The newspaper ad said 'Call Harvey Gay at
62-32866 and let us In on your building problems .
Well mine wasn't 3 building problem really I
wanted a different, new look to my kitchen walls
and floor. So I called Mr. Gay to find out more
about that 'Flecto finish' the same ad mentioned.
Let me tell you ... that Harvey Gay
really knows his business. That same week he
sent a man to make an estimate for me After
that the workmen Irom L. J. Williams Bulding
Products Division moved in and when they
had finished, my kitchen looked new and
beautiful I was so thrilled
And what's more. Harvey Gay gave me
a run-down on some of the other services and
products his Building Products Division driers
Like suspended ceilings.. Flecto Seamless
floors and wall covering .. Kwikset locks '
..Naco Louvre Windows. Custom-built
Roller Shutters .. Partitions and Shop
Fronts for business-places.. and many
mor! ,

If you have a problem or if you
just want 'something extra', like I did -
tell Harvey about it. And get results."

In the absence of such a
policy, there can be no recog-
nised priorities for the use of
the Swamp, and hence no com-
monly accepted basis for settl-
ing conflicting demands on the
resources of the area, as with
the case of Shell and the tour
Moreover, it is not enough
to establish that Shell's use of
the Swamp is in line with
policy. We must also ask what
would happen if a number of
other users made the same de-
mands. Would the Government
then find it politically possible
to withhold equal treatment?
We have already seen the
disastrous effects of planless
development in the case of the
Caroni River. There are also
widespread complaints about
the pollution of the Guapo
River and beach, which is attri-
buted to Shell itself.
At a time when more people,
than ever are conscious of en-
vironmental problems, it is not
surprising that Shell should be
talking of its "realization of its
responsibility in regard to the
environment". We may even
be prepared to concede that
Shell is making a genuine ef-
fort in this regard.
But until we know that
we have a Government with the
authority to enforce rigorous
standards, especially where
large foreign companies are con-
cerned, then we will continue
to be suspicious about how our
interests are being treated.

Riviere for

THE Government of Jamaica
has granted permission for Bill
Riviere to enter the country,
and the University has offered
him an appointment for the
uncompleted portion of the
period of contract which he
previously held at St. Augus-
tine, that is, until September
Dr Riviere is now visiting
Professor at Cornell University,
and will take up his UWI
appointment next month (July


Two views on the controversial family planning decision

WHEN will black women in Trinago come to the forefront
apd begin grappling with some of the real issues in the
society? Everyday decisions affecting our welfare are being
made without any soliciting of our views. And yet, for the
most part, we just sit back and grumble a little and then
acquiesce with a certain fatalism.
The most recent slap in
our face has been dealt by Pearl Springer
Emile Elias of the Family

Planning Association. Who is
this man? What is his motiva-
tion? What sort of long range
plans does he have for our
children? How did he ever get
to be in such an important
position articulating policy
for us? What are his qualifica-
tions for his post of spokes-
:mai for the Family Planning
SAssociation? Who are the other
members of this august body?
SIn 1965, the PNM Govern-
ment received a report from a
committee of its General Coun-
..cil in which it would seem that
Family Planning was put for-
ward as.a panacea for all our
country's social.and economic
ills. Chapter Headings include -
'How rapid population
growth hinders economic
development in Trinidad
and Tobago'.
'How a high birth rate
hinders social develop-

'Moral benefits-from Fami-
ly Planning.' 'and so on.
Given priority in the list of
recommendations is support
for and assistance to the Family
Planning Association, which
significantly came into being
in 1956. Now the. Family
Planning Association is right.
in stride advocating tying of
tubes, male sterilization and
now free contraceptives to,
young people fifteen (15) years
and over.
The main targets for the
Family Planning Association'
will obviously be the groups
which, have the highest rate of
reproduction in the society -
the Africans and East Indians.
No real survey has been done
to ascertain how much real
demand there is for these ser-
vices within the two ethnic

of the ma'

THE decision by the FPA'
to supply contraceptives
to unmarried teenagers
Seven without parental con-'
sent has been widely at-
tacked by many individuals
,and groups, but it seems,
pertinent to put the whole
matter in perspective.
It has often been said
"hard cases.. make bad laws",
and this particular FPA deci-
Ssion appears to have been:
caused by. the case of .'the
Laventille :youngster- whose
.baby was recently saved from a
cesspit. These people with the.:
best of motives blew their cool
and allowed themselves t6 be
stampeded into believing that
"the end justifies the means".'
This is. one of the lessons
that we must draw from this
episode: here in Trinago we
are too prone to expediency.
and shortcuts, and too loath to
settle for the long hard grind
which yields lasting results.
Of course we feel com-
passion for unfortunate girls.
who are trapped in mother-
hood before they leave their.
childhood, but do we help them
by. teaching them the :llth
Commandment, "'Thou .shalt:
not get caught", for in effect
Sthat.is what the FPA is saying:
:have the fun but escape one
consequence; ignore the other
consequences of indiscrimi-
'nate 1 sexual activity because
they are not as immediate and'
I am. sorry but to tell this
to our.children indicates a cer-
tain cynicism. on the part of
the FPA that does not augur
well for its efforts to enrich
family life' through planned
parenthood and self-restraint.
'The second lesson is that
we are too prone to focus on,
effects rather than causes, and'
.'that we inust examine much
more carefully the. economic
causes of many' of -the ills in
our society: before we plump
for simplistic courses of action.


Let us lpok at what -has
been happening over the last
generation and see if any clues.
emerge. The economy has failed
to provide jobs for all of the
potential workers and many of
the jobs provided have been s6
lowly paid that both parents
have had to work, children
have had to be abandoned to
schoolteachers for their up-
bringing and the constantly.
worsening transportation situa-
tion. has'exacerbated the prob-
Where an adequate paternal
income obtains the advertising
media have created such ma-
terialistic ambitions that in-
creasingly the mother 'also
works to provide more money
to fuel these expectations. Here
too, children have very largely
to fend for themselves.
In these circumstances
children are constantly ex-
posed to danger and it is small
wonder that many succumb.
Over and above the lack of
parental knowledge and control
there is the failure of the eco-
nomy to cater for the school
leaver who has not the neces-
sary "0" or "A" levels and a
godfather. These hapless peo-
Sple are. thrown upon the side-
Walks' open to all forms of
exploitation and abuse.Natural-
ly many' fall by the wayside
and to give them cdntracep-
tives so that we will not be
brought face to face with our
failure is a species of coward-
.Sweeping the dust under.
the carpet is only postponing
the day of reckoning.
S The FPA.should bend its
efforts instead to. fighting
against the conditions in our
society which make such things
possible poor schooling,
poor housing,. unemployment
and underemployment.
We should try to focus on
-the, people and institutions re-
sp6nsible.for. those .ills andon'
'changing or removing them.
-' ErnestMassiah

genocide ?

In fact, the chief reason.
the FPA publicity for its
wares has become increasingly
bizarre, is the low motivation
that these two groups feel for
family planning and a cam-
paign, no matter how intense,
will always be unsuccessful be-
cause of that factor.
Already catching his fail to
survive, the Africindian still
holds .on to the fact that his
strength lies in his numerical
superiority and his happiness in
his children: Perhaps he is made
even more suspicious when the
man trying to ram family
planning down his throat is a
member: of an ethnic group
that is a byword for oppression'
among black people.
Since 1970, this particular
racial minority has been feeling
increasingly uneasy because it
is so -vastly outnumbered in
this society.
The Africindian is also
watching trends in other parts
of the world, where white
minority groups have been ap-
Sproving massive family planning.
programmes for blacks, while
encouraging their own kind to
The Family Planning Asso-
ciation could also be credited
with circulating dangerous
drugs. Ou-. women who.go to
the clinics, are sold on the
virtues of the pill and are not
properly informed as to its
side effects which can range
from ,infertili y through to
cancer, severe headaches, inter
menstrual bleeding, loss of
[ '

All these side effects are
continually being documented
in medical journals, by con-
traceptive research teams and
the International Planned Pa-
renthood Federation (ILP.P.F.).
Our women who go to the
clinics also complain that when
they point out side effects
these are glossed over by Fami-
ly Planning Association per-
sonnel and in fact this is
one of the important reasons
for the high rate of drop outs
at the clinics.


Some women who have
babies in hospitals, complain
t6o that some nurses bring
pressure on them- to have tubal
ligations done and if they re-
fuse, they are kept longer than
necessary in already over-
crowded maternity wards. In
one case a mother who had
four (4) small children at home
waskept a week after a normal
delivery and was badgered and'
insulted everyday because she
refused to have her tubes tied.
Let us look at the effects
that the Family Planning pro-
gramme will have on the youth
themselves and on their famri-
lies. Aiicnuiiaiu extended Lypc
family life has already been
largely destroyed 'by slavery
and indenturship. What little
we have managed to salvage is
daily under pressure.
To give our teenagers con-
traceptives without the consent

Family planning or
^y ^^^I

Getting to the root

of parents could only dreaden
a situation. It will make wider
the gap between parents; and
children; and who will ask for
a birth certificate? F.P.A. says
fifteen what about our well
developed eleven (11) year
olds who have already reached
From the onset of puberty
our young people will be given
the licence to indulge their
sexual inclinations at will with-
out having to consider all the
responsibilities of mature and
adult sex life. They will be free
to flit from affair to affair and
to develop'after all this ex-
perimenting at so early an age
the jaded and perverse sexual
appetites of white metropoli-
:tan society.
Going hand in hand with
the promiscuity will be the
upsurge in general disease and
the great fall in the level of the
fertility of black 'women in the
society from the combination
of contraceptive drugs and dis-
In fact, family planning for
young people is beginning to
sound like a very sophisticated
form of genocide. Most import-
antly this open. invitation to
teenagers to drown their frus-
'trations about our society in
sex will prevent the chanelling
of their energies into producing
the more equitable and just
society in which 'there, will be
neither need nor excuse for
putting forward family plann-
ing programmes. -. .
Let us think carefully aboul
theI long teim effects of the
programme and remember that
when things go wrong in our
society it is the women who
end up having to clean up the

OVER THE past months in Trini-
dad, the Police Force has stepped
up its harassment of our people.
Intimidation is now a fact of life
on the blocks. We reported in
Tapia some weeks ago how the
Police suddenly swooped down
on the young men of Tunapuna,
hauling them in for "obstructing
the freeway".
On the night in question there
were just about four brothers on the
St. Vincent Street block. The word
was out the fuzz were on the prowl.
So the usual lime, twenty to thirty
brothers, was not on the block that
Twenty to thirty brothers who
assemble from early morning to pass
the day together. No work thirty
out of every hundred of those under
25 years walk the streets without
work. "If we don't lime, we would go
mad". A man cannot be alone when
his life has little hope, direction or
purpose. So the lime talks, the lime
drums, the lime carves. The lime en-
sures that we don't blow our-minds.
But this police action is not an
isolated happening. On the same pre-
text brothers liming around the Arima
Savannah were arrested. In Curepe, St.
Joseph, San Juan liming has, all of a
sudden, become a crime. Police force
has become widespread. It is an essen-
tial part of a Grand Design.


So we cannot afford to "hate the
fuzz", to say "all police bad". It is
tradition in this society for us to say
that a man, who is an okay fellow,
suddenly becomes bad as soon as he
joins the force. As if a man can just
change overnight. No, we cannot af-
ford those simplifications. Policemen
come from the same background as all
of us. They have undergone the same
pressures. We must look deeper we
need to try to understand police be-
haviour as indeed we need to under-
stand our own.
We cannot simply give vent to
rage. We need, now more than ever, to
exercise revolutionary cool. Of this we
can be sure Williams and his cohorts
are waging an unrelenting war to beat
us into submission. They understand
that we are in the midst of our war of
liberation, they understand that we
intend to have our freedom, they
understand that they are out of favour
with the population. So to keep them-
selves in office they have to break the
spirit of our people, particularly our
young people. It is the young, black,
unemployed brothers who are once
again taking the brunt of this vicious
onslaught, both mentally and
The PNM office holders have learnt
well from their colonial masters. They
know that to maintain themselves in
office, they must reinforce the colonial
De Doc is a colonial historian. What he
understands about the Caribbean peo-
ple is the extent to which colonialism
has degraded us. He realises the weak-
ness, the impotence of a people who
have never had and still do not have
any real say in the economic and
political processes that shape our lives.
He understands it well because he is
the classical expression of colonial
Seventeen years and he cannot

open the media to political discussion.
He does not have the self-confidence to
allow men to take initiative and re-
sponsibility. He cannot treat men as
equals, he always has to use his official
position to exercise authority. The
fact is that he has to be surrounded by
mediocrity because in a society that is
throwing off the colonial traits and
getting ready to stand on its own feet
he is resoundingly mediocre.
He battles to reinforce the colonial
condition because it is the only condi-
tion he can deal with. The Grand Design
therefore, is calculated to ensure that
we continue to have a second class
view of ourselves, that we continue to
see ourselves as people who have never
created anything and who will never
create anything.
The brothers on the block and the
police are just some of the pawns in
the new strategy of imperial domina-
tion emanating from Whitehall.
To say, then, that "anybody who
say dey like police is a hypocrite", is
really to dance to Williams' tune. It is

to play the game Williams' way. Our
responsibility is to introduce a new
style, to change the rules, to engage
the enemy on our terms.
But to do so we must see the
totality of the strategy. We need to
see how Williams is arraying his forces
and we have to assess every assault he
makes against us.
The strategy is not a new pheno-
menon, even though it became inten-
sified since 1970. In fact it can be
traced back to the early 1960's when it
was already clear that the high ideals of
the 1956 movement were foundering
on the rocks of opportunism and in-
competence when it was clear that the
movement and its leader did not have
the moral authority to forge any
serious programme of change.
All through the 1960's then, there
are skirmishes with the population -
Commission of Enquiry into Subver-
sive Activity, the ISA, State of Emer-
gency in 1966, an intensiiicaiioi of
racial politics; in 1969 the Bus Strike,
and the skirmished come to an end. It
is now in Williams' words, "a fight to
the finish".


1970 Political explosion the
February Revolution. Williams survives
the onslaught led by NJAC and
launches his full scale offensive. He
engages us in total war. We are now in
1973 seeing and feeling the full signifi-
cance of that campaign. Today we can
look back over the past three years
and see the Grand Design in stark
Our people are being engaged on
many fronts. The crash programmes,
the Prime Minister's Better Village
Programmes are really designed to en-
courage our young people not to work
literally to humiliate the brothers. To
get a five days you have to bribe the
foreman and the checker. The work
usually ends at nine or ten o'clock in
the morning.
We all know that the only way we
can deal with the problems of our
country is to introduce hardwuk at
every level. In our context hardwuk is
a profoundly revolutionary thing. And
the government is systematically en-
suring that their crash programmes kill
any inclination to hardwuk and enter-
prise. At the same time the Prime
Minister's programmes encourage wide-
scale bribery and corruption. In fact

bribery is slowly becoming a must. It
exists in the machinery of state, in
business enterprise, on the projects,
everywhere you turn.
Added to this the government is
stunting the natural growth of co-
operative enterprises. Black Panthers
become Memphis Agricultural Co-op
and, all of a sudden, acquire nearly
100 acres in Cumuto on which to learn
what agriculture is all about. The
Afro Co-op starts in Duncan Street; it
hardly begins to function, the IDC
steps in and, lo and behold, they have
a million dollar building in Duncan
Street the People's Supermarket.
So it goes. Instant success.
The point is that all these ventures
are failing. The IDC and other govern-

of the past. But in 1971 the PNM
reintroduced rum and roti and fete in
their election campaign. Remember
Mayaro and Moruga. No serious Dis-
cussion. Rum flowed on the blocks.
How many of the "conscious brothers"
took part in the PNM's bacchanal? How
many fell victim to Williams' assault?
How many? Let us ask ourselves.
All over the world we are adver-
tised as rum-drinking, steelband beat-
ing, limbo-dancing, Carnival people.
That is the view the colonials had of us.
It is the view that those who hold
governmental power today have of us.
It is the view we have of ourselves.
Colonialism has so degraded us that we
are the most self-contemptuous people.
Our greatest enemy is ourselves. And

A Case of

mnent agencies have to keep them going.
They cannot make it on their own.The
population will therefore continue to
read of irregularities in the financial
accounting of IDC, and the "white
power structure" will say "you see -
black people just can't run business".
Meanwhile Williams and Karl, Bunny
and Johnny and the rest of those
colonial antiques continue in office,
attending cocktail parties and cutting
ribbons, conducting business as usual.

Rum and roti

Yes, brudderman, in 1970 we
marched for dignity and racial solidar-
ity, for a new life. There was no rum
or fete when men walked miles in the
blistering heat. No, those were things

By Ivan

that is the major weapon in the regime's
Look at the police. They are not
respected as men. People simply fear
their uniforms and their guns. Take
away their guns, their badge of author-
ity and they are not men. Like Williams,
they have to use their official position
to exercise authority.
That is why the police are nothing
more than pawns. We have never had a
Police Service here. We have always
had a Police Force.
Today the police are still being
used against our brethren to maintain
law and order for a corrupt and
vicious regime. A regime that continues
to play on the impotence of our people.
A regime that is seeking to ensure that
our brothers in the Police Forcedonot

Our printing-plantis open i.. A, .aia
SHouse, 82-84 St. Vincent Street,
S$ .. 4i- ., Tunapuna. Kindly phone orders to:
662 5126.

-A.I..... ...



SUNDAY, JUNE 17, 1973

have the belly to stand on their own
as men.
That is why they cannot deal with
the brothers in a civil, humane way.
They must bully us. And so we say
"every police bad". But how much do
we ourselves possess those same
traits? Remember those same police
come from among us. Let us examine
ourselves. To what extent are we
bending to the colonial condition ?

Our women

Ask the sisters. Many of them tell
a revealing story. They say that they
are treated like trash humiliated,
insulted, bullied. They say that the

total war


attitude of the police to the brothers
is no different from the attitude the
brothers have to them.
It is not simply a matter of heckl-
ing. They say that Frederick Street,
for a woman, is like having to run a
gauntlet. Every manner of abuse is
used against them. And they dare not
retaliate because if they do, the crowd
of brothers would cut them down. The
"brothers" always have to hide them-
selves in a big lime to deal with the


The women argue that they were
the most degraded group in colonial
society. Victimised on the sugar plan-
tations. Raped by the American inva-
sion of World War Two. Discriminated
against. Treated like rags. And'they say
we treat them no differently. Whether
Indian or African, black or white, the
attitude is the same.
It is our women,- the author says,
who fathered us. Who slaved against
enormous odds to give us a chance in
life. But the word sister has no mean-
inghere. We could not be serious about
revolutionary change and continue to
treat our women with such scorn.
Is our attitude any different from
that of the fuzz? Those of us who talk
about "black dignity", "power to the

people, "human rights", those of us ing the i
who mouth slogans on the blocks, in That
the university, or wherever, and still of inter
continue to treat our sisters like items their voi
to be used and abused are perpetuating years,
the colonial condition. students
To what extent then, is the old The list i
regime winning? Have their agents in
the Police Force hoodwinked our po-
licemen?Have theirlackeys succeeded in
breaking the consciousness that was The
seemingly filling the land in 1970? shown
The government in addition to cess.anm
systematic police harassment has also nature
placed on the statute books all the Claus" i
legislation necessary to deal with any the Kels
political group. They will try to use The Pel(
them when they see their positions the abu
threatened. homes o
Our fight back country
that cou
Can we then meet the full on- to couO
slaught of the State Machinery?. Can politics.
we rise above our colonial limitations? arm hin
There is no. single answer to those ourselves
questions. Change does not happen ventiona
overnight. It is a process, and there- only w
fore we not only have to assess the have be
strategy of the old order, we have also strength
to look at the extent to which the Peoi
country has been moving. culture
The most important thing that is hardwul
happening here is that our people are mental a
realizing more and more our own im- Dere
portance in the political life of the is a de.
country. All over we have been learn- in this s

HARASSMENT of mobile food vendors by
police and the city council continues in the
Downtown Port-of-Spain area. During the
past year several of the vendors have been
getting the run around, having been asked to
remove their vans from one location to

The City Council however
past few months allotted
parking space for trucks
and other heavy duty vehicles
as well as for taxis plying the
the various Eastern Main
Road routes, but no
solution has yet been
Arrived at for a permanent park-
ing spot for the food vendors.
*Last week police wreckers
towed away at least two. of the
mobile units which were
parked in the square usually re-
served for carnival stands just
opposite the Salvatori building
The reason given by the police
for removal was the the vehi-
cles were left 'unattended'.
SThe vendors claim that this
constant harassment by the
authorities is resulting in a drop
in sales. Regular customers are
forced to search for the vans,
which very often cannot be
found in the same spot as the
previous day.
One roti vendor said that
her van was first parked near
the railing in front of the
Salvatori building, from there
she took refuge in front of
Habibs on Independence square.
Her next parking was on the

over the


opposite side of the road from Salvatori's and now
she is in the square where several other vans have
taken refuge.
"Business isn't even as good as it should be,
there are simply too many other roti vans for any-
one Ito make a reasonable profit and with the price of
everything rising so high these days, things hard
anyway", she lamented.

importance of our own power.
is why since 1970 all kinds
est groups have been making
ices heard housewives, law-
doctors, secondary school
,telephone users group (TUG).
is long.


procedures of the courts have
the importance of due pro-
d have exposed the arbitrary
of police action. The -"Santa
killing, the Des Vigncs killing,
shall case to name only a few.
e incident carried the reality of
ise of police force into the
ff the entire population.
t all this means is that the
is learning that in any revolu-
situation it is we, the people,
nt. The population is preparing
iter the assault of colonial
In TAPIA we say "let Williams
self with guns, we are arming
s with work". That is uncon-
il politics and work is the
eapon which we the people
cause it teaches us where our
ple are rallying around this
of work; We are striving by
k to build something funda-
nd lasting.
ek Walcott's Theatre Workshop
eply revolutionary happening
society. It has cost Walcott and

his band of artistes a great degree of
personal sacrifice to build the Work-
shop. But they have done it and on
their own.
Astor Johnson is developing the
dance. Tanker, Clive Alexander, lance-
lot Layne are searching for and dis-
covering the roots of our music. Bertie
Marshall and Anthony Williams, to
name only a few, are pioneering new
areas for the steelband.
Blockorama is an innovation on
the blocks that stems from a desire to
do it yourself. It has grown out of
what I feel is a new attitude to the
lime. The lime today assembles on
blocks in a way that has never hap-
pened before. It is an expression, a
desire, a feeling for community. Out
of this men are beginning to search
together for hope.
Blockorama, drumming, an up-
surge in the sport of basketball are
just some examples of the attempts by
the lime to break oul of the ghetto of
Our people are meeting 'he on-
slaught from Whitehall..We are learn-
ing about revolutionary politics, we
are rallying. Our forces are growing.
Williams and his colonial relics are
relying on the police. But they will
have to think carefully because the
police are also feeling the new spirit.
They are asking themselves everyday;
Who will we support our people or
the enemy? History has many times
before given the answer.

Several van owners have had
to lay off their workers. As one
owner put it, "Is only because
of my wife's kindness that I'm
still keeping my last two work-
ers otherwise I would have let
them go a long time ago. Now I
have to rotate the working days
for them." They both work for
three days each week, Monday
Tuesday, Wednesday for one;
Thursday, Friday, Saturday for
the other.
Of a total working force of
25 one owner is now only able
to pay 9 of his workers at
greatly reduced salaries. And he
produced the 25 national in-
surance cards for verification.
He wants to know how the
Government can treat them
with such lack of regard and
still every Saturday morning
they can send the national
insurance man to collect con-
tributions for all their workers.
"Not everyone has the
$20,000 to start a small business
with the l.D.C", shouted a
vendor who had newly arrived
on the scene. "So we simply
starting with what we have and
Continued on Page 8

More Thrills For

Foods Vendors




soft, light

Sand delicious.

UST OVER one year ago,
on June 5, 1972, The Harder
They Come the first full-length
Jamaican fiction film, was
released in that island.
Later that month, the film won a major
award at the Cork Film Festival in Ireland,
and its editor, John Victor Smith, received a
personal award for the best edited film.
The entire film was in Jamaica Creole, the
language of Kingston's streets. This gave the
actors tremendous self-confidence and power,
by releasing energies which might otherwise
have been consumed in self-consciousness
about speech and accent, for the business of
pure acting.
Perry Henzell, who collaborated with playwright
Trevor Rhone in writing the script, and also directed
the film described his aims thus to Irish critics:-
I had a choice when I set out to make this
film to make a film for Jamaica, or to make
a film for the rest of the world. I chose to make
a film for Jamaica. Now that I have heard the
comments about the film from its first non-
Jamaican audience, it seems that I have managed
to achieve both things.
(The Daily Gleaner, June,22, 1972)
There is justification for Henzell's claim; for what
strikes one about the film is both its rootedness in
Jamaican reality, and the sense that it has moved
beyond that reality. Its people are more genuinely
alive than most of the people I have seen on the
screen over the past year. It is interesting, too, that
the Irish experienced little difficulty in understanding
the Jamaican accent, which they found to resemble
their own, and sent out a few queries to ascertain
whether any gentlemen of Cork could be found
floating around in Jamaica.
Normally, whenever a West Indian thing receives
international acclaim, we begin to appreciate its
worth at home and are eager to claim it as our own
thing. This does not seem to have been the case with
The Harder They Come at least not in the Land of
the Humming Bird Medal. The film has not yet been
released in Trinidad, although or because its relevance
to our situation is only too obvious.
This review is prompted by the fact that some
weeks ago I saw the film advertised in a city cinema,
only to learn from a subsequent newspaper report
that it had been seen by two censors, who had
recommended that it be viewed by the full Board of
his did not surprise me, because
although the film contains much
less violence than we are accus-
tomed to on the screen, and hardly
any sex, its frank social realism and
essential seriousness are no flattery to the usual
image we project of ourselves abroad, of a fairly
happy, good-natured, easy-going, tolerant and well-
balanced people. This is, indeed, one of the things
which struck Irish viewers at Cork. A newspaper
report stated that:-
To the Irish the film is a tragedy made even
more interesting by the reality and accuracy of
its setting. Peter Cushing, star of several horror
films, commented after the screening: "What
a brave thing for Jamaica to have done, to have
chosen so serious a subject for its first film. We
often see the glamorous side of life in Jamaica
and I think most of us are unaware of other
aspects of Jamaican life".
(The Daily Gleaner, June 22, 1972)
The Harder They Come, which opened on the
night before the first sitting of Mr. Michael Manley's
Parliament, is in its way a symbolic commentary on
the first ten years of Jamaican Independence, and an
insight into the tensions of urban society in contem-
porary Jamaica. The euphoria of the anthem and the
flag, flagged as rapidly in Jamaica in the years after
Independence, as it did in Trinidad.
In Jamaica, a music of defiance and disillusion
emerged in the mid-sixties and rapidly grew into a
music of protest, violence and escapism in the late
sixties and early seventies.
In Trinidad, calypsoes criticising the Police, the
Goverriment, the situation in Labour and virtually
every. aspect of social life, began as picong in the
mid-sixties, and. widened into a flood of sometimes
blue, sometimes corrosively humorous criticism, in
the late sixties and the seventies.
The Harder They Come examines in a simple,
fundamental and4 unpretentious manner, the pre-
political: stages of. this protest, and the context of
unemployment," violence, hope, fear, frenzy and

fantasy out of which it developed.
It is by now a well-known fact that the 1972
General Elections in Jamaica, were rich in the quality
of political manipulation of popular response, through
the employment of Rastafarian slogans, the symbolism
and rhetoric of Afro-Protestant cults, and the urban
protest music of Reggae. Ironically, it was a JLP
minister, who had promoted and exploited popular
culture throughout the sixties. This manipulation had
proved insufficient, and by 1970 the sentiments of a
growing number of Reggae songs were undoubtedly
In 1972, Michael Manley came to power to the
beat of Clancy Eccles' Rod of Correction and
Delroy Wilson's Better Must Come. Beneath these lay
the heavier sounds of Junior Byles's Beat Down
Babylon and Bob Marley's Duppy Conqueror, and
the furious though grounded rhythms of The Mystic
Revelations of Rastafari. So it was interesting that the
eve of the inauguration of the new Government, should
also be the premiere of a film, which measured the
pressures of the sixties, and related them to the
creative flowering of the people's music in Kingston's
dry desert of stone.
t was perhaps even more significant,
and probably prophetic, that on the
afternoonof June 5, 1972, Mr. Manley
and most of his Government and
Mr. Shearer and most of his
Opposition were attending the military funeral
of a police constable who had been shot
while on patrol duty. The situation had not
changed one bit on the streets. A few days later, the
Police returned the compliment, when a policeman
shot and killed a prisoner, who, he explained, had
pulled a knife on him in a Police car. And throughout
June, the pattern of armed robbery and legal or
illegal executions, continued.
The Harder They Come makes it easy for us to
understand why this pattern of repression/violence/
reprisal, this vicious, wasteful circle of death, con-
tinues regardless of who is running and ruining the
economy. Its straightforward plot tells about a
country boy who is lured by the bright lights of
Kingston to pursue his ambition to become a singer.
Ivan (Jimmy Cliff) soon learns the city's grimness.
He is only one of thousands of unemployed, "one of
the uncountable miseries owning the land", as Carter
once put it. Dozens of youths, most of them with no
talent at all, want to add to the 'already saturated
market of pop song, and line up outside the studios
for the rare audition.
A brief sojourn with a Baptist preacher (Basil
Keane) ends abruptly when Ivan is caught making
eyes at the teen-aged Elsa (Janet Bartley), whom
Preacher has raised for the glory of God and his own
sexual gratification. This incident puts an end to
Ivan's religious aspirations, which never seemed to be
very strong anyhow.
Also, Preacher vindictively stirs up trouble between
Ivan and a fellow-apprentice in Preacher's workshop,
where Ivan earns a pittance. A fight ensues in which
both combatants rapidly acquire weapons, one, a
knife, the other, a broken bottle. Ivan gains the upper
hand, cuts his opponent mercilessly across the face,
and is hauled before the magistrate, who as an act of
mercy to a first offender, decides that he should not
be jailed, but that he should be severely whipped.
This whipping, graphically captured in a brief vignette
on the screen, remains as a nightmare in Ivan's mind,
the symbol of his emasculation. The blows of the
birch make him urinate like a little child. It is the
turning point of his life.
He has to leave the relative protection of Preacher's
flawed Church, and workshop, and face the full
frustration of the city. Refusing to allow himself to be
robbed by the owner of a record company, he kills
his chances of success in the world of popular
entertainment. He joins a ganja-pushing ring, only to
annoy his superiors by asking too many questions.
Among these are a clean-faced and successful
detective (Winston Stone), who orders a patrolman
to give chase to Ivan who is cruising on his newly-
acquired auto-cycle. The detective's aim at this stage
is simply to harass Ivan, but the hero is carrying a
gun. Remembering the birching he received at the
hands of the Police, and afraid lest the mercy of the
magistrate be meted out to him once more, he panics
and shoots the policeman dead.
The rest of the story is the inevitable manhunt.
This section of the film is based on the life of
Jo Jo Rhygin, a Jamaican badjohn of the fifties, who
terrorised Kingston, melodramatically leaving "Kilroy
Was Here" types of messages for the Police, and was
eventually shot on Lime Cay.
So that is the film's plot. What is there about it
that should disturb our Censors? Police corruption?


An Award Winning

Todeg.L. In Thi6



We saw that and more mercilessly laid bare in films as
different as "Z", The Godfather, and the documentary
on Martin Lugher King, King. In The Godfather, we
were allowed to see an entire system flourishing
beautifully in the manure of corruption, and becom-
ing thoroughly respectable in a generation.

She sensitive young hero explains to
his non-Italian bride that a senator
within the legalized political sys-
tem, needs to be quite as ruthless
and corrupt as a gangster outside of
it, and the ageing Godfather himself, has but one re-
gret; that he has not lived long enough to become
fully accepted by the establishment. The next gene-
ration, he predicts, will become governors and re-
spectable men of affairs. The corruption dealt with
in The Harder They Come, is by comparison petty,
smalltime, almost benign, though it, spreads its crop
of corpses across today's Jamaica, with admirable
What else is there to disturb our Censors? Mari-
juana? The film at no point advocates its use. Ad-
diction is not a themehe re. It is merely incidental
that the racket is Weed and not something else,
whiskey or electronics smuggling, say.
The violent death of a lawman? This act is
certainly not glorified in the film, and the blood-
thirsty will be comforted whenthn ey hear that the
State exacts full retribution by gunning Ivan down on
a particularly lovely day, and beautiful tourist-
paradise beach.
It ought to be pointed out, too, that Ivan is not
presented as a Black super-hero, a Shaft, a Slaughter
or a Savage. As he progresses, he is shown as being

ilm About Jmaicsa

n10 u ge Of


obleh r

more and more the product of a world of illusion,
fabricated on the fantasies of the Italian Westerns of
The Harder They Come is as accurate a comment
as Sparrow's Gunslingers (1959) or Rope (1972) on
how such films form a real part of our world of
illusion. The older Sparrow criticises the youth for
not resisting the influence of these films; the younger
Sparrow, celebrated uncritically the make-believe,
badjohn world of his day.
The Harder They Come was received with mixed
feelings in Jamaica. Censors ordered the film to be
cut in places which one critic thought did some
violence to its coherence and continuity. A T.V.
panel expressed enthusiasm for the film and sympathy
for the hero, much to the chagrin of Gleaner critic
Harry Milner, whose feelings about the film were
most fully expressed in an article entitled "Crime in
Films", and published in The Sunday Gleaner.
June 18, 1972, p. 5.
M ilner began by praising the "high
artistic quality"ofthefilm pointing
out its "Jamaican background,fine
reggae score,vital acting,brilliant di-
rection, and Jimmy Cliff'sstar per-
sonality". He then went on to say that these things
might not have been sufficient to assure the film's
box-office success, had its theme not been one of
crime and violence, and felt that a truer image of
Jamaica would have been transmitted had the film
been about a youth who had worked his way to
success despite the real pressures in his society, a
youth such as Jimmy Cliff himself. Milner declared:-
I still think it a pity that the first fictional
movie made here for international circulation,
and which through its quality, its sensationalism.

and its novelty is bound to resound abroad
should have been this film of murder, violence
and crime, which is certainly these days an
important part of our life, but in the long run
not the most important, nor the most typical,
nor the most endearing. The present figures for
crimes of violence and homicide are at the
present moment proportionately among the
highest in the world, but this, I feel and hope is
a temporary malaise, like the vulgarity of the
new rich, which only smears the real qualities
of our people, the essential kindliness, humour,
steadiness, commonsense and hospitality of all
the classes of our people, which are always on
tap when they are called upon.
What he would have liked to see, he said, was a
script more along the lines of Trevor Rhone's
Music Boy, the 1972 Pantomime, which attempted
Sto present some of those "real qualities of our people"
:although it treated of a similar situation as The
SHarder They Come.
number of things need be said at this
point. First the film was not
sensational at all, although it attempts
to examine sensationalism and
a capacity for fantasy as real
elements of our national life. Secondly, although
Milner can admit that crime and violence
are overwhelming features of Jamaican national life,
he shies away from any attempt to say why this is the
Hence, Trevor Rhone's and Perry Henzell's modest
and responsible attempt to probe a major aspect of
urban life in Jamaica is viewed by Milner with dis-
sapproval. Significantly, he does not say why he feels
that a crime rate which, according to him, is
"proportionately among the highest in the world",
will be only a "temporary malaise".
To do this, Milner would have had to show where
the gap between rich and poor was steadily closing,
and the unfair system inherited from history was
being significantly modified by the politics of in-
dependence. Mr. Milner does not do this. Indeed, he
glibly anticipates this criticism in his next sentence
when he writes:
Included amongst our national virtues, too, is
a distrust of easy solutions and a healthy
scepticism without cynicism which we have
inherited from our former colonial masters
with a tendency to trust the pragmatic and the
empiric rather than the absolute.
Here, as in the paragraph quoted above, critic
Milner is peddling the well-known myth of Jamaica
as being a single coherent nation, where all classes
display the common virtues of "essential kindliness,
humour, steadiness, commonsense and hospitality,"
and an intelligent scepticismm without cynicism" about
the politics of change. This is far from being the
truth. There are also madness, frenzy, apathy, cyni-
cism, and despair, existing at various levels in the
society. Each of these attitudes has a different
quality, depending on where in the society it occurs.
The scepticism of the poor about change is
qualitatively different from the complacency of the
rich, or the nihilistic despair of the academic, whose
failure to see how analysis can ever be translated into
action often leads to a paralysed irony, and a corrosive
but helpless sense of absurdity. Violence and anarchy
on the streets are quite understandable reactions to
the existing system.
In Jamaica, if one can trust the evidence of dread

music, and the constant violence which is a product
of the confrontation between repressive authority
and despairing, directionless revolt, political scepticism
for a growing number of the poor, is coming to mean
a total mistrust in even the possibility of a better
life. When this mistrust manifests itself in the un-
employed youth of the towns, the ultimate reaction
is often crime and violence.
When this mistrust manifests itself among the
more mature or the more exhausted, the older poor,
the result is often religious escapism to "a land far far
away, where there's no night, there's only day" as the
reggae tune Satta Amasa Gana puts it. Or for those
who cannot believe in the possibility of Zion, the
result is often a stoical acceptance of the screw,
accompanied sometimes by a profound humour of
The attitude of one country woman I met in a taxi,
towards the Empire Day (May 24) Elections of 1971
in Trinidad, illustrates the point I am trying to make
here. When asked why she refused to vote, she replied:
"If I vote, I still got to lie down under the
man. If I don't vote, I still got to lie down under
the man. Well, is better I just go and lie down
under the man."
For the poor, the screw continues regardless of
who is running the country. Some opt out, others
conform, others explode.
It is clear that Rhone and Henzell were not
concerned with celebrating the traditional "folk"
virtues of kindliness, humour, steadiness and hospital-
ity, which Milner sees everywhere in his society, or
with presenting the fortunes and misfortunes of the
hardworking, long-suffering good citizen, who is
sceptical without being cynical about politics.
They were more concerned with showing how
these qualities are stripped away as the young
country boy experiences the inferno of the city, and
the pastoral dream fades. It may well be that the
urban experience of individualism, disintegrating com-
munities and the erosion of "folk"values, is today
setting the pace and providing the dynamic for the
rest of our Caribbean societies.

W his is why the annual Pantomime in
Jamaica, which used to celebrate the
rather stereotyped virtues of "folk"
speech, "folk" vitality and music,
has in the late sixties faced
the problem of having to come to
terms with the mood and philosophy of dreadness,
the ongoing sound and quality of Jamaica's streets,
which emerged as the youth in Kingston attempted
to come to terms with growing pressures of un-
employment, within a traditional framework of
unequal distribution, and rigid class stratification.
Milner would have preferred a film whose philosophy
was similar to that of the traditional Pantomime.
He was presented instead, with one which attempts to
examine the very starkness of tensions which the
Pantomime has either chosen to evade, or simplistically
to resolve.
Because Milner would have liked a film which
avoided the theme of violence, or at least depicted
the triumph of sanity over chaos, he is too harsh in
his assessment of the hero of The Harder They Come.
Contrasting Ivan's career with that of Jimmy Cliff
who plays the part of Ivan, he has this to say:-
The difference between the Ivan of the movie
and the Jimmy of real life is that the
Continued on Page 8



Is Stephens

From Page 7

former, through his temperament rather than
his upbringing was impatient, self-centred in a
stupid way, quick-tempered,vain, brutal, callous
and after the quick -buck in fact, a rather
typical criminal type.

According to this statement, Ivan is a walking
catalogue of several deadly sins, a criminal by
temperament; but the film seems to me to be
examining some of the forces in society which
combine to release in one person, the impulse to
crime which is rooted in everyman.-
The city is the domain of the scuffler, the smart
man, the samfie man. Ivan begins as a naive country
boy, whose first experience of the city is that of
being robbed of his luggage, as he stands bewildered
at the chaotic country bus terminus. Preacher, whose
religion can sustain an older person such as Ivan's
mother, turns out to be vindictive and lustful. He tries
to rob Ivan of his girl and his bike. The bike
indicates the simple desires which are still Ivan's;
his modest pastoral ambition to take his girlfriend
out on a bicycle which he has fixed with his own
two hands. Preacher gives this bicycle away to
Ivan's fellow-apprentice in the mechanic's shop.
As regards Ivan's quick temper, it should be pointed
out that he did not seek the fight, and his cutting up
of his opponent is probably no more than his
opponent meant to do him. It was a question of
survival of the fittest. So far, then, Ivan's behaviour
can be seen as a reaction to his brief city experience.
Milner's answer to this is that the majority of
Jamaicans endure this and more with true uncom-
plaining grit, and that it is the struggle of the children
of Sisyphus to push their stone of survival up the
perpendicular hill of privilege, which ought to have
been highlighted. What The Harder They Come does
Instead, is to depict the rebellion of a youth who
says "No" to the everyday heroism of bare subsistence,
and "Yes" to the idea of the quick buck, and the
illusion of the flashy sports car.

van does not accept his place or the
possibility of a slow advance within
the system. Nor does he articulate his
Protest against the system in political
terms. What he does is to recognize
the presence of illegality within the system. This
convinces him that he can advance much more rapid-
ly by illegal means. The lesson which he eventually
learns,is not that Law and Order will prevail, but that
Law can become a tool in the hands of the powerful
to castigate only such sins as meet with their dis-
After his birching, Ivan becomes an indigenised
citizen of the town. He now has something to sing,
something to shout. He has experienced the essential
ingredient which strengthens the dread-beat of the
city, and he composes a Reggae song which is, in the
words of Tony Mc Neill, his attempt to "leari the
shape of that hurt". The Harder They Come does not
simply have "a fine reggae score", as even critic
Milner admits. It attempts to trace the corhnection
between Sounds and Pressure. It shows how the
energy behind Rock Steady and Reggae came from
the hard world of the street. Explosions of violence
on the streets lead to implosions of violence in the
Thus, in the spirit of the Rudy Boy of the mid-
sixties, Ivan puts all his fear, pain, bravado and
defiance into his song:
'Yes they tell me of the pie up in the sky
Waiting for me when I die
But between the day you're born and when you
They never seem to hear you when you cry
So as sure as the sun will shine
I'm going to get my share, what's mine
And. then the harder they come, the harder
they'll fall
One and all.
He goes on to say in a later stanzza- .
But-I'll rather be a free man in my grave
Than living as a puppet or a slave.
That is his song and his hope ard his tragedy.
For Ivan is in the situation which the militant Black
American saxophonist, Archie Shepp, defined so



SUNDAY JUNE 17, 1973
tersely to a white interviewer: "You own the music
and we make it." The white Jamaican. company
owner, owns the music which he.cannot make. Ivan
and his kind make it.
This white businessman symbolises the entire
commercial system, and the "way it functions with
regard to anything which is saleable, including the
grass-root sound. One notes that Henzell stresses not
the whiteness of this exploiter, but rather what he

down on the trade whenever they want to blackmail
the peasants into providing information about this
or that suspect. This happens when Ivan is on the

Indeed, a very effective scene takes place when the
detective tries to elicit information from an old man
as to Ivan's whereabouts. Just the look on the man's
face tells one everything about the people's relative


illustrates of the spirit of an economic system.
The exploiter knows the world he is exploiting.
He speaks with the accents of the street, he under-
stands the shifting tastes of the people. He knows
what will sell, and when it will sell most abundantly.
He has control of the media, too. The bigger Disc
Jockeys are all in his pay. His sole criterion is market
value, and although he can see the quality of Ivan's
song, he also knows that Ivan as an unknown is
exploitable, and so he offers him a ridiculously
low price.
Human value against market value: that is.the issue
at this point. Ivan's song may be the product of
blood sweat and tears; it may contain the memory
of his hurt, his experience of th,- e-asculating whip,
but the owner of the music is not concerned with
this at all. He blocks' Ivan's efforts to fight the system
by promoting his song independently, and keeps the
master-tapes of the record for future i.se.
It is really this incident which finally convinces
Ivan of the illegality and the inhumanity of the
system, and the right of the individual to succeed by
fair means or foul. It is at this point that he joins
the weed-pushing racket, only to discover that here,
too, the system is in operation, though it is impossible
to say who wields the real power. All Ivan knows is
that those who grow the weed, and those Who run
risks pushing it on the streets, seem to receive
proportionately little for their pains."
Ivan. is to learn how the ganja ring operates.
Indeed, there is little to learn. At its lower levels,
it consists of peasants who grow the stuff for a
.pittance, -s an act. of pure survival.. If no one
smuggles the-weed but of the island, .of if no one
pushes.it on the strcets;'that is, if the external and .-
the internal markets collapse,- .the peasants will
starve. The Police know this, and threaten to clamp

attitudes towards the Police, and the fugitive. Although
silence about Ivan's whereabouts has led to the Police
putting a stop to the trade in ganja, and therefore to
suffering among the peasants, they still prefer to
identify with the fugitive, who they regard as being
closer to them than the guardians of the system's law.
At a slightly higher level in the ganja ring, one
finds-the distributors, such as Pedro (maturely acted
by Rastafarian painter, Ras Daniel Heartman), or
Continued on Page 9



SUNDAY JUNE 17, 1973

From Page 8
the Anansi-like Jose. Carl Bradshaw, who also played
Ringo in Trevor Rhone's Smile Orange, is a brilliant
smart man in the film. Word, gesture and facial
expression, the entire stock-in-trade of the samfie
man, his comic but sinsiter rascality, are all brilliantly
captured by Bradshaw. True to his Anansi nature,
Jose is a link between the pushers and the Police. He
is a small-time informer in the pay of the detective.
At the middle level of the ring are people like the
detective and the businessman. These are-the socially
respectable agents and middlemen for those invisibles
who exist at the top level of the racket an unnamed
party in America, who fly the weed out by light
aircraft. This is not sensationalism, but well-known
fact. So here again, as with the music, those who
(produce do not control distribution. Ivan rebels
again, and pays the price for asking too many
Ivan as gunslinger is, inevitably, an empty fantasy-
ridden character. He begins to enjoy the chase in a
strange way, and debases the spirit of his original
--prtest-by- the triviality of his desires. Henzell rams
the knife home by making the record company owner
trade in on Ivan's notoriety, and issue his tune of
protest, now that it is too late for such 'success to
save Ivan from execution.
It is an instant success, more because of the
people's thirst for bacchanal and sensation, than
,because of its own true intrinsic worth. For it is by
no means clear whether the public recognizes in the
lyrics and tense rhythm of the song their own truer
cry, or whether public protest itself is just' another
commodity for the businessman/politician's market.
If the product will sell, then sell it, regardless of
whether it is music, dope or soul for sale.
Significantly, Ivan is much more interested in
killing Jose, than in tackling the businessman, who by
robbing him, made him chooseillegality. He is at the
pre-political stage of revolt, where values are personal,
and the rebel considers himself as a man alone in an
unjust world. The result of this lack of political idea
is that all the people who die in the film are poor,
black and grassroots, policeman and criminal alike.
Those who control the system are not even threatened.
The Harder They Come does not preach, moralise


or offer solutions. It prefers to look at what is. If
an idea emerges at the end,,it cannot be summarised
in any easy moral formula. When I saw the film I




noted how completely everyone around me identified
with Ivan, and particularly with his defiant pose in
the face of death.
They didn't notice, nor did they mind the element
of fantasy in his defiance. It may be that under that
mask they saw something of their own daily despera-
tion in the face of a system where the extreme gap
between rich and poor is still maintained by class-
legislation, and the constant threat of coercion which
sometimes materialises in physical violence, and
often assumes the absolute form of death on the
The Harder They Come may be no big thing,
but it is the first West Indian movie which attempts
to look at the West Indian reality, with sensitivity
and frankness. It is imperative that it be released as
soon as possible. It certainly will do us no harm to
take a look at our own cracked features, once in a
blue sun.



SUNDAY JUNE 17, 1973



- ht ". 4.




FOOTBALLERS will be in a lot of pain in
this year. The sun-baked grounds around the country
have begun to take its toll on the feet of those who
play in football boots.
A swelling chorus of complaints is coming
from players concerning the torturing effects of boot

pegs on their feet. Com-
fortable, light, flatsole,
jogging shoes are progres-
sively gaining in popu-
Comfort is not the only
factor. The burgeoning rate of
unemployment and spiralling
costs of equipment generally
are making the purchase of
boots prohibitive.
A pair of Addidas boots
which three or four years ago
cost $15 is now $25. Higher
quality boots which combine
featherweight with durability
is eminently reasonable in our
Why then are jogging shoes
and even sneakers not permitted
on first class competitions? -


FIFA rules? FIFA is the federa-
tion of international football
associations, soccer's world
governing body, to which the
Trinidad Football Association
is affiliated.
On several issues FIFA's rules
are completely irrelevant to
and incompatible with our cir-
cumstances. Even in Europe
where those rules were con-
ceived and designed, they are
anachronistic. FIFA and Olym-
pic rules towards amateurism
have been under heavy bom-
bardment in Europe. Avery
Brundage's head has been the

A pair of boots which 4 years ago cost $15 now cost $25.

first to roll under the pressure.
At home in a post Crown
Colony situation where we have
lived for centureis the victim of
government rather than active
participation, where we have
come to see officialdom as
inviolate and beyond our con-
trol, we cannot see that rules
are flexible and adaptable to

* for the paint-shop man.

* for the home craftsman.

* for everybody.

Just ask for the
NCH-601 outfit
for only $375.00


changing times and conditions.
When those rules come from
outside as in the case of FIFA,
our self-imposed sense of help-
lessness is considerably aggra-


Crown Colony-government
has created a "back-to-front"
society here. Two examples
fix the point. Nine officials
were selected for the Munich
Olympics before the actual
athletic team was picked. Ac-
cording to Olympic rules, if an
Olympic team has 27 athletes
then it is necessary to have
nine officials accompanying it.
It didn't matter that only Has-
ley Crawford and Leslie King
were of Olympic standard. We
had to find 27 to send so that

nine tourists could go.
Secondly, at the time of the
strike of our national team for
payment for their participation
in the CONCACAF series in
1971, a high ranking TFA
official told me unashamedly
that organizers are more im-
portant than players. "If there
are no organizers," he continued,
"where will they play"?
This is certainly not a situa-
tion of which comes first -
the hen or the egg. Organisers
do provide a valuable service,
but they come into the picture
after people invented the game.
If you go to the Oval, you
don't go to see Phil Douglin
presiding over a meeting. What
was even more disturbing was
that that official genuinely be-
lieved in what he was saying.
Because I advocated the op-
posite view he thought that I
was a strange fella.
There is more to this boots
business. Boots have become a
symbol of the class distinction
between first class leagues and
so called bandit leagues.
The situation has become
so ridiculous that some im-
prudent minor leagues: try to
evade the stigma of "bandit"
by insisting on boots even when
their players take the oppor-
tunity to escape.
Some players buy the most
expensive boots simply for the
sake of gambage. With boots,
with stick, with woman, is the
same thing!

Soviet town

2,500 yrs old

SOVIET archaeologists have
discovered the remains of a
town 2,500 years old on the
land of a state farm in the
Central Asian Soviet republic
of Tadzhikistan.
The ancient eastern Iranian
settlement was built on a hill,
known today as Tepe-Shah,
surmounted by a palace. Found
at the site were statues, coins
and some tombs dating back
to the Bronze Age, about
3,000 years ago. One woman's
tomb contained three large
dishes and 800 silver ornaments.
Other finds were Egyptian
amulets and necklaces and In-
dian jewellery.
According to
members of the expedition,
jointly organized by the USSR
and Tadzhikistan Academies of
Science, the finds show that an
advanced civilization which had
relations with cultures as far
away as the Middle East,
flourished along the banks of
the Amu Darya river.
It is the second time in

less than a century that archae-
ological treasures have been
found in the same, Shaartuz
region of Tadzhikistan. In 1878
180 gold and silver Bactrian
objects were found there,
taken to India and then to
England where they are now in
the collection of the British
Museum, London.
The Soviet archaeologists
expect to resume their explora-
tions in Tadzhikistan this
UNESCO features

Decade of
THIS 10 December, on the
25th anniversary of the Uni-
versal Declaration of Human
Rights, the United Nations
General Assembly will launch a
Decade of Struggle against
Racism and Racial Discrimi-
nation. Within the framework
of the decade, Unesco is pre-
paring long-term programme
on relations between racial and
ethnic groups.
UNESCO features

- -- ----- -----;-------------- ---



u. .

IN A Press Statement re-
ceived by TAPIA on June
12th, Norman Girvan has
confirmed reports from
Mona, Jamaica, that he has
resigned from his lecture-
ship in the Department of
The immediate reason for
his resignation, said Girvan,
"was the University Adminis-
tration's arrogance in refusing
to give any reason for dis-
approving my application to
spend a year in Africa on
no-pay leave".
He cited as contributing
factors racism in the University
and the authoritarian and re-
pressive style of the University
"The action of the Vice
Chancellor in bringing libel
action against me and two of
my colleagues, because of a
document criticising his ad-
ministration, is only the most
recent manifestation.of the way
in which problems in the Uni-
sity are dealt with".
Noting that his resignation
was not the only recent one
and predicting "others to come
as well", Girvan in his parting
shot denounced the University
as the most backward insti-
tution in the West Indies.
Girvan's departure may
very well mark the coming of
a new phase in the life of the
Faculty of Social Sciences at
Mona. Over the years that he
has been a student and then
Faculty member at the UWI,
Girvan has been closely asso-
ciated with such anti-establish-
ment groups as the West Indian
Society for the Study of Social
Issues, the Young Socialists,

AN officer-in-charge, at
West End (Diego Martin)
Police Station told a
TAPIA reporter, over the
phone, on Saturday, June
9th, 1973 that all he knew
about the recent Simeon
Road "shoot-out" was
what he had read in the
daily papers.
The alleged shoot-out took
place on Thursday, around mid-
day, and a young gardener
Anthony Da Costa, 19, was
shot and 'captured' by a party
of unknown policemen.
The officer was quizzed

New World and Abeng.
The existence of these
groups has never ceased to
engender anxiety in Afro-Saxon
circles and has persistently led
to charges of "subversive ac-
tivity on campus"
Since the Rodney episode
of October 1969, the long-
standing tension escalated into
open conflict between the
social scientists and the Admi-


In the course of the struggle
several lecturers have been
banned or barred from Jamai-
ca, power has changed hands
in the Department of Econo-
mics and crisis conditions have
become normal.
Radical forces have not
however succeeded in building
organisation capable of sus-
taining an extended fight
against the old kfro-Saxon re-
gime. Or so it seems from this
The failure of Abeng to
settle down and build from a

specifically as to the where-
abouts and/or the names of the
females and the policewomen
who according to The
Guardian report of Friday,
June 8th, 1973, were "picnick-
ing in the area when they

solid base in 1969-70 was
partly responsible for the suc-
cess of the publicity stunt by
which Michael Manley and
the PNP have displaced
Shearer and the JLP as the
successors to the British Raj.
Now that Manley is riding .
high it has become very clear
that the left isa in serious
trouble. It cannot be long be-
fore Manley's transparently
empty promises are going to
come crashing down and then
the repression is bound to
Nowhere has Manley's
conservatism been more evident
than in his predictable refusal
to appoint Girvan, the only
Caribbean expert on the mine-
ral corporations, to the National
Commission on Bauxite.
In going to Africa, Girvan
probably feels more than he
cares to admit. Any exodus of
the kind he predicts would
mean in effect that we are con-
ceding Jamaica to the old re-
gime. We wish him well and if
it is any consolation, we eh go
abandon Trinidad.

noticed certain suspicious
movements near by".
The officer-in-charge was
unable to substantiate the
claims which The Guardian re-
port made. The TAPIA man
read the report to him which


continued thus:
"They (the females) imme-
diately communicated with the
West End (Diego Martin) Po-
lice Station which relayed the
information to the Port-of-Spain
C.I.D. Reinforcements were


UP AT Clark Lands, top of
Balthazar Street, Tuna-
puna, the Cross Bolt Youth
Junior Co-op is moving in-
to gear. Seems like the
whole community is taking
off for higher.
The Co-op was founded at
a meeting on March 10, 1973
and C. Rollock was elected
President, V. Holder Secretary
'-and ,. Williams Treasurer.
The first project was a
Folk-o-rama, thrown right
there on the block. Then on
Easter Sunday came the excur-
sion,,profits from which have
topped up the investment fund.

St Lucia

A FESTIVAL of Arts organ-
ized on a National scale is
due to take place in St. Lucia
from June 17 30. Plans in-.
clude Festival performances of
folk presentations, drama,
dance and choral groups, in
Soufriere,Viuex Fort,Dennery,
and Castries, and Art Exhibi-
tions in Castries and Vieux
The Festival is a project of
the Extra Mural Department
and is in the hands of a Festi-
val Committee under the chair-

Jamaica's ur

noted in N.

"AN urban crisis of major
proportions ... offering frus-
trating challenges to the Gov't
of Prime Min. Michael Manley"
was outlined in the N.Y.
TIMES of May 9, in an article
by Richard Severo.
Headlined "Tropical Para-
dise Battles Urban Ills." the
story covered problems in the
capital of Kingston (Approx.
pop.: 666,000), including un-
employment, high prices, food
shortages, malnutrition, air &
harbor-pollution and electric
power shortages (being solved).
The one bright spot: the



As the next step, the
brothers are planning a fruit
delivery service (by order). Also
being considered is a lawn-
mowing enterprise.
Final decision is to be taken
next week. Making up the 8
members are K. Dickson, J.
Waldron, M. Roberts, E. Foster
and "Funny-man" of DJ fame.

manship of the Resident Tutor,
Mrs. Pat Charles. The purposes
of the Festival of Arts are to
focus attention on the cultural
development and the Arts in
St. Lucia by providing a forum
for performing groups in vari-
ous districts on an exchange
basis, and by providing facili-
ties for exhibitions of works
of Art; and-jby so doing, to
create an atmosphere of pride
and pleasure in the cultural
wealth of St. Lucia, and a
climate of encouragement for
those who pursue the disci-
pline of any of the Art forms.
(UWI current)

an woes

Y Times

tourism industry, even though
it is faced with the problem of
high air fares to the Caribbean.
Mr. Moses Matalon, chair-
man of the Urban Develop-
ment Corp. of Jamaica,
pointed to efforts to combat
Kingston's ills, including
"revitalization of the water-
front, the development of
Hellshire Hills, southwest of
the city, and the redevelop-
ment of Ocho Rios,the North
Coast resort town.
Mr. Matalon predicted that
by the year 2000 the nation
will be 75% urban.

hurried to the area".
Sorry, he still could not
help.The Guardian he thought
was fishing for, information so
they put in anything. That he
suggested was an instance of
the much celebrated freedom
of the Press.
"Why then do you all not
refute the claim if you know it
not to be true?" queried the
TAPIA man. The policemen
replied that they were not in
the habit of denying reports of
the kind.
"Very funny", quipped our
reporter, hanging up. (L.T.)