Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00072147/00099
 Material Information
Title: Tapia
Physical Description: no. : illus. ; 43 cm.
Language: English
Publisher: Tapia House Pub. Co.
Place of Publication: Tunapuna
Creation Date: March 3, 1974
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: UF00072147:00099

Full Text

Vol. 4 No. 9

-,: ;,o SUNDAY MAii i, 1974
_.ir--V^ 7 S-.r - '-
w.'V "x :', "i




OUT of the shadows he came with what
Lenny Grant described as a "frenetic
energy and a tremulous urgency" and
swept eleven years of Road-March his
tory aside. At the Dimanche Gras show
on Carnival Sunday when they an-
nounced that Sparrow had won the
crowd reacted in anger. "We want
Shadow. We want Shadow".
If there was such a thing as the people's
choice for Calypso King, there could be no
doubt as to who would have won. As if in
retaliation for what they considered to be the
unfair decision on Sunday night the crowd
surged cut onto the zireets on Monday and
demanded and got from the steelbands the
The older folk used to say that coming
events cast their shadows and the shadow
cast by the Bassman could be a very long one.
It is of course entirely possible that too much
cculd be read into this Road-March break-
through. Except for the fact that it is not an
isolated case. For all around us, even before
the Bassman came onto the scene, monopol-
ies, duopolies, dictatorships of one kind or
another have been crumbling. The demise of
the Road March is only the latest, though by
far the most spectacular to date.
One week before Carnival, for example,
the Sugar Workers and Farmers had vigorously
swept aside the corrupted hegemonies of
Rampartap Singh and Girwar and taken con-
trol of their Unions. Prior to.this they had
rejected with scorn the attempts by the Maha
Sabha to intervene in their struggle.
Or if one prefers an instance closer to
Carnival, the decision by the Desperadoes
Steelband to challenge the edicts of the CDC in
the law courts, is another indication of the
growing determination on the part of people
from all walks of life to assert and to safe-
guard their interests.
What, above all, these movements
indicate is that the true meaning of indepen-
dence is at last being learnt. The challenge to
entrenched authorities is at bottom a chal-
lenge to that absurd system of ,overall
government which we inherited.
Throughout our history we have had to
accept a system of government in which
"Power invariably descended from on high".
It is this concentration of authority imposing
its oppressive weight from above that has
sifled the development of the people in all
aspects of national life.
So now as the minor monarchs tumble
one by one, and the people assert their right
o choose for themselves what unions to pay
dues to and what Road March to jump to,
he end is clearly in sight. And there are other
4igs that The Bassman from Hell shall rise
po haunt.

THE time has come. For the past three months we flung
ourselves with joyful abandon on the merry-go-around of
activity. From Christmas we moved to Cricket, from
Cricket to Carnival.
But now it is all over. The tinsel of the Christmas
tree and the 'glorious colour' of carnival must now be
stripped from the front page of our nation and the
realities exposed. As the merry-go-around makes its final
turn we are all forced to awake from that blissful slumber
and to face, will:ngh' or not, the very same problems that
we hoped we had buried three months ago.
In this the dry season of our merriment the old
issues arise to worm, their insidious way into our
consciousness. Like unwelcome guests the problems of
inflation, unemployment, poverty, inequality, corruption
and that tremendous sense of alienation and dispossession
that erupted so forcefully four years ago, still afflict us
with their presence.

The question of change is still paramount. Only
more urgent now than ever. Tapia's answer is still the same
as it was. We insist in pointing out that there is no easy
elution. We still assert the absolute necessity for the
building of solid organisation from the ground up.
Organizations founded not on the old and discredited
factors of race or religion or colour, but rather on the
principle of men and women coming together within the
framework of their economic interests, their social
interests and their community interests to claim, assert
and defend their rightful place in the scheme of things.
This is no easier to achieve ,now than it ever was.
But there is a significant difference today. More ears are
cocked to hear. We are not so arrogant as to claim the
credit for this development, except in so far as we have
been consistent and forthright and clinical in our analysis
of the situation even at those times when it did not seem
politically advantageous to be so.
More ears are cocked to hear simply because this is
a revolutionary political situation and each development
in the social, economic and political arena is teaching us
painful lessons in political reality. With each new lesson
our traditional view of reality, the legacy of our colonial
past, crumbles away a little more and our perceptions are
forced to change.
In 1970 thousands of our young people took to the
streets, demonstrating, in no uncertain way, the depths of
their frustrations in this society. Their accumulated anger
.shook the old Regime, but that was all. Lacking solid
organisation, lacking even a relevant ideological base, the
movement could not sustain itself. Its passions dissipated,
it died.
The massive withdrawal from the polls in the election
of 1971 attested, not only to the overwhelming rejection
by the people of the present government, but also to their

25 Cents


L-RniULI_ aY L

Curepe Scherzando

See Page 2 & 3

Uncle Gairy's Loyal
Hatchet Men
See Page 4

Continued on Page 3

_ I

/ ,. TAPIA

Ivan Laughlii
THE Carnival is over. The
masqueraders have discard-
ed their costumes. The
revelry has come to an
But Carnival 1974
marks a beginning. For
one thing, Shadow the
calypsonian from Tobago,
has successfully challenged
the road march dictator-
ship. For another, a group
of young men have shown
that community sponsor-
ship can carry the steel-
band into the glory of
Panorama finals.

Curepe Scherzando. "the
most sponsored unsponsored
steelband" as their manager
Colin "Sweetbread" Phillips put
it, placed seventh in the Pano-
rama finals.
At the Dimache Gras show
every steelband represented a
different community Solo
Harmonites from Morvant; T &
TEC Power Stars St. James,
Texaco Dixie Land Belmont
and so on.
Undoubtedly the steelbands
have grown from community
effort but it has always been
the feeling that sponsorship is-
necessary for the big leap to
Panorama success.


Scherzando have given the
lie to that. They have demon-
Sstrated that community effort
can go the whole way and that
is their real achievement.
Their success has strength-
ened the community of Curepe.
It .-fi notice-ablIethe way in
Swhich:support for the band cut
across racial lines and brought
the people of Curepe out in
large numbers on Carnival Mon-
day and Tuesday. Everywhere
in the township the print jersey


SCHERZANDO has joined
Gay Flamingoes as one of
those few bands from out-
side the Port of Spain, San
Fernando areas who have
challenged successfully the
big names in the steelband
Judging from the
splashes in the Guardian
and Express on the day af-
ter the Panorama semi-
finals one would have
thought that the Curepe
boys had just suddenly
come on the scene.
Not so. Scherzando has a
long history of struggle to es-
tablish the steelband on a se-
cure footing.
On Carnival Sunday in be-
tween the preparations for
Dimache Gras Abdul He-
meed, their hardworking PRO;
Gregory "Peck" Henry; Irwin
Burgess, the treasurer; Colin
Phillips; Keith Walters, the
captain- soft spoken and cool;
and "Barber" Worrell, a Curepe
nman who has been in the USA
for the past 13 years, filled me
in on the roots of Scherzando.
They go back to the end of
the 1950's and the Golden
Duke Steelband. Peck, Mutt
(the present arranger), Barber
,and Pedro Burgess (who lives in
the UK and recently took his

SUNDAY MAAl.H-3, 1974


of Scherzando Tempo 74 -
was displayed. They really
brought their cmoinunity out
to play.


At the Panorama semifinals
the band had the crowd jumping
to Shadow's "I come out to
play". Merlin "Mutt" Gill's ar-
rangement brought out the best
in the panmiin and sel tile


stage for Shadow's assault on
the road march kingdom;
Mutt, a long time member
of Scherzando and an arranger
who has never been dependent
on the road march kings, Spar-
row or Kitch, plumbed not for
"Bassman" but for Shadow's
less popular calypso. "For the
tune that lends itself to the
best arrangement for pan" ac-
cording to Mutt. By Carnival
Tuesday some were saying that

"1 come out to play" sur.
passed "Bassman" as a road
A dominant view is that the
conventional approach of the
arrangers over the years has
been to confine themselves to
Kitch and Sparrow and not
look at the possibilities in the
other calypsoes.
"Mutt" Gill, an easy going
brother, has always taken the
unconventional approach. Al-

ways trying to lend substance
to the musical word Scherzando
meaning playful, he is forever
searching fot the tune and
arrangement that would give
the panbeater real enjoyment.


In 1971 it was Duke:s
"Grenadian Claudette"; in '72
Kitch's "Hot Pants" and in '73
Wellington's "Steel and Brass".


Blue Notes Steelband on a tour
of Europe and Russia) were all
members. They learnt their
panbeating together. Right
there in Curepe But there was
never any real permanent or-


It was not until December
1969 that the brothers finally
settled down as Crest Merry-
boys at the corner of McDonald
and Evans Streets placing third
among the best beating Jour
Ouvert Steelbands of Carnival

On that Carnival Tuesday
night dissension developed and
Merryboys broke up. The bro-
thers regrouped and Scherzando
was born. It was Mutt who
proposed the name; to him it
captured the gaiety of steel-
Oand music.

Peck was elected the first
captain.Abdul andlrwin"'Satan"
Burgess became committee
members. They have been at the
helm ever since.
The brothers set out to con-
solidate the steelband and to

t '


make it a permanent feature in
Curepe.They have realized, over
the years, how difficult it is to
establish permanent organisa-
tion in a country that is always
looking for now for now solu-

Resignations, intrigue,
back biting, anger all the ups

and downs that steelbands have
traditionally encount 'red.
Sometimes on the verge of col-
lapse, sometimes riding high
beating sweet music. Through
it all the hard core Abdui,
Satan, Peck, Mutt, Walters.
Sweetbread and Edwin Charles
held thle band together.
In' 1971 began an associa-
tion with Tru-Fit Garment Fac-
tory of Curepe, manufacturers
of Parliament garments. For
Carnival 1971 Scherzando be-
came Parliament Scherzando
with the garment factory donat-
ing jerseys, and the ruhthin sec-
tion aid paying the tuner.


A contract was signed after
the Carnival. The band received
just one third of the amount the
management committee bud-
geled to run the band for the
*In 1972 the band moved its
headquarters to the Old Curepe
Market (with the approval of
the government) ana in 1973




604 ,i--4 --


In '74 Mutt has hit the high
spot and in so doing he has,
with Shadow, forced open the
palace gates for arranger and
calypsonian to stake their claim.


True Scherzando did not
come first. On Sunday they just
did not reach the exhilarating
heights of the semifinal night.
But they have made their mark.

Like Lever Bros. G;;y :l;-
mingceos, thoi c1ui1iInlity iro-
tllhes lfroi i;i:ipu theiy have
realized ;iJ: ltherc is no iasy
road t success. Winning 'r
them liiisl be the fact that
in thLc words of their captain
c;h Walters '"everybody
, i.,I their weight to bring out
the Land. It las been hardwuk.
but it was worth it".


Carnival Io '4 hs w on' s'ne. on

11011''' r or., I

I... r-.-

From Poe !I
govelill nl lt bulit also to their
absoluie distrust of thie conven-
tional institutions of thle Slate.
It exposed tie ~i isis as a ,c i-
stitutional one in the Imost
funldamlental meaning of that
The last and in some ways
the most important lesson we
learnt, cane in 1923. Tile sup-
posed resignation of the Prime
minister wa.s taken by many at

immediate and insistent warn-
ing that it was nothing but a
gigantic hoax, too'many of us
fell for it. It represented an
easy solution, change without
pain. Then in December the
Prime Minister 'returned' ond
in a most ruthless display of
authoritarianism swept aside
the rules of the Party and
instituted a 'Direct Docracv.'
Only then di \xxe come i t
understand that political nmoral-
ity and integrity could exist
only in so tar as there are
institutions in I he society
designed to place checks on tlie
abuse of power. In this period

too, we were loiced to i cal
how nieaningtess the qcuest.-Iu
ol 'w ho w\e Cgo1 put" i'ldt!' w\as
as we were iiilundated by a
succession of rIilmourls oi" eiwi
'parties" led by so many 'ould-
be messiahs scenting lthespoils
of office.


and in direct response to the
lessons that were being learnt.
we saw the proliferation of
organisation in various sectois
of thie society. From the
fishermen of Cedros. to :he
residents of Matciot, from the
wood-cutters of Rio-(laro to
tle Clergymen. Fiomi:l tie drag
brothers on independence
Square to he Blackgold Co-
operative in Coiosa!. On every
block, in every conceivable
activity, people ;re coming to
understand not only 'l:e value
of, but the absoiite pece ssity
f or permanent organisalion of
their interests. The message


hs mwo,' i:cThed as the events
of Tlih past few wcks have
vi, id!y de n sI rs-: d, t!he
workers -:and i Larn Ci in ih'
Suvar kdiustry
So'; all hlese disparate
oiganlisaiioin s51,;'1 come io
:ir.ieristind i.at there is ion
fin:ia sip :hat ii eeds tL be
mad;: Thiisi is tile necessity !fo
so it; po' lit'. : nexus, drawing
togei r al these interests.

ig c, O 'in g de;'. l inic. s i. .

way that benefits t' Nation
a;s i v'I '.
in shoit the sear c il! soon
b'e oi!, i'o i a mania but for
a professional piia'i organisa-
tionI "n lhat hai tilc resources
in nC! .id the capacity to
handle the tisk of change.
Tapit ht:s spent long years
in t',e political wilderness
precisely because we undcr-
stood the iceed for such an
organisnlion. We have built
sio'wy and 'I J. Ani now
ith;a ',: ti e Ias come we are

Parliament Scherzando reached
the semi-finals of Panorama. By
that time relationships with
Parliament had become strained
over the issue of finance and
sponsorship ended after Car-
nival 973.
S It was at that point that
management was tightened and
-the brothers decided to go it
:alone. A new management com-
rmittee was elected and a liaison
committee organised -to keep
the executive and the general
Membership in close contact.


Abdul points out that to
keep the spirit of cooperative
'effort alive Scherzando has at-
tempted to diversify their acti-
vities. Football and windball
;cricket competitions have been
,successfully organised and the
brothers are attempting an agri-
cultural project on the grounds
of the market site.
But possibly the most im-
portant gain in cooperative ef-
fort has been Scherzando's
,Blockorama fund raising drives.

This brought out not only the
community (the truck drivers
in Curepe have given yeoman
service) but the steelbands in
the area. Echo Harps from Mara-
cas Valley, Hilltones and Star-
land from Tunapuna to naine
only a few.


To bring out the band for
Carnival '74 was a real uphill
task. It has cost Scherzando
approx. $8000.00 The Blocko-
ramas raised somewhere around
$1500.00. so the band has a long
way to go to clear their debts.
The PRO says that they
could never repay the under-
standing and encouragement
coming from their tuners. Wins-
ton "Jim" McClean, Dempsey
Rampaul and Roland Inniss.
Nor could they mention the
,numerous people who have
assisted. The list is long.
So Scherzando faces the
future with the realisition that
they are no longer going it alone.
Their community Curepe -
stands with them.

-'. '

3 ....:

THE Village at White Land in
the district of Corosal is now
witnessing the work of cornup-
tion iad of exploitlatio among
the people.
This started in the newly
appointed 8 inember Caretaker
Committee of the village coun-
cil.ThisConmmittee is supported
by about 20 youths who were
brain-washed with a lot of
sweet talk, namely that the
combination of youth and ex-
ierience could overcome any

We learnt that this could
also be to our disadvantage,
Especially when you are nlot
allowed to choose the expCei-
ence which yiou wani, :.nd 1,t
place it where you wish.

Raymond Finley, the most
experienced of the ) members
who was appointed President
by Mr. Bobb, a (ommunIity
Development Officer, of Vic-
toria West, ,--

meetings after ipucha:slng
lmalerials fo! the rcpliir ofi the
(Commun'ity' Cen''re iln I)ec'C;-
be' 19)73. To dale n m.:teridis
have been delive,'ed on ilie
We have since invited hiln
to about four (4) imeetiings io
give an account for lth m1iterials
but ihe has not iresp-lnded.


Another immediate problem
in tlhe dist rict is one Conleti -
ing tl Whit'e Ln Taxi Driveis
Association which eompises
one taxi andl nine private cals.
After holding tliheir fiiit meet-
ing on 'Mondav i'elti uary 1i,
o1 74 it was aminouiicd that
taxi fares wiil be raised tomll
March I.
Now people tr. Irom
Mayo will have to pay '90 cenl i
to go- to San Fernand,); 75
cents to I i nd! 45 cents
to Gasparillo. W lile lromi; White

r a O\'RI L AWi 1.

l.alit! wt \',','!'l e 7}5 e nl' t (5
ait 35 ,_<" respe: actively.
S'' 1,, :he p(e'jtle have op-
po.sed C iC'e 'iCes. s i'ar asw
,>f luck ( ,! 'l'e lcerneI'd i0
,s., L< n":!m. !iil\y !i\iic'! mu st
Comic t,:eI,': ,' ()'n.'l il e
!lithese' inohkneiei. O(h.'liwe we
would i'* p'i Jed ;:!, ilid, a nd
' ,ealt. d.


Now t hat






WILLIE -and Moslyn
Bishop, the brothers who
unofficially boss Grenada
Prime Minister Eric Gairy's
secret police force, bear
the physical scars of nearly

20 years of fighting their
leader's battles.
I found Willie at home
in his two-room shack
perched on a hillside in a
slum area of the capital
here, watching indepen-
dence celebrations last

Uncle Gairy's

Loyal Hatchet Men








NAME ----------------

ADDRESS--- ------
ADDESS------------ ---- ----------

I enclose $ .........,as per rates listed below

T&T............ $12.00TT
CARIFTA ...... 18.00 WI
CARIBBEAN...... 12.50 US
US/CANADA...... 15.00 US
UIK............. 1 8.00 UK
W. EUROPE ...... 10.00 UCK
WEST AFRICA.... ..12.00 UK
INDIA........... 1200 UK
AUSTRALIA....... 12.00 UK
EAST AFRICA .... 15.00 UK
PAF EAST........ 15.30 UK
All overseas deliveries airmail.
Surface mail rates on request.

RETURN TO: Tapia House Publishing Co. Ltd.,
91 Tunapuna Rd. Tunapuna, Phone: 662-5126.
Trinidad and Tobago.

- La

week in the park below
through binoculars, a glass
of expensive brandy at his
One leg and an arm were
encased in plaster, the result
-of an attack on him just after
Christmas. Everyone knows
that it was Willie who shot
one of his attackers dead. But
the authorities have arrested
the friends of the dead man
and charged them with the
murder instead. Gairy has been
flying Willie to nearby Trini-
dad for special hospital treat-
"Mr. Gairy is one of the
most dynamic leaders in the
whole West Indies for me,"
says Willie. "He is a very soft-
hearted man, but he can be
very hard."
Indeed Gairy, the Common-
wealth Caribbean's newest
Prime Minister, has described
his secret police as "some of
the roughest and toughest ele-
ments in society," and has
Vowed that with their help he
will "cinderise" the radical
opposition New Jewel Move-
ment (NJM).
Many NJM members and
supporters have been beaten
up, shot at and had their
houses ransacked by members'
of the "Volunteers for the
Protection of Human Rights",
as Gairy now calls his bully-


By a bitter irony possible
only in such small, village-like
societies as the West Indian
islands, Willie and Moslyn are
cousins of the NJM leader,
Maurice Bishop, whom Gairy
arrested-andjailed a few hours
before independence last week.
To Willie and Moslyn, the
enemy is "The Jewel." Their
almost tribal hatred for the
movement faithfully reflects




I- ; _. .

-A E

.GCry's anger at educated
people in Grenadian society
who do not agree to serve his


"They are people who have
come back from abroad to
take revenge because they
,didn't get what they wanted
there," asserts Willie, who
attributes all the island's cur-
rent troubles and violence to
the NJM, which so far has an
entirely non-violent record.
Willie, a burly bearded man
of 35, claims that his men are

only authorised to carry sticks
and that all times they work
with and in the company of
members of the regular police.
Certainly this was so a few
weeks ago when all St. George's
saw the "Volunteers for the
Protection of Human Rights"
-looting opposition-owned shops
as regular police looked on.
As for the duties of the
Volunteers, who wear plain
clothes and are paid five
dollars (EC) per day or night
of duty, Willie will only say
that they "watch" the homes
of government officials and
others to guard against attacks
by the opposition.


According to elder brother
Moslyn, a man with ertormous
hands who was Gairy's chauf-
feur for three years and who
is known to everyone as
"Pram", there is no police
brutality in Grenada.
He estimates the strength
of the secret police at 1,200
island-wide, with a hard core
of 250 permanently irI ';i,
capital. They are "very active",
says'Pram who, like Willie, has
been in and out of jail. .-
Gairy does not advertise
the existence of Willie and
Pram, or their special role in
his regime as his traditional
solid support in the rural areas
steadily drops and the long-
hostile bourgeoisie erupts into
open revolt against him.
But symbolically they were
at hand for last week's inde-
pendence ceremonies. A few
minutes after the new nation's
flag had bienraisedatop Fort
George here for the first time,
,Gairy was to be seen confer-
ring with his loyal, though
man Willie, who had been
carried up the steep hill in his
plaster casts by five aides to
watch his master's moment of



11 11 ",-A,% I iAD

- 9______________________________



SWhy, the objectors argue, should the small consumer bear the brunt of the
increase, particularly while being asked at the same time to cut consumption
by 25%? Recipients of a reduced service should receive some compensalting
benefit rather than increased costs, .. SB

Bajans battle against big jun1mp

Denis Solomon
A BATTLE is raging between
Barbadian consumers of electricity
and the Barbados Light and Power
Co. over the company's proposal
to increase electricity rates.
The proposal has not only
dismayed Bajan householders but
has brought abloiit a split in the
leadership of the Barbados Con-
sumer League, the, organisation
that represents the interests.of the
nation's consumers.
The Barbados Light and Power
Co., the privately owned company which
produces electric power for the whole
of Barbados, is requesting approval
from the Barbados Public Utilities
Board for an increase both in the fixed
Basic charge to consumers and in the
scale of charges for electricity actually
consumed. The increases are necessary,
the company claims, to enable it to
service loans it must raise on the interna-
tional market to pay for necessary
expansion. It is seeking, in addition to
the increase in basic and unit rates,
approval of a fuel clause adjustment -
a charge to be added to the consumer's
bill at the discretion of the company
to offset expected increases in the cost
of fuel.


The Consumer League filed a
formal objection to the proposed
increase with the Public Utilities Board,
and the statutory public hearing was
scheduled for February llth. In its
objection the League charged that the
proposed increases were unfair and
unnecessary and that they discriminated
against thesmall consumer.
The increases to the domestic
consumer, the objectors claimed, would
be anything up to 100% while increases
to subscribers to the general (i.e.
industrial andcommercial) service would
be ten to fifteen times less. The com-
pany itself has in fact forecast an
overall increase in revenue of 42% from
the domestic service and 27% from
the general service, in spite of a pro-
posed 25% cut in production.
Why, the objectors argue, should
the small consumer bear the brunt of
the increase, particularly while being
asked at the same time to cut con-
sumption by 25%. Recipients of a
reduced service should receive some
compensating benefit rather than in-
Screaseu costs, they argue.
They feel that fuel cutbacks are a
possible reason for holding up expan-
sion plans; they regard the fuel clause
adjustment as a carte blanche for further
arbitrary increases; and they consider
that the company in its justification
of the increases has failed to provide
sufficiently detailed cost breakdowns,
particularly in reference to fuel costs
and return on investment.


But although the members of the
Consumer League are unanimous in
wanting at least a thorough investiga-
tion of the BLPC's proposals, last
minute apprehensions on the part of
some of the members about the ade-
quacy of their presentation turned into
panic when the lawyer retained by the
League to represent it at the Public

in Electricity Rates

Utility Board hearings gave up the brief.
The President of the League, Curtis
Hinds, thereupon wrote a letter to the
i'ublic Utility Board withdrawing the
League's objection, and thereby came
into instant conflict with the two most
militant members of the League, Maude
Wilkins and Carol Taylor.
M;iide Wilkins, who works full-
time for the League, and Carol Taylor,
a columnist for the newsmagazine "The
Bajan" and the new Barbados weekly
newspaper "The Nation", founded the
Barbadian Consumer League in 1969
with Curtis Hinds and three others.
Silnc then the league has promoted the
interests of Barbadian consumers by
means of consumer education pro-
grammes on radio andTV,public meet-
ings, talks to schools and PTA's, by
making surveys of products and putting
out reports, and occasionally by
stronger action such as boycotts.


The League has of course been
hampered in its work by lack of funds
and above all by apathy or ill-sustaihed
enthusiasm on the part of consumers
and even its own members. These
obstacles have been particularly in-
furiating to Wilkins and Taylor. At the
strategy meeting of the League which
followed the filing of the objections on
February first, both Wilkins and
Taylor made fiery speeches. Wilkins
spoke against the limited outlook that
keeps people from being involved in
community affairs for fear of "getting
mixed up in politics",-and Taylor in
denunciation of people who "sit and
wait to be told what to do."
It was at this same meeting that
the League's counsel, outlining the
contents of the objection, appealed for
assista: from "economists,
accouon > ', and engineers" to bolster
the L'oit a s case. It was presumably
for lack of response to this appeal that
he withdrew his services.President Curtis
Hinds then gave in to his own and
others' fears that if they pursued the
objection, particularly in the teeth of
the "expert" witnesses the BLPC was to
import specially from Canada, they
would be made to look foolish; he
therefore wrote and sent off on behalf
of the League the letter withdrawing
the objection.


The view of Wilkins and Taylor
had been that the objection was not
weak, that the League owed it to the
consumers to at least force a public
examination of the proposals, and that
once the hearings had begun there was
no knowing what surprises might ensue
in the way of help or additional infor-
mation. Not only did Taylor and
Wilkins claim that the meeting of the
League executive which empowered
Hinds to withdraw the objection had
been invalid for lack of a quorum, but
the new lawyer they were hastily able
to brief discovered that the League was
registered not as a society but as a
company in the name of Maude Wilkins
When proceedings opened on
February llth the Public Utilities
Board announced that there could be

no hearing because the objection had
been withdrawn, but the new counsel
was able to persuade them, by threats
of appeal, to accept Maude Wilkins as
the only legal spokesman for the League
and himself as her legal representative.

On the following day, however,
Curtis Hinds rallied his forces and
through another lawyer hired by the
League executive and himself managed
to persuade the Public Utilities Board to
reverse their decision of the previous
day, throw out the objection and
cancel the hearing. Wilkins' lawyer
thereupon gave notice of appeal and
filed for an injunction restraining
Hinds from using the name of the
Barbados Consumer League.

Another semi-reverse came on the
following day when the Board decided
once more to continue the hearings
while still disallowing the objection.
The hearings are therefore solemnly
proceeding with no objections listed
and witnesses being heard only on the
Company's behalf.


Although the issue of the rate
increase itself is now confused by
these legal and jurisdictional disputes,
the publicity the whole affair is receiv-
ing will h!ve the salutary effect of
bringing before the minds of Barbadians
the vital question of the permissible level
of profit for private natural monopolies,
the annoyance of seeing one's develop-
ment at the mercy of foreign money-
lenders, ard indeed the whole question
of national policy toward the ownership
and management of public utilities.




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THIS is the second in our series of articles devoted
to a consideration of some aspects of the struggle
for freedom in Portuguese Africa. In this article
Basil Davidson, the well-known British Historian
and student of African affairs discusses the process
of change as it has been taking place in those
countries. The article is reprinted from the Unesco
Courier of Nov. 1973.

AFRICA's problems ot today are some-
times described as being those of the transi-
tion from ways and ideas of the more or
less distant past to ways and ideas of the
modern world.
This idea of transition is a useful one,
at least so long as one keeps in mind that
the ways and ideas of Africa's more or less
distant past were valid forms of civilization,
in their day and age, and not some kind of
hopeless barbarism.
But there may be a better uetimuon tor
Africa's problems of today, especially in those
large regions that are still unaer foreign rule,
whether colonial or racist. I suggest that these
problems are really those of the renewal of
indigenous processes of social and cultural develop-
ment: of the renewal, that is, of processes which
were already in existence before the period of
foreign rule but which were stopped and distorted
by the consequences of foreign rule, and remain
so to this day.

Essentially, then, these are the develop-
mental problems of a genuine and effective
democratization within the framework of modern-
izing institutions. Looked at in this light, the
problems of the inhabitants of the Portuguese
colonies, a total of some fifteen million Africans
and about half a million Portuguese and other
European settlers or employees, appear in all
their difficulty.
The position of these Africans is a rather
special one, though possessing obvious parallels
with that of their neighbours in Rhodesia and
South Africa. This specialness dosen't arise from
the antiquity of Portugal's adventure in Africa
for the story of Portuguese colonialism is little
different in its broad. outlines from that of any
other colonial power.
It's true, of course, that Portuguese soldiers
were able to seize and minimally colonize a few
coastal areas of Angola and Mozambique as long
ago as the 16th century, while others pushed up
the valley of the Zambezi as far as Sena.and Tete,
where they had,founded settlements before 1600.
But the effective colonial occupation of
these vast territories of Angola and Mozambique,
and of the smaller territory of West African
Guine (the old "Rios do Cabo Verde"), began
only in the 1980s and was not made complete
until the 1920s.

The specialness arises from something else.
It arises from the nature of the Portuguese
colonial system and ethos, and above all from
their refusal to make any least concession to the
claims of African equality and sovereignty in
The motivations of those who govern
Portugal are various and interesting. But whatever
they are their stem intransigence and words far
less polite could reasonably be used, and often
are has enormously enhanced the problems of
This intransigence has meant that the neces-
sary journey "into the modem world" of the
Africans whom they rule cannot begin so long as
they remain in command.
Within the Portuguese system these Africans
may be able, if rarely, to acquire the elements of
modern education, but it will only be an education
designed to serve the needs of Portuguese natiio.al-
ism. These Africans may be able to participate
in modernizing forms of economic activity, but
once again it will only be [as servants or subordi-
nates of an economy designed to benefit Portugal.

.u U U,


The present Prime Minister of Portugal,
Professor Marcello Caetano, has cexp,!;;ned why.
:"The natives of Africa", he wrote mn impor-
tant doctrinal statement of 1954, n. ,er since
modified "must be directed and organized by
Europeans but are indispensable as auxiliaries. Til
,blacks must be seen as productive elements or-
ganized, or to be organized, in an economy directci
by whites".- (Os Nativos na Economia Africana,
Coimbra 1954).
Denied the hope of peaceful change, the
"natives of Africa", as we know, have chosen
armed resistance rather than continued surrender
to foreign rule, just as the natives of other conti-
nents have done in situations not dissimilar.
Much has been written about this armed
resistance, but really it is not the interesting or
important part of the story. That part lies in Lthe
,use which toi- -,,ments of resistance have made
of area ~ ro mn which they have

evicted Portuguese control. There, at last, they
have been able to begin to run their own affairs,
,and, in doing that, to forge new institutions and
structures.of society that can underpin the needs
of material and cultural progress.

) (
Here, in other words, the task of democratiza-
tion within modernizing frameworks are being
tackled for the first time in these territories. No
longer "auxiliaries" of the colonial system,
Africans in these liberated areas can stand on their
own feet and face the challenge of their own
What do you find in these liberated areas?
Many visitors from many countries, and of many
political loyalties, have gone there to discover the
answer. Almost all their reports, whether enthusi-
astic or sceptical, "committed" or neutral or even
hostile, are in substantial agreement on the essence
of the matter (1). They find long-deprived peoples
who are caught up in a major effort to modernize
their lives, and to rule themselves in ways that are
as different from their own ways of the more, or
less distant past as from the ways of colonial rule.
These peoples apparently see no gain in
working for a mere reform of colonial structures
,and institutions, for no such reform, as they often
say, can set them free. What they are engaged
upon is something greater and more useful.
They define this by what they do and aim for,
but their leading spokesmen have also defined it
in words which have the ring of profound medita-
tion. They are fortunate in having found spokes-
men and leaders of an often' remarkable and
momentous talent.
Thus the late Ainilcar Cabral, founder and
outstan.ding leader of the PA.IC in (Guine and
the (C.pe Verde Islands, is. the author ou writings
now widely recognized as significantcoontributionsl
io ,Ic theory of soci'll tlhlinge among so-called




"under-developed" peoples.
He has described the movements of libera-
tion as comprising "a forced march on the road to
cultural progress", because the compulsions of
armed resistance have here found th!.r' "r>:,T
positive element in the drive for and achl.:_,-iraent
of new understandings, new ideas, new modes of
individual and community behaviour, and, with all

this, a new means of mastering the problems of
national freedom. (A, Cabral, National Liberation
and Culture, lecture delivered at SyracuseTUniver-
s ity, New York, Feb. 20, 1970. See also article
page 12).

Ana they have done this because these
movements are nothing if not movements of
voluntary participation. They are "schools of
progress" even more than they are fighting units
or other means of self-defence.

)) ((
Or consider a definition of what these
liberated areas are really about that comes from
the Angolan leader, Dr. Agostinho Neto. What
they are trying to do, he said.in 1970, "is to free
and modernize our peoples by a dual revolution -
against their traditional structures which can no
longer serve them,and against colonial rule".
Their aim, in 'other words, is not only to
displace the Poi'ugitse who claim to rule them
but to build a new society: to found and develop
institutions of sef-rMle whose democratic and

modernizing vitality can overcome not only the
heritage of foreign autocracy, but also the heritage
-of an older Africa divided into small groups and
rival ethnic states.
One may well think this a bold and un-
expected aim to find among peoples so sorely
ravaged and harassed by military repression and all
its accompanying evils, yet this is none the less the

aim that visitors have all agreed that they have
found here.
But what does it look like on the grounds,
this "forced match on the road to cultural
progress'? What yourfind obviously, differ much
acotr _- to- time srt.place,' for all ths has to
Take place in the rmdst of twanr of repression that
are savagely pursued.

Some liberated areas have long been safe
from any effective enemy intervention, and there
you find the building of a new society already
far advanced. Other areas are newly wrested from
!the enemy, or subject to frequent ground-raids
,and bombing.forays; there you find that the work
!is often interrupted, and sometimes at an early
stage. But although the momentary contrasts are
many, the policies and "atmosphere" are strikingly
the same. All three movements are in close touch
with one another, and have the same basic
Two exampls,.fq- ---experience.
Travelling in 1970 tnro Angola

under MPLA control, I coincided with one of the
Portuguese Army's periodical "sweeps in force".
The MPLA's fighting units there were on the move
and so, in consequence, was the local population
that look to these units for protection. Woodland
villages were abandoned for the time being; social
services, such as schools and medical services, were
likewise disrupted.
Weeks would pass before things could be put


together again. It was a trying time, and bore
witness to the sufferingss caused by these colonial
wars. Yet the national movement remained in
being, whether in its fighting units, its village com-
mittees, or its co-ordinated groups of workers
concerned with this or that social and cultural
activity, and could settle back to its work again
as soon as the danger had passed.
In areas long safe from danger the picture is
a different one. Last winter I spent some time in
the Como sector of southern Guine. From this
sector the Portuguese were completely evicted in
1965, and had not been able to return. So for
seven years the people of Como had been free to
work at the building of their new society.
They had gone far towards it. Long-
established village committees, all of them elected
from local people, had an uninterrupted respon-
sibility together with the full-time workers of.
their national movement, the PAIGC, for every
aspect of public affairs, educational or medical,
legal or political.

Here and elsewhere, even before the inde-
pendence of Guine was officially proclaimed, a
new state was already in existence, a new society
was already taking shape, and in an atmosphere of
calm and confidence that seemed continuously
Statistics can tell a little of this story. By
1972, for example, the PAIGC had promoted
enough schools and trained enough teachers to
give some 8,500 boys and girls the elements of a
modem education. They had even carried through
a general election for a sovereign National Assembly
by direct and secret ballot in wide-ranging liberated
Similar statistics from the liberated areas
of Angola and Mozambique can usefully add to
the picture. It is also clear that much more could
be achieved if the means were to hand, whether
in trained personnel or material necessities, and
especially the second.

)) (
Yet the living reality that unfolds before
you in these plains and forests, swamps and
Woodlands, goes beyond the statistics, even very
'far beyond. Whether in large liberated areas or in
small, strongly held or subject to repeated raids
and bombing, here are "backward" people who
have become determined to win free from their
"backwardness", and to understand the world as
it really is.
These are people who are working to achieve
this by setting aside the blinkers of tradition or
subjection, racism or "tribalism", despair or lack
of self-belief. And this they are doing by a process
of voluntary participation in the changing of their
lives and thoughts.
No-one who travels in these areas will come
back with any impression of utopia. Far from
that, daily life is harsh in toil and hunger or the
threat of violent death. Not everyone understands
what is being attempted. Many confusions remain
and no doubt will do so for long to come. The
timid withdraw, the fools betray.
All things natural to the human condition
:are present here. Yet these things include clarity
and courage, steadfastness and hope, while the
unrelenting growth and expansion of these move-
ments of renewal could not otherwise have gained
their remarkable success. It is a success that looks
to the rest of the world for understanding, and so
for aid and friendship.


:)H 3, 1974


Wl Group unimpressed
..."u p *:.


Party's Talks

Dear Sir,
FROM time to time home politi-
cians visit the colonies of West
Indians living in the metropoles.
In Washington, for example, men
like C.L.R. James, Wally Look Lai
and Walter Rodney have visited.
Our most recent guest, save
members of the New Jewel Movement
of Grenada, was A.N.R. Robinson and
his c6horts. They were invited to the
USA by a group of concerned citizens
in New York City. In Washington, they.
spoke at the club house of the Trinidad
and Tobago Association. That was lte
in 1973.

Wayne Davis, the youngest mem-
ber of the team, spoke first. His was a
.stirring and passionate address. He
plaintively described the drought, pesti-"
*lence, food. shortages, police brutality,
guerrillas, drugs and repression that
have blighted the country over the past
few years.
S We were moved by his address,
.but when the emotions waned, we were
e1ft -helpless. For o'ne, Wayne offered
only elections (with ballot boxes) as a
solution to" our problems. Then again,
he did not analyse. : "'
Indeed, too many questions re-
mained unanswered when he was done."
Notably: Why was the country suffer-
Sing both from ,ecoqqnmic difficulties
and :political instability at the' same
time? What was the- connection between
the two? To what extent' are world
events affecting our 'economy? In short,
Dayis, as well-intentioned as he was,.
described symptoms but offered no
It might have been that he
decided to leave the analysis to A.N.R.
arid. Napoleon did attempt analysis.
But he flopped.

He began with a sympathy p1ea.
"My life was threatened," he com-
plained. "I was subsequently advised
to leave the country, but considering
the alternatives, I decided not to run."
How heroic! Of course, if his life was
threatened by P.N.M. hatchet-men be-
cause he dared to oppose them, then
damn them; but if A.N.R. was seeking
vicarious martrydom then damn the
D.A.C. At the same time, it is not
'difficult considering what Wayne said
about repression to believe ANR on
this point.
The remainder of his address is
easily summarised: (a) The government
Should call elections; (b) the solutions
to our problems lay in non-violent and
constitutional means; (c) the DAC,.even
at the risk of life and limb, hasbeen
,staging big political meetings and house

to house political discussions all over
the country; and (d) our political
culture has not jelled, thus the present
When he was finished the inevit-
able questions were asked. He did not
answer then convincingly. He stuttered,
for example, when he attempted to
give an account of his ten years as a
PNM minister. He and his companions
were not only embarassed,but also
visibly irritated by the. question. The
audience seemed unwilling to grant him
The people present that night
were palpably skeptical of a middle-
aged man suddenly 'getting religion'.
Nor was his new religion really new.
At most, he was saying (in calling for'
an election) that the DAC could run the
system better than the PNM.' Moreover,
there was a-conviction in the audience
that the'system' itself was questionable.


It also appeared contradictory
that a party committed to a constitu-
tional turnover of power did not
attend the hearings of the Constitution
Commission. Was it that the DAC had
no proposals for constitutional reform?-
Or was it that the DAC considered the
exercise futile? These questions were
not answered adequately, because ANR
wiaas'-iTi5ro answer them and at the
same time hold a consistent line.
It would seem logical to conclude'
that a party committed to running for
elections under the present Constitution
believes that our electoral processes
have not been corrupted. If so, then the
DAC still has confidence in the integrity
of the PNM. There is no reason why
that confidence should not extend to
the government appointed Constitution
The DAC might have 'made a
point if they had presented a case to the
Commission along with other public
interests, and then challenge the regime
to accept the. recommendations* of the
Commission. Failing to do so, would
certainly put the, government in an
uncomfortable position.
It iA likely that the DAC had no
proposals, except on the ballot box
issue. Then again it is also possible
that the DAC was feigning a radical
posture. This : would be'regrettable.
Histrionics at this point of our political
development is unipaidonable.
ANR used half of ar hour to say
that our political culture had not
jelled. He might have .been afraid to
say that .we have been living in a
revolutionary period. Yet even' in his
euphemistical language ANR denied
us analysis. What is the jelling process?
ANR could answer only with history.
"The problems we face began
around 1968", he told his audience.
"Taxes put on imported goods sent
inflation up. Unemployment continued
to rise, and by 1970 all this erupted in
the black power revolts." This elemen-
tary accountmrew hisses. ANR stood
At another point Napoleon
asserted that Americans had a
responsibility to us, as we had a
responsibility to them. The hissing grew
louder. What naievete! Those who have
spent a long time in the U.S.A. (and
many who have not) know that- the
.State Department and the White House
are not interested in'- |'-
beings. They look uW

inferior people anyway. What appeared
to be an interest in us,is really not.so:'
It is described as enlightened self-
interest. Their corporations covet our
resources; and the ordinary Amnerican
finds us a curious people. Anyone who
proposes to govern us should know
ANR is aware, I believe, that our
diplomats are on the steps of Congress
begging for sugar quotas while. South
Africa has had a guaranteed market .for
years. Indeed, the US Government is
rapidly abandoning foreign aid pro-
grammes. .Just recently Senator Ful-
bright, who vehemently opposed the
Viet Nam war, and who is head of the
Senate Foreign Relations Committee,
announced his opposition to increasing


Power to the People
Tapia's New World
TAPIA Back Numbers
Tapia Constitution
Democracy or Oligarchy?
Reform of The Public Service
Foreign Investment in T. and T.
Central Banking
Non-Bank Financial Institutions
Foreign Capital in Jamaica

Post War Economic Development
of Jamaica

American contributions to the World
Nofjanl* the Americans.be.blamed.
SThey arer esponsible for.th'erniseles; we
for ourselvs. ,
All in all, ANR lacked passion.
.His ,rhetoric was, stale; his clichs worn. ,
His inanner was far more suited to the
Legislative Council 'of the Lionel
Seukeran era. He is only in his forties,
but he is a politician of the pld guard.
In fact he compared poorly to Wayne
Davis. Wayne is obviously of the new
era. He does not blend into the DAC.
It has been said at home that ANR
accumulated political mileage as a result
of his mission to the USA. Well!
Roland G. Baptiste


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Report e se

growing poverty

in Guyana

IN a report commissioned by
the Guyana Trades Union
Congress, entitled Inflation,
Shortages and Working Class
Interests in Guvana, Dr. Clive
Thomas, Dean of the Faculty
of Social Sciences .of the
University of Guyana, painted
a gloomy picture of economic
depression, inflation of prices,
falling living standards, un-
coordinated public policy, and
faulty monetary and trade

In 1972, gross domestic
product rose by 6 per cent. But
the consumer price index in-
creased by 5.2 per cent,
leaving GNP increase in real
terms of only 0.8 per cent.
And since population
growth was 2.6 per cent, real
per capital. income fell by
about 1.8 per cent.
The reasons for this is that
the outputs of all the three
major export industries fell in
physical terms. The Bank of
Guyana Report of 1972 shows
the fall in the physical output
of sugar and bauxite-alumina
was 15% each while the
fall in rice production was

The consumption of beef,
he put at an average of 12 lbs.
per. head per year for the
entire population, or a con-
sumption level of 3-4 oz.
per person per week; pork, a
consumption level of about 1
oz. per person, per week;
poultry 3 oz. per person
per week;. milk, four-fifths
of one pint per person, per
week and eggs about 35 per
person per year.
*He further pointed out that
for 1972, the purchasing power
of wage earners was reduced
by about 4 per Oent.
"It is impossible to over-
state the seriousness of an
economic depression in which
real per capital income, in

absolute terms, is falling", he


Discussing lthe co:i oi Ivin
he noted that, betweenr
December 1971 and December
1972 the rate of increase of
the urban price level was more
than thrice the average rate of
increase over the previous
decade. And for the first 8
months of 1973 the urban,
price level had already ex-
ceeded the annual change in
1972. However, the mean
annual changes between 1971
and 1972 was 4.1%, about
80% above the average annual
rate, 1960-71".
In his :commendations,
Dr. Th':, ,i,; -' out a strong
case fo : rea e:r emhasis on
trade with socialist countries
which he said was negligible at
the present time. To protect
the standard o;' living of the
Guyanese working class, he
recommended that the TUC
should press the government
for a cost of living allowance,
which, he said, would allow
for automatic adjustments in
the money wage rate of the
workers in order to compen-
sate for variations in the cost
of living.

ONE IN EVERY three Cubans is studying formally: a fact
which demonstrates the Revolutionary government's ef-
forts, during 15 years in power, io rurn the island i.ito a
giant classroom.
Now all children have schools and teachers, thus
fulfilling one of the principal demands of the weliknowa
"History Will Absolve Me" defense speech of Fidel Castro,
in 1953 during the trial which followed the attack on the

Moncada barracks.
Then, the 26-year-old
in a hospital wa.rd doubling as
a court-room, attacked the lack
of rights for Cuban teachers
and the dreadful state of the
few public schools that existed
in the countryside.
These schools were attended
by "barefoot, half-nlked and
uu ,iJi'' chil iiren less than
half of those ot sciho ul ,
said the leader of the Cuban
In 195'8 the year before
the Revolutionary Government
came to power -- only 717,000
children were enrolled in
primary school. By 1973 the
figure had jumped to 1.89
million. At secondary level,
where there used to be 88,000
students, there are now
282,000 more.


Before the Revolution Cuba
had 811,000 students; now she
has 2.69 million.
But progress has not been
limited to primary and adult
education. The polytechnics,
technical colleges and universi-
ties, together with the junior
and senior high schools in the
countryside, play a key role in
combining work with study.
The country has more than
140,000 high-school and higher
education students in the work-
and-study system. They study


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Is now-

lawyer, surrounded by bayonets a

4f^ ^

and do industrial work or tend
nea-by crops.
.his system enables students
i ;-: their theoretical know-
ledge to the piauicatl tct.
Proof of the system's success
is that the pass rate during
the 1972-73 system was the
highest in the last 14 years.
The pass rate in the junior
high schools in the countryside
reached 97.4 percent.
There are now more than
116 of these schools, housing
some 60,000 students. The aim
is to have a million young
people combining work with
study by 1980.
Education Minister Jose
Fernandez, at a meeting to
mark the formation of the
third contingent of the Teach-
ing Detachment, reported that
by next term there will be
some 290,000 students at the
secondary school stage, so
teacher-training is vital to the
education program:
This is where the Teaching
Detachment comes in: about
1900 of its young members
should graduate as teachers by
1976, after combining
theoretical study with practise.
The Pioneers Union, the
Federation of High School



Students and the Education
Ministry are niaking big efforts
to encourage young people to
take no teaching. ,-

countryside, primary and
senior high schools.ar going
up all over. In recent ;ears,
too, work has begun 2n the
mass building of technical
colleges and polytechnics
(these latter are built as
adjuncts to sugar mills and fac.
stories .
The periodical mass gradua-
tions of technicians and skilled
workers reflect the powerful
advance of the workers who
This enthusiasm for study
has its roots in the big illiter-
acy campaign which the
Cuban people undertook in
1961 and which marked the
beginning of a huge effort at
cultural improvement.
Grown-up people -- with
no previous scholastic back-
ground are frequently to be
seen here reading wherever
they can, to make maximum
use of time. Since education is
free, cultural improvement is
regarded as everyone's duty.

Prensa Latina


Earth Movere, Road Builders
& Surfaces,
Swamp Reclamation
Underground Drains
BYidge Construction
Site Preparation
Agricultural & Farm UDvelopment
Sewer & Watar Main Construction
Pump Trucks & Trailers
Low. Bed & Flat Trailers



------ ---- --------~--~- -- 'I-~~~~""""~-'~'UY-~~

vvu ba ~

The Wedding of




"GO FORWARD, _black man, never forgetting that there
will be no peace in your home until you have committed
yourself totally to the fulfilment of the destiny of our
"Go forward, black woman. Take your place with
your husband in the march towards total liberation".
Thus, at the end of an hour-long ceremony last week
Friday, were Babatunde and Aiyegoro pronounced man
and wife before a gathering of some 75 people on the front
lawn of the bridegroom's family home on Second Avenue,
Mt. Lambert.
Rising with the tempo of the rolling drums were the
voices that had begun to sing hardly louder than a hum:
"All the way from Africa land
Coming to carry us home".
There remained only the special embraces and hand-

shakes-'that everyone present
couple, with the drumming
and hand-clapping building upto
breakaway pitch, the calling on
the gods to bless us and give
us strength in the struggle for
total liberation", and the pro-
cession returned inside the
Until last Friday the most
memorable wedding ceremony
I had attended was in 1972. In
a narrow room overlooking the
corner of Frederick and Hart
Streets in Port of Spain I had
served as witness to a formally
that didn't last a good five

Just as well, for an im-
patient.crowd waited their turn
outside, and the room, I sus-
pected, served as staff lunch
room as well. And when the
blase official dismissed my
couple it was with, the words:
"Mind all you self don't
mind nobody".
Babatunde and Aiyegoro, as
Ingrid Taylor andDavid Murray
respectively, had been legally
united before the traditional
Yoruba rituals on the lawn in
a civil ceremony not unlike the
one I had witnessed two years
In Mt Lambert last Friday
an overcast sky diffused the

lined up to bestow on the

direct rays of the midday sun.
The role of the:persons present
was to be more than that of
witnesses to the signing'of a
This gathering -consistedo6f--
members of the two .families
and the "extended family" of
the couple which was already
united in terms of political
outlook and shared commit-
ment to the task of reclaiming
black people's heritage.
Withdrawn into a rough
semicircle at one end of the
lawn were members of the
NJAC who had blossomed out
in colourful African print. The
men in dashikis, the women in
long dresses and turbans.
A teak dining table covered
with red, green and black flags
stood at the other end of the
lawn, overhung by a flowering
ixora shrub.


Actress Pearl Springer told
me it was the first time, as far
as they knew, that such a
wedding was performed in Trini-
dad. And as we waited for the
procession of the bride, bride-
groom, the poet Kwesi, and
Asha to emerge from the house,.
the air was hushed. '

A curious crowd of school-
children had, assembled in the
street and they too kept quiet
as a young man in. dashiki
gravely placed about ltwo._ dozcn-
---Ctalab-l Ton the table and
rested a smoking claypot of
burning incense onthe grass.
A pair of bamboo vases
with flowers was placed midway
between the table and six chairs
on which the couple and their
parents were to sit.

Centre-stage was thus de-
fined. And after the couple had
taken their seats flanked on
either side by their parents, a
roll of drums announced the
entry of the man who was to
be master of ceremonies.
No other term could de-
fine this personage. I was told
after he was just an "elder"
who had been selected to do
the honours on this occasion.
But "elder" must be a man-
ner of speaking; he was not ap-
preciably older than the other
men present. Both the ritual of
his entry and the deferential
way he was shown to a taxi
afterwards suggested a recog-
nised eminence.
The "elder's" big well-
combed Afro merged into a long

beard also well-combed. On his
forehead between the eyes was
an oval smudge of a black
ash-like substance. A double
string of beads hung round bis
He wore an ankle length
green-black gown that fell from
the left shoulder, with the right
shoulder uncovered but for the
sleeve of the dashiki worn
With his left palm placed
on his chest he faced th6 audi-
ence. He spoke no word, then
turned round and faced the
table with the calabashes clasp-
ing his hands as if in prayer.
Then he turned again to face
the gathering, and to speak.
He stressed the importance
and seriousness of the cere-
mony. He called for involve-
ment of everyone present and
urged the parents to show re-
spect for the rituals being per-
formed and to give their bless-


Raising his voice, he spoke
to everybody: "Let the thought
that we hold on to be LOVE,
LOVE, LOVE!" Each time he
said the word he looked to a
different part of the company
as if to make clear that he meant


Continued on Page 11

Bonbdm 1be. Si*gmL
7M udope hea*gw %wm hiIAc
*IN d" -=WW ftfi
cmbrr ISr a

-'X E 0 .APIA



Lennox Grant

And each time the drums
Handed a folder, he began
to read as if from a script.
-There are five stages: birth,
childhood,initiation, marriage,
death. A pause and a roll of
drums marked his words'as he
described the meaning of each
stage for traditional African


In the African tradition, he
said, the concept of marriage
was different from the Western
tradition. The sanction of the
community was required for
the match, and the community
thereafter had the responsibility
to see that the union was pre-
The master of ceremonies
had a way of speaking. He
would pause and stare sternly
for a long moment at the
bride and groom. His voice
would raise as he pronounced
a key word at the end of a sen-
And the drums would roll
as if in endorsement of the
important message being con-
veyed,just at the point when -
in another setting --there
would be a shout of "POWER!"
He called on the mothers of
the bride and groom to testify
to the gathering about their


The mother of Babatunde
rose and went to face the
gathering. She gave a poised
and gracious little account of
her daughter's life:
"She gave me pride and
joy I am happy to witness
the union ..."
She wore a simple blue
dress just above the knees,
Western style.
Aiyegoro's mother in full
length African style gown. She
explained that she was over-
whelmed by the solemnity of
the occasion. She was deeply
touched. She couldn't remem-
ber much about her son's life
at that point, but wanted to
say that she endorsed the injunc-
tions of the master of cere-
Then 'it was everybody's
turn to testify. "Do you agree
to this marriage?" As instructed.
the assembly answered Yes.
Two "elders" were called



I --- .

C ~~,.,.. -.-


N. -)

.s i -;-r-c-

up to give their blessings. The
first was Yassu Oliver. He.had
his blessing and spoke few
The second was Daaga
Granger. Tall and gaunt, an
impressive figure in flowered
dashiki faced at the neck and
cuffs with gold embroidery,
pressed black pants and shiny
black boots, I hadn't noticed
him in the gathering.
He ended his short speech
with: "May Babatunde and
Aiyegoro serve as an example to
all of us as we struggle to re-
gain our identity, so that the
beauty of which we read in
history" can now be interpreted
in reality".

There followed the ritual
serving according to Yorub:i
tradition of salt, honey,
pepper, water and palm oil to
the couple and to ev:ryoine pre-
That was _.. '. cala-
bashes were fi,. :,_ gowned
young women passed round
with the foods for us to sip,
pinch or dip the firngr and
All the while the three
drummers stationed so as to be
an integral part of the ceremony
built up a rhythm. After the
symbolic partaking of food
and the explanation of this by
the master of ceremonies the
solemnity was gradually re-

There wVere smOiles a!,- :!
clapping and envun a iil!ic i;,:
ing ,s thoe "riL'ua i'brces 7oO
pniace. The ,youn m;;n w\i i, ;..'
bro',ght lh incense :;ccu'id
with a freshly smoking pot
doing a kind of hiopio:g daoncc
round the lavn,. wain nI e'
incense not froin side to s' c
in his final .t ti!i c.'i:
master of crecmo':ies ital-;ed 'i`
the duty to restore Aflrican
family and coi.1,mmunii y .uVti-
ticns to tlieir former p.idce aid.
glory. "A destiny we mt.:o
a .s i told i' ,i
Springer and Pat Knights ;ar-
wards I told them thai I


1 *l~41 I' 44 .) 4

a 4' 0..~ni '-p~tc 0

CC i'. o t to radi-

J~4.1.0'!ed r 1v

B .

ail is a ringt say

CHARGING that the February
7 arrest of Dave Darbeau was
part of a calculated plot on the
part of the Government, a re-
cent NJAC release states that
"there can be no doubt that
Law in Trinidad and T6tago
has been firmly entrenched in
the hands of the lawless", and
calls for the granting of bail to
According to the release
iDarbeau's "arrest is more than
just brute repression, because

the Establishment knows by
now that after two States of
Emergency spent in jail and
numerous 'pick-ups and search-
es' that mere harassment tac-
tics cannot stop Brother Dave
or the continuing of the Revolu-
tion began in 1970."

To .support its claim that
there exists "a pattern that
says Black revolutionaries must
be in jail every Carnival" the
release asserts that "In 9171

it was a State of ti .' c
that kept Bio. iiv ;,! ; n.
of the NJAC's i, eic' I
hind bars i. Cai' ii : ;.:
ruary 97 ; 1 Y it .1 ': I '
six bullets tr!ie:; :I!L ii a .
in South :*. kl .,, .
Granger, lies, a J S;,-
ter Louis';a (, ici,'hiv i,' d ;;
for Carnival: and now I,, 174 i:
is Brother Dave with a lsi.o',.
ing with intent to murdc!'
charge allegedly committed last
November". _W Continut

4 ,4 '


ihu .. C i -.) l ,'c;h
he, i: 4 if two pr vsuts
deiials of 'bui; .vl'.en ;a third
hec;i'ing comes up in March.

Co., know:; in the USA as
"the 10 cents-store" pro-
vi!dig cheap goods for poor
people, have said no to a
request by suffering Trini-
dad cane farmers for a
donation of cups and other
Revcliiig this recently was
1top oi!icial (of the Islandwide
C'aP.C Farmers Trade Union
.. i Lcnnrrd in a Harris
Proimenlce, San Fernando pub-
!cc meeting.
-th claimed, Len-
;i:rd said, that the firm gave
cnri:ss only for "humanitarian
And the Cane Farmers
uionis: wanted to know why
W',.obvarth did not consider
the current struggle against
'"ia humanity and exploitation"
;i the sugar industry to be a
m;tlinanitarian" cause.
Speaking to corwd about
6.000U strong, Lennard reported
that all requests made for help
to other businesses had been
fiHe commented on the multi-
national nature of Woolworth
and tre reiau n of firms like
irese- o de lie!onpments in this
Si." :, '. j l. d ir .-.tly
to n'embers of the public to-
ll y and understand" +'::. cane-
farmers' cause and n; to be
,isted by the news mekda which
he accused of distortion and
Rcs atlng this case, he said
that tlh crisis in sugar was a
reflecion "f the crisis in the
entire co"irtry. Specifically,
sugar wor.-kes and canefarmers
v'ere opposing inhumanity and
exp!oitati on which were a result
of 'he 'vpe of representation
suaiir workers ihve been getting
from Ai! iTinidad Union and
their Federated Workers Union.
iThe cai'cfarmers, for their
part.. !hae been suffering as a
result of heing confined to
TICFA by the now-infamous
Act 1 of 1965 which took
away their democratic right to
choose a iinion.
The iemnoval of that Act
was the fiist step. he insisted,
towards a so!liion in the indus-
try. The question of price per
ton came after that.
He charged that the govern-
menit's recent offer of a rise in
price per ton was an attempt to
pacify and break the revolu-
iconary vigour of all the people
inv olved in sugar.
"They would fail", Lennard
,iss ied his listeners.
Another lady speaker de-
ciatcd that it was the system
it.l; ls evil. Capitalism pro-
diACl iCneqtuality and greed, she
Sihe claimed that democra-
cy had been destroyed by the
paying if the IRA and the NIS
bolth of which, she was sure,
cut into people's fundamental

Masai Head-aress, Kenya.
Ostrich feathers on a leather fame.
Piece used on ceremonial occasions

Babatunde and

From Page 10



ctnSdrea Ta-lbJbtt
Resetirch fstI tute
Study of inn,
78tlt Stre.
LI j01- .002
Ph, Lehigh 5 8448




\'~K1 11\41 Y _

j Ivan Laughhlin
yet another decisive step
in their struggle for de-
mocratic control of their
union, The All Trinidad
Sugar Estate and Factory
Workers Union, on Wednes-
day 20/2/74.
On thai day the workers
vacated the union's offices at
Mon Chagrin Street, San Fer-
nando.taking with them all their
office equipment, stationery
etc. and set up the recently
elected Interim Executive in
temporary offices at No. 1 Hart
Street, San Fernando.
The action demonstrated in
dramatic fashion a physical
severance of all relationships
with the oppressive, dictatorial
operations of Rampartap Singh
and his clique. More fundamen-
tally it marked an end to the
conspiracy by the PNM govern-
ment and .ihadase in 1963 to
keep sugar workers in servitude.

Rampartap, who represents
the government and Caroni
Ltd., certainly not the workers
has been left with an empty
building. This is illustrative of
his support among sugar work-
When I visited the offices at
1 Hart Street on the Friday
before Carnival, the place was
bustling with activity. Office
equipment being serviced.
worKers coming in and out.
Nigel Gill selling Tapia.
In between it all Frank See
persad, the recently elected
general secretary of All Trini-
dad. maintains the administra-
tion of the union's activities.
Frank has been in sughr for 15
years. He was the secretary of
the Field Engineering Branch
of the union at Usine before

i-rank .eepersad seated on desk -

being elected general secretary
of the interim executive .
From this office the execu-
tive directs the workers' strug-
gle. Their communications net-
work is such that they can be
in touch with the entire sugar
industry in 30 mins.
Seepersad pointed out that
at the present time over 90%c
of the workers have in tructed
Caroni to stop the deductions
of union dies. Cul.!tivat! io \vok,-
ers normally contribute 50c
per week, factory workers 70c.
"Now the workers contribute
$1.00 per week directly to the
union's treasury and this keeps
the operations moving".

"Workers are making enor-
mous sacrifice in the struggle
and we are heartened by the
support of the clergy, the
doctors, lawyers. Churches
throughout mte sugar belt are

in new office.

holding special services for the
Seepersad further pointed
out that a Santa Cruz farm has
donated 250 dozen eggs, the
Rio Claro Presbyterian School
has contribute money as well
as food and clothing. The work-
ers know they are -not alone.
"Morale is high. This is a
life and death struggle. We do
not intend to back down. Lithlot
we will make a reasonable liv-
ing off sugar or the industry
must crash".
Workers and farmers stand
shoulder to shoulder in this
resolve. In the sugar belt dif-
ferences of race, religion and
politics have been sunk.
The genera! secretary sum-
med it up "In all my years in
sugar industry I have never
seen such deep-feeling commit-
ment. Nothing deters our peo-
ple. Everyday the resolve deep-
ons. There is no turning back".

ON the annour:cement of Guva-
na's new Government after the
July 1973 electoral exercises,
Prime Minister Burnham put
out a call to the parliamen-
tary opposition to enter into
some form of co-operation.
This call was not heeded
primarily because of the un-
prepedented forms of cheating
and the use of the military by
the Government to maintain
itself in office.
In the face of these difficul-
ties to which the fuel crisis has
added more seriousness, the
Prime Minister announced on
January 25, special emergency
economic and financial mea-
suies. He declared that the.
internal situation was similar t
to a wartime one and that wha" -
was at stake was not the,~
ascendency of oi'Apolitical...
group,ica!o.thei-. '~llu~it at
stake is the survival of a
nation, our nation".
The days since the last
exhortation coupled with those
of other ministers have brought
no improvement in co-opera-
tion. Sugar workers, clerks,
cooper aind water works
eini.oyees nave all gone on
strike against forms of repres-
sions resulting in continued
loss of production.
Government Ministers are
resorting to abuse of the
workers, caring them cheats,
incompetent and a host of

invectives. All this will solve
nothing. The economic condi-
tions and people's livelihood
are becoming worse daily.
Food shortages and high prices
are taking a toll of the physical
and mental capacities of our
working people.
The Working People's Van-
guard Party, (M.L.) considers
that a sure way of bringing
about some form of co-opera-
tion and easing the stress on
the people is by involving the
widest sections in the decision
making process. The Party
therefore calls for a special
kind. of Government to deal
with the crisis.
The Party calls upon the
workii people to demand new
,thefomriation of a National
Gov errment involving the
parliamentary opposition
.parties as a sure means toi dcer.
v.iil the crisis. The Party feels
that the National Govern -
mer:t would need to work out
a transitional economic pro-
gramme and recommends that
it follows a non-capitalist
The Party declares that if
the Government is sincere in
its desire to save the nation
and relieve the stress on the
people, then the Prime Min-
ister and the Government will
put forward reasonable pro-
posals for the consideration of
the other politi. .I parties.

THE real road march this Car-
nival was not as you keep
reading in the papers a song
about a "Bassman", but a tre-
bly, one-note tune that goes
That was the sound if
not song which was litprallv

Blow man blow! Vie foeand
a way so that everyone could
play the roadomarch. So simple,
it hung by acord round the neck
of Carnival 1974, threatening
to stifle any other sound but
hik trl 11 I i^].'- 1- l 1-


What for, you might ask, all
the enthusiastic checking and
speculating to see who would
win the CDC's $1,500 road
march prize this year? When
the sound and its author were

the dark perhaps.
But in the full glare of the
Dimanche Gras lights the 1974
Calypso King was blowing the
one-note tune. And Tuesday
afternoon you saw a trombo-
nist in one of those electronic

mouthpiece for one of plastic.
So who is you to up and say
the whistling spoilt the Carni-
val and you couldn't hear the
Man, blow-way!

-- ....-.- ... .. ,y tis trill om uelight, a little plas- U --.....IIL
on everybody's lips. TWEET- _,tic whistle!i, .- ` r stling in sound trucks exchange his brass (L.G.)

Vanguaaard party

callss for

avationai txovtrt

ziugar Workeis

Moara~le high