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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00072147/00206
 Material Information
Title: Tapia
Physical Description: no. : illus. ; 43 cm.
Language: English
Publisher: Tapia House Pub. Co.
Place of Publication: Tunapuna
Creation Date: March 28, 1976
Frequency: completely irregular
 Subjects
Subjects / Keywords: Politics and government -- Periodicals -- Trinidad and Tobago   ( lcsh )
Genre: periodical   ( marcgt )
serial   ( sobekcm )
 Notes
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: UF00072147:00206

Full Text

SUNDAY MARCH 28, 1976


THE. GV I -W -VIo P4 9To

TWO VIEWS P4&9


WILL





NOT





FALL


fv'.'
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AC TIZIM!7


r'ri Ti1*] ,.'LEO

r-t' 14*C I[i4 U


THE GAUNTLET has
been thrown down. It is
now clear that the Gov-
ernment do not intend to
yield even an inch more
than they need to defuse
the protest by the angry
lawyers.
Ignoring the combina-
tion of opposition forces
and the yearning of our
people for a free Trinidad
& Tobago, they have
rammed their barbarous
Republic through the
Houses of Parliament
But who is there among
the people who is really
surprised?
In 1969, at the time of
the bus workers' strike,
we were duly promised a
fight to the finish. Which
other promise has been


so faitnfully kept?
Have we not witnessed
the inevitable march of
repression? Have we not
regressed step by step
from the State of Emer-
gency to the Public Order
Bill to the Summary
Offences Amendment
Act, the IRA and all the
other iniquitous legislation
expressly calculated to
keep Trinidad & Tobago
in bondage for ever?
STATE POWER
The business in hand is
therefore notsomuch the
Republic Bill in Parlia-
ment as who is to control
the power of the State.
As the Constitution of
the new Republic be-


U.F.P. meet in South
THE UNITED People's Front holds a Public Meeting on
Friday March 26th at 5 p.m. at Harris Promenade, San
Fernando under Chairman Raffique Shah.
Speakers are ANR Robinson, Ashford Sinanan,
Basdeo Panday, Ivan Perot, Winston Suite, Vernon Jamadar
and Lloyd Best.
All speakers will oppose the current Constitution
Reform and condemn the Government's determination to
speed the Bill through Parliament on its own.


comes aharsh fact, it only
heightens the importance
of State control.
Do the forces of the
Opposition dare now fail
to lead our people be-
yond the calamity of this
paper Constitution to-
wards the comprehensive
reconstruction of the
political, economic and
social structure?
Many more of us now
are at last recognizing the
real value of the Constitu-
tion question.
It provides us with the
only issue capable of
transcending the narrow,
sectional interests on
which so far we have
mobilised our people. -
When we have carried
the fight to the Govern-
ment in the past, it has
undoubtedly served to
forge a greater political
consciousness.
The bus workers' strike
of 1969, the Black Power
revolt of 1970, the mas-
sive uprising of oil and
sugar workers last year,
and all the smaller move-
ments in between.
That process of un-


ceasing struggle is now
reaching a climax.
It is reaching a con-
,ummation in the consti-
tution crisis, in the quarrel
over what kind of
Republic and for whom?
A Republic for the many
or a Republic for the few?
The task of the
moment is to pull all the
many strands together
and to launch a final and
total onslaught on the
bastions of the old
regime, on the Bastille of
the oppressive One-Man
Republic.
ONSLAUGHT
Such an onslaught and
grand remonstrance of
little people is the
absolute imperative of
today.
But it would be fool-
ing ourselves to believe
that the Government
would "topple" by some
mysterious magic of
crowd mobilisation.
Governments crumble
only when faced with
alternative structures of
power.
Sometimes organized


oila


Vol. 6 No. 13


30 Cents


r--


power takes a military
form to which Trini-
dad & Tobago may yet
be pushed by a Govern-
ment bent on clinging
desperately to power.
Yet that choice is
neither desirable nor neces
sary at this point.
In the thirst place, we
have no troops to put
into the field; we are not
the ones with powerful
friends on whom to call.
The Government pos-
sesses a decided advant-
age. Lacking all but the
barest minimum of poli-
tical support, won't they
relish the opportunity to
turn to their arms?
VICTORY
In any event, military
success invariably depends
on political resources.
For us the only real

option is therefore politi-
cal organization.
We must hasten to take
our people into the elec-
toral arena; we must
present one effective
striking force.
Among the Opposition
there exist all the neces-
sary ingredients of victory.
Will we again fail to
add them together? Do we
lack the courage, the will
and the wisdom to sink
individual and party dif-
ferences, to discard
personal and sectional
ambition, and to place
the compatible fragments
on common ground?
NO MAGIC
That, in the final
analysis, is the challenge
of our time. Seldom in
history has there been
such a convergence of
urgent and important,
such a compelling neces-
sity at once to change
the faces and to rescue
the Republic.
No, the Government
will hot fall nor the Con-
stitution be salvaged with-
out a concrete political
intervention by the
people.
History would never
absolve us if in this hour
of decision we did not
rise to the challenge.





PAGE 2 TAPIA
MICHAEL HARRIS,
THE WORDS kept coming with impressive regularity.
Historic, monumental, revolutionary. Speaker after speaker
sought to impress all the listeners with the profound
significance of the occasion.
There could be no doubt as to the historic and
revolutionary potential of the meeting which took place
last Friday at the OWTU's "Hall of the People" on Char-
lotte streetin Port-of-Spain.
Yet whether or not that potential would be realized
would depend entirely on the capacity of the people and
organizations assembled to leap the chasms of political,
ideological and racial differences which had kept most of
them apart till then.
There was certainly some cause for hope. The
gathering on Friday morning included the representatives
of all the major.political parties in opposition to the
government. The exceptions were the newly formed UDLP
whose representatives were safely ensconced in the Senate,
For a while at least being in the Senate put them at the
centre of the unfolding scenario. Then the UFP led by the
internationalist-jurist Sampath-Mehta was also absent.
The fact that the gathering comprised such major
cross-section of forces of opposition certainly was of signi-
ficance. The attempts at Unity or at least Joint-action
which had occurred in the past had never embraced such a
wide grouping.
Here now were gathered the Marxist-Leninists, the
Socialists ot all shades, tie Pan-Africanists, the revisionists,
the reformists, the bourgeois-democrats, the electoral-
conventionalists. All the internal contradictions of post-
colonial society come out to play.


But this fact would
only demonstrate the
enormity of the challenge,
The source of hope lay in
the issue which had
brought these elements
together. The ever-fester-
ing and now erupting
Constitutional question.
Constitutional issues
have always been and will
continue to be the focal
point of revolutionary up-
heavals the world over.
The reason was quite
apparent on Friday.
Nothing could have
brought such disparate
: '-:ed even antagonistic
i?^ns togerber 51 an
%i:"*.. :i transcended
sectional and parochial
concerns and touched, or
more precisely threatened,
the well-being of every-
one.

HASTE

For it is the threat of
the Constitutional changes
which the Government
had introduced with such
indecent haste which
brought the opposition
together.
The discussion which
ensued served only tc
demonstrate that even
now on the question of
the necessity or import-
ance of Constitutional
reform itself the organisa-
tions are still as far apart
as ever.
The leaders of the ULF
took the chair. No one
demurred. No doubt the
fact that the assembly
had been called on their
initiative gave them the
right.
After a few words of
welcome from Comrade
George 'Weekes, Raffique
Shah, a layer of comfort-
able looking fat coveing
his soldier's frame, began
the discussion on behalf


AlHIJl


of the ULF.
As he spoke a


strange


exercise was being con-
ducted. The sixty-odd
people present, including
incidentally, not a single
female, were required to
identify themselves and
their organizations. If it
was a security measure it
was not only futile but
badly handled.
I recall the middle-
aged, greying gentleman
sitting next to me who
neither signed the atten-
dance sheet .which was
passed around nor stood
up to identify himself. I
wondered vaguely if he
was a security officer
until he leaned over to
ask me to identify Ste-
phen Maharaj. At that
stage I really became con-
fused.
Shah was speaking. His
opening words perhaps a
significant concession. In
the past four years, he
said, while the Constitu-
tion exercise vNas being
conducted, the members
of his organisation had
been preoccupied with
their day-to-day union
struggles and had there-
fore not paid as acute
attention to the Constitu-
tional issue as they might
have.
Now however they
were acutely conscious of
the dangers. It had been
brought to their attention
that some of the clauses


SUNDAY MARCH 28, 1976


Pictured on the way to petition Opposition and Independent Senators are representatives of the ULF,
theDA C and theNJAC. -(Express photo)


of the draft constitution
which had already been
passed, in the House of
Representatives effectively
served, and no doubt
were- designed, to curtail
many of the fundamental
rights of the citizens.
It was because of this
immediate threat that the
ULF had called the oppo-
sition together and it was
on this immediate threat
that they wished the
gathering to focus.
A reasonable request
perhaps, given the urgency
of the moment, but
reflecting as well the
extremely narrow and
precarious basis of con-
sensus upon which the
Assembly stood.

RIVALRY

That this was recog-
nised by most of the
participate there was
reflected in the insistence
of many of the speakers
hat the discussion should
not stray into peripheral
or extraneous matters.
How to deal with the
government's draft con-
stitution? That was the
question. Nothing else
would be entertained,
nothing else could dare
*be entertained.
So that when the re-
presentative of the WIN
Party dared to suggest
that the Assembly address
its mind to the question
of what kindof Constitu-
tion was desirable in the
first place, Chairman


George Weekes had~ no
hesitation in ruling him
completely irrelevant, to
the accompaniment of
murmurs of approval from
some of the gathering.
The discussion jerked
along. The leaders of the
various organizations rising
to their feet one after the
other to make their posi-
tions known. Rivalry
intense, traditional, sim-
mered beneath the surface
of accommodation. The
real problem remained
unstated.
Certainly it was neces-
sary and,politics for the
opposition parties to come
together to fight against
this latest and most bla-
tant attempt on the part
of the PNM regime to
.stifle the few freedoms
the people had left. But
how far could each go
towards, accommodation
without losing itself? How
much could each win for
itself in the action to
follow? The stakes were
desperately high. Survival
of the fittest.

PETITION

A plan of action slowly,
grudgingly evolved. The
Assembly would petition
the Opposition senators
asking them to seek an
adjournment. The As-
sembly would petition the
Independent senators
asking them to vote
against the Bill. Clive


Nunez of TIWU demurred.
The Assembly would
petition the Governor-
General asking him to
withhold his assent to the
Bill if it was passed in
the Senate. Allan Harris
speaking for Tapia demur-
red.
Comrade Chairman
appealed to both to
reconsider their objections
in the interest of soli-
darity. As far as he was
concerned, he said, this
whole situation would
only end with the gun.
But he was prepared to
go along with any action
suggested which would
demonstrate that the
peaceful options were
being fully explored. Soli-
darity prevailed.

ELEGANCE

A Committee is set up
to immediately prepare
the drafts of the petitions.
James Millette is nomi-
nated. The WIN Party
spokesman vigorously
nominates himself. Jana-
dar urges that Tapia
would end a "sartorial
elegance" to the wording
of any petition. Rmunre-
kersingh from Tapia goes
off with the other two to
lend elegance. The discus-
sion continues.
Errol Balfour, these

TURN TO BACK PA G7-





SUNDAY MARCH 28, 1976


WHEN THEY CAME TO HEAR


THE TALK


OF THIS TOWN


A WARM half-hour
before the fixed starting
time of 4.30, people were
gathering in Woodford
Square last Monday after-
noon to hear what this
United People's Front was
all about.
Little people and some
big people too.
By the time the after-
noon's chairman, robust
and familiar Clive Nunez,
opened the meeting, the
Square was full of people.
It was by no means
the celebrated 80,000
that Lloyd Best says will
gather one day. But this
was no recalcitrant min-
ority either.
And apart from the
fact that the new Consti-
tution was the talk all
over town, the meeting
had another attraction:
the United People's Front
was a sudden coalition
of opposition forces, all
standing together against
this PNM Constitution.
People thought: if all
these men are together


ALLIANCE SEEKS


GG'S SUPPORT

IN THE interest of opposition unity Tapia last week
Friday attached" its signature to a letter requesting the
Governor General to grant an interview to the political
Opposition and community groups which decided on joint
action against the PNM Constitution Bill.
The signatories to the letter sought the interview
with Sir Ellis Clarke to "place before you personally our
fears and grave concern for the future of Constitutional
Government in Trinidad and Tobago if the proposed new
Constitution is passed into law."
Citing a "real danger" of an end to constitutional
government the groups said: "We trust that you will be
anxious to use your high office as the last bulwark of the
people against any attempt to destroy the constitutional
safeguards which are a necessary part of any true dem-
ocracy."
This exhortation was made, however, in full aware-
ness of the fact that the Governor General is bound, con-
stitutionally, to adhere to whatever line the Prime Minister
and the executive-dominated Parliament decides.
The letter states: "We fully understand your
Constitutional position and powers and feel sure that love
of office must to you be less important than the need to
defend all our citizens against unscrupulous politicians."
The Governor General was advised to send his reply
tc George Weekes, President General of the Oilfields
Workers Trade Union, in San Fernando, but by press time
no reply had been received.
Signatories of theletter to Sir Ellis were: the
United Labour Front, the Democratic Labour Party, the
Tapia House Movement, the Trinidad and Tobago Peace
Council, the New Beginning Movement, the Council of
Progressive Trade Unions, the Crown Lands Users Associa-
tions, the Youth Forces: and Working Class Movement, the
Democratic Action Congress, the West Indian National
Party, the Liberation Action Party, the United Revolution-
tionary Organisations, Eco-One, Youth Forces and Work-
ing Class Movement and the Socialist Youth League.


on something, it must be
really something terrible.
Nunez confirmed their
worst fears when he read
a resolution adopted at a
meeting oflawyers earlier
that afternoon.
The lawyers were say-
ing the proposed new
Constitution. would strip
people of their funda-
mental rights and free-
doms. And the lawyers
wanted the thing with-
drawn and if it came to
that, they were going to


.'~i -

chery" in its handling of
the Woodingr report.
Then it was Basdeo
Panday, going through-
the 1962 Constitution
and the new draft Con-
stitution clause, by
clause, pointing out the
changes affecting people's
rights and freedoms.
A Constitution, Pan-
day was careful to point
out, "is the written agree-
ment by which the people
of a society agree to be

Constitution was nothing
more than "a breach of
the agreement by which
the people consented to
be ruled" in 1962.
What was now involved,
Panday said, was an-
attack on rights and free-
doms in particular.


boycott the courts to
back up their demand.
Then the first speaker,
Lloyd Best, "opened the
batting" with a clear
analysis of the Constitu-
tion crisis, going back to
1968 when the kettle
began to boil, the '70
revolution, the rejection
of the PNM at the 1971
polls, the repressive legis-
lation passed since then,
culminating in this new
Constitution.

Best said, "the Constitu-
tion issue will be settled
one way or the other.
The country had
arrived at '"the eleventh
hour" on this debate
over the Constitution,
which was an issue about
"the distribution of
power in the State of
Trinidad and Tobago."
Among "seven steps
to freedom" outlined by
Best, was the suggestion
of a single, united Labour
Party and the creation of
an opposition daily news-
paper because the media
was either controlled or
closed to the forces of
opposition.

RUTHLESS
Radio Trinidad, how-
ever, carried lengthy ex-
cerpts from the speeches
on Tuesday night.
Following Best, Dr.
Ivan Perot, the LAP
leader paid public tribute
to the United Labour'
Front for taking the
initiative to organise the
meeting. Proof, he said,
of the Government's real
intentions lay in "the
ruthless haste with which
the Constitution is being
rushed through Parlia-
ment."
Proposed changes in
the Constitution were
going to "mark the end
of your freedom", Dr.
Perot said, charging the
Government with "trea-


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Vernon Jamadar came
to the microphones then
to lambast the Govern-
ment not only for
attempting to subvert the
Constitution but for its
inability to. deal wisely
with the country's oil and
natural gas wealth.
Trinidad and Tobago
was a rich country, he
said, but the majority of
people were scrunting.
Why? The Government
was playing the fool with
the nation's wealth. And
this Constitution would
only give them room to
do more damage to the
economy and the people.
That point was ampli-
fied by Winston Suite,
who said the only way
the people would free
themselves from the kind
of Constitution the Gov-
ernment was trying to
pass would be for them
*to embrace the one
ideology that all over the
world was advancing
people's interests -
"Marxism-Leninism".
Suitc said what was
happening in Trinidad
and Tobago was that
foreign interests were
exploiting the country
and the people and the
only way to deal with

7Trn to Page 10


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TAPIA PAGE 3





PAGE 4 TAPIA


0r DAD; V&N


Interlude for rest or



prelude to disaster?


VICTOR D. QUESTEL.

"O BABYLON!" the
musical by Derek Walcott
and GaltMacDermot now
playing at the Little
Carib is, in every sense of
the word, average. It
challenges nothing,
achieves nothing.
It lacks authority and
vision. The music is tame
and the acting is without
the fierce integrity that
the Rastafarian cult
deserves and demands.
The play is staged by
the Trinidad Theatre
Workshop for six and
eight dollars per ticket.
The music is tame
because the man who
has composed it hears
reggae as "rock'n'roll
turned around a bit".
The acting is without
authority and integrity
because the playwright
director is constantly
looking for excuses, or if
you like, occasions for
songs rather than dra-
matic situations growing
out of the play that could
be aided by song. Thus
songs set to music remain
on the one side, while
the drama develops on
the other.
No one will doubt
Walcott's devotion to
honesty and his fidelity
to words and actions; but
the play seems to have
been too easily, too glibly
put together.

PERIOD

Walcott it would seem,
is using this production
as a rest period before
going on to greater things.
The play looks and sounds
like an interlude piece.
The unsuspecting audi-
ence, and the dull witted
camp follower quick to
see an "attack" in every
critique, might well find
my words too harsh'and
the play a "masterpiece".
The fact is, it is not -
it is an interlude work
reflecting an effort sup-
ported by a memory of
Jamaica that goes back to
the 1950's. A memory
supported by a musician
who after listening to
Reggae for 10 years still
hears it as. rock'n'roll
turned around a bit.
The play's foundation
is therefore not simply


weak but completely
decayed.
"O Babylon", has the
thinness of spirit and will
reflected in the acting of
Norline Metivier. Miss
Metivier as tht common-
.law wife of brother Aaron,
/ the wood-carver, has just
somehow failed to inter-
nalise the role.
It is notenough, though,
to say that she was mis-
casted. because the play
as a musical needs voices
and Miss Metiviercan sing.
The problem that arose is
related to the fact that
after "The Joker" and
"The Seagull" Miss Meti-
vier's acting has not im-
proved.

FLAIR

SThe problem goes be-
yond all that of course.
The fact is, the Company
looked too happy, too
happy, too much the
product of Rude Bwoy
Big Apple stage illusion.
Wilbert Holder as Rude
Bw.oy has the right- pan-
ache and flair without
the much needed convic-
tion.
The play should have
moved easily but frighten-
ingly between the poles
of cool and dread. Even
the importation of one
of Trinidad's imitation
rastas gave the play a
further element of absurd-
ity rather than reality and
clarity.
Like the Rastafarian's
rocket fuelled by ganja,
the play never gets off
the ground. So many
possibilities seem to have
gone up in smoke.
"0 Babylon" demon-
strates that one needs
more than respect for
another's belief to make a
success of a staging of
that belief. A vision
matching that belief,.
along with an integrity
equal to that belief is
required.
At a lower level, the
Mafia represented by the
efforts of Christopher
Pinheiro and Laurence
Goldstraw are too pleasant
without the required
menace that should lie
beneath the surface smile.
The song The Mafia
Care contains no latent
threat either in tone or
gesture. Errol Jones as


Deacon Doxy. politician
and Hotel Manager, there-
fore finds himself falling
between two stools- the
non-dread comic rastas
on the one hand and thie
non-violent paper thugs
from the North.
The humour although
needed, never has the
undercurrent of a threat
or a presence that is cal-
culated to tighten the
tension. In other words,
the humour is never
accompanied by the
required unease.
T h e choreography
never for one step really

tries to come to terms
with the current move-
ment in Jamaica. Carol
La Chappelle might say
that is not necessary; but
at least we should be
given dances that reflect
the -underlying sense of
explosion the situation
de mands.
SQUATTING

The situation is that
Brother Aaron is squatting
on a piece of land that
the Mafia want, so that
they can build another
large hotel in Jamaica
and furhterexpand their
control over Caribbean
politicians and people.
The local politician is
in the pay of the Mafia
and lie is arranging things
so that Brother Aaron
and his common-law wife
Priscilla will be forced to
m ove.
Meanwhile the Rastas


are all keyed up since
His Imperial Majesty Em-
peror Haile Sclassie is
coming to Jamaica and
this means repatriation
for the true followers of
Jah.
Finally only a limited
number are chosen and
the most ardent believers,
General Sufferer and
Brother Aaron, are left
out for very dubious
reasons.
The actors failed 1.
transcend the Trinidad-
ian ethos of confronting
Babylon with humour,
whereas the Jamaican and
especially the Rastafarians
confront Babylon with
dread and a flair for
ritual. Moreover pro-
nunciation of the Jamai-
can dialect by the actors


is woefully inconsistent.
The two actors who
put any kind of feeling
and purpose into the
opening night's exercise
are Anthony Hall as
General Sufferer and Syd
Skipper as Brother Aaron.
Anthony Hall does so
by his acting which was
true and consistent for
about three-quarters of
the play. Syd Skipper
does so by his intense
energy and rich vocal
control.
Too often in the play
the element of humour
comes too close to cari-
cature, but Brenda Hughes
as Miss Dolly, the good
time girl, works well
within her area outlined.
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TYIA PAGE 5


SUNDAY MARCH 2&, 1976


S. ats e
Lt~ I 6g 8B


Some opposition faces on Woodford Square platform Monday March 22.


A section of the crowd of about 3,000 who came out despite inadequate news coverage by the mass media.


BROTHERS AND SISTERS,
I had no idea that I would
have to open the innings here
today but I assure you I am not
afraid of the pace. I bid you good
evening and bring you glad tid-
ings from the United People's
Front and the Tapia House
Movement.
As I arrived at the meeting a
few minutes ago and perceived
the great multitude here
assembled, I asked myself who
were the people here today? Are
we the suffering Little People?
Or are we just the abject minions
of The Bendevolent Dictator?
Do we not speak for 92% or 82%,
or at least, 72% of the population
of this country? Are we not the
voice of the huge multitude of
the oppressed, the vast majority
of the citizens, assembled here
today in all our reputable organ-


izations, with all our valid leaders?
Let us offer kind thanks to
the United Labour Front for
having taken the important initia-
tive to assemble the forces of
the Opposition for the purpose
of launching united action on
the crucial constitution question.
It is remarkable that the
public media of communication
took a very private view of this
historic if not revolutionary
Meeting. On Thursday afternoon
last, a press release was read on a
radio station announcing, with a
correct sense of its great impor-
tance, the invitation to other
opposition- forces to meet in
Port-of-Spain on Friday. The
news item promised further
details for the major news bul-
letin at 7 o'clock that evening.
We got only a total blank.
Since then, the announcements,


even in the daily papers have been
few and far between. The Sunday
Press buried the reports of this
Monday meeting so that only a
practised pointer could find them.
It is a good thing that the
Opposition Movement enjoys a
macco political support.
Sunday afternoon, the news
bulletins chose the names of the
speakers so as to disguise the
fact that all the Opposition are
committed to this venture. The
TV restricted mention to the
United People's Front, in the
knowledge that most of the
people would not have known
which people were involved.
This morning, the Guardian
said absolutely nothing while
the Express did not think that a
full-page ad by all the Opposition
forces was enough to dictate a
headline story.


That is what we are up
against in this season of constitu-
tion crisis and political upheaval.
We are up against the juggernaut
of the State Machine; the dead-
hand of the oligarchy of privileged
elites; the all devouring monster
of reaction, the presiding conven-
ience of a Little Doctator,,with
his troupe of retainers, the big-
shots and the big-pappies and the
godfathers.
It is the oldest of revolu-
tionary stories; a case of the
Little People in mortal conflict
with the Little King. That is the
essence of constitutional crisis;
and it is never going to change.
When the sovereign Little
People are road-blocked by
official power; when the future
of the nation is jumping up in
steelband; when the hopes and
the dreams of the people are
pent-up in a zandoli-hole, waiting
only for agitation and and for
political organization to dyna-
mite an explosion, it is only a
matter of time before the unholy,
rotten structure collapses under
the weight of its own corruption
and oppression.
This, Brothers & Sisters, is
what has been happening in Tri-
nidad & Tobago ever since the
February Revolution first became
active in 1968, erupting into
social conflict and industrial
unrest in 1970 and again in
1975.

CLIMAX

And now in 1973 we are
moving to the climax-in one final
and decisive political confronta-
tion. Now at last the old regime
must fall and The February Revo-
lution must reach its consumma-
tion. The end is in sight; I can
feel it in my blood.
Brothers & Sisters, I don't
want to put goat-mouth on any-
body be it friend or foe but
something in this constitution
crisis is bound and blige to give.
The question that must
haunt us is therefore a funda-
mentally practical one: How long,
I ask you, will the wicked reign
over our people? How long, I
repeat, will the iniquitous regime
lord itself over suffering people?
The calypsonian, I think,
has provided the answer. Twenty,
he says, is more than enough.
Always the artists are right on
the ball.
I go further and say 25 is
impossible. You can see and feel
the end coming in the complete
breakdown of law and order
promoted by the law-makers and

Cont'd on Page 8


.. ~ ....
m~m & age SSi
Sf






PAGE 6 TAPTA


Sustained Agitation: 100 Public Meetings


WE must now spread the agitation against the iniquitous
and oppressive Republic amongst all the sovereign little
people; to embrace all the valid voices of protest; to
rouse all the sufferers in the country; the citizen and the.
resident; the local born and the migrant; the red and
yellow, black and white; the brown, black and the
pink; the African, the Indian and the European; the
Portuguese, the Syrian and the Chinese; Christian,
Mohammedan, Hindu; Jew and Gentile.
All those who today will stand up to defend the
Little People against the ravages of the Little Doctator
and join the struggle to reclaim our freedom must today
be reached by the means of agitation. That is today, by a
public platform of public and political orators and
leaders, spreading a bushfire across the length and the
breadth of Trinidad & Tobago, with the aim of kindling
the imagination of the entire nation so that the sovereign
people of our country will rise up and, throw off the
yoke of bondage and consume it in the flames of a
democratic apd participatory Republic.


One Opposition Party: A Labour Party of Trinidad
& Tobago

WE must now equip the sovereign people with political
organization capable of matching the vast resources of
the Government and the Little Doctator. Out of the
many little fragments we must hasten now to create
a single, effective, striking force.
What else could that be but a party of labour?
What could it be but a voice from the grassro ? -
speaking the interests of the little people and -emb; ,cing
at the same time, in all their rich variety, all those other
national interests which declare for the side of the Little
People; who reject the old regime of privileged elites
and oligarchy; which renounce the predatory multinational
corporations and their local agents, allies and lackeys;
who insist on economic and social reconstruction to pass
control to the sovereign people.
S Must not these interests how combine in a single
party? Must we persist with some fleeting alliance of
pressure-groups? Can Trinidad & Tobago be rescued by
any vague front for political agitation or any overnight


coalition for the coming elec
Or do we not need pe
political organization? Do v
enduring representation to sr
and ever and to take coi




3



One Programme of Re
Char

WE must now move to unite
a single radical programme
of sweeping economic reorga:
tion; of far-reaching renovate
ernment, all in the context of
among the poets, playwrights
We must promote this
moral resurgence among our
into nobler and loftier realir


SUNDAY MA





TAPIA PAGE 7


I

0


n s?
nanent, professional and
not need effective and
ik for our people for ever
-ol of political power?


our creative energies and and our vital resources away
from the waste of destructive conflict and self-indulgence
to the building of a New World in Trinidad & Tobago.


4


instruction: A Guide To


e warring factions behind
national reconstruction;
station and social equalisa-
i of our politics and gov-
e current cultural revival
nd calypsonians.
spiritual regeneration, this
people, to lift their hearts,
of hope and so to divert


A United Leadership: An Executive Committee

WE must establish a united leadership, one that is fully
committed to the immediate task of displacing the
Government and of assuming the power of the State;
one that is crystal clear on the aim of proceeding
directly to the reorganisation of the economic, social
and political system; one competent in every depart-
ment of being the voice and the tongue of the little
people.
Such a leadership can only be a Committee of the
people's choice, selected with an eye to the work in
hand and giving no quarter to sectional or personal
ambition.


TAPIA




gUT

.POINT


A National Assembly of the People: Three
Conventions.

WE need to bring together the opposition supporters in
order to fashion and forge in all its power and glory
the party for labour and the little people; we need to
assemble the multitude in all their reputable organisa-
tions, with all their varied interests and all their valid
leaders.
Such a gathering -of the people, such a Constituent
Assembly of the Nation, such a Conference of Citizens,
such an expression of the general will and the popular
dream would need ample space and time to flower,
subject only to the coming contest for control of the
State Machine.
In practical terms, we will need to convene several
rapid assemblies in the different regions of the country
and all within a six-week period.
The obvious solution would be to convert the
sectional Conventions already planned into assemblies
of the entire Movement and press them into the service
of the little people.
Tile ULF p-:nls one Convention on March 28; in
San Fernando. Tapia plans one for April 11 in Port-of-
Spain; and the DAC plans one for April 25 in Port-of-
Spain again.
Should these not become one single meeting to
found the party? To settle the programme? To transform
the Opposition from a state of mobilisation on the
Constitution issue into a state of organisation for the
coming power struggle?


PLAN AT

TALKS OF

UNITED

PEOPLES'

FRONT


Tapia Secretary
Lloyd Best who
delivered the seven-
point plan was the
first speaker at
the mass political
meeting held in
Woodford Square
on Monday, March
22 by the United
People's Front.
Also in picture,
from left:Colin Laird
(Eco One), Hamlet
Joseph (Tapia), Rawle
Bartolo (DLP), Denis
Solomon (Tapia),
Raffique Shah and
George Weekes
(ULF).


6


Means of Political Education and Propaganda: One
Newspaper

WE need independent means of education and propa-
ganda; we cannot rely exclusively on the public com-
inunications media. Beginning with the machinery we
now have for weekly and occasional publication the
printshops, the editors, the reporters and the clientele
- should we not now embark on a daily paper? At
least we could go to twice or thrice a week.



7


The Public Media: Radio & TV Time

REGARDLESS of what we do on our own account, we
must not renounce our rights in the public media. We
must, instead, never cease to demand time on radio and
television; or to agitate for space in the morning papers.
It is the duty of the media to report the news to
the population. Either they must report faithfully or
justify the curtailment of free expression in a One-Man
Republican Constitution.


5


CH 28, 1976





SUNDAY MARCH 28, 1976


URGENT



ACTION


THE


CALL


TO


HEEDED IN


LATE-LATE HALF


I


Friday, March 19: Opposition political and community group representatives plan strategy outside the Red House.
Parliament Chamber


From Page 5

office-holders themselves. You
can see it in the lack of trust in
authority, in the complete
paralysis of public administra-
tion; the punishment systematic-
ally visited on the citizens the
punishment, the pressure and the
constant pain.
"Each evening, there is dark-
ness at the door,
Each morning terror of the
light."
People in the morning fraid
to wake in case when they wake
up, they wake up dead. How can
any decent man face the corrup-
tion? The incompetence? The
inefficiency? The insensitivity in
the highest places? Rather we
would call a halt to the madness
and make a desperate bid for
glory.
The second practical and
immediate question then, is the
oldest political question of all.
What is to be done? to engineer
the demise of the old regime?
The only useful answer must
come from the sovereign people.
But the people will only decide
on a concrete and correct line of
action if we take a complete
stock of the actual situation.
The first thing we must see
is how little is the time for
action. With the 16 new amend-
ments, the Republic Bill must go
back to the House for considera-
tion before it finally returns to


the Governor General.
.What the entire, united
Opposition is saying is that the
whole procedure has been wrong,
illegitimate and false a usurpa-
tion of the right of the people to
have a referendum or a constitute
ent assembly or at least to pro-
ceed first to fresh elections.
Instead, the reform proce-
dure has been an act of un-
restrained repression and provo-
cation on the part of an illegiti-
mate minority Parliament; slowly
but surely, the Government has
been imposing the will of a
Doctator, systematically en-
trenching one-man rule and
inciting the people to insurrection
by trampling fundamental rights
and freedoms.

PUBLIC OPINION

The response to the
February Revolution in 1970 was
the Public Order Bill, following
the Declaration of a State of
Emergency. Yet the publication
of the Prime Minister's Plan for
National Reconstruction and of the
Perspectives for The New Society
blatantly admitted the inade-
quacy of the old. It was the
development of a wicked dupli-
city, the Government talking
from both sides of its mouth.
When the Public Order Bill
was defeated by public opinion,
the Government appeared to
accept the defeat. But before


you could say ANR Robinson,
they had begun piecemeal to
bring backthe same legislation...
chirrip, chirrip killing we
softly, step by step.
The Summary Offences Act
has made large political meetings
impossible because you cannot
advertise them, and because the
people have been intimidated. Or
nearly. The longest day does have
an end and moon does run till
day ketch it!
When the people withheld
their support from the 1971
elections in spite of the Prime
Minister's call for a "massive
turnout" of electors in defence
of the old regime of arrange-
ments, the official response was
that "there was no crisis, there is
no crisis, and as far as it humanly
possible to see, I antcipate no
crisis in the future."
And yet, weeks later, the
appointment of the Wooding
Constitution Commission made
sense only if there existed a
crisis.
Crooked till they bend, this
illegitimate Government; they so
twisted, they worse than a cork-
screw. No sooner they appointed
the Wooding Commission than
they immediately set about to
destroy its credibility. When the
public meetings started in Arima,
the Voice of the National Move-
ment suddenly was transformed
into the Voice of One. Random
thoughts on Proportional Repre-


sentation, not to be uttered until
the weekend when Wooding
opened the Chaguaramas Conven-
tion, the unholy row obviously
being timed to whip up racial
feeling and intimidate the
sovereign people.
Then when Wooding finally
reported, there came the notori-
ous McKeIl Post Office, nothing
more than another delaying
tactic so as to postpone the
inevitable politics of the constitu-
tion crisis.
It has been the oldest trick
in the political book galaying
and galaying and galaying, refus-
ing resolutely to break the pack
for fear that the people would
finally perceive the Benevolent
Dictatorship that the Govern-
ment was holding in its hand.

COMMON ACTION

Well now we are beginning
to see it clearly. If we had seen
the One-Man Republic earlier,
the people would certainly have
taken political position and the
multitude would have assembled
here before to force the Opposi-
tion into common action.
But it always better late
than never. Today we have this
colossal mobilisation to explore
and explode the constitution
question and to bring lasting co-
operation amongst the Opposition
forces.
In that sense, the Govern-
ment only used Wooding to gain
political time, the same as they
did with the Select Committee.
Although the Committee's
Report was based on the Draft
from the party, the Cabinet has
still introduced more and more
sinister amendments aimed to buy
some more political time and to
increase the weaponry in the
Prime Minister's hands.
Apparently it is not enough
that the Prime Minister still con-
trols the top 256 appointments
in the Public Service and has to
appoint every conceivable senior
official, be he Permanent Secre-
tary or.Head of Department rot
to include the Boards of Public
Corporations.

DOCTOR'S MEN

It is not enough that the
Prime Minister will still have an
automatic majority of 16 in the
30 member Senate and will also
be able to appoint from that
Chamber Cabinet Ministers in
any number, none of whom will
be in any way responsible to the
people but will instead be unequi-
vocally the Doctor's Men.
It is not enough that the
annihilation of the party election
at the time of the Great Come-
back on December 2, 1973, has-
now finally put the ruling party
in its Leader's hip pocket lock,
stock and barrel- so that the
House of Representatives is like
the Senatea rubber-stamp.
It is not enough that the

Colnt'd on Page II


AC-GVE. R LASTNNT


PAGE 8 TAPIA






TAPIA PAGE 9


/V1Q Backto Africa theme:


I ~-ju


Walcott at it again


RA.OUL PANTIN


IT'S IRONIC that the
price of tickets to Derek
Walcott's newest play, "0
Babylon", is fixed high
enough ($6 & $8) to
discourage anybody but
the well-appointed into
the Little Carib Theatre.
Walcott may argue
that the cost of the pro-
duction is formidable
and that, without State
support, the Theatre
has to make sure its own
ends meet.
It's a pity all the
same. Because a Walcott
play deserves the widest
audience. And "O Baby-
lon", in spite of its
weaknesses, is no excep-
tion.
Here is a play spun
around the lives of a
group of West Indian
"drop outs" from con-
ventional society.
That the "drop outs"
are Rastafarians adds to
the interest. This curious
Jamaican sect h a s
attracted and continues
to provoke attention way
out of proportion to its
size and racially-based
religious beliefs.
The Rastafari have had
widespread influence and
impact on Jamaican
society and reggae music,
whose basic beat comes
out of the movement, is
also now enjoying unpre-
cedented popularity with-
in and outside Jamaica.
The American news
magazine, TIME, recently
sent a reporter to Kings-
ton to investigate the


source of that music,
The reporter quoted Prime
Minister Michael Manley
as saying: 'Reggae is
muchl more accurate than
a political machine when
it comes to gauging mass
reaction."
Reggae singer Bob
Marley is seen by TIME
as "Jamaica's superstar.
He rivals the Government
as a political force."

PRODUCTION

There is, then, this
element of opportune
timing to the, production
of "O Babylon" in Port-
of-Spain.
The idea for-a "reggae
musical" was first put to
Walcott by an American
producer. Depending on
how that producer reacts
to the finished work, "0
Babylon" may well end
up on Broadway no
insignificant achievement
for a West Indian play.
Whether that happens
or not, however, Walcott
- collaborating for the
third time with American
music composer Gait
MacDermot has pro-
duced a piece of work of
integrity .and made it
exciting theatre at the
same time.
He is greatly assisted
in the latter by the mem-
bers of his Trinidad
Theatre Workshop -
performances by Errol
Jones (Deacon Doxy),
Wilbert Holder (Rude
Bwoy), Tony Hall (Suf-
ferer), Irmine Wright
(Virgie), Syd Skipper


(Aaron) and Brenda
Hughes (Dolly) glow with
a sharp professional
touch.
But whereas these
actors and actresses exe-
cute their roles with
polish, both the accom-
panying music and danc-
ing that is supposed to
support them tends to
humbug and f distract.
The reason is that the
music does not quite
manage to achieve the
reggae beat.

AUDIENCE

The dancers are ener-
getic but a natural
vigour is too tightly con-
trolled.
What rivets the audi-
ence is the play itself.
Walcott is at it again.
"0 E:T l form of a story being
told by Rude Bwoy Daw-
son, a former peanut ven-
dor who is now a reggae
star and performer in the
New Zion Hotel, man-
aged by Deacon Xerxes
Doxy, a former Member
of Parliament.
The site of the hotel
used to be a Rastafarian
settlement by the sea
until the Mafia (sly per-
formances by Christopher
Pinheiro and Laurence
-Goldstraw) muscled in
with the corrupt assist-
ance -of Doxy.
For this type of West
Indian political crook,
Walcott reserves special
attention.
Doxy talks directly to
the audience when he
says: "Yes, I know. You
think I'm your moral in-
ferior, don't you? You
people sitting so smugly
out there, judging my
character already, no
doubt? What about those
little' dishonest com-
promises-that you make
every day, eh? I'm corrupt
but I'm honest about it."
Walcott allows Doxy
to rub it in even further:
"I'm not the first one to
sell out my race. How did
we get here in the first
place? Somebody made a
deal. I'm no dreamer. My
policy is roads before
writers, st:c.,ers before sur-
realism The future of
this lovely archipelago


lies in service. In serving
others. We've had a lot of
experience with that."
The story unfolded by
Rude Bwoy embraces the
relationship between
Brother Aaron and Pris-
cilla, Aaron having been
converted to Rastafarian
from a criminal life in
Kingston and Priscilla
having rejected her former
prostitute existence as
Electric Gyal. As Priscilla,
Norline Metivier is un-
convincing.
Rude Bwoy, described
by Virgie the vendor as
"that sexual cyclist", is
the 'cynic of the settle-
ment, his ambition fixed
on becoming a reggae
star.
CYNICAL

Because he is cynical,
die o.lher Rastas ip'a: i.;:ly
explain theirbeliefs- and
by that method Walcott
goes into the history of
the Rastas, dating back to
Marcus Garvey in the
1920s (whose black star
emblem is stuck .inrmly
in the centre of Ghana's


Trinidad & Tobago
Caricom countries
Other Caribbean
U.S./Canada
E.E.C. (incl. U.K.)


U.S.
U.S.
Stg.


flag). The Rastas have
interpreted the Scrip-
tures to mean that Haile
Selassie, of the root of
David, crowned Emperor
of Ethiopia in 1930, is.
God.
Haile Selassie's visit to
Jamaica is used by Wal-
cott to heighten the
dramatic tension of the
play.
Brother Aaron, who is
disappointed because he
has been told by Doxy
those with criminal re-
cords cannot be repatri-.
ated, and pained because
a close friend, Brother
Samuel (Winston God-
dard) has had his locks
scissored by the police,
eventually turns to arson
in Kingston.
His chisel, which he
uses for wood carving, is
planted among the flames
by Dolly, who is jealous
of his conversion and his
relationship with Priscilla.
On the eve of Selassie's
visit, the police find the
chisel and charge Aaron
with sedition and arson
Cont'd on Page 11


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OWING to the recent increase in the postal
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"'CH 28, 1976


t





SUNDAY MARCH 28, 1976


FREEDOM OF



THE PRESS-



ROOT OF



THE CRISIS


"An organisation calling itself
the United People's Front is
holding a meeting this after-
noon in Woodford Square.
The organisation includes
several political parties and at
least one Trades Union." *

LLOYD BEST


THAT WAS the news
report on one radio
station last Monday of
the political meeting of
Opposition forces called
for later that afternoon
in Woodford Square to
condemn the Govern-
ment's Republic Bill.
It turned out to be the
least garbled of all the
reports, in the electronic
media.
The iadio announcements
were based on a press release
issued by the UPF identifying
19 member organizations
including the United Labour
Front, the Oilfield Workers
Trade Union, the All-Trinidad
Sugar Union, the Islandwide
Cane Farmers Union, the
Transport and Industrial
Workers Union, the Council
of Progressive Trades Union;
the Democratic Labour
Party, the Liberation Action
Party, the West Indian National
Party, the Democratic Action
Congress and the Tapia
House Movement.
The release had contained
a list of speakers, certainly


among the most explosive
political platforms possible in
Trinidad & Tobago today:
George Weekes, Basdeo
Panday, Vernon Jamadar,
Winston Suite, ANR Robin-
son and Lloyd Best with
Joe Young as Chairman.
Yet no announcement of
the meeting in the public
media managed to communi-
cate to the country the
momentous nature of the
intended meeting.
, No announcement even
gave the essential information.
The burden of publicity fell
on last-minute hand-bills and
the usual political grape-vine.
In the event, some 3,000
people assembled. The next
day The Trinidad Guardian
carried 10 column inches
under an inane headline
"Show of Hands in the
Square."
The Express carried 15
column inches but with two
front page pictures, leading'
page one with the same story
as the Guaraian: protest
against the Constitution Bill
by lawyers.
On Wednesday,the Guard-
ian carried a full 25-inch
Report of the meeting pre-
sumably because the 8.30
ending of the assembly had
been too late to get into the
Tuesday paper.
The story was hidden
away on page 18, beyond
even the classified ads and
headlined vaguely "Groups
warn of erosion of human
rights."


.. ,
--
SI .



Bsdeo Pn o the ULF nlses pitfalls of Government Con ion Bill
Basdeo Panaay of the ULF analyses pitfalls of Government Consiitin ion Bil


We had come full circle.
The Sunday Guardian a few
days before had carried their
announcement down the
bottom of page 19 under
the heading "Square Meeting".
"A Public Meeting is to be


held at Woodford Square,
Port-of-Spain tomorrow by
opposition groups to air their
views on the proposed new
Constitution.
Meeting time is 4.30 p..m.
Leaders of the United Labour


Front (ULF) are expected to
among the speakers."
Square meeting. Square
Reporting. Freedom of the
Press, one wit put it, "is the
square root of the constitu-
tional crisis." (See Pages 5, 6+7)


THE TALK OF THIS TOWN


From'Page 3
those interests was to
move towards a Marxist-
Leninist position.
Final speaker of the
evening was A.N.R. Robin-
son who pointed out
that he was fighting this
Government "on a
principle" that had been
enunciated by his group
since the fiasco of the
1971 elections and the
principle was "no new
Constitution before elec-


tions."
Mr. Robinson said he
had never supported the
Wooding Constitution
Commission.
The pe,cp'e had die-
feated "the forces
of oppression" 72 per
cent to 28 per cent in
1971, Mr. Robinson said.
If the Government went
ahead and passed its new
Constitution, he said,
"we will be a people
without a country, we
will be servants and


slaves within our home-
land."
For nearly five hours,
the crowd in the Square
stood hushed, listening
-"efvully, A~ndcl y 't'-
time the meeting came
to an end, with George
Weekes making a brief
statement, promising the
weight of the OWTU
behind the stand against
the Constitution, people
had enough to talk about
all night. And for days
afterwards. (RAP)-


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A MEETING OF LAWYERS, COMPRISING BOTH BARRISTERS AND SOLICITORS,
UAS HELD AT THE THIRD COURT, RED HOUSE, PORT-OF-SPAIN AT 2.30 pm
TODAY MARCH, 22nd AND UNANIMOUSLY ADOPTED THE FOLLOWING RESOLU-
TIONS :

WHEREAS A BILL HAS BEEN INTRODUCED .D PARLIAMENT TO ENACT A NEP
CONSTITUTION FOR TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO.
WHEREAS THE PEOPLE OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO HAVE BY THE MANNER OF
ITS INTRODUCTION BEEN DENIPE ALl OPPORTUNITY TO STUDY, APPRECIATE
AND COMMENT UPON THE PROPOSED NEW CONSTITUTION.
WHEREAS THE PROPOSED NEW CONSTITUTION INTENDS EFFECTIVELY TO
DESTROY ALL THOSE HUMAN RIGHTS AND FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS UITH-
OUT WHICH DEMOCRACY CANNOT SURVIVE.

IT IS HEREBY RESOLVED THAT THIS MEETING OF LAWYERS :-

DEPLORES THE MANNER IN WHICH IT IS SOUGHT TO IMPOSE A NEW
CONSTITUTION UPON THE PEOPLE OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO.
DECLARES ITS UNQUALIFIED OPPOSITION TO 7''- PROPOSED NEW DRA;T
CONSTITUTION AND DEMANDS ITS IMMEDIATE UITHDRAUAL FROM THE HOUSE
OF REPRESENTATIVES AND THE SENATE, AND
WARNS THE CITIZENS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO THE LEGAL EFFECT OF
THE NEU DRAFT CONSTITUTION WILL BE TO DEPRIVE THE CITIZENS OF
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO OF ALL EFFECTIVE LEGAL PROTECTION FOR THEIR
FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS.
RESOLVES TO DO EVERYTHING IN ITS POWER, INCLUDING A BDYCO.T OF
ALL THE COURTS OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO IN ORDER TO BRING ABOUT
THE UITHDRAUAL OF THE NEW DRAFT CONSTITUTION AND TO ENSURE THE
PROTECTION OF OUR HUMAN RIGHTS AND FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS.


PAGE 10 TAPIA






SUNDAY ARC1A 28. 1976


From Page 8
Government controls over 100,
000 jobs in the public sector,
near half of the total number in
the country in the teaching
Service and the Public Service; in
oil with Tesoro and Trintoc and
soon with Texaco it seems; in
sugar with Orange Grove and
Caroni and Forres Park; in the
Telephone Company, in the
T&TEC, in Textel,in WASA, in
the Public Transport Corpora-
tion; in the Hilton Hotel, the
Lime Factory, the Flour Mill; in
Trinidad Printing and Packaging
and in thevast multitude of small
business in hock to IDC or the
DFC or some agency of State.
It is not enough that the
State controls the power of
police in the Constabulary; the


Coast Guard, the Army Com-
mand; in thethis Squad and the
That Squad; that they control,
the power of publicity in the
.communications media the
press, the radio, the TV; that
they control the power of patron-
age, the licence of bribery and
corruption inherent in the public
purse of $2,000 million with at
least $300 million of that stolen
from the little people by an
opportunistic devaluation and a
failure to revalue.
No, Brothers & Sisters, Non.
of that is enough.
By Monday next week, the
Constitution question will be
settled one way or the other.
The Senate is meeting on Tuesday,
the House is meeting on Wed-.
nesdav.


Whep we .secured a post-
ponement last FAiday, it was only
because they did not have the
required 2/3 majority. Spencer,
Elder and Lamont were missing
which means that when you
subtract the President from the
voters, there were 10 Govern-
ment votes and six Independents
with anything from two to four
of them doubtful depending on
the political climate in the
country.
Next time, the decks will
4 probably be cleared and the way
will be open to elections due not
later than September 17 with an
obligation on the Prime Minister
to announce them not later than
the 17th of June less than three
months away from today,....
days.


Brothers & Sisters, ask your-
self. When the. Government sees
this big-macco Assembly of
Opposition forces and feels the
revolutionary pulse of the little
people, what is the only thing
they could do if not call an
immediate election?
In short, we have reached
the 11th hour and the constitu-
tion questionhas come of age at
last. It is the fundamental ques-
tion concerning the distribution
of power in the State.
It is the late of the late of
the late-half when -the future of.
the people is in blood.
We must therefore proceed
to a practical and concrete
answer concerning the needed
action. I propose seven humble
steps to freedom.


Comment

by


Fillip


DEAR FRIENDS the
political events of this
past week have left me
breathless. I went along
and managed to sit in at
the meeting of all the
opposition groups at the
*"- tr Gre t-eo-Spain head-
quarters last Friday with-
out being challenged.
On Friday afternoon
I went to the Senate. On
Monday I was in Wood-
ford Square for the
United People's Front
meeting and on Tuesday
I was back in the Senate.
But all the events have
not only left me breath-
less, they have left me
totally confused.
For example, listening
to the speakers of the
United Opposition, a fact
which totally confounded
me in the first place, I
got the impression that I
had to be a constitutional
lawyer to understand-
what was going on.

Even after reading the
comments of the lawyers
when they threatened to
boycott the courts I got
no greater clarification.
And the less said about
the exercise in total
mystification which went
on in the Senate the
better.
But above all I could
not understand why the
political groups were con-
centrating their attacks
on the constitution itself.
I cannot believe that
they seriously believe that
their protests, no matter
how successful in terms
of whipping up public
sentiment, 'are going to
stop the Goveri'ment.
If what they say about



If they miss tis


chance


the provisions of the Gov-
ernment's constitution is
true then they must
understand that the Gov-
ernment needs such legis-
lation to protect itself.
T h i s Government
stands as much chance
as a snowball in Hell of
winning an election by
fair means.
Their only chance of
success is clearly to eli-
minate the entire opposi-
tion, or at any rate the
valid and powerful sec-
tions of the opposition.



BACK T(

From Page 9
In court, he is sentenced to 21
days' hard labour, and deprived
of seeing the Emperor.
The sentence comes in
spite of a powerful plea by
his lawyer (Pat Flores of the
strong Lenor) for mercy for
the Aatons who exist in the
"ghettos, the slums, the
barrios, the dunghills, the
shanty-towns, Laventilles,
Harlems from Rio to Kings-
ton."
When Aaron returns to the
settlement, Priscilla is packed
Sand ready to leave, to return
to Babylon, confessing that
Sfor her- this liff of poverty,
sacrifice, enduring patience
is too hard.
Left on his own, Aaron
picks up his chisel, the artist's
tool, and is elevated by a
vision he has had before of
these black knights, the
Knights of Bomu (African
horsemen dating back to at
least the 16th century, who
amazed Europeans by their
expertise on horseback and
the fact that they dressed
like medieval European
Knights)


So that come hell or high
water they are going to
pass the Constitution.
Under such circurm-
stances I anr asking my-
self; what is the point of
all this protest against the
Constitution?
WASTE

All those, political
wizards may be seeing
things which I do not see.
But it seems to me ihalt
the focus of attack should
not be to get rid of a
Constitution but to get



3 AFRICA

Running through "0
Babylon" like a fine thread
is Walcott's continued explo-
ration of that longing for
Africa which the Rasta-
fari have kept pure, in spite
of the steady advance of
Babylon.
At the end of the play,
however, Aaron's "peace and


rid of the damn Govern-
ment.
So that when I see all
the political forces
assembled on the band-
stand at Woodford
Square and I do not hear
any talk of the plan of
action to bring down the
Government, I feel I am
wasting my time.
And since I do not
want to waste my time
and I do not want the
opposition forces to waste
their time I am going to
humbly suggest a plan of



AGAIN

love" attitude explodes into
rage against that encroach-
ment:
"Let the doctrine of love
turn to fire and war!
For once I loved this world
But this world don't want
love
What it love most is war!"


Interlude or Prelude?


From Page 4
The set is as unimagina-
tive as most of the music.
The song Se-las-sie ahi
come is well sung and is
the most moving piece.
The Four Horsemen,
the carving by Brother
Aaron, invites his own
demise and thus the play
ends with the four horse-
men arriving to take
Brother Aaron along "a
journey without an end-
ing, that starts with an
ending".
Spears shoot on the edge


of the wave even, moonlit
night.
The horsemen will keep
their pledge,
the knights of Burundi.
(Derck IValcotl)

If "O Babylon" is a
rest piece, a quiet rest by
Walcott before he goes
on to greater things, then
one may he a little more
sympathetic. If, on the
other hand it reflects the
apocalypse of the Work-
shop or even a suicidal
tendency, then things are
very grave f1- uLs all.


action that will settle this
matter once and for all.
The first step is to set
up the machinery of a
counter-government. To-
gether the various forces
have the capacity to do
that, I am sure.

CAMPAIGN

The next step is for
all the forces to select
their 10 best people who
will participate in a
general election of the
opposition parties.
It should be very easy.
if they are serious, to
work out electoral arrange-
ments. For example, bal-
lot boxes should be used.
Any and everybody who
has an identification card
should be allowed to
vote. And polling booths
should be set up all over
the country.
The campaign would
last two weeks with all
the parties .doing their
best to push their ten
candidates. The thirty-
six candidates who get
the most votes, no matter
which party they come
from, would be the candi-
dates of the new United
Opposition Party in the
general elections.

LEADER

The candidate w\ho
,gets the most votes wiill
be the leader of the
party. Thal is the pLi..n.
The details can be worked
out. I want to xwarn all
the parties that this is 1he
best and last opportuniil
they have to collie o-
gether in a serious w a\.
If they fail then I .'illip
will have no choice but
to form his own plrtl\
and lake it into the
elections.
If 1 am forced to do
1tat then crapaLud lsmiioke
eveivbody pipe.


'rl l ~I I .~~"" MAIN -111millm"lip O~MMIM"~, III


TA4PIA PAGE I I


0It'ls M'sysoope




Mrs. Andrea Talbutt,
Research Institut for co.nR

162, East 78th Street,
New York, N.Y. 10021, "Dn;





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BUT IN THE SE


the Opposition Roy Richardson Express Photo


AT THE END the opposi-
tion ABSTAINED. The
issue of course was the
new draft constitution
which was being rushed
through the Parliament
by the government, For
the past week at least it
had excited the united
protest of political parties,
community organizations
and professional associa-
tions.
The Senate was the
place where any parlia-
mentary battle there was
going to be would have
to be joined.
For in the House
where the Government
controls all but two of
the seats no one could
have expected any con-
flict. From first to the
last the PNM spoke with
one voice.
But in the Senate the
possibility existed for
battle. For though here,
too, the Government had
a built-in majority, the
passage of the new con-
stitution would depend
on the support of at least
six of the opposition and
or independent senators

COMPLIANCE

And one hoped that
on an issue of such a
fundamental nature, on a
Bill whose provisions
could very well dictate
the shape of our national
life for decades to come,
the traditional compliance
of the independent sena-
tors with government
measures would find a
momentary suspension.
In the event it was not
to be. The Senators pro-
ceeded as though they
were debating an anti-
litter bill.
Everyone found parts
of the Bill which they
disagreed with but could
not see such disagreement
as grounds for final rejec-
tion.
Only Lorna Goodridge
acted as though she
understood the extreme


From Page 2
days of indeterminate
Marxist affiliation, urges
the Assembly to march
to the Senate, Weekes,
the roadmarah King,
laughs aloud. The sugges-
tion is allowed to evapor-
ate. It was never made.
Stephen Maraj rises
slowly to his feet, he
removes his spectacles, he
waits. The murmurings
of side-conversations die.
He begins softly.
If he were representing
any organisation it would
be, he says, the ex-parlia-
mentarians association.


and protest over the pro-
visions of the constitution
and the indecent haste
with which the exercise
was being conducted was
allowed to penetrate the
air-conditioned sanctity
of the Senate chamber.
But this could not be
true.
For when the debate
began on Tuesday morn-
ing, the public galleries
were packed. Something
which the senators are
certainly unaccustomed
to.
In addition, prominent


Then he goes on with
"sartorial elegance" to
repeat much of what has
been said before.
Cheddi Jagan walks in
and takes a seat. Just
another concerned citizen
on his way back from
Moscow. Winston Suite
seizes this moment to
make his contribution.
His marxistbona-fides are
still in order. The "isms"
multiply. He shoots from
the cuff.
The issue he makes
quite clear is not consti-
tution reform. That is
nothing but a blind. The
real issue is how to re-


among the members of
the public were the pro-
perly jacketed members
of the Bar Association
which had threatened a
boycott of the courts.

NAIL IN COFFIN

There too were Weekes
and Panday and other
well-known members of
the recently formed
United Peoples Front
Yet in spite of all this,
the Senators proceeded
to declaim on the specific
provisions of the Bill.


organise the political and
economic system. That
we must do on the long
established principles of
Marxism-Leninism. Jagan
smiles quietly.
The committee to draft
the petition is back. The
petitions are read. Com-
ments invited. W.E.B.
Lewis gets to his feet. He
is representing he says
two organizations, his
own and the DLP. Winston
Murray hastily pulls him
by the sleeve whispers
something to him. Lewis
corrects himself. The
second organisation he is
representing is really the


ATE'


AY


importance of the exer-
cise which was being con-
ducted, and in the end she
stood alone in saying nay.
Meanwhile the opposi-
tion abstained.
But if the truth be
known this was a fittingly
absurd end to what from
the beginning was an
absurd process.
Not for one moment
did any of the senators,
opposition or indepen-
dent, question the whole
process of the exercise.
It was as though none
of the sounds of agitation


Clark and Julien and
Lamont and Glean and
Capildeo and Lequay,
and words and words and
words.
Each one a nail in the
coffin of the people's
freedom.
In the end the opposi-
tion abstained. But so did
they all except for Good-
ridge.
For the real vote was
not on the bill. The real
vote was for or against
freedom, for or against
one-man rule, for or
against a new dispensation
for our people. (M.H.) ;


DAC.
But Jamadar is already
on his feet: '.What in a
man heart, M:. Chairman,
bound to jump out he
mouth." -e Assembly
disintegr. a into laughter.
The laughter is the
signal that was needed.
The real business of the
moment, has been accom-
plished. Solidarity has sur-
vived the first obstacle.
Quarter was given but
nothing was loss.
At this point I take
my leave. I missed Lloyd
Best's contribution. But
the real action is yet to
come.


'.fc' ..: .is l Biiil debate. Holding 7APIA at centre i Leader of


R ___


10;... Now .

I-SOLIDARI ..,.A N


Opposi'tionzS~~;?: raCri~~':~.


OT YEAA