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Africa Speaks

'Disturbances' of the 1970s

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By Leslie
Posted: June 13, 2004

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  1. D. Sinclair Da Breo. "The West Indies Today."
  2. There were blacks in the country that were able to ascend the rungs of the societal hierarchical ladder. But as Marx has pointed out, this attribute of capitalism was necessary to give the masses the illusion of mobility.
  3. According to Tony Thomas in his article, "Mass Upsurge in Trinidad," 20 percent of the population was unemployed, 20 percent were underemployed and worked at an average of 30 hours a week at rates of 50 cents for average worker and 25 cents a week for the unskilled worker.
  4. The NJAC were also of the view that the principal cause of the injustice in Trinidad and Tobago was white domination; therein lies the motive for the struggle.
  5. It is the view of D. Sinclair Da Breo that Trinidad and Tobago were "still very much [colonies] of the United Kingdom and America...[and] until...these subtle yet effective poisons of neo-slavery and neo-colonialism [are eradicated]...they will forever remain colonists."
  6. Ibid, p.4
  7. John Riddell "Canadian Imperialism in the West Indies"p.15
  8. Victoria Pasley. "The Black Power Movement In Trinidad: An Exploration of Gender and Cultural Changes and the Development of a Feminist Consciousness"
  9. Ibid.
  10. Thelma Henderson initiated The Committee for the Defense of the Rights of Women in November 1976 and in January 1977 published a magazine The New Woman.
  11. John Riddell "Canadian Imperialism in the West Indies" p.10
  12. Ibid, p.10
  13. The PNM, in response to the challenge to its authority, arrested nine marchers, who protested the arrest of Trinidadian students in Canada. This was a move that almost toppled the PNM administration. The arrest of theses protesters generated solidarity marches that over the next few months attracted increasing numbers of people, which reflected the increased dismay with PNM.
  14. Williams did succeed in passing bills that increased police search powers, and licenses for firearms.
  15. Dr. Paul K Sutton. Forged from the Love of Liberty: Selected Speeches of Dr. Eric Williams, College Press, 1981,p.49
  16. The impoverished (Africans and East Indians) in the society became disenchanted, as they were largely absent from the political process. They were disillusioned by the dictatorial manner in which Dr. Williams conducted his rulership and the overwhelmingly middle class government whose interests dominated the political discourse.
  17. Da Breo was of the view that, "Success for any such movement would have immediately meant the deposition of Dr. Williams and company from their ministerial posts." He was also of the belief that the measures adopted by the PNM had the effect of "cushioning" the effect of the Black Power insurrection but was unable to have long-lasting consequences in Trinidad and Tobago.
  18. Taimoon Stewart "The Aftermath of 1970: Transformation, Reversal or Continuity?" p.732
  19. After 20,000 marched in San Juan, the NJAC attempted to gain the support of the East Indians by asking the largely black marchers to cut cane for a day to show solidarity for East Indian sugar workers. East Indian leaders opposed this, and a forty-five- kilometer march from Port-of-Spain to Couva was substituted. Significantly, fewer than 100 of the 5,000 to 10,000 people who took part in that march were East Indians.
  20. The Indians who did support to the protesters really supported the Black revolutionaries anti-PNM stance.
  21. http://www.pantrinbago.com/Kumarmahabir.htm
  22. Ibid.

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