The Grenada Revolution Online

Don't Stop the Workers

[typed] DON'T STOP THE WORKERS! THEY ARE BECOMING CLASS CONSCIOUS

Obviously there must be a reason why a tiny mosquito bite someone. So too, there must be a reason why the workers of the River Antoine Estate, now the People's Collective Farm move and control the estate. A mosquito never bite someone when it is filled but when it is hungry, and the workers likewise would not have moved to control the estate if they were filled, if they were not hungry. Hunger, therefore, one can see make one move whether it be death as in the case of the mosquito, or redicule (sic), or possible jail as in the case of the workers and those of us who support them.

There is always two sides of a story. Like we have green and dry, not and cool, positive and negative, so too, we have true and false. It is a fundamental law of nature which no one can change. Where should one therefore look for truth? Few people realize that even our authentic channels of information:- press, radio, the platform and in many instances the pulpit sometimes do not give us objective and unbias (sic) truth. Few people have the toughness of heart to judge the fact from the fiction. Out minds are constantly being invaded by legions of half-truths, prejudice and false facts. One of our greatest need therefore, is to be lifted above the morass of false propaganda.

The intelligent person always examine the facts on both sides before he reaches conclusions; in short he prejudges and is prejudice (sic). The latter is what creates problem, chaos and misunderstanding. Hence the reason why we should be intelligent and our call for intelligence is a call for open-mindedness. When one is faced with an issue or problem the first thing to do is to come in contact with it, that is, by living (practicing) in its environment, for all genuine knowledge originates in direct experience. A problem too can only be solved when one get down and investigates the present facts and its part history. When one have investigated the problem thoroughly, one will know how to solve it. Conclusion invariable (sic) comes after investigation, and not before. Only a block-head cudges (sic) his brains on his own or together with a group to find a solution or evolve an idea without making any investigations. It must be stressed, that this cannot possible lead to any effective solution to any good idea. To investigate a problem is, indeed, to solve it.

THE PROBLEM:-

For over one hundred years the people of La Poterie have been the victims of brutal and seemingly never-ended exploitation and injustice. Their exploiters being those of the De Gale family. From at least a mere five minute chat with the oldest or youngest person in that village one would unmistakenly come to the conclusion that they have never really enjoyed the warmth of economic security and social justice. No one would probably be alarmed at the thought that the people of that village had to work for the De Gale's for two pence per day. But one should indeed be alarmed at the quality and quantity of work they had to do for that two pence per day. Still however, in 1980, our unswerving devotion to monopoly capitalism (imperialism) makes us more concern about the economic security of the Captains of the foreign own enterprises coupled with their local lackeys (the capitalist class) than for the labouring men and women whose sweat, blood and skills keep these enterprises functioning.

Elder workers on the River Antoine Estate can give experiences of years of toil and hardship. Some can talk about having to travel at night for hundreds of yards with full baskets of cocoa. Others can tell about forking in the moonlight for only a few pence in order to make ends meet; of using massanto (flamboyant) to work early morning and late at nights. Some again can talk about working on hungry belly; of cutting down huge trees and planting gardens, of the De Gale's moving in and taking the land which they have cultivated, then giving them empty lands again and again, taking it from them once they have cultivated, without any compensation. This method continued until the estate is what it is today.

Others talk about their comrades who die by their sides while working, of others who work to such old age that they eventually collapse on jobs, some die some cripple never able to work again. Others talk about those who died while crossing the river to get home after work; of those who cramped in the water, of those who lost a foot, hand or many fingers while on work, of those whom the sugar cane mill grined (sic) to death wile working. With all of this, all that the workers or their family get is an incredible nothing in return and a plain horrible coffin.

Present workers can talk about difficulties they encounter attending schools, others never had the opportunity to go to school, simply because they had to help their mother and father work on the estate so as to maintain the rest of the family. Some had to continue from where their father and mother drop-out along the way, when they get too old and feeble to continue the exploiting horrifying journey. Numerous injustices in the past and quite a number still exist today.

However, on February 13th, 1980, the spirits of the suffering one who have died have been invoked and join forcefully together with the brave spirits of those who are still alive and dying slowly on this estate in one triumphant cry - FREEDOM. This freedom they say come to stay. We have realize however, that there are those who are from the high echelons of society who chant around the revolutionary banners still trying to keep such workers in bondage and abject (sic) slavery. We say that such persons must learn that we have to be able to integrate ourselves with the masses in all things. That every word, every act and every policy must confirm to the peoples interest and if mistakes occur, they must be corrected for that is what being responsible for the people mean.

But is it a mistake for workers who have worked for over forty-five (45) years on the River Antoine Estate to ask for twenty dollars ($20) per fortnight as pension instead of the meager $6.00 they are now getting;' for gratuity, for the number of years they toiled, of slave labour they gave to the De Gales; for insurance money they should rightfully get for damage received while working on the estate; for better pay, working and housing conditions from the De Gales who live overseas (Australia, Wales, England, Italy, Barbados and of course South Africa) who make over $300000.00 profit per year on the labour of the workers, for a share in this huge profits at the end of each year instead of the one bottle of rum and the one pound of meat they receive as their thanks at the end of each year.

Who is so bold and revolutionary to oppose and surpress (sic) the workers for their rightful demands? If there is such a person such step backward so we can see whom you are. If there be anyone who feel that the workers are wrong in moving to better their social and economic conditions, may you too step backward and say so, so that we may know who you are? If there are anyone among these who feel that they are correct in calling the workers and their supporters "self-seeking, phrase mongers, opportunist", can volunteer to go on the River Antoine Estate and work there under the same conditions.

If there are those among you who write in the FIGHT, condemning the workers on the River Antoine Estate the 'Gold of our Society', 'True and Heroic People" send their mother or father or even an uncle or aunt or even a far away cousin to work for the same starvation wage, under the same conditions, and live in the same houses the workers live in would you kingly let us know immediately so that we may provide them with work, salary and a house (cave) to live in.

Remember that our parents all taught that in our dealing with others, workers in particular, must put ourselves in their place. Enter into their feelings, their difficulties, their disappointments, their joys; their sorrows and hardship. [Unclear] to identify ourselves with them, and then do to and for [unclear words] to exchange places with them, we would wish them [unclear words]. This is the truthful [the rest of the paragraph, about three sentences, is unclear]

This is the foundation truth which we must never forget.

Probably it is not surprising to those who are so concerned, at the though that child labour still existed on the estate prior to February 13th, 1980, that workers have parasitic sore-foot and all other type of contagious diseases; that workers are going blind on the estate; that pregnant mothers are still loosing their babies while on work on the estate (miscarry); that workers who get damage on the estate have to find their own transportation to the hospital no matter how serious their damage is, that after all that they have to threaten management to get their half-time ($3.00 or $2.00) respectively for the time they stayed at home, that they never receive any insurance money for damage; that management still take cutlass and plannass workers; that when the workers union A.W.G.U. give management union forms to collect union dues from workers they would put it outside and say 'all you union send that so who want to put could put'; that some horrible coffins awaits the workers with some of them names written at the bottom of their coffin an their only thanks and the only legacy to their helpless children when they die although they work for over forty (40) years.

With all of this and much more unmentioned would you believe that some so-called revolutionaries are asking the P.R.G. to "JAIL" the workers and those who are supporting them.

Would you believe that some of those silver-coated revolutionaries does not know what it is to suffer; to eat fig and sprat six days a week and rice and Back-and Neck on Sundays only.

We however would like to make known that the workers said that as from the 13th of February they have seen great improvements on the estate under their collective efforts. For the pass (sic) six years they said they have never seen so much big bunches of bluggo as they are now seeing, that coconuts are all over the place than ever before and that nobody is stealing them. That the manager himself. Mr. Percy Campbell admit that he have seen a great rise in production and a change on the estate generally.

That the workers are working harder; cutting seven hundred (700) coconuts extra; cutlassing coconut fields voluntarily after tying their cows in the field, thus saving the estate the expense of paying workers to clean it, that the estate is now getting more baskets of cocoa than they previously used to get. That the workers within weeks have repaired all roads on the estate that have been neglected for over six years.

That the workers said that deceased Mr. Thomas De Gale the grand-father of our former Governor General Leo De Gale broke down their houses on the estate a few decades ago and told them to find a place outside his estate to live. That they took that insult with ease and good grace but they knew that some good day the table would turn and now that it has turned No Force, No Power, No One can turn it back again.

We wish to inform the general public that they are free to have a SEE-FOR-YOURSELF investigation of the facts and conditions existing on the estate and that the workers and villagers move on February 13th was a GENUINE and HONEST move to better their socio-economic conditions and not a "mis-guided, arbitrary, incited, politically unstabled (sic), self-seeking, confused, crazy, disorganized, chaotic, counter-revolutionary, mad, desperate, opportunistic, astray move" as we are made to believe in the "Fight". That there is no premeditated strings of destabilisation attached to this move as the public is made believe.

True too is the fact that the workers actions are not sporadic, spurious or sinister but genuinely necessary and urgent. That the two "politically unstable" youths are ever willing to go to jail to prove that the workers are united in their efforts to liberate themselves.

Finally we wish to inform the public that the younger generation would be politically educated enough to see the true from the false, the make-believe from the reality, the facts from the fictions and would pounce down heavily upon those who now wish to keep them in ignorance. It is a scientific and prophetic insight into the future. Long live the workers.


Next: Meeting 14 March 1980      Back: The Correct Way Forward

     Home Page: Index        Site Map


          CONTACT