MOVE NOW TO WIN THE WORKING PEOPLE!
(Guidelines from the Central Committee to all Party Members)
[Thursday Evening, 13 October 1983]
The document below is retyped from a copy of the original as close as is practical. If you see what looks like 'errors' be reminded the text is a duplication as typed. Straight brackets [ ] are inserted in key places to identify abbreviations or make a note about illegibility in the text.
A GENERAL GUIDELINES:-
1). Let us first be clear that our aim is not to 'sell the Masses a line' but to tell the masses openly and honestly the truth about the present situation.
- 2). We must present the truth clearly and firmly, using the points given at the end as a guide.
- 3). We must first brief the masses, then we must listen to the masses views, and answer questions patiently, and without interrupting them.
- 4). We must then state our own arguments, firmly and in a principled way. Make it clear that what must be put above everything else is the good of the country and the working people.
- 5). Don't be upset if after all the struggles we are rebuffed by some people. Many of those who tell us we are wrong today will say to us in the months and years to come that they later on realised we were right. We must never lose our temper.
- 6). After speaking to each person or group, list the questions and concerns that came up. Pass these on to Sis. Evril Sanderson at the Party Office, daily if possible. The CC needs to know daily, in a concrete and full way, what are the questions, views and concerns of the masses.
- 7). B. HOW TO ORGANISE OURSELVES:-
In checking people -
(a). Start where you have the most solid base - among those who know you well and have confidence in you as a Party Member, as someone who speaks the truth, and who has a clear understanding on political matters. This means the workers in our work-places, those people in our communities that we are close to or can influence; the same in our mass organizations groups, our trade union; also those with whom we have personal friendships.
(b). It is most important to win the working class in this period. Therefore priority must be given to contact work-places all over the country. Remember: 80% of people are now working. Thus we can meet most people this way. As well as checking individuals, hold flash meeting of Departments or sections of ministries in work-places, or entire staff meetings. Get another Party Member to assist you in taking the meeting where necessary, struggle patiently and to the end. Those who are won to us will pass on the work.
(c). Party members working full time in mass organisations, should see their priority task to talk to the influential members of each group. Youth workers should rap to youth on the block.
(d). All Party Members must do house to house in their villages or communities, starting with the most proletarian individuals, especially those with influence among different sections, in the community; eg: youths, women, older men, small farmers, etc.
(e). As a general rule we must spend most of our time with the workers and poor people, relatively much less time with the middle classes in these first few weeks. The working class will be much easier to reach, and instinctively many of them will sense the truth of what we are saying.
- (8). Remember, we must organize ourselves, we must plan who we will check each day, both individuals and groups. We must assess our work daily, keep notes, continue to plan our work creatively each discuss the masses reactions with senior party members and committee heads, and seek to constantly improve the quality and presentation of our arguments.
REMEMBER, THE PARTY WILL ULTIMATELY BE STRENGTHENED, EACH MEMBER WILL ONLY BE STRENGTHENED, THROUGH OUT FIRM AND PRINCIPLED STRUGGLE FOR THE TRUTH TO BE CLEARLY UNDERSTOOD BY OUR PEOPLE. OUR TASK IS NOT EASY, BUT IT IS POSSIBLE. LONG LIVE THE PARTY!
- (9). We must move fast to reach the working people before the opportunists do check how many people you reach each day.
(1). C. POINTS TO MAKE:-
The Central Committee of the Party has been concerned for some time about the weaknesses in the work of Party and Revo: egs. our supporters being denied work by elements hostile to the Revo, supporters being laid off their jobs, the collapse of the militia through poor organization, the rise of destabilization work of some, the planting of Anti-Revolution ideas in different workplaces, the failure of C.P.E. to really get off the ground, the growing loss of confidence and moral (mood) of the masses - [handwritten] mass organizations
(2). These and many other concerns were discussed in the Central Committee. It became obvious that one main reason for the inability to solve problems was the weak leadership being given by Cde. Maurice Bishop. He does not constantly on difficult decisions bring forward ideas on how to solve the problems, does not press, forward energetically for solutions to the masses problems (Vacillates) and does not check and supervise how the work is going, doesn't be on top of the situation. The CC recognised the comrade's high prestige among the masses, locally, regionally and internationally, but concluded this was not enough to save the serious slide in the situation.
(3). The CC therefore decided on September 16th by a 2/3rds majority vote that to strengthen the Party's leadership, it should establish a structure of joint leadership of the Party, where Cdes. Bishop and Coard would jointly lead, each taking charge of different areas.
(4). This reflected a situation where, for many years before the Revo this was what actually was happening. However after the Revo Cde. M. [Maurice] gradually became increasingly resentful of cde Coard's having this 'shared leadership' and so cde Coard had backed down to prevent disharmony.
The CC realized that this attitude of cde M [Maurice] was incorrect and that personal feelings must not be put above the good of the country in a situation where the situation was getting worse.
(5). The CC put the matter to the Party Membership on September 25th in a fifteen (15) hour meeting the party discussed the situation and by a unanimous vote agreed with the CC's proposal for joint leadership of the Party. Although cde. Bishop had stated concern at the end of the meeting he agreed and voted for joint leadership of the party. Of course, he would have continued to be P.M. and Leader of the Revo. This was an internal Party matter.
(6). Cde MB left the next day for his trip to Hungary, but he (as admitted) he changed his mind re joint leadership on the trip. Indeed, cde GL [George Louison] told a meeting of Party Members on the delegation that cde Bishop hadn't decided: was still thinking about it. He also made many insinuations that the whole things was a 'power play' by cde Coard, and told one member so openly.
(7). In this period the Party learned a shocking truth. [unclear] [unclear] one year ago and again in this period cde Bishop's Chief of Personal Security had been approach several others P.S. cdes telling them 'we have to kill cde Coard, he is trying to force the cde leader, blood will have to shed', etc. etc.
(8). When members of the Hungary delegation came back home reported on what happened. The Party became very concerned for the lives of the CC, in a situation where the Party Leader was refusing to carry out the decision of the vast majority of the Party.
The Party also became even more concerned about cde Bishop's power - hungry attitude, in refusing to share leadership.
(9). Last Wednesday a vicious rumour hit the ground, that BC & PC [Bernard Coard & Phyllis Coard] were planning to assassinate cde Bishop. The rumour hit both Ministries of Construction and Education early on Wednesday.
(10). By lunch time, however the Deputy Chief of Cde Bishop's Personal Security forces. He reported that Cde Bishop had given himself Cde St. Paul, the unit chief, a list of about fifty and (15) names of persons to contact and tell everyone. The cde broke, he couldn't tell this lie however, the other cde did take it to the people on the list. A signed statement had been given to the security forces on this.
(11}. As a result, bloodshed, nearly took place. The mobilization of some people from St. Paul's by a businessman of that community to kill cde C that night. Had to be disarmed by Army.
POINTS TO SHOW THE MASSES
- Serious threat of another Gairy Dictatorship Clear. Cde Bishop has become drunk with power. We cannot allow our children grew up as our young generation grew up, running and hideing, and getting cut-ass. No more one-man rule.
- We all love Cde. Bishop. But we must put aside personal feelings the future of our country comes first.
- Look at what he has done try to get a fellow leader of the party killed, try to split the party, the whole Revo. This has to encourage imperialism to attack us when they see we are weak and divided this could cause the deaths of many innocent working people.
- [Missing - Cut off from bottom of page]
- The strength of democracy in a country is shown by the ability of a people to remove a leader who does wrong. Remember how the American people removed Nixon in 1975 for having his spy services break into people's homes and offices? If you can't remove a leader for reasons as this you have no democracy, you are on the road to dictatorship. We must show this to our supporters, use it to beat back hostile elements, show it to the regional and internal masses. [NOTE: No. 5 was marked through as if to show the point is to be eliminated]
- Show the workers the class outlook of Cde. B. All the names on the list are business-men big and small, and upper middle class people. If he genuinely believed his life was in danger, why didn't he show it to the masses openly? To the workers?
- If the workers say we hear the Communist want to take over the party everyone in the party believes in socialism. We in the party have stated over and over what we mean by socialism, what we are struggling for, what out programme is. Cde. Bishop himself has stated our programme many times. This line is imperialist propaganda repeated by opportunists.