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RED THREAD TRIBUTE TO CLOTIL WALCOTT

Tribute to Clotil Walcott from Red Thread and the Red Thread Network, Guyana: Tuesday, November 20, 2007 

Clotil Walcott inspired us even before we met her. It was her work in Trinidad and Tobago campaigning for domestic workers to be recognized as workers that spurred us on to try to organize with domestic workers in Guyana for fairer wages and working conditions.
 
We invited Clotil to come and meet the domestic workers we had started to meet with and she immediately agreed. When she met with the women she told them and us about her experience organizing with domestic workers in Trinidad and Tobago and advised us to organize. Although we failed in that first effort because we did not know how to overcome the fear the women felt about losing their jobs in an economy where jobs for grassroots women were even scarcer than in Trinidad and Tobago, we learned a lot from Clotil that we never forgot.
 
We are using what we learned from her up to now in our campaigning for a living income and affordable access to goods and services for housewives, domestic workers, shop assistants, security guards, bartenders, old age pensioners, women on public assistance – Guyanese women of Indian, African and Amerindian descent who are unwaged and low-waged.

More than anything else, what we have tried to learn from Clotil Walcott is not to be afraid, not to be intimidated by people – women or men – who have more education and power in society than us.

For us, the work that Clotil Walcott did was the most important work any woman could do. Hers was the work that can transform society, that can help us bring about a world where, in the words of the Global Women’s Strike, we “invest in caring, not killing”. This is why a few years ago we nominated her for the CARICOM women’s award and we still believe that it should be awarded to her. As grassroots women, we want this once-in-a-lifetime grassroots woman recognized!

Clotil, we will always remember you as you were when we met you – no-nonsense, brave, vibrant, bright, energetic, determined. We will always remember you with respect. We will always remember you with love.

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