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The Union frequently comments on events or receives news of general interest and these are documented on this page.

COME ON NAH! by Rae Samuel

posted by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated ]

If I were President Come-on-nah and not the Monarch of all I survey although this is a republic, I would immediately divorce my present wife, dress her in a chadoor and a full length dress just to spite that ole cougar Rachel. All yuh could call me jihadist if yuh want and even ban me from Palo Seco, my home town if all yuh want but nobody will ever make fun of my new wife's apparel again.

Will my new wife be pretty? That will be a state secret, since no one, except me, will be seeing her face. She however will not have to run the risk of having foul mouthed cougars who cuss out school Principals make fun of her.

I mean where do these calypsonians, comedians and talk show hosts get off? Making fun of my soon to be ex. Yes I will be requesting her resignation now that she seems to have misbehaved in 'public dress'. She could go back down Palo Seco and lime with fellow public retiree Chandresh which is close to Fyzabad.

I was once a calypsonian and should know that picong and ribald comment are the life blood of the art form of the nation which I lead? Lemme tell all yuh. That was yesterday and today is today to hi-Jack a statement frrrr...ffrr...ffrr..ooom a former football jefe. Nobody will turn my wife into Madame Dracula or Belmont Jackass. I am much better looking than Lord Melody although immensely less talented.

Don't forget I recently mobilised the Reserve Army Corps for no good reason and a chocolate soldier is now in the Ministry of National Security waging wars he never fought while in Teteron.

Thank you for allowing me to address you all on this significant matter of my wife's dress code. Y'all know now I have powers to defend her clothes! Did I help her choose them. None of your damn business!

Steups! All yuh going too far! What? All yuh think this is Calypso History month where you could sing and revive the spirit of calypso as the supreme form of satire and political commentary? Come-on-nah- man!

SINGING THE SONGS OF REVOLUTION by Sai Madivala

posted 23 Oct 2014 08:59 by Gerry Kangalee

A fairly odd event took place this past Saturday evening at the National Library of Trinidad and Tobago. It was a gathering of seasoned labour organizers to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the establishment of the National Workers Union (NWU).  

Although the union is relatively young, the bulk of the organizers were a blast from the past. They milled about with humble exuberance, referring to each other as ‘comrades’ and listened intently as the leaders of the NWU called for the socialist transformation of society.

In an era dominated by finance capital and widespread corruption, it is understandably difficult to find value in a declining labour movement. The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1990 effectively marked the triumph of Western (neo) liberalism over State socialism. Workers were left to fend for themselves, as capitalism spread its tentacles to every corner of the globe and unions succumbed to the logic of corporate bureaucracy.  

The wealth gap between the ruling elites and the working poor continues to widen exponentially. It is not even clear who constitutes a worker, as millions around the world are resigned to temporary work and only a step away from joining the reserve army of the unemployed.

The dedicated members of the NWU do not seem deterred by the failures of the past nor the contradictions of the present. Their vision is set on the future. The NWU is the most progressive and radical labour union operating in Trinidad and Tobago today, with an insistence on organizing the unorganized in diverse sectors and a stubborn focus on union democracy.  

The NWU is the only union in Trinidad and Tobago that allows for other unions to affiliate with it, fostering a broad coalition of trade unions and a united front. Individual employees, who may not have prior union affiliation, are also encouraged to bring their grievances to the union to find resolutions. The members of the NWU are at the heart of its organizational structure. According to the organization’s Deputy President, Cecil Paul, the NWU is opposed to any form of authoritarian leadership.

What is to be done? The NWU offers a sobering programme for taking charge of the present and shaping the future. It is a programme that calls for us to recognize Imperialism as a fundamental category for understanding modern society.  

The state has become a revolving door for corporate vultures and their political vampires. As billions are looted by white-collar criminals, the black-collar poor are confined to ghettos monitored by highly militarized police forces.  

Everything is being privatized -- land, housing, healthcare, education. All that is solid is melting into air before our eyes. This is true in the United States as much as it is true is Trinidad and Tobago.  

It is incorrect to claim that Trinidad and Tobago is fractured by issues of race rather than class. The success of the NWU proves that unions are anything but a relic of the 20th century. The strength of our unions reflects the strength of our society. With their hard work, commitment, patience, diligence, and fortitude, the comrades at NWU are charting the course for a more egalitarian future where those who toil have the right to dictate the terms of social production and distribution.

Every empire feels it is unique and exceptional. Comrades, let us keep strong during the dark times of the current empire. As reactionary storms gather around us, let us continue to sing the songs of revolution and forge ahead in unison.

NWU CHESS TOURNAMENT BEGINS

posted 23 Oct 2014 06:49 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 23 Oct 2014 06:51 ]


Comrade Frank Sears
As part of its Tenth Anniversary Celebrations, the National Workers Union (NWU) is sponsoring the first San Fernando Open Chess Tournament which is due to start on Friday 24th October and run until Sunday 2nd November at the District Scout Headquarters Embacadere, San Fernando.

NWU President, Frank Sears, conceptualised the tournament and persuaded the NWU Executive to donate a cash prize and a Challenge trophy.

Originally, the tournament was meant to be part of this year’s San Fernando City Week celebrations but even though the Mayor was approached and verbal assistance was given, the only connection now is that the tournament is coincidentally held during the city’s celebrations.

The Union is partnered by the local Chess Association and the actual host of the tournament - the Southern Chess Club. It has attracted players from nearby countries and top local players since it is conducted according to the world body (FIDE) guidelines with the winner receiving a $3000 prize and his name engraved on the NWU Challenge trophy.

Comrade Sears is a practicing FIDE Candidate Master and, in 1972, was the Caribbean Chess Champion. He also represented Trinidad and Tobago at Chess Olympiads in the 1980s. He is cited as saying it was his announcement last year at a tournament named after him that he would strive to bring a major tournament to the southern city.

As the event draws near players from all over the country will be journeying to San Fernando over the next ten days, vying for prizes. Incredibly the tournament has attracted Primary school children and veterans in their seventh decade of life.

When asked why Chess and not a more popular sport, (like swimming, with which he had been involved for years), Comrade Sears said succinctly, “Chess does not make you smart it makes you smarter. Our society needs as many disciplined, focused, creative people as possible and the NWU is here to foster these attributes.”

Comrade Sears has organised numerous annual Chess tournaments held by the OWTU as part of their June 19th celebrations, so this latest manifestation is nothing new for the comrade

TAKE CHARGE OF THE PRESENT! SHAPE THE FUTURE!

posted 21 Oct 2014 18:24 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 21 Oct 2014 19:47 ]

To commemorate the tenth anniversary of its registration as a union (October 14th 2004), the National Workers Union (NWU) held a function at the audio visual room of the National Library of Trinidad and Tobago (NALIS), Hart and Abercromby Streets, Port of Spain, on Friday October 18th 2014.


Comrade Frank Sears

The theme of the function as was displayed on an impressive banner dominating the stage area was: Take charge of the Present! Shape the Future! After the national anthem was played on
tenor pan by Makesi Joseph, President of NWU Comrade Frank Sears
opened the proceedings which he chaired for the duration of the function.

The chairman introduced Comrade Dave Smith, the General Secretary of NWU who spoke of how the NWU came into being and how it developed over the period. In speaking of the early discussions that led to the formation of the NWU he said: “The discussion amongst those founding comrades of the NWU was really how best a small group of committed and experienced comrades could best impact the labour movement with the limited resources at our disposal."

He stressed that in order to get around the prohibition of a union that represents one group of workers in an “essential industry” from representing another such group, the NWU developed the concept of affiliated unions.
 
Comrade Dave Smith
He stated: "The NWU is, as far as we know, the only union in T&T that has the provision for unions to affiliate to the NWU…By giving the NWU the ability to have new unions affiliated to it and integrated into its ranks, we are hoping we have devised a mechanism to manoeuvre around this piece of anti-union legislation…we are pleased to see the National Health Workers Union and the National Aviation Workers Union in the ranks of the NWU through the affiliation process. 

This is our contribution to building solidarity, organising the unorganised and strengthening the broader trade union movement…By sharing limited resources, the NWU structure opens up the possibility of small and struggling unions having core administrative and organisational services provided for them through affiliation. 

Not only office facilities, but education and research, access to organising and negotiating skills, a central facility for shared office space, membership records systems and accounting. All functions vital to a trade union, but exceptionally difficult for small unions to acquire.”

The feature address was delivered by Comrade Cecil Paul, Deputy President of the National Workers Union (NWU). It dealt with the theme of the anniversary celebration: Take charge of the present! Shape the Future!
 
In introducing the feature speaker, the Chairman noted that he was: “a comrade who reflects in his persona an amalgam of his contemporaries. He is a comrade who progressed through the ranks as a shop-steward, branch officer, and President of the National Petroleum Branch of the Oilfields Workers Trade Union.
 
Comrade Cecil Paul
He went on to become the chairman of the north co-ordinating council which comprised all the branches of the OWTU in the north of the country, chief labour relations officer and First Vice President of the OWTU...was central to the development of the Social Wage policy of the union and was a former general secretary of the Council of Progressive Trade Unions…born and bred in the San Juan area…has always been involved in sport (San Juan Jabloteh), culture (various steelbands) and other social organizations.”
 

Comrade Paul made a detailed analysis of the national situation and the situation in the trade union movement and within the wider working class. He laid out the tasks that had to be carried out so that the labour movement could “take charge of the present” 

He made a cold-eyed analysis of the deficiencies within the trade union movement and stated “We are not armed with the necessary perspective, the overall vision, the requisite strategies, the trained human resources, to beat back the assault from the state, the big capitalists and the employers on the entitlements, rights and benefits of unionised workers. 

The trade union movement must embark on an intensive and extensive education, training and communication drive. Our foot soldiers, the shop stewards and branch officers must be trained to handle whatever is thrown at them from the shop floor to the Industrial Court to the picket line and the strike camp.

But this vision can only work and we can only move forward when we abandon the culture of authoritarianism and embrace a culture of participation and democracy for the rank and file.”
 
He concluded by making a clarion call to the Labour Movement “to return to the days of struggle, vigilance, strategic planning and direct action in defence of the country and of working people. We must be self-reliant and fierce defenders of working class democracy. We must be tribunes of the people. Our unions must be schools of revolution, both practical and theoretical. It is time we accept responsibility for shaping the future…”
 
From left: Comrades Winston Edward, Alva Allen, Ramdeo Boodram
The next phase of the function involved the presentation of awards to three trade unionists, none of them members of the NWU. Comrade Sears introduced this phase of the function by saying: “this segment of our programme was the most challenging and fulfilling in bringing it into fruition. Challenging in the sense that when we decided to choose some awardees, the rich history of struggle and perseverance of our eighty year old labour movement had, then and now, unsung heroes who simply worked in the trenches so to speak for future generations to benefit. 

Dozens of names and personalities were listed but our resources did not
Comrade Kathleen Davis
match the numbers who deserved some form of recognition for their sacrifices, sometimes to the detriment of their health and family relations. 

Needless to say how the process enriched us all on hearing anecdotes of past encounters some of which we have started to document in video format by our media savvy Executive Officer, who as a former teacher was a member of TTUTA: Comrade Rae Samuel

This evening we have three comrades who allowed us the privilege of identifying them to receive an award from the National Workers Union..."
 
The biographies of Comrades Alva Allen, Ramdeo Boodram and Winston ’Man Man’ Edward were read out by NWU official Comrade Kathleen Davis and the awards were presented by Comrade
Carla Walcott of both the National Union of Domestic Employees and the NWU.
 
The last segment of the evening saw the launching of the booklet Out of Pain. It was published by the Labour Advisory Bureau
(LAB), a non-profit
company owned by the NWU and the author Comrade Gerry Kangalee, Education and Research Officer of the NWU, said a few words about the relationship between the cultural movement
and the labour movement.
 
Comrade Michael ‘Brother Scobie’ Joseph, former political detainee, former trade unionist, President of
the Southern Marines Steelband Foundation and Chairman of the South/Central region of Pan Trinbago rounded off the proceedings by pointing out the potential economic value of the Pan in a scenario against which our almost total dependence on the hydrocarbon industry was leading us to almost-certain disaster.

The first ten years has been an exciting period of building; will the next ten years be one of entrenchment and consolidation? It could very well be, if we accept the responsibility of assisting the labour movement in taking charge of the present in order to shape the future.

NWU TENTH ANNIVERSARY

posted 14 Oct 2014 19:13 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 14 Oct 2014 19:14 ]

The National Workers Union (NWU) was registered as a trade union on October 14th 2004. To honour its tenth anniversary a function will be held at the National Library (NALIS), Abercromby Street, Port of Spain, on Saturday 18th October 2014, beginning at 7:00 pm.

 

The function will include a presentation on the origin and history of the National Workers Union by General Secretary, Dave Smith; a feature address by Deputy President of the National Workers Union, Cecil Paul, which will examine the state of the trade union movement and point the direction forward for the strengthening of the movement.

 

The tenth anniversary function will also involve presentation of awards to three trade union activists who have dedicated their lives to the advancement of the interests of the working class and the launching of a booklet dealing with Canboulay, class struggle, and the steelband written by NWU Education and Research Officer Gerry Kangalee.

EBOLA, CARNIVAL AND HEALTH WORKERS PROTECTION by Gerry Kangalee

posted 10 Oct 2014 21:57 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 10 Oct 2014 21:59 ]

Well, in typical Trini style it’s the cart before the horse again! Stop the carnival, we shout, Ebola is on the march and it takes only one person to slip through, just imagine with thousands flooding in for carnival what could happen. 

It’s as if Ebola was just lurking around somewhere just waiting for carnival to come so that it could plunge in and do what it does or, as some would have it, what it is programmed to do.

The point is every day people are flying in and out of the country and the risk of someone infected with this virus coming through Piarco is ever present. Stopping the carnival is not going to reduce that risk.

Instead of focusing on the carnival what we should focus on is how prepared are we to deal with this Ebola virus. You will only

US CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION GUIDELINES


If a patient in a U.S. hospital is suspected or known to have Ebola virus disease, healthcare teams should follow standard, contact, and droplet precautions, including the following recommendations:

Isolate the patient: Patients should be isolated in a single patient room (containing a private bathroom) with the door closed.

Wear appropriate PPE: Healthcare providers entering the patients room should wear: gloves, gown (fluid resistant or impermeable), eye protection (goggles or face shield), and a facemask. Additional protective equipment might be required in certain situations (e.g., copious amounts of blood, other body fluids, vomit, or feces present in the environment), including but not limited to double gloving, disposable shoe covers, and leg coverings.

Restrict visitors: Avoid entry of visitors into the patient's room. Exceptions may be considered on a case by case basis for those who are essential for the patient's wellbeing. A logbook should be kept to document all persons entering the patient's room. See CDC's infection control guidance(http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/hcp/infection-prevention-and-control-recommendations.html) on procedures for monitoring, managing, and training of visitors.

Avoid aerosol-generating procedures: Avoid aerosol-generating procedures. If performing these procedures, PPE should include respiratory protection (N95 or higher filtering facepiece respirator) and the procedure should be performed in an airborne infection isolation room.

Implement environmental infection control measures: Diligent environmental cleaning and disinfection and safe handling of potentially contaminated materials is of paramount importance, as blood, sweat, vomit, feces, urine and other body secretions represent potentially infectious materials should be done following hospital protocols.
know if a person is infected when that person is tested. For that person to be tested contact would have had to be made with her prior to being tested. The critical issue, therefore, is that health care workers who make first contact with the person to be tested are those most at risk of becoming infected.

But they are not the only persons at risk. Those who take patients to the isolation wards and those who care for persons in those wards are also at grave risk as are laboratory workers who have to handle samples. Then there is the risk to those who have to dispose of the waste which must be handled in special packaging by people with hazardous materials training. Some of the waste matter to be disposed of may include soiled sheets and virus-spattered protective equipment. Faulty disposal puts the community at risk.

Ebola symptoms include large amounts of vomit and diarrhoea. Emory University Hospital in Atlanta Georgia, USA treated two Ebola evacuees from West Africa and at peak they were producing forty bags of waste per day.

Interestingly, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Transportation have significant differences as to how Ebola waste should be handled and disposed of, this being new and uncharted territory.

The virus has killed 10 percent of the medical staff in Kenema District hospital in Sierra Leone. In Liberia, 15% of those who have died from the virus were doctors or nurses who contracted it at work. It is not always possible to identify Ebola infection early because initial symptoms are non-specific. It is important, therefore, that health-care workers apply standard precautions consistently with all patients, regardless of their diagnosis, at all times.

To deal with the Ebola virus, health care workers must be rigorously trained in best practices and protocols that apply internationally. The training must not be restricted to a few medical bureaucrats who seize the opportunity to go on trips to observe what applies abroad.

Workers must be provided with the best personal protective equipment and intensive training in how to use the equipment particularly in relation to disrobing. Even in the countries that have developed rigorous protocols there are serious problems with the types of personal protective equipment to employ and how they are utilised, because of the lack of experience in dealing with Ebola. The equipment used to test the suspected cases must be top of the line and functioning properly and there should be clear protocols dealing with cleaning infected areas, waste handling and disposal.

When it comes to Ebola, carnival is the least of our problems. The protection of health care workers is critical and the training of these workers in the protocols of dealing with Ebola are vital.

 

 



 


THE BALISIER ACCORD? by Rae Samuel

posted 10 Oct 2014 05:24 by Gerry Kangalee

The news trailer of one of the television stations stated that the Joint Trade Union Movement was interested in talks with the now Opposition re labour relations, post May 25th 2015.

In other words, comrades, (or if you are a TTUTA leader, colleagues) we may be witnessing the birth of the "Balisier Accord'' since the Fyzabad Accord crafted by labour leaders who ended up as Acting Prime Ministers and ex-Senators suffered infanticide.

A bit of recap here: When love was warm and general secretaries went to Couva to praise Kamla and Ministers sat on their Dicks rather than help workers, the accord was alive and well for some. Others held that it was a non-starter given that labour and capital in a society such as ours have an antagonistic relationship and such agreements maintain and ultimately re-enforce the status quo.

The Fyzabad Accord died on the night of the 25th May 2010, regardless of who was welcomed into the celebrations on the following Labour Day. Well, we have come to see that love died and some labour leaders like ‘vulgar slatterns' now seek the love of Jack, Ramesh, Keith on the Farris wheel

What will the Balisier Accord produce that the Fyzabad did not? That's an easy one. Mark will be no longer Wading in the Senate water; Errol will no longer be Minister of Labour, Rudy, the Smoothie, the smartest of the lot, will return to his Caroni lands; Obika will be hauled back from Ghana and De Coteau's wig will remain in place.

They will all join the passing parade with Mary King, Verna St. Rose and Merle Hodge to the chorus of cries of domestic workers falling on deaf ears of the Minister of Labour. Bwai, all he missin' is hearin' aid to be the new Eric Williams…check out the tonal inflection!

Will doing the same thing the same way produce different results? Of course, these "Joiners'' are not mad. Who says doing the same thing the same way produces the same results? Einstein? Steups! What did he know?

Of course there is the late lamented "Workers' Agenda'', a simple document which sought to establish basic human/constitutional workers’ rights as freedom to chose one's own union, to democratise the workplace, to restore meaningful collective bargaining, to establish acceptable standards of health and safety in the work place and to guarantee minimum workers rights to health care and paid vacation.

The problem with the "Workers' Agenda'' was twofold. One was that it took the struggle away from terrain favourable to the ruling class, namely the Senate and Cabinet and the High Court of Injunctions and put it back on terrain more favourable to workers: the workplace and the communities where people suffer for and lack proper roads, adequate health care, water, lights and meaningful education.

The other was that such an approach did not require lackeys and opportunists to be in Parliament and on state boards. Or that partners thrown off the ship should seek to return home to cuss their former sailing partners, form a rump movement and stymie the growth and development of genuine leadership.

So go ahead and shake yuh ‘Balisier Accord' if that is your new plan, comrade leaders. Others know that even after 58 years the leopard remains spotted

THE ONLY OPTION LEFT IS SELF HELP by Eugene Reynald

posted 10 Oct 2014 03:23 by Gerry Kangalee

There is one real business in T&T and that is the one of Government receiving the rents/proceeds from “managing” the people’s patrimony and distributing it. That alone gives life to all activity in the country to the country. The problem lies with how these rents/proceeds are distributed by Government - or more precisely the Chairperson of Cabinet at whose sufferance Cabinet members exist. 
 
There is little or no incentive or motivation in T&T to do productive work because we do not have a meritocracy and consequently diligence, innovation, creativity and hard work (DICH) are not rewarded. Anyway the DICH of others can easily be plagiarized and benefitted from – particularly by those in the state sector or those who have connections therein.

Most citizens have been conditioned by our leadership into the belief that work is about finding/creating a beeline to the coffers of the State or getting in with those who have such.

Our successful politicians can be divided into three groups that often overlap. The first is made up of those who cannot get a job outside of politics the second are those who see politics as a stepping stone to wealth and third are those seeking position and status. Most of our politicians qualify under at least two of the three.

A thought in all of this is that politicians are either legislators or they aspire to be so. They are about control and advantage and that means that they try to frame the Law so that it offers their Party and its leadership the greatest overall advantage and also control over its followers. Like lawyers they exploit the Law (and of course the best Lawyers do it best and are the most expensive and most sought after).

This is an abuse of the intent of the Law and manifest as tyranny, immorality and generally a corruption of our ideals and values – and our society, because right becomes whatever you can get away with – and that is better achieved by Lawyers and even best achieved by Politicians who are also Lawyers.

The activity in most companies in T&T involve some form of “Government relations” (some even call it just that) and we have a proliferation of political investors i.e. businessmen, who buy and sell politicians/public servants and/or facilitate the buying/selling of favours from/to them.

There is therefore no reason for anyone to create or innovate except in ways that provide them access to politicians/public servants and by extension to the people’s patrimony. Einstein is reputed to have said “Problems cannot be solved with the same mindset that created them”. To me this also implies that problems cannot be solved by “same minds” that created them – and all we have been having are PNM minds and UNC minds.

To overcome this “corruption” and foster constructive and meaningful creation and innovation we have first to put in place an environment that acknowledges and rewards meritocracy. Any initiative for this cannot and will not come from the “mindset” of our politicians or anyone involved in and profiting from the frenzy of feeding off the State.

Such persons exist among us as birds of passage (together with those who invest in them they live here as though they have somewhere else to go – and most of them do) and in collaboration with their minders/investors see manipulating or buying the public support as the only way to prolong their passage and ongoing feeding. Performance and delivery of goods and service to the public are not relevant or important factors in this process. Those you cannot capture, condition and coral you can always corrupt.

In the “party politics” practiced locally the interest of political parties and its leadership trumps that of the people it/they are there to “serve” and the country every time and in all instances. I believe that innovation and creativity should first and last be directed to improving the quality of life of citizens – particularly the old, the young, the infirm and the unwell – if only because we each pass through most or all of these phases in our lives. That should not have to be told to us by the brain or taught.

The truth of this should also be convincing to the self seeking and self centred because as citizens it would also provide for their personal well being, security and comfort. The logic that applies here is that in looking after the interest of others we also do the same for more than 80% of what even the selfish/self centred or even bigoted would identify as their interests. The argument for this is further reinforced by the fact that the money we are using to run this place comes from patrimony which belongs to each citizen proportionately.

Innovation and creativity should also be directed towards conserving our foreign reserves and earning us foreign exchange. If innovation and creativity and even technology does not include for providing the aforementioned then as a country we will simply not be sustainable in that we will be living on depleting natural resources and/or living on debt to be repaid by a generation that is with us today.

So let us dispense with all the talk about apps and the millions to be made from that and begin by talking about “apps” that will directly assist us to feed and “take care” of ourselves, preserve our environment, conserve and add value to our natural resources and generally address those issues that militate against our desire for an ideal quality of life.

Our history of experience and the reality would have already convinced Pavlov’s dogs that they cannot depend on politicians for doing what is obviously right and necessary. The only option left is self help and that means either revolution or we organise as groups independent of the political directorate, that will act to preserve our rights as citizens and serve to pursue measures to ensure our survival and prosperity.

Revolution is out for several reasons so I would begin the process by suggesting the following:

We establish employment activities that keep us off the roads.

We find ways to educate children at home.

We cultivate at home most of what we eat - and trade the surplus with neighbours or others.

We establish means of communication between, among us and others that are independent of the established media. What passes for media in T&T is of course very much part of the political problem in that how they function is determined by the messaging of their owners and advertisers.

We develop ways and means to persistently and critically evaluate and communicate on what Government and its minders/financiers are about and not about.

We include in our daily lives time for discussing and defining the issues we face and those being faced by the country and how we would like to see these resolved. This should include trying to see and understand similar perspectives taken by others.

We begin with the understanding that a lot of creation and innovation today is about i) researching the internet and seeking stimulation from and/or building on what is being done or has been done. ii) studying/observing/getting to know our local and natural environment and our traditions/folklore. iii) Finding ways and making the time to regularly communicate with what Jung called the collective unconscious.

Focus on ideas that we individually or in community groups can develop or experiment with (i.e. prototype) on a small scale. We should try to develop projects that can be done by or jointly with children/young people as part of their coursework in schools or Universities.

 

LET’S DEAL WITH TERRORISM By Junaid Al Jameel

posted 6 Oct 2014 20:41 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 6 Oct 2014 20:43 ]

Luis Posada Carriles

It is the height of hypocrisy to talk about fighting ISIS terrorists while not objecting to the USA’s harbouring of the USA trained terrorist, Luis Clemente Faustino Posada Carriles.   Posada Carriles participated in the bombing of Cubana Flight 455 on Oct. 6th 1976, which was until 9/11, the deadliest terrorist airline attack in the Western hemisphere. Two time bombs, brought on board the aircraft at Piarco, exploded in the aircraft nine minutes after takeoff from Barbados, causing the plane to crash into the water. All 73 persons aboard the plane died.

Carriles’ bloody swath of terror and destruction included bombing a BWIA office in Barbados and the Guyanese Embassy in Trinidad. Posada admitted to plotting the 1997 bombing of a Cuban hotel which killed Italian tourist Fabio de Celmo.

Today Posada Carriles walks freely and with impunity in the streets of Miami.

The provisions of UN Security Council Resolution #1373, passed under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks, mandate that all countries deny safe haven to those who commit terrorist acts, and ensure that they are brought to justice. The treaties require the United States to extradite Luis Posada Carriles for trial or try him in U.S. courts for offenses committed abroad.

If the PM is serious about fighting terrorism, wouldn't she have demanded that the USA extradite the terrorist, Posada, in exchange for (section 34) Ish and Steve if necessary?

LOADS OF BULL AWARDS by Rae Samuel

posted 5 Oct 2014 20:47 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 5 Oct 2014 20:52 ]

The National Workers Union will be marking its tenth 'against all odds' anniversary on October 18th with a function at the NALIS. On that occasion we will recognise the contributions of persons well known in building and sustaining the workers movement. 

We have also been documenting in video the lives and stories of several comrades whose work is significant but who are not seen or known as 'headliners ' outside the movement As Errol McLeod said to this writer in an earlier incarnation, the labour movement is not a place to build your ego and these comrades were not about such. (No, I am not "Lion the Liar', this was McLeod’s first interview as President General OWTU. He was acting for George Weekes who had retired. OWTU will not accept blame for what was to come later). 

But griots from Chairman Mao to Kwame Ture to Amilcar Cabral have taught us that all phenomena have a dual nature and our struggle is to develop the forces of progress as best we can, in the context of our life time as Amilcar used to say. Others, of course, have struggled heroically to halt our forward march and mire us in backwardness, re-action, corruption, nepotism, big payoffs to their 'in-laws' and election run-offs. 
 
This is my nomination list in recognition of those who even now are shovelling loads of bull/gobar upon us in the name of news, election campaigning and a la Vice Principal of Princes Town Secondary school, higher education.
The struggle for pole position in this "bull derby' is keen. When you read my submission list you will see I have nominated some seasoned campaigners who have been 'baffling us with their gobar since they cannot dazzle us with their brilliance. My list is of recent vintage but do not feel so constrained. The number sequence is numerical not meritorious.  

#1. The Police Information Service: My star, aka Pastor Wayne, would have us believe that assassins would execute 3/5 men within earshot/gunshot of a police station and then walk across the street to shoot up said police station. 

According to media reports the police officers in the station found themselves ducking and diving for cover during the barrage, while wanted posters, police whistles, designer shades, summons and missing station diaries flew across the room. Has anybody seen photographic evidence of this 'brazen assault’? How could they miss the facade of a two storey building? Oh they were firing warning shots up in the air! And the police, in fear for their lives under this murderous assault, did not return fire so that the buildings opposite would be pocked marked and pitted with bullet holes.  

Oh they too were shooting in the air! They were listening to Father Clyde Harvey's presentation at the opening of the Law Term and did not want to 'tote anymore ghosts'. This P.R department is in pole position for an award. They edged out the Police Association representative who claimed that five days after the shooting the leader of the Opposition visited Desperlie Crescent and contaminated the crime scene. The Police Service seems full of likely acting Commissioners, don't you think?  

#2. Acting/Active Prime Minister Errol McLeod: a furore has erupted over a unilateral decision to buy out the leave of a senior police officer, Wayne Dick for .5m dollars. Yep, I thought the same thing: .5m dollars for a Dick. The guy must be somebody or something special. Turns out that that the other actor, Commissioner of Police Williams, was not informed although "Chocolate Soldier' Gary said he was. When will these soldiers/police (solice/poldiers) learn to listen to their 'Commander in Armoured' cars? If he said you were told, you were told. You did not hear? 
 
What that has to do with it? Errol himself once told the media what they heard from him in a live press conference what was not what he said. No wonder they do not want to make you permanent, sir, unless you do an Eric Williams and get ‘hearing aid'. Fingers are pointing in the direction of the former OWTU President General as the man who put all this in motion while in his temporary post- Acting Honourable Prime Minister for the Life of the UNC/People's Partnership Government.  

The story continues that there is some kind of 'pumpkin vine' connection running through this story. If any or all of this is true, those of us heavily influenced by the OWTU experience would not be surprised. When he left the Union he was well rewarded; maybe he sees no problem spending that kind of money on a Dick. Spending tax payers money on a Dick is a load of bull! 
 
#3. Ian Alleyne: As if Trinidad and Tobago's roads were not hazardous enough, we now seem faced with another threat a species of low flying corbeaux doing highway patrols. Recently, we were treated to the abuse of a live broadcast of an accident victim, still strapped in his seat and clearly in a state of blood soaked shock. Information on the identity of a fatality was also broadcast. This is done by the police in accordance with certain protocols. Most carnivores at least wait until the creature/prey is truly carrion. They hover but do not pounce until life has left the body. We guess when you are trying to top your last load (live broadcast of a sexual assault) and you are chasing ratings, no holds are barred as you race to download. That is performance? What is in store next? Live broadcast of an autopsy? 

#4. Principal Ramdath: A Vice principal of a school goes on national media to state that his school is a 'breeding ground for criminals'. The sheer stupidity of the statement and the mind boggling admission that you have failed as an administrator almost defies comment. Whose school was/it? You failed to prevent it happening. If you saw this coming what did you do to deter it? Does one weed a ganja field make?  

About ten years ago, a crazed young man invaded the International School in Westmoorings, shot the security guard and was himself shot dead. The school has not turned out a posse of assassins and operates most tranquilly today. I guess they are still in business because you were not the Principal or Vice Principal. Of course you have put in for a transfer since you have managed to turn the school into a 'breeding ground for criminals' and want to go and do it in another school. After all fish rots from the head and' a house leaks from the roof' and breeding starts with the male sperm.  

I am actively campaigning for an annual "Load of Bull’’ recognition award ceremony. Winners, henceforth and thenceforth known as "Bullsh.......ers'' will be honoured at the Ministry of Labour towers in recognition of one individual who truly inspired the event. They will receive a plaque bearing their name and a citation indicating what they have done as proof that they are were and remain full of …Gobar! 
 

Please send in your nominations ASAP to kangaz@workersunion.org.tt

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