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SEDITION...WHAT IS OUR RESPONSE? by Rae Samuel

posted 31 Aug 2019, 18:19 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 31 Aug 2019, 18:54 ]

SEDITION

So the charging of Watson Duke on sedition charges raises a lot of fear and some ire. The groundswell of protest against this action by the State reminds working people how far the incumbent administration, beleaguered as it is, will go to intimidate the working class and others close to it.

The pattern continues. In the wake of the Petrotrin debacle and other subsequent mishaps the government has clearly lost it way and seems to be governing from crisis to crisis - national security, health, public service/s which is now in the gun sight, transportation, sport and culture. All sense of direction is lost.

The ruling class sees opportunity as the workers' movement, traditionally the front line and vanguard when defending our hard earned freedoms, is at the moment leaderless and rudderless. Thus, they increase their attacks because resistance is segmented and operates in silos. Look at what is happening at PTSC. On a weekend, on a public holiday, the management has decided to suspend bus services. Anyone who does not own a car, who cannot afford maxi fares, will suffer even more. This cannot be a management decision per se. The line Minister must have been advised. As some of the workers are suggesting, this may be another step in the privatisation process.

Where does the answer lie? Where does the answer not lie? It does not lie with any of the existing political Parties. It does not lie with all the fringe formations that have come to the fore in the wake of the political chaos that the PNM and UNC have occasioned. It does not lie with political leaders bleating on talk shows about the Prime Minister not listening to advisory boards on which they sat.

It lies with workers reaching out to each other within and without their workplaces and going around their corrupted leaders, especially ones who may belatedly recognise that no one is about to sell them an oil refinery, regardless of how many times they are easily

KING RADIO SEDITION LAW

fooled.

Other ancient laws will be dredged up. Other antiquated laws will be used against the movement. And of course there is always "The law must be obeyed because it is the law", which is what was said of the laws legalising slavery, religious discrimination, racism, gender bias, cultural repression and freedom of association and assembly. Hell, there are enough laws even without the Sedition Act and the Summary Offences Act, which, incidentally the National Workers Union, years ago, called for its repeal.

It would be funny if it was not so serious, but I remember covering a demonstration by the Steel Workers Union outside the Canadian Embassy 2016 on Christmas Eve. The workers led by then President Chris Henry moved on to President's House to deliver a letter. En route, walking on the pavement around the Savannah, a visibly upset police officer kept saying ''Walk in 2's…All yuh could walk but all yuh cyah march.'' They were not allowed to sing either.

Not all of us will be able to afford $250,000. Not all of us will be able to afford specialist medical care or astronomical legal fees. Not with the cost of school books, transportation, rent/mortgage, food and the like. Each one does what he/she can where he or she is. The silk cotton tree starts with a seed. We have to re-build the mass movement. We survive collectively or perish individually.
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