Relatives and neighbors of carpenter Taranpersad Balkaran remained baffled yesterday as to how his house burnt flat in the dead of the night, with him still inside it.
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The bliss of snaking through Manzanilla’s coconut trees was enough to make the drive worthwhile, but the community spirit that I encountered in Mayaro was, unquestionably, the highlight of the day.
I was there to give a talk for International Women’s Day, being celebrated for the third year in this little corner of south eastern coast, adding to the other events happening all over the country all through March, and continuing to honour an agreement made by more than 100 women from 17 countries in 1910.
Always socialist in its politics, International Women’s Day originally aimed to strengthen women’s protests against exploitative working conditions, their participation in politics to advance their rights, and their knowledge of those women who came before, who unapologetically resisted regardless of what was expected of them because they expected more for themselves.
This Saturday was no different. Carla Walcott, granddaughter of Clotil Walcott, was there, continuing to call for domestic workers to be considered workers under the Industrial Relations Act and to labour under decent conditions of employment.
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