Exactly 40 years after his Black Power revolution was crushed, a triumphant Makandal Daaga last night acclaimed victory. "My dream has been fulfilled," Daaga said in his role as an aspirant in the upcoming general election. He declared that "never again would you be servants in your own country. This land is yours."
"Hope has been realised," Daaga told a public meeting at Fyzabad on a platform of opposition unity. Stating that in past years people were "treated like slaves," he added: "This is your moment."
He claimed "brutality" was meted out 40 years ago to Black Power marchers. "That must never happen again," he stated. Daaga spoke on the 40th anniversary of his arrest and that of 14 other frontline leaders of the Black Power campaign. Then-Prime Minister Dr Eric Williams called a state of emergency to restore social stability to the country. Daaga (formerly Geddes Granger) and his group had led a three-month movement for improved social and economic conditions.
His National Joint Action Committee, a pioneering group in the Black Power crusade, is a partner in the political unity arrangement that would be contesting the May 24 on a common ticket. The respective parties sealed their deal last night on the Fyzabad stage. Former labour leader Errol McLeod also took a political stand, and strongly criticised the Patrick Manning regime. "His days are numbered," said McLeod, who had previously spoken on several trade union platforms at Fyzabad, considered a symbolic home of the labour movement.