Bukka Rennie launches 'History of Labour'
A new book on the history of the labour goes on the shelves this week with the launch of Bukka Rennie's latest work, History of the Working Class of Trinidad and Tobago in the 20th Century (1919—1956).
The book will be launched on Tuesday at 6.30 p.m. at Nalis, Port of Spain, adding another contribution to the the 75th anniversary of the birth of the Labour Movement in 1937.
Published by Majority Press 2012, Rennie's book cuts a broad swathe across the rise of the workers' movement in Trinidad and Tobago which led to the creation of mass political movement and the birth of party politics, a statement said yesterday.
Said the author: "It pinpoints how each new stage of development co-opted and corrupted the leaderships and demands of the previous stage; it examines the alliances with middle-class and professional elements that were forged along the way precisely because of the limitations inherent in the self-organisations thrown up by the working-masses themselves, until this very middle-class strata achieved critical mass, found their own voice, established their own distinct political platform with their own distinct objectives, and how in that process the salient demands of the working-masses i.e. mass democracy in context of a Caribbean Nation was betrayed and abandoned leading us to the present morass in which we find ourselves. This book is most relevant today."
Bukka Rennie was among the 41 Caribbean students to be jailed and expelled following the 1969 student protest against racism at Sir George Williams University (now Concordia) in Montreal, Canada. Rennie had completed two years' study in History & Political Science. Forty nine white Canadian students who had joined the protest were also jailed and expelled.
Since then, Rennie has refused to attend any university, including the University of the West Indies (UWI), even after the option to transfer credits was offered and accepted by others. He co-founded and edited UHURU, a Montreal Black Community-based newspaper. He returned to Trinidad &Tobago in November of 1970 and co-founded and led the New Beginning Movement (NBM) that published the newspaper, New Beginning which he edited until its cessation in 1978. From 1978 to 1983 he was invited by the leadership of the OWTU (Oilfields Workers Trade Union) to edit their organ, Vanguard. From then on he has managed a number of family-oriented businesses while working as a freelance columnist with both the Trinidad Express and the Trinidad Guardian newspapers.
(See columns at www.trinicenter.com//BukkaRennie.)
Copies of the book will be available at the launch at Nalis, Port of Spain, at a price of $160. It can be pre-ordered from The Blue Edition by emailing them at "email@example.com" or calling them on (868) 223-6921.