Keep in mind November
Each November, there are official ceremonies on what known as “Remembrance Day” in honour of those that died through the two world wars.
The emphasis is on those that fought and died however we should at all times discover time to recollect the tens of thousands and thousands who suffered and died because of fights not of their selecting and during which they didn’t take part.
We also needs to broaden our perspective to incorporate the tons of of thousands and thousands of these, particularly within the colonies of the warring nations – within the British Empire, in French colonies in Africa, the Caribbean and Polynesia, who suffered and died because of this. Most of the sons of those nations have been just about conscripted to go to the entrance strains in defence of the pursuits of their colonizers, however not permitted to combat on the identical stage as their white counterparts. Certainly, there’s proof that through the first world warfare, many Africans have been used primarily as human shields, cannon fodder, to guard the French troops.
Sport was additionally a giant casualty of the 2 world wars.
Three scheduled Olympic Video games, these of 1916, 1940 and 1944 weren’t held and the wars prevented the holding of Soccer World Cups which might have been held in 1942 and 1946.
As well as, numerous different sporting exchanges couldn’t happen and there was large injury to sporting amenities and infrastructure. All these are in addition to the general destruction of bodily infrastructure, the disruption of world commerce and many others. That’s what warfare means.
The one saving grace is that the warfare significantly weakened the colonial powers, enabling the calls for for independence from the colonies. Strive as they may, the colonialists couldn’t resist the calls for for an finish to the colonial yoke, not once they needed to depend upon the peoples of those very colonies to combat on their aspect of their dire hours of want.
India and Pakistan led the best way in 1947, however by the sixties a complete swathe of nations had raised their very own flags of independence.
Even within the Caribbean, Britain was pressured to reply to calls for for Caribbean unity and nationhood with a wishy-washy, ill-fated Federation in 1958 which lasted all of 4 years.
Nationwide independence for Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago adopted in 1962 and the remainder is now historical past. Solely the cussed French insist on holding on to colonies in Martinique, Guadeloupe and cayenne, however absolutely, their day will come too.
REMEMBERING OUR HEROES
With the point out of the battle for independence, self-determination and Caribbean nationhood, we should do not forget that this identical month of November marks the bodily departure of one in every of our anti-colonial heroes, George Augustus “Daddy Mac” McIntosh. He handed away of November 6, 1963. Subsequent yr will mark the Diamond Jubilee of his passing and early discover is hereby given to the federal government to prepare acceptable actions for the event. In any case, we can not nominate somebody for designation as Nationwide Hero and let events comparable to dates of start and loss of life, cross in silence and obscurity.
ANTIGUA’S TIM HECTOR
The mantle of nationwide liberation borne so bravely by the technology of McIntosh and his Caribbean colleagues of his period, was taken up within the 50s and 60s by a brand new technology all through the area.
Acknowledged by their promotion of black consciousness along with the anti-colonial campaigns, this technology got here to be recognized underneath the “Black Energy” banner.
Foremost amongst this new technology was Antigua’s Tim Hector, undoubtedly essentially the most excellent Antiguan anti-colonialist and Pan Africanist fighter. As November would have it, Tim, who fought a heroic battle in opposition to the excesses of the Fowl regime, and particularly stood up for press freedom and human rights in his nation, was born on November 24,1942 and died on November 12; twenty years in the past. As we speak, allow us to not solely bear in mind his phenomenal contribution, but additionally pay homage to him.
I conclude these tributes by remembering one other hero who departed in November as nicely. This one, not simply well-known as a Caribbean liberator, however extra so an enormous on the worldwide stage. He’s none apart from Fidel
Castro Ruz, chief of the Cuban Revolution who ranks in the complete historical past of this hemisphere alongside his Cuban compatriot, Jose Marti and Simon Bolivar, liberator of Venezuela, Colombia and Bolivia, as essentially the most excellent figures that Latin America has produced.
In reality, so important was his contribution that Fidel is taken into account in lots of quarters as essentially the most excellent chief of the complete 20 th century. Fidel handed away on November 25, 2016.
Allow us to honour him on the event!
It’s a pity that Vincentians by no means bought the honour and pleasure to welcome Fidel to our shores, however a minimum of subsequent month, we can have the honour of internet hosting the present Cuban president, Miguel Diaz-Canel. Allow us to all give him a welcome that displays our profound gratitude to the Cuban folks, their internationalist staff right here, the help and solidarity of the Cuban authorities over time, and the bonds of friendship between our two peoples.
l Renwick Rose is a group activist and social commentator.