“Every man is his own leader and we are leaderless” — this was the organizational principle voiced by the Afro-Guyanese bauxite mine workers in the democratic councils and mass assemblies that characterized the bauxite strike of April 1970.
Originally published in 1972, Eusi Kwayana’s The Bauxite Strike and the Old Politics examines the struggle for workers’ control in what was Guyana’s soon-to-be-nationalized bauxite industry. Kwayana’s account of these events underscores the workers’ conviction that “nationalization without workers’ control and workers’ self-management is a fraud.”
This revised second edition includes an introduction by Matthew Quest, a biographical sketch of Eusi Kwayana, and an appendix of rare documents published by ASCRIA (African Society for Cultural Relations with Independent Africa). Over thirty leaflets, pamphlets, essays, editorials, and newspaper articles have been reprinted in this volume, documenting the struggle for workers’ self-emancipation in Guyana from the bauxite strike of 1970 to the sugar workers’ rebellion of 1974.
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Praise for Eusi Kwayana...
“Eusi Kwayana’s, The Bauxite Strike and the Old Politics is a classic document of the Caribbean. … Very nicely re-introduced by Matthew Quest, the work makes clear the strong claims these movements made regarding the self-organizing capabilities of workers. Further, it sheds great light on the roots of the post-colonial crisis of governance in the region, which has only gotten worse since the time during which Kwayana wrote this penetrating text. A must read for all who are thinking about the rebuilding of a global Left movement.”
— Paget Henry, Sociology and Africana Studies, Brown University.
“The republication of Eusi Kwayana’s Bauxite Strike and the Old Politics … could not be more welcome forty years after its first introduction and impact. In a state of affairs in Guyana today where the ‘old politics’ is very much alive, Kwayana’s [work] … is as relevant as ever.”
— Nigel Westmaas, Africana Studies Department, Hamilton College.
“The new edition of Eusi Kwayana’s The Bauxite Strike and the Old Politics … is a well-written account of struggles against injustice, oppression, and corruption in Guyana’s post-independence era.”
— Jerome Teelucksingh, University of the West Indies, Trinidad & Tobago.