RC priest: No problem with NJAC

Candidate for Laventille West (N.J.A.C) Makandal Daaga

Candidate for Laventille West (N.J.A.C) Makandal Daaga

RCs scoff at PM’s demand for Daaga apology
Members of the Roman Catholic Church are distancing themselves from comments made by Prime Minister Patrick Manning that Makandal Daaga should apologise for his role in the 1970 desecration of the Cathedral in Port-of-Spain.

RC priest: No problem with NJAC
Senior member of the Roman Catholic Church, Monsignor Christian Perreira, said yesterday that there was no indication that National Joint Action Committee’s (NJAC) action in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception during the 1970 Black Power uprising was considered as a ‘desecration’ of that sacred place.

A message to the contenders
At this stage in Trinidad and Tobago’s history, politicians should be well aware of the dangers of using race and religion to win votes. Alas, many words to the wise have not been sufficient. People’s National Movement (PNM) leader Prime Minister Patrick Manning in one evening managed to invoke both bogeys: first, by using the term ‘her own kind’ in reference to Kamla Persad-Bissessar; and then by warning Christians to be wary of United National Congress (UNC) coalition member Makandal Daaga because of the alleged desecration of the Roman Catholic cathedral 40 years ago.

Daaga: PM offered me Chaconia Gold
Prime Minister Patrick Manning had offered National Joint Action Committee leader Makandal Daaga, the country’s second highest award – the Chaconia Gold — “a few years ago”.

Black Power Catholics
“I am a Black Power Catholic!” This is how “teacher-calypsonian” Chalkdust (as the press had taken to calling him) described himself back there in the steaming 70s when Makandal Daaga’s National Joint Action Committee (NJAC) brought tens of thousands into the streets to protest entrenched white privilege in Trinidad and Tobago.

Making daggers at Daaga
NATIONAL Joint Action Leader Makandal Daaga on Wednesday night thanked those who have risen to his defence after he was dealt some jabs by Prime Minister Patrick Manning on Tuesday.

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‘Manning distorting events of Black Power in 1970’
Deputy political leader of the National Joint Action Committee (NJAC) Embau Moheni says Prime Minister Patrick Manning on the campaign trail is misrepresenting the events of the 1970 Black Power movement.

4 Responses to “RC priest: No problem with NJAC”


  • Thank you Fr. Pereira, you are a man of peace and truth.

  • Mr. Manning’s ongoing assault on Daaga is part of the same old PNM political tactic of misrepresenting African issues in order to get people to distrust NJAC. The Catholic Church would not want Africans to revisit the Church’s role in the enslavement of Africans and in upholding the colonial system. They will not be pleased with how Manning is trying to use them to further divide and inflame people along racial and religious lines.

    I have concerns with Mr. Makandal Daaga’s involvement in the coalition.

    It is all good and well to be part of an alliance to remove the Manning-led PNM (a step in the right direction) but, at the same time, Makandal Daaga should articulate what he expects of this coalition and what are the issues he has placed on the table for them to address. He has to justify his presence there apart from wanting to see the back of Manning and his vainglorious and wasteful practices.

    In this coalition we have an idea what UNC is about in terms of wanting to remove the PNM and to become the major player in government. COP is another party that believes they can govern better (we are familiar with many of the COP people in recent politics). We know about some of the MSJ’s positions on labour; they have been politically active for a while. Garvin Nicholas moved from being a counselor with ambitions of becoming a minister and hopefully, with a miraculous turn in fortunes, to become the Prime Minister one day. Stephen Cadiz, well, hmm…wants to be a political powerhouse on his own (generally vague except in wanting the government to “do something about crime”.) And so far, all I know of NJAC’s involvement in the coalition is to remind us of the significance of 1970 which is in itself important. However, it is not sufficient as there are many concerns within the African community that should be put on the table.

    The African agenda has to be well-articulated as Daaga’s involvement could facilitate improvements in education, in the way the state media operates and in race relations. Daaga must be encouraged to raise the issues that represent the broad base of African interests so that his involvement in the collation can impact, for the better, the wider community. He must not remain a symbol that the UNC can use for this election only to be sidelined afterwards.

    Nonetheless, with all my reservations about the coalition, Patrick Manning must go!

  • ‘Making daggers at Daaga
    Keino Swamber Chief Reporter Friday, May 7th 2010
    NATIONAL Joint Action Leader Makandal Daaga o Wednesday night thanked those who have risen t defence after he was dealt some jabs by Prime Minister Patrick Manning on Tuesday But Daaga (Christian name Geddes Granger) told supporters at a United National Congress (UNC) supporters at a United National Congress (UNC) meeting at Harris Promenade, San Fernando, that he….’

    No Keino, not ‘Christian’ name, but SLAVE NAME (Title). And he is Chief reporter too.
    The Chief servant wants me to support Kamla.. but I am sure he would not put his life into the hands of ‘our’ notorious Indian doctors with all the the allegations of GENOCIDE (Singing Sandra was not the only one to raise this flag) against African people in T&T.
    Mr. Manning may not be the brightest bulb in the house, but he knows it’s better in Cuba.
    Daaga, show me your physician and I will tell you who you are.
    Oh gwad boy, at least uh cudah look into these allegations of Black women tubes being tied at the maternity ward. Yuh kno Keino dem eh go do it.

  • Daaga paved way for Manning
    Raffique Shah, 1970s army mutineer, is calling on Prime Minister Patrick Manning to apologise for saying he doesn’t know from where the UNC “dredged” up Makandal Daaga, leader of the NJAC. “It’s a disrespectful and derogatory statement and a bad example for our children. Daaga is a hero in our country,” Shah said. “Daaga has made a significant contribution. That’s why Manning and others with him can be where they are today.” Shah, who met Daaga during one of his two six-month stints in prison for acts during the Black Power Revolution, recalled: “We never had a close associaton. “I was part of the army mutiny in 1970 and he was on the streets. “1970 triggered mass social and economic changes in the country.”

    Black Power storms the Cathedral
    It’s odd that Prime Minister Patrick Manning should suddenly bring up a 40-year-old incident involving Makandal Daaga that has all been but forgotten-the February 26, 1970 Black Power march on and entrance to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on Independence Square, Port of Spain obliquely opposite the building that houses the Trinidad Express and TV 6.

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