February 20th 2002, marks the 25th Anniversary of the passing of Tubal Uriah 'Buzz' Butler. Born in Grenada 1897 he died on Carnival Sunday, February 20th 1977.
Butler was a genuine grassroots person who took on the might of Colonial England and the local ruling classes. He came to the forefront in the 1930's in the Trinidad Oil Industry standing up for the rights of the workers, first in the Oilfields and then in the politics of the country.
He was jailed during the course of the Second World War and came out to form a political party which almost secured political power, but was denied from achieving such by an alliance of the Colonial Governor and local politicians.
Butler was associated with the Oilfields Workers Trade Union and his British Empire Citizens and Home Rule Party , but his most memorable efforts was his leading of the June 19th 1937 revolt general strike on behalf of the Trinidadian people, which also had a ripple effect throughout the Caribbean.
June 19th in commemoration of that Butler led event has now been made the public holiday of Labour Day, and although sick and bed ridden in his latter days, he remained defiant to the end. 'Buzz' Butler a true working class hero and a major contributor to modern day Trinidad.
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