The rise of radicalism locally occurred during the period of the Labour Party regime of 1967 to 1972. It was a period marked by the decline of the Joshuas and political unionism [namely the Federated Industrial and Agricultural Workers Union (FIAWU)] and the rise of the Labour Party and an independent Commercial and Technical Allied Workers union (CTAWU). Between 1968 and 1979, radicalism flourished. In 1974, the radicals coalesced into The Youlou United Liberation Movement (Yulimo), which then metamorphosed in 1979 into the United Peoples Movement (UPM).
The story of local radical movement is being told by Cecil “Blazerâ Williams in his new book â “A Stirring of Radicalsâ. This novel offers a detailed analysis of the radical history of St Vincent and the Grenadines and the Caribbean region in the 1960s and 1970s with its connection to the wider world. This novel, which is humorous at times, is in the same tradition of excellence blazed by GCH Thomas for this multi-island state and hence is perhaps the most significant literary piece of post-colonial writing for nearly five decades. The author provides insights, though fictional, into the main personalities that the forged the radical movement. In essence, the work is autobiographical, since the author was integrally involved in the radical movement and steered the New Artiste Movement (NAM), the cultural arm of the radical movement. This is a must read if you are interested in politics, trade unionism, popular culture or international relations. This work is a good example of why many historians insist fiction can be history: that âfiction is the repressed other of historical discourse.â
Cleve McD Scott, PhD
Historian and cultural critic