The rise and fall of Chess

When the history of the Trade Union Movement in Grenada is written by future scholars, the name Chester Arlington Humphrey would deservedly be among the list of Comrades to be recognised for the important roles played on behalf of the Working Class of the country.

No one can deny that Comrade Chester has been a significant and huge figure in helping to advance the cause of workers over the past 35 years in Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique.

The Brother also played his part in helping the New Jewel Movement (NJM) of Maurice Bishop, Bernard Coard and Unison Whiteman to chart the 1979-83 Grenada Revolution after the armed uprising against the Eric Gairy-led Grenada United Labour Party (GULP) government.

And certainly within the past 20-years, Chess was in the forefront of the anti-Keith Mitchell and NNP struggle by those who wanted to see the country move in a much different and better direction.

THE NEW TODAY would identify him as among any three persons in Grenada who can be singled out between 1995 and 2008 as participants in that particular battle.

Comrade Chess along with the likes of former Opposition Leader Michael Baptiste and attorney-at-law, Anselm Clouden were able to articulate the issues in such a way that the ordinary man could have understood the ills in the Grenadian society under the NNP.

It was a sad day for Grenada and the Trade Union movement to witness the public humiliation of the Brother by the workers of the country last Thursday when the workers celebrated May Day at the national stadium.

The man who was so loved by workers especially in the past 20 years was booed, heckled, jeered at and virtually insulted by the same workers who had stood up with him over the years in so many struggles and battles.

The writing was on the wall for Brother Chess especially after the fall-out within the ranks of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) among the forces loyal to Peter David, Nazim Burke and former Prime Minister Tillman Thomas.

The once powerful President-General of the Technical & Allied Workers Union (TAWU) is seen by many as the main strategist and brain behind the backers and supporters of David.

However, Chess has made the same cardinal sin and error committed by the revolutionaries who moved against their own Comrade Leader in October 1983, killed him and others and opened the door for the U.S and Caribbean forces to bring an end to the near five years of Marxist experiment in the Spice Isle.

The common factor among the leftist forces is that if they cannot control “the thing” then they will mash it up.

Brother Chess has sent a clear message in recent times that he intends to go all out to ensure that Congress never rises again in this country and more so that the new Political Leader, Nazim Burke to be totally locked out and shut out from the Prime Ministership of the country.

This is an issue that is totally beyond the control of the TAWU boss. The same workers who publicly humiliated Chess last Thursday will decide the fate not only of “Naz” but the current Prime Minister and all those with an eye on the top job within the Botanical Gardens.

It is an impossible task to get the TAWU President-General to understand and come to terms with the reality that the workers were always prepared to go the extra mile with him as a trade union leader but once he put on the political hat for battle the game was all over for him.

What this newspaper is clear about is that Brother Chess’ destiny is in his hands and it is up to him to take action to avoid future public humiliation and embarrassment by the workers of the country.

He needs to re-arrange in his own mind – if that is ever possible – that a large cross section of the Working Class now view him as selfish, egoistic and a sell-out to the very man and his troops that he waged such a fierce battle against in the past to help bring him down in 2008.

Indeed, politics can make very strange bedfellows to the point that the old adage is so true that there are no permanent friends and enemies in the game called politics.

THE NEW TODAY would also like to use this opportunity to express its abhorrence at the execution of a leading attorney-at-law in neighbouring Trinidad & Tobago at the hands of criminal elements in the twin island Republic.

It is quite chilling to think that those who are behind the slaying of Dana Seetahal S.C
will now target officers of the court for whatever reason.

This newspaper would hope that this was a mistake hit and certainly a one-off killing and not a change in strategy and tactics by the criminal elements in Trinidad to now target lawyers, judges and other officers of the criminal justice system.

It is a crime that has to be solved by the law enforcement officers in that country and to bring to justice all involved – not only the gunman and those who were inside the two vehicles that did the hit but the real masterminds of the plot.

The reaction up and down the region to the unfortunate killing of Ms. Seetahal is quite understanding given the fact that she had touched the lives of so many of the younger

Our heartfelt sympathy goes out not only to her family and loved ones who are now in mourning but to the entire population of Trinidad and Tobago.

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