The Bauxite Strike

LMN is delighted to announce our second Resisting Mining Book Club of 2024 with guest speakers Matthew Quest and Ryan Cecil Jobson, who will be speaking about Eusi Kwayana’s classic work The Bauxite Strike and the Old Politics (AK Press, 1972) and its resonance for contemporary movements against extractivism in Guyana and across the Caribbean today.

About the book:

Originally published in 1972, Eusi Kwayana’s The Bauxite Strike and the Old Politics, offers profound lessons for class struggle in a multiracial society that remain urgently relevant today. A product of Guyana, and a classic of Caribbean radical history, The Bauxite Strike examines the struggle of Afro-Guyanese mineworkers in what was the soon-to-be nationalised bauxite industry, as they faced off against the racism and sexism of the Canadian-owned aluminium firm, ALCAN, the class collaboration of the Guyana Mine Workers Union (GMWU), and the hostility of Forbes Burnham’s government toward their self-organisation and self-emancipation.

Kwayana’s work leads us to reconsider the nature of representative government and electoral politics. Through engagement with Guyana s bauxite workers, Black Power became synonymous with Black workers’ control. This new edition documents Kwayana’s fight against government corruption, his participation in Guyana’s cooperative movement, and his facilitation, in 1973, of a multiracial rebellion of landless sugar workers.

Matthew and Ryan will give an introductory lecture which will be followed by a Q&A. You do not need to have read the book to attend this meeting. However, if you want to read it, there is a PDF available for all registered attendees ( Clash! Voices for Caribbean Federation from Below is available here:  

About the speakers:

Matthew Quest is an independent scholar of Africana Studies, World History, and political philosophy. He has taught African, African American and Caribbean History at universities including Georgia State University in Atlanta, and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He is known as a scholar of the legacies of CLR James, and is an editor of Clash! Voices for Caribbean Federation from Below, a collective of writers who advocate for Caribbean unity and federation from below.Ryan Cecil Jobson is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Chicago and a social critic of the Caribbean and the Americas. His research and teaching engage issues of energy and extractivism, states and sovereignty, climate and crisis, and race and capital. His first book, The Petro-State Masquerade, is a historical ethnography of fossil fuel industries and postcolonial state-building in Trinidad and Tobago. He is also an editor of Clash! Voices for Caribbean Federation from Below.