Basseterre, St. Kitts, January 30, 2018 (SKNIS): Reflecting on the Buckley’s Riots of January 1935, Senior Minister and Minister of Labour the Honourable Vance Amory, encouraged everyone to view the events as a revolutionary act which “changed the way workers and employers began to look at each other.”
“I feel we have to go beyond calling it an uprising because what happened in January 1935 really turned things around for the entire Caribbean and perhaps the world. I want to put forward for us today that we need to now stop looking at it in that limited way,” said Minister Amory during a recent commemoration ceremony at Buckley’s Estate. “Sometimes we don’t see the impact of what we have done in the Caribbean to influence world thinking.”
Minister Amory said that it is important to speak and think positive while celebrating the achievement of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis’ democracy coming out of the Buckley’s revolution, as the ideas behind the uprising were ideas for growth, development and the salvation of the nation.
“Whenever we speak, we must seek to speak in a manner which adds to the debate rather than create further conflict. We must speak about matters of national interest, matters of regional interest and matters of worldwide interest,” he said.
The senior minister said that the Buckley’s revolution signalled for the people on the estate to unite for a single common purpose for a better condition, which is still present today and which redounded to the benefit of many.
“There are opportunities and reasons for us to establish what we want to accomplish as a people in community and find the common ground to make representation for these matters in unity, unity of purpose, of people, of individuals. Each one coming together with the other one spreading the message that the time had come for them as people to stand up, rise up and claim a better day for themselves,” said Minister Amory.
He implored citizens and descendants of the heroes, both males and females of the Buckley’s Uprising, to begin to change the focus of their minds. He encouraged them to engage themselves in positive debates as the Buckley’s Uprising was for a positive outcome which was accomplished.
The Buckley’s Uprising of January 28, 1935, at Buckley’s Estate St Kitts, is one of the most defining moments in St. Kitts and Nevis’ history, in terms of advancing the social, political and economic betterment of nationals.
According to data from http://www.historicbasseterre.com, eighty-three (83) years ago, workers marched around the island from estate to estate protesting for bonuses to be paid. Armed forces attempted to direct the crowd away from Buckley’s on to the main road. However, the police were unable to control the crowd after repeated warnings, shots were fired and three men namely, Joseph Samuel, John Allen and James Archibald lost their lives, while eight others, including two females were injured.