Clement Payne and the Barbados Riots of1937

Donnelly, F. K.
March 1990
Labour History Review (Maney Publishing);Spring90, Vol. 55 Issue 1, p35
Academic Journal
This article examines the role of labor activist Clement Payne in igniting the Barbados riots of July 1937. The causes of the troubles in Barbados, as well as in other parts of the British West Indies in the 1930s, were entirely economic in origins. In the spring and early summer of 1937 Payne, who described himself as a socialist and labourite, began organizing workers and holding mass meetings. The colonial authorities therefore kept Payne under surveillance and were looking for some pretext to curb his growing influence. They decided to deport him on the ground that he had made a false declaration of his place of birth on entering Barbados in 1937. The next day there were serious outbreaks of violence in Bridgetown, in part touched off by false rumours that the police had killed Payne's child.


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