Question 3

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  • Topic: Women's suffrage, The Bahamas, Suffrage
  • Pages : 2 (648 words )
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  • Published : December 3, 2012
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Question 3
You are a member of the taxi cab union during the general strike of 1958. Give an account of your experiences during the strikes.

I remember it like it was yesterday the sun was shining and I was taking another group of tourist to the British colonial, my name is Jason Borrows and I’m the owner of taxi number 36. The Bahamas was just getting back on its economical feet until the General strike in 1958 is was as if battle lines were drawn between an unyielding authoritarian regime controlled by a monopolistic elite (who happened to be white), and a majority of deprived citizens who yearned for democracy and social change (who happened to be black). The Bahamas had just begun its development as a tourist playground and offshore financial center. In fact, only a few years before, the colony had been on the verge of bankruptcy with little prospect of economic advancement. But things were not as calm as they seemed on the surface. The British governor at the time described the ruling elite (which later constituted itself as the United Bahamian Party) as "recalcitrant, stubborn and politically obtuse...not very numerous, but extremely powerful in the material sense and pretty unscrupulous. Black Bahamians had been operating taxis since the 1930s, picking up cruise passengers from Prince George Wharf and air passengers from Oakes Field. As tourism began to grow in the 1950s and new hotels came on stream, a conflict developed over how this business would be shared between the white-owned tour companies and the independent taxi drivers who had their own union. The Meter Taxi-Cab firm is owned and directed by a family with considerable Bay Street interests and prominent in politics...This would have almost certainly ended in a monopoly excluding the taxi cab union entirely. Taxi drivers were understandably outraged. So on November 2nd and 3rd they blocked the airport with their cars, forcing airlines to cancel flights. The blockade was supported by airport...
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