SVG

Social activist Caspar London dies after battling diabetes

In this Aug. 10, 2000 file photo, Caspar London, centre, is seen with Shelley Clarke, editor of the News, left, and lawyer Cecil “Blazer” Williams, a columnist with The News. (Photo: Duggie “Nose” Joseph)

In this Aug. 10, 2000 file photo, Caspar London, centre, is seen with Shelley Clarke, editor of the News, left, and lawyer Cecil “Blazer” Williams, a columnist with The News. (Photo: Duggie “Nose” Joseph)

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, April 16, IWN — Social activist Caspar London died at 11:15 p.m. Thursday, one day after his right leg was amputated in his fight against diabetes-related conditions and a heart ailment.

He was 68.

London died in hospital in Kingstown but had earlier travelled to Cuba for medical treatment, where other complications were diagnosed.

He was a columnist with The News newspaper.

Political activist Jomo Thomas, a columnist with The Vincentian newspaper, told I-Witness News that London was an anti-imperialist, anti-colonialist force, who taught him Marxism.

London’s defiance in the face of a beating by of heavy-handed police officers during a visit of Princess Margaret of Britain to this country left a last impression on Thomas, who was then a boy.

Thomas, who was in primary school when the princess visited, said that students lined the Richmond Hill Playing Field and London and others protested the presence of the princess in this country.

“The state took unkindly to that and beat him. London, in defiance, held on to his placard no matter what the police did,” Thomas said.

“That was my earliest impression of him as an anti-colonialist, anti-imperialist fighter,” Thomas said of London, whom he also described as “the bravest man I ever met”.

He further said he and London were involved in the Youlou United Liberation Movement (YULIMO), a Marxist-Leninist political movement here that emerged in the 1970s.

The two were also involved in the publication of the “Freedom” and “Justice” newspapers in the 1970.

Thomas said that many people do not know or might have forgotten that London contested the North Windward seat for the United People’s Movement in 1979.

“He was a very highly opinionated man who came from humble beginnings. In fact, I am not sure he ever attended secondary school,” Thomas said.

He said London read a lot and had an expansive library.

“He was one of the more enlightened voices and has a clear understanding of the world. He was uncompromising when it came to the oppression of black people,” Thomas further said.

“St. Vincent is a little smaller because of his passing,” he further stated.

Correction: In an earlier version of this story, we quoted Thomas as saying London was the “greatest” man he had ever met. Thomas actually said London was the “bravest” man he had ever met.
Advertisements

Discussion

8 thoughts on “Social activist Caspar London dies after battling diabetes

  1. I knew Casper London from a very early age and that acquaintance emerged because he was like a fixture at my father”s Tailorshop on Back Street opposite the Sardine”s Bakery where he actually learned the trade of Tailoring. Casper as mentioned by Jomo was a very strong anti-imperialist and anti-colonialist and suffered at the hands of our Police at the demonstration held during that protest on the visit of Princess Margaret. I was a student at the Grammar School and many students witnessed that dehumanising beating and dragging of Casper on the pitch just outside where the Curriculum Unit is now located. I remember when the first African Liberation Day rally (subject to correction) was held on the Bridge near to where Spirit Cottle has his plant shop with drummers making their chants and Casper was one of the main organisers . The Rally was “mashed up” by the Police and this was in 1972. He was a member of OBCA-Organisation of Black Consciousness Awareness., BLAC -Black Liberation Action Committee, YSG-Young Socialist Group, YOULIMO- Youlou United Liberation Movement, UPM- United Peoples Movement,UPM- United Peoples Movement, MNU- Movement For National Unity and a founding member and chief architect of the NPWU- National Progressive Workers Union which was based mainly in the North Windward area .Casper and my father were great friends and I was happy when he did an article on my father before his passing on25th July 2011. May his soul find eternal rest.

    Posted by Aubrey Burgin | April 16, 2013, 08:12
  2. The only Prime Minister of SVG(CATO)who committed atrocities against his own people is now being considered for National Hero Status. Chatoyer, Joshua and others, fought for the rights of Vincentians, to not only organise, but also to ensure their freedom of speech, freedom to protest and freedom of conscience, while Cato on the other hand, unleashed the forces of the state on Vincentians who seek to excercise these unalienable, God given rights. Teachers and students tear-gased. Casper London, beaten, humiliated and dragged through the streets of Kingstown to apease the white colonialist(Princess Margaret), who enslaved our people. Who’s side was Magaffy on? This man does not deserve to be a national hero. That would be an insult to Vincentians and Chatoyer.

    Posted by D Eric Williams | April 16, 2013, 10:46
  3. Eric Williams, are you saying that CATO GAVE ORDERS to TEAR-GASED teachers who were PROTESTING PEACEFULLY?

    Eric, you spoke of “WHITE COLONIALIST,” but didn’t you SUPPORT the NO VOTE in the REFERENDUM EXERCISE, which LED to this BLESSED NATION RETAINING the OLD CONSTITUTION GIVEN to us by our FORMER COLONIAL MASTER, BRITAIN, in 1979, with the QUEEN of ENGLAND as the HEAD of STATE??

    Since you want to give the IMPRESSION that you’re an ANTI COLONIALIST, we should then CONCLUDE that you OPPOSED JAMES MITCHELL, ANHIM EUSTACE and the NDP, and that you SUPPORT Dr. RALPH GONSALVES and the ULP.

    Moreover, you should SUPPORT MILTON CATO for NATIONAL HERO STATUS, because he was the FATHER of the NATION. He was the LEADER that FOUGHT for the INDEPENDENCE of our NATION from our FORMER COLONIAL MASTER, BRITAIN, and so BECAME OUR FIRST PRIME MINISTER.

    By the way, ET JOSHUA and James Mitchell wanted us to remain a COLONY of BRITAIN during our fight for INDEPENDENCE from BRITAIN..

    Posted by VINCYPOWA | April 17, 2013, 11:58
  4. How could you possibly insult Chatoyer, he sold out Saint Vincent to the French. He lost his followers their homeland. He kept and worked slaves, was a French citizen and was appointed a General in the French army, and spoke French more fluently than English. His children had a French education in Martinique.

    All of this is true but hidden by the ULP regime, how can such a man be a hero?

    If you want to know the whole truth about the man, I will write a letter and give you all the references to evidence.

    Look for yourselves, some of the evidence is held by the University of the West Indies.

    Posted by peterbinose | April 17, 2013, 14:49
  5. Milton Cato hated Marxist’s and said so. He was a socialist but not a communist and particularly not a Marxist or Leninist.

    He did not like Gonsalves or any of the left wing communist cronies in SVG at that time.

    Perhaps he was much wiser than his time.

    Posted by peterbinose | April 17, 2013, 15:00
  6. I HOPE CASPER ADE HIS PARTH STRAIGHT THE ALMIGHTY FOR ALL THOSE THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS HE COLLECT AS SALARY FROM THE LABOUR DEPARTMENT WHERE HE ALLEDGELY WORK AND NO ONE EVER SAW HIM.

    Posted by Isola Ollie | April 17, 2013, 22:36
  7. Whats more using the name London gave the city a bad name.

    Posted by peterbinose | April 19, 2013, 13:02

I-Witness News’ tweets

Archives

%d bloggers like this: