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The views expressed are entirely the opinion of the writer

Remembering Dr. Walter Rodney - By Paul Tennassee


Thirty seven years ago June 14 at 1:00 am AM I received a call from Kojo Nnamdi (currently a very well known Washington DC-Metro Area Broadcaster), a member of the WPA DC Support Group, that Walter Rodney was killed on June 14th in Georgetown, Guyana. Then, I was living in Toronto and was attending York University. I also was leading the Guyanese Research and Representation Services (GRRS) and Editor of the Guyana Forum. I immediately begun to make calls and by daylight I had organized an ALL NIGHT VIGIL on the June 14th at a church in downtown Toronto to denounce the manner in which he was killed and to speak about his life and works.


GRRS was an independent organization that had groups organized in New York, Washington DC and Toronto. In 1979, Walter Rodney visited Toronto and asked for GRRS support for his party. He made it clear to us that in Guyana a successful revolution could be organized similar to the then successful one under Maurice Bishop in Grenada.
We did support the WPA externally from 1979-1981, but as an ideological and organizational independent group.
Before that meeting in Toronto. I had met Rodney in the 1970s in Toronto as part of the Association of Concerned Guyanese.

Prior to that, I met him in Guyana (1969 or 1970)at the home of Dr. Joshua Ramsammy when he met the RATOON GROUP. He was on his way to Tanzania. At that meeting, he told us that we should form a political party. Dr. Ramsammy agreed with him and was committed to doing that.

Then in 1976, I met him at his home and engaged in an extensive conversation. He was a very special human being; and in my opinion, he was a Nationalist-Grassroots-Populist, Pan-Africanist, Marxist and a Towering Intellectual who in the words of Ernesto Che Guevara would "lay down his life on any foreign beach for one pure ideal."

I am currently writing a book entitled: GUYANESE POLITICS: HOW WE ORGANIZED A GRASSROOTS THIRD FORCE-1979-1985. I will discuss in more depth my thinking about this outstanding Guyanese Revolutionary.
Paul Tennassee

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