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Renaud

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When the Second World War had started, the British and American governments made plans to build training bases on a few of the British West Indian islands. Two of these bases were told to be built on New Providence Island, the economic focus of the Bahamas; there was one in Oaks Field known as The Main Field and one in the west end of the island known as Satellite Field. The Project, as it was called, would employ over two thousand Bahamians. When the news about this employment opening was made known, many men from the faraway Bahamian islands flocked to New Providence, joining the already large labour pool that looked forward to the high income, which such foreign projects previously brought. This caused expenses of living to rise drastically. The income offered was not only lower than was expected, but there was an inequality of pay between Americans and Bahamians labourers employed at the same jobs. The men were disappointed but neither management nor government made any real steps to patch up the wage dispute. What started out as simple gears among each other turned out in to two days of confusion.

The riot was more than an inaccesible act of venting. On the date of June 1, 1942, just weeks after the Project had begun; laborers from both Main Field and Satellite Field marched to Bay Street. A violent disturbance of the peace by a crowd. The workers had then made loud remarks demanding higher pay waiting for admonishments to return to work. According to (virgilhenrvstorr.org) a source quotes "One of the white bosses wanted to check up on the labourers so that they should go back to work". The crowd said they would not go back until they had some main proof about the wages and they did not go back". The crowd marched to Bay Street carrying clubs and sticks and they gathered in Rawson Square across from Parliament. The crowd was outside the Colonial Secretary's office eager to put their claim for higher wages to someone in power. The members of the colonial government tried to calm down the crowd, promissing that if they dispersded and returned to work, their requests would be considered. The workers almost got the crowd of people to put away thier weapons and go back to work. They later told workers that if they dont return to work they would immediately be replaced by American workers. the crowd took this as a threat which later resulted to the workers taking matters into their own hands. the crowd of angry workers had later marched down to bay street taking their frustrations out on everything in sight. They moveed down the street smashing car windows and breaking storefronts. It was very difficult to determine which group of people was involved in the act. Apparently the group that took place in breaking store windows was not the same people that loot the stores. There was a portion of people that left the scene after pleading their case but many more stayed to show that they were serious about the situation. The scottish soliders who were placed in Nassau were brought in to clean the street of protestors. This procedure worked and by midday they managed to send most of the crowd over the hill back to their neighborhoods outside the city. The crowd decided to throw rocks at the officers who were holding them off. One rock hit one of the highlanders and knocked him unconscious. During the incident one man was shot dea, another shot and eventually died in the hospital, five men were wounded. It is possible that the crowd that rioted in Grant's Town were not from their settlement. As Alfred Mckenzie, a black merchant ho owns a store in Grants Town recounts, According to virgilhenrystorr.org a source quotes "I didn't recognize any one especially, I think there were just a few leaders and the majority of the crowds were looking for what they could get after the places were broken into." Men and women made up this crown. Whatever the work or source, the policeread the Riot Act about one o'clock in the afternoon, ten minutes after the incident at Cotton Tree, set curfew and left Grant's Town. With the police and the authority of law also the force of the curfew. After the forces withdrew, the crowd, many who by now were intoxicated, laid blockade to the Grants Town police station, set fire to a filling station, fire truck and ambulance, looted the post office and library and broke into many of the small neighborhood businesses. Rioting and raiding took place in this community all through the night. The police would later argue that their departure saved lives. The crowd was in such a disturbed mood, their commanding officer testified, that it would have taken extreme measures to contain them. According to Wikipedia.com a source quotes "that it would have taken extreme measures to contain them". The police therefore felt it was better not to be in a situation where they would be forced to fire on the crown. Although some citizens testified before the Commission that, if the forces had returned to Grants Town they could have easily pacified it without trouble, others reported According to Wikipedia.com a source quotes "that the mob was so drunk they could only have been pacified at a very considerable loss of life". The Commission observed that, in fact, only one person was injured in Grant's Town after the forces had been withdrawn and that was a rioter who was shot by a colored man in defense of his shop. A few shops, mainly liquor shops, were broken into but the amount of damage done, although significant, was not great. In Grant's town the rioting was not only more violent but also seemed to have been much more random than on bay street, there was a definite pattern to the stores that were destroyed and looted, there seemed to be nono in Grant's Tow, there was no listening to reason. Alcohol Abuse played a great part in violence and destruction that took place that evening. According to Virgilhenrystorr.org a quote states " Riots are often intoxicating because of the lure of carelessness and the freedom to act on the basest of desires". On June 2nd, a handful of businesses and residences were singled out for attack. Mr. George Cole's pharmacy located on Shirley Street was one of them. Cole was a white business man whose Grant's Town store had been destroyed that afternoon. A gang from Grant's Town marched to Shirley Street to loot the store. The Highlanders responded to the phone calls reporting the happenings at the pharmacy and were able to separate the crowd without incident.In Conclusion, The Burma Road Riot Which was An unplanned riot that took place because of The Labour Dispute That led to Many complaints of unsatisfied workers. As a result of complaints being not embraced by authority this led workers to go down to the main offices and make that which due to them be given.This Gathering in Public Square of over 400 frustrated workers broke out into a riot as someone threw a coca-cola bottle.The Riot Lasted 2 days And As A Result of The Riot 2 were Left dead and Approximately 25 injured.

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