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Disturbing HistoryResistance in Early Colonial Fiji$
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Robert Nicole

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780824832919

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824832919.001.0001

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Everyday Resistance on the Plantations

Everyday Resistance on the Plantations

Chapter:
(p.159) Chapter Six Everyday Resistance on the Plantations
Source:
Disturbing History
Author(s):

Robert Nicole

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824832919.003.0006

This chapter examines the everyday forms of resistance that laborers used between large conflagrations within Fiji’s plantation microcosm. Because the bulk of laborers on Fiji’s plantations were Indian indentured immigrants, the chapter examines the particularity of their everyday lives and the forms of protest that derived from this experience. Beginning with the spectacular forms of retributive violence laborers used against plantation authorities, this chapter explores physical violence as the point at which resistance was forced outside “normal channels” by aggrieved laborers against their immediate superiors, against other girmitiyas, and against themselves. It then examines various “weapons of the weak” such as evasion, absenteeism, desertion, sabotage, and petitions. The chapter ends with a discussion of the role of religion and education as instruments by which laborers contested the fate of perpetual bondage reserved for them by plantation and government authorities.

Keywords:   plantation workers, Fijian plantations, Indian laborers, worker resistance, religion, education, Fijian laborers

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