Saturday, December 03, 2011


A little over 28 years ago the United States of America invaded the tiny island of Grenada according to Ronald Reagan either to save a bunch of medical students who didn't realize they needed saving, or to put a stop to the expansion of the islands airport by those nasty Cubans who no doubt planned to use it to invade Texas (Apparently no one told Ronald that Cuba is only ninety miles from Florida while Grenada is much, much further away).  Of course, it was about more than that.

I was in Grenada a few years after that.  It is a wonderful place with the aroma of spices filling the air.  The people are incredibly friendly and the concept of the mightiest military power the world has ever known living in fear of a new airport (which I landed on and is exactly like the airports on most every other Caribbean island), in so much fear that it needed to launch an air and naval invasion, well, seemed to border on the insane.

But again, that isn't what it was about.

Anyway, first I am going to present you with the Manifesto of the New Jewell Movement from the Grenada Revolution Online.  The New Jewell Movement was something the United States couldn't tolerate.  You can guess why.  After that you will find a piece I found at Black Commentator.

The Manifesto of the New Jewel Movement

[Administrator's Preface]

The New Jewel Movement Manifesto was issued late in 1973 by the New Jewel Movement party of Grenada. The Manifesto was presented at the Conference on the Implications of Independence for Grenada from 11-13 January 1974.

Many believe the Manifesto was co-written by Maurice Bishop and Bernard Coard. According to Sandford, in August 1973, “the NJM authorized Bishop to enlist the services of Bernard Coard in drafting a manifesto . . .” In 1974 Coard was part of the Institute of International Relations and would not return to Grenada to take up residency until September 1976; nevertheless, he traveled between islands. When an unidentified author was writing on "The Unity Question", that author stated:

In October 1973, our "Manifesto for Power to the People", after months of discussions with our Groups and broad membership and after formal approval by our Co-ordinating Council of Delegates, was distributed to the public.

Scholar Manning Marable asserts this: “The NJM's initial manifesto was largely drafted by MAP's major intellectual, Franklyn Harvey, who had been influenced heavily by the writings of [CLR] James.” Another influence is attributed to Tanzanian Christian Socialism. Still another influence is TAPIA of Trinidad. Tapia House Printing Company printed the report on the Conference on the Implications of Independence for Grenada from 11-13 January 1974.

Below is a combination of the text from versions of the Manifesto with keyboarding input and site maintenance, including expenses, by the administrator of,
Preface ©2003-2010 Ann Elizabeth Wilder. All rights reserved.
The Manifesto begins with this introduction:




The people are being cheated and have been cheated for too long--cheated by both parties, for over twenty years. Nobody is asking what the people want. We suffer low wages and higher cost of living while the politicians get richer, live in bigger houses and drive around in even bigger cars. The government has done nothing to help people build decent houses; most people still have to walk miles to get water to drink after 22 years of politicians.

If we fall sick we catch hell to get quick and cheap medical treatment. Half of us can't find steady work. The place is getting from bad to worse every day-except for the politicians (just look at how they dress and how they move around). The police are being used in politics these days and people are getting more and more blows from them. Government workers who don't toe the Gairy line are getting fired left and right.

Even the magistrates better look out!"

The government has no idea how to improve agriculture, how to set up industries, how to improve housing, health, education and general well-being of the people. They have no ideas for helping the people. All they know is how to take the people's money for themselves, while the people scrape and scrunt for a living.

We believe that the main concern of us all is to (1) prevent the daily rise in prices of all our food and clothes and other essentials (it is unbelievable but that the price you can get for a pound of cocoa can't buy a half-pound of fish) and (2) develop a concrete program for raising the standard of housing, living, education, health, food and recreation for all the people

The present situation we face is that we are forced to live in jammed-up, rundown, unpainted houses without toilet and bath, without running water, very poor roads, overcrowded schools where our children can't get a decent education, and without any proper bus service. There is almost no ambulance service in case of illness. We can't afford the cost of food to feed our children properly and this makes it easier for them to catch all kinds of illnesses. There are very few places near home for recreation. All we have is the rumshop to drown our troubles. It's almost impossible to buy clothes or shoes these days. The prices are ridiculous.

Twenty years of the GNP and the GULP have made us believe that there is no way out of this blasted mess. BUT THERE IS, and the time is NOW to do something about it.

What we want to do in this Manifesto is to give a rough idea of a way out. We can start by looking at some of the ways in which we can set about to wipe out poverty in Grenada.
Thus ends the Introduction to the 1973 Manifesto of NJM. The rest of the document is lengthy. It can be accessed by way of the following links:

The High Cost of Living
Social Planning and Health
Agriculture, Fisheries, Agro-Industries
Carriacou: The Forgotten Island
Building Our National Economy - A quote from this section put many people in a panic - "This means that a first priority must be the complete nationalisation of all foreign-owned hotels as well as foreign-owned housing settlements, such as Westerhall."
People and the Law
People's Assemblies for Power to the People
Regional and International Affairs
Independence - A comment for reparations appeared in discussion of the February 7, 1974 Independence from Great Britain. The Manifesto says this: "Also, in our negotiations with the British on the question of independence, we could have demanded from them an independence payment of at least one hundred million dollars as partial reparation to make up for some of the money stolen from us and the exploitation, human misery, suffering and degradation we have endured at their hands over the last 400 years."

In the Independence part of the Manifesto, the qualities of leadership is discussed; for example - "Leadership instead should regard itself as the servants of the people, and must aim at destroying the relationship of master and slave, employer and employee and of destroying the whole class relationship in our society."

Towards the New Life and New Society - In this closing section, a tentative plan is stated: "The NJM proposes to hold in the near future a National Congress of the People to work out the best strategy for taking power." A change reads like this: "To create the new life for the new man in the society, it is necessary that we reject the present economic and political system which we live under."

The paragraph about democracy in the New Society is as follows:

"The new society must not only speak of Democracy, but must practise it in all its aspects. We must stress the policy of "Self-Reliance" and "Self-Sufficiency" undertaken co-operatively, and reject the easy approaches offered by aid and foreign assistance. We will have to recognise that our most important resource is our people."


Remembering Grenada
Worrill’s World
By Dr. Conrad W. Worrill, PhD Columnist


Given the current media attention being given to the war against terrorism, African people should not forget significant events in our history. One of the events we should not forget is the United States invasion of the island of Grenada. The Caribbean island of Grenada has virtually been banned from international news coverage.

It was twenty-eight years ago that Grenada was a major international news item as a result of theUnited States invasion of this African island of 110,000 people on October 25, 1983.
The headlines of the October 26, 1983 issue of the New York Times was the following: “1,900 U.S. Troops, With Caribbean Allies, Invade Grenada and Fight Leftist Units; Moscow Protest; British Are Critical.”

Just as we observe the United States destabilization tactics in the Middle East today, these were the same tactics used in Grenada twenty years ago.

These tactics go something like this: Since the African people cannot govern and rule themselves; we must come to their aid in a humanitarian manner. We must provide them with food and other necessities of life. We must identify or create allies among the African people and create an atmosphere of support for the efforts of the United States to bring peace, harmony, and stability to the African people. Does this sound familiar? Obviously, the majority of the people in the Middle East opposes these tactics and is rebelling against them, just as the people of Grenada resisted the United States invasion twenty years ago.

I began writing my weekly column twenty years ago because of what we, in the National Black United Front (NBUF), observed as the continuing white supremacy policies of the United Statestoward Grenada, the New Jewel Movement and its leader Maurice Bishop.
This is what I wrote in my first column that appeared in the Chicago Defender on October 24, 1983:

***“The Black Liberation Movement worldwide is deeply saddened by the death of Grenada’s Prime Minister, Maurice Bishop. Mr. Bishop, along with other Grenadian Officials, including Education Minister, Jacqueline Creft, Housing Minister, Norris Bain, Unision Whiteman, a former foreign minister, Secretary of Home Affairs, Vincent Noel and union leader Fitzroy Bain were killed by the new army forces on October 19 in a demonstration to free hundreds of Grenadians who were arrested because of their support for Mr. Bishop. These supporters had been placed in detention in Fort Rupert Army Headquarters, named after Rupert Bishop, Maurice’s father.”

As I continued to write in this first column, “This Caribbean identity simply means the interconnectedness of the African experience that resulted in millions of African people being captured and brought to this region of the world during the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade of the fourteenth through seventeenth centuries.”

Further, as I explained in this column, “This area of the world is predominately African and the people in it have been struggling against white domination in an effort to achieve independence and sovereignty. Grenada under the leadership of Maurice Bishop was a shining example of an African government and nation seeking independence and sovereignty.”

There are many lessons that the invasion of Grenada taught us. Lessons that continue to plague the worldwide African Liberation Movement that are steeped in the efforts of the white supremacy forces to always find some African person or persons to keep us divided and fighting each other, rather than focusing on and fighting the real enemy.

In the case of Grenada, an African man with whom Maurice Bishop had practiced law and who became the Deputy Prime Minister, was the chief architect of Maurice Bishop’s and the New Jewel Movement’s overthrow that provided the open door for the United States’ invasion of the island.

As I wrote twenty years ago in my first column, and as so many had stated before me, “The real question for the Black Liberation Movement worldwide is when will we stop killing each other over political disputes? This was clearly a political dispute between different forces within the New Jewel Movement. All factions had pledged a commitment to bring about change for the people of the island, and Bishop was beginning to bring about that change as the popular outpouring of support for him during the fighting intensified. Did someone want that change to stop?”

In the same context I wrote, “One thing is certain; African Movement forces must find political solutions to political disputes. Killing each other is not the answer to changing systems that are exploitive of our people.”

We must always remember Grenada and the words that Maurice Bishop spoke at Hunter College inNew York on June 5, 1983. Maurice said, “Our people, therefore, have a greater and deeper understanding of what the revolution means and what it has brought them.”

The people of Grenada and the New Jewel Movement will return, as all African people will once again find our place in the sun. Even though it appears to be bleak, we must continue to struggle and move forward. Columnist, Conrad W. Worrill, PhD, is the National Chairman Emeritus of the National Black United Front (NBUF). Click here to contact Dr. Worrill.

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