Wednesday, November 12, 2014


Grenada: South of St. George
A People's Revolutionary Army soldier on patrol

Okay, this will be a little different.  I used to do announcements in the old Oread Daily (which was the predecessor of Scission).  Haven't done that for a long while, but am doing so today.  You don't have much time to read this and then get your ass in gear to check out the event below.

I remember Grenada.  I know it is still there, but I remember the Grenada of Maurice Bishop and the New Jewel movement.  Ah, what they were trying to do there was so good.  Of course, the USA and our "so beloved" ex and dead President Ronald Reagan would/could have none of it.

There was a strange coup, a USA invasion, murder, lies and deceit...and it was done.

Yes, I remember the days of solidarity with the New Jewel movement and meeting a representative of the revolutionary, truly peoples government of Grenada right here in Kansas City.

I actually visited Grenada a few years later.  Such a small beautiful island nation with wonderful, warm, friendly people.  I remember seeing a boat of the dangerous Grenadian navy that had threatened the USA.  I believe it was sort of wooden...not to big.  I remember landing at the famous airport that the Cubans had helped build and that Reagan had claimed was to be like some staging ground for an attack on the USA...or something.  It looked like every other airport in the Caribbean.  I stayed a few hundred yards from the school that housed those famous medical students that needed rescuing by the armed might of a superpower.  Are you kidding me?

From the page of Forward Ever (movie):

The invasion of Grenada by US-led forces in 1983 echoed around the world and put an end to a unique experiment in Caribbean politics.

The 1983 US-led invasion Grenada was criticized widely. The United Nations (UN) called for a cessation of the ‘armed intervention’. While, the UN Security Council stated that it ‘deeply deplores the armed intervention in Grenada, which statutes a flagrant violation of international law.’ 

The invasion echoed around the world and ended a unique experiment in Caribbean politics. 

Want to know more about the New Jewel Movement, read below and follow the links for more.  This is from a Scission article posted on December 3, 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.

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."
Anyway, I know there was some redundancy above (interesting since I wrote the first part without looking at the second part from the earlier piece). 

But now, get up off your ass if you are in the SF Bay Area and head on over to Modern Times Books for:

Grenada Revolution of 1979: Akinyele Sadiq's recollections plus excerpts from the new film, "FORWARD EVER: The Killing of a Revolution"

Wed, November 12, 6pm – 9pm

MODERN TIMES BOOKS, 2919 24th St., San Francisco

Grenada 1983: Prime Minister Maurice Bishop and a number of his colleagues were machine-gunned to death. Their bodies were never found.

Akinyele Sadiq will share his experiences and host a showing of the new film, "FORWARD EVER: The Killing of a Revolution," by Bruce Paddington. It is the most comprehensive film to date examining the Grenada Revolution of 1979, its many successes, its internal conflicts, and Ronald Reagan's decision to destroy tiny Grenada's independence. Reagan's invasion on October 25, 1983, was designed to terrorize and discourage international attempts at socio-economic self-determination, revitalize jingoism and militarism among citizens of the USA, and clear the way for attacks on Panama, Nicaragua, the Middle East, and elsewhere. Thirty-one years later, the world is still paying the price for Reagan's policies and illegal actions.

Sadiq and his family moved from San Francisco to Grenada in March, 1982, and lived and worked there for nearly two years, witnessing the coup and the invasion. Sadiq and his son returned to Grenada for the first time last October--the 30th anniversary of the invasion--and he has personal and political insights to share.

Sadiq is the founder and director of The Troublemakers Union, artists who create and promote "international music for human rights." He has worked as an elementary school African history and Caribbean music teacher, and as a producer at KPOO-FM, SF Public Access TV, and at Radio Free Grenada in the East Caribbean. In all of his work, he strives to demonstrate the collective, co-operative nature of artistic creation and the historical connections between world cultures.

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