Report of the Duffus Commission of Inquiry into the Breakdown of Law & Order, and Police Brutality in Grenada

Part III

The Royal Grenada Police Force and the Recruitment and Function of Police Aides

Paragraphs 83 thru 84. - The New Jewel's "Peoples Indictment" and Resolution of November 4, 1973

83. On November 4, 1973, the Movement held a political meeting at Seamoon near the St. David's police station. It was called a People's Congress. A resolution entitled "The People's Indictment" was passed. Whereupon Esley Carberry, secretary of the New Jewel Movement wrote to the Prime Minister, then Premier, and to all minister [complete line of text missing] of Government and Senators, calling on them to resign with effect from November 18, 1973, and he enclosed a copy of the resolution which was passed in the following terms:

THE PEOPLE'S INDICTMENT

WHEREAS a government can only rule with the consent of the people

AND WHEREAS a Government is the servant (and not the master of the people and is under a moral duty to carry out the wishes of the people)

AND WHEREAS the PEOPLE elect a Government to provide them with material benefits and to improve the quality of their lives

AND WHEREAS the PEOPLE expect to live free of fear, hunger, misery and exploitation

AND WHEREAS the PEOPLE have a sacred right to work in order to feed themselves, care for their families, educate themselves and them children, house and clothe themselves and obtain proper, adequate and cheap medical attention

AND WHEREAS the people are ALWAYS entitled to withdraw their consent and to remove a Government when it becomes clear that the Government is unable or unwilling to carry out their minimum wishes and supply them with their basic demands

AND WHEREAS the present Government of Grenada had demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt both its unwillingness and its inability to carry out the wishes of the people, many of which were stated in the Manifesto issued by the party of the Government in the last elections

AND WHEREAS conclusive proof of the inability and unwillingness of this Government to carry out its mandate to govern us according to our wishes and instructions is provided by the following MAJOR CRIMES committed by the Government against the people, to wit:-

1. The Gairy Government encouraged and openly condoned the murders of our citizens: viz. Bro. Jerry Richardson, Bro. Cummings, Bro. Lester Richardson, and Bro. Alister Saunders, among others.

2. The Gairy Government ordered or condoned the shooting of the ten peaceful and unarmed demonstrators who were protesting the murder of Jerry Richardson by a member of the Police Force.

3. The Gairy Government has been carrying out its plan to rule the people by fear thus hiring known criminals to brutalize people who are bold enough to oppose its corrupt Government.

4. The Gairy Government has been using methods of malicious arrests and arbitrary searches as a means of provoking and harassing opponents of its criminal Government in an attempt to stifle dissent.

5. The Gairy Government has squandered and continues to squander the people's money on dream projects employing political Civil Servants and squandering millions on unnecessary travel, arms and secret police while people are ketching hell to make a living.

6. The Gairy Government has abused our laws in seizing the people's co-operatives viz:. the Banana Co-operative and the Cocoa Association.

7. The Gairy Government confiscated the People's Radio Station, and turned it into a propaganda machine for its personal satisfaction and glorification.

8. The Gairy Government has not accounted for the spending of the people's money in the G.M. & M. W. U. from 1951 to today.

9. The Gairy Government must answer for the arbitrary dismissal of the brave and gallant nurses who protested against the appalling conditions which obtained at the General Hospital in 1970.

10. The Gairy Government victimized hundreds of persons in the Police, Civil Service, Estates, and among citizens generally since 1967 when it resumed office.

11. The Gairy Government has destroyed the Police Force, and turned it into a band of Legalized Criminals. It is Gairy who has sent known criminals to associate with the Police, to spy on them, and commit acts to belittle and embarrass them.

12. The Gairy Government destroyed Agriculture in the State. It did so by the acquisition (through spite) of highly productive estates and cutting them up into land for the landless scandal. It destroyed our Agricultural Stations, and Westerhall Farms bears testimony to this.

13. The Gairy Government has sold out all Government lands and buildings. Quarantine Station is gone. Even the Mental Hospital and Alms House lands are up for sale.

14. The Gairy Government has destroyed our Hospitals, and has endangered our health and lives with poor medical facilities; doctors are now afraid to remain in Grenada. There are no resident doctors in Carriacou, St. David's and Gouyave.

15. The Gairy Government has acquired people's property in an effort to deprive political opponents of their livelihood.

16. The Gairy Government has destroyed our roads. Our main roads are deplorable. Feeder roads can now be remembered.

17. The Gairy Government has refused to hold public enquiries into the wanton shooting of our citizens, and into other national disasters such as the sinking of the City of St. George, and into conditions in the Police Force, Civil Service and Prisons.

18. The Gairy Government has conspired with Brownlow and others to take away people's rights to La Sagesse and other beaches.

19. The Gairy Government has refused to pay its dues to the Secondary Schools and the Universities. It has insulted youth by demonstrating that the Secret Police came before youth.

20. The Gairy Government has transformed our democracy into a ruthless one-Man dictatorship. Gairy's dreams are our plans. The entire country is now run as his private estate.

21. The Gairy Government has enriched itself among other ways by taking bubul [salaries for which little or no work was done] salaries for the entire clique.

22. The Gairy Government has shown its complete contempt of and disregard for the people's wishes by its approach to the question of Independence.

23. The Gairy Government has done nothing to reduce the scandalously high cost of living and by its policy of raising taxes on the essential foods and other items like rice, flour and kerosene it has increased the level of poverty in the island.

24. The Gairy Government has increasingly been giving away our best lands to foreigners.

25. The Gairy Government was BORN IN BLOOD, BAPTIZED IN FIRE, CHRISTENED WITH BULLETS, IS MARRIED TO FOREIGNERS AND IS RESULTING IN DEATH TO THE PEOPLE.

26. The Gairy Government has made no effort to provide us with a sense of direction and a worthwhile sense of values.

27. The Gairy Government has consistently neglected throughout its years in office from 1951 onwards the basic needs of the people for decent housing, adequate clothing, reliable transport, cheap and high quality medical facilities, a better quality of education for all our children, the development (instead of destruction) of our Agriculture for us to feed all our people and the denial of the opportunity to work and earn a livelihood of over half of the people. These are the gravest crimes of which a Government can stand accused and be proved guilty.

AND WHEREAS the PEOPLE of Grenada have now decided that for the reasons given above we must decide on the best course of action now open to us to save Grenada.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that a Congress of the People Meeting at Seamoon on the 4th day of November 1973 has democratically and collectively agreed to take the following actions:

(a) To pass a verdict of guilty on the charges laid against this Government and to condemn this Government for irresponsibility, corruption, incompetence, inefficiency, breach of contract, and to pass a vote of no confidence in the Government.

(b) To call upon this Government to resign with effect from 18th November, 1973.

(c) To appoint a National Unity Council from among persons present at this Congress charged with the responsibility of implementing the decision taken at the Congress to remove this Government from office and to constitute a provisional Government of the People pending the call of New Elections by the Governor to elect a new Popular Government.

(d) To agree to use the New Jewel Movement's "Manifesto for power to the People" as the basis of a new plan that the new Government will operate to run the country.

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT COPIES OF THIS Resolution of the PEOPLE'S WILL be forwarded to the Governor, Premier and Cabinet as official notice of our decisions taken today.

84. The resolution called upon the government to resign with effect from November 18, 1973; but it did not say what should be done in the event the government did nor resign. The evidence of what was to be done appeared in the November 9, 1973 issues of the New Jewel. At page 12 is an article "From Congress to Power." An extract from that article reads as follows:

'How do we get rid of this Government?'

The National Unity Council chosen at the Congress has already sent letters to Gairy his 12 stooges in the House of Representatives and his 9 lackeys in the Senate calling on them to resign. A letter has also been sent to the Governor and we expect her to use her powers under the Constitution to make sure that the Government gets off our backs and out of our lives before the 18th.

Will the Government resign? Suppose someone hires you to paint a house, and instead of painting you begin to break the house down? Your employer will obviously fire you and find someone else to do the job. Will you then be able to say you are not going but you must be paid to stay on to finish breaking the house down? Obviously, you can only get on in this way if you are either sick, crazy or bold face. The question, therefore, is how many sick crazy or bold-face people are in the Government. How many of them are brave enough to defy the WILL OF THE PEOPLE and stand the consequences. The next couple of days will provide the answer.

But, what will happen if the Government is stupid enough not to resign? At this stage, no one can be certain. The Govt. has the power of the armed mongoose gang and a few police robots on their side. The People have the far greater power of truth, justice, determination and their far greater numbers and strength on their side. The People now know also that they have the majority of the Policemen on their side. The lessons of history are clean. Force of arms used by a Government can never defeat the combined might of a United People on the move. NEVER.

To show our determination and seriousness to rid ourselves once and for all of the plague of Gairy's dictatorship, WE, THE PEOPLE will shut down the island completely, refuse to work, refuse to pay taxes, come out in the streets in tens of thousands, inform the world of our struggle for freedom and, generally do everything necessary to save our island from total destruction. We are confident that this will happen because we can see, feel, sense, and hear the NEW FIGHTING MOOD of our people.

Gairy and his pack of paper tigers can NEVER STAND UP to our determination and seriousness. Neither tear-gas, nor searches, nor jail, nor guns can stop us. Killing the leadership of the NJM, locking up the members of the National Unity Council or brutalising individuals can no longer save Gairy from his destiny. It is much too late for that now, as the eyes of the people are fully open and RESISTANCE to Lucifer's oppression will be organised in a thousand different ways by people whose names are unknown and from areas not presently talked about. Lucifer is crazy to believe that the tide of history can be stopped by simply getting rid of leaders.

After this government is removed from power, the National Unity Council will consult with the Trade Unions, Workers and people of the State as to the timing for new elections to choose a new Popular Government.

We cannot lose. We will not lose. FREEDOM OR DEATH."

On page 15 of the same issue of the New Jewel appeared also an article entitled The Urgent Call the substance of which was to call upon all workers, farmers, students, teachers, businessmen, taxi-drivers, bus drivers, civil servants, policemen, to shut the island down, - in effect, it was a call for a general strike by all employers and workers. The document does not speak about violent revolution or armed combat but, as will be later seen, police activity, or the activity of certain policemen, designed as counter measures against members of the New Jewel Movement was intensified. Instead of tolerance, resort was had to terror and this, by early 1974, became reciprocal. The back page of the November 9, 1973, issue of the New Jewel carried by an advertisement the Movement's statement of intent:

'People of Grenada

Stock up with food

Prepare yourselves for the General Strike

This is a final showdown

Talk to every policeman you know

Make sure they stay home during the General Strike

This is a final showdown!

The ones we see out on the streets

We will know where they stand

Don't pay taxes

Don't collect goods from the pier

The treasury gets its money from customs

Organise for action wherever you are.'

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