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 81 thru 82. - THE NEW JEWEL MOVEMENT

81. Other references to the operation of the police aides will occur from time to time in the course of this report but insofar as the terms of reference enjoin the Commission to consider also the operation of the Police Force during the period January 1, 1973 to March 29, 1974, it might be convenient to postpone particular consideration of that aspect of the matter until examination is made of -

  1. all the circumstances leading up to the arrest and charging of six persons on Sunday, November 18, 1973; and
  2. the circumstances of the riot in St. George's on Monday, January 21, 1974.

All six men arrested are members of the New Jewel Movement. It is therefore helpful to know something about the establishment and development of that organisation in the politics of Grenada.

82. The last General Elections in Grenada were held in February, 1972. The Grenada United Labour Party [GULP] of which Mr. Gairy is the leader won 13 of 15 seats in the House of Assembly. Of the two seats won by the Grenada National Party [GNP] one is held by Mr. H.A. Blaize, whose ill health has precluded effective participation by him in parliamentary affairs. The holder of the other seat resigned subsequently and the seat has since been won at a bye-election by a member of the ruling Grenada United Labour Party [GULP].

Evidently, the Grenada National Party [GNP] has its strongest support in the island of Carriacou and, generally speaking is not a significant entity in the political life of Grenada.

Shortly after the General Elections a small group of people in the parish of St. David's started the Jewel Movement - JEWEL being the acronym for Joint Endeavour for Welfare, Education and Liberation. The Jewel Movement organised a library at Requin in St. David's, it established a co-operative farm; and it published a weekly newspaper. Its members travelled around Grenada in an effort to rally popular support.

Another organisation called MAP - Master Assembly for the People merged with the Jewel Movement early in 1973 and formed the New Jewel Movement which allegedly dedicated itself to the educational benefit, welfare and liberation of the people of Grenada.

An incident of murder soon brought public attention to the New Jewel Movement. A man named Jerry Richardson was murdered at Grenville. His relatives sought the assistance of the Movement. The New Jewel Movement buried Jerry Richardson and staged demonstrations demanding the arrest of the murderer who was a member of the Royal Grenada Police Force.

Their demonstrations included an attempt to block air traffic at Pearl's Airport when a detachment of police went into action with rifle fire to prevent the demonstration from invading the airport and runway.

Eventually, after a lapse of about five months during which an inquiry was held by a police officer from Trinidad and Tobago, the policeman responsible for the death of Jerry Richardson was prosecuted, convicted and sentenced for the murder.

Certainly, from May, 1973, the New Jewel Movement was considered by the Government as a significant anti-government political movement with subversive intentions.

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