The Grenada Revolution Online

The Truth of the Revolution
by Stran Phillip

The tract below was most likely issued and circulated in Grenada during January, February or March of 1980. The original is part of the Grenada Documents collection, microfiche DSI-83-C-012515. The list of those who took part in the attack on the True Blue Barracks on 13 March 1979 is not to be taken as accurate as there are varying accounts of the participants.

List of Men who took part in the attack on the True Blue Barracks

Hudson Austin Benjamin
Stran Phillip Lester Redhead (Goat)
Victor Husbands Baptiste
Keith St. Bernard* (Patch)
Ian St. Bernard Russel Lambert
Ian Gulstan David Lambert
Neil Noel Jean Cornwall*
Basil Gahagan Gregory Modeste
Edwards (Eddy)* Winston Grimes
Percival Roberts* Leroy Paul
Raphael Roberts* Jim
Ventour (Chalky)* Louison*
Layne (Headache)* Rudolph Ogilvie
Daniel Bruno Bruno
Hearn Bruno Hughie Romain
Stroude* (Egg mouth)
Simon Daniel (St. Davids)


This is Stran Phillip's list . . . maybe true, maybe not.

[Hugh O.] Keith St. Bernard plus Percival and Raphael Roberts were later held in Richmond Hill Prisons as detainees. Ventour's first name is John; Layne's first name is Ewart; Stroude's first name is Christopher; Louison's first name is Einstein.

Others, including nicknames on the list, are undetermined at this time.

Most likely the person listed as Jean Cornwall is a typographical error. Leon Cornwall took part in the attack on True Blue Barracks.

Recall that the Radio Station and the Central Police Station were also attacked on the morning of 13 March 1879. Stran Phillip only points to the squad at True Blue barracks in the list above.

Other NJM luminaries - Vincent Noel and Liam James had been released by Police and Military Force officers on 12 March 1979 from 48 hours without being questioned. They had been apprehended as part of the home searches Saturday 10 March of Maurice Bishop, Hudson Austin, and Kenrick Radix [who were not at home], Noel [who was at home] and James [who was at Bishop's house]. Even if nothing was found in the home searches, police were ordered to arrest anyway under the counsel of Senator Derek Knight. The reason given for the arrests of Noel and James was for smuggling arms into the country and in possession of subversive material, respectively. On Sunday 11 March, 1973 the home of Unison Whiteman was searched while he was out of his home, and the home of Bernard Coard was broken into and searched when no one was at home.

An informant is highly appreciated for giving the information below:

*Edwards(Eddy) in the list above is Alister Edwards, deceased, a school teacher at the St. George's RC Boys School, who suffered a stroke later that year. He was treated and partially rehabilitated in Cuba. On his return to Grenada he was not allowed to resume teaching.

Additional information welcomed.

[Stran Phillip's text continues]

Less than half (1/2) of these have made any progress since the revolution. The others have suddenly become bourgeois.

Friends, Brothers and Sisters. This is the true story of the revolution. My name is Stran Phillip. I'm not fooling you. My life is at stake today because I would not stand for "bramble" from anyone. I led the squad that overthrew a legal government in Grenada and put the Jewel in because we thought we could do better.

Free Grenada is just a joke. Now we are in slavery. All our criticisms of the Gairy government were just to take his place, so we are right back to the 'Animal Farm'. Read this book by George Orwell and you'll understand what is our destiny.

Most of the 'Comrades' (see Animal Farm) who are trampling Grenadians today were afraid to attack the barracks at True Blue. We could have written papers for years and years and Grenada would never have been a revolutionary country. But I, Stran Phillip, did it with a few people, who wanted justice for Grenadians. Most of those who fought are now "scrunting". If this is justice, I'll like to see the unjust.

Most of my friends who were foundation members of the Jewel movement, now The New Jewel Movement, are either isolated or imprisoned, removed because they were too concerned about Grenadians, too intelligent and so were a challenge to the leaders today.

My problem is, what will happen to Grenadians after I die. Most are afraid to speak out. If you examine the socialist block you'll see what happened to Cuba 20 years after its revolution. That's why they run for rescue to the Peruvian Embassy to go to the same America which they criticised before. Right at this time more than ten thousand (10,000) Cubans are waiting for evacuation from the Socialist Block. Is it this Grenadians want? I thought they would develop their own system, one suited for Grenada and not swallow another's 'hook, line and sinker'.

Because I'm not so daft and can't say yes to everything, and see the dangers ahead which my Brothers and Sisters will have to face later on, that's why my life is at stake today with the pigs (remember Animal Farm).

There is no personal gain in this for me because I spent 20 years overseas and was able to build my own home. The same home which became the meeting place for the "big boys" today. I had to send my two children, Dennis (12 years) and Maraline (14 years), and wife, Verona, away. My wife is not a Grenadian and so did not understand the struggle here. They had to grow without a father at the time they needed one most. I was here taking on the struggle. Yet toady it's said that I sent them away to protect them.

I joined my family for one year and while I was away with them I was asked to return (see letter attached [letter not available]). I did not have to if I wanted to protect my family or myself. I could have stayed away and returned after the revolution 'to reap the harvest' like many others did. But, I wonder if there would have been any fight without me, I wonder.

Those who trample Grenadians today were so scared, they were trembling and almost waited the night without fighting. Now they call themselves Captains, Majors and Colonels.

If I did a crime to Grenadians it was not done intentionally but out of love for the majority and not out of hate. I was used. What I see happening today made me realise that I was fooled and brambled by the so-called leaders today. Ask, who is man to judge man again?

I received six to eight phone calls threatening my life. I tried to get to the Comrade leaders but could not. The same individual who frequented my home, called me at any time - night or day - especially when in trouble. The same person whom I told "I hope when we take over you'll remember this old house at Mt. Airy and the same phone you used to call". But today they are impossible to contact. You try more than ten times in one day and there is always an excuse - there is no communication.

People came here and asked questions and I gave them information because I wanted to find out the source of the threats, only to find they came from the so-called Government. Brothers and Sisters I hope you understand why I'm willing to shed my blood for you. Don't laugh because tomorrow it's yours.

In one year, one month and few days we

(1) we had more gifts, grants and money than Gairy had in 25 years. Yet, the roads, water, agriculture and everything else stand still. We criticise self help and a lot of other things that Gairy used to ask Grenadians to do but today we beg more. Why? This must be because more than 1200,000 could be spent on the repairs of one house. So, you understand why the road can't be repaired. This progress we think Grenada is making is backwards and not forwards.

(2) The Torchlight was closed and freedom of speech removed from all Grenadians. It was alleged that everyone is free to talk, but when they do so they are detained for destabilising.

(3) A new petit bourgeois has emerged. Houses are taken from citizens and the old government buildings are renovated for the politicians. Hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent on these buildings, fencing themselves off from the people.

(4) No transport could be found for agricultural projects, but dozens could be obtained for security - only to be destroyed overnight.

(5) In the year of education and production, indeed, there is greater emphasis on education, but it's only political. How to defend the revolution and how to live in a revolutionary society.

(6) We criticised the bad conditions of the roads before but today it's worse and nature takes the blame - rain.

(7) The agriculture department is worse than in Gairy's days. The attitude is 'what can be left for tomorrow don't do it today'.

All the free points and places of interest are cut off from free Grenadians because of charity guns. Thousands and thousands of Grenadians would like to say the same things as I have but can't because of charity guns. But guns can't stop people who want to be free. We were free before, much freer. Gairy was bad, very bad, but the New Jewel is worse, much worse.

Is it necessary to have two hundred and fifty (25) Cubans to build the airport when all we needed was the technical expertise. We have truck drivers and heavy equipment operators right here in Grenada. We don't need soldiers from abroad to do this kind of work. So it's another bramble. No work for Grenadians but for those who say "Free Grenada, free women and free food".

Look at some of the brambles Grenadians have received so far.

(1) Low cost housing that never started.

(2) Resurfacing of the Eastern Main Road.

(3) Jobs at the new airport construction site.

(4) Lowering of food prices.

(5) More jobs for Grenadians but foreigners and chiefly women (single and divorced) are getting the best while the Grenadians are retrenched and surcharged.

The same friend I used to know took the government (tax payer's) car and gave it to his daughter to drive. Because people complained they took it back but the people already see his tendency.

Gairy was criticised for his several trips abroad but today everyone is out with his troup of advisors and security. Most of the Ministers just misuse public funds. In one year they turn 'big pappy'.

Brothers and Sisters this is only part of my statement to you. There are many other things which you would not read in this statement. Sorry I cannot say more at this stage because this was hurried to let you know why they want to silence me and what is happening in Free Grenada.

Backward ever, forward never is this regime.

[Handwritten signature - Stran Phillip]

There are different spellings of Phillip's name - Stran or Strachan. In the document above which looks to be signed by the author, the signature is written 'Stran Phillip' and the spelling of his name throughout the document is 'Stran Phillip.' Because "Strachan" is a common family/last name in Grenada, one will find spellings of Stran Phillip with this variant, IF this is indeed Phillip's signature.

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