Coup d'état -School Cancelled (13Mar, 1979) – Grenada, W.I.

March 13th 1979 …This was the day of the bloodless Coup that took place in Grenada, West Indies.    I will tell you about my day that day -or just a small portion of it.

My brother and I walked to school everyday and March 13th was a Tuesday and we arrived at school right on time maybe even a little early to find only a handful of students and teachers there and a bit of a hush as the Headmistress and teachers talked in hushed tones.  Eventually we were informed that we needed to go back home because there would be no school for the day as there had been a Coup overnight.

We walked back home and told our parents that school had been cancelled because there had been a Coup.  They didn’t believe us and insisted that we go back to school.  We weren’t in the habit of lying to them but I guess this just seemed too unbelievable.  We finally convinced my dad to turn on the radio.

There was no TV back then and the only radio was from a few am radio stations that were local to the island.  Sure enough, the news confirmed our story.  My dad stayed home from work and we all listened to the radio and the news most of the day.

 

13 March 1979,
 Radio Free Grenada,
Maurice Bishop, Address to the Nation


Maurice BishopBrothers and Sisters,

  This is Maurice Bishop speaking.

  At 4.15 am this morning, the People’s Revolutionary Army seized   control of the army barracks at True Blue.

 The barracks were burned to the ground. After half-an-hour  struggle, the forces of Gairy’s army were completely defeated, and  surrendered.

Every single soldier surrendered, and not a single member of the  revolutionary forces was injured.

 At the same time, the radio station was captured without a shot  being fired. Shortly after this, several cabinet ministers were captured in their beds by units of the revolutionary army.

A number of senior police officers, including Superintendent Adonis Francis, were also taken into protective custody.

At this moment, several police stations have already put up the white flag of surrender.

Revolutionary forces have been dispatched to mop up any possible source of resistance or disloyalty to the new government. I am now calling upon the working people, the youths, workers, farmers, fishermen, middle-class people, and women to join our armed revolutionary forces at central positions in your communities and to give them any assistance which they call for.

Virtually all stations have surrendered. I repeat. We restress, resistance will be futile. don’t be misled by Bogo DeSouze or Cosmos Raymond into believing that there are any prospects of saving the dictator Gairy.   

Eric Gairy, apparently sensing that the end was near, yesterday fled the country, leaving orders for all opposition forces, including especially the people’s leader, to be massacred.

Before these orders could be followed, the people’s revolutionary Army was able to seize power. This people’s government will now be seeking Gairy’s extradition so that he may be put on trial to face charges, including the gross charges, the serious charges, of murder, fraud, and the trampling of the democratic rights of our people.

In closing, let me assure the people of Grenada that all democratic freedoms, including freedom of elections, religious and political opinion, will be fully restored to the people.

The personal safety and property of individuals will be protected. Foreign residents are quite safe and are welcome to remain in Grenada. And we look forward to continuing friendly relations with those countries with which we now have such relations.

Let me assure all supporters of the former Gairy government that they will not be injured in any way. Their homes, their families and their jobs are completely safe, so long as they do not offer violence to our government.

However, those who resist violently will be firmly dealt with. I am calling upon all the supporters of the former government to realize that Gairy has fled the country and to cooperate fully with our new government. You will not be victimized, we assure you.

People of Grenada, this revolution is for work, for food, for decent housing and health services, and for a bright future for our children and great grand-children. The benefits of the revolution will be given to everyone regardless of political opinion or which political party they support.

Let us all unite as one. All police stations are again reminded to surrender their arms to the people’s revolutionary forces.

We know Gairy will try to organize international assistance, but we advise that it will be an international criminal offence to assist the dictator, Gairy. This will amount to an intolerable interference in the internal affairs of our country and will be resisted by all patriotic Grenadians with every ounce of our strength.

I am appealing to all the people, gather at all central places all over the country, and prepare to welcome and assist the people’s armed forces when they come into your area. The revolution is expected to consolidate the position of power within the next few hours.

LONG LIVE THE PEOPLE OF GRENADA! LONG LIVE FREEDOM AND fwdDEMOCRACY! LET US TOGETHER BUILD A JUST GRENADA!” 

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Community lost without swift response (Daily prompt use it or lose it)

Use It or Lose It

Communities are seeming like a lost art in the hustle and bustle of daily life in this ‘civilised world’.

How civilised are we if we don’t know our neighbours. Do you know yours?

We need one another all the time but sometimes it is only in an emergency when we truly feel and recognise the neighbourly love and care that could be felt every day.

harbor_ovrlkI’m grateful to live in a close nit community where we do know and care about one another on a daily basis. We have no security here, no emergency services within close reach. We do have one another and the care and compassion and challenges of this knowledge.

Use it or lose it is the subject of this daily prompt and I for one find that it relates to using or losing our sense of community. Love is meant to be shared and if we don’t use and express the love and caring for our neighbours and neighbourhood before you know it though we have people living next door we have lost our real neighbours and community.

It was a quiet night. Nothing out of the ordinary. I was at my computer working on some sort of mindless project or perhaps a mindful project… then I thought I heard the distinct sound of two cats at each others throats wailing their dominance. It was high pitched and brief but enough of a commotion in our quiet harbour community for me to go to my door and look out and listen … nothing. Nothing at all. My neighbour Ike in his boat berthed next to mine looked out at the same time and we commented that we had heard this commotion and then went back to our respective activities.

308266850_2404aab0e7_oWithin moments -we both heard it again. My view faced my neighbour, Ike so I was looking at one half of the harbour and his view looked the opposite way towards me and faced the other half of the harbour. This time the high pitched call remained long enough for us to hear it while we had our heads outside. Ike’s view suddenly brought perspective. He could see a few docks over and saw the flames erupting into the air as one of our neighbours floating homes was clearly on fire.

Ike yelled to me fire and we both immediately dropped what we were doing and raced out of our boats and over to the dock where the flames were engulfing the floating home. Seems at least 10 of us in the harbour had risen to the occasion and we were all scrambling to hook up hoses and get in position to battle the fire down. The emergency services had been called and were on their way but we are in a remote area and know that our first defense was in one another. I think we all felt the sense of emergency and the very real urgency. Wooden boats and docks are no match for an out of control fire so we could not let this fire get out of control.

I don’t think I ever really felt that we might never come back form this if not handled professionally and swiftly.  Somehow we are survivors out here so that frame of thought isn’t in the cards!

The fire had been started by a chimney fire and the residents of the house hadn’t even realised they were on fire till all the commotion began. They were still inside trying to round up their animals. My neighbour, Ike, had grabbed a few fire extinguishers from the dock and was inside the house dousing the flames at the source. Meanwhile our harbour master and owner Eric, had climbed up on the roof of the house and we had passed hoses to him so he could get the fire out from outside and keep it from spreading. With the team work on hand the fire was extinguished within probably 20 minutes though I think for all of us it felt more like a couple of hours.

firefighters2The fire department showed up in a timely manner considering our location and took over with the investigation and ensuring no further sparks etc. The fire department was there for a couple of hours probably but there were no more flames to extinguish and all was safe now.

The events related are true and took place about 12 years ago .. in 2002 or 2003

Inspirational neighbours laying the groundwork…

inspirationb
The Assignment today from Blogging 101
is to reflect on the inspirations you have gleaned from your neighbours here in the blogging world.  More specifically to use this post to respond to comments left on others blogs.  Although the assignment is specifically referring to comments I left yesterday, the 10th.  the fact is I have been commenting and reading a number of blogs and consider it only fitting that I make this posting in response to the inspiration I have gleaned from neighbours.

I have three blogs that come to mind, but for the moment I will just write about 1 of them and hopefully later on add to this post or create a new post regarding other inspirations gleaned!!

The one which I commented on yesterday that stands out is MeMees Musings her post was on diving into Social Networks.  I connected with her post on a number of levels.   First of all, I connected on a  visual level.  There was a picture of swimmers stretching in preparation of maybe diving or swimming.  I like swimming so I stayed to read.

I could relate to the some of the swimming analogy she presented, but the part that I really related to was her hours and hours of struggle over what seemed in theory a simple task at hand.  That’s the same thing I’ve been dealing with.  There have been no hard assignments and even the assignments she mentioned for herself (she’s in blogging 201) didn’t seem that hard until I considered trying to do those same assignments myself.  She mentioned one of the assignments he had had was  to ‘audit my brand’ and like her, I thought that wouldn’t be so hard.  Then I read the post she linked to as a good example and yes there it turns out there is far more to doing an audit than meets the eye and the ‘Juicer in chief‘ at the flavored lemons website definitely has a great example of truly auditing your work.

As much as I admire and appreciate the Juicer’s website, Memee’s website, is the one that started my wheels really spinning.  When I left my comment for her she replied in depth with some great tips for me to remember.  Key tip –‘always include myself as a part of the audience’.  I thought I was including myself in the audience…but then again, now that she’s mentioned it, maybe I’ve been too focused on engaging the visitor.  It is, as she mentioned, draining to put all the energy into writing for others.  When you truly write for yourself then, you are writing from your soul, and it is heartfelt and not as draining as trying to invest the energy into making others happy or pleasing others.  I don’t live my life trying to please others so there is no need to take an activity which I am enjoying, such as blogging, and turn it into the burden of pleasing others.

Engaging = Inspiration

Yesterday was spent reading & re-reading my neighbours blogs.  I found a number of new blogs to follow as well as some tags to keep an eye on.   In the spirit of the assignment I have come to realise as was stated in the assignment: ‘publishing is only half of blogging – engaging with the community is the other’.  The result of engaging = inspiration!

I thought I would summarise some of the blogs that have piqued my interest – in no particular order.

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