Friday, November 14, 2014


Last March I posted  "THE UNFORTUNATELY NOT SO STRANGE CASE OF STACEY HYDE."  You should probably check it out before, during, or after you read the piece below. 

 I am following up on that case with a bit of better news for Scission's Cops and Jails Friday.

As I wrote back in March:

Stacey Hyde was seventeen when she killed a man.  No one disputes that.  However, Stacey Hyde does not belong in jail...which is right where she is....

During her trial, where Stacey plead not guilty on the grounds of self defense, the prosecution admitted to 27 separate incidents of domestic violence between Banwell and Francis, and also said there was evidence of previous violence committed by Banwell against other women.
At the time of the killing, Stacey was seventeen years old.  She had a history of mental health problems and abuse.  The man she killed, Vince Francis, was twice her age.  As Free Stacey Hyde writes:

Julia Hilliard of Justice for Women said “When you know about the circumstances of her case it is astonishing that Stacey was convicted of murder. She was a 17 year old girl with no previous history of violence – the man who died was a 34 year old man, with a long history of being violent towards women, and who was no doubt physically stronger than Stacey. She had injuries on her body, and there was also a recording of a 999 call made that showed that he was attacking her. It seems bizarre, when you hear these facts, that she was convicted of intending to kill.”

In the early hours of 4th September 2009, Stacey Hyde remembers waking up to hear her friend Holly screaming for help. In the events that followed, which Stacey does not clearly remember, Stacey stabbed and killed Holly’s partner Vince. A 999 call made at the time of the incident records Holly screaming, “…my boyfriend is beating my friend… I need the police ASAP”. She is then heard saying “they are fighting”, and then she is heard screaming that “Stacey has a knife and has stabbed him”.

When the police arrived Stacey was very distressed, sobbing and saying “he tried to kill me…I had to help Holly…he was going to kill her…I thought he would kill me…”. She was found to have injuries, some of which were consistent with a forceful struggle with Vince.

Stacey said of her crime that “It was like I was trapped in my worst nightmare”.

Stacey was tried sentenced to life under an old law that does not allow for the loss of control caused by a fear of serious violence.  That law has since been changed.

Women and activists throughout the British Isles have been fighting for her ever since.  

Interestingly enough Karen Ingala Smith documents several cases of men treated much differently then Stacey for similar crimes.

In April this year, John Butler, 62, went to the flat of his former partner, Pauline Butler, 61, and stabbed her.  In his trial, Butler told the court that he couldn’t remember how the knife had ended up in his hand and that he had fallen after she had pushed him, causing him to accidentally injure her. The court heard that Pauline Butler had previously threatened him with a knife.  Of course, being dead, she wasn’t able to challenge his version of events.   Pauline had been found with a number of knife wounds to her neck, chest and back.  As judge, Mr Justice Edis pointed out, had Butler not wanted Pauline to die, he would have called an ambulance, rather than remove and wash the knife, take her dog to his home, drink a beer and smoke a cigar. Butler was found guilty of manslaughter, not murder, due to loss of control, and sentenced to jail for seven years in jail.

Sybil Sibthorpe was 80 years-old in May, 2012, when she was found in her garden with “significant” head injuries after being beaten by her former tenant Lee Grainger, 41.  Grainger pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility and was sentenced to 12 and-a-half years. According to the judge, Grainger was “a significant danger to the public”.

Adrian Muir, 51, killed Pamela Jackson, 55, by beating or kicking her head with such force that she suffered fractures to her skull and bleeding to her brain. He then drove over 120 miles before digging a grave in moorland and burying her with a bunch of flowers in a Tesco carrier bag. Muir initially denied murder and claimed he had been framed.  He posted fake entries from her Facebook page suggesting she was still alive. It took police more than two months before they found Pamela’s body in May 2013.  Muir’s fingerprint was found on the carrier bag inside her grave, and a CCTV camera caught him cleaning the back of his car in a supermarket car park.  He later claimed that she had attacked him, “like a bloody devil”.  Muir was jailed for 18 years, not for murder, but manslaughter.

Felipe Lopes, 26, had a six-year police history of violent assaults on women before being jailed for 12 weeks in 2012 after tracking down and assaulting an ex-girlfriend whom he had previously stabbed. Within two weeks of his release, in January 2013, he had beaten 23-year-old Anastasia Voykina to death with a hockey stick. Before he killed her, neighbours had called the police to her flat on two occasions, because, they said, his attacks on her were so severe, the building was vibrating. Judge Richard Marks said to Lopes: “There is no doubt in my mind you intended to kill her. You are and will remain for an indefinite time a significantly dangerous man, particularly to women.” Lopes pleaded guilty to manslaughter, not murder, on the grounds of diminished responsibility because of his mental health problems.  He was jailed for a minimum term of seven years and three months.

There is so much wrong demonstrated in the case of Stacey Hyde that even the stodgey old gomers with the wigs had to admit to it.

Yesterday, following full appeal hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice, Stacey’s appeal has been granted, her murder conviction has been quashed, and a retrial has been ordered.

Free Stacey Hyde!

The first article below is from the Guardian.  The second is from the Telegraph.

Behind Stacey Hyde’s conviction for murder is a failed mental health system

Stacey Hyde is a convicted murderer. In 2009 she stabbed Vincent Francis to death with a kitchen knife. Stacey had woken up after a night out drinking with her friend Holly. The man Stacey killed was Holly’s partner. Stacey was 17 years old when she killed Francis and, during her short life, had suffered systematic physical and sexual abuse and severe neglect.
Francis had a history of domestic violence towards Holly, and also towards a previous girlfriend. During the trial, evidence was presented that he had attacked Holly 27 times. The night Francis died he had beaten Holly, and Stacey was scared.
This vulnerable young woman was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder after her conviction and psychiatrist reports suggest she was suffering from borderline personality disorder and depression at the time of the stabbing. Stacey regularly self-medicated with alcohol, had self-harmed, twice attempted suicide, and had been raped on several occasions while drunk. Stacey’s personality and judgment had been shaped by abuse and neglect, and this, in turn, affected her judgment. The jury had an option of convicting Stacey of the lesser charge of manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility, but convicted her of murder.
Stacey’s vulnerability and mental ill health would have massively affected her ability to take proper responsibility for what happened that night, but despite the evidence pointing to this, Stacey was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.
Justice for Women, a feminist campaign group I co-founded in 1990, is supporting Stacey’s appeal against her murder conviction, and is hopeful that the judges who hear her case on Thursday will consider how she was affected by the abuse and mental ill health that plagued her life.
Emma Humphreys is another example of how sexual abuse, physical violence and neglect destroys lives. Emma, who died in 1998, also killed a violent man when she was 17, and had, like Stacey, been ignored and let down by the agencies and individuals that should have treated and protected her.

This disorder is understood to be closely linked to experiences of physical, sexual or emotional abuse, all three of which Stacey experienced. Despite the fact that suicide is understood to affect more men than women, women are more likely to attempt suicide than men. Indeed, suicide is now the leading cause of death worldwide of girls aged 15 to 19.

Women and girls who have been abused in childhood frequently use self-harm as a coping mechanism for the feelings caused by the trauma. It is usually a sign of their resilience that they resort to something that seems so extreme in order to stay alive and to cope. Stacey, like many other young women who have experienced sexual abuse and violence, regularly self-harmed.
Supporting Stacey to overturn her murder conviction and be released from prison is not to ignore or diminish the terrible consequences of her actions. A man lost his life, and his family and friends lost someone they loved. But this tragedy could have been avoided.
There is a serious lack of support provision within the mental health system for young women like Stacey. Women’s psychiatric services are closing, and while10% of the total NHS budget is spent on mental health, only 0.7% is spent on children and young people’s mental health, according to the charity Young Minds. More than 850,000 children and young people in the UK have been diagnosed with a mental health condition.
Since her conviction, new evidence has emerged that at the time of the offence Stacey was suffering from a range of psychiatric diagnoses. Had Stacey received the help she so badly needed during her childhood, this tragedy could have been avoided. There are thousands of Stacey Hydes out there who end up in prison, incarcerated and punished by a system that so badly fails them.
 The Rape Crisis helpline in the UK is 0808 802 9999

Should we have jailed this teen girl for life for killing a violent man?


Stacey Hyde was just 17 years old when she found herself under arrest for murder.
The Somerset teenager had been out drinking with her friend Holly Banwell, 27, when the pair decided to return to Holly’s flat, which she shared with her boyfriend Vincent Francis, 34.
Stacey remembers falling asleep and hearing Holly screaming for help. She knew that Vincent was violent – there had been 27 separate incidents of domestic violence between him and Holly - and she rushed in to the room.
She can’t remember exactly what happened next, but in a 999 call, Holly is heard screaming: “My boyfriend is beating my friend. They are fighting.” The pair ended up in the foyer of the flats – where a neighbour saw Vincent pull Stacey by the hair – but she broke free and ran back into the flat.
Stacey grabbed a knife and stabbed Vincent. He suffered 17 wounds, and when the police arrived, they found Stacey curled in a corner, sobbing: “He tried to kill me… I had to help Holly… he was going to kill her… I thought he would kill me…”
Less than a year later, Stacey was found guilty of murdering Vincent. At the age of 18, she was sentenced to life imprisonment.
Now, four years later, Stacey is still in prison, aged 22. “It was like I was trapped in my worst nightmare,” she told campaign group Women For Justice, earlier this week. “When I dream of my future, I dream of a fairy tale, only the happy ending is a little simpler, just being reunited with my friends and family. It seems impossible most days.”
But Stacey’s dream could come sooner than she thinks. Today she is appealing her murder sentence. If she is successful, her crime could be reduced to manslaughter, and she could be released from prison.
Her lawyers are arguing that there is new evidence which will support a defence of diminished responsibility, relating to Stacey’s mental health. When the trial took place in 2010, Stacey was studied by adult psychiatrists did not conclude that she had any serious mental health issues.
But now, a number of issues in Stacey’s past have come up, including abuse. It’s now known that she used to self-harm, was bulimic, and previously tried to commit suicide. Child psychiatrists have looked into her behaviour and found she has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and a personality disorder – which could prove diminished responsibility, and also a lack of ‘specific intent’ to murder.
A recent photo of Stacey (far right) with friends visiting her in prison
Her aunt Julie Hyde, who has been campaigning to help Stacey for four years, tells me that they’ve been waiting for a manslaughter conviction ever since her niece was 18. “When we had the original trial, our worst nightmare was manslaughter. I never imagined the murder conviction. It was a huge, huge shock.
“She’s troubled but the only violence she would do was to herself. This was absolutely out of the blue. The sentence was wrong.”
She and the rest of Stacey’s family have been waiting for this chance to appeal for years, but now it’s here, they fear that Stacey will not be able to cope with a negative result.
“She’s not coping well in prison. If they uphold the murder conviction I'm not sure how she'll cope” says Julie. “There’ve been several very serious suicide attempts recently.”
Her mum Diane adds: "It would knock my daughter to the floor because I don’t think she could cope with another four years. It would be really unfair. This is her hope, she’s been hoping for this for so long so it would be very devastating news."
Stacey’s mental health issues mean that she is struggling more than the average inmate. “Mentally it’s really knocked her back because she can’t remember it happening and it must be very hard to be punished for something you can’t remember happening,” says her mum Diane.
For sisters Diane and Julie, the nightmare began back in September 2009. Diane knew that Stacey was out with Holly – who she felt was a bad influence on her teenage daughter – but expected her home so she could enrol for college the next day in a performing arts course.
Instead, Stacey stayed at Holly’s, and ended up under arrest for stabbing Vincent. “It was like a bereavement that weekend,” says Diane. “Even though I never lost someone, I felt like I did. She’s my daughter.
“I couldn’t believe she’d done something like that because she really isn’t a violent sort of person. I really thought at worst it would be manslaughter. I never ever thought they’d get her for murder. I didn’t believe it. It really knocked my faith in justice. I know what happened was wrong but there’s different circumstances. I really thought they could have taken into account how violent a man he was.”
Stacey’s cause, 'Free Stacey Hyde', has now been taken on by the aforementioned pressure group Justice for Women, who are fighting to help her. Julia Hilliard, a Justice for Women campaigner, says: “When you know about the circumstances of her case it is astonishing that Stacey was convicted of murder. She was a 17-year-old girl with no previous [convictions] – the man who died was a 34-year-old man, with a long history of being violent towards women, and who was no doubt physically stronger than Stacey.
“She had injuries on her body, and there was also a recording of a 999 call made that showed that he was attacking her. It seems bizarre, when you hear these facts, that she was convicted of intending to kill.”
She thinks that the jury’s ruling is part of a wider societal problem where women aren’t treated equally by the law: “She was treated really harshly. For us that’s a reflection of the continued institutional misogyny and sexism of the criminal justice system, that a young girl like Stacey would be treated so severely, when men in far less serious circumstances have mitigating circumstances.
“It was really clear in Stacey’s initial trial that her vulnerability and the trauma she experienced just weren’t recognised. We hope for a fair recognition of all the factors that led her into that situation.”
Stacey’s lawyer, Harriet Wistrich of Birnbeg Peirce & Partners, thinks that in Stacey’s original trial, the impact of her traumas "was not sufficiently understood, explored or accepted". In fact, certain traumas such as those relating to abuse could make someone respond differently to male violence.
“I think women and men are treated very differently in the justice system,” she says. “In my experience women who are violent, even on a one off occasion, are treated much more harshly then men by the criminal justice system. This is a reflection of the fact that women who do not behave in the way that women are expected to are judged much more harshly in society then men who behave badly."
Julie, who was very close to her niece, explains that Stacey’s vulnerability stems mainly from experiences that happened when she was just 14, and thought she had found out who her biological dad was. “She was really excited and he was pretty good about it all, but they did a DNA test and it turned out he wasn’t the father.
“She was devastated but she hid it. After that everything went downhill.”
From being a “bubbly, lively” girl with a love for drama and theatre, Stacey began drinking heavily, self-harming and she became bulimic.
“She was on anti-depressants,” says Julie. “There were a few suicide attempts. She was very troubled, there’s a lot of problems that still need to be assessed, but the man was attacking her.
“She feared for her life. She really thought he was going to kill her. She acted disproportionately as a result of that. It’s not like she went out that evening with the intention to murder anyone. The thought of her committing murder is abhorrent. I know her – there’s nothing violent about her at all.”
If you are affected by any of the issues described in this article, please contactSamaritans on 08457 90 90 90. If you have been affected by sexual violence please contact Rape Crisis on 0808 802 9999.

Thursday, November 13, 2014



Nearly seven hundred acres of pine flatwood forest are set to be destroyed to make way for a “Biotech City."  The Briger Forest in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida boasts an ecosystem that is the last of its kind in the area.  It is the home to several species under threat of extinction.  

Christian Minaya of PBC Environmental Coalition has another dream for the Forest, 

Our vision for the future of the Briger Tract is one of preservation. The Briger is a vital link to old Florida. A preserved Briger Tract will undoubtedly prove to be a precious resource for the continuation of biological diversity in the area, as well as a great boon for education and recreation for local residents.

The Briger Forest is a  mix of freshwater marshes, hardwood forest and prairie that’s slated to become part of a commercial/residential offshoot of the Scripps Research Institute, a biomedical research company.

Save the Briger Forest writes:

The Scripps Phase II development plan makes no mention of protection for the endangered and threatened species. Despite this, 100 acres of the Briger Forest have been designated for the Scripps Phase II Biocity:
  • 1.6 million square feet for Scripps office and biotech research space.

  • 2.4 million square feet for spinoff office and biotech research space.
  • 500,000 square feet for commercial/retail/office development space.
  • 2,700 residential units.
A whole lot of people aren't one bit thrilled with all this and have been fighting against it for a long time.

Last week folks  associated with Everglades Earth First! halted (well, for a few hours anyway) what they call Kolter Development’s “illegal” construction in Palm Beach Gardens’ Briger Forest. They chained themselves up to a disabled vehicle sitting in the road and blocked access to the sites. Ryan Hartman said,

We’re here stopping a crime; the illegal destruction of the Briger Forest. Kolter Group Co. is violating the Endangered Species Act and operating without all the proper permits fully approved,. The time for compromise is over. If we don’t take direct action and put our bodies on the line to protect what we have left, developers will pave over and pollute every last inch of this place.

Ashley Lyons added, 

Kolter and Palm Beach County have had a corrupt deal from the beginning. It is a crime against nature for developers to keep bulldozing over wild South Florida in order to perpetuate an animal torturing biotech expansion agenda.

It took a minimum of 22 police cars, an emergency field force vehicle, and a mobile command unit to arrest three people who were participating in the protest.

Say, corporate welfare anyone?  Just in the past few years, Scripps has been the lucky recipient of nearly half a billion dollars in blood money, er, state subsidies for the little scheme.  They also have a nice agreement with the county to lease the part of the property they "own" for a dollar a year.   

And that, my friend, is global capital gone local...

The following is from Earth First! Newswire.

Clearing of Rare South Florida Forest Begins for Development of “Biotech City”

Activists Find Flaws in Permits and Plans for Land Clearing and Relocation of Endangered Plants and Animals

In the Briger Forest: November 9, 2014.

After ten years of opposition to state- and county-backed efforts to construct a biotech hub in Palm Beach County, Florida—where the rare Briger Forest currently stands—developers are now clearing land under suspicious circumstances. Since 2010, opponents of the “Scripps Phase II” project have cited the presence of gopher tortoises, rare native ferns, and other threatened and endangered species as reasons to stop the proposed development of the Briger Forest.
Despite these concerns, The Scripps Research Institute—a California-based biomedical company with a campus across the road from the threatened forest—are moving forward on their plans of expansion. Last week, members of the Palm Beach County Environmental Coalition (PBCEC) and Everglades Earth First! (EEF!) discovered that Ranger Construction Industries had begun clearing a large segment of the southeastern portion of the Briger Forest.
The clearing of forest marks an unofficial groundbreaking for the construction of a proposed biotech city revolving around “Phase II” of the Scripps Florida laboratories. As with much of the planning surrounding Scripps, activists say that it appears plans for this access road were made behind closed doors.
As of November 9, an area approximately half a mile long and over 100 feet wide had been cleared out of the Briger Forest.
As of November 9, an area approximately half a mile long and over 100 feet wide had been cleared out of the Briger Forest.
Before construction began only weeks ago, the dense forest of pine flatwoods and saw palmetto rarely saw any traffic aside from the occasional horse riders out of the Wandering Trails stable next door. The forest is home to bobcats, armadillos, raccoons, and ground likens, as well as threatened and endangered animal and plant species, including the gopher tortoise, hand fern, royal fern, and native species of bromeliad. It is also suitable habitat for the Eastern indigo snake—an endangered species at serious risk due to habitat loss.
Screen Shot 2014-11-07 at 4.57.07 PM
November 8, 2014: Two Everglades Earth First! activists locked down to a disabled van block the construction entrance to the Briger Forest.
On November 8, 2014, members of Everglades Earth First! responded to news of the work being done by locking themselves to a disabled van blocking the entrance to the construction zone. The blockade successfully kept out workers and excavation machinery for over four hours, while alerting local residents and the media to the destruction being carried out in the Briger.
The same day, PBCEC members visited Palm Beach Gardens City Hall to request permits for the clearing of the forest, but city staff were unable to locate a land clearing permit for the construction taking place. The following business day, when PBCEC members returned to City Hall, city staff were suddenly able to locate the permits, which—though dated 10/22/2014—seemed to have been hastily filled out the night before. Information missing from the permits included: Project Name, Project Address, APN, Subdivision, and Development. Not to mention that the “Total Square Footage” of the land clearing permit is listed as 0, despite the fact that hundreds of feet of forest have already been cleared.
missing info briger permit
The weekend after the blockade, a clandestine monitoring team surveyed and documented the impacts of work in preparation for ongoing legal challenges to the clearing operations. PBCEC has been engaged in a legal battle over the destruction of the Briger Forest for the past four years, and the group believes the current work is being conducted in violation of state, federal and local laws intended to protect threatened and endangered species.
In past months, activists have used game cameras to document gopher tortoise activity in the Briger Forest. The gopher tortoise is classified by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) as a threatened species. The permit map from EW Consultants, Inc.—a natural resource management, wetland, and environmental permitting services group—lists 75 known gopher tortoise burrows in an area that constitutes approximately 25% of the land slated for construction (Map A). Additionally, PBCEC and EEF! have documented gopher tortoise locations in the area that has already been cleared by Ranger Construction Industries (Map B). Each burrow that is removed is a nail in the coffin of the federally endangered Eastern indigo snakes that are expected to be living on the property. Eastern indigo snakes are known to cohabitate with gopher tortoises, and FWS has documented that they expect there to be six such snakes living on the property. The future of threatened species on the property seems to have been disregarded by Scripps and the city of Palm Beach Gardens, who are moving forward with their plans to build strip malls and biotech labs in this critical and rare habitat—with inadequate and questionable permits backing them up.

Map A—EW Consultants, Inc., lists 75 known gopher tortoise burrows in an area that constitutes approximately 25% of the Briger Forest.
Map A: EW Consultants, Inc., lists 75 known gopher tortoise burrows in an area of the Briger Forest slated for construction.
Map B: Volunteer surveyors have documented hand fern and gopher tortoise burrow locations in the area of the Briger that was recently cleared for development.
Map B: Volunteer surveyors have documented hand fern and gopher tortoise burrow locations in the area of the Briger that was recently cleared for development.
Members of PBCEC and EEF! have also joined together to conduct an extensive study of the resident population of endangered hand ferns in the Briger (Map B). Where the developers’ consultants only located two ferns on the entire site, volunteer surveyors located and documented the presence of over 50 cabbage palms hosting hand fern colonies. This research revealed the Briger to contain one of the largest concentrations of hand ferns in the entire continental United States.
EEF! and PBCEC have been fighting to protect the Briger Forest since 2009. The campaign has included legal challenges, petitions, public outreach, public comments, protests, and civil disobedience—including treesits and last week’s blockade. The groups will continue to challenge the destruction of the Briger Forest, which has only just begun. But time is running out.

Get involved:

– Call Palm Beach Gardens Code Compliance and tell them to stop clearing the forest: (561) 799-4245
– Email Palm Beach Gardens City Officials:
Mayor Bert Premuroso
Vice Mayor Eric Jablin
Council Member Joe Russo
Council Member Marcie Tinsley
Council Member David Levy
City Manager Ron Ferris

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.