Grenada’s ruling New National Party (NNP) government deducted money from striking public workers salary. The vast majority of these workers are black Grenadian women and some them are single mothers, plus they have extended families to support based on our society family structure inherited from our African fore-parents. So, when will the oppression end from slavery to this present time?
Basically, this form of oppression is not new to the vast majority of Grenadians. It started when the French colonists committed genocide against the native population of Caribs and after that, the French political writers wrote fake history and tell us that the native people jumped to their death during the last battle with the French army in Sauteurs because they did not want to surrender. Now, today Sauteurs town is known for its historical site Leapers Hill.
After the native population was extinct, the French colonialists brought captive Africans bound in chains and shackles to work on the tobacco and sugar plantations as slaves, in the most inhuman conditions that lasted for more than two centuries.
During the period of slavery, there were many rebellions but the most popular rebellion was Fedon Rebellion that took place in the latter part of the 18th century. The majority of black slaves rebelled against the British after the French gave up Grenada to the British in the Treaty of Paris in 1763 and the French planters were not happy with the British authorities.
So, the big question is: Why did the slaves put their trust in the French planters, and they despised the British as their new coloniser?
One can only suggest that the French planters must have promised the slaves some kind of freedom, or maybe the British slave system was more brutal than the French.
The conflict between the French and British planters escalated and the black African slaves joined the French planters in the rebellion against the British. The rebellion lasted for almost two years and the rebel fighters captured almost the entire island, except the capital city today known as St. George’s
In the battle, the British Governor Hume was captured and executed by the rebel fighters. After the British launched a successful counterattack under the command of Sir Ralph Abercromby, his troops recaptured Grenada with the help of some urban opposition fighters under the command of a French Creole man named Louis La Grenade.
Louis La Grenade who was also a slave master was compensated by the British for his loyalty. He was allowed to have his own militia in St. George’s and he became the first local creole to own a shipping company. In addition, there is a possibility that he was involved in the slave trade within the island with his merchant ship too. In addition, he had many black African slave women as his concubines. His favourite slave women named Iris, whom he made sure that the British declared her a freed black woman.
Grenada remained a post slave colony until February 7, 1974, when the country got its independence from the British, under the leadership of Eric Matthew Gairy who was a descendant of black African slaves. Gairy was never liked and accepted by the mulattoes and local white ruling class even though he defeated them in the Sky Red Revolution in 1951. Gairy’s revolution was against the plantocracy.
One can argue that Gairy completed the Fedon revolution in 1951 because the British colonialists had no other choice but to recognised him as a black politician fighting in the interest of his people.
After Gairy championed the working class struggle for almost three decades, there was a vacuum for change because his ideas were no longer accepted by a younger generation who wanted a political change. The new generation created a new movement for change in rural communities.
The movement was a rural base grassroots political organisation called the Jewel Movement that was very popular. The Jewel Movement popularity attracted urban intellectuals and they formed an alliance. The urban-based intellectual organisations were MAP and OREL.
The leaders of the smaller urban movement were intellectuals. They merged with Jewel Movement and created the New Jewel Movement. The grassroots rural youths were comfortable with the inclusion of the urban intellectuals. They accepted the intellectuals as their guardians but unfortunately, those intellectuals were thinking bigger than Grenada. Their ideas were not inclined with the historical and traditional culture of the masses.
However, on March 13, 1979, the New Jewel Movement over-throned Eric Gairy’s government but things did not work out as most rural supporters expected. The intellectuals abandoned the New Jewel Movement manifesto and set up a socialist-communists style government with a Central Committee as the highest decision-making body and they brought some of their intellectual comrades from the other Caribbean islands as experts to help them create the People’s Revolutionary Government (PRG).
They suspended the constitution and create new laws that citizens were scared to challenge. One of the new law was the Pension Plan Act of 1983.
Again, one can only presuppose that the PRG wanted to take full control of the public sector, with the aim of destroying civil servants as a petty bourgeoisie class, in order to hire new workers in the future, who are indoctrinated within the PRG socialist-communist ideology.
In terms of the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) the PRG created, it was a very good safety net for workers who are employed in the private sector industries. So, it is very difficult for those of us who are not covering up the PRG political intention, to say openly that we are very suspicious about the regime future plans.
On the other hand, it is very easy for all Grenadians who are not playing politics with this present industrial strike by public workers, to say it loud and clear, that the government should give the workers their money that they are asking for and they are entitled to get.
The simple fact is that the PRG regime is no longer in power. Westminster style democracy has been restored in 1985. Therefore, both the New National Party (NNP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and some Trade Union Leaders are guilty of robbing public servants.
So, I personally think that there is a vacuum for a new political party to fill in the void and do the right thing in the interest of the public servants and to get rid of tribal politics, and all those political opportunists who feel that they are entitled to govern the Tri-Island State of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique.