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#1 Aug 28, 2019 9:25 pm

New Historian
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Early Revo days and nicknames

Like communist governments the world over, the People's Revolutionary Government quickly zeroed in on the youth.  Forget the older ones, they can always be coerced, but the future of the ‘Revo’ lay in the hearts and minds of Grenada’s schoolchildren. With all the youth programmes, slogans and rallies, it was a Rasta-Reggae-Revo and the kids loved it. With the cooperatives and make-work programmes there were jobs for everyone. Granted they may have been only cutting bush but at least they were working.

Maurice Bishop was immensely popular in the world press and Grenada rode the crest of a wave. Although the PRG kept promising to hold elections, they somehow never seemed to get around to it, and in the meantime disturbing stories were beginning to emerge about political repression at home. But even though the revolutionaries had all the trappings of real communists, it was all done in a whimsical, typically Grenadian way that somehow lessened the seriousness of it all.

Liked nicknames. Every self-respecting West Indian male has at least two or three nicknames, usually references to some obscure past event. Like a guy I used to know called ‘Foul-Draws’, I hate to think what started that one! So in the PRG you had official government memoranda addressed in all seriousness from Lieutenant Goat to Comrade Pumphead, deploring the sorry ideological state of Brother Bogo. And then there were the endless committees. They even had a Politbureau, it was almost laughable.

Except that it was serious, deadly serious. Before they took over Grenada, the leaders of the New Jewel Movement were your typical armchair revolutionaries you saw on every university campus in the seventies. Eager young men dripping Marxist-Leninist rhetoric and ideological certainty, all beards, denims and sandals. Except that in this case they took over a whole island. And what was the first thing they did when they got the keys to the treasury? Like good revolutionaries everywhere, they armed themselves to the teeth.

Grenada went on an insane arms buying spree, guns of all description, from simple revolvers to the high-powered ‘Akkas’ (Kalashnikovs), howitzers, anti-aircraft artillery, armoured personnel carriers - Grenada bought them all. This was the side of the Revo the overseas press didn't report, the side you didn't see unless you went to Grenada or lived there. To the outside world Maurice Bishop was a popular hero, a leftist (weren’t we all?) but not a real communist. After all the NJM had maintained the Governor-General, the head of state and personal representative of the Queen of England. Which serious communist would keep the G-G?

Clever ones, that’s who ....


FEBN.jpg

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#2 Aug 29, 2019 2:03 am

Calypso
Active

Re: Early Revo days and nicknames

New Historian wrote:

Like communist governments the world over, the People's Revolutionary Government quickly zeroed in on the youth.  Forget the older ones, they can always be coerced, but the future of the ‘Revo’ lay in the hearts and minds of Grenada’s schoolchildren. With all the youth programmes, slogans and rallies, it was a Rasta-Reggae-Revo and the kids loved it. With the cooperatives and make-work programmes there were jobs for everyone. Granted they may have been only cutting bush but at least they were working.

Maurice Bishop was immensely popular in the world press and Grenada rode the crest of a wave. Although the PRG kept promising to hold elections, they somehow never seemed to get around to it, and in the meantime disturbing stories were beginning to emerge about political repression at home. But even though the revolutionaries had all the trappings of real communists, it was all done in a whimsical, typically Grenadian way that somehow lessened the seriousness of it all.

Liked nicknames. Every self-respecting West Indian male has at least two or three nicknames, usually references to some obscure past event. Like a guy I used to know called ‘Foul-Draws’, I hate to think what started that one! So in the PRG you had official government memoranda addressed in all seriousness from Lieutenant Goat to Comrade Pumphead, deploring the sorry ideological state of Brother Bogo. And then there were the endless committees. They even had a Politbureau, it was almost laughable.

Except that it was serious, deadly serious. Before they took over Grenada, the leaders of the New Jewel Movement were your typical armchair revolutionaries you saw on every university campus in the seventies. Eager young men dripping Marxist-Leninist rhetoric and ideological certainty, all beards, denims and sandals. Except that in this case they took over a whole island. And what was the first thing they did when they got the keys to the treasury? Like good revolutionaries everywhere, they armed themselves to the teeth.

Grenada went on an insane arms buying spree, guns of all description, from simple revolvers to the high-powered ‘Akkas’ (Kalashnikovs), howitzers, anti-aircraft artillery, armoured personnel carriers - Grenada bought them all. This was the side of the Revo the overseas press didn't report, the side you didn't see unless you went to Grenada or lived there. To the outside world Maurice Bishop was a popular hero, a leftist (weren’t we all?) but not a real communist. After all the NJM had maintained the Governor-General, the head of state and personal representative of the Queen of England. Which serious communist would keep the G-G?

Clever ones, that’s who ....


https://i.postimg.cc/T5vbxvTv/FEBN.jpg


I distinctly remembering that quote as a PNP slogan. Michael Manley to to say it a lot! i't from Jacob Miller's song. I used to sing it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfdRZiF72FE

Last edited by Calypso (Aug 29, 2019 2:05 am)

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#3 Aug 29, 2019 10:53 am

Dancer
Active

Re: Early Revo days and nicknames

The 4th paragraph made me smile .... ' eager young men dripping Marxist - leninist rhetoric and ideological certainty , all beards , denims and sandals '....  Lol.
Not only men the women ( chicks)  too . ) lol      .....

Made me read   >   Activism or Revolution : Deciphering  modern forms of resistance <     ..... Hampton Institute

... and brings up ... " petty bourgeois  individualism " 
...  that's still alive and well today . lo.

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#4 Aug 29, 2019 11:10 am

New Historian
Active

Re: Early Revo days and nicknames

This lady actually wrote a book about Grenadian nicknames!

“Some nicknames, such as Diggit for a gardener, simply reflect a role in the community.

“But others, such as Snakehead, might reflect something you can’t change, like the shape of your head, and living with that unkind label is a very different matter.”

So true, in Jamaica there was a guy with a massive head the poor fellow was deformed. "What's your name?" I asked him. "Big-ead" was his laconic reply. "What? No seriously, what's yoyur name? I can't call you that!" But he wouldn't have it; just call me Big-ead man. Okay, Big-ead.

https://repeatingislands.com/2011/08/02 … n-grenada/

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#5 Aug 29, 2019 1:54 pm

Slice
Active

Re: Early Revo days and nicknames

New Historian wrote:

Like communist governments the world over, the People's Revolutionary Government quickly zeroed in on the youth.  Forget the older ones, they can always be coerced, but the future of the ‘Revo’ lay in the hearts and minds of Grenada’s schoolchildren. With all the youth programmes, slogans and rallies, it was a Rasta-Reggae-Revo and the kids loved it. With the cooperatives and make-work programmes there were jobs for everyone. Granted they may have been only cutting bush but at least they were working.

Maurice Bishop was immensely popular in the world press and Grenada rode the crest of a wave. Although the PRG kept promising to hold elections, they somehow never seemed to get around to it, and in the meantime disturbing stories were beginning to emerge about political repression at home. But even though the revolutionaries had all the trappings of real communists, it was all done in a whimsical, typically Grenadian way that somehow lessened the seriousness of it all.

Liked nicknames. Every self-respecting West Indian male has at least two or three nicknames, usually references to some obscure past event. Like a guy I used to know called ‘Foul-Draws’, I hate to think what started that one! So in the PRG you had official government memoranda addressed in all seriousness from Lieutenant Goat to Comrade Pumphead, deploring the sorry ideological state of Brother Bogo. And then there were the endless committees. They even had a Politbureau, it was almost laughable.

Except that it was serious, deadly serious. Before they took over Grenada, the leaders of the New Jewel Movement were your typical armchair revolutionaries you saw on every university campus in the seventies. Eager young men dripping Marxist-Leninist rhetoric and ideological certainty, all beards, denims and sandals. Except that in this case they took over a whole island. And what was the first thing they did when they got the keys to the treasury? Like good revolutionaries everywhere, they armed themselves to the teeth.

Grenada went on an insane arms buying spree, guns of all description, from simple revolvers to the high-powered ‘Akkas’ (Kalashnikovs), howitzers, anti-aircraft artillery, armoured personnel carriers - Grenada bought them all. This was the side of the Revo the overseas press didn't report, the side you didn't see unless you went to Grenada or lived there. To the outside world Maurice Bishop was a popular hero, a leftist (weren’t we all?) but not a real communist. After all the NJM had maintained the Governor-General, the head of state and personal representative of the Queen of England. Which serious communist would keep the G-G?

Clever ones, that’s who ....


https://i.postimg.cc/T5vbxvTv/FEBN.jpg

Lord ah go Quote Trump, That is fake news. Maurice did not ah ting to draw the youger folks. From the first day of the revo, they just came.  With the revo they saw hope immediately.  Under Gairy, there was no hope.  Look I was in charge of ah place called the Dodge. I assumed responsibility at about 8am, by 10 am there was 20 young folks ready to take up arms and fight for their future.

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#6 Aug 29, 2019 1:57 pm

New Historian
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Re: Early Revo days and nicknames

So we both sayin the same thing then, that the kids loved Maurice. Regardless of how or why, they love the man.

So what was your revolutionary nickname then? smile

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#7 Aug 30, 2019 7:30 am

Slice
Active

Re: Early Revo days and nicknames

Same as now. Spend about 3 months as ah revo soldier and once they start doing the real stuff, and me best PADNAH got killed ah quickly went back to me normal job.

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#8 Aug 30, 2019 9:41 am

New Historian
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Re: Early Revo days and nicknames

How your padnah get killed, if I may ask?

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