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Maurice Bishop "believed in black liberation and communism. So the U.S. supported his overthrow and assassination... That is how U.S. hegemony works," writer Franklin recalled.
On May 29, 2022, Grenadians remember the 78th birth anniversary of Maurice Bishop, the leader of the revolutionary movement who pacifically overthrew Eric Gairy’s regime (1974–1979) and became Prime Minister between 1979 and 1983.
A graduate in Law from the London University, Bishop founded the Movement for People’s Assemblies (MAP) party in 1972, which he merged with other left-wing organizations to form the New Jewel Movement (MNJ) and overthrow Gairy.
As Prime Minister, Bishop promoted policies such as the establishment of free education, the construction of schools and the development of massive literacy campaigns, thanks to which more than 2,500 Granadans learned to read and write.
Besides repealing anti-working-class laws that prevented workers from receiving business profits, Bishop legalized trade unions and granted social organizations the right to peace mobilization.
To ensure the Grenadian people’s political participation, Bishop established village and zonal councils, in which citizens raised their concerns to officials and validated bills. He also developed the national fishing fleet to guarantee food sovereignty.
The Bishop administration granted farmers ownership over the land they worked in and allowed them to organize themselves into cooperatives to increase agricultural production.
In this speech given at Medgar Even College in Brooklyn, New York June 5th, 1983. Maurice Bishop details political triumphs of revolutionary Grenada against the Neo-Colonial trends of American hybrid wars. Detailing its impact in the Anglophone world, especially Black Americans pic.twitter.com/hZupAas2y3
With the support of Cuba, it also boosted the national primary health care system and began the construction of an international airport in Punta Salinas city.
Bishop also backed revolutionary and liberating movements in Latin America, Africa, and Asia, joined his country in the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), and strengthened relations with Cuba and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).
In October 1983, a group of military officers organized a plot to make Bishop either step down or agree to share power with Deputy Prime Minister Bernard Coard. The revolutionary leader was then deposed and placed under house arrest, but he was freed by the people who took to the streets. A few hours later, however, he was assassinated by a four-man firing squad.
"Maurice Bishop was born this day. He was a Grenadian Revolutionary who believed in black liberation and communism. So the U.S. supported his overthrow, and assassination and then invaded Grenada to protect his murders. That is how U.S. hegemony works," writer Kamau Franklin recalled.