By Hudson George
Most people who spent years in prison for their involvement in politics activities never change. People of such caliber never abandon their dreams to be members of the top circle that controls state power. Some of them might change their approach to reach their political goals, based on the political environment they are living within, but their ambition remains the same.
Hudson George has a BA in Social Science from York University, Toronto, Canada. He has been writing since his early teenage years and now contributes letters and articles to a number of Caribbean newspapers
However, as a Grenadian, I can point my fingers at some individuals who were locked up behind prison bars for more than four years during the Grenada revolution, due to their political activities and ideological differences with the leaders of the revolution and, after they got their freedom, one way or the other they are still playing major roles in party politics again. As a matter of fact, some of them are involved in the day to day political process in Grenada in order to hold on to their political clout.
Apart from those who were locked up during the revolution, after the revolution leaders created their own demise, some of the top leaders served long prison terms for crimes they committed. For example, there is political character who was a former PRG top brace soldier and party member during the revolution, who had absolute power to do as he liked during that period. That individual was very anti-rural, even though he was born in a village about three miles away from Grenville town in St Andrew, before his parents migrated to St George's, the capital city.
The individual spent about 26 years in prison. Some of his prison time was on death row and the rest of the period on life sentence and finally on a particular number of years sentence, through a successful appeal, before he was freed, together with his other comrades. But during the time spent in prison, the individual and his other comrades were educating themselves as university students in various academic courses. So we must say kudos to them.
However, the individual is one of those convicts who studied law. He did excellently as a student behind prison bars during his studies and we must congratulate him for his great academic success. But it seems as though the individual is still committed to his lifelong dream of wanting to be in authority. He still wants to be a member of the ruling elite class making decisions. This time around, he knows that he cannot achieve his political goals by the barrel of a gun. On the other hand he is thinking very cleverly. He wants to be a practicing lawyer and he has the academic skills and learning to be an attorney of law, but his criminal records creates a stumbling block in his way. So one of his comrades, who did not serve prison time as he did, is his attorney presently. And his attorney is challenging the law, so that the individual can practice law in his home country Grenada, even though he has some serious criminal records.
So it is obvious that this individual is creating a new kind of social and political melee in Grenada again. And as it is a known fact that Grenadians like to create melee, this particular individual and his attorney seem to be fearless and shameless enough, they are trying to turn the law and justice system into a melee junction, while the Grenadian masses look on with disbelief and shock. Now the big question is: Who will stop this individual and his attorney from showing disrespect towards our legal system and society? And even though the high court judge was wise enough to deny the individual his bold and shameless demand, it is expected that his shameless and bold faced attorney will appeal the judge’s decision ruling and try another legal trick in the law again.
However, it will be up to the Grenadian people to tell the individual and his attorney, enough is enough. The Grenadian people must tell the individual to keep quiet. If he really wants to contribute towards society, maybe he should go about serving the nation as a motivational speaker for the youth, teaching them not to make the same mistakes as he did in the past. The Grenadian people must remind him that this is not the same period of 1980 to 1983, when he had absolute power and he wanted to create a new Grenada with the blood of those who did not support his political agenda. They must remind him that he was hostile to some villages in the rural communities. They must let him know that he can live in peace within society, if he keeps the peace, rather than trying to get back into the spotlight.
Personally, as a Grenadian of the same era as the individual, it is important for me to give my opinion on this issue. Prior to March 13, 1979, most of us did not know too much about that individual. We did not know he was a member of a splinter political group that was secretly tied to the New Jewel Movement, with the main intention to use the NJM organisation and followers as political hosts to prey upon, in order to achieve their political goals. Therefore, how can this individual be trusted again?
It is very important for us as Grenadian people to know and always be aware of the fact that the vast majority of people who were incarcerated for political crimes and other political activities, whether they were wrong or right, never really changed their political and moral beliefs, during the time they spent behind prison bars. As a matter of fact, people of that sort always see themselves as heroes and if or when the masses give them a second chance, they tend to repeat the same thing as they did in the past again. And in this individual’s case, he was a young educated thug, who lost all the respect for human beings, when he had military power. He really thought that his political ideology was more important than human lives. It is time for Grenadians to turn the page on the individual and his attorney, once and for all. I say thanks to the judge’s decision.