The Grenada Revolution Online

Statement by General Hudson Austin on Behalf of the Revolutionary Military Council

First heard at 9:10 p.m., Radio Free Grenada, 19 October 1983, in a broadcast scheduled for 7:00 p.m.

Brothers and Sisters:

Last night a delegation from the Central Committee of the New Jewel Movement made a formal offer to Comrade Bishop for him to continue as Prime Minister, to continue as a member of the Party and work closely with the NJM Central Committee in running the country.

Comrade Bishop's position was that he would consider the offer but was not willing to talk last night.

This morning at nine-thirty, a crowd led by Unison Whiteman, Vincent Noel and two businessmen stormed Maurice Bishop's home. The soldiers guarding the Mount Royal road had instructions not to fire on the people. The people therefore broke through the barrier and stormed through the gates of the house. Again the soldiers were instructed not to fire on the people but to fire above the people's heads - not at the masses.

The crowd, realising that the soldiers had instruction not to fire on the people, broke into the house. Maurice Bishop went with them and then led the crowd of innocent people to seize Fort Rupert, the headquarters of the Armed Forces.

Again, the soldiers at Fort Rupert were told not to fire on the people who stormed the fort. Attempts were made by the Armed Forces to establish communication with Maurice Bishop, and Unison Whiteman in order to continue negotiations for a peaceful solution and in order to persuade them to let the civilians leave the fort.

Bishop and Whiteman declared: “No compromise, no negotiations.”

They then disarmed Officers of the General Staff as well as the rank and file soldiers guarding Fort Rupert and began to arm the crowd.

They declared their intention to arrest and wipe out the entire General Committee and the senior members of the Party and the entire leadership of the Armed Forces as well as to smash the Revolutionary Armed Forces.

At that point, the Revolutionary Armed Forces sent a company of soldiers to reestablish control of Fort Rupert. Maurice Bishop and his group fired on the soldiers killing two members of the PRA - Sergeant Dorset Peters and Warrant Officer, Raphael Mason, and wounding several others.

The Revolutionary Armed Forces were forced to storm the fort, and in the process the following persons were killed: Maurice Bishop, Unison Whiteman, Vincent Noel, Jacqueline Creft, Norris Bain and Fitzroy Bain among others.

The Revolutionary Armed Forces then evacuated the wounded and assisted several persons in getting to hospital.

Comrades,

The People's Revolutionary Armed Forces has all along stayed off the street in the hope that [the situation] could be resolved internally by the Party. However, in a situation where Maurice Bishop had declared his intention to wipe out the entire leadership of the Party and the Army, in a situation in which he had linked up with counter-revolutionaries, in order to do so, the Revolution itself would have been wiped out.

Our working people have suffered too much for too many years to allow imperialism and counter-revolutionaries to take over our People's Revolution.

The People's Revolutionary Armed Forces has, as of 3:00 p.m. today, established a Revolutionary Military Council which will form the government of the country until normality is restored.

Let it be clearly understood that the Revolutionary Armed Forces will govern with absolute strictness. Anyone who seeks to demonstrate or disturb the peace will be shot. An all day and all night curfew will be established for the next four days, from now until next Monday at 6:00 p.m.

No one is to leave their house. Anyone violating this curfew will be shot on sight. All schools are closed and all workplaces except for the essential services until further notice.

The personal safety and property of all citizens will be guaranteed by the Armed Forces. Let it be clearly understood that the People's Revolutionary Army is totally united. We are also clear that our major task at this moment is to protect and defend our country against any attack by imperialism.

Our people must be clear that imperialism will seek to take advantage of this situation. We must also realise clearly that a military invasion would bring about the deaths of thousands of our people and that any confusion in Grenada at this time opens the way for such intervention by imperialism.

Whatever each man's personal views on this situation at this time, we must unite to defend our country against any attack by outside forces.

The Armed Forces for their part will defend the revolution with all our might!

LONG LIVE THE REVOLUTION!

LONG LIVE OUR PEOPLE!

LONG LIVE GRENADA!

FORWARD EVER! BACKWARD EVER!

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