Report of the Duffus Commission of Inquiry into the Breakdown of Law & Order, and Police Brutality in Grenada

Part IV

Events Subsequent to November 18, 1973

Paragraphs 150 thru 151. - THE RIOT ON JANUARY 21, 1974 [PART 3] - The evidence of Alister Hughes [Part A]

150. Mr. Alister Hughes is a journalist and broadcaster who lives at Springs, St. George's. He works for Radio 610 in Trinidad and the United Press International and in his capacity as a journalist he was covering the demonstrations - January 9 - 21, 1974.

In his opinion the demonstrations were peaceful throughout, although there was one incident on Friday, January 18, 1974, when the demonstration was coming down Melville Street and was about to turn into Granby Street. He said - "the demonstrators wanted to go up Granby Street, but the police were insisting that they go along Melville Street towards the entrance of the Sendall Tunnel. The demonstrators finally filtered around the cordon of police, turned up behind them, and proceeded." According to him, there never was any violence and the police never had occasion to arrest anyone. In his estimation the crowds during that period varied between 5,000-15,000.

151. Mr. Hughes' evidence will be considered in the sequence in which it was given, although it will be dealt with in separate parts of this section of our report. With regard to the incident on January 21, 1974, he gave evidence in the first place about the incidents which occurred after the demonstration had returned to Otway House around midday. He later returned to tender and replay for the Commission a tape recording of the whole proceedings of the demonstration which he had made in his capacity as a journalist on January 21, during the course of the events which occurred from the commencement of the demonstration to the end or nearly the end of the riot on the Carenage involving the police aides.

We are satisfied that the tape recording is genuine and untampered. Indeed, no attempt was made to suggest otherwise. It is a remarkable record which helped the Commission immensely in its task of forming conclusions about the truth of the matters which occurred on January 21. Mr. Hughes deserves high commendation for courage and tenacity maintained at great risk to his personal safety.

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