Grenada Peace Centre Proposal (Addendum)

March 29, 2011 in Gus talks, Projects by Gus John

"Grenada - Fort George", by "roger4336" (Flickr)

The following project was sent to the Government of Grenada on March 29th, 2011.

On 3rd January 2011, while on an assignment in Lagos, Nigeria, I sent Senator Arley Gill a proposal for the establishment of a Peace Centre on Fort George (seen above) and set out some possible uses for the transformed Fort.

In the week beginning 20 February 2011, I was a delegate at the African Union/African Diaspora meeting in Pretoria, South Africa. As part of the itinerary for that meeting, delegates were taken on an official tour of Freedom Park, which is located on a 52-hectare site on Salvokop Hill at the entrance into Tshwane (Pretoria) from Johannesburg. The South African government describes Freedom Park, with its ‘Garden of Remembrance’ as:

‘a meeting place, a venue for the gathering of clans and nations; a place to listen to the voice of silence, a place to pray; a sacred place, a step to the heavens and to our humanity’.

On previous visits to South Africa I had heard of but not visited Constitution Hill in Johannesburg. Now the site of the Constitutional Court and a monument to peace, reconciliation and multiculturalism, it was the Old Fort Prison Complex ‘commonly known as Number Four, where thousands of ordinary people were brutally punished before the dawn of democracy in 1994. Many of South Africa’s leading political activists, including Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela were detained there’. Read the rest of this entry →

Fort George as the Historic Site of the October 1983 Massacre

January 3, 2011 in Gus talks, Projects by Gus John

"Grenada - Fort George", by "roger4336" (Flickr)

The following project was sent to the Government of Grenada on January 3rd, 2011.

The massacre of members of the Grenada Government and citizenry on Fort Rupert on 19 October 1983 and especially the fact that those who lost their lives have never been identified and given to their loved ones for burial represent Grenada’s perennial unfinished business.

It is fortuitous and a mark of the resilience and peace-loving character of the Grenadian people that despite that horrendous event, without historical precedent in the history of our country and the Caribbean region, and regardless of the fact those who know what was done with the bodies of those who perished have sealed their lips from that fateful day to the present, many who were implicated in those atrocities are able to reintegrate themselves in Grenadian society without reprisals and civil unrest. That fact alone needs to be both acknowledged and celebrated. Read the rest of this entry →