Premier Eric Gairy, the controversial leader of the Caribbean island of Grenada, was relaxed and cheerful this week as he waited for the celebrations on Wednesday (6 February) which would herald Grenada's independence from Britain.
SV Premier Gairy walking with supporters and chatting
SV Slogans on wall against Gairy (2 shots)
SV INT Reporter talking to Maurice Bishop (3 shots)
CU Maurice Bishop speaking (SOUND)
"Mr. Gairy came to office, came to power, in 1951, precisely by the use of violence. He has throughout his period in office, consolidated and maintained his position in office by the use of violence. And today it is precisely the question of violence again which is maintaining his stay in office. Now obviously there may be spontaneous outbursts of violence as people respond to defend themselves, or their families, their property. What we are still hoping is that it will not come to a point when any group, certainly not ourselves, will need to organise violence in order to overthrow Mr. Gairy."
Initials BB/1926 CG/AW/BB/1938
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Background: Premier Eric Gairy, the controversial leader of the Caribbean island of Grenada, was relaxed and cheerful this week as he waited for the celebrations on Wednesday (6 February) which would herald Grenada's independence from Britain.
Fierce opposition to Mr. Gairy and his government has been building up for weeks, and several mass demonstrations have been staged in protest at his continued rule. He is accused of running a government based on corruption and terrorism, and many Grenadians fear reprisals for expressing their opposition when Mr. Gairy takes over total control from Britain.
A radical political group, the New Jewel Movement, is in the forefront of the opposition to Mr. Gairy. They have called for his resignation, and have helped to organise the strikes in the past few weeks which have left the country without electricity and most other services.
The New Jewel Movement's leader, Maurice Bishop, a 29-year-old lawyer, was interviewed by Bill Boyd on Wednesday (6 February).
A transcript of the interview follows: