Grenada: Pressure Groups Material

Scope and Content

Eyewitness accounts, trial reports, platforms, papers, pamphlets and letters, 1983-1987, issued by the British Grenada Friendship Society, the Committee for Human Rights in Grenada, the New Jewel 19 Committee, and the New Jewel Movement Support Group (UK).

Administrative / Biographical History

Part of the British Windward Islands Federation until 1958, Grenada then joined the West Indies (Federation) and when that dissolved in 1962 was made part of a further federation comprising Great Britain's remaining East Caribbean dependencies. After achieving "associated statehood" in 1967 it finally became independent in 1974, with Eric Gairy of the Grenada United Labour Party (GULP) becoming the country's first Prime Minister. The emergence in the 1970s of the New Jewel Movement (NJM) posed a challenge to Gairy that was met by an increasingly authoritarian approach. The NJM took power in a 1979 coup and established a people's revolutionary government (PRG) with Maurice Bishop at its head, but differences between Bishop and the more radical wing of the government led by Bernard Coard led to the death of the revolutionary leader in an armed fracas and the subsequent invasion of the island by the United States. Elections following the invasion saw the return of the New National Party (NNP), and this party or offshoots of it have governed the country ever since. The materials held here concentrate almost exclusively on the invasion of Grenada by the United States in 1983 and the situation of those convicted in relation to the death of People's Revolutionary Government (PRG) leader Maurice Bishop just prior to this. Foremost amongst the defendants at this trial was Bishop's former deputy prime minister Bernard Coard and his wife and fellow ex-Central Committee member Phyllis Coard.


Alphabetically by group, and then in rough chronological order.

Access Information

Open to all for research purposes; access is free for anyone in higher education.

Acquisition Information

Institute of Commonwealth Studies

Other Finding Aids

Records at item level on library catalogue (SASCAT)

Archivist's Note

Description compiled by Daniel Millum, Political Archives Project Officer at the Institutes of Commonwealth and Latin American Studies.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies can usually be obtained - apply to library staff.

Custodial History

The Commonwealth Political Parties Materials collection was begun in 1960-61, with special emphasis being placed then, as now, on "primary material such as party constitutions, policy statements, convention reports and election manifestos." (ICS, Twelfth Annual Report 1960-1961). Since then, the main method of gathering material has been to appeal directly to political parties throughout the Commonwealth, though contributions from Institute members and staff following visits to relevant countries have been significant.


No further accruals are expected at present.

Related Material

See also Grenada: Trades Unions Material (TU.GD), and Grenada: Political Parties Material (PP.GD), as well as Political Party, Trades Unions and Pressure Group Materials for other Commonwealth countries and related material in the library's main classified sequence, all held at the ICS.