Give Thanks and Praises

Hail Mi Irieites,

While the US are “giving thanks” with Thanksgiving, where everyone is gathering from all over the country to be with their loved ones, we must not forget those who are without – without family, friends, food or even a home.  May you also continue to pay homage to the original ancestors…

Peace and Love, continually!!!

In the meantime, because of the positive response towards H.I.M Hail Selassie I and his attendance at the funeral of JFK, we would like to mention a few key points of fact in regards to the mode of thinking JFK might have had prior to that time.

H.I.M. Emperor Haile Selassie 1st stayed at the White House during his short visit to Washington DC, before going on to New York. The dates are highly significant. It is more than likely that H.I.M. Emperor Haile Selassie 1st encouraged the young American President to heed the message of his forthcoming speech at the United Nations, about universal human rights, and the danger of perpetual war. Kennedy knew very well that in the United States, the richest country in the world, there were “first and second class citizens,” and a “philosophy that holds one race superior and another inferior.”

On October 2, 1963, President John F. Kennedy met with Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara and General Maxwell Taylor, who had just returned from Vietnam. That evening, the White House announced that it would begin withdrawing ‘military advisors’ from Vietnam.

On October 3, Emperor Haile Selassie 1st left Washington D.C. for New York City.

On October 4, 1963, the Emperor delivered his ‘War’ speech to the assembly conference, speaking in the ancient Ethiopian language of Amharic.

On October 5, 1963, JFK announced his formal decision to withdraw from Vietnam, beginning with a withdrawal of 1,000 of the 16,000 ‘military advisors’. Historians disagree about JFK’s true intentions about Vietnam. Yet the historical record shows that he first announced the decision to end the conflict while Emperor Haile Sellassie 1st was present in the White House. His Majesty and the American president were sending the world a sign of solidarity.

Six weeks later on November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was murdered in Dallas, Texas.

Remembering JFK


Yes Mi Irieites,

We are only less than 3 hours away to commemorate one of the world’s most notorious events;  the tragic assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States of America.

I was 7 years old when this incident took place and I remember it clearly as if it was only yesterday.   As a matter of fact, every now and again I try to compare any other atrocity that surpasses or even came close to the impact this incident had on the world.  To reiterate my point, with no disrespect, not even Neil Armstrong’s landing on the moon, the 9/11 Twin Towers, the death of Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley, Bob Marley or even John Lennon came close to how devastated and shocked the world was at that time.

To many from the black diaspora Kennedy was recognised as a symbol of hope and the first real step towards racial equality and liberation, despite the missiles crisis of Cuba and the Cold War with the USSR.  Even Jamaicans residing all the way in England were shook up on hearing the news.

As the repeated images are now all deeply etched in our minds over and over again for the past 50 years, we have been led to believe that it was one lone crazed gunman; a far cry from the story Oliver Stone unfolded in his 1991 released film.

So does the Kennedy curse continue?  So many incidents have happened since his death, the murder of his brother Bobby (1968), the car crash of Ted Kennedy in Mass (1969), and much more recently, the tragic death of John-John Junior (1999).   Yet the memories of what happened 50 years overshadows them all.

One thing for sure, the world will be keeping this incident alive for the next 50 years and beyond.

And to our elderly fans out there… send some info on where you were and what you are doing at the time when this news happened.  It would be interesting to know how well your memory serves you.

The Courage of Ruby Bridges

Hail Mi Irieites,The-problem-we-all-live-with-norman-rockwell

From Wikipedia:

In spring of 1960, Ruby Bridges was one of 6 black children in New Orleans to pass the test that determined whether or not the black children would go to the all white school. She went to a school by herself while the other 5 children went somewhere else. Six students were chosen; however, two students decided to stay at their old school, and three were transferred to Mcdonough. Ruby was the only one assigned to William Frantz. Her father was initially reluctant, but her mother felt strongly that the move was needed not only to give her own daughter a better education, but to “take this step forward … for all African-American children.” Her mother finally convinced her father to let her go to the school.


The story of Ruby Bridges reminds us all to never take anything for granted. And today, in a time when voting rights are once again being threatened, let us think about her courage and her parents’ willingness to stand up for the good of all.

After all these years, we still have a long way to go.


Prayers for my father

Hail Mi Irieites,

Today, I bear strong thoughts of my father, Charles Percival Hinds (15.11.1921- 08.11.2003).

Even now I give thanks for his endurance, patience and belief in the band; long before the world had recognised our potential.  It was through his eyes that I initially viewed the world and its political history.  Though his methods were crude in description, I was able to adapt and interpret from him the energy, that you, our fans, have been able to identify with in our music.

Homage to the original Mr Hinds….

Farewell Ms. Alvera Coke

Hail Mi Irieites,

AlveraCokeMs. Alvera Coke, the mother of the late Peter Tosh has passed away.  Here is the statement from the estate of Peter Tosh:

The Peter Tosh Estate with great sadness acknowledges the passing of Alvera Coke. Born in Belmont Jamaica May 25, 1917- she passed at the same home in which she grew up, in her bed today. As the matriarch of the Tosh family she leaves behind the great legacy as the mother of Peter Tosh and grandmother of ten. Her grand spirit and guidance will be missed.

Ms. Coke, we give thanks and praises for your love and inspiration. Your son got up, stood up for justice and was the voice for the voiceless.  I and I are forever thankful for your grace.

The Netherlands Never Let Us Down!

Yes Mi Irieites!

With only one more show to go, Eindhoven, we performed our second to last show in Amsterdam at the Melkweg, last night.  And if the truth were known, the crowd was electrifying as ever.  Please allow me to rephrase that; the “Nether Lands” has “Never Let us down.”

Incidentally, Al Anderson came backstage with his family.  We had no idea he was there or else we would have presented him on stage for old time’s sake.  Least we not forget that it was here in Holland that we shared the same stage with Al when he was one of the lead guitar players for Bob Marley and the Wailers, 35 years ago! Fret not, we hope to feature him for a brief moment in our long over due documentary.  We hope that your wait will be significant..

On another note, I found time to check the Anne Frank museum here in Amsterdam and although the queue was halfway around the block, it was worth the wait, believe me.  At first, I was feeling quite agitated, knowing that the tour bus would be leaving midday, sharp.  I am already known for my lateness.  But finally, we, (Rande the merchandise guy) and I got in viewed managed to view all; enlightening and forever memorable.

Anne Frank was Special.  Her energy during those time will remain with me, forever.


30th Anniversary – Maurice Bishop (29th May 1944 – 19th October 1983): The Fight Against Fascism Continues

Yes Mi Irieites,

ADN-ZB Häßler 11.6.1982 Bez. Dresden: Maurice Bishop, Vorsitzender des Politbüros des ZK der Neuen Jewel-Bewegung und Ministerpräsident der Revolutionären Volksregierung Grenadas, besuchte die LPG in Niederkaina, Kreis Bautzen. Hier bei einem Meeting mit Genossenschafstbauern und Arbeitern der LPG.It appears that October has been a landmark for many a revolutionary.  First it was Hugh Mundell, then Thomas Sankara and now the Right Honorable Maurice Bishop, the second Prime Minister of the island of Grenada.

Bishop became Grenada’s Prime Minister after seizing power from his predecessor Eric Gairy in a coup, while Gairy was out of the country on business (March 1979).

In the course of his administration Bishop had formed several organisations: the People’s Revolutionary Government of Grenada (P.R.G.G), People’s Revolutionary Army (P.R.A), New Jewel Movement (N.J.M), just to name a few.  This development was triggered while studying in the UK.  And although he majored in the subjects of Law and Economics, it was during this period that he got heavily influenced into campaigning against racial discrimination in Britain as well as being proactive with the Black Power movement of the USA.

So in the eyes of the Grenadian Population, things were looking positive and bright for Bishop once he took charge, until he aligned himself with Cuba.  This initiated an alliance where various projects were to be carried out that he thought would benefit the island.  One of the projects involved was the construction of a new international airstrip that was to be located in the southern region of the island.  This was a project that was once proposed by the British while the country was still colonised.  However, it did not favour well with the US, who, as far as they were concerned, believed that it was a plan to be served as a landing strip to accommodate Russian military aircraft, etc.

As well as US opposition, Maurice was also getting a hard time with those within his own administration who thought that these projects and organisations were a waste of the taxpayer’s money. A proposal for joint leadership was refused by Bishop.

It was in the first week of October 1983, when things grinded to a halt.  Bishop, was placed under house arrest by the Deputy Prime Minister, Bernard Coard.  His incarceration didn’t last very long once the people got news as to what had happened.  The protesting got to such a height that he was immediately released.  But within two weeks of the protest, Bishop, as well as close family members and a part of his administration, were rounded up once again and taken into custody.  They were all placed against a wall outside of where they were confined and got massacred by a firing squad later that day.  Finally, an invasion by the US ultimately took place October 25th, stopping all Cuban participation on building the airport strip.

Maurice Bishop will rise up in history as the bravest leader the Caribbean has ever had in recent times.  His stance in favour of working class rights, women rights, and education as well as his stance against racism, Apartheid and sex discrimination has already been noted by those of us who are conscious and concerned in the affairs of the diaspora.

Come to think of it these ideals are a carbon copy of Thomas Sankara’s blueprint policies to elevate all of Africa.  Unfortunately, we are living in times where all great revolutionary thinkers get cut down in their prime by their peers, especially peers that are suppose to be working with you side by side, each day.  The airport was built and was named Point Salines International Airport but was renamed in honour of the New Jewel Movement leader, “Maurice Bishop,” in 2009.

Here’s a an excerpt from a speech on fascism by Maurice Bishop:

“… the extremely undemocratic, repressive and corrupt nature of the puppet Regimes carefully trained and promoted from among local professionals and bureaucrats by Imperialism to maintain their presence on the backs of our people, is a very consistent Caribbean condition.”

And with only four months to go for Grenada’s 40th anniversary of Independence, here is Steel Pulse’s tribute to the “Real Spice” of Grenada.

Maurice Bishop, Ya Big!!

Incidentally, this is also the 30th anniversary since the Pulse embarked on our first Caribbean tour.

PS -  a Happy Birthday to another icon and revolutionary: Peter Tosh!

Thomas Sankara: Dec 21, 1949 – Oct 15, 1987

Yes Mi Irieites,

Once again we take time out to pay homage to who, as far as we’re concerned, one of the greatest African leaders of all time, Thomas Isidore Noel Sankara, the leader of Burkina Faso, who was assassinated in a coup d’etat on this day October 15th 1987.

As a matter of fact it was only 2 months ago that this African president had reached his commemorated milestone of 30 years since he took power (August 4th,1983), at the age of 33.  On taking power he renamed the once colonised “Upper Volta” to Burkina Faso, meaning, “Land of Upright People.”

Whilst Sankara’s ideals were a good template for all of Africa, there was that faction of the elite within his country and administration that were not supportive of his policies, consequently, toppling him from authority to ultimate murder.   This is an excerpt from a speech he made a week before his untimely demise;

“While revolutionaries as individuals can be murdered you can not kill ideas.”

So here’s a tribute to a great leader, and may I add, a blossoming musician, whose name and credibility I have honoured so much that I named one of my sons after him for it to be a continuation of my reverence.

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