Monday, June 30, 2008

Is it fair to be free?

I keep saying 'free trade' when I mean 'fair trade'.
It's an easy mistake to make.
Freedom, it seems, is in the eye of the beholder.

Some of you may know that I was privileged to live on and off in Grenada between 1982-6.
I originally went because I wanted to contribute in any way I possibly could to the Grenadian revolution.

One of the most visible aspects of the revo was the hand-painted billboards all round the island, portraying strong and positive images and with messages extolling equality and collective responsibility.
They were inspiring and uplifting - such a change for those of us accustomed to being bombarded by advertising hoardings exhorting us to buy the latest must-have products and services.

When you came off the plane at the tiny Pearls airport, one of the first things you saw was one of these billboards saying Welcome to Free Grenada.

On 19th October 1983, there was a disastrous and devastating coup, followed on the 25th by a US invasion.

(Ancient history now, I know.
You can find details and background to the revo, coup and invasion here.)

One of the first things the Americans did was rip down all the billboards.

They left the one at the airport though and simply covered up the word 'free'.

You said it, guys.


Unknown said...

I am constantly amazed that so-called intelligent people still have trouble with the word 'free'. It is not a right, it is not a privilege, you cannot win it, pay for it or stop it it is a fact that is written in our hearts.

Debi said...

See? Eye of the beholder ...

Liane Spicer said...

That little tidbit from the invasion escaped me. Very symbolic, dear US of A.