George Louison
1951 to 2003

 
George Louison, political activist and lawyer, was born on November 29, 1951 in Grenada.  Louison was one of three ministers jailed on October 19, 1983 and subsequently avoided execution with Prime Minister Maurice Bishop and other Cabinet members.  Louison was one of the few remaining members of the now defunct New Jewel Movement. 

Louison had was part of the revolutionary group that deposed  the elected government of Sir Eric Matthew Gairy  in 1979, sending Gairy into exile for four years.  He was a strong supporter of Maurice Bishop and served in several capacity in the People Revolutionary Government (PRG) between 1979 to 1983.

In October 1983 a struggle for control of the country  broke out. The left-wing extremists led by Bernard Coard  turned against Prime Minister Maurice Bishop and his supporters, Bishop was put under house arrest and several of his close aids were locked up. On October 19, 2003 a massive crowd of about 20,000 marched up to Bishop's residence and freed him from house arrest.

Bishop was taken to the army headquarters on Fort Rupert where Bishop and several of his Cabinet ministers were arrested and lined up against a wall and executed.  From gaps in the wall of the goat pen, Louison looked down and saw the puffs of smoke. The news came, and others were thrown in the cell where they were told that they too would be shot.

If this had been an order, however, it was countermanded. Louison was freed by US Marines on October 27, following the armed intervention by American and Caribbean forces which overthrew the revolutionary regime.

After the restoration of parliamentary institutions, Louison with Radix (who had also been in the goat pen) formed a political party, the Maurice Bishop Patriotic Movement, but this won no seats in the elections of December 1984. Instead a broad coalition, the New National Party, took power, headed by the veteran former Prime Minister, Herbert Blaize.

Louison tried once more, but then gave up politics, spending some time in Radix’s chambers before studying law in Britain. Though he was admitted to the Grenada Bar, he went to practice in Trinidad, where he died on May 13th 2003.  He is survived by his partner and two sons.  Grenada has lost an entire generation of outstanding sons, people who could have made an outstanding contribution to our country, but greed entered the heart of a few brought death to some and the others jailed. George Louison gone but not forgotten May his soul rest in peace.