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How the KKK tried to take over Dominica in 1981 with the island’s first black PM

February 11, 2019 at 02:00 pm | History

Elizabeth Ofosuah Johnson

Elizabeth Ofosuah Johnson | Staff Writer

February 11, 2019 at 02:00 pm | History

Items busted from the KKK group heading to Dominica

Popularly known as the KKK, the Ku Klux Klan was a secret society started in the U.S.A. in 1865 at the time when many slaves were gaining their freedom, revolting, and had the opportunity to migrate. The mission of the Ku Klux Klan was simple, to maintain white dominance and suppress the black race by all means possible or to wipe the U.S.A clean of the black race by all means possible and begin a worldwide wipe out.

When slaves were given their freedom, the KKK embarked on a mission to kill African Americans or force them back into their plantations. Members of the Klan are noted to be wealthy whites with influence in high position offices giving reason to why the Klan has not been successfully destroyed.
Members of the KKK rode on horsebacks and went out at night to terrorise African Americans.

After a while, despite several run-ins with the law, the KKK managed to have a proper grounding within the USA with several members who openly started to recruiting members in other parts of the world including Europe, Canada and Australia. 

In April 1981, 11 young men from America and Australia later identified as staunch members of the Ku Klux Klan set out on a mission to overthrow the government of the Caribbean island of Dominica and turn it into a ‘KKK nation’ through a coup which they named Operation Red Dog.

Planned mainly by American and Canadian KKK members who had strong ties in the Caribbean, Operation Red Dog was the code name for the country take over which took a few years of planning led by Mike Purdue, Wolfgang Droege and Sydney Burnett-Alleyne who was a popular weapon smuggler in Barbados.

Mike Perdue

In 1979, KKK-devoted member Mike Purdue met Wolfgang Droege and the two later became very close friends. Having established a close interaction, sharing similar ideas and interests, Purdue shared his plan to invade and take over the island of Grenada to fuel their illegal businesses and eventually make them rich and powerful. Due to tighter security in Grenada, Perdue later made Dominica his target.

Purdue and his men were supported by several men of power who were believed to either be part of the KKK or fund them due to having an interest in their aims. Mike Purdue was a former soldier who worked closely with Droege for over two years recruiting interested inner men and raising funds for the project. 

According to the New York Times which published a digitized version of an article from The Times’s print archive, the coup was also a plan to set
up profitable industries, including a cocaine-processing plant making Dominica a safe haven for drug lords and addicts. 

Former Prime Minister of Dominica Patrick R. John

Purdue worked closely with the former Prime Minister of Dominica Colonel Patrick John who helped the country gain independence but was forced to resign by the people. The two struck a deal to get Prime Minister 
Mary Eugenia Charles out of power, and have John back in power while supporting the illegal businesses of the KKK which he had a profit to gain from.


‘The Mañana’ – planned invasion vessel.  Source:  The Grenada Revolution Online.

On April 27, 1981, on the command of Mike Purdue, Wolfgang Droege, led other men to set off for Dominica from New Orleans, which is 2,000 miles southeast of Dominica, on a chartered boat. Their aim was to reach the island and immediately head over to the government to stage a coup and remove the then Prime Minister, Mary Eugenia Charles after which they could take total control of the island and make it a KKK land called Aryan Utopia – “free from blacks and run by a true white system”.

Unfortunately for them, they were arrested by Federal Agents in New Orleans a few minutes before they set off. Their boat was raided and several illegal weapons were seized. The federal agents found 33 firearms, dynamite, a Nazi flag, a rubber raft and a document described as a contract with the former Prime Minister of Dominica, Patrick R. John in their possession. The agents were given the tip-off by a boat agent who had been contacted by Perdue and offered a huge sum of money for his men to use his boat.

Former Prime Minister Patrick John was arrested in Dominica and sentenced to 12 years in prison but served only 5 years of his time.

After pleading guilty, Mike Purdue and his men were speculated to face over 50 years in prison for their crime, however, they were only given 13 years prison time. The leaders confessed to having plans of taking over Barbados and Grenada working closely with Patrick John.

In 2014, author and reporter Steward Bell wrote Bayou of Pigs based on 
Operation Red Dog with findings from hundreds of pages of declassified U.S. government documents, as well as, exclusive interviews with those involved.

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