This is more of an action alert for the International Day of Solidarity with the Struggle of the People of Haiti. A lot of the violence and chaos that has arrested Haiti is not making its way to mainstream newspapers or news stations. Furthermore, what does find its way to the news in no way provides a deep historical context as to why American occupation of Haiti is deeper than human rights abuses–it is about America as well as the rest of the West’s neocolonial involvement with Haiti prior to and immediately following the Haitian revolution. We can look to the West’s ‘diplomatic quarantine’ of the new Black Republic following the Haitian Revolution, to the 1915-34 American occupation of Haiti, to America’s explicit support of the Duvalier dictatorship, to America’s destabalizing and brutalization of oppositional powers-Aristide and Lavalas, and to the inhumane treatment of Haitian refugees. The West and America in particular have been deeply involved with Haiti in what I would perceive as destructive ways since its ‘inception.’ The first Black republic is now one of the poorest nations in the world and the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere with nearly 75% of the eight million people living in ‘abject poverty’
From: Grassroots organisations in Haiti
Dear Activists for Haiti,
The United Nations forces in Haiti (MINUSTAH) – backed to the hilt by the US, France and Canada – are continuing their bloody assault on the poor majority, targeting especially leaders and supporters of the Lavalas grassroots democracy movement.
On December 22, 2006, some 400 UN troops conducted another day-long raid in Bois Neuf, Cite Soleil – an operation on the scale of the July 6, 2005 UN massacre in the same neighborhood – with many civilian residents dead and wounded. Since the “Christmas massacre”, UN forces have repeatedly raided Cite Soleil shooting off their weapons.
In response, Fondasyon Trant Septanm, an 11-year-old organization of victims of the 1991 and 2004 coups d’etat in Haiti, has issued acall for renewed protests in many cities of the world on February 7, 2007.
This is the anniversary of the overthrow of the dictator “Baby Doc” Duvalier in 1986. Haiti will be demonstrating on that day – so should we!
The February 7th International Day is part of a campaign against the US/UN Occupation by the popular movement in Haiti, leading up to February 15th when the UN Security Council is due to renew its Haiti mandate.
We need to act now in solidarity with our Haitian sisters and brothers, whose unbreakable spirit, in the face of severe repression, just won’t stop.
Building on the international demonstrations for Haiti held on July 21 and September 30, 2005 The July 6th massacre by UN troops in Cite Soleil sparked an international campaign, culminating in a day of solidarity actions in 15 cities and five countries on July 21, 2005. The campaign succeeded in breaking through the media blockade, exposing the massacre.
This was followed by the first International Day in Solidarity with Haiti on September 30, 2005, when coordinated actions in 47 cities in 17 countries on 4 continents condemned the bloody US/UN occupation and demanded that Haiti’s sovereignty and democracy be respected.
Today, violent repression continues against grassroots activists and communities – by UN forces and paramilitary death squads [like the Little Machete Army] created by the Haitian National Police. We’re talking not only about killings, but sexual abuse, beatings, house burnings, arbitrary arrests, and the prolonged, illegal detention of people without any charges. UN forces have been repeatedly implicated in these activities.
Our call is for each city to organize its own Haiti solidarity activity on or around Wednesday, February 7, 2007 – to be coordinated as a single worldwide mobilization.
It could be a march, rally, public meeting, vigil, house meeting or civil disobedience – whatever you are able to do – in support of the following demands:
End the brutal US/UN Occupation – Respect Haiti’s sovereignty Stop the killings, sexual abuse and massacres of the poor by UN troops, police and paramilitaries under police control Free the political prisoners – No more illegal arrests & detentions President Aristide must be free to return to Haiti – Respect the Haitian Constitution Launch an independent inquiry into the February 29, 2004 coup and forced removal of President Aristide Perpetrators of the coup and massacres of the poor must be brought to justice – Reparations for the victims Join us in this important mobilization. Let us know by phone or email what solidarity activity you are organizing for on or around February 7th, so we can build the campaign. Use your contacts in other cities and countries to spread this movement.
The call for the February 7th International Day is supported by representatives of these grassroots organizations in Haiti:
+ Comite de Defense des Droits du Peuple Haitien (Committee in Defense of the Rights of the Haitian People)
+ Confederation des Travailleurs Haitiens (Confederation of Haitian Workers)
+ Femmes Victimes Debout (Women Victims Stand Up)
+ Collectif des Parents et Amis des Prisonniers Politiques (Collective of Relatives and Friends of Political Prisoners)
+ Coordination Nationale des Organisations de Droits Humains (National Coordination of Human Rights Organizations).
+ Fondasyon Trant Septanm (September 30th Foundation)
more info on what is happening in Haiti from