September 30th - International Protest against the Military Occupation of Haiti
central america / caribbean |
imperialism / war |
Monday September 26, 2005 16:21 by Organización Comunista Libertaria - OCL-Chile
Statement by the OCL-Chile
On September 30th, activists and popular militants from various countries will come out together in solidarity with the Haitian people, currently suffering from one of the most brutal military occupations in the world, sponsored by the UN, the US, and certain Latin American governments such as Chile, Brazil and Argentina.
September 30th - International Protest against the Military Occupation of Haiti
Statement by the Organización Comunista Libertaria - Chile
On September 30th, activists and popular militants from various countries will come out together in solidarity with the Haitian people, currently suffering from one of the most brutal military occupations in the world, sponsored by the UN, the US, and certain Latin American governments such as Chile, Brazil and Argentina. The objective of this military occupation is to back the political and economic privileges of the Haitian and international capitalists and oligarchy, whose thuggish actions have cost the lives of some 10,000 people.
The Organización Comunista Libertaria (OCL-Chile) calls for forces to merge in the protest, to demonstrate that there should be no struggle without solidarity. We are taking part in this protest out of a profound feeling of Latin American brotherhood, of working-class and popular unity wherever people throughout the world fight from their workplaces, their schools, universities and neighbourhoods to end this system of injustice and exploitation. But we are also taking part because we understand our part in the responsibility for this infamous invasion, as a result of the participation of the Chilean army. Just like in the times of Pinochet, the Chilean military has shown the world that it hasn't lost its skills for torture, killing and kidnapping when it comes to facing social fighters. This is the main reason why we believe it is our duty, as part of the Chilean popular movement, to take part in this international day of protest.
MILITARY OCCUPATION: A DEADLY TRINITY
The military occupation began on February 29th, when Yankee military troops kidnapped president Aristide, who was at the time facing open and aggressive armed opposition, financed by the CIA and stimulated by a clique of Haitian and foreign businessmen that rule that country. Once Aristide was removed from power, Canadian, US and Chilean troops landed and occupied Haiti, giving its backing to the new de facto government of Gérard Latortue.
Why oust Aristide? In the context of sharp class conflict in Haiti, the reformist government of Aristide - far from anything like a revolutionary or "leftist" government - proved intolerable to a backward ruling class that in 200 years of Republican life has shown itself unwilling to share power with any other social group, not that it has been willing to loosen its tight grip on control of the political and economic affairs of that country. The coup against Aristide can only be understood in the face of social polarization in Haitian society.
Another element to be taken into account is that both the Haitian bourgeoisie and its international allies have been steadily losing ground to the grassroots popular struggle since the time of the end of the Duvaliers' dictatorship (1986). Today, they are willing to do anything to gain positions. And in the meantime, the number of the dead from among the people are counted by the thousands, as the rank-and-file organizations in the Free Trade Zones and the Bidonvilles (shanty towns) are the main enemy facing rich Haitians.
From 1st June, the UN assumed military responsibility for the occupation, sending a peace-keeping mission (MINUSTAH) under Brazilian command, the latter hoping that this experience would look good on its record, given that it aspires to a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. Brazil has under its command an international mission that brings together a number of armies with a dreadful record of Human Right abuses: Chile, the USA, Nepal, Morocco, Guatemala, Peru, etc. And we are supposed to expect that such a mission, consisting of thugs in uniform, is to reinforce respect for human rights and "democratic values" in Haiti!
As a consequence, the result has been easy to predict: MINUSTAH has reinforced the political violence of thugs paid by the businessmen, of the paramilitaries and of the police. On a daily basis we hear of raids, torture, rapes, murders and massacres. Daily, in the poor neighbourhoods of Haiti, there are abandoned corpses left as food for dogs and pigs. Today, an estimated 10,000 dead people have died as a direct result of the occupation.
In this state of terror, there are calls for presidential and legislative elections for November and local ones for December. All that is expected to be accomplished with these elections is to give some sort of validity, in a democratic way, to the putschist strategy and thus to turn over a new leaf with regard to the crimes committed against the people in over a year of occupation. The grassroots popular organizations, independent from the puppet regime of Latortue, have expressed their utter rejection of this attempt to wash the dirty face of the thugs and offspring of the dictator Duvalier.
From Chile, we denounce MINUSTAH and Chilean participation (not limited to the military aspect and the nearly 360 Chilean soldiers taking part in the occupation, as Juan Gabriel Valdés is the special representative of the general secretary of the UN in Haiti) for it does not in any way represent a guarantee of security for the poor and the working class in Haiti, but has became an armed branch of the bourgeois gang ruling that country and of the former sympathizers of the dictator Duvalier. To state things clearly, the occupying forces are a fundamental aspect of this sinister deadly trinity binding the UN, the US and the terrorist businessmen; an alliance that has left the spoils for the Latin American governments who are being served just like vultures.
WHAT WAY FORWARD FOR THE HAITIAN PEOPLE?
Certainly, the definition of a way forward is something that is only up to the Haitian people themselves. However, in the fraternal spirit of solidarity with those who struggle, we want to send with our message of support, our opinion. Opinion that is based on historical experience that as Chilean people we have had to live through and on the outlook inherited from our revolutionary current of thought and action. We believe that the bitter experience of the Haitian people should be useful for all of the people of the world to draw lessons from, as much as inspiration.
* Firstly, we want to signal the need for an autonomous, class-oriented path, rooted in direct action, as a way to reach the popular aspirations; the multi-class alliances, the taking over of the State, parliamentarianism, have historically been nothing but a cul-de-sac for the popular movement. And this is as valid for the Haitian people, for the successive governments of Lavalas (the party of president Aristide) have been pressured between compromise with the IMF and the bourgeoisie, and have been able to apply only some aspects of their programmes. But if the rank and file is to lose the initiative, to leave it in the hand of the rulers, no matter how good their intentions, then it is handicapped in any possibility of autonomous advance or of transgression to the system of class domination.
* It is of paramount importance that building popular power be moved forward as a legitimate means for discovering that autonomous and class-oriented path; for that it is necessary to go back to the practice of direct action (for the exploited and the oppressed to look after themselves and their interests, in grassroots organizations), of direct democracy, for the poor to win back their self-confidence and where they can learn to handle in the future the economic, social and political affairs which concern them. It is about building a dual power, from a different perspective than the State one; a logic that needs no rulers and ruled, in which the spaces of participation are open, allowing everyone to have a voice and a vote in the affairs that affect them.
* For this popular power to be a reality, it is necessary to reject the mechanisms of participation provided by the bourgeoisie and to raise alternatives from our own organizations. This means giving a truly revolutionary prospect to the movement that, while rejecting the oppressive present, can be affirmative about a future of freedom and equality.
This is our opinion, this is our message for our brothers and sisters in Haiti, on this very day of protest when our hands come together. Only revolutionary means can guarantee that the immense obstacles in our way to deliverance are defeated. If we learn from the Haitian experience, we will see that the legal and reformist path is completely exhausted. And there is no doubt that if we are to take the revolutionary path, then libertarian communist thought has a lot to offer. From this very minute, our hands and hearts are open towards the popular fighters, and our fists are clenched against the imperialist and capitalist carrion.
- An immediate end to the occupation.
- Respect for the Haitian people's sovereignity.
- Free all Political Prisoners.
- Long live the struggle against the masters ruling that country.
- Demand the reimbursement from France of the money Haiti had to pay as a price for its independence between 1825-1947 (U$21,000 million).
LONG LIVE THOSE WHO STRUGGLE!
NO STRUGGLE WITHOUT SOLIDARITY!
ORGANIZACION COMUNISTA LIBERTARIA
ORIGINAL CALL TO PROTEST ISSUED BY THE FONDASYON TRANT SEPTANM:
A Call to Action in Solidarity with Haiti
Coordinated International Protests in Many Cities
on September 30, 2005
Dear Activists for Haiti,
The coup regime in Haiti - backed to the hilt by the US, the UN, France and Canada - continues its bloody assault on the poor majority, targeting especially leaders and supporters of the Lavalas grassroots democracy movement.
Now Fondasyon Trant Septanm, a Haitian organization supporting victims of the repression in Haiti, has issued a call for renewed protests in many cities of the world on September 30, the anniversary of the first US-sponsored coup that ousted President Aristide in 1991.* Haiti will be demonstrating on that day - so should we!
We need to act now in solidarity with our Haitian sisters and brothers, whose unbreakable spirit, in the face of this genocide, just won't stop. Let us take up this call from Haiti, and make September 30th an international day of outrage against the US-inspired massacres and the trampling of Haiti's sovereignty.
Building on the success of the July 21st coordinated demonstrations
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 21st. The campaign succeeded in breaking through the media blockade, exposing the massacres, and putting US and UN officials on the defensive. It also brought into being an international network of committed people ready to spring into action in a coordinated way. [See "Wave of Protest" report, sent separately.] Now we need to activate and expand our network - to more cities and countries.
Our call is for each city to organize its own Haiti solidarity activity on or around Friday 9/30 -- to be coordinated as a single worldwide mobilization to support Haiti's struggle for sovereignty, democracy and a just society.
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:
* Stop the Serial Killings and Massacres of the Poor, in one popular neighborhood after another, by UN troops, Haitian National Police and paramilitary mercenaries under police control.
* Restore the Democratically Elected Government of President Aristide
* Free Fr. Jean-Juste, So' Anne, Prime Minister Neptune - and ALL the Political Prisoners
* End the Brutal US/UN Occupation - Restore Haiti's Sovereignty - Respect the Will of the Haitian People
Please join us in this important mobilization. Let us know by phone or email what solidarity activity you are planning for September 30th, so we can build the campaign. Use your contacts in other cities and countries to spread this movement.
For the September 30th 2005 International Day of Solidarity with the People of Haiti,
Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine, Fondasyon Trant Septanm (September 30th Foundation)
Lavarice Gaudin, Veye Yo
Dave Welsh, Organizer, US Labor/Human Rights Delegation to Haiti (June-July 2005)
Sister Maureen Duignan, Director, East Bay Sanctuary Covenant
Contact the Sept. 30th Organizing Committee at 510-847-8657 or firstname.lastname@example.org
* The Fondasyon Trant Septanm statement, calling for an international day of solidarity with the Haitian people on September 30, 2005, can be found in French and Kreyol at www.hayti.net The statement calls for demonstrations in major world cities on that day "to denounce and condemn the dictatorship and the US/UN repression against the poor in Haiti." You should already have received an English version of the Foundation statement by email.
35 cities say: "Stop the War against the Haitian People"
The following places in 12 countries will have demonstrations or other Haiti solidarity events on or around September 30, 2005, as part of an international campaign in solidarity with the Haiti people.
1. San Francisco -- Rally & picket at Federal Bldg, 450 Golden Gate,SF -- Friday 9/30 at 8:00 a.m.
2. Miami -- Demonstration 9/30 at 11 a.m. at the Brazilian consulate, 80 SW 8th St
3. Durban, South Africa
4. Sao Paulo, Brazil
5. Dublin, Ireland -- Demonstration at 6 pm on 9/30
6. Santiago, Chile
7. Vancouver -- Demonstration from 5 to 6 pm on 9/30 at Main Library, 350 W.Georgia St, downtown Vancouver
Also at 8:45pm on 9/30, there will be a showing of the Nicolas Rossier film "Aristide and the Endless Revolution" at Granville 5 cinema, Granville Street, as part of the Vancouver Intl Film Festival.
8. New York City -- Patizan Jezikri will hold a mass starting at 9 am on Saturday, Oct 1st at Holy Innocent Church in Brooklyn (Beverly Rd & East 17th). Following the mass there will be a march sponsored by Committee against Genocide in Haiti, from 11am to3 pm. The march will take Beverly Rd to Flatbush ave to Church ave, down Nostrand to rally at Nostrand and Foster Avenues. [Note: This is an independent event planned months before the Call for an International Day of Solidarity with Haiti was issued.]
9. Brasilia, Brazil
10. Montreal -- Demonstration at US consulate on 9/30 from Noon to 3 pm. Also, on Saturday, Oct 1st, at 7 pm, showing of the Katherine Kean film "Rezistans" at 2651 Cremazie Est (corner 2nd ave)
13. Dominican Republic
16. Fredericton (New Brunswick, Canada) -- Public meeting on Sept 27, at 7 pm, Tilley Hall, UNB
17. Halifax (Nova Scotia) -- Public meeting on 9/30 at 7 pm, Dalhousie University, Weldon Law Bldg
18. Tatamagouche (Nova Scotia) -- Screening of Kevin Pina film, "Haiti: the Untold Story" on Oct 2, at 3:30 pm.
19. New Glasgow (Nova Scotia) - Public meeting at New Glasgow library, Oct 3 at noon
20. Antigonish (Nova Scotia) -- Public meeting at the Coady Institute at 7 pm
21. San Jose, Calif. -- Two protests on 9/30. Lunchtime protest 1130am-1 pm at French Consulate, 2nd Street & Santa Clara....Afternoon protest 4:30-6 pm at Federal Bldg, 2nd Street near San Carlos.
22. Toronto - Public meeting and film showing on 9/30....Haiti workshop at Youth Action Conference on 9/30
23. Paris, France
24. Los Angeles - Rally & picket at the Brazilian consulate, 8484 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills -- 9/30 at noon
27. Enterprise, Oregon
28. Hayward CA
29. Charlottetown, Canada -- Public meeting on Sept 29 at 2:30 pm, UPEI, Irving Theatre
30. Washington, DC
31. Portland, Oregon - Film showing of Kevin Pina film "Haiti: Harvest of Hope" at People's Food Cooperative,
3029 SE 21st Avenue, on Sept. 28 at 7 pm....On 9/30 Portland Haiti activists will conduct a "call-in", "fax blast" and "email blast" to contact US officials, MINUSTAH (UN) and Haitian government officials -- "calling for a end to political persecution, the return of Haiti's legitimate elected officials, release of all political prisoners, and for an end to the UN's role in supporting the illegal Interim Government. These things must happen before elections can take place."
32. Northampton, Mass.
33. San Jose, Costa Rica
34. Boston, Mass. - Picket the Haitian Consulate, 545 Boylston St.,Copley Sq., 6-7:30 pm on 9/30.
35. Newark, NJ - "Speak Out for Haiti" at Federal Building, 970 Broad St., Noon-1 pm on 9/30.
For more information, or to add your city or town to this mobilization, email the Sept 30th Organizing Committee at email@example.com or call 510-847-8657.
PLEASE SEND DETAILS OF THE ACTION IN YOUR CITY.
* Stop the Massacres of the Poor by UN troops, Haitian National Police and paramilitary mercenaries under police control
* Restore the Democratically Elected Government of President Aristide
* Free Father Jean-Juste and all the more than 1000 Political Prisoners in Haiti's jails
* End the Brutal US/UN Occupation - Restore Haiti's Sovereignty
* Open an independent inquiry into the February 29, 2004 coup and forced removal of President Aristide -- including the role of the US, France and Canada.