Statement of Solidarity of Haiti Action Committee with the Third World Resistance Coalition on Martin Luther King Jr. Day
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was an internationalist, who famously stated that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
Just as we in the Bay Area are fighting against police murder of Black people, so it is in Haiti. The State Department wants to suppress the surging popular movement – using police terror against the people. During the 2015 elections, special US-financed police units sprayed machine gun fire into working-class neighborhoods in Port-au-Prince and Arcahaie to suppress the vote, killing scores of people.
Haitians are now in the streets almost every day – as tens of thousands turn out to demand that the stolen 2015 election be thrown out. The mass movement is telling the U.S./U.N. occupiers: “Don’t Steal Our Votes!” It is demanding “Reclaim Haiti’s sovereignty!” from foreign occupation.
Haiti’s struggle is our struggle. Fifty years since the Voting Rights Act in the U.S., it’s been rolled back to systematically deny Black people the right to vote – again. In Haiti the 2015 elections were plagued by endless and well-documented ballot stuffing, vote buying, armed coercion, naked vote rigging – yet the U.S. ambassador gave his “OK” to the faked election results. In effect, whether it’s here or in Haiti, U.S. rulers are deliberately interfering with the people’s right to freely choose their representatives.
Haiti’s fight is our fight. The U.S. State Department is the main actor trying to push through the fraudulent elections – maneuvering to exclude Haiti’s most popular political party – Fanmi Lavalas – from any role in the next government. The U.S. wants to keep in power corrupt puppets who are giving away Haiti’s abundant mineral resources … privatizing the mines and the electric company … and keeping factory wages at US$3/day.
Lighting the fires of struggle. The Haitian people, in their vast majority, are very aware of their history – proud inheritors of the Revolution of 1791-1804, when Haiti defeated the army of Napoleon, ended plantation slavery and declared independence from France. “It’s on every lip,” said one Lavalas activist. “People are saying that in rejecting this stolen election, we are lighting the fires of struggle, continuing the fight for equality and sovereignty that our ancestors fought for 200 years ago.”
We stand with Haiti’s popular movement today, saying “No To Stolen Elections”, as we march to reclaim the radical legacy of Dr. King.