HAITI: Continental Campaign Launched at Nov. 5 Rally in Brazil
On November 5, 2012, more than 600 people crowded into the auditorium of the Municipal Building of the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil, at a Continental Rally to Demand "UN Troops Out of Haiti Now!

Speakers from seven countries -- the United States, Haiti, Bolivia, Argentina, Uruguay, France and Brazil -- addressed what the U.S. delegation in their declaration characterized as an "historic rally." [See statement below.] The meeting was organized by the "To Defend Haiti is to Defend Ourselves" Committee.

From Brazil, speakers included national leaders from the Workers Party (PT), Unified Confederation of Workers (CUT), Unified Black Movement, Landless Peasants Movement (MST), Combat Against Racism, SOS Racism, as well as numerous trade unions.

We are reprinting below the PLEDGE of Sao Paulo -- the final document that came out of the rally. Also below is the Declaration of the U.S. delegation to the Rally -- which consisted of Colia Clark, member of the International Commission of Inquiry on Haiti; Kim Ives, representing the Brooklyn-based newspaper Haiti-Liberté; and Dan Coughlin of The Nation magazine.

Also attached are two photographs from the events in Sao Paulo. The first shows Sister Colia Clark at the podium of the rally (with interpreter Alberto Handfas on her left). The second photo was taken at a meeting of the CUT's Committee Against Racism, which launched Brazil's Black Consciousness Month. It shows the three-member U.S. delegation in Brazil.

In coming days we will send you the final press statement from the rally, as well as excerpts from some of the presentations.

Fignolé St. Cyr, president of the Autonomous Workers Confederation of Haiti (CATH), was the final speaker at the event. Echoing an earlier statement by CUT National Executive Board member Julio Turra, he called for the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all UN troops from Haiti.

As you will read below, the PLEDGE signed by the participants in this rally calls for an ongoing Continental campaign for this purpose. We urge all our readers and supporters to get behind this campaign.

The first thing you can do is make a financial contribution to the Continental Conference in Cap Haitien, Haiti, which will take place November 16-18, 2011. Funds are needed urgently to help send a U.S. delegation to this conference -- to help build this continental campaign.

Please send a check, large or small, to help defray the costs of this campaign. Make your check payable to "ILC" and send it to OWC, c/o San Francisco Labor Council, 1188 Franklin St. #203, San Francisco, CA 94109.

In solidarity,

The Coordinators,
U.S. Support Committee of the
International Liaison Committee

* * * * * * * * * *


"Aba Okipasyon, Aba Minustah"
UN Troops Out of Haiti Now!
Gathered at a public rally at the City Hall of Sao Paulo, coming from six countries whose governments are involved in the occupation of Haiti and from 12 different states in Brazil, WE HAVE SIGNED a pledge of militant solidarity with the sovereign Black nation of Haiti!

For more than seven years, the troops from the "UN Mission for the Stabilization of Haiti," or MINUSTAH, have been responsible for the violation of Haiti's sovereignty and for attacks on their human rights -- the "collateral" effects of a permanent state of war -- along with repression of democratic, union, student and popular demonstrations.

The MINUSTAH troops introduced the cholera bacteria into the country that has already killed 6,500 Haitians and infected more than 300,000. Accusations of sexual violence and rape of young people hang over their heads; these are crimes for which they have impunity given their legal immunity.

This past October 15, the Security Council of the UN, indifferent to the demands expressed by various sectors in many countries, and by the Haitian people themselves, renewed the MINUSTAH mandate for another year (previously reduced before the earthquake), and even "expressed their intention to renew the mandate for the mission beyond 2012"!

WE ESTABLISH THIS PLEDGE, AND CALL UPON all peoples, together with their organizations, not to leave the streets until this military operation is ended, thereby uniting fraternally with the Haitian people who are demanding respect for their sovereignty through continued demonstrations against the occupation -- which should not be replaced with mercenary troops.

We have a historical debt to the Haitian people. Haiti was a pioneer in the abolition of slavery: 208 years ago they expelled Napoleon's colonial troops and established the first Black Republic in the world. But they were obligated to pay "reparations" for losses of French-owned land and slaves, at the cost of a huge drain of resources throughout their history.

Haiti suffered several military occupations, the last in 2004, decided by U.S. imperialism along with France and Canada, which overthrew the then President-elect Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Since then, it has been subjected to the occupation by troops and police from 40 countries, controlled by the Brazilian army, and masked by the UN as "stabilization mission."

The Brazilian government has taken responsibility, not in our name, for the military command of MINUSTAH troops, which encapsulates imperialist interests. Indeed, this occupation renders even easier the vile exploitation of the local work force by multinationals in "free zones" with no rights or social protections, with savage repression of workers that is denounced by their organizations.  This happens under the de-facto tutelage of the CIRH, the so-called Interim Commission for the Reconstruction of Haiti, whose head is no less than Bill Clinton.

We establish the PLEDGE, AND DEMAND OF THE GOVERNMENTS of our countries -- Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Bolivia, USA, France ... -- to immediately cease their participation in this shameful operation. The presence of UN troops did not even help those affected by the earthquake, as the powers-that-be preferred to bail out the rich neighborhoods. Almost two years after this catastrophe, more than one million Haitians remain homeless. Neither did it serve to establish democracy, nor could it. The troops were the guarantors, for example, of the last sham election, where only 17% of Haitians voted.

Starting today, we constitute ourselves into a Continental Committee for the Immediate Withdrawal of UN troops from Haiti -- supported by similar actions taking place this day in Canada, Mexico, Peru and Ecuador.

We call for the creation of Committees for the Immediate Withdrawal in all countries on the continent. And we propose, in particular to the Caribbean Conference in Cap Haitien, Haiti (November 16-18), a Continental Day of Action for the Withdrawal of Troops from Haiti on the 8th anniversary of the most recent occupation of Haiti -- that is, June 1, 2012 with actions and demonstrations aimed at their governments.

We therefore affirm and call for:

 * Haiti needs doctors, engineers, teachers and technicians -- not occupation troops!

 * Cancellation of Haiti's foreign debt! Reparations for the value of the compensation paid to the immoral debt following Haiti's independence!

 * Reparation for the families of victims of cholera and human rights violations!
 * Immediate withdrawal of UN troops from Haiti!

 THIS IS OUR PLEDGE; because defending Haiti means defending ourselves!

* * * * * * * * * *
3828531256?profile=originalColia Clark in Brazil


(Sao Paulo, Brazil -- November 5, 2012)

We salute the initiative of the Continental Rally to Defend Haiti and Defend Ourselves. Indeed, the fight against the illegal military occupation of Haiti is in the interests of all the world's people.

The United States delegation to this historic event includes Colia Clark of the International 
Commission of Inquiry on Haiti, Kim Ives of the Haitian weekly newspaper Haïti Liberté, and journalist Dan Coughlin of The Nation.

We urge the immediate closure of the 25 foreign military bases in Haiti and the withdrawal of all international forces. By any measure, the eight-year Brazilian-led occupation has been an 
unmitigated disaster for human rights and democratic rule in Haiti.
Under the occupation, thousands of Haitians, most of them poor who were seen as
supporters of the Lavalas political movement and former President Jean Bertrand Aristide, were 
killed or jailed.
Under the occupation, staged elections have excluded the vast majority of Haitians and themost important political party from the democratic process. This has led to the neo-Duvalierist regime of President Michel Martelly taking power with the promise that he will resurrect Haiti's despised army -- a force that was used only to kill and repress Haitians, to deny them their democratic rights.
Under the occupation, the polluting practices of UN troops led to the introduction of a raging cholera epidemic that has now killed more than 6,600 Haitians and infected half a million.
Under the occupation, UN troops have been used as a partisan political force, primarily to suppress the legitimate demonstrations of Haitians against the 2004 coup and UN occupation.
UN troops have also tried to stop Haitians -- already the lowest paid workers in the hemisphere -- from demonstrating for a living minimum wage.

This disastrous and anti-democratic occupation has stained the reputation of all the countries that are involved. But it is Washington that is leading this effort. As U.S. State Department cables revealed by Wikileaks shows, the UN mission in Haiti fulfills a "core" U.S. foreign policy objective at half the cost to Washington and at a time when U.S. troops have been tied up in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Neither the UN, nor the armies and police forces of more than 45 countries from around the 
world, should be used as Washington's weapon to create a low-wage sweatshop country with no democratic or human rights.

As many Haitian leaders have said, there must be Haitian solutions for Haitian problems. If the UN wants to send doctors, engineers or other specialists to assist Haitians, as the Cubans and Venezuelans do, we have no problem with that. But the UN should never have sent soldiers, tanks and guns to Haiti, weapons which have only been used to enforce the neoliberal agenda of 
Washington, Paris, and Ottawa. It is past time for the UN swords to be turned into ploughshares.



submitted by ILC <ilcinfo@earthlink.net>




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