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GIVEN our debt to Haiti whose 1804 revolution led the way for the abolition of slavery in the Americas, defeating Napoleon’s Army, the most powerful of its day, and establishing the first Black republic; and
GIVEN that after the revolution Haiti gave refuge to Simon Bolivar, the liberator of Latin America, and gave him ships and fighters, and that Haiti intercepted slave ships and freed their human cargo; and
GIVEN that the women of Haiti have waged a long struggle to exercise their political rights which they began to win with the election of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide who brought together and mobilized the Haitian people, elected first in 1990 by at least 60%, elected again in 2001 by 92%, both times removed by US-led coups supported by France and Canada; and
GIVEN that the colonial powers have never forgiven Haiti for its revolution, its revolutionary tradition and its example to all exploited people everywhere; and
GIVEN that these colonial powers have always invaded, occupied, taxed, exploited and supported dictatorships against them; and
GIVEN that France forced Haiti to pay reparations for the loss of “their” slaves and for the revolution itself which, together with US economic embargos and the destruction of Haiti’s agriculture, helped to make Haiti the most impoverished country in the Western Hemisphere; and
GIVEN that Haiti has more NGO’s per square mile than any other country in the world;
GIVEN that since 2004 Haiti has suffered a brutal occupation by the United Nations forces, which have murdered many grassroots people struggling for decent wages, human rights and a better life for their children; and
GIVEN the tragic destruction first by hurricane and then by the most devastating earthquake in human history and the resulting death and disabling of hundreds of thousands and displacement of three million people, followed by the US militarization of aid and the withholding by most agencies of the help to Haiti that the whole world paid for; despite this, the determination and self-organization of Haitians for survival while deprived of their leader Jean-Bertrand Aristide; and
GIVEN that the multi-nationals are now planning to expand sweatshops at slave wages and to exploit Haiti’s natural wealth under the guise of providing aid in this crisis; and
GIVEN that the women of Haiti have asked those “who support the popular movement of Haiti” to support their call “for the return of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to Haiti” to lead the Haitian movement for people’s reconstruction and development, and have issued a petition for this demand which over 20,000 Haitian women have already signed;
WE RESOLVE to endorse, circulate and collect signatures for this grassroots women’s petition for the return of the political leader of the Haitian movement; and
WE DEMAND with the Haitian grassroots an end to the occupation of Haiti.
Co-ordinator of Global Women's Strike
Quoted in NY Times Op-Ed: Pay People to Cook at Home!
Speaking at The Life and Legacy of C.L.R. James Conference
In the Guardian: From welfare to wages, women fight back against the uncaring market
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UK Fri 17th May 13
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