Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Detroit: MECAWI to Honor International Day of Solidarity With Haiti, February 7

Actions in 15 countries and 4 continents planned for Feb.7th

35 Cities Join International Day in Solidarity with Haiti
PANW Editor's Note: In Detroit the Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice (MECAWI) has dedicated its weekly meeting in solidarity with the Haitian people. The meeting will feature a brief video clip and discussion on the struggle of the Haitian masses for genuine democracy. The meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 7 at 7:00 p.m. at the MECAWI office located at 5922 Second Avenue near Antoinette. Admission is free and open to the public.

So far 35 cities -- in South Africa, South America, the Caribbean, Europe and North America -- have joined hands in the February 7th International Day in Solidarity with the Haitian People. They are answering the call of the popular movement in Haiti, which is mobilizing people for February 7, as they have been continually since the February 29, 2004 coup d'etat.

From street demonstrations and marches to vigils, film showings and public meetings, people in 15 countries (so far!) are uniting around the 6 demands and the central theme: Stop the War Against the People of Haiti -- End the Foreign Military Occupation -- Respect Haiti's Sovereignty!

Protests are being organized in Brazil, Chile, Peru, Bolivia, the US and Canada -- countries that provide troops for the UN military force in Haiti -- as well as in South Africa, Ireland, England, Mexico, Guyana, Venezuela and the Caribbean. Cities with large Haitian communities in the US and Canada will be mobilizing. New York will see a Haiti solidarity demonstration at United Nations headquarters on Feb. 7th. San Francisco and Los Angeles will target the consulate of Brazil, whose UN military commander in Haiti is responsible for the massacres and the almost daily, heavy-caliber attacks on the men, women and children who live in Cite Soleil..

This is a critical moment for Haiti. Repression is intensifying, but the people's resistance continues strong. Our practical solidarity can play a key part in this life-or-death struggle.

Here is what you can do:

1. Organize an activity for Haiti on or around Wednesday, Febuary 7 in your city or town.
2. Let us know now what you are planning -- date, time, location, type of activity, contact information -- so we can build the campaign. [Call +1-510-847-8657 or email sub@sonic.net]. After your event, please call or email us a report immediately so we can publicize each city's protest activity while the news is still fresh.
3. Circulate key documents [sent separately]:
a. The "Call to Action - International Day in Solidarity with the Haitian People - Coordinated International Protests on Feb. 7, 2007." In English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.
b. Sept. 30th Foundation Declaration: "No to Occupation -- No to Trusteeship" - in Kreyol and English. And recent article: "The Coup d'Etat Continues" - in French.
c. Reports on the December 22 "Christmas massacre" in Cite Soleil; on the role of the UN since the Feb. 29, 2004 coup; and on the current situation in Haiti.

Thank you, brothers and sisters.

The February 7th Organizing Committee

A Call to Action – Join the International Day in Solidarity with the Haitian People
Coordinated International Protests
on February 7, 2007

*** End the Foreign Military Occupation of Haiti!
*** Stop the War against the People of Haiti!
*** Respect Haiti's Sovereignty!

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 a call for renewed protests in many cities of the world on February 7, 2007. This is the anniversary of the overthrow of the Duvalier dictatorship in 1986. Haiti will be demonstrating on that day – so should we!

The February 7th call 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).

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 2005 international demonstrations for Haiti

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.

For the February 7, 2007 International Day of Solidarity with the People of Haiti,

Lavarice Gaudin, Veye Yo
Lovinsky Pierre-Antoine, Fondasyon Trant Septanm
Margaret Prescod, Global Women's Strike
Dave Welsh, US Labor/Human Rights Delegation to Haiti

Contact the Feb. 7th Organizing Committee at 510-847-8657 or sub@sonic.net

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