Sunday, February 13, 2011

Abayomi Azikiwe, PANW Editor's Contribution to "Haiti: A Slave Revolution" Takes on Added Relevance Amid Aristide's Return

Updated Edition of Haiti: A Slave Revolution Takes on More Relevance Amid Aristide's Return

In solidarity with the struggling people of Haiti , the International Action Center has re-publishing the groundbreaking book, Haiti: A Slave Revolution, 200 Years after 1804.

In response to the tragic earthquake on Jan. 12 and the huge humanitarian crisis that followed, the IAC joined with the Haitian community and solidarity-minded people all over the country in an all-out effort for immediate humanitarian relief. From coast-to-coast, IAC chapters mobilized and marched to Stand with Haiti , demanding “Food, water, medical care and housing, not foreign troops and occupation!”

While the IAC firmly opposed U.S. intervention in Haiti and called for respect for that nation’s sovereignty and solidarity with the Haitian people, our chapters also helped with fundraising efforts for emergency medical and other aid. The Solidarity Center in New York City provided space for speakers and events in solidarity with Haiti.

One important contribution which the IAC has made through its literature is a political understanding of the history of imperialist intervention in Haiti , especially that by the United States . They are the ones to blame for the deliberate impoverishment of the people of Haiti , which made the earthquake’s devastation so much worse.

The first edition of Haiti: A Slave Revolution was published in 2004, on the 200th anniversary of Haiti ’s successful struggle against slavery and for independence from France . The book’s purpose was not only to expose imperialism’s role in Haiti , but to show the more than 200-year-old courageous resistance of the Haitian people to exploitation, oppression and occupation.

This is not a traditional history book or textbook, but a people's history. The editors state in its preface, "This book is going to combat 200 years of racist indoctrination and propaganda about the Haitian Revolution. It is essential to challenge these stereotypes in order to build true, informed solidarity with Haiti."

All copies of the first edition of Haiti: A Slave Revolution have sold out! The IAC has received hundreds of requests for the book from around the country.

The time to revise, update and reissue this important book is now!

The book’s first edition was published before democratically elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was ousted in a U.S.-backed coup, then kidnapped and taken to the Central African Republic. A U.S. delegation which included Sara Flounders of the IAC and Johnnie Stevens of the People’s Video Network, traveled to the Central African Republic to expose Aristide’s kidnapping by the U.S. They broke the blockade surrounding him and were able to meet with him. Several days later, California Congressperson Maxine Waters was able to bring Aristide to South Africa where he now resides.

The book’s second edition will also, of course, cover the recent earthquake and its aftermath, but will focus on and analyze the U.S. role in this catastrophe. An excerpt of a new section by Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of Pan-African Newswire, says, “Corporate media reports have sought to portray Haiti as a ‘failed state’ with weak or non-existent institutions.

“The Obama administration's initiative, which includes the deployment of 10,000 troops and the allocation of $100 million, must be viewed within the broader historical context of U.S. foreign policy towards Haiti . Despite the pledges of U.S. governmental assistance, to be coordinated by former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, the world’s leading imperialist power has a history of more than two centuries of suppressing the Haitian people’s right of self-determination and national independence.”

Azikiwe details U.S. efforts to thwart Haitian independence and sovereignty through economic strangulation, military occupation, naval blockades and covert intervention.

Other contributors to the new book are Larry Hales, national organizer, Fight Imperialism, Stand Together; Greg Dunkel, writer and photographer; Monica Moorehead, coordinator of Millions for Mumia; Saeed Shabazz, journalist; Sara Flounders and Johnnie Stevens.

The new chapters are in addition to the existing text which includes pieces by Edwidge Danticat, noted Haitian-American author; Ramsey Clark, IAC founder; members of United Steelworkers of America Local 8751, which is majority Haitian; Mumia Abu-Jamal, world-renowned political prisoner who is on Pennsylvania’s death row; and poetry by celebrated Haitian poets Paul Laraque and Felix Morisseau-Leroy. There is also a beautiful 16-page photo essay by the late Pat Chin, organizer, writer and photographer.

This book is dedicated to the hundreds of thousands of Haitians who lost their lives, were injured or made homeless by the devastating earthquake.

We hope that you share our enthusiasm for this vital book, especially at this time. Your donations made the publication of the first edition possible. It is critically important that the truth about U.S. intervention in Haiti be told now. It is also crucial that the real history of the Haitian people’s struggles be told, and that ever more solidarity is shown with the people of Haiti .

All of the labor that has gone into producing this book is voluntary – writing, editing, proofreading, book design and more. However, commercial printing and binding costs are high. This causes us once again to turn to our supporters and friends to ask for financial support.

Your donation will also help to get this very important book out nationwide to activists and readers where it can be a resource in the struggle against U.S. militarism and occupation. The book is even organized in such a way as to make it suitable for discussion groups, classes and meetings.

We ask for your support. Tax-deductible donations can be made to the People’s Rights Fund/Haiti Book Project. Everyone who donates $25 or more will be sent a copy of the new edition of Haiti: A Slave Revolution.

In solidarity and with our thanks,

Larry Hales, LeiLani Dowell, Sara Flounders, Greg Dunkel

International Action Center

PS -- To donate, go to, and click the DONATE/Support Our Work button. Complete the form, indicate the amount you want to give, then press the SUBMIT SECURE CREDIT CARD VALIDATION button to enter your credit card and complete the transaction.

Also send us a reply to this email message, telling us about your donation, so we can reserve a copy of the book for you. Thanks!

Everyone who donates $25 or more will receive a copy of the book. Tax-deductible contributions can also be sent to People's Rights Fund, 55 W. 17th St., 5th floor, New York, N.Y. 10011 (Earmark "Haiti book" on the memo line.)

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