December 28, 2023
Dear Friend of the Haiti Action Committee,
With our best wishes for the holiday season and the New Year, we thank you for your ongoing solidarity with the Haitian people.
This is a critical moment for Haiti. As the US and UN move forward with plans for a new foreign invasion, this time fronted by Kenyan police, the Haitian popular movement, including Fanmi Lavalas, continues to demand an end to foreign occupation once and for all. They are calling instead to replace the current dictatorship with a people’s transition government of “Sali Piblik” (public safety). In the face of repression and relentless terror that has driven hundreds of thousands from their homes, creating what Haitians have called a “hell on earth”, the Haitian people continue to defend their communities and to build new institutions, such as free clinics, cooperatives, and schools that serve the people.
Working directly with this dynamic movement, the Haiti Action Committee has intensified our work throughout 2023. Here is some of what we have done, with your support, over the year:
- Organized a wide range of protests to “Make Haiti Visible”, including the International Day of Action on Haitian Flag Day (May 18th) that combined actions across the US and internationally.
- Working with the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund, we helped organize and host a visit to the Bay Area by former First Lady Mildred Aristide during which she was able to meet with and educate the Bay Area community about the ongoing crisis in Haiti today and the inspiring work of the University of the Dr. Aristide Foundation (UNIFA). The main event, held in Oakland in a packed hall, was graced by the beautiful music provided by Destiny Muhammad, Tarika Lewis, Francisco Herrera, Tacuma King, Val Serrant and Andrew Reynolds. The event included a City of Oakland Proclamation presented by Councilmember Carroll Fife and a community presentation from the Black Cultural Zone (BCZ).
- Hosted a webinar, Haiti and the Philippines Today: Join the Resistance to Foreign Intervention and Plunder, featuring Maud Jean-Michel, Haitian human rights activist and radio journalist; Rhonda Ramiro, Chair of BAYAN USA; and Judith Mirkinson, National Lawyers Guild, along with Haiti Action Committee members.
- Along with Justice Vanguard, we co-sponsored a Community Event for Haiti featuring the art of Emory Douglas, former Minister of Culture for the Black Panther Party.
- Participated in the End Women’s Poverty International and Community Gathering organized by the Global Women’s Strike, in which Haiti’s former First Lady, Mildred Trouillot Aristide, was the keynote speaker.
- Created and distributed Urgent Action Alerts to the broader public, while also carrying out banner drops over major freeways timed with developments in Haiti.
- Provided concrete assistance, including translation and legal support, to Haitian refugees facing deportation in ICE detention facilities.
- Following our participation in the Journey for Justice led by Witness at the Border, we provided educational forums to expose US policies that drive Haitians to flee their country and the racist exclusionary US border policies and horrific conditions they encounter on their journey.
- Participated in the America’s Policy Forum conference during late April in Washington, D.C., where we led a grassroots lobbying campaign on Haiti in the House and the Senate.
- Joined with organizations in Africa, the Caribbean, Canada and England to mobilize against the US/UN occupation of Haiti. Most recently, this work mobilized to protest the US State Department’s orchestration of Kenya’s impending military invasion of Haiti.
- Organized Haiti solidarity contingents to participate fully in the many demonstrations and civil disobedience actions in support of the people of Palestine. We continue to stand with Gaza as the New Year approaches.
- As part of the No To APEC coalition, we organized a Haiti contingent for marches and rallies, provided speakers and held a workshop at the No To APEC counter-summit at San Francisco State University.
- Held our annual Poetry For Haiti event with powerful poets Avotcja, devorah major and Dennis Bernstein.
- HAC members have continued to publish articles and carry out extensive media interviews. We have fundraised for the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund (HERF), which provides a lifeline of support to Haiti’s popular movement.
None of this work could have been done without your efforts and support. But much more is needed.
As we approach the 20th anniversary of the US-orchestrated coup against President Aristide in 2004, paramilitary death squads working with the Haitian National Police (HNP) continue to terrorize neighborhoods with kidnappings, home burnings and massacres. 4.9 million Haitians, nearly half of the population, are in “acute hunger”, according to the World Food Program. The number of “food insecure” Haitians has tripled since 2016. All of this is the result of the policies implemented by the US/ UN-backed regime of the Haitian Tèt Kale Party (PHTK) and the dictatorship of Ariel Henry.
In the face of this crisis, our goal for 2024 is to increase our solidarity on all levels. To do this, we ask for your continued support. And we thank you, over and over again, for what you have already done.
For more information on our work, please go to www.haitisolidarity.net and check out our Facebook page.
To support the work of Haiti’s grassroots movement, please donate generously to the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund (HERF) at www.haitiemergencyrelief.org.