Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Half-Hour for Haiti: Help Commemorate Haiti’s Liberation Day

November 1, 2005

Half-Hour for Haiti: Help Commemorate Haiti’s Liberation Day

Welcome to all the new members of the Half-Hour for Haiti action alerts. This week’s action is to organize an activity to help Fondasyon 30 Septamn (the September 30 th Foundation) commemorate November 18, the anniversary of the battle of Vertieres. In 1803, the Haitian liberation army defeated the French army at Vertieres, opening the way for independence six weeks later.

Vertieres is particularly worthy of commemoration because Napoleon’s army was better financed, trained and armed. It enjoyed the support of the U.S. and other powerful counties, and was defending two hilltop fortresses. But the Haitians were fighting for better reasons, and prevailed.

Fondasyon 30 Septamn is building on the commemoration on the highly successful September 30 demonstrations held in 47 cities in 17 countries throughout the world.

Two other important Haiti events are coming up: the second session of the International Tribunal on Haiti will take place on November 19, at Suffolk University Law School in Boston, and the Canada Haiti Action Network’s Pan-Canadian Week of Action is November 12-20, 2005.

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Haiti Liberation Day – Nov. 18 – Anniversary of the Haitians’ Defeat of Napoleon in 1803

The September 30th Organizing Committee and Fondasyon Trant Septamn urge you to participate in another major solidarity event — to commemorate Haiti Liberation Day, November 18, 2005. On this day 202 years ago, Haitian liberation forces led by Jean-Jacques Dessalines won a decisive victory over the French slaveholders’ colonial army in the battle of Vertieres, near Cap Haitien. This victory led directly to independence and proclamation of the Republic of Haiti on January 1, 1804.

On February 29, 2004 the US, France and  Canada led a coup against the democratically elected government of Haiti. Since then Haiti has been under foreign occupation, for the last 17 months by the UN “proxy army” arranged by the US and authorized by the UN Security Council.

And just as Napoleon’s Army in 1803 was a multinational army with soldiers from many European countries, so today’s MINUSTAH, the UN army, is composed of soldiers from Jordan, Chile, the US, France, Canada and 15 other countries — with the same objective, to crush the aspirations of the Haitian people and re-establish colonial rule.

The Haitian people have the opposite objective — to complete the liberation begun on November 18, 1803.

That’s why Haiti Liberation Day is so relevant today, and why we are encouraging demonstrations, teach-ins or other activities on or around November 18th. This coincides with a week of already scheduled Haiti events — including a Pan-Canadian Week of Action in Solidarity with the Haitian People, Nov. 12-20, organized by the Canada Haiti Action Network, and the second session of the International Tribunal on Haiti to be held 11/19 in Boston. Please contact us at sub@sonic.net or coalition@haitioye.net  .

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For more information about the Half-Hour For Haiti Program, the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti or human rights in Haiti, see www.ijdh.org.

 

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