Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Popular Base Committee of Fanmi Lavalas Makes Declaration

By: Jean Ristil –

On January 26, 2008 the Committee of Reflection of the Popular Base of Fanmi Lavalas released a declaration in Port-au-Prince. The committee had assembled in Plas Fy�te (Pride Square) in Site Soley to say no to the massacres being committed in this impoverish slum. A large march, with blaring trumpets and chanting crowds, had made its way to the location.

The group explained how on that same day, across the country, people were coming out into the streets with the same slogan: �we may get hit and forget, but the scars will serve as a reminder.�

The gathering of this committee from the popular base was attended by many people, including well known grassroots activists and former political prisoners Ren� Civil and Annette �So An� Auguste.

A declaration from the organization read, “From April 26, 1825 to April 26, 2008 marks the 123rd anniversary of the ransom debt; the exploitative government of France forced President Boyer who had his hands tied behind his back to pay in order for France to recognize the Haitian independence. Our ancestors gave their blood for that independence; if we are in this impoverished state today, it�s because of France. We want to tell France that if they are such a beautiful country it�s because they sucked the life blood out of Haiti.”

Showing more significance to the date, they observed, “April 26 2004, April 26 2008 marks the 43rd anniversary of the massacre that took place in the town of Jeremi; 22 years ago on April 26 1986, another massacre occurred in Fort Dimanche; April 26 2008 is Peasants World�s Day; let�s encourage our national production. April 26 2004, April 2008 marks the 4th year since a group of young men & women came together to put into place a political tool; to say no to the February 29 kidnapping. ” The assembled audience explained how their flag and dignity had been trampled upon by those events. “The result was arbitrary arrests, theft; rape and exile.” In Site Soley, La Salin; Belair, Solino; Fort National, Grand Ravine; Aux Cayes, Jacmel; Gonaives and all over the country people suffered. They questioned “When will this little country live the dream of Toussaint Louverture & Dessalines?”

The assembled audienced explained how former president Aristide and the mobilization around the political movement he was associated with remained the most potent force in the country.

The declaration from the group ended with: “Haiti has yet to see any good days; she has seen only accursed dates. Every day people are saying that Haiti is liberated; but is she really free? Since the liberation in 1804, it�s always been men pretending to be leaders coming to power; how many of us believe we are truly free? Perhaps Haiti is free but Haitians are not free. If we work together, we will make others respect our country; we are the first Black Republic in the Western Hemisphere, yet we are worse off; when will we ask ourselves to truly unite as one?”

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