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Minneapolis protest says: ‘No U.S. intervention In Haiti’

By Sarah Martin |
October 28, 2022
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Protest rally in front of Senator Amy Klobuchar's office demands no U.S./UN mili
Protest rally in front of Senator Amy Klobuchar's office demands no U.S./UN military intervention in Haiti. (Fight Back! News/staff)

Minneapolis, MN - On October 25, 35 Haiti solidarity activists held a rally in front of the office of Senator Amy Klobuchar under the slogan “No U.S./UN Military Intervention in Haiti.”

This new military intervention in Haiti continues years of foreign interference in the affairs of that country. Peace and security will not come from turning to the UN Security Council, the Organization of American States (OAS), and especially not the U.S. government, which has poured money into the repressive Haitian National Police, which has collaborated with death squads. Turning to the UN, the U.S. and the OAS to “stabilize” the crisis in Haiti today is akin to pleading with the arsonists to quell the fire they have unleashed.

Activists began the bannering with chants including “No to occupation - yes to liberation!” “No to occupation - yes to reparations” and “No to occupation - yes to self-determination,” to the honks of rush hour traffic.

Speakers included Andrew Josefchak of the Anti-War Committee, who recounted the history of U.S. intervention and the resistance of the heroic Haitian people. “U.S. forces are preparing to deploy to Haiti in order to crush the popular movements of the Haitian people, who have led the way forward in the Americas in the struggle against colonialism, imperialism and slavery going back some 200 years.”

Josefchak continued, “But this isn’t the first time the U.S. has tried to turn back the clock on the Haitian Revolution. Ever since the revolution ended slavery in 1804, Haiti has faced U.S. financial bullying as well as outright invasions. France and the U.S. forced Haitians to pay $30 billion in reparations for their own freedom from their former slave masters! We’re never taught in our schools that a long U.S. invasion and occupation from 1915 to 1934 reinstated slavery on the island. Years later, the U.S.-backed Duvalier family dictatorships ruled from 1957 to 1986. Another U.S. invasion happened as recently as 1994. These invasions and economic coercion have kept the Haitian people from the full self-determination that all people are entitled to by right, and another invasion will only make things worse.”

For the past four years, Haitians have courageously taken to the streets and faced police and paramilitary attacks as they demand their human rights, a fair election, an end to the U.S. domination which has kept them the poorest country in the hemisphere, basic economic rights including a living wage, and an end to corruption and plundering of their public resources. Thousands of unarmed Haitians have been killed but still they struggle for justice. 

Bruce Nestor, member of the Haiti Justice Committee and a member of the National Lawyers Guild, who was in Haiti in 2004 shortly after the U.S. coup which ousted the popularly elected President Jean-Aristide, spoke of what U.S./Canadian intervention under the UN auspices really means and looks like. “It means intervention on behalf of political elites who are partners of the international corporations and investment banks in exploitation of Haitian people.” He went on to say, “These elites will get contracts to provide all the services to the troops, the food, cleaning of places they stay, etc., and with this money fund the gangs they hire to oppress the Haitian people and to gain their own political power. This will not bring security, will not bring a stable environment for an election, but will support powerful people who are the source of all that is wrong in Haiti today.”

Other speakers were April Knutson of the Haiti Justice Committee, Marcy Shapiro of the Haiti Justice Committee and WAMM's Solidarity Committee of the Americas, and Christine Harb from the Party of Liberation and Socialism. The Minnesota Peace Action Committee and Women Against Military Madness also played leading roles in organizing the protest.