Solidarity protest at a Target store in Brooklyn, New York (Photo: Marie Bien Aime @mfbienaime Twitter)
Haitians will leave their country by any and all means as long as they live under US backed oligarchic rule. Poverty wages which ignited garment worker strikes explain the urge to seek asylum. Black Alliance for Peace explains.
This statement was originally published in Black Alliance for Peace.
IN SOLIDARITY WITH HAITIAN WORKERS AND MIGRANTS
Statement of the Black Alliance for Peace Haiti/Americas Committee
MARCH 15, 2022—The Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) declares its support for garment workers in Haiti and stands with the Haitian people who, migrating from the country for economic or political reasons, have faced racism, hostility, and terror abroad. We also condemn the neo-colonial political economic policies of the U.S. government, its international allies, and the multinational corporations who have created Haiti’s imperial crisis by continuing to undermine the sovereignty and independence of the Haitian people.
Early in the year, garment workers launched protests at the Caracol Industrial Park in Haiti’s northeast region. These protests have since spread to Port-au-Prince. The workers—mostly women—have demanded wage increases and decried the dehumanizing and demeaning sweatshops in which they are employed. Their demands have been blocked by the U.S. government and by those foreign corporations, including Hanes, New Balance, Champion, Gilden Activewear, Gap, and Walmart, which have profited from a decades-long history of Haitian labor exploitation and wage suppression. With wages at a criminally-low figure of under $5 per day, the workers are demanding an increase to $15 per day.
At the same time, thousands of Haitian people continue to abandon their homes and flee their country for economic and political reasons. Their journeys abroad are uncertain and perilous and their encounters with foreign governments have been punitive and hostile. Only last week, a boat carrying more than 300 Haitians capsized off the coast of Florida. In Mexico, Haitian migrants confront daily the racism of immigration agents and the National Guard and thousands of Haitians have been illegally incarcerated in Tapachula in what some have described as concentration camps. The Dominican Republic, with help from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, is militarizing its border with Haiti, beginning construction on a planned 164-kilometer long wall with 70 watchtowers and 41 access points. Dominican President Luis Abinader has called it an “intelligent fence”: It will use radars, drones, movement sensors, cameras and, of course, well-armed border patrol agents to prevent Haitian migration.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration deports Haitian asylum seekers at a record pace. Biden has continued the use of Trump-era policies including “Remain in Mexico” and “Title 42” to deny asylum seekers the right to due process and safety. More than 20,000 Haitians have been deported within Biden’s first year in office, a number greater than the record of the previous three presidents combined.
It goes without saying that the treatment of Haitian people provides a stark, racial contrast with that of Ukrainian refugees. While Biden has told Haitians, “Don't come over,” he has welcomed Ukrainians “with open arms.”
For the Black Alliance for Peace, imperialism is the root cause of both the protests of Haiti’s garment workers and the experiences of Haitian migrants. While multinational corporations have undermined Haiti’s workers, the U.S. government, alongside U.S.-led bodies like the Organization of American States (OAS) and the CORE Group, have decapitated the Haitian state. As Haitain wages have been suppressed, Haitian democracy has been throttled. And as Haitian immigrants are abused in and deported from foreign countries, it is foreign meddling that has created the conditions forcing Haitians to migrate.
Thus, as Jemima Pierre, BAP’s Haiti/Americas Committee Coordinator, reminds us, “Haiti’s domestic crises are crises of imperialism, generated by the policies of the United States and its allies.”
The Black Alliance for Peace reaffirms its solidarity with the Haitian people in their unremitting struggles for peace, independence, and self-determination against U.S./UN imperialism. We salute our sisters and brothers fighting for higher wages and better working conditions at home, and in their quest for a better life abroad.
The Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) calls on all organized labor to organize boycotts of Hanes, Levis, Fruit of the Loom and H&M in solidarity with Haitian workers.
BAP demands that the Biden regime stop its racist hypocrisy and end deportations of Haitian asylum seekers.
BAP demands that Haitian refugees and asylum seekers in the United States, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and elsewhere be treated with dignity and be afforded their legal rights under international law.
BAP calls on all organizations in the Caribbean and Latin America to issue denunciations of the OAS and United States and organize regular pickets outside of their headquarters and embassies.
BAP calls on all human rights organizations and members of the Black liberation movements to organize long term strategic solidarity campaigns to support self-determination for the Haitian people.
No Compromise, No Retreat!