Although today's developments come as a shock, I think it is important to remain mobilized, to:
- denounce the violent, undemocratic transfer of power imposed by the U.S. and its allies
- to advocate for the protection of democracy supporters in Haiti, who may be subject to violent retaliation.
There is much uncertainty surrounding today's events in Haiti, but some things are clear. I would urge everyone to continue writing and calling the State Department and the media, and raise the following points:
- This was a violent, undemocratic regime change. If President Aristide did resign, he did it because of violence already perpetrated on civil servants and democracy supporters over the last month, and the explicit threat of much more bloodshed in Port-au-Prince. To their immense shame, the United States and other powerful countries not only failed to support Haiti's democracy in its time of need, they explicitly used the violence to achieve ends it had been seeking by other means for three years.
- There is a serious danger of large-scale, systematic violence against government supporters. Justice Boniface Alexandre, who is reported to have assumed the interim Presidency, has a record of respect for human rights and justice. But it is unlikely that he will be able to control a police force able to withstand the predations of the insurgents, whose leadership has a long and well-documented history of atrocities.
- The U.S. bears responsibility for the current situation, because of 1) its recent support for unconstitutional regime change, and 2) its longtime support for Haiti's violent opposition. This responsibility imposes an obligation the U.S. to act vigorously to protect civilians in Haiti. The U.S. should provide immediate financial and material support to the Haitian government, and should fully support any request by the government for peacekeeping troops or other security assistance.
I have heard of demonstrations planned already for DC and NY, although I have no details. There may be one in the Bay Area as well. If you are in those areas, call the people in your local network and join in.
Looking ahead, we will need to mobilize in the future in favor of prompt fair elections, and the installation of democratically elected officials in both the legislative and executive branches.
HAC Action Alert Feb 25 - Zap the corporate media for participating in the U.S. led destab-ilization campaign. Contains background inform-ation about the leaders of the current military operation and contact info.