ezili_sm_button
writings_sm_button
perform_sm_button
bio_sm_button
workshops_sm_button
contactus_sm_button
guest_bu_button
law_sm_button
merchan_bu_button
BACK

Boycott Sweatshop Companies in Haiti: Disney owned by
ABC Network

***********************
Our nasty little racist war in Haiti
***********************
Disney's Hell in Haiti

***********************
The US in Haiti: How to Get Rich on 11 Cents an Hour by Eric Verhoogen
A Report Prepared for The National Labor Committee, January 1996

***********************
Three ideals of Dessalines

***********************
Support HLLN's Campaign Five
***********************
When Haiti Was Free - Video Evidence of Media Lies

*
**********************

Veil of Blood: Ignorance is no Defense;
***********************
Media Lies: The two common storylines about Haiti
- May 14, 2008 & August 27, 2007
***********************
Condemn Sham Elections in Haiti

Dessalines Is Rising!!
Ayisyen: You Are Not Alone!



 


*
**********************

Economic proposals that make sense for the reality of Haiti - The Western economic model doesn't fit an independent Black nation 
***********************
Haitian Riches
*********************** , Western vs. Real Narrative on Haiti

*
**********************

Mickey Mouse goes to haiti 1of2

Mickey Mouse Goes to Haiti Part 2

 
 






 

Boycott Disney and the ABC Network

"...Haitians, through the ballot box, rebelled against their neocolonial status. They rebelled against a racist world economy that locked them into the role of producers instead of consumers. Under Aristide, they wanted to complete what they began in 1803 – joining the world community as equals. If Haiti, as the hemisphere’s poorest nation, was successful in escaping from their international debt and seizing control of their own destiny, it could prove to be as devastating to the global sweatshop economy as Haiti’s first revolution was to the slave trade.......

"...the new (US-imposed Miami) government also, as one of its first acts in office, cut Haiti’s minimum wage by 50%, from about $3.60 for a 12 hour day, down to $1.60. This is a big perk for Haitian-American Andre Apaid, owner of numerous Haitian garment manufacturing plants making cheap wares for American companies such as Disney, owner of the ABC network. ABC joined the US corporate media in selling this American citizen as a legitimate leader of Haiti’s “civil resistance” to the popular Aristide Government. "Our nasty little racist war in Haiti by Michaeli, NimN, June 7, 2004 | Source: http://coldtype.net/Grip.04.html
(Scroll down to 7 June 2004)

Our nasty little racist war in Haiti
MICHAEL I. NIMAN, June 7, 2004

(For full article, go to: http://coldtype.net/Assets.04/Niman.04/Niman.20.04.pdf


“It’s no accident that the loudest condemnation of this coup is coming from some of the world’s most prominent Black statespersons. The coup is an outright racist attack against the world’s most heroic Black nation as it tries to exercise political self-determination.

This is what Noam Chomsky, referring to Sandinista-ruled Nicaragua in the 1970s, called “the threat of a good example.” Haitians, through the ballot box, rebelled against their neocolonial status. They rebelled against a racist world economy that locked them into the role of producers instead of consumers. Under Aristide, they wanted to complete what they began in 1803 – joining the world community as equals. If Haiti, as the hemisphere’s poorest nation, was successful in escaping from their international debt and seizing control of their own destiny, it could prove to be as devastating to the global sweatshop economy as Haiti’s first revolution was to the slave trade. And this just plain can’t happen in George W’s world.

Hence, it should come as no surprise that the new government also, as one of its first acts in office, cut Haiti’s minimum wage by 50%, from about $3.60 for a 12 hour day, down to $1.60. This is a big perk for Haitian-American Andre Apaid, owner of numerous Haitian garment manufacturing plants making cheap wares for American companies such as Disney, owner of the ABC network. ABC joined the US corporate media in selling this American citizen as a legitimate leader of Haiti’s “civil resistance” to the popular Aristide Government.

If you’re still confused about the coup in Haiti, just take a trip to the mall and visit the Disney Store. Read the garment labels and see where things are made. Juxtapose Disney CEO Michael Eisner’s compensation package, which reached a half a billion dollars per year at the zenith of Eisner’s reign in 1996, with the measly seven or eight hundred dollars Disney sweatshop workers earned the same year in Haiti, working longer hours under far more grueling conditions.

Pompous French and spineless Canadians
The Haiti coup also gave the otherwise self-righteous French an opportunity to bond with their American allies in the wake of a family feud over Iraq. With US corporate interests allied with French governmental interests in Haiti, a French-American posse coalesced.

Likewise, Canada donned its hood and spinelessly joined in the lynching. By sending a few hundred troops to Haiti, Canada pledged loyalty to their ever more violent American neighbor while showing their own separatist Quebecois population that they’re also cool with the French. F##k Haiti. It’s just not about them.

Recently, The Quixote Center, a Christian social justice center located in Maryland, organized a “Haiti Observation Mission” comprised of US and Canadian citizens, visiting post-coup Haiti in April. Interviewing eye witnesses, morgue workers, and members of families of Haiti’s newly disappeared, they estimated that there were at least 1,000 political murders during the month of March. They also estimated that US forces, condemned as being “trigger happy” by their French colleagues, killed upwards of 40 Haitians during the same period. A delegation from the US based National Lawyers Guild(NLG) found unmarked mass graves on the outskirts of Haiti’s capitol, Port au Prince. They also filmed an area where pigs were eating partially burned human bodies.

The NLG also reported that US, French and Canadian forces were regularly terrorizing entire neighborhoods in Port au Prince. More specifically, they’re terrorizing the Haitian capitol’s poorest neighborhoods, where Haiti’s former ruling Lavalas party was the strongest. Despite the overwhelming popularity of the democratically elected Lavalas party, the new US imposed government is Lavalas-free, with Lavalas members now being hunted down and murdered by coup forces operating under impunity in US-occupied Port au Prince. This isn’t just a tragic day for Haiti. It’s a tragic day for democracy. And it’s an especially tragic day for the pan-African diaspora. That’s why Black political leaders and prominent figures from around the world have stepped forward in outrage, loudly raising their voices to make sure that this latest assault against the world’s first free Black republic doesn’t go unnoticed”.

Source:http://coldtype.net/Grip.04.html
(Scroll down to 7 June 2004)
********************

 

Until She Spoke, the slave ship, followed by hungry sharks, greeedy to devour the dead and dying slaves flung overboard to feed them, ploughed in peace the South Atlantic, painting the sea with the Negro's blood...

Until she spoke, the slave trade was sanctioned by all the Christian nations of the world..." Frederick Douglas, Lecture on Haiti
http://www.webster.edu/%7Ecorbetre/haiti/history/1844-1915/douglass.htm

 

The Truth about Haiti: An NAACP Investigation
http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5018/

***********************

***********************
Disney's Hell in Haiti |
Haiti Progres, This Week in Haiti, Vol. 13, no. 41, 3-9 January 1996

The dewy eyes and beguiling smile of Walt Disney's newest animated star, Pocahontas, may have charmed children the world over this Christmas. But in Haiti, Pocahontas symbolizes a living hell for many of the young women toiling in the country's assembly zones, according to a new report released last month.

Workers stitching clothing emblazoned with feel-good Disney characters are not even paid enough to feed themselves, let alone their families, charges the New York-based National Labor Committee Education Fund in Support of Worker and Human Rights in Central America (NLC). Haitian contractors producing Mickey Mouse and Pocahontas pajamas for U.S. companies under license with the Walt Disney Corporation are in some cases paying workers as little as 15 gourdes (US$1) per day -- 12 cents an hour -- in clear violation of Haitian law, said the NLC. Along with starvation wages, Haitian workers making clothes for U.S. corporate giants face sexual harassment and exceedingly long hours of work. Haiti does need economic development and Haitian workers do need jobs, but not at the price of violating workers' fundamental rights. Paying 11 cents an hour to sew dresses for Kmart is not development. It is crime, charged the NLC.

Over the past two decades, U.S. State Department officials have consistently prescribed development of the transformation industry as the antidote to Haitian poverty. In the early 1980s, about 250 factories employed over 60,000 Haitian workers in Port- au-Prince. The minimum wage then was US$2.64 a day. But many sweat-shops fled Haiti after the fall of the dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier in 1986.

Others left shortly after the election of Jean- Bertrand Aristide in 1990, who campaigned with nationalist rhetoric, and still more left after the 1991 coup d'etat.

But Haiti's miserable condition today makes it an ideal competitor in the world labor market, say U.S. State Department officials, and the assembly zones are again at the heart of the Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) for Haiti now being peddled by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Still, the recovery of the assembly zones remains weak. Only 72 assembly firms employing some 13,000 people had been re- established by September 1995, according to a Haitian government agency. International financial institutions argue that Haiti must lower the other costs of assembly production like port, telephone and electricity fees. Hence, the World Bank is pushing for U.S. companies to take control of these key sectors through the privatization of Haiti's publicly owned industries.

Meanwhile, SAP strategists argue, wages must be kept low and competitive.
But the National Labor Committee (NLC), and Haitian workers, contend that the assembly zones in Haiti, like those in the rest of the Caribbean and Central America, are zones for slavery. As Haitian factory owners and American corporations are profiting from the low wages, Haitian workers are struggling every day just to feed themselves and their families, noted the NLC report, entitled, How to Get Rich on 11 Cents an Hour.

In particular, the report notes how factory owners are trying to avoid paying Haiti's new minimum wage of 36 gourdes per day (US$2.40) and charges that more than half of the 40 textile assembly firms operating in Haiti at the time of the NLC's research in August 1995 were violating the minimum wage law. President Aristide raised the minimum wage last May from 15 to 36 gourdes per day. Although it was the first wage hike since 1984, the NLC notes that the new minimum wage is worth less in real terms than the old minimum wage of 15 gourdes was worth in 1990... And since Oct. 1, 1980, when dictator Jean-Claude (Baby Doc) Duvalier first set the minimum wage at 13.20 gourdes, the real value of the minimum wage has declined by almost 50%.

In the 12-page report, the NLC saves some of its sharpest criticism for giant U.S. corporations, like Sears, Wal-Mart and Walt Disney Company, which contract out to U.S. and Haitian firms. At a Quality Garments factory, making Mickey Mouse pajamas, employees reported that last summer they had worked 50 days straight, up to 70 hours per week, without a day off. One worker told the NLC that she was supposed to sew seams on 204 pairs of Mickey Mouse pajamas in a day for which she would be paid 40 gourdes ($2.67). But she was only able to complete 144 pairs for which she was paid 28 gourdes (US$1.87), said the NLC. The report noted that Michael Eisner, the CEO of Disney, earned $203 million in 1993, about 325,000 times the salary of workers in Haiti. If a typical Haitian worker worked full-time, six days a week sewing clothes for Disney, it would take her approximately 1,040 years to earn what Michael Eisner earned in one day in 1993, said the report.

Overall, the NLC found a pattern of abuses, including low wages, so low, in fact, that a factory owner told the NLC that, 'The workers can't work effectively because they don't eat enough.' The report calculates that a family in Port-au-Prince must spend -- at the very least -- 363 gourdes, or $24.20, per week for food, shelter, and education. But a minimum wage earner, working 8 hours a day, 6 days a week, takes home 216 gourdes per week, or less than 60% of a family's basic needs, said the report.

The NLC lays much of the blame for the deteriorating conditions of Haitian workers at the doorstep of USAID, which committed $8 million of U.S. taxpayer money to promoting foreign investment in Haiti this past year. The U.S. government has shown a commitment to aggressively court U.S. business to invest in Haiti, but it has shown no such commitment to the workers who produce for those U.S. companies, the NLC argues, noting that USAID has historically pressured the Haitian government to keep wages low.

Now, the NLC, which is affiliated with textile unions in the United States, sees that the low wages in Haiti will be used to try to depress the wages of other workers in the Americas. Haitian wages are extremely attractive and lower than in the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua, other major assembly zone operations. In other words, Haiti defines the wage floor for the entire Western Hemisphere, said the report. Haiti is presently way out in front in the race to the bottom.

[For further information, or to order copies of the report, contact: The National Labor Committee Education Fund, 15 Union Square West, New York, NY 10003-3377 Tel: 212-242-0700]

***********************

***********************

The US in Haiti: How to Get Rich on 11 Cents an Hour by Eric Verhoogen | A Report Prepared for The National Labor Committee January 1996
http://www.doublestandards.org/verhoogen1.html

Since the publication of this report in January 1996, most of the Haitian factories doing production for Disney have raised worker wages to the legal minimum of 28 to 30 cents an hour, or slightly above – still far below the minimum necessary to cover a family's most fundamental needs.
***********************


Acknowledgements
Research for this report was sponsored by the National Labor Committee and conducted principally by Eric Verhoogen, a labor researcher who travelled to Haiti in August, 1995. The NLC wishes to thank Eric as well as the following people:
Gesner Jean-Philippe, Denise Confident of Libète, Max Blanchet of the Bay Area Haitian-American Council, Michelle Karshan, Foreign Press Liaison for President Aristide, the dedicated activists at Antenn Ouvriye and Haiti Info, Laurie Richardson of the Mouvman Peyizan Papay Education and Development Fund (MPP-EDF), Ellen Braune of New Channels Communications, Catherine Maternowska of the Lambi Fund and, above all, the brave workers who spoke to us in Port-au-Prince who must, because of the potential for repression that is still present in Haiti, remain anonymous. Their strength and courage leads the way for all of us.

The NLC also wishes to thank the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees (UNITE) for assistance in the publication of the report, and Keir Jorgensen of UNITE's research department for his help in collecting data included in the report.

In addition to labor union support, the NLC received grants from the Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program and ARCA Foundations to carry out the research, writing, and publication of this report.
***********************


Executive Summary
The National Labor Committee calculates that more than half of the approximately 50 assembly firms now operating in Haiti are violating the minimum wage law. In an extensive investigation of 15 assembly firms now operating in Haiti, the NLC Committee found that 10 were paying less than the legally mandated minimum wage of 36 gourdes (US$2.40) per day, which represents 30 cents an hour.

Haitian contractors producing "Mickey Mouse" and "Pocahontas" pajamas for U.S. companies under license with the Walt Disney Corporation are in some cases paying workers as little as 15 gourdes (US$1) per day--12 cents per hour--in clear violation of Haitian law. The pajamas are sold at Wal-Mart, Sears, and J.C. Penney.

At Seamfast Manufacturing, workers producing dresses under the "Kelly Reed" and "Kelly Reed Woman" labels for Kmart earn as little as 87 cents per day, or 11 cents per hour.

At Classic Apparel, workers told the National Labor Committee that they have been sewing "Made in USA" labels on sports team jerseys produced in Port-au-Prince.

Identical garments are sold under the "League Leader" label at Wal-Mart. The jerseys are produced for the H.H. Cutler Co., a subsidiary of VF Corporation, maker of "Wrangler" and "Lee" jeans.

When President Aristide increased the minimum wage effective May 4, 1995, many companies simply increased the production quota in order to avoid having to pay the increased labor costs. As is the rule in Haiti, if workers cannot make the quota they are paid only a fraction of the minimum wage. At Excel Apparel Exports, jointly owned and operated with Kellwood Co., quotas have been increased by 133% since the passage of the new minimum wage law. Excel Apparel produces women's panties for the Hanes division of Sara Lee Corp., under the "Hanes Her Way" label. The panties are sold at Wal-Mart and smaller retailers.

Even with the new minimum wage of 36 gourdes (US$2.40) decreed by President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Haitian workers have less buying power now than they did in 1990, before Aristide's election. A minimum wage salary provides less than 60% of the bare minimum needs for a family of five. A wage of 15 gourdes (US$1), common in factories producing for U.S. corporations, provides less than 25% of the minimum needs of a family of five.

A Columbia University anthropologist who conducted intensive interviews in a poor neighborhood of Port-au-Prince has found that 17% of the female factory workers in her survey have been forced to have sex with their bosses, on penalty of termination if they refused.

Lawrence Crandall, the head of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) mission in Haiti, has recently stated that USAID "has no position" on the violations of the Haitian minimum wage law. This comment comes after several years in which USAID has actively pressured President Aristide not to increase the minimum wage. USAID is the U.S. government agency in charge of providing economic support to Haiti. Since September 1994, the U.S. Government has allocated a total of $596 million in taxpayer dollars in Haiti, including more than $8 million in direct assistance to U.S. and Haitian businesses.

I. "What You Do Is What You Get"

Quality Garments S.A., a clothing contractor in the SONAPI Industrial Park, is typical of assembly plants in Port-au-Prince. The factory is hot, dimly-lit, crowded. The air is heavy with dust and lint. There is no ventilation to speak of. Piles of material – scraps of pajamas, dresses, skirt hems – clutter every aisle and every corner. The workers have sad, tired faces. They hunch over antiquated sewing machines, some more than 20 years old, sewing "Kelly Reed" dresses to be sold in Kmart and Mickey Mouse pajamas for the Walt Disney Company.

The workers at Quality Garments work 8 to 10 hours per day, Monday through Saturday. When the company has orders to fill, they are required to work Sundays as well. In conversations with the National Labor Committee during the second week of August, several workers told us that they had worked seven Sundays in a row – in other words, more than 50 days straight without a day off, up to 70 hours per week – during the hottest season of the year. We asked the manager of the plant, Mr. Raymond DuPoux, if this schedule was creating a problem for the employees or the factory as a whole. "The problem is mine," he told us, "because I can't go to the beach. So I have problems with my wife."

For their labor, the workers are in many cases paid as little as 15 gourdes per day, or 12 cents per hour. This is well below the legal minimum wage of 30 cents per hour based on the daily rate of 36 gourdes (US $2.40). The workers are paid on a piece-rate system, and production quotas are raised to the point where the majority of workers have no hope of meeting them. One experienced worker we spoke to, for instance, is supposed to sew seams on 204 pairs of Mickey Mouse pajamas in a day, for which she would be paid 40 gourdes (US $2.67); in 8 hours, however, she is only able to complete 144 pairs, for which she is paid 28 gourdes (US $1.87). In Creole, this system is referred to as "sa ou fè, se li ou we," or, roughly translated, "what you do is what you get."

The average worker at Quality Garments earns about 25 gourdes (US $1.67) per day, 73 cents less per day than the minimum wage. The company pays straight time on the weekends, not time-and-a-half as Haitian law requires. Transportation for most workers costs between 6 and 8 gourdes per day, and lunch – a small plate of rice and beans and a glass of juice – costs 7 gourdes. This means that the average worker takes home between 10 and 15 gourdes (67 cents – US $1) per day, or between 8 cents and 13 cents for every hour of work. This comes to less than US $6 for a standard work-week, which provides less than 25% of the minimum needs of a family of five.

It was precisely to eliminate such abuses that President Aristide raised the minimum wage from 15 gourdes (US $1) per day to 36 gourdes (US $2.40) per day on May 4, 1995. In his decree, President Aristide specifically banned the sort of piece-rate abuses that are common at Quality Garments and factories like it. Articles 1 and 2 of the decree read as follows:

"Beginning June 1, 1995, the minimum wage paid in industrial, commercial and agricultural businesses is fixed at 36 gourdes per 8-hour day...

"Where the employee works per piece or per task, the price paid for a unit of production (per piece, per dozen, per gross, per meter, etc.) must allow the employee who works 8 hours to earn at least the minimum salary." [emphasis added]

In other words, if a worker earns, say, 20 gourdes in a day under the piece-rate system, the company is required by law to pay the worker another 16 gourdes, to bring her total for the day to 36 gourdes. (In the apparel business in Haiti, the 16 gourdes are termed "make-up.") At Quality Garments, however, it seems that the rule of law is taken lightly. There is a large sign on the wall next to the time clock as you walk into the plant. It reads:

"A partir du Vendredi 17 Mars 1995 il n'y aura plus de 'make-up' à cette usine. Nous ne voulions ici que les ouvriers qui veulent travailler pour gagner l'argent."

In English, this translates as: "Effective Friday, March
17, 1995, there will be no more 'make-up' at this factory. Here we only want workers who are willing to work for their money."

II. A Pattern of Abuses
Quality Garments is not unique. Such wanton disregard for the law is common among factory owners in Haiti. After an extensive August 1995 investigation, the National Labor Committee calculates that more than half of the approximately 50 assembly plants producing in Haiti for the U.S. market are paying less than the legal minimum wage. Of the 15 plants that we investigated, the following 10 were found to be violating the minimum wage law (all were paying according to the illegal "sa ou fè, se li ou we" piece-rate system):

Seamfast Manufacturing produces dresses for Ventura Ltd. under the "Ventura" label, sold at Kmart and J.C. Penney, and for Universal Manufacturing, a subsidiary of Kingley Corp., under the "Kelly Reed" and "Kelly Reed Woman" labels, sold exclusively at Kmart. Wages at the plant are among the lowest in Haiti. The day we spoke with the workers, one woman with 3 years experience had worked for 8 hours cutting dress material and earned a grand total of 13 gourdes (87 cents), or 11 cents per hour. We asked Abraham Felix, the owner of the plant, what were the main obstacles the company faced. "The workers can't work effectively," he said, "because they don't eat enough."

Chancerelles S.A., a subsidiary of Fine Form of Brooklyn, New York, produces bras and panties for Elsie Undergarments of Hialeah, Florida.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Excerpts from its "Standards of Vendor Partners" :

All Vendor Partners shall comply with the legal requirements and standards of their industry under the national laws of the countries in which the Vendor Partners are doing business. Should the legal requirements and standards of the industry conflict, Vendor Partners must, at a minimum, be in compliance with the legal requirements of the country in which the products are manufactured...

All merchandise shall be accurately marked or labeled with its country of origin in compliance with the laws of the United States and those of the country of manufacture...

Vendor Partners shall fairly compensate their employees by providing wages and benefits which are in compliance with the national laws of the countries in which the Vendor Partners are doing business...

We favor Vendor Partners who utilize less than sixty-hour work weeks, and we will not use suppliers who, on a regularly scheduled basis, require employees to work in excess of a sixty- hour week...

Factories working on Wal-Mart merchandise shall provide adequate medical facilities, fire exits and safety equipment, well-lit work stations, clean restrooms, and adequate living quarters where necessary...

Wal-Mart has a strong commitment to buy as much merchandise made in the United States as feasible...

To further assure proper implementation of and compliance with the standards set forth in this Memorandum of Understanding, Wal-Mart or a third party designated by Wal-Mart will undertake affirmative measures, such as on-site inspection of production facilities, to implement and monitor said standards...


****************
****************
Eyewitness account of the abduction of President and First Lady Aristide of Haiti by the United States Special Forces
*
Jean Jacques Dessalines, said, "I Want the Assets of the Country to be Equitably Divided" and for that he was assassinated. That was the first coup d'etat, the Haitian holocaust - organized exclusion of the masses, misery, poverty and the impunity of the economic elite - continues (with Feb. 29, 2004 marking the 33rd coup d'etat). Haiti's peoples continue to resist the return of despots, tyrants and enslavers who wage war on the poor majority and Black, contain-them-in poverty through neocolonialism' debts, "free trade" and foreign "investments." These neocolonial tyrants refuse to allow an equitable division of wealth, excluding the majority in Haiti from sharing in the country's wealth and assets.
***************
For Ezili/HLLN's Oct. 17th FreeHaitiMovement
events:

Desalin's Law combine with Desalin's
ideals, equals:
"Sèl blan ki bon blan se blan k met fizi sou move blan yo" Blan Mannan (English translation)
******************
What's in a name?
Some names horrify enslavers, tyrants and despots, everywhere.....


Triumphant and proud, free and sovereign. Not humbled by the enslavers lash nor beaten by the greatest armies of his time. He left this legacy to us. He said:

Recall everything I have sacrificed to fly to your defense - relatives, children, wealth, so that now the only riches I possess is your freedom. Recall that my name horrifies all those who are enslavers, and that tyrants and despots everywhere only bring themselves to utter it when they curse the day I was born. Remember, if you should ever discard or forget the law that the God who watches over your well being has dictated to me for your happiness, you will deserve the fate that inures to ungrateful peoples. "

Jean Jacques Dessalines, Haitian Act of Independence, January 1, 1804

(Translation by Ezili Dantò for HLLN's FreeHaitiMovement - Dessalines is Rising, Oct. 17th commemorations)
*
French version:
"..rappelle-toi que j’ai tout sacrifié pour voler à ta défense, parents, enfants, fortune, et que maintenant je ne suis riche que de ta liberté; que mon nom est devenu en horreur à tous les peuples qui veulent l’esclavage, et que les despotes et les tyrans ne le prononcent qu’en maudissant le jour qui m’a vu naître ; et si jamais tu refusais ou recevais en murmurant les lois que le génie qui veille à tes destinées me dictera pour ton bonheur, tu mériteras le sort des peuples ingrats."
***********
Join HLLN's FreeHaitiMovement


The garments are sold under the "Shuly's" and "Elsie" labels at J.C. Penney and smaller retailers. The National Labor Committee asked John Whistler, the American director of the plant, if the company was paying the minimum wage. He said, "Yes, yes. It's the law. You have to pay them whether they do the work or not" – an inadvertently ironic statement, since the workers are doing the work and are still not getting paid the minimum wage. The workers we spoke to make an average of 26 or 27 gourdes (US $1.73 – US $1.80) per day, and are often shortchanged on payday. The supervisors, especially Franck Charles, the chief supervisor, verbally abuse the workers on a regular basis, calling them "bitch," "whore," "shit," and "dog," among other names. We asked Mr. Whistler if the supervisors presented a problem. "They empathize with the people too much," he said.

Quality Garments, as described above, produces Disney pajamas under the "Mickey Unlimited" label for the L.V. Myles Corp., under license with the Walt Disney Company. The pajamas are sold in Wal-Mart, Sears, J.C. Penney, and several smaller retailers. The plant produces dresses under the "Movie Star" label for Movie Star Garment Co. and for Universal Mfg., a subsidiary of Kingley Corp., under the "Kelly Reed" and "Kelly Reed Woman" labels, sold at Kmart. The plant has also been a regular producer for the H.H. Cutler Co., until as late as June, 1995.

National Sewing Contractors produces Disney pajamas under contract with L.V. Myles. The company also produces girl's clothes for Popsicle Playwear of New York, sold under the "Sister Sister" label at Wal-Mart, Kmart, J.C. Penney, and Kids R Us.

Wages at the plant vary widely, with some workers making as little as 15 gourdes (US $1) for 8 hours of work – 12¢ per hour. The owner of the plant, Charles Chevalier Jr., is openly nostalgic for the days of the Duvalier dictatorship, when workers who attempted to organize were routinely murdered by state-sponsored deathsquads.

"Jean-Claude [Baby Doc] Duvalier was a great man compared to these..." he said recently in an interview with labor researcher Marcelo Hoffman. "I mean, his administration was good compared to what's happening now." Like most factory owners that pay less than the minimum wage, Mr. Chevalier insists that he abides by the labor code; "Haitians do not work for less than the minimum wage," he said "even if they tell you so, they're lying."

Excel Apparel Exports, jointly owned and operated with Kellwood Co., produces women's panties for the Hanes division of Sara Lee Corp., under the "Hanes Her Way" label, sold at Wal-Mart. The plant also produces women's slips sold at Dillard Department Stores and nightwear for Movie Star, to be sold at Sears and Bradlees.

Many workers earn less than 20 gourdes (US $1.33) per day and the company raises the quotas at will. Before President Aristide raised the minimum wage, the quota for a typical operation – sewing waistbands on panties – was 360 pieces per day. Now the quota is 840 pieces – a 133% increase. Needless to say, the workers did not have the right to object to the speed-up; they don't even have the right to speak to one another at work.

Alpha Sewing produces industrial gloves for Ansell Edmont of Coshocton, Ohio, which is owned by Ansell International of Lilburn, Georgia, which in turn is owned by Pacific Dunlop Ltd. of Melbourne, Australia. Ansell Edmont boasts in its promotional literature that it is the world's largest manufacturer of safety gloves and protective clothing, but the workers at Alpha Sewing do not have even the most basic safety protection.

They produce Ansell Edmont's "Vinyl-Impregnated Super-Flexible STD" gloves with bare hands; Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC), the chemical that toughens the glove, also takes off layers of skin. And the dust from the production of the "Vinyl-Coated Super Comfort Seams-Rite" gloves gives many workers respiratory problems. Hours at the plant are from 6 am to 5:30 pm, Monday through Saturday, and often from 6 am to 3:30 pm on Sunday as well – a 78-hour work week. Approximately 75% of the workers make less than the minimum wage. In April, 1995, a worker who refused to work on Sunday so that he could go to church was fired. When he returned to pick up his severance pay, the manager called the UN police and reported a burglar on the premises. The UN police arrived and promptly handcuffed the worker. After protests from the other employees, the UN police finally let the worker go. The next day, management began firing, three at a time, four at a time, all those workers who had protested the arrest.

Alpha Sewing is owned by the Apaid family, led by André Apaid, a notorious Duvalierist. When asked at a business conference in Miami soon after the coup in 1991 what he would do if President Aristide returned to Haiti, Apaid replied vehemently, "I'd strangle him!" At the time, Apaid was heading up USAID's PROMINEX business promotion project, a $12.7 million program to encourage U.S. and Canadian firms to move their businesses to Haiti.

Charles Handal produces jeans for Happy Fella; the jeans are sold under the "Happy Fella" and "Photo Zone" labels at J.C. Penney. The plant also produces garments for the H.H. Cutler Co. Out of the approximately 250 workers in the factory, only a handful are able to earn the minimum wage. The sewing machines in the plant are old and break down often. The workers we spoke with estimated that they spent more than an hour a day – time for which they are not paid – waiting for the machines to be fixed.

American Artisana produces handicrafts – baskets, woodworking, small metal sculptures – for Ventura Products of Fayetteville, Georgia. Wages vary widely depending on the operation. On some operations, the workers told us, it is not possible to earn more than 15 gourdes (US $1) per day.

Brocosa produces girls' nightgowns for Universal Manufacturing of Shelby, North Carolina, and women's robes for Movie Star. The workers we spoke to in some cases had more than 10 years experience and yet they still were not able to earn the minimum wage.

Workers at N S Mart Manufacturing Co. in the SONAPI Industrial Park told Denise Confident, a Haitian journalist with Libète, the main Creole-language daily in Haiti, that the production quota for several operations had been raised from 840 pieces (when the minimum wage was 15 gourdes) to 3000 pieces (for 36 gourdes) – an increase of 257%. The plant makes Disney pajamas under contract with L.V. Myles.

The plant also ships garments to International Manufacturing Facilities in Miami. A production manager told the National Labor Committee that the garments are then sold in Target, Mervyn's and other large retailers.

III. The Cover-Up
It is common knowledge in the industrial parks of Port-au-Prince that companies are simply ignoring the minimum wage law, but this fact is strangely absent from the public discussion.

[…] statements of the factory-owners. For instance, Jean-Edouard Baker, the head of the Haitian Association of Industrialists (ADIH), who is alleged to have made a fortune helping supply Haitian blood plasma and cadavers to the U.S. market, was asked if companies in Haiti are paying the minimum wage. "I'm paying it, yes," he answered. When asked again, he said, "They are paying. There's no question in my mind. Most people in Port-au-Prince are paying it." Mr. Baker is also chairman of the Haitian Presidential Commission on Economic Growth and Modernization, which a USAID status report describes as "leading the analytical process to improve the business and investment climate."

The cover-up is not limited to Haitian industrialists, however. The U.S. retailers who benefit from the illegal practices publish corporate "codes of conduct" about their "socially responsible" contracting policies. Wal-Mart's "Standards for Vendor Partners," for instance, declares righteously that:

"Vendor Partners shall fairly compensate their employees by providing wages and benefits which are in compliance with the national laws of the countries in which the Vendor Partners are doing business...Factories working on Wal-Mart merchandise shall provide adequate medical facilities, fire exits and safety equipment, well-lit work stations, clean restrooms, and adequate living quarters where necessary."

Wal-Mart claims that it promises to investigate its contractors and to cancel its contract with any factory found in violation of these policies. However, at plants like Quality Garments and Excel Apparel – plants that are hot, poorly lit, crowded and cluttered, and that pay less than the minimum wage – the abuses and illegal practices are blatant; it would be impossible for a representative of Wal-Mart not to notice them. Yet the factories continue to produce garments for Wal-Mart. It seems that the Wal-Mart's "Standards" – like similar "codes" of Sears, J.C. Penney and other large retailers – are little more than an exercise in public relations.



IV. Products Proudly Marked "Made in the
USA"


Workers at Classic Apparel, which produces sports team merchandise for H.H. Cutler of Grand Rapids, Michigan, told us that they have been attaching labels marked "Made in USA" to clothes made in the factory in Port- au-Prince. The label is printed with the brand name "League Leader." The workers also showed us a nearly identical label attached to a $16.83 Wal-Mart price tag. Wal-Mart's statement of buying policies boasts that "Wal-Mart has a strong commitment to buy as much merchandise made in the United States as feasible," but these labels cast doubt on Wal-Mart's claims. This practice was previously revealed in a 1992 Dateline NBC exposé that found that garments sewn by 12-year-olds in Bangladesh for Wal-Mart were being touted as "Made in USA." Garments under the "League Leader" brand name are also sold at regional discounters like Caldor, Hills and Meijer.

H.H. Cutler sports apparel is also sold under the "America's Sports Team" label at Wal-Mart, the "On Contact" label at Target, the "USA Line-Up" label at Kmart, and the "Cutler Sports Apparel" label at J.C. Penney and Foot Locker. H.H. Cutler is owned by VF Corp., producer of "Wrangler" and "Lee" jeans, one of the three largest apparel firms in the U.S. The workers attaching the "Made in USA" labels in Port-au-Prince earn between 30 cents and 33 cents per hour. In 1994, Lawrence Pugh, the Chairman and CEO of VF Corp., earned a salary of US $1,888,000 – the equivalent of US $907.69 per hour, roughly 3,025 times the salary of the workers in Haiti.

V. U.S. Tax Dollars at Work


The United States has allocated more than $596 million in taxpayer dollars in Haiti since September 1994. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the main U.S. agency in Haiti dealing with economic issues, is expected to spend $215 million this year specifically on aid and economic development to Haiti. Of this, $8 million is committed to the Program for the Recovery of the Economy in Transition (PRET), which provides direct assistance to U.S. and Haitian businesses – sponsoring conferences, guiding tours of U.S. businesspeople, and establishing a network of business contacts. U.S. taxpayers have to this point funded five lavish business delegations: the Presidential Business Development Mission to Haiti, led by Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott (March 7-8), as well as delegations in agribusiness (July 24-26), handicrafts (Aug. 8-10), minority business (Aug. 22-24) and light manufacturing (Oct. 29-31).

The U.S. Government has shown an aggressive commitment to court U.S. businesses to invest in Haiti, but it has shown no commitment to the workers who produce for those U.S. companies. According to a USAID Status Report, the first of PRET's three main objectives is to "promot[e] a sound legal and regulatory environment for private enterprise to recover and prosper." But Lawrence Crandall, head of the USAID mission in Haiti, said recently in an interview that violations of the minimum wage law were not the responsibility of the agency and that USAID "has no position" on the wage issue. It is clear that, as far as USAID is concerned, a "sound legal and regulatory environment" does not include enforcement of Haitian workers' basic legal rights.

In fact, Mr. Crandall was soft-pedaling USAID's strategy; for several years USAID has actively and consistently opposed any increase in the minimum wage. In June, 1991, when President Aristide was proposing raising the minimum wage from 15 gourdes to 25 gourdes per day, (which at the 1991 exchange rate of 8.5 gourdes to the dollar represented an increase from US $1.76 to US $2.94 per day, or from 22 cents to 37 cents per hour), the agency wrote in a project paper that "wage systems should not be the forum for welfare and social programs," and that Haiti should not jeopardize its main "comparative advantage," which the report termed "its highly productive, low-cost labor force."

Even after the military coup of September 30, 1991 ended President Aristide's attempts to implement his proposals, USAID maintained its opposition to raising the minimum wage. On October 15, 1994, the day President Aristide returned to Haiti, Brian Atwood, the Administrator of USAID, was asked in a press conference whether or not USAID favored a wage increase. Atwood replied, "I don't think that the economy is ready...for such measures." Atwood did not mention the fact that Article 137 of the Haitian Labor Code requires the minimum wage to be raised every time inflation totals more than 10% for the year, as it has for the past six consecutive years.

It seems that USAID's pressure has paid off. As late as April 30, 1995, the day before he was scheduled to announce a new minimum wage, President Aristide argued in a speech to peasant leaders at the National Palace that taking inflation into account the minimum wage would have to be raised to at least 45 gourdes simply to bring it to 1991 levels. Given the fast rising cost of living, he added, even 75 gourdes was not enough for a family to live on. But after several days of behind-the-scenes lobbying – in which the role of USAID and the U.S. Embassy is unclear – President Aristide was pressured into accepting a compromise minimum wage of 36 gourdes.

Because of rising consumer prices, the new wage of 36 gourdes (US $2.40) per day (30 cents per hour) is worth less in real terms than the old minimum wage of 15 gourdes was worth in 1990. In other words, even after the recent increase, minimum wage workers in Haiti have less buying power now than they did in 1990, before President Aristide's election. And since Oct. 1, 1980, when dictator Jean-Claude ("Baby Doc") Duvalier first set the minimum wage at 13.20 gourdes, the real value of the minimum wage has declined by almost 50%.

VI. The Truth Behind Pocahontas
Who benefits from this system?

Consider one example: At a subsidiary of the L.V. Myles Corp. in the SONAPI Industrial Park, workers produce shirts and nightwear, including Disney pajamas decorated with scenes from the movie "Pocahontas." The production manager of the plant told us that a line of 20 workers can produce 1,000 pairs of purple Pocahontas pajamas in one 8-hour shift. The pajamas sell for US $11.97 at Wal-Mart. So for L.V. Myles and Disney, one day's production is worth $11,970 ($11.97 x 1,000). The workers at this plant are paid an average of 50 gourdes (US $3.33) or less per day. All the workers on one line together earn $66.60 per day (20 x $3.33). In other words, the workers are paid just .56% ((66.60/11,970)x100), or roughly one half of one percent of the eventual purchase price of the pajamas. That is the equivalent of 7 cents for every $11.97 shirt. What happens to the other $11.90?

Excerpts from the Disney Publication Sharing the Magic:

*... Today, children around the world go to bed holding Mickey Mouse dolls, and Mickey's likeness appears on clothing, books and products of every description in lands around the globe...

As Mickey has grown in popularity and worldwide presence, so has the company which created him ...

Sales of Mickey-licensed merchandise set an all-time record in 1993 ...

Mickey, like the rest of the classic Disney characters, does not live in the temporal world of mortals.

Instead, he and his Disney counterparts live in the hearts, memories, and minds of people everywhere...

I [Michael Eisner, CEO of Disney] believe Walt Disney, better than anyone else, understood the value of contributing to the community...

While others gave with financial resources alone, Walt dedicated the time to develop dreams for a brighter future...

And being the genius that he was, he knew there was a responsibility to share his company's creativity and storytelling abilities to make the community environment better for everyone...

For me personally, the challenge of keeping the same high standards for the company as a solid community citizen has been especially rewarding...

Our company's mission statement for community service is quite simple: We look for opportunities to initiate, develop, administer and implement diverse programs for the benefit of the community which also perpetuate the traditions and ideals of The Walt Disney Company...

Our Disney Team constantly reviews issues in the community to look for ways in which we can lend a helping hand. We are a partner, a neighbor, and contributor and a leader. We are building upon the legacy left to us by Walt Disney to create a better tomorrow...

Volunteerism [through Disney's VoluntEActive members of their community, finding tremendous satisfaction in working together as a team to lift the spirits of those in need...

The Walt Disney Company supports many programs and maintains an active involvement in areas relating to equal employment opportunity.

Various internships, work experience programs, and participation in job fairs and community outreach and leadership efforts are important contributions the company makes annually.

...Our company is an active purchaser of local products and construction services, as well as an important contributor to local taxes and payrolls. And we make a conscientious effort to be a valuable contributor to many important community projects, offering our talents and resources in many ways.

It has been our priority to be responsible and caring, like a good neighbor should be.

***********************


For Ezili/HLLN's Oct. 17th FreeHaitiMovement
events:

Desalin's Law combine with Desalin's ideal, equals:
"Sèl blan ki bon blan se blan k met fizi sou move blan yo" Blan Mannan (English translation)

 
Jean Jacques Dessalines
Three ideals of Dessalines


It is important to note here also that the L.V. Myles plant is one of the relative few in Haiti that are actually paying the minimum wage. At Quality Garments and National Sewing Contractors, both of which sub-contract from L.V. Myles, for instance, workers are producing the same clothes – the same Disney pajamas – and are earning even less money.

The CEO of the Walt Disney Company, Michael Eisner, earned $203 million from salary and stock options in 1993. That amounts to roughly $780,800 per day, or $97,600 per hour – approximately 325,000 times the salary of the workers in Haiti who are producing pajamas for his company. If a Haitian minimum wage worker worked full-time, six days a week, sewing clothes for Disney, it would take her approximately 1,040 years to earn what Michael Eisner earned in one day in 1993.

Factory-owners in Haiti often claim that they cannot afford to pay more than they are paying, and complain that higher wages will make them lose business to firms in other countries in the Caribbean. Several industrialists we spoke to, however, felt that this wasn't true. For instance, Jeff Blatt, an American joint-partner in the L.V. Myles plant (described above), compared labor costs in Haiti to those in the Dominican Republic, where he also manages a factory: "Costs are absolutely more competitive here," he said. Murray Reed, the owner of Ohmicron Electronics, an assembly plant in the Shodecosa Industrial Park in Port-au-Prince, was asked if the minimum wage was a reason that some companies were reluctant to do business in Haiti. His response was blunter: "The minimum wage is not in and of itself an important factor, because of the favorable exchange rate...People who say the wage is keeping them out are full of B.S."

Mr. Reed is absolutely correct: wages in Haiti
are lower than in the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua. In other words, Haiti defines the wage floor for the entire Western Hemisphere.



VII. The Daily Struggle to Survive

As Haitian factory-owners and American corporations are profiting from the low wages, Haitian workers are struggling every day just to feed themselves and their families. A wage-earner in Haiti typically supports more than five people, and the minimum wage simply does not cover the basic expenses of such a family. The typical diet for minimum wage workers consists largely of rice and cornmeal and beans; vegetables are rare, and meat is an unheard-of luxury.

Workers we spoke to in Port-au-Prince estimated that in order to satisfy the most basic nutritional needs of their family, they would need to spend 25 gourdes (US $1.67) per day. In addition, workers pay 6-10 gourdes (40 cents-67 cents) per day for transportation, depending on how far away they live from their workplace, and 7 gourdes (47 cents) at lunchtime for a small plate of rice and beans and a glass of juice. To rent a small one- or two-room shack in a slum in Port-au-Prince costs between 1,500 gourdes (US $100) and 2,000 gourdes (US $133) for a six-month period. To send a child to the cheapest schools costs between 900 gourdes (US $60) and 2000 gourdes (US $133) per year, depending on the school and the age of the child. Thus, in order to satisfy just their minimum needs for food, shelter, and education, a family in Port-au-Prince must spend – at the very least – 363 gourdes, or US $24.20 per week.

However, a minimum-wage worker working 8
hours per day, 6 days a week in Haiti earns a grand total of 216 gourdes, or US $14.40 per week. In other words, a full-time minimum-wage salary provides less than 60% of a family's basic needs. A salary of 15 gourdes (US $1) per day, common in apparel plants producing for U.S. companies, provides only 90 gourdes, or US $6 per week, less than 25% of a family's basic needs.

Many workers we spoke with – most of whom were not so lucky as to be making the minimum wage – explained that they were not able to make ends meet and were falling deeper and deeper into debt, which compounded their problems. Food vendors on the street outside many factories will sell on credit, but at a premium of 20-25%. A 5-lb. sack of rice, for example, sells for 22 gourdes (US $1.47) cash, and 28 gourdes (US $1.87) on credit. Money-lenders in poor neighborhoods – Haitian workers do not have access to banks – generally charge a rate of 25%-50% interest per two-week period.

The economic situation is becoming increasingly desperate for workers in Haiti. Many face a real risk of starvation if they lose their jobs, and are therefore compelled to do whatever their boss asks of them, which for many women involves sexual favors. A Columbia University anthropologist has conducted extensive interviews with women workers in Cité Soleil, an enormous slum (pop. 300,000) in Port-au-Prince. She found that roughly 17% of the female factory workers she spoke to had been forced to have sex with their bosses, on penalty of termination if they refused.

Many families in Cité Soleil have taken to selling the last of their worldly belongings – chairs, cooking utensils, plates and bowls, beds, and children's shoes – simply in order to survive.

VII. Rhetoric vs. Reality
The official images of U.S. intervention in Haiti have been unambiguously cheerful: brave American G.I.'s bringing peace and democracy and respect for human rights to a thankful populace. For workers in the assembly plants of Port-au-Prince, however, the reality is somewhat bleaker. Their living standards have been steadily declining and their most basic legal rights are trampled daily. The U.S. government agency charged with supporting economic development in Haiti – USAID – has an official policy to do nothing about such violations. And the rosy rhetoric of U.S. intervention obscures a darker, more pernicious fact about the U.S. presence in Haiti: that many of the companies profiting from the abuse and exploitation of Haitian workers are among the largest and most successful U.S. corporations: Disney, Wal-Mart, Kmart, J.C. Penney, Sears, Hanes/Sara Lee and Kellwood, to name a few.

In 1994, Wal-Mart made a profit of $2,681,000,000; Disney made $1,110,400,000. The workers who sew the clothes for these companies are in many cases making less than $312 a year, working full-time. Basic respect for the law is not too much to ask.
We should ask ourselves: Is it fair that workers in Haiti are paid 7 cents for every $12 garment they produce? Is it fair that the CEO of the Walt Disney Company is paid 325,000 times as much as the workers who make the Pocahontas pajamas for his company? Is it fair that the U.S. has spent millions to support business interests in Haiti and "has no position" on the abuse of workers' rights?

Paying 11 cents an hour to sew clothing for U.S. companies is not development. It is crime.

Workers we spoke with told us that two of their highest priorities are to strengthen the Haitian labor code and to improve enforcement of existing laws. During the three years of the coup d'état, unions and labor rights groups were decimated. Today, workers in Haiti are once again trying to organize to defend their rights, but they need our support.

Haiti does need economic development, and Haitian workers do need jobs, but not at the price of violating workers' fundamental rights.

January, 1996
***

For further information, or to order copies of this report, contact:
The National Labor Committee Education Fund in Support of Worker and Human Rights in Central America
275 Seventh Avenue, 15th Floor
New York, NY 10001
Phone: (212) 242-3002

Original web page. The article has been edited to remove references to photos that are not available. Text version for printing.

For more articles and links on related topics see
Latin America and Caribbean/Haiti
Multinational Corporations and Globalization/General

***********************

Dessalines Is Rising!!
Ayisyen: You Are Not Alone!


 

 

 

 

The Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network's Appeal for international support on the People of Haiti's right to
self-respect, self-determination and self-defense

We Haitian democracy activists have taken on ourselves a great task. The Haitian people have been robbed again, not only of the wealth of our country, and not only of the lives and livelihoods of our countrymen, but of our sense of self-determination.

The very essence of being Haitian is the connection to those freedom fighters of the revolution who would not lie down and obey the men who claimed to be their masters. Today, Haiti is being ruled by a regime that was selected by foreign powers. The legitimate officials are in exile, in hiding, or in captivity.

All around, voices are telling us to suffer this indignity, to give up on our quest for self-governance, that somehow we are unfit to choose our own leaders or our own style of governance.

We utterly reject this pattern of thought. It is the mental slavery from which Bob Marley calls us to emancipate ourselves. For the average Haitian "This Song of Freedom" is truly all we have ever had. And now they want to take that too.

It is with this sense of insistence and urgency that we set forth our grievances and define our terms for reconciliation in the Haitian Lawyers Leadership Haiti Resolution. We ask that all Haitian democracy activists circulate this resolution, and address the issues and demands of the resolution to their own governments, and to the United Nations, which has the responsibility for protecting the right of self-determination. But most of all, we ask all solidarity groups who wish to sincerely help Haitians, to not just send their appeals to the UN, the US-installed government, the coup d'etat governments or Haiti Democracy Project's Timothy M. Carney. You're better off telling your next door neighbor about what they are not seeing on the conventional media about Haiti then simply telling the UN, US, Candadian officials (et al) what they already know and wish to hide behind the headlines. Kindly send appeals and background info to the MEDIA. Flood the U.S. local, national and international media with your concerns about the misinformation, abuse, occupation, genocide and re-enslavement of the people of Haiti.
http://www.margueritelaurent.com/contactinformation/local-national-media.html

Remember letters of appeals to the media is a start, but political action, economic boycott and systemic and consistent public censure/exposure are essentially what pro-democracy Haitians are asking from solidarity groups. Please also do this by supporting our 7 Men Anpil Chay Pa Lou campaigns and boycotts.

The Haitian Lawyers Leadership Haiti Resolution:

1. Demand the return of constitutional rule to Haiti by restoring all
elected officials of all parties to their offices throughout the
country until the end of their mandates and another election is held, as
mandated by Haiti's Constitution;

2. Condemn the killings, illegal imprisonment and confiscation of the
property of supporters of Haiti's constitutional government and insist
that Haiti's illegitimate "interim government" immediately cease its
persecution and put a stop to persecution by the thugs and murderers from sectors in their police force, from the paramilitaries, gangs and former soldiers;

3. Insist on the immediate release of all political prisoners in
Haitian jails, including Prime Minister Yvon Neptune, Interior Minister Privert
and other constitutional government officials and folksinger-activist Sò
Anne;

4. Insist on the disarmament of the thugs, death squad leaders and
convicted human rights violators and their prosecution for all crimes committed during the attack on Haiti's elected government and support the rebuilding of Haiti's police force, ensuring that it excludes anyone who helped to overthrow the democratically elected government or who participated in other human rights violations;

5. Stop the indefinite detention and automatic repatriation of Haitian
refugees and immediately grant Temporary Protected Status to all
Haitian refugees presently in the United States until democracy is restored to Haiti; and

6. Support the calls by the OAS, CARICOM and the African Union for an
investigation into the circumstances of President Aristide's removal.
Support the enactment of Congresswoman Barbara Lee's T.R.U.T.H Act
which calls for U.S. Congressional investigation of the forcible removal of
the democratically elected President and government of Haiti.


****************

 
Dessalines Is Rising!!
Ayisyen: You Are Not Alone!


 

 

 

 
 
campaigns_button
different_button
HLLN's controvesy
with Marine
Spokesman
,
US occupiers
Lt. Col. Dave Lapan faces off with the Network
International
Solidarity Day Pictures & Articles
May 18, 2005
Pictures and Articles Witness Project
_______________
Yvon Neptune's
Letter From Jail
Pacot
-
April 20, 2005

(Kreyol & English)
_______________
Click photo for larger image
Emmanuel "Dread" Wilme - on "Wanted poster" of suspects wanted by the Haitian police.
_______________
Emmanuel "Dread" Wilme speaks:
Radio Lakou New York, April 4, 2005 interview with Emmanuel "Dread" Wilme
_______________

_______________
The
Crucifiction of
Emmanuel "Dread" Wilme,
a historical
perspective

_______________
Urgent Action:
Demand a Stop
to the Killings
in Cite Soleil

*
Sample letters &
Contact info

_______________
_______________
Denounce Canada's role in Haiti: Canadian officials Contact Infomation
_______________

Urge the Caribbean Community to stand firm in not recognizing the illegal Latortue regime:

Selected CARICOM Contacts
Key
CARICOM
Email
Addresses
zilibutton Slide Show at the July 27, 2004 Haiti Forum Press Conference during the DNC in Boston honoring those who stand firm for Haiti and democracy; those who tell the truth about Haiti; Presenting the Haiti Resolution, and; remembering Haiti's revolutionary legacy in 2004 and all those who have lost life or liberty fighting against the Feb. 29, 2004 Coup d'etat and its consequences
     
 
BACK
Ezilidanto Writings| Performances | Bio | Workshops | Contact Us | Guests | Law | Merchandise
2003 Marguerite Laurent