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'If they shoot at us, they are doomed. If they don't shoot at us, they are doomed!' March, 2005

by
Ezili Dantò
"...the Haitian people, without arms, allies or financial resources where so inspired by their Vodun gods and goddesses and the powers of their ancestors that, led by the warrior goddess, Ezili Dantò, and after 300-years of slavery, they decided to "live free or die" - liberte ou lamo! and set themselves free in Haiti, defeating all the mighty European powers of that time - France, Spain and England in combat."

Si yo tire sou nou, yo pran. Si yo pa tire sou nou, yo pran.” (“If they shoot at us, they are doomed, and if they don’t shoot at us, they are doomed. They cannot win.”)

That was the chant of the people of Bel Air on Friday, March 4, as they took to the streets just a few days after the official Haitian police, in plain site of UN troops and the international media, killed, beat and tear-gased unarmed demonstrators.

Friday’s demonstration drew 10 times more people than the last one, held
Feb. 28 on the first anniversary of the coup, and was one of the first peaceful demonstrations in Haiti since the coup d’état, because this time the UN troops forbade the Haitian police from coming anywhere NEAR the people!

Haitians have a saying: “Twou manti pa fon,” that is, “A lie cannot hide too far” or “No lie lies forever.” Or, to paraphrase this same idea, as stated by Dr. Martin Luther King, who meant to say it but since he did not speak kreyòl, he said: “Truth crushed to earth will rise again.”

Tens of thousands of Haitians throughout the poor neighborhoods of Port-au-Prince took to the streets Friday to denounce their repression by the U.S.-imposed regime and its murderous Haitian police, ex-soldiers, paid mercenaries and insane assassins.

It is absolutely incredible the courage of the noble Haitian masses. Unbowed, unbroken. As old Haitians often say, “We may fold, but we cannot break.”

The people of Bel Air, in the spirit of the Ancestors, in the spirit of Kapwa Lamò (Capois Lamort), as their comrades fall, slaughtered like animals, while the world looks away, they don’t stop standing up for their dignity, don’t hesitate to stand in front of bullets and the overwhelming force of France, Canada and the United States.

Like Kapwa Lamò, the people of Bel Air, Site Soley, Site de Dye, all throughout Haiti, they are teaching the world that the people of Haiti, just as they showed us on Friday, cannot be stopped.

The battle of Vètyè on Nov. 18, 1803, was the turning point in the Haitian revolution. It was the last battle for us, the one that won us our liberty after 300 years of European enslavement. After Napoleon’s army was defeated by Haitians that day, the French general, Rochmambeau, negotiated his safe conduct out.

At the battle of Vètyè, the Africans faced 10,000 French soldiers. Our people were outnumbered, outgunned. Yet these, our glorious Ancestors, these poor, illiterate, starving and enslaved Africans defeated the most powerful Euro army of that time.

Kapwa Lamò was a Haitian soldier in Dessaline’s army who distinguished himself so well at the battle of Vètyè that today his name has become synonymous with Haitians’ indomitable courage and will.

At the battle of Vètyè, bullets killed Kapwa Lamò’s horse. He continued on foot. Bullets shot off his hat. He continued charging forward. French canon fire tossed him many feet in the air. He got up and continued on foot as the canon booms paved his advance.

Finally Napoleon’s General Rochambeau raised a flag for a pause and sent his compliments to the “valiant general who has just covered himself in such glory.”
AYIBOBO pou Kapwa Lamò. AYIBOBO pou the people of Bel Air, Site Soley, Cap Haitien and everywhere that Haitians are resisting the morally repugnant elite’s tyranny, police force, Apaid-paid gangs, ex-military and Euro-U.S. re-colonization and occupation. AYIBOBO.

In our present Haitian history, as played out Friday in Haiti’s sunbaked and blood drenched streets, as we continue forward on our long walk to freedom, the enemy cannot get to the engine that is the heart of Haiti. They may destroy our bodies, kidnap our president, criminalize our youth, slaughter resisters. They may have destroyed the car this hellish 2004-year, but as Haitians on the streets moving forward with just pure will are saying: THE ENGINE that is Ayiti IS STILL RUNNING.

It took more than 10,000 Haitian deaths before the UN would admit that it is U.S.-backed Latortue’s so-called “police” who are killing the people and not the “chimères.” Feb. 28, 2005, cost us five precious lives, plus 15 to 20 wounded. All the world watched as the Haitian police opened fire on unarmed demonstrators.

Even UN soldiers, generally complicit in the killing of 10,000 Haitians in 2004, finally admitted, for the first time, they cannot be silent. Bush’s lies in Haiti are beginning to unravel.

Yet that official liar of the U.S.-backed regime, a certain Mme. Coicou, even with international press pictures plainly showing Haitian police shooting at demonstrators, actually moved her mouth around to press out the sounds saying, “No shots were fired at unarmed demonstrators" by Latortue’s police force on Feb. 28, 2005.

It is these sorts of outrageous, shameful lies that led us to the 2004 coup d’état, and these coup d’état instigators are still vainly hoping to stay in power through force, lies, fraudulent elections and bamboozling the world. But as the people of Bel Air, Site Soley, Delmas 2, Martissant and the other poor neighborhoods are saying:

“The demands of the Haitian people will not be denied. If they shoot at us, they are doomed, and if they don’t shoot at us, they are doomed!”
********

Ezili Dantò Esq., is the founder and president of the Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network and the Free Haiti Movement. Email her at Erzilidanto@yahoo.com and visit her website at www.ezilidanto.com .

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