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Jan. 2, 2006

2005: A Year ending in Repression and Terror for the Popular Masses

During the end of 2005, particularly during these last two weeks, while the politicians thrashed about in their tenuous electoral process and the imperialists daily reinforced their stronghold on this process as well as the national situation generally, repression and terror continued with ever more force. This state of affairs had already reached a climax in November in the Pelé neighbourhood, when MINUSTAH soldiers literally machine-gunned the population. Presently, even more and with greater intensity, this climate is spreading throughout the country, particularly in Port-au-Prince.

The areas mainly targeted are Cité Soleil and Drouillard. Their inhabitants incapable of finding another place to stay have undergone the worse torments. They’ve been caught in a vise. On one hand, the armed gangs continue to exert their terror. The press, TV included, widely reports these abuses so as to denounce the gangs and thus attain its’ political objectives. Certainly, these acts should be denounced, but we also have to unveil their political connections, know their true backers and understand their nature in the context of the decay the country is falling into each day more and more.

We, of Batay Ouvriye, denounce these crimes in this specific context, since for us, at the end of the day: it is the masses that endure its consequences. Without doubt, the rise in kidnapping cases is also a part of this decay. We also denounce these acts for their dragging the situation down since this violence’s misguided nature results in the additional increase the number of gangsters, which is an important effect in the present climate of terror. We need to denounce all of this. And all of this has to be resolved! We should recall, however, that Lavalas didn’t first introduce gangs in this area. The industrialist Mevs had established several a far way back, in order to pursue his anti-union objectives, to try to solve the problems confronting him with the workers of the HASCO (Haitian-American Sugar Company), as well as to better control the area, seeking thus to facilitate his activities and the various traffics of his port. Similarly, Dr. Boulos functioned with gangs, again with the aim of controlling the area and to benefit of better conditions to carry out his “experiments”. They’d like us to believe these actions only began recently but, in fact, their roots are deep and what we need to clearly understand is that they always originate within the ruling classes, whether the “traditional” bourgeoisie or the lavalas bureaucratic bourgeoisie.

At the end of 2005, following the killing of a policeman and a UN soldier, the occupation troops thus unleashed a gigantic terror offensive in the areas of Cité Soleil and Drouillard. “Pacifying” these areas is difficult, but their bosses, the American imperialists, passed the order of intervention nevertheless. The only form possible, in this contradiction, is through the use of TERROR. And indeed, as the armed gangs feasted for Christmas, the UN soldiers intervened brutally and blindly, which implies, of course: against the population, the popular masses. This was systematically repeated, day after day, with varying intensity. Operating with hooded informants present, this heightened the terror even more. On December 25th, this repression reached its pinnacle. Many were wounded, the occupation forces machine-gunning homes and even churches. Even pigs in the streets were taken down, victims of these bullet blasts thus sprayed in such a criminal manner. Projectiles reached the neighboring area of Cité Brisson. Such acts not only reveal the UN troops’ incapacity to lead truly targeted operations, but also their complete contempt for the population.

Equally reprehensible is the press’ silence in front of these sanguinary attacks carried out by the occupation troops. And if at times, a few words came out, they were extremely scarce and never accompanied by real denunciations. Which reveals how this press functions in the occupation, how it works with it. Batay Ouvriye denounces these acts of terror with all its' force, just as we denounce, at the same time, the UN troops’ presence on the field, throughout the country. DOWN WITH THE TERROR ON THE POPULAR MASSES! DOWN WITH THE OCCUPATION! Two situations that go together. We repeat: the only solution is for the masses to take their lives back in hand. Only popular neighborhood organizations, with the workers in central position, can end gang violence and, at the same time, fight the occupation, the foreign troops’ presence in the country, on the basis of their own interests. The workers, allied with the rest of the people’s camp, are those who, truly, can wage such a struggle. It won’t be easy. The road may appear long and difficult. But there is no other way.