BAP-DC, a citywide alliance in Washington, D.C., of the Black Alliance for Peace, extends warm and revolutionary greetings to the resilient working-class and poor people of Haiti on this 220th commemoration of Haitian Flag Day. We understand it was on this day in 1803 that the Haitian people adopted their flag. Just six months later, the Haitian people defeated the enslavers and colonizers, ensuring their place in history as the first republic of African people in the world.
We understand the colonizers have persisted in oppressing Haiti, despite the Haitian people’s victory 219 years ago. The people of Haiti have been forced to *quote* “repay” the slaveowners they defeated. Then they lived through coups, coup attempts, international bodies slapped together to claim authority over the island and the Americas, as well as an insidious collaboration between the comprador class and Haiti’s white elite. Despite all this, Haiti’s poor and working-class people who have stood on all ten toes, remaining vigilant in their quest for total liberation.
We also understand the role of the U.S. government in the oppression the Haitian people face today. It is why images of thousands of Haitians in the streets demanding an end to U.S./Canada/EU domination do not appear in the media that the people of the United States are mostly exposed to. It is why we only hear reports of so-called gangs made up of poor people who somehow get access to guns while being unable to afford shoes for their feet.
But that is why BAP-DC is here: To expose the contradictions and the hypocrisy of the Pan-European colonial-capitalist project from within the belly of the biggest empire in human history. We do this because we understand Haiti as the source of inspiration for liberation struggles throughout our Americas. And that is why BAP is spearheading an effort with key forces throughout the Americas to build a people(s)-centered Zone of Peace in our Americas.
And so we say: Hands off Haiti! Make our Americas a Zone of Peace! No compromise! No retreat! Forward ever! Backward never!