April 20, 2017
Now, as the San Francisco Bay View newspaper’s 40th birthday year comes to a close, is the time to bring up to date the historical sketch of our paper that I began with Part 1 in the January paper. Piles of old papers rest on my desk, waiting to be read once again – a banquet of stories and pictures of our lives, our hopes, our goals. Let me let you taste the flavor of the freedom we continue to fight for in the age of Trump.
December 28, 2016
It should be obvious by now that the U.S.-U.N., E.U., OAS and various hired paramilitary police have engineered a second fraudulent election in as many years in Haiti. This latest attempt to kill Haiti’s freedom by aborting her dreams of democracy via the electoral process was designed to prevent landslide victories by Fanmi Lavalas, reminiscent of the presidential victories of Jean Bertrand Aristide. The U.S. and U.N. do not want to see this.
September 26, 2016
In 1969 I decided to join the Black Panther Party and commit myself to a lifetime of revolutionary struggle. In the early 1990s I became a supporter and advocate of Fanmi Lavalas. Lavalas means a cleansing flood that would wash away political corruption and Fanmi means family. I saw the similarities in practice of our Panther and Lavalas activists, whose dedication to the liberation of our peoples and provision of essential goods and services were paramount and well worth any risk to our lives.
September 4, 2016
Sept. 30 marks the 25th anniversary of the coup that overthrew Haiti’s first democratically-elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Aristide was the candidate of Haiti’s popular movement Lavalas in the 1990 presidential election; he won with 67 percent of the vote. Aristide’s Feb. 7, 1991, inauguration marked a huge victory for Haiti’s poor majority after decades living under the Duvalier family dictatorship and military rule.
March 1, 2016
The voice of Haiti’s popular movement at this critical period in the country’s history has never been clearer. For the past several months, since the discredited legislative and presidential elections of last August and October, mass, vibrant protests for the right to a free and fair vote and against foreign intervention have been a relentless force, in the face of heavily-armed and well-financed adversaries and mounting repression.
December 21, 2015
The U.S. brought democracy to Yugoslavia, and Yugoslavia no longer exists. The U.S. has spent $5 billion bringing democracy to Ukraine, and today Ukraine is in turmoil. In the end, neither the people of Yugoslavia, nor the people of Ukraine have benefited from U.S. democracy. And so it goes with the people of Haiti. But the list of non-Haitians who benefit from U.S. “democracy” is long, indeed. And the Clinton Foundation family and donors top this list.
August 26, 2015
When Bill and Hillary Clinton married in 1975, a friend gave them a trip to Haiti for their honeymoon. The Washington Post reported: “Since that honeymoon vacation, the Caribbean island nation has held a life-long allure for the couple, a place they found at once desperate and enchanting, pulling at their emotions throughout his presidency and in her maiden year as secretary of state.”
February 24, 2015
As Zimbabweans and their loving neighbors in the Southern African Development Community region celebrate President Mugabe’s 91st birthday Feb. 21, it is in fact, every African’s cause for celebration. President Mugabe’s pan-Africanist and internationalist vision makes him connect with Africans at home and abroad. It is now time to turn our attention to this impressive club of Africans who lived into their 90s that President Mugabe belongs to.
November 18, 2014
Without Haiti’s help, there would not have been any independent country in Latin America. On January 1, 1816, when Simon Bolivar arrived in Haiti, downtrodden and desperate for help to fight the Spanish, the only two republics in the Western Hemisphere were the United States, where slave ownership was in force, and Haiti, which had fought for and earned its independence in what is still the only successful slave rebellion ever in the world.
November 17, 2013
At great personal risk, Haitians demonstrated massively in cities throughout the country on Sept. 30 and Oct. 17, calling for President Michel Martelly to step down. By choosing historically significant dates marking past coups, the Haitian grassroots majority is clearly saying they want an end to 10 years of military occupation. Martelly’s police force brutally broke up some demonstrations with tear gas and beatings.
September 2, 2013
On the 20th anniversary of the demise of my father, Fred Ali Batin Sr., the 18th anniversary of the Maafa Commemoration San Francisco Bay Area – the Ritual Sunday is Oct. 13, 2013; see http://maafasfbayarea.com/ – and approximately the 60th day of the hunger strike to end the inhuman conditions in California’s Security Housing Units or SHUs, I just want to pause and reflect.
June 3, 2013
The Feb. 29, 2004, kidnapping and coup d’état began a brutal ongoing U.S.-U.N. occupation that aimed to suppress Haiti’s people’s movement and roll back the hard-won democratic gains since the ouster of Baby Doc Duvalier in 1986. Soldiers from other nations, including Ecuador and Brazil, later joined this occupation army, named MINUSTAH, which currently numbers 9,357 uniformed personnel.
March 14, 2013
The funeral of President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela took place on International Women’s Day – a fitting day of departure. Chávez was not the first movement leader who went on to head the government, to have understood women’s centrality to creating the new society they were striving to build. Presidents of Tanzania and Haiti have also benefited from making women central to progress.
March 8, 2013
Back when Mumia was a member of the Black Panther Party, he traveled west to work with the Oakland chapter – an important time in his evolution as a radical journalist. Now the story of his life and revolutionary times comes to The New Parkway Theater. Read about it and all of Wanda’s Picks for March 2013.
September 7, 2012
Haiti’s brutal army was disbanded in 1995, yet armed and uniformed paramilitaries, with no government affiliation, occupy former army bases today. Join Haiti Action Committee for a discussion on the roots of paramilitarism in Haiti at La Pena Cultural Center, 3105 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, featuring Jeb Sprague, author of ‘Paramilitarism and the Assault on Democracy in Haiti.’
March 12, 2012
Portraying community and political activists as violent gang leaders and violent criminals was employed in the run-up to Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s ouster in 2004 and gained momentum in the years afterwards. The continued demonization of militants and activists is exemplified in the defamation campaign against grassroots activist Samba Boukman.
August 17, 2011
As one of his first measures in office, Brazilian Defense Minister Celso Amorim plans to conclude Brazil’s participation in the notorious United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). Various sectors of the Brazilian government, including Brazil’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, agree with Mr. Amorim, who says that the important thing now is to formulate an exit strategy. This story has now been translated into French and Spanish; the translations follow the English version.
February 25, 2011
Several prominent figures from the international anti-apartheid movement have sent South African President Jacob Zuma an open letter “in the hopes that he can assist” former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and his family in returning to Haiti “as soon as possible.”
February 23, 2011
This “run-off” presidential election, scheduled for March 20, helps to explain the re-emergence of Jean-Claude (Baby Doc) Duvalier, since both candidates, Mirlande Manigat and Michel Martelly, have links to the Duvalier past. Manigat’s husband is said to have advised Duvalier to create the dreaded tonton macoutes. And Martelly, who was himself a tonton macoute in his youth, has pledged to make Duvalier one of his advisers. Join the Haiti Action Committee for “Seven Years after the Coup in Haiti: Democracy at the Crossroads” at Humanist Hall, 390 27th St., Oakland, on Tuesday, March 1, 7 p.m.
February 11, 2011
Join your voice with the roar of the crowds in Egypt and Haiti to demand that President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton end support for Mubarak and support the Egyptian people’s will and allow Aristide to return and allow real democracy in Haiti.