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On Dec. 10, 2018, dozens of people, mostly high school and college students, held a protest at the busy intersection of San Antonio Road and El Camino Avenue in Mountain View, California, to condemn the corruption, brutality and killings by the U.S.-backed regime of Jovenel Moise in Haiti. Protesters made and carried enlarged posters of unarmed Haitian students who have been killed by the Haitian police. The demands of the protest were straightforward: Stop the repression and killings of student activists in Haiti! Stop U.S. support for the corrupt regime of Jovenel Moise! Support the struggle of the Haitian people for education, human rights, and democracy!
Anita Corine Sanderson-Labossiere, beloved mother, caring grandmother, dedicated daughter, loving sister and friend, departed on Thursday, Feb. 22, at the age of 62. She was active as a rank-and-file union member of IFPTE Local 21, as well as in a number of other organizations. Among those, Anita was very passionate about one in particular, the Shafter Avenue Community Club, a community organization dedicated to environmental justice in the Bayview Hunters Point District in San Francisco.
Dr. Maryse Narcisse, presidential candidate of Fanmi Lavalas, addressed an overflow audience in Oakland in late April. She spoke in the wake of the selection of Haiti’s new president, Jovenel Moise, a right-wing businessman and protégé of former president Michel Martelly, who took office via an electoral process so replete with fraud and voter suppression that opposition forces called it an “electoral coup.”
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.
The following is a compilation of two breaking news reports that have come in from Haiti within the past two days. Even as we speak, bullets are flying and people are dying in the streets. The presidential elections in Haiti on Sunday, Nov. 20, were a repeat of the October 2015 fraudulent elections in favor of Jovenel Moise, the candidate supported by former Duvalierist president Martelly. The Provisional Electoral Council (CEP/KEP) carried out their electoral coup d’etat giving him a 55 percent win.
On Oct. 4, Hurricane Matthew slammed into Haiti, killing at least 1,000 people and leaving thousands without shelter or food. The hurricane has devastated the city of Les Cayes and many villages in the Southwestern part of the country. The torrential rains and winds have also hit the capital, Port-au-Prince. With massive flooding comes the increased danger of water-borne diseases, particularly cholera, which has already reached epidemic proportions. We ask that all friends of Haiti donate as much as you can to the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund.
This Maafa Commemoration Month we continue to lift “A Love Supreme” as we organize a defense against state violence. Congratulations to Professor Aaliyah Dunn-Salahuddin, whose community vigil and program honored the lives of the Bayview Hunters Point revolutionaries killed 50 years ago when the community rose up after SFPD killed Matthew “Peanut” Johnson and more recently when the community turned out after SFPD killed Mario Woods.
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.
In the wake of the failure and collapse of the U.S. imposed dictatorship of Michel Martelly in Haiti, and as conservatives from the U.S. to the U.K. are being investigated for fraudulent electoral practices, the grassroots people of Haiti continue to escalate their fight for liberation, solidarity and dignity. Rocking the streets with “Nou pap obeyi!” (“We will not obey!”) illegitimate officials imposed by foreign colonizers, Haitians have fought on all levels to return governance of Haiti to its people.
Black Lives Matter – from Haiti to the Bay: Join the Haiti Action Committee pre-MLK March protest in solidarity with the fighting people of Haiti on Monday, Jan. 18, 10 a.m., at the Oakland Federal Building, 1301 Clay St. (12th Street BART), featuring drummers and a report from Haiti by Pierre Labossiere; then join the Martin Luther King March at 11 a.m. in Oscar Grant Plaza.
Following Haiti’s controversial presidential and legislative elections held on Sunday, Oct. 25, alarm is growing about irregularities in the counting of the votes at voting centers and in the transportation of votes to the tabulation center. There is widespread mistrust of the process. Most international observers of the election and subsequent press reports have focused on the day of the election but not on the counting and tabulation of the votes.
Beginning Saturday, Aug. 16, dock workers at the Port of Oakland honored the picket lines of thousands of people over a period of four days – and many months of organizing in solidarity with the people of Palestine – to block Israeli apartheid by preventing the docking and unloading of the Zim Pireaus liner anywhere on the West Coast. On Tuesday, Aug. 19, the Zim Pireus left the Port of Oakland with its cargo untouched, unloaded, unremarked and unwanted.
TheatreWorks’ production of “Once on This Island” is a beautifully choreographed story about love and loss, faith and selflessness. A musical based on the Caribbean writer and Black arts movement pioneer Rosa Guy’s adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson’s “Little Mermaid” set in a mysterious tropical island, when Napoleon appears defeated, we know it is Ayiti (Haiti).
On Feb. 12, Venezuelan Youth Day and the commemoration of the independence battle of La Victoria, some university students and traditional conservative opposition groups took to the streets in Venezuela. It quickly became obvious that the principal purpose of the protests was to destabilize the government and seek the ouster of the democratically elected president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro.
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.
Damu’s idea of revolutionary change meant, first, seeing the need for a radical transformation of the world and then having confidence that ordinary people, working people, are capable of making it happen. When they do rise up and try to fashion a new world, with all the mistakes humans are capable of making, he believed you have to support them.
The Blueford family and the Justice 4 Alan Blueford coalition (JAB) held a vigil for Alan on the one-year anniversary of his murder by Oakland police officer Miguel Masso. JAB has based itself deep within the Afrikan community that birthed it and has brought together many organizations and individuals to fight for justice for Alan and to stop continued police violence.
Haitian President Michel Martelly has managed to inspire popular opposition to his regime almost since his election in May 2011. Martelly, who came to office in a grossly unrepresentative process which excluded Lavalas, the country’s most popular party, has been closely linked with figures around former dictator Jean Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier.
MacArthur Fellow Lateefah Simon, executive director of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, will deliver the keynote address at the Fifth Anniversary Dinner and Awards Ceremony of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI).
The bitter taste of the dismal elections in Haiti could not diminish the joy of the return of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and his family after seven years of forced exile in South Africa.
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